There will be a more significant impact on Nigerians if professional bodies play more active roles in the implementation of government plans and policies, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Osinbajo stated this on Monday when he received on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa, members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA, led by its President, Enyi Ben-Eboh.
The Vice President, who made specific reference to the social housing scheme of the Federal Government said the programme would significantly impact more Nigerians if professional bodies such as the NIA play an active role.
According to him, “when we developed the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), it was part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were very concerned about social housing, not just as a way of providing cheap housing for the poorest among us, but also as a way of providing jobs and job opportunities. But I am not so sure we got much response from NIA.
“One of the advantages of professional bodies like yours is to make it possible for a vast majority of our people to get decent housing for instance, finding the cheapest ways of building 300,000 affordable houses.”
Continuing, the Vice President noted that “for the vast majority of Nigerians, the relevance of our professional institutions, especially when it comes to the design and building, must be felt when it comes to the basics. I certainly will like to see what sorts of contributions the NIA will make in developing policies around social housing.”
Osinbajo then commended the Institute for coming up with the Integrated Infrastructure Research for Development Conference as its contribution to the country’s National Development Plan, noting that situating architecture in the creative industry is apt.
The Vice President also emphasized the need for the building sector to drive the industry and its operations as much as possible, noting that “it is very important that the sector itself drives reforms, regulation and policy.”
Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the delegation and President of the NIA, Ben-Eboh, while soliciting the support of the Vice President for the body, commended the Federal Government for its contribution to the growth of Nigerian professionals by signing Executive Order 02 in 2017.
He said, “without doubt, Executive Order 2 laid the foundation for the gradual take-off of our nation’s envisioned industrial diversification and self-sustaining economy with 100% in-country capacity utilization and development.”
The NIA President then announced the selection of Prof. Osinbajo as the grand patron of NIA’s Integrated Infrastructure Conference scheduled for October 2022.
During the meeting, the NIA made a presentation on the implementation guide of the Institute’s Integrated Infrastructure Research for Development Conference.
Other members of the NIA delegation included Mobolaji Adeniyi, 1st Vice President; Sani Saulawa, 2nd Vice President; Chioma Wogu-Ogbonna, 3rd Vice President; Chike Chamberlain Ibeanu, General Secretary, and former President of the Institute, Obong Victor Attah, former Akwa Ibom State Governor; among others.