“Totally excluded” Nigerian architects and engineers demand share of growing workload

In a new era of foreign-funded mega-projects in Nigeria, local architects and engineers say they are being frozen out of work and have called on the new government to enforce rules governing their inclusion. 

The Association of Consulting Architects Nigeria (ACANigeria) and the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN) are demanding strict adherence to rules on engaging foreign firms.

This is not how other countries have developed, and there is no way that Nigeria can or will develop through this current mode– Dr. Temilolo Kehinde, president of ACEN

The "total exclusion" of local professionals was depriving Nigeria of the chance to develop skills, and had led to poor quality and structural collapses, they said. 

At a recent press conference the associations jointly urged the federal government to enact laws "to stop the proliferation of building and infrastructural development by unlicensed and unregistered local and foreign persons practising in Nigeria". 

"Under the ridiculous guise of inflow of direct foreign investments, professionals from every imaginable corner of the world, from China, to India, to Brazil, to Korea, to Canada, Singapore, Australia, the United Kingdom France, South Africa, to mention a few, are busy doing good business in Nigeria, on our railway expansion programme, new seaports, new airports, mass transits, new cities," stated Dr. Temilolo Kehinde, president of ACEN. 

He gave Centennial city in Abuja and Eko Atlantic city in Lagos (pictured) as examples. 

"This is not how other countries have developed, and there is no way that Nigeria can or will develop through this current model. Development stems from technology and engineering being ‘applied locally’ and our governments are urged to recognise this reality." 

The bodies called on the incoming government of president-elect Muhammadu Buhari to enact a law ensuring that for projects valued at less than 5 billion naira ($25m), only Nigerian professionals should be engaged. 

For projects valued between N5 billion and N15 billion ($75m), Nigerian professionals should take the lead and bring in foreign experts, "only if and where necessary", they said. 

For projects valued above N15 billion foreign professionals can take the lead "for now", with the active participation of local consultants, but there should be a training component incorporated in the contract to enhance transfer of technology. 

The president of ACANigeria, Omotayo Babalakin, said that the proliferation of building by unlicensed and unregistered local or foreign persons was responsible for the "increase in the number of collapsed buildings" and the "degeneration of our built environment due to poorly designed and executed buildings and infrastructure". 

Original source: This Day Live

Photograph: Pipelaying at Eko Atlantic, a major residential and business development on Victoria Island, Lagos. It is one of the mega-projects cited by disgruntled Nigerian architects and engineers (

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