Architecture graduates of polytechnics yesterday staged a protest to demand equal treatment alongside their university counter-parts in registering and licensing to practise as architects in the country.
The protest took place at the ongoing 2018 yearly general meeting and conference of Nigeria Institute of Architects (NIA) in Lagos.
With placards bearing various inscriptions, the Higher National Diploma (HND) holders queried the non-implementation of the federal government’s abolition of the dichotomy between HND and BSC graduates.
The implementation is supposed to be effected mainly by the NIA and its regulatory council, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON).
The aggrieved students alleged that NIA and ARCON were discriminating against their HND certificates and consequently refused to register them as members.
Stressing that only architects with university degrees were being recognised by the NIA and ARCON, they were denied the opportunity of sitting for the Architects’ Competence Programme Examination or Professional Practice Examination.
Voice of polytechnic graduate architects, Mr. David Omotosho, urged the professional bodies to recognise architecture as technologically-oriented, stressing that “holders of HND certificates have a better knowledge of the basis of the profession,” hence, they shouldn’t be rejected by NIA and ARCON.
He said the students deemed it necessary to use the conference to further create awareness on the plight of the affected people, noting that the non-recognition was killing them psychologically.
He said the dichotomy portrays them as quacks, after spending about five years mastering the profession in the polytechnics.
“We want all HND holders in architecture from accredited polythenics to be considered for registration and licensing as architects after sitting for the Final I, Finals II & Professional Practice Examination (PPE) or Architects Competence Programme Examination (ACPE).
“All HND holders in architecture from accredited polytechnics, who have, in addition to their HND, postgraduate diplomas and master’s degree in architecture, and had sat for ACPE or PPE should be given the seal to practise. NIA and ARCON had alleged deficiency among HND holders; they should tell us what the deficiencies are,” he stated.
Reacting, the president of NIA, Festus Njoku, promised that the issue would be sorted out.
“We will sort out the matter. The committee looking into exams will also look into the matter because it has been tabled before it. Nobody hates the HND holders,” he said.
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