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Vanguard Newspaper 13 February 2018

20 — Vanguard,

20 — Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 ‘ARCON dissolution case: We never took ARCON to court - NIA President Stories by Kingsley Adegboye The president of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, NIA, Festus Adibe Njoku, an architect, has disowned recent publications in Nigeria’s newspapers that the institute took its regulatory body, Architects Registration Council of Nigeria, ARCON, to court. Making the clarification in Lagos at the weekend, Njoku, who was elected president of the institute in November last year, explained that four individuals, namely: Arc. Tonye Braide who is the immediate past president of NIA, Arc. Abimbola Ajayi, Arc. David Majekodunmi and Arc. Dike Emmanuel, in their individual capacity, went to court, challenging that the regulatory body, having been dissolved, according to them, does not have the power to invite them to a disciplinary hearing, insisting that at no time, between last year and two years ago, did NIA take ARCON to court. According to him, as citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, they have a right to go to court as individuals, but that at no time did the Council mandate them to go to court and that there was no time they stated that they were representing NIA. “Even the judgment did not say NIA but only mentioned these four people. The story in itself is correct, but the headline is what is not correct and I would want this corrected. If you are saying four officials of NIA took ARCON to court, then you have a correct heading. NIA never took ARCON to court, neither did it say that ARCON has been dissolved. “Rather, four members of NIA went to court to say that ARCON has actually been dissolved and they lost the case. So, kindly correct it that NIA at no time took ARCON to court. The judgment you are talking about is with four members of the institute that took ARCON to court and they lost it. Putting it under a general NIA is very wrong,” Njoku clarified. He narrated that “It all started when the immediate past president, Tonye Braide, set up an education board that introduced people who just did their exams in 2014 to be in examination board in 2015. The regulatory body in turn, faulted the act and requested that the people be removed from the examination board. This, however, was not granted, leading to the regulatory body not •Ongoing residential housing estate in Lagos recognising the examination.” He stressed that it affected the September 2016, March 2017 and The regulatory body in turn, faulted the act and requested that the people be removed from the examination board Homework Development and Properties Limited, has restored the trust foreign investors once had in the Nigerian real estate sector. This is the major outcome of the recent conference organised by the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas, ANPA, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, where the Lagos-based leading real estate company showcased its affordable products and promoted the recent positive developments in real estate industry in Nigeria. Reflecting on the conference attended by hundreds of physicians and other professionals, the Director of Homework Development and Properties Limited, Jide Adekola, an architect, said it provided a platform that helped to change the perception that foreign investors would not get value for money or might get scammed in Nigeria, adding that it September 2017 sets. “The regulatory body now said, we want to see all the documents pertaining to the exam; their registration and project. Since, I came in as president on November 25, those documents were sent to the regulatory body by December 22nd for them to go through the process of qualifying them for the exam. The moment they finish, they will register the candidates who are found qualified.” Responding to whether the action of the regulatory body does not constitute a bottleneck to candidates, he remarked that you don’t say because somebody is suffering too much and go ahead to pass him. ARCON, he maintained, would be the one to register those candidates as well as be the one to give them a number that qualifies them to practice. He stated further that henceforth, the body will not be conducting two exams, but one, adding that after the clearing of the backlogs that caused the problem, the exam would take place anytime within the year (2018). ARCON, he said, has not finally come up with registered candidates, pointing out that they cannot go further until they are registered. He said that is the process of reuniting the institute, he noted. NIA president stated that they would reposition themselves as the pacesetters of the profession within the continent, having suffered credibility setback recently. “Once we have done that, we would regain the respect that the country commands,” he noted. Firm restores foreign investors’ trust in real estate sector also created the awareness that there are professionals in the sector who are able to provide quality products in due time. “The change in perception, which we have created, would in no small measure boost businesses and increase the volume of foreign direct investments that can engender increase in gross domestic product of the country,“ Adekola said. He affirmed that ANPA members, who have benefited from the unswerving services of the company, specifically requested that Homework should participate in the conference in order to take the Nigerian success story to the outside world. According to Adekola, the event has exposed Homework to ANPA’s publications, increased networking and sales leads, the needs of customers and the property market, increased trust in foreign investors in the Nigerian real estate market, and has boosted awareness that there is a unique selling point in the company’s products which are delivered by professional architects. He explained that the real estate sector, which is inundated with issues of trust, lack of finance and presence of charlatans, can be saved if government subsidises the cost of land for credible developers who have the capacity to provide affordable housing. Adekola added that Homework would also take part in the annual conference organised by the National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America and other subdivisions within the US. This would enable the company reach out to other professional associations and more Nigerians in the globe. Homework is also planning to hold similar exhibitions and talks in Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries with large population of Nigerians. C M YK

Vanguard, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018 — 21 Private corporations can’t be trusted with Lagos water — Rights groups, activists By Oboh Agbonkhese Last week, rights groups, labour leaders and activists got together in a rountable to examine moves by Lagos State Government to privatise water distribution in the state, especially the Adiyan II Waterworks. Their conclusion was that access to clean, safe, equitable and affordable water is a human right and must be treated as such, which is at variance with private corporations’ sole objective which is profitmaking. They argued that the multinationals that Lagos Water Corporation, LWC, shortlisted for the privatisation scheme cannot be trusted, as they had failed in projects they embarked on in India, the US, Morocco, Spain, led to loss of jobs in Rwanda, with many of the corporations’ CEOs being investigated for shady deals. According to them, multinational corporations and world monetary bodies are using Lagos as a test case to “colonise” Africa, noting that Bayelsa State is also being primed for privatisation. The event, organised by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, ERA/FoEN, and supported by Corporate Accountability International, Public Services International, among others, saw veteran unionist, Mr. S. O. Z. Ejiofor speaking on Human Rights and Corporate Conquest in Nigeria, Deputy Executive Director, ERA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, speaking on Water Privatisation: The Case of Our Water Rights Campaign; Labour leader, Leke Zambuk, speaking on PPP Versus Labour: From Bi- Water to Veolia; 2019 presidential aspirant, Jaiye Gaskia, Creating People’s Movement Against PPP, and Sani Baba, speaking on Global Perspectives of Water Privatisation. Concluding, National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE; PSI, Labour and the CSOs represented agreed to join hands with ERA to take the campaign to the grassroots, agreeing that today’s Nigerian leaders don’t read, otherwise they would understand that public service is the core of governance. Other unionists/activists at the roundtable were ERA/FoEN’s Head of Campaigns, Philip Jakpor; activist, Achike Chude, and National President of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, AUPCTRE, Mr. Benjamin Anthony, who gave the welcome address. Hubmart excites shoppers with Lekki outlet By Kingsley Adegboye Leading indigenous retail giant, Hubmart Stores Limited, has continued in its tradition of bringing satisfaction close to the homes of its teeming customers by opening in Lekki, Lagos, a new outlet located at Lennox Mall ’The Place’, Lekki Phase1. Hubmart Stores, which prides itself on its Nigerian heritage said its Lekki Mall which was officially opened to the public last Friday, has been purposefully designed to create an environment guaranteed to give customers a comprehensive shopping experience and further enhance Hubmart’s burgeoning reputation as one of the best destinations for shoppers in the country. Speaking to journalists, Managing Director of Hubmart, Murat Bektaslar said Hubmart’s third store is a firm statement that it is in the retail business to be accessible to its teeming customers, pointing out that the success recorded from patronage of its other outlets in Victoria Island and Ikeja, is a testament to the fact that its customers have wholly embraced all its offerings. In his words, “we have continuously created an environment where customers can find everything they want under one roof, get the best quality of ultra-fresh produce, and have a delightful, fulfilling and exciting shopping trip. “We are creating a movement, a fresh movement and as you can see, our customers are appreciative of the efforts we make to ensure all our products are served fresh. Everyone is invited to come experience the store from 11am today when the tapes will be formally cut” Explaining the reason for siting of the mall in Lekki, Murat stated that locating the mall in Lekki was imperative because Lekki has become a key commercial hub in Lagos State, adding that the working and residential communities within Lekki and its environs made it imperative for the store to register its presence in the locality. Murat noted that apart from some of the community development efforts embarked upon, the business was poised to engage and positively impact the local community with the array of initiatives in the pipeline. The store is expected to provide employment for over 100 Nigerians, 60 per cent of which would be sourced from the local community, and serve as a source of livelihood to many more via the extended circle of influence on the local communities (suppliers, engaged vendors, etc.). Ikeja Mall management commends floor treatment firm The management of Ikeja City Mall has expressed satisfaction with the efficiency and quality of work done at its premises by No- Slips Limited, a Lagos-based non-slip floor treatment company. According to the Mall’s management, a large portion of the mall was recently treated by No-Slips Limited to increase the co-efficient of friction thereby reducing the possibility of slip and fall accidents by visitors to the mall and members of staff. In a letter of appreciation to No-Slips Limited, Mr. Steve Idonigie, the Operations Manager of Ikeja City Mall said, “we write to thank you for the amazing difference we have experienced on our floors since they were treated with your anti-slip product. “We used to receive a lot of complaints of slip/fall whenever it rains and we have tried different approaches but to no avail. Since you applied your product to the floors of our shopping mall, the result has been excellent. There has been a remarkable turnaround, there hasn’t been a single incident of slip and fall in the areas treated. The efficacy of the product is second to none, this is the first of its kind in this part of the world. The treated areas are no longer slippery especially when wet”, Idonigie said. In his response, the Chief Executive Officer of No-Slips Limited, Mr. Charles Igbinidu said more companies and individuals in Nigeria are beginning to take floor safety seriously, adding that he is not surprised with the high demand for floor safety treatment. He stressed that no amount of money spent on safety can be compared to the emotional and physical pain accidents bring. “We have heard stories of people who slipped while walking on the doorway of their offices and sustained life-threatening injuries such that their companies had to spend so much in flying the victims abroad for treatment. There are also stories of people who have lost their lives after slipping and falling in their bathrooms. “Slip and fall accident can happen any time, anywhere. On a rainy day, the entryway of every store and office building becomes a danger zone to customers and staff. Every marble floor that has just been mopped, every kitchen in every restaurant or school cafeteria; every bathtub in every hotel and home, every wash room floor with a few drops of water, high-traffic areas where spills, drops and pools can occur, are especially risky.