By Grace Alegba
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola on Monday warned a management committee set up by Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) against usurping the powers of its regulatory body.
The Management Committee of ARCON is a transition committee created by law to undertake ARCON’s routine management upon expiration of tenure of its statutory council and pending constitution of a new board.
Fashola, in a statement on Monday by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr Bashir Alkali was reacting to newspaper publication in which the management committee was planning major programmes and an evaluation assessment for architects without contacting ARCON, its regulatory body.
The Minister noted that the management committee was acting beyond its powers by not collaboration with its regulatory body to form quorum in taking major decisions as spelt out by the laws establishing it.
“In the face of this self-induced stalemate, the Management Committee is purporting to exercise powers which only a full committee is permitted by law to exercise.
“Such conducts are clearly not only in violation of their enabling statute but could also attract criminal sanctions. These activities include: a plan to organise the 2022 Colloquium for architects in Nigeria from Monday 23rd –Thursday 26th May, 2022 and a plan to undertake Architects Professional Competency Evaluation (APCE) Exercise.
“These are core functions of the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria and not that of the Management Committee,’’ he said.
Quoting relevant laws setting up the professional body, the minister observed that the management committee did not follow due process in its bid to organise the advertised activities.
“A compound reading of the provisions of Section 4 (on the Quorum of the Council), Clause 1(5) of the First Schedule to the Act and Section 27 of the Interpretation Act clearly indicates that, the President, Vice-President and Treasurer of ARCON do not constitute a quorum for the purpose of carrying out the core functions of the Council,’’ he said.
The minister advised the management committee to be properly guided by its own regulations while shedding light on various aspects so that they do not contravene the law and cause breach of public peace.
“Consequently, in exercise of the supervisory powers of the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing pursuant to the provision of sections 3 and 4 (1) of the Act, as well as Clause 2(2) of the First schedule to the Act, I have been directed by the Honourable Minister to convey the following to the Management Committee of ARCON that the Committee should:
“Refrain forthwith from all activities which constitute statutory functions of the Council as enumerated in Section 2 (1) (a- c) of the Act until a new properly constituted Council is in place.
“Only oversee the routine administrative management of the Council until a new properly constituted Council is in place;
”Retract recent statement in the advert by the Committee on the Architects Professional Competency Evaluation (APCE).
“Intensify efforts to reconcile the warring factions to embrace dialogue in resolving issues leading to the stagnation of the Profession rather than engage in needless litigation that created the current impasse.
“And ensure that the issues that led to the litigation that created the current impasse are speedily and amicably resolved in the best interest of the Architecture profession and the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ the statement said.