FG warns Architects Council Committee against performing statutory duties

The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing has warned the management committee in charge of the Architects Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON) to refrain from performing statutory functions reserved for a full composition of the council.

The warning was contained in a statement issued by Bashir Alkali, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Works and Housing.

The inauguration of a new council for ARCON scheduled for December 2021 has been postponed due to a court case involving the council and the Institute of Architects of Nigeria, over the membership composition and functions of the association of architects from the country.

Amid the ongoing matter, ARCON has scheduled a symposium to be held May 23-26, 2022.

Speaking on the development, the ministry said such activities cannot be carried out by the management committee, but by a quorum of the statutory board.

“Despite presidential approval for the inauguration of a new council, it was not possible to inaugurate the council following litigation brought by members of the architectural profession seeking to stop the inauguration,” the statement said.

“Faced with this self-induced impasse, the management committee claims to exercise powers that only a committee of the whole is authorized by law to exercise.

“Such conduct is clearly not only in violation of their enabling law, but could also result in criminal penalties. These activities include: a plan to organize the 2022 Colloquium for Architects in Nigeria from Monday 23 to Thursday 26 May 2022 and a plan to undertake the Architects Professional Competency Assessment (PACE) exercise. These are the core functions of the Architects Registration Board of Nigeria and not those of the Management Committee. »

Alkali said that while the composition of ARCON is set out in the Architects Registration Board of Nigeria Act, Cap A19 LFN 2004 “which provides for the constitution of an ARCON Board of 49 members”, the proposed functions by the management committee can only be achieved by a “quorum” of the board, which includes 10 members including “at least one of the persons designated by the Institute”, as well as five of the representatives of the States.

“A composite reading of the provisions of section 4 (on the quorum of the Board), section 1(5) of the First Schedule to the Act and section 27 of the Interpretation Act makes it clear that the President, Vice President and Treasurer of ARCON do not constitute a quorum for the purpose of performing the essential functions of the Board,” the statement read.

“It therefore follows that the president, vice-president or treasurer who now constitute the management committee can only oversee the day-to-day management of the board. In addition, Section 7(3) of the First Schedule to the Act further provides that: A decision of the committee shall have no effect until confirmed by the council. »

The ministry also cited the board committee’s plan to hold an assessment exercise, adding that such an activity falls within “essential statutory functions of the board when properly constituted and therefore ultra vires the functions of a committee.” management on which to act”.

As such, the ministry directed the committee to “immediately refrain from all activities which constitute the statutory functions of the Council as enumerated in section 2(1)(ac) of the Act until that a new duly constituted Council is in place; oversee only the day-to-day administrative management of the Council until a new duly constituted Council is in place; retract the recent statement in the announcement of the Competency Assessment Commission Professional Associations of Architects (APCE)”.

ARCON’s management committee was also instructed “to intensify efforts to reconcile warring factions in order to adopt dialogue in resolving issues leading to the stagnation of the profession, rather than engaging in unnecessary litigation that has created the current impasse; and to ensure that the issues which led to the litigation which has created the current impasse are resolved expeditiously and amicably in the best interests of the architectural profession and the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

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