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IDAN laments lack of originality in African architecture, interior designs

 

Eyewitness reporter

The Interior Designers Association of  Nigeria (IDAN) has described the Nigerian Architectural and interior design status as lacking cultural and historical essences.
This was made known at a just-concluded event to mark the World Interiors Day (WID) celebration.
 According to IDAN,  the Nigerian architectural pieces are devoid of colonial references and have little cultural and artistic value attached.
The group lamented that the country is not presenting it past particularly well.
In a round table discussion organised to address salient issues affecting the nation, one of the panelists, Miss Kaine Amachree started noted:
“I have been saying this for a long time.  I am not seeing enough of our cultural references in our architecture and in our interiors.
” I am not talking about putting vintage antics on display.
“Most of the Nigerian architecture has no colonial references, it has very little culture except if you go to Kano or to the homes of the Obas or the Ooni’s and the kings, that’s where they keep all the beautiful African-based architectural habitat.”
Amachree cited that African countries such as Mali, and South Africa have retained their histories in their architectural pieces saying:
“You talk about a man like Francis Kere of Mali, you talk about the past.
“We took a lot from the South African Cape.
“We took a lot from our colonial masters. The houses were designed for cross ventilation.
” So you have big windows on this side and on that side. You don’t have that problem anymore.”
The interior design expert described the focus of colonial architecture saying:
“The rooms were made for the purpose.
“The person was there for a purpose for a period of time.
“So in a big colonial house, you had 2 big bedrooms, beautiful wooden floors; you had the cool air coming from cross ventilation, you had high ceilings, the windows were plumbed 90 degrees all over.
“You had wooden beams that are fabulously seamed and beautiful to look at.
“You have staircases that are created out of solid timber that doesn’t split or warp in any way.”
The business mogul lent her experience to the audience saying, “(There is ) no casting back to our influence from the colonials. We are not casting back to the symbolism of how we lived, the materials that we used- mud, grass, straw, ground shells, rocks and they were used for a reason.
“We have lost that part of our history.
“We don’t have an unusual design, we don’t have anything very, very original.
“We tend to copy and the internet has really permitted that.”
Amachree, who has over 25 years of experience in interior design and architectural drawing, went on to admonish the stakeholders
” I don’t want to see another Corinthian design or capital, I want to see something that is more African.”
She lamented the dearth of traditional skills.
“We are losing artisanal skills, we need to bring back the artisans from Edo state, I used to get carvers from there.
“We are losing weavers even those Hausa guys that used to do the hats. We are losing all those skills to importation.”
Miss Amachree revealed that sometimes she talks to young architects and say, “Why are you acting funny, why don’t you introduce this (African design) to your clients?”
The architects would respond, ‘The clients they don’t want this, they want Dubai,’ and according to her ,she would respond:
“Dubai is marble, Disney comics, Batman! They have created their own style.
” We don’t have anything amazing, original and very artistic”
In her closing remarks, the BOT member challenged Nigeria emphatically stressing:
“Why (is it) in America, we have the Design and Decorations (D&D) building, Architecture and Design (AD) building.
In London, they have the Chelsea Harbor Design?
“I want to see the day that we have our own design center that caters to not just interior design, interior African decorations to specialized interior finishes; where we have our own museum, auditorium, where we can have masterclasses and symposium for young students, where there are books, photographs. I will  my entire library to that!”
World Interiors Day is one set aside by the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers to celebrate the industry.
This year’s theme, “Pride of the Past, an incentive for the future”, celebrates innovation and a future-forward look at the profession, while honouring the past and learning from its experiences.
The immediate past President of IFI and Founder of IDAN, Dr. Titi Ogufere said, “I thought that topic was important and for me, I always say if you don’t know your past you don’t know where you are going, you don’t know your future and that’s one of the issues we’ve had in Africa where we have actually been robbed of even knowing history, knowing where we are coming from, knowing who we are, our identity and that is so important.”

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Headlines

IMO tasks Mobereola to sustain NIMASA’s leadership role in regional maritime industry

—– hails his appointment as DG
The Eyewitness Reporter
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has lauded the leadership role of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the maritime industry within the West African sub-region which it said has stabilized maritime administration in the region.
In his congratulatory letter to Dr. Dayo Mobereola, the new NIMASA DG, the Secretary General of IMO Arsenio Dominguez, observed with satisfaction the collaborative efforts of NIMASA that have brought relative peace to the troubled Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
He therefore charged Mobereola to sustain the tempo of activities that will keep the momentum going in the areas of safety, security and building of strong maritime institutions.
In a conveyance letter personally signed by him, the IMO Secretary-General recognized the strides of the Agency in building a robust maritime sector in Nigeria, adding that the IMO commends the significant effort, initiatives, and investment that Nigeria has made in strengthening its maritime institutions.

In the words of Dominguez, “The focus on strengthening maritime law enforcement and security architecture has been welcomed by seafarers and flag States.

“The Deep Blue project and the C4i Centre as well as maritime piracy laws under the SPOMO Act are just some of the many investments that have set a new gold standard in the region in maritime security capacity building”.

“IMO has long supported the regional role of the Yaoundé Code of Conduct and its Member States in strengthening maritime security and law enforcement.

” In this respect, we have been greatly encouraged with the continuation of this regional ownership with the formation and work of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum and Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GoG-MCF/SHADE) in 2021”.

He commended the Agency’s partnership with the various regional bodies and expressed the readiness of the IMO to work with Nigeria and other member states on many maritime issues with the aim of jointly tackling these issues.

“NIMASA’s partnership with the Interregional Coordination Centre (ICC) and the collaboration with the shipping industry, navies and the Yaoundé architecture has been instrumental in suppressing the threat of piracy to merchant vessels and seafarers in line with UN Security Council resolution 2634 (2022) on piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea and IMO Assembly resolution A.1159 (32)”.

” I look forward to working with you and your colleagues on many of the maritime issues that we are jointly tackling and hope to welcome you in person at the IMO, he said.

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Headlines

Eastern shippers, freight forwarders on collision course with Shippers’ Council over increase in haulage rate

Akutah Pius Ukeyima, ES, NSC
The Eyewitness Reporter
Importers, Exporters and freight forwarders playing their trade in the South East region of the country have rejected the recent 200 percent hike in haulage rate by the Nigerian Shippers’Council.
They described the increase as “outrageous, arbitrary, and unacceptable.”
In a press conference called by the aggrieved shippers in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, they claimed that if the hike was not reversed, it would bring them on a collision course with the Shippers’ Council.
Addressing journalists on behalf of the aggrieved group, Joshua Ahuama, Zonal Coordinator of the Association of Nigerian Customs Licenced Agents (ANLCA), claimed that the rate will not only lead to spiral inflation but also in contravention of the provisions of the NSC Act.
He disclosed that the group shall give the Shippers’Council a seven-day ultimatum to reverse to status quo or face withdrawal of their services at the Eastern ports.
He accused the council of not consulting concerned stakeholders before arriving at the decision, saying consultations are an integral part of the NSC Act.
 “Recently, the NSC approved a 200 percent increment in haulage rate for transport owners and drivers operating under the Maritime Union of Nigeria.
“To this end, importers and freight forwarders associations in the eastern zone have unanimously disputed the new rate because it is outrageous, arbitrary, and unacceptable to all stakeholders in the zone.
“We have, however, resolved to adopt all peaceful efforts. We started this move on March 14 by calling on the NSC to ensure proper stakeholder engagement and renegotiation.

” These measures are also expected to help all parties to reach a benchmark that would be in the interest of all stakeholders in the maritime value chain,” Ahuama noted.

 “We also urge the NSC to return to the status quo by suspending the implementation of the disputed rate, pending proper renegotiation covering the interest of all stakeholders.

“We are not on a selfish course. Our demands are in the interest of Nigerians because any slight increase in the haulage rate will reflect on the prices of goods in the open market.

“A businessman incorporates total logistic costs into the prices of goods.”

However, the group said they might be constrained to take drastic measures, including suspending all declarations of goods and payments of customs duties, which could negatively affect national revenue and economic output.

Some members of the import and export associations present at the meeting included the Nigeria Shippers Association, the Aba International Traders Association, the Ultimate Importers Association, the POP Importers Association, the Nnewi Importers Association, and the Onitsha Importers Association.

However, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has said that the new approved rate took into consideration the cost, moderation and other cargo transport issues.
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Customs

Performance of Apapa Customs scanning officers excites Comptroller Jaiyeoba

The Eyewitness Reporter
The Area Controller of Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba has lauded the uncompromising attitude of the officers of the Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology Unit (NIITU) which he said has been invaluable to the overall success of the command.
Comptroller Jaiyeoba, who was on an unscheduled visit to the scanner site, reminded the officers of the importance of teamwork as a strong basis to sustain the gains of compliance and revenue collection recently recorded by the command.
He thanked Deputy Comptroller Salamatu Atuluku, the Officer in charge of the scanning site and encouraged the unit not to be deterred by complaints coming from persons who were made to pay accurate duties to the government after issuance of demand notices
According to him, no business person who is made to part with money will be happy with officers who refused to compromise the ethics of their job
” The main reason for me coming here is to appreciate you. I may not see you but I have seen your work and I won’t keep quiet about what I have seen about your work.
“You are doing very well. I just want to encourage you to work as a team. If you don’t work as a team, you give room for outsiders to come in and when they come in, they divide you and when they divide you,  achieving success will be very difficult
” Do your work without blemish. Once you keep your arm straight, you can stand before anybody. Your work as a customs officer is to ensure that you do the correct thing
” For those of you doing an intervention in the form of Demand Notice(DN), there is no body who part with money that will be happy with you.
“They will want to play intelligent by hiding somewhere. When you fetch them from their hiding place, they become your enemy. Whatever they write about anybody here will still come down to me and if anybody works well, the onus on me is to defend such a person.
“Just have it at the back of your mind that you owe yourself the duty of doing your work diligently whether anyone comes around as a friend or enemy.
“It is not enough for you to rest. The reward for hard work is more work. These demands require sacrifice so that you can maintain the status” he said.
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