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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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As Nigerdock recants operational breaches, FG may lift suspension on the facility

The Eyewitness reporter
The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to lift the suspension order on Nigerdock following its willingness to abide by the rules and its contributions to the growth of the National economy.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, stated this recently when he visited the firm in Lagos in the company of the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye and some Management Staff of the Ministry.
Addressing the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerdock, Maher Jarmakani and other officials of the company, the Minister pointed out that the reason why they were suspended was as a result of complaints from other Terminal Operators, saying Nigerdock had operating advantages over them.
“What led to your suspension was that I received complaints from Terminal Operators, saying that you are not on the same level with them. In the sense that they pay more to the government than you do. You’re likely to attract freight at a much lower cost to the detriment of businesses”,  the Minister disclosed.
He, therefore, urged them to liaise with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to work out all the operational licenses needed to enable them to operate and the latter will forward the same to the Minister of Transportation whose prerogative it is to give approvals.
Speaking further, the Minister said: “We will never do anything to undermine the things you are doing here in terms of generating wealth and jobs for Nigerians.  The only thing we are saying is that the law should be followed. We should not encourage lawlessness “.
Responding, the CEO, Nigerdock, Maher Jarmakani, said the firm has taken notable steps in this regard as they have been granted bonded permits by the Nigerian Customs and they are currently working with Nigerian Ports Authority to ensure all processes of getting the needed approvals are followed accordingly.
“We are seeking your support Honourable Minister and that is why we wrote a letter of appeal for your guidance and your support to see that we have followed all processes and procedures” Jarmakani stated.
Furthermore, Jarmakani informed the Minister that in the 30 years of its existence, Nigerdock has employed more Nigerians than its peers, assuring that the company will not undermine the country’s extant rules and regulations.
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APMT advocates road tax credit programme to attract investments to port industry.

L-R: Former President, Shipowners Association of Nigeria, Greg Ogbeifun; Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko; President Nigerian Maritime Law Association, Funke Agbor; Executive Director ENL Consortium, Mark Walsh and Chief Financial Officer of APM Terminals Apapa, Courage Obadagbonyi at the Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) 2022 in Lagos on Tuesday.
The Eyewitness reporter
The Chief Financial Officer of APM Terminals Nigeria, Courage Obadagbonyi has advised the Federal Government to replicate some of the tax laws operating in other sectors of the economy to the maritime industry in order to attract more investments.
According to him, tax programmes such as pioneer legislation, Infrastructure and Roads Tax Credit Program which companies like MTN and Dangote have used to successfully build hundreds of kilometres of roads and bridges across the country can also be replicated in the ports.
Speaking as a panelist during a session on ‘Financing Maritime Assets – Ports and Shipyards’ at the just concluded Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) 2022, Obadagbonyi said, “I am of the school of thought that funding of viable infrastructural projects is not an issue in terms of availability of cash.
“There is a lot of private equity and multilateral funding available if the projects are well positioned and investors have a line of sight to their payback.
“I think what we need to do is publicity and sell these projects to the right individuals with the right pockets. There are incentives that are available to investors in Nigeria.”
Speaking further, he said, “I think with more publicity and engagement with private stakeholders, a lot of some of these challenges that are bedeviling us with investing in port infrastructure can be fixed.
“For instance, we have great tax laws that incentivize investment in this country.
“Things like pioneer legislation, Infrastructure and Roads Tax Credit Program which companies like MTN and Dangote have used to successfully build hundreds of kilometres of roads and bridges across the country can also be replicated in the ports.
” We also have great capital allowance provisions that encourage investors.”
He advised the Federal Government to embark on a massive awareness campaign to further attract private capital to the nation’s seaports because, according to him, based on the latest data published by the Debt Management Office, the country’s debt profile currently stands at N42 trillion, which is about four times the country’s total revenue budget per annum.
This, he said, makes the cost of borrowing more expensive.
Obadagbonyi said Nigeria had to find creative ways to unleash private sector participation in port rehabilitation instead of depending on government funding through borrowing.
NIMS 2022 was declared open on Monday by the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo.
“Sustainable financing models are important to build critical maritime assets such as shipyards and ports across the country,” Sambo had said while declaring the summit open.
The Minister said Nigeria remained committed to the sustainability of the blue economy.
Also speaking during the opening ceremony, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim said, “I am aware of Nigeria’s significance to the maritime sector of West and Central Africa.
” Carbonisation is the greatest challenge of our time, which IMO is working to address. The upgrading strategies shall be concluded in July 2023.
“By next year, we shall adopt the long-time strategy. However, prior to that time, we shall continue to support member countries.”
He lauded Nigeria’s role in the suppression of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea but cautioned that stakeholders must continue to remain vigilant as continuous capacity building is key to success in this regard.
APM Terminals Apapa, the largest container terminal operator in Nigeria, has invested more than $438 million at the Lagos Port Complex Apapa.
The amount was invested in developing infrastructure, acquiring equipment and improving processes at the terminal.
The terminal has also been at the forefront of digitisation of port operations in Nigeria in line with its commitment to introducing new innovations to help both shipping lines and landside customers achieve improved supply chain efficiency and flexibility in a cost-effective manner.
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NIMASA unveils N17.4 billion new highrise headquarters on Victoria Island

 

The Eyewitness reporter
The Director- General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh and his management team stood tall Tuesday when the tall, magnificent highrise building that will serve as the agency’s headquarters, was unveiled and commissioned.
Sharing in the moment of glory of the epoch-making event was the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim, who had the rare privilege of commissioning the edifice, and the Minister of Transportation Engr Muazu Sambo together with his permanent secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani.
Apparently awed by the N17 billion tall and ultra-modern building, Mr. Lim said that more important is human competency and capability, while leadership is the most paramount.
He however lauded the initiators of the befitting project while expressing confidence in the leadership of the transport sector of Nigeria.
 He also extolled the dynamic role of the Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo and the heads of the various parastatals under the supervision of the Transportation Ministry.
“An important element is human competency and capability, with leadership being the most paramount to consider, which I have seen exhibited by the Minister.
“He is an extraordinary and rare leader. I am very confident to look forward to more prosperous opportunities and development of maritime activities of Nigeria”, he said.

The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo expressed gratitude to the IMO Secretary-General for making out time to visit Nigeria and also having a first-hand opinion on the developmental strides in Nigeria’s maritime sector.

 He stated that Nigeria will strive to ensure Nigerian maritime activities are in line with best practices, while also embracing new technologies in the frontier of global maritime discourse.

Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu commended the Dr. Bashir Jamoh-led Management of NIMASA.

She noted that NIMASA should aim higher as there is room for improvement.

The NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh  again thanked the IMO Secretary-General for his visit to Nigeria

 “Your name will remain in gold as long as Nigeria’s Maritime Administration is concerned”.

Jamoh further intimated him that NIMASA has embarked on various projects in the year, 2022, all with the aim of ensuring a robust and conducive maritime environment is attained in Nigeria.

This, he said, has been made possible with the support of stakeholders across the board.

In July 2021, the Federal Executive Council approved N17.4 billion to purchase the new highrise building that is located on Victoria Island.

The magnificent edifice is a 16- storey High rise building christened Kanti Tower which sits atop 6600sq metres of land and it is said to consist of the latest technology fittings, a helipad and a parking bay for over 100 cars.
 It was developed through a joint venture between the Lagos State Development Property Company – LSDPC and Senkay Nigeria Limited.
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