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Nigeria not yet a safety paradise—Safety Engineers

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..Identify defective public safety as public enemy

Folake Ogunlelye

Members of the Nigerian Institution of Safety Engineers have declared that Nigeria is not yet a paradise following series of building collapse, recurring  fire disasters and explosions from tanker accidents on major roads in the country.

 National Chairman Nigerian Institution of Safety Engineers, Engineer Abiodun Oyedepo ( FNSE) disclosed  in his welcome address of participants to the 2017 that the Institution is set to ensure engineering safety in the country as the fundamental thing needed to put in place to end several disasters. This, he said is quite different from occupational safety which requires having the right concept when designing a project. “If there is a public enemy number one in Nigeria, a foe that affects all parts of the country, an opposition to positive output and outcome in industries and persons of all categories, and a hindrance to our collective March to national industrial success, it is a defective public safety,” he said.

Engineer Oyedepo disclosed that this informed the selection of the theme for this year’s conference as “ Assuring Public Safety in Nigeria-The roles of Safety Engineer”.

  He said: “ Ask the relatives and friends of the more than 436 persons who lost their lives in about 55 collapsed buildings in the past four or five years, interview people who suffered from factory fires, collapsed bridges, lifts, masts, tanks, dams, rigs, wind turbines and towers; talk to builders, engineers, and allied professionals and it will be clear that there is great need for our unique Nigerian engineering safety institution and this conference/ annual general meeting”.

 Engineer Oydepo noted that the Institution is creating awareness to assure the general public that there are qualified engineers in Nigeria that will help to prevent building collapse and  fire disasters among others.

The event, he said is meant to generate awareness of the roles of safety engineers in assuring the  safety of the public in Nigeria and how they are crucial partners to government, government agencies, industries as well as private sector organisations in the economy.

The opening ceremony of the conference was attended by  the  Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu represented by Engineer Johnson Awoyomi, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige  also represented by  Director ( Occupational Safety &Health) Dr ( Mrs) Ifeoma Igweze- Anyanwutaku and the Managing Director of Krista Laurel Engineer Dideolu Falobi represented the former Governor of Ogun State Otunba Gbenga Daniel.

He added that it is quite winnable if we have a safety contract between government and the governed and between employers and employees to ensure and assure the safety of persons, processes, facilities, and structures among others. “ Time to start is now and the place to start is here at this conference,” he urged participants.

The Nigerian Institution Of Safety Engineers was approved by the council of the Nigerian society of Engineers because of the place of safety in the society.

The National Chairman assured that the  Institution came to complement and not to compete with other  Institutions. He added that members  intend to promote engineering excellence and professionalism.

This, he said informed  courtesy call to several Organisations among which are Chevron, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), NIMASA, EKEDC, NDPHC,TCN,NNPC Retail, NGPTC, NGPTC,NETCO and the Department of Petroleum Respurces (DPR).

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