…Calls for capacity building of indeginuous engineering firms
By Gloria Akudoro, Abuja
The President of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Engr. Ali Rabiu on Tuesday said that enactment and adaptation of the Nigerian codes and standards will aid to foster a robust engineering practices and proffer solution to the incessant infrastructural failure in the country.
COREN President made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the 3-day auspicious occasion of the 30th Engineering Assembly held in Abuja stressing that the adherence to enacted codes and standards would also help reduce the challenges and create better opportunities for practitioners for an enhanced future in the lives and economy of the citizenry.
The biggest gathering of engineers which started on Monday 8th to end on Wednesday 10th , 2022 has its theme ‘Domestication and Development of Codes, Standards and Regulations as a Panacea for Engineering Infrastructure Failures in Nigeria.’
The Engineering Assembly is usually an annual conference organised by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria bringing together Engineers, Technologist, Technicians and Craftsmen Engineering Firms to meet and interact professionally on technical innovations, advancement and issues confronting the sector and to proffer possible ways to the practice and precession forward.
Engr. Rabiu who affirmed that the Assembly will focus its discussion on the initiated theme for this conference, stressed that a lot has been accomplished and there is need for a review and articulation of the issues.
“There has been various contestation on propriety of having the Nigerian Codes and Standards, which is the position of some stakeholders, while others advise that we adopt one of the existing ones.
“The Council after a review of the situation ultimately decided that the most responsible and respectful approach was to hold a detailed discussion of the subject, hence the choice of the theme of this year’s Assembly,” he stated.
While mentioning some of the council’s achievement, Engr. Rabiu said since the last assembly, the council has intensified its efforts in exercising discipline and harmony in the practice and has therefore revised the Engineering codes of conducts to accommodate all cadres of engineering.
“The Code of Conduct seeks to preserve the high ethical standards of the engineering profession, which are the highest priority statutes of COREN. It is also meant to guide COREN registered practitioners in their practices and ethical decision making.”
He also stated that the amended COREN Act instituted Engineering Regulations Monitoring (ERM) as an important mandate of COREN to further deepen professionalism in engineering practice.
He said the Council also established the ERM Department and inaugurated the States Technical Committees (STCs) as well as the State Expatriate Monitoring Committees (SEMCs) with among others responsible for the following mandates, “To ensure the regulation of engineering practitioners (both local and expatriates) and firms with COREN.
“To ensure that engineering is practiced in Nigeria in accordance with the relevant Codes of Engineering Practice. To enforce and maintain discipline and strict standards of ethics in the practice of the Engineering Profession in Nigeria.
“To Foster the speedy acquisition of all relevant Engineering and Technological Skills by ensuring capacity building and monitoring local content development in the Nigerian Engineering Industry and to Minimize and with time, eliminate engineering and technological dependence of Nigeria on other countries by ensuring mandatory attachment of Nigerians to expatriate Engineers on major projects to understudy them from inception.
COREN President, however expressed hope that this unique platform will be concluded on the deliberations on the challenge of incessant engineering failures and their remedies, reflect on the state of engineering and provide vibrant resolutions.
In his opening remark, the Registrar, COREN, Engr. Prof. Adidas Adebola Bello, welcomed all present to the respected engineering gathering. He ceased the opportunity to announce to all categories of engineering practitioners that attendance at the assembly is mandatory as crucial matters will be addressed.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Opening Ceremony, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi Olayinka, thanked COREN for choosing the theme for this years’ assembly given the incessant failure of infrastructure in the country particularly on building structure.
He also commended the regulatory council for the fantastic miles achieved over the years to reposition the engineering profession in Nigeria for higher carrier shipping and making ensure adherence to codes, standards and regulations for value for money in engineering task through its regulatory functions which is evidence in the council’s aggressive and effective mandate of Engineering Regulation Monitoring (ERM).
“I am aware that COREN officials under the new Engineering Regulation Monitoring (ERM) are moving from one construction site to the other, correcting construction defects and threatening sanctions on quacks.
“Nigerians must be made to know that it can no longer be business-as-usual.
“Offenders within the profession must be adequately sanctioned. COREN must work hard to restore the apparent loss of confidence in the profession.
“We must critically examine ourselves in line with the theme of the assembly. The trend of failed projects must be checked,” he noted.
While frowning at failed infrastructure projects in the country, Dr. Olayinka advocated for promotion of capacity building given the fact that most foreign companies have dominated the space of the construction industry which therefore widened the gap of thousands of young unemployed engineers.
He therefore called on private sectors, State Governors and Federal Government to assist in instituting a deliberate policy of building indigenous engineering capacity by reserving jobs of certain values for indigenous firms.
Meanwhile, in his goodwill message the Hon. Speaker, House of Assembly, Femi Gbajabiamila ably represented by Engr. Mohammed Wudil, said the national assembly is ever ready to render its support to COREN and will ensure that every of its bills experience smooth passage.
Engr. Mohammed Wudil who stood in for the Speaker however encouraged participation of engineers in the National Assembly to fast track deliberations and passage of engineering bills and to promote development of the sector.