By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) said that the 2018 amended Act has invested the Council with powers to conduct holistic investigation in the sector.
The President of the council,Engr. Ali Rabiu made the disclosure during an interactive session with members of the Infrastructure and Property Correspondents of Nigeria (PICAN) in Abuja at the weekend.
Rabiu stated that the Council has the powers to investigate licensed engineers and non-engineers who engage in engineering businesses that resulted in infrastructures failures.
He said with the investigations conducted by the council it show that most building collapses across the country have been found to be handiworks of quacks.
According to him,we have carried out investigations recently of building collapses and have concluded investigation on six out of eight cases of building collapse,but we have not found any trained engineer who is wanting. Mostly, they people found are quack, that is why we moved to amend our Act to give us powers to be able to prosecute these quacks. “And now we have that amendment accepted by the government so we can prosecute quacks”.
The Council’s President also commended the National Council on Works and Housing for including engineering students attaches in all federal projects .
“All government contracts should be seen as training points for students to learn on the job for the country to have more of skilled engineers “.
He said already the council has set up the Outcome-Based Education (OBE), with that COREN is engaging stakeholders to ensure effective implementation and ownership of the programme.
“We are changing from the traditional way of doing things to this outcome-based system.
“ The council had paid a sensitisation visit to the Minister of Education on the need to key into the programme and has directed that a committee should be set up”,Rabiu said.
He explained that before now,engineering students find it difficult to get placement for industrial training(IT),with the new development it is really commendable.
“ The council had been working toward this development over the years now “.
Speaking on the registrations, He said that the council had registered no fewer than 4,509 new engineering personnel in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The figure comprised of 3,796 engineers, 622 engineering technologists, 29 technicians and 62 craftsmen.
The National Association of Engineering Craftsmen recently inducted 300 craftsmen into its body.
The President assured that the engineering family is working to reverse the abnormality of the engineering pyramid to move craftsmen to the top of the pyramid.
The Council also visited 11 universities for accreditation in their engineering faculties. We accredited 44 programmes and all the programmes were approved”.
The President also noted that paramount among the projects of the Council in the year, was the development of the permanent site at Jabi area of the FCT, which was initially started under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
According to him, the current leadership of the Council had earlier jettisoned the PPP arrangement and source funds through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and budgetary allocations to carry out the project.
We have set up a committee of Council to review the designs and I can tell you that the review of the design is ongoing. We hope to commence the project proper in the year 2021”.
He said the Council also have some ongoing capital projects across the country. We are building state offices in Benin, Nasarawa state, Katsina state, which started this year.
Meanwhile, the Registrar of the Council, Prof. Joseph Odigure,said that all government contracts should be seen as a training ground to build local capacity for indigenous engineers.
“If we continue to give contracts to expatriates, we will have no component of practical training for our people.
Training is the component part of government responsibility and all government programmes should be a training point for Nigeria engineers, engaging them will enhance their skills the more”,he said.
He also revealed that at the end of the 3rd quarterly meeting of Council, the Council concluded that any foreigner expatriate must registered with COREN and with ministry of foreign affairs this will help Nigeria to have more value with technological transfer.
Odigure reiterated the need for the implementation of the Executive Order 5, saying “that is why the council is engaging all stakeholders in ensuring that they all key in to it .