NSE council approves structural engineers for designs

President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Otis Anyaeji.

Under fresh moves to regularize its professional practice and check incessant collapse of buildings, engineers have saddled the designing of engineering structures on the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers (NIStructE).

The council of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) took the decision after examining a memo brought by the institution last year. Senior officials of the body revealed that the decision would significantly reduce the number of grossly unnecessary causalities and damage within the nation due to the collapse of building and other structures.

Nigerian Society of Engineers President, Otis Anyaeji, who confirmed the development during the 30th Annual General Meeting of NIStructE in Lagos, said that the downturn in the economy has encouraged quackery, importation of low quality construction materials, and delivery of poor quality project that are not durable, which are the main causes of the collapse of infrastructure and buildings.

He assured that engineering infrastructure even with the economic situation would be enduring because a qualified professional structural engineer would have been involved.

Anyaeji lamented that all governments’ projects are now designed and constructed by foreigners under the guise of funding or the required expert not being available in the country.

His words: “Our political leaders seem not to realize that engineering is development and when they push engineers to the background during their policy formulation; they are indirectly undermining the growth of the nation. There have been government policies from years back aimed at putting the engineers at the driving seat in national development but subsequent government lack the political will, to see this materialize.”

NSE President urged government to reduce the imported and foreign components of building materials. “We need to develop our local materials and come up with the codes and specifications that suit our local conditions. Government would have to encourage and adequately fund Research Institutes like the Nigeria Building & Roads Research Institutes (NBRRI) and its type.

“The local content law should not remain a dream but in fact a reality. The economic situation should not make us sell our birthrights to foreigners. A situation where all the development projects are handed over to foreigners without local engineers playing a leading role would lead to a dearth of experienced Nigeria engineers.”

NIStructE President, Mr. Oruoluwa Fadayomi, said the recessed economy has led to the neglect in counterpart funding of major development project, housing programmes and other critical infrastructure and road maintenance and constructions of new ones.

According to him, due to the economic situation, the business of substandard construction materials, patronage of non-professionals, cutting corners on materials quality, cheating and fraud thrives. “These affect the durability and cause the collapse of infrastructure.

“The action of unpatriotic ones among us in and out of government, coupled with the dwindling funds to support research and project development have led to the loss of establishment for the continued professional development of our young engineers,” he said.

A past president of the body, Mr. Kunle Adebajo advised government to create and sustain the enabling environment that is needed to improve the performance of Nigeria engineering practices and concerns. “Nigeria engineers must be well patronized and always be given the right of refusal,” he said.

He told members to be more focused on innovation and consider value engineering as a prerequisite for services rather that just a reluctantly accepted task. “The business landscape will become less defined and predictable and there will be more cross industry competition as companies try new models and products and develop multiple field of expertise.”

“We must anticipate and expect major changes in our markets in the coming years through the impact of social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies and the internet of things.”

Adebajo said Nigeria engineer has been underutilized and wants the local content regulation in the oil and gas sector to apply within the construction industry.

“Under such regulations, all infrastructural project must by law have to be led by Nigeria engineers,” he said.



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