Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) says the decision of the Anambra State Governor Chief Willie Obiano to call for new consultants and contractors to handle roads and other engineering projects in Anambra is a step taken in the right direction.
The Awka branch of NSE at its monthly meeting held at Gellys Garden Awka at the weekend, maintained that the state governor as the employer, has the right to appraise and re-appraise the efforts of consultants and contractors handling various projects across the state noting that the governor could revoke contracts where actual execution negated the terms and conditions upon which they were awarded.
Chairman of the Awka branch of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Edmond Chukwuemeka Nkalu, further explained that the governor’s decision was not intended to witch-hunt engineers but to ensure that quality jobs with longer life span were executed in Anambra state.
He said that NSE had resolved to partner the Anambra State Government in delivering quality projects in the state adding that government had equally decided to collaborate with the body by calling for applications from new consultants in a transparent manner.
The Chairman however emphasized that due process would strictly be adhered to, to ensure that consultants to be employed were certified as well as qualified to deliver quality engineering projects in Anambra state.
On the issue of tenders board cutting corners in the award of contracts,the Chairman stated that though it had not been established that the tenders board aided corrupt practices in the award of contracts, the position of NSE remained that the board should have seasoned engineers and also conduct investigations before contracts were awarded. It called on the state governor to ensure that engineers were being treated fairly as consultants and as contractors.
He also posited that while the governor requested for new consultants, the old consultants that were still being owed, should be paid their money even as he admonished engineers not to connive with quacks to construct substandard buildings and infrastructures in the state. He said members involved in cutting corners would not be spared while commending Governor Willie Obiano for appointing two members of the Awka branch of Nigerian Society of Engineers as commissioners for works and housing respectively .
Senior lecturer in the department of civil engineering Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka and chairman Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria Anambra state chapter Engr.Dr.Celestine Akaolisa Ezeagu on his part noted that most consultants didn’t have well detailed designs, thereby leading to poor quality job implementation.
Ezeagu also noted that most consultants handled about 16 jobs simultaneously leading to poor supervision and execution. He pointed out that the governor’s decision to reshuffle consultants was laudable to ensure that good roads and other projects of high standards were done in Anambra state while suggesting that consultants should follow due process in the design of pre and post construction analysis.