Raymond Ozoji, Awka
Stakeholders in the nation’s engineering sector have unanimously reaffirmed their insistence that registered engineers will undertake all engineering projects across the country to reduce incidents of building collapse and other failed engineering works.
This was the crux of the matter at a workshop, induction and award ceremony organised by the Awka branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Anambra state.
The workshop which featured various speakers, emphasized the need for COREN certified engineers to be at the forefront of building and construction works to avert the problem of quacks and make-believe engineers battering the image of the profession.
The commissioner for public utilities in Anambra state, Engr. Emeka Vitus Ezenwanne, who also received an award of excellent service described the engineering profession as the pivot of infrastructural development of any nation.
He also said that the engineering profession was the bedrock and foundation of technological advancements, noting that engineers occupied vantage position in the life of any nation.
The commissioner equally disclosed that the ministry of public utilities had inaugurated a monitoring team on government facilities to address issues of theft, trespass, vandalism and a host of other unpatriotic attitudes towards public utilities across the state.
He was equally of the opinion that traffic light project was another dividends of democracy from the Obiano administration to the citizenry, stressing that the essence was to ease human and vehicular movements across Anambra state.
Engr. Edmond Chukwuemeka Nkalu, the immediate past chairman of the Awka branch of Nigerian Society of Engineers, who also bagged an award on the occasion, said it had become imperative to insist on registered engineers to handle projects in order to redeem the image of the engineering profession.
Nkalu explained that the Nigerian Society of Engineers was in the vanguard of ensuring patronage of local registered engineers to handle engineering projects, adding that a country is as developed as its engineers.
He said one of the reasons for the nation’s underdevelopment was the lack of patronage of local engineers, attributing some failed projects in the country to the neglect of local engineers even though he admitted that there might be errors of quackery. He insisted that government at all levels should ensure that certified local engineers should man all engineering structures.
Engr. Okoli Oluchi Maryjane, pioneer chairman of Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria Awka chapter, who also represented the national president of APWEN Engr. Dr. Felicia Agubata in her opinion, stressed that collapsed structures were not caused by registered engineers but could be traced to the activities of those she described as non-engineers.
She said the Nigerian Society of Engineers was currently making frantic efforts to enforce laws that would bar non-registered engineers from handling engineering projects in Anambra state and the nation at large, even though she expressed worry that most people preferred the services of quacks to professionals.
According to her, “Wherever there is collapsed building in the state, we confiscate that site and make sure that we get to the root of it. And if there is any building going on anywhere, we go there to make sure that a COREN registered engineer is at the helm of affairs in that site.”
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Awka branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and Fire Chief of the Anambra State Fire Service, Engr. Martin Onyedikachukwu Agbili said the workshop was necessary to enable stakeholders in the engineering sector to brainstorm on the need for only registered engineers to handle projects.
Agbili noted that engineers were doing all within their reach to ensure that engineering structures stood the test of time but the crux of the matter remained that the Nigerian Society of Engineers was currently working in collaborations with the Anambra State Government to ensure that government patronised local registered engineers to handle projects and avoid engineers outside the state who according to him, may not be registered.
The climax of the event was induction of new corporate members and award sessions while the chairman of the planning committee for the 2019 annual workshop and induction ceremony of the Awka branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Fimbarr Ajaegwu said the programme was expanded to accommodate the induction ceremonies of collegiate members of APWEN as well as student engineers of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka.
Ajaegbu who also functions as the publicity secretary of NSE Awka branch, said that the whole idea of the workshop was to further educate engineers on new and emerging trends in the engineering profession as it relates to maintaining engineering precision and standards.