The leadership of the Council of the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) at the weekend hinted of its plans to invoke the powers provided in its amended Act to investigate licensed engineers and non-engineers who engage in unprofessional practices leading to infrastructure collapses nationwide.
The National President of the Council, Engr. Ali Rabiu, who made this disclosure while addressing members of journalists covering real estates and other constructions in Abuja, said that the 2018 amended Act invested the Council with powers to conduct thorough investigation in the sector for the purposes of maintaining its standards.
The industry leader lamented that investigations had proved that most building collapses could be linked to the activities of quacks, who are not professionally competent to handle most of the projects they handled.
Engr Rabiu explained: “The 2018 amended Act has given us enormous powers I must confess. We have the powers to investigate not only those we have licensed but also non-engineers who engage in engineering business to cause failures of engineering infrastructure.
“But I want to assure you that many of the investigations we have carried out recently of building collapses, we have not found any engineer who are trained to work wanting. So mostly, it is 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” he added.
While noting that investigating projects in the construction industry requires a lot of time for determine the culpability of any project handler, the COREN boss disclosed that the Council had concluded six investigations with two still ongoing in the current year.
According to him, this year the Council carried out some aspects of its core mandates, including the registration of engineering personnel and entities, and accreditation of engineering programmes in universities and polytechnics.
He expatiated: “In the outgoing year, we are able to register 509 engineering personnel, made up of 3796 engineers, 622 engineering technologists, 29 technicians, and 52 craftsmen, you know, the engineering profession is a family made up of four cadres, engineers, technologists, technicians, and craftsmen.
“We all come together to ensure the success of whatever project we are handling. So, this is the number we were able to register in this outgoing year in spite of numerous challenges of COVID 19, and so on. Also, we visited 11 universities to do accreditation in their engineering faculties. We accredited 44 programmes and all the programmes were approved”, the industry expert added.
Engr Rabiu cited the flagging off of the Council’s permanent site project at Jabi Area of the FCT, which earlier commenced under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, as one of the major projects the Council started this year.
He further explained the leadership of the Council had opposed the PPP arrangement and subsequently generated funds internally 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”, the COREN President projected.