Worried by the spate of building collapses , the chairman, Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Abuja chapter, Engr. Ben-Osy Okoh has disclosed that Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) lacked powers to sanction impersonators disguised as engineers working on engineering projects across the country.
He disclosed this in Abuja yesterday on the sideline of 10th edition of Strategic Mentoring Initiative and Leadership Excellence (SMILE) lecture series and general meeting, organised by the chapter with the theme, ‘Strategies for Building and Maintaining Customer Loyalty’.
The lecture was initiated to address some of the challenges in the engineering profession.
Oko who is also the secretary of COREN Engineering Regulation Monitoring (ERM) Abuja chapter linked the cause of incessant building collapses to the use of quacks, poor building materials and wrong implementation of designs.
COREN established the ERM to ensure that engineering is practised in Nigeria in accordance with the relevant codes and ethics in the interest of public safety and for the protection of national development and economic investment.
He explained that building designs undergo series of scrutiny by professional engineers before it would exit the vetting room, adding that certified designs must carry the official stamp of COREN registered engineer.
The chairman however lamented that after the vetting the procedures that most clients would shun the services of registered engineers by using quacks to execute the project, a situation that might lead to eventual collapse of the building.
To this end, he noted that COREN has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to arrest and sanction quacks as contained in the ICPC act.
Oko hinted that the lacuna and others contained in the COREN act undergoing amendment at the national assembly has passed second reading.
According to him, “The lacuna is what empowers the client to engage the services of quacks because if there is a law that sends the client to prison for patronising quacks, there won’t be issues of building collapse”.
On Jabi building collapse, he stated that NICE submitted its preliminary report, stressing that since engineers are yet to conclude investigation that he wouldn’t want to comment on the issue.
He pointed out that various constructional inaccuracies are common sight at construction sites such as use of dirty water in moulding blocks and construction as against clean water stipulated by the engineering code, even as he asserted that buildings designed as framed structure were implemented as load bearing structures.
Oko tasked engineers on the need to regularly update themselves with the latest knowledge and technology as well as pay adequate attention to branding and packaging.