BY CHIKA OKEKE, Abuja
A former Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Suleiman Galadima has enjoined engineers in the public and private sector to explore the basic principles of law of contract in executing projects, negotiating contracts and Bill of Quantities (BoM).
He stated this in Abuja over the weekend during the ‘2020 Engr Charles Mbanefo Distinguished Lecture Series’, organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Abuja branch, with the theme, “Contractual Duties and Tortuous Liabilities – Law and Ethics in Engineering”.
Galadima disclosed that law of contract pervades all spheres of human endeavor such as construction, haulage, logistics, hire-purchase, insurance, banking, medical practice, engineering and among others, adding that engineers and engineering firms work with clients and almost every project involves contract.
The Justice, who was represented by Barr Lilian Okenwa, hinted that understanding the basics of contract law protects engineers’ rights and obligation and helps to avoid potential lawsuits due to breach of contract.
According to him, “Engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standard of honesty and integrity as they have a direct and vital impact on the quality of life of the people and must perform under a standard professional behaviour that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct”.
Also speaking, the NSE chairman, Abuja branch, Engr. Abdulbari Abdulmalik noted that in the law of contract, the government follows certain procedures by mandating the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to ensure that all contracts in Nigeria follow due process.
Abdulmalik added that Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) plays a vital role by making the beneficiaries adhere strictly to the 2007 procurement act, saying that the government is mandated to ensure that engineers and non-engineers follow the procedure judiciously.
On his part, the founding chairman of NSE Abuja branch, Engr Charles Mbanefo, encouraged the chapter to engage professionals from other sectors to boost their enlightenment campaign.
The president of NSE, Engr Babagana Mohammed stated that building collapse is caused either by the use of substandard materials or quacks, saying that apart from the amended Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) act, some top professionals are facing the tribunal.
He maintained that henceforth, NSE is mandated to assess a building site and uncover the engineer handling the project in case of any collapse, as well as raise the alarm over any quack working at any construction site.