THE NIGERIAN SOCIETY OF ENGINEERS
PORT HARCOURT BRANCH
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Nigerian Society of Engineers/COREN
THE IMPORTANCE OF ENGINEERS REGISTRATION & ENGINEERING REGULATIONS COMPLIANCE
RELETIONSHIP BETWEEN COREN AND NIGERIAN SOCIETY OF ENGNEERS
The two are separate and different bodies so that they cannot be referred to interchangeably. The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) is a voluntary association established by the practitioners of the profession while the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) is a statutory organ of Federal Government, established by decree and concerned with certificate of persons for the purpose of practicing the engineering profession in Nigeria.
COREN being the regulatory body for the engineering family in Nigeria, it is therefore necessary to have relevant portions of relevant COREN publications reproduced to serve for both emphasis and as information to all.
WHAT COREN IS
COREN is a statutory organ of the Federal Government established by Decree No.55 of 1970, as amended by Decree 27 of 1992, which empowers it to control and regulate the practice of the engineering profession in all aspects and ramifications in Nigeria. In this respect, amongst other duties,
i) Caters for about 65 engineering disciplines, many of which have their practitioners greater in number than those of most professional regulatory
ii) Registers FIVE cadres of engineering personnel, Engineers, Engineering Technologists, Engineering Technicians, Engineering Craftsmen, and Engineering Consulting Firms with each having its own Association, i.e.:
a) Nigerian Society of Engineers
b) Nigerian Association of Engineering Technologists
c) Nigerian Institute of Engineering Technicians
d) Nigerian Association of Engineering Craftsmen, and
e) Association of Consulting Engineers of Nigeria (ACEN)
iii) Accredits engineering courses in the universities, polytechnics / college of technology, technical colleges both within and outside Nigeria
iv) Organizes and supervises the post-graduate practical training of newly graduated engineering personnel.
THE EVOLUTION AND KEY PLAYERS OF ERM
The Nigerian Society of Engineers was established in 1958 with the primary objective of providing a rallying forum for Nigerian Engineers to address the problem of colonial marginalisation for an increased participation in the policy formulation and physical development of our fatherland. Since then, the Nigerian engineer has recorded tremendous achievements in the areas of science, engineering, and technology. Unfortunately, the Nigerian engineer has had a cope with a very hostile environment occasioned by the invasion of the engineering profession by quacks and impostors of sorts. This has resulted in very poor standard job, numerous abandoned projects everywhere, structural failures, fires and outright collapses. The unfortunate consequences have been the colossal waste of human and material resources and the terribly battered image and morale of the Nigerian engineer. The devastating effect of this state of affairs is slowing down the progress of a young country in a hurry to develop quickly attracted the attention of Government. Thus, the Engineers (Registration, etc) Decree 55 (1970) was promulgated. Unfortunately, the registration of engineers alone could not stop the continuing bastardization of the engineering profession by quacks and attendant consequences. Thus, through further hard work and representations of the Nigerian Society of Engineers the amended Decree 27 (1992) was promulgated by which the Council for Registration of Engineers in Nigeria (COREN) was now renamed the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria with full powers of register control, and monitor and enforce compliance.
The Engineering Regulations Monitoring (ERM) is a statutory function of COREN. However, its execution includes and involves the whole engineering personnel otherwise known as the Engineering family. The engineering family comprises the engineers, technologists, technicians, and craftsmen. Several attempts to address the ERM has been embarked upon by COREN in the past. The most remarkable of these efforts include the various COREN Assemblies for sensitizing members of the engineering family on the relevance and objectives of ERM and the various problems militating against its implementation. Of particular importance were the Abuja COREN Assembly / ERM Seminar of 17th October 1996 and ERM workshop of 9th November 1996.
In recognition of the urgent need for ERM as a corrective tool and tool for professional protectionism, as well as the current funding inadquancies in the environment, the Nigerian Society of Engineers Council approved to give maximum assistance to COREN in order to kick-start the programme by latest 1997. This was followed by the nomination and training of inspectors in 1996. Two COREN /NSE Workshops were also held in the current year at which the objectives, modalities and procedures for the ERM were fine-tuned and approved. The kick-off date for the ERM nationwide was thus set for 23rd June 1997. The final stages in setting the scene included the production and testing of Inspection Questionnaires at special training workshops held for Branch Chairman / resource persons and inspectors nationwide on 17th June 1997 and 19th June 1997 respectively.
At this juncture, it is necessary to state that the engineer cannot be opposed to non-engineer businessmen doing engineering business: in fact this is encouraged internationally, However, given the ugly consequences of engineering failures, there is very justification to insist that the entire technical functions from the topmost technical management (technical director) to the artisan should be headed and run by registered engineering personnel who are responsible and liable for the maintenance of standards, code and ethics of the engineering profession. In addition, it is necessary that at least one member of the Board of Directors is a registered engineer in other to ensure a competent technical direction of the board.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF ERM
The aims and objectives of ERM cuts through the objects of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and COREN Decree and can be summarized as follows:-
REGULATIONS REQUIRING MONITORING
In addition to a higher order of insistence on acceptable international standards in accreditation of Engineering programmes and courses, Engineering Regulations requiring monitoring in the public and national interest include:
MANDATE / ACTIVITY OF MONITORING UNITS
The monitoring Units shall:
PROCURE FOR ERM INSPECTION
The COREN Inspectors shall visit engineering establishments and those allied to engineering in both private and public sectors to collect relevant data with the aid of the questionnaire booklets designed for this purpose and other means that may be considered appropriate in order to:
i) To obtain data on companies active in engineering practice in Nigeria
ii) To ascertain their compliance with Nigerian Laws pertaining to Engineering practice in the country
iii) To establish adherence to Codes of Ethics and Practice of Engineering in Nigeria, in the public and national interest
iv) To obtain manpower and technological data for economic and Social Engineering Planning
v) To establish the basis for imposition of sanctions against defaulters in compliance with Engineering Laws and Regulations in Nigeria.
THE ERM QUESTIONNAIRE AND SCORE SHEET
For the purpose of effective monitoring of the above provisions the Questionnaire
Booklet is divided into four (4) major areas. The general requirements of these areas and
their weightings are listed in the following table.
ERM QUESTIONNAIRE TEST AND ANALYSIS
The questionnaire test concluded recently reveals that the following disturbing trend:
THE WAY FORWARD
The conclusion from the above questionnaire test shows that a great number of firms may not meet the threshold score to be clear standing against sanctions. In order to reduce the risks of sanctions due to one or several deficiencies, the Port Harcourt Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers its putting forward a line-up of actions for the general good of interested firms.
The general directions of these actions are to:
Finally, it is necessary to stress that the Engineering Regulations Compliance Monitoring Exercise is mandatory for all engineering practitioners. Thus any attempts to avoid it may be constructed as a deliberate action against the success of the programme.
The Nigerian Society of Engineers is therefore of the opinion that it is better for a practitioner to be in the process of ensuring compliance than never.
THE BENEFITS OF REGISTRATION
To The Public
i. Registration protects the public from quacks, charlatans and unworthy persons;
ii. It provides a strict yardstick against which the engineering professional may be judged on her ability to undertake specific responsibilities;
iii. It assures that an independent body has examined the registered person and found him/her competent to be registered.
To The Employer
Registration assures a skill base to cope with new technologies and market changes;
i) It shows investors, analysis and customers of good quality of staff;
ii) Registration assures customers of professional standards to meet legal requirements;
iii) It demonstrates that the aspirations of new employees can be satisfied.
To The Individual
i) Registration provides proof of standard of education, training and experience;
ii) It provides international recognition
iii) It increases mobility across wide range of employment
iv) It keeps the person abreast with latest developments
v) It stimulates career development
vi) Registration creates opportunities for satisfying work.
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