Fake engineers flee as COREN embarks on regulatory inspection to curb engineering failures, quackery in Onitsha
BY SUNNY A. DAVID, AWKA
Two unidentified engineers allegedly flee their construction sites as Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in collaboration with the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) embark on regulatory inspection campaign to addressed issues of engineering failures, building collapses and quackery in the profession.
The two unidentified engineers fled as soon as they sighted the COREN – ERM inspection team in their various construction sites at Ridge Road GRA and NTA Road Onitsha, respectively.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the inspection campaign exercise on Friday in Onitsha, the sectorial team lead of COREN, Engr. Oputa Collins, said the exercise will help curtail the above mentioned menace not only in Onitsha but the country at large.
According to Engr Oputa, who is also the Chairman of Nigeria Society of Engineers NSE, Onitsha branch, “we are doing this in line with the vision of the state governor Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo’s vision of making Anambra a livable and prosperous homeland in Nigeria.”
He said the exercise is also a proactive measure to prevent further engineering failures, building collapses, death of site workers and to prevent fund wastage by our people who own the projects.
“We are doing this for the sake of the future generations. We want Onitsha and the state in general to be free from incidents of building collapse and quack practitioners. The inspection which is one of the mandates of COREN will not stop until the syndrome of quackery is reduced to the barest minimum in our city.
“The regulatory inspection is for good of owners of the construction projects, our targets are the “site engineers” who have no certified engineering licence to practice. We are out to prevent all these incessant cases of building collapses and quackery in Onitsha.”
The COREN team lead reiterated the collaboration of the Anambra State Physical Planning Board (ASPPB), in the engineering sector, to help curb the activities of contractors, who are not qualified and licensed engineers, but had continuously executed engineering projects across the state.
Engr Oputa noted that these quacks execute such contracts because of some decision makers, who awarded them the contracts, knowing fully well that they were unlicensed to practice.
“It has been difficult to track down and prosecute quacks who parade themselves as professional licensed engineers. Some of them even go to the extent of forging COREN certificates and brazenly present such forged certificates to tender for engineering jobs.
“Engagement of such quacks has always led to colossal loss of lives and properties in the areas of collapsed buildings and other infrastructural facilities”, he said.
He noted that “Curbing and eradicating corruption in the engineering project is the specific area of the collaboration” COREN has with the state Physical Planning Board. He disclosed that the council had identified some lapses in some of the buildings under construction in Onitsha during the inspection.
“We have the power over our own members, but we don’t have on those who are not our own colleagues because they signed no pack on ethics with us. When you give the job to the people who are not qualified there will be failures and will affect everyone at the end.”
It was gathered that during the inspection exercise, the COREN – ERM team demanded for: – Engineering designs of said projects. – COREN project control documentations – Other engineering regulatory certifications – Materials test documentations etc.
The regulatory body also demanded that the “Engineers” handling those projects should take all necessary steps to meet the above stated requirements and comply with the associated conditions within seven days from the date of the notice, to urgently contact the inspectorate as soon as possible for immediate action, warning that If at the expiration of the deadline, the above requirements were not met, COREN-ERM will exercise its full powers under the law on the infractions under consideration, without fear or favour.