‘Why cases of poor infrastructure persist in Nigeria’

The President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Adekunle Mokuolu and other stakeholders, yesterday, in Abuja, blamed the frequent collapse of infrastructure in the country on poor enforcement of related laws.

The stakeholders, who gathered at the 2019 National Technical Conference and Investiture of the Institute of Appraisers and Cost Engineers, a division of NSE, also disclosed that the patronage of quacks and use of sub-standard materials were also worsening the ugly development.

Speaking on the challenges, Mokuolu, who was represented at the event by NSE Vice President, Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, said: “It is government that enforces the law, we are only a professional body. We only make recommendations to government.”

While noting that the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) is mandated by government to enforce standards across sectors, he pointed out that the Act establishing the body had limited power until last year.“But luckily, the Federal Government has reviewed the Act through the National Assembly and the President has assented to it. You will see action now,” Mokuolu said.

While there have been clamour against building collapse in the country, the NSE President admitted that there is a lot of failures in the country’s infrastructure.He stated the frequent fire outbreak, as well as engineering failures in power sector and others across the country require urgent attention.

According to him, what caused those failures is the lack of enforcement of standards.Mokuolu said it is wrong to keep blaming the professional bodies for the failure, stating that while the group has refrained joining issues on the pages of the newspapers, it had made so many recommendations to the government.

National Chairman of the institute, Dr. Charles Mbelede, who spoke on “Cost Engineering, Engineering Economy and Engineering Valuation Perspectives on Building Resilient Infrastructure to Promote Sustainable Industrial Growth,” noted that the failure of materials and the attitude of clients, who compromise quality over price, remain critical challenges to sustainable infrastructure in the country.

“There are failures everywhere in the world, especially when people invite quacks to save money,” Mbelede said.He said there was need for sound and effective application of professional expertise in managing cost throughout the life cycle of any enterprise, programme, facility project, product or services.Mbelede added that the principles of engineering valuation, cost engineering and engineering economy, when properly applied, with attention to professional details, would enhance economy growth and diversification of the Nigerian economy.

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