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Engineers blame weak legislation for dilapidated roads

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja   |   17 October 2016   |   3:05 am
President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Otis Anyaeji.

President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Otis Anyaeji.

Push for sound engineering education

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has blamed the rising number of dilapidated roads on absence of legislation to enforce reforms in the sector.

NSE President, Otis Anyaeji, who disclosed this in Abuja while hosting legislators who are also engineers in Abuja, explained that the society has six legislations that can bridge the infrastructural deficit in a short period if approved by the National Assembly.

According to him: “The slow pace of introducing road reforms is holding the sector down. There are six laws – the metallurgical industry, iron and steel development, the road sector reform and the water resources industry bill before the National Assembly, all waiting to be passed.

The society believes that if these laws are passed, their implementation will bridge the infrastructure deficit Nigeria is currently experiencing.”

Although the last National Assembly has passed the metallurgical industry law, Anyaeji said it lacks the ability to attract large-scale industrialisation, hence the need for the lawmakers to consider the new request by the NSE.

The NSE president also stressed the need to review water laws to enhance its availability for domestic, industrial and hydropower generation.

“We have carefully studied the existing water bill and therefore proposed amendment to the Act, and we are ready to work with the National Assembly on this,” he stated.

In a related development, engineers have declared that there is a compelling need to take proactive steps in the direction of improving the teaching of engineering courses in the country. This was the thrust of the Board of Fellows (BOF) Fellowship Conferment lecture, which was delivered by former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, an engineer in Abuja.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Board of Fellows/College of Fellows, Sir Chris Okoye, said the downturn witnessed in the Nigeria’s engineering education in recent times has become the concern of the Board of Fellows/College of Fellows of society.

Nebo who spoke on the theme: “Engineering Reform and the Competiveness of the Nigerian Economy,” argued that the quality of engineering practice in any given country is a key determinant of the extent of the infrastructural development and the overall well being of the country.

He said that countries without a sound technology base lack the necessary wherewithal to achieve sustainable infrastructural development.

According to him, “the wellness of any nation depends on the level of importance that country attaches to science, engineering, and technology as a prop for sustainable infrastructural development and by extension provides the country a window through which its economic competitiveness can be measured.”

The speaker submitted that good and sound engineering education or engineering human capital coupled with sound infrastructural development, efficient governance structure and political stability were essential for any nation. He however stated that countries found wanting in any of the above mentioned could only dream of having a global competitive economy, but will hardly achieve it. This, according to him seems to be the case in Nigeria.

“Obviously there is a very strong correlation and connectivity between engineering manpower development and management/delivery of infrastructural systems and its subsequent reliability.

“This would seem to justify the current emphasis and concern over the establishment of appropriate systems and strategies for qualitative education and training at all levels within the science and engineering family,” he stated.

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