At yearly conference, ACEN appraises role in Nigeria’s economic growth
To better society through application of safer, cleaner and better infrastructure, Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN) has reiterated commitment to contribute meaningfully to the nation’s infrastructure development, especially in the face of current economic challenges.
Speaking at its 44th yearly conference, ACEN’s President, Ajibade Oke, submitted that sustainability of Nigeria’s infrastructure development would ensure its economic growth even with the global impact of COVID-19 on businesses, including consulting engineering practice, as the critical role of consulting engineers as prime movers in the infrastructure development of Nigeria cannot be overemphasized.
He urged collaboration among stakeholders in the built industry and charged relevant government agencies to take full advantage of Presidential Executive Order 5.
In his keynote address at the conference, themed ‘The Role of Consulting Engineers in Infrastructural Development in a Recessed Economy’, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated that despite going through two recessions in the last six years, Nigeria’s economy has survived.
While acknowledging that the first recession was predicted in 2014 by the Finance Minister at the time, Fashola noted that President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s commitment to massive infrastructure, as evidenced by its nearly increased capital budget, is one of the strategies that mitigated the effect, and quickly grew the economy.
He said: “The second recession began in 2020, which is better described as a ‘black event’ caused by the pandemic. To the credit of the administration, this recession was again quickly arrested and reversed by the implementation of appropriate policies, including the commitment to infrastructure investment.”
“While it is true that there is always a time lag between policies, programmes, projects and results, the benefits of massive infrastructure investment are slowly beginning to impact the economy.
“Consulting engineers have excelled in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) owned by individuals or groups of individuals. Many of these businesses benefit and render services in the construction process, whether as suppliers of construction materials, agreements, reinforcement, diesel, cement and so on, in the midst of growth and employment in every sector.”
Also, President of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Ali Rabiu, noted that engineers have a critical role to play in the infrastructure development and economy of the nation. He stressed that the Council is in the process of deploying more effective strategies for ensuring best practices among engineers and has approved a harmonised scheme that would benefit engineers in professional development.
Similarly, Chairman of Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria, (CORBON), Samson Opaluwah, represented by Adenike Saheed, acknowledged the conference’s carefully-chosen theme, which he referred to as ‘most appropriate’, given the current state of the Nigerian economy with a high level of inflation and stagnation.
He pledged CORBON’s readiness as a regulatory body for professional builders to work with ACEN, while living up to its mandate of ensuring that the right policy and standards are met in building construction and management despite the present challenging economic condition, to achieve great professional practice and excellence in construction engineering.
He added that regulating engineering profession and achieving excellence in projects’ execution would result in rapid resolution of Nigeria’s infrastructure under-development.