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Structural engineers decry COREN’s reluctance to regulate practice

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The Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers (NISTRUCTE) has decried the reluctance of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) to come out with laws that will guide their practice.

They stressed that non-regulation of the practice by COREN was at the root of incessant collapse of buildings and structures in Nigeria with many quacks operating freely.

President of the institution, Dr. Kehinde Osifala, said this at a pre-investiture briefing of members in Lagos. He regretted that the reluctance was in spite of a proposal sent to COREN’ president for a practice guide for all structural engineering practices in the country, which was in line with the new COREN Act.

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The new law signed in March 2019, by President Muhammadu Buhari, among other things, broaden the powers of the council and its registrar, recognises the diversity of engineering profession and provide for engineering regulation monitoring.

It also addresses critical areas of the engineering practice, which include regulating industrial training of engineers.

To check the collapse of buildings in Nigeria, Osifala said there should be a set of rules and regulations to guide the practice of structural engineering, which should be certified as law.

According to him, COREN is saddled with the responsibility to do that, but wondered why it was shying away from it. He said NISTRUCTE is ready to discuss with COREN, if there are grey areas in the proposal.

He, however, said the Institution has decided to launch an advocacy project during the investiture to be chaired by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, in Lagos.

According to him, if the project is well executed, it will definitely create the much desired awareness and the public would be on the alert and self –monitor sharp practices in the construction industry.

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The advocacy project, he said would enlighten the people on structural and building collapse and guide those who build particularly artisans, other construction professionals, engineering subdivisions, government and regulatory agencies.

The NISTRUCTE boss, said the advocacy project would take various modes and address causes of building collapse, prevention, remedial actions, signs to watch out for in distressed structures as well as who to consult with respect to distressed buildings and what government is expected to do when there is a structural collapse.

He solicited for government’s support to achieve the programme as the institution is not under any government subvention. According to him, if the spate of collapses are will be reduced in other states of the federation.

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