NIGERIAN ENGINEERS CRITICAL TO RESTORATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE

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NIGERIAN ENGINEERS CRITICAL TO RESTORATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE-- PRESIDENT BUHARI

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja said his administration will heavily utilize talents and skills of local engineers to rebuild ailing infrastructure across the country, describing the engineers as ‘‘competent and cost effective.’’

Speaking at an investiture ceremony by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) at the State House, President Buhari said the well-trained and highly experienced engineers had contributed immensely to the infrastructural development of the country, and they remain indispensable.

The President, who was decorated as the Grand Patron of the NAE at the ceremony, said both military and civilian administrations over the years depended on Nigerian engineers for designs and constructions across the country.

‘‘By insisting that we must be cost effective in building infrastructure, we will utilize Nigerian engineers. I respect them a lot, and I know it takes time to be trained as an engineer,’’ he said.

The President noted that local engineers contributed more than 90 percent to the design and realization of two refineries, 2,500 pipelines and 20 depots in the country during his tenure as Minister of Petroleum in the mid-1970s, adding that the success of the Petroleum Trust Fund was largely hinged on their skills.

‘‘Somehow, everytime and anywhere I have served in this country, we found it cost effective to use Nigerian engineers, and we relied on their capacity to understudy, learn and deliver.

‘‘It will be wrong to fault Nigerian engineers for the failure of refineries. You should blame the political leadership. How can you build and not know how to maintain an asset,’’ the President said.

President Buhari said individual political leaders should be blamed for Nigeria’s ailing infrastructure, not the engineers who had always been willing to contribute to national development.

In her remarks, the President of the NAE, Engr. Mrs. Joanna Maduka, said science, technology and innovation were the key drivers of growth across the globe, urging the Federal Government to explore and engage the multiple engineering talents in the country for more purposeful results.

‘‘For the country to attain sustainable growth status, the Nigerian engineers need to be adequately engaged in planning, policy formulation, consultancy and construction, as well as industrial process of production and manufacturing,’’ she noted.

Maduka commended the anti-corruption fight of the Federal Government, saying it would turn around the fortunes of the economy.

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INAUGURAL EDITION OF ENGR EMMANUEL C. IWUANYANWU ANNUAL LECTURE SERIES

Topic: Economic Recession in Nigeria: Engineering Response
Guest Lecturer: Engr. Dr. Umar Buba Bindir, Ph.D (Cranfield), FNSE, FAEng, FNIAE
Secretary to the Adamawa State Government
Thursday 8th December, 2016

The International Conference Centre, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria witnessed a large turnout of Professionals and Non-Professionals, Traditional Rulers and Icons in the political circle. Some of the highlights of the occasion were the unveiling of the lectern and declaring open the ceremony by the Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.

The colorful event shuttled with the citation, celebrating the Laureate, Engr E.C. Iwuanyanwu, which was read by the Former Nigerian Senate President and Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, HE Senator Pius Anyim in the presence of the wife of the Imo State Governor, Chief Mrs N. Okorocha, Former Nigerian Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, Former Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Former Military Administrator of old Imo State, Senator Ike Nwachukwu, Senator Sam Daddy Anyanwu, Former Deputy Governor of Imo State, Engr Ebele Udeakpu, Vice Chancellor University of Calabar and other Governing Council Members of the University, Bishops of the Catholic Church, National President of the National Women Council of Nigeria, Judges, President and Council of Ohaneze Ndigbo, among others.

The NSE President, Engr. Otis Oliver Tabugbo Anyaeji FNSE, gave his remarks which was followed by the high point of the ceremony culminating in the inaugural lecture expertly delivered by our own Engr. Umar Buba Bindir FNSE, the Secretary to the Adamawa State Government.

In attendance also the NSE VP Engr Babagana Mohammed FNSE, Engr Saidu Njidda FNSE, Engr Ibitoye Kilomodemo FNSE, Engr Sola Obadimu MNSE, Awka Branch Chairman and other distinguished Fellows of the society.

 

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In honoring Engr. Otis Oliver Tabugbo Anyaeji FNSE, FNIMechE, FAEng

In honoring Engr. Otis Oliver Tabugbo Anyaeji FNSE, FNIMechE, FAEng,...........
Friday 16th December, 2016

We are ecstatic that the President, Engr Otis Anyaeji FNSE is being honoured with the medal/pin/certificate, designated as the 2016 distinguished PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD. This is in recognition and respect of his distinguished services, dedicated fundamental interests, strategic development and progress of his beloved home, Anambra state

This high honour recognises his tremendous contribution to improving lives, hopes and dreams of the entire citizery of Anambra State, and especially his community where he built and donated a church edifice-Shrine of Christ the King. His epitomize the volunteer spirit for which Christians are known. By freely giving his time, leadership and compassion, he has made a tremendous impact on the lives of those around him and people across the nation.

This is certainly a well-deserved award in recognition of his leadership and significant contributions. May his life, time & resources, which he has dedicated to the service of God and humanity, the advancement of Engineering and to the development of NIgeria, continue to inspire selflessness, integrity, patriotism, respect and love.

We appreciate the Executive Governor of the State, H.E Chief Willie Obiano (Akpokuodike) for identifying his outstanding and contributions. This has been equally impressive. . . .Mr President Sir, You are highly respected among your people and we are extremely proud of the excellent work and contributions that you have made. They are exceptional and are appropriately recognized. We are so fortunate that you have demonstrated your "Volunteer Spirit" through your work.

On behalf of the entire Fellows and Members of our great professional body, the Nigerian Society of Engineers NSE, I extend our sincerest congratulations to you on this historic and auspicious award. We commend you on your many years of distinguished service.

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Anyaeji Inaugurates 2017 Executive Committee Members

The President of NSE, Engr. Otis Anyaeji, FNSE, FAEng has inaugurated the Executive Committee (EXCO) to serve the Society in 2017. The brief ceremony took place on Thursday, January19, 2017, during the first Council meeting for the year.

Anyaeji charged the EXCO members to continually make valuable contributions for the Society to benefit maximally from their wealth of experiences. He thanked them for availing themselves for service and urged them to be focused on their respective primary assignments. He also enjoined them to be tenacious and resourceful in a manner that would lead to the uplift of the Society.

 

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Click here to view list of all Exco Members

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AU/FAEO IMPLEMENTATION MEETING

January 13, 2017, @AU, Abuja

Historic Partnership

Sequel to the historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the African Union-Science, Technical & Research Commission (AU-STRC) and Federation of African Engineering Organizations (FAEO) which was signed, sealed and delivered on 16th December, 2016, the two bodies converge to draw out implementation framework and strategies.

Areas of strategic cooperation include, engineering innovations for sustainable rural and urban development, harmonized standards and professional qualification, recognition and mobility of engineers, amongst a host of others.

As a forward-looking professional body, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), member of FAEO, will continue to support pro-engineering initiatives. We are optimistic that Nigerian Engineers will be direct beneficiaries of this laudable partnership.

We warmly congratulate the outgoing President FAEO, Engr. Mustafa B. Shehu, FNSE, FAEng for this great achievement. NSE also deserves special recognition for playing a very active role in the operations of FAEO. We commend President Engr. Otis Anyaeji, FNSE, FAEng for that impetus.

 

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NSE PRESIDENT PRESS CONFERENCE - MARCH 2016

Press Conference Address by the President, Nigerian Society of Engineers on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other National Issues. Friday, March 11, 2016, Abuja.

Introduction

Gentlemen of the Press, I welcome you all sincerely to this Briefing session, the first that I am hosting as President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. I commend you all for maintaining the robust relationship between NSE and the media over the years and I am hoping that we will work even more together, in the two years of my administration.

At the occasion of my investiture, I re-echoed the fact that when the country voted for change, the populace was only sending a message of strong desire for higher quality of life offered from self-sufficiency of food, local production of goods and services and adequate and reliable infrastructure. In other words, Nigerians beckoned on engineering in a clear and direct manner.

As a major stakeholder in the growth and development project of Nigeria, I want to reaffirm, at this forum, our avowed commitment to collaborations with governments at all levels and key private sector players, in hastening the realization of Nigeria’s developmental goals. This is based on the strong connection of the engineering profession to agricultural, infrastructural and industrial development activities and trends.

Therefore, I announce to you that the strategic vision of my two-year tenure as NSE President is: “To Take Control of the Engineering Activities in all Sectors of the Nigerian Economy.” To bring this vision to reality, we have commenced a series of intervention measures across the broad spectrum of our national life. As we progress, we will intermittently call for this parley to rub minds on our efforts and modest achievements.

Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The United Nations spent time to look at the near future of the world and its occupants and came up with some the dramatic conclusions to the effect that the state of health of the planet is such that it may not be able to hold life

with the same quality it did for four billion years. Also that the peoples of the world are fast drifting apart, each running off in his direction with as much of our collective and shared resources as possible while destroying as much as possible of what would have been available to the others, all on a self- destructive mission.

The attempt to return humanity to sanity and unity of purpose is what led to a set of goals termed the Millennium Development Goals in the year 2000. The result, at the end of its schedule, is the little achievements in some parts of the world. Shamefully, Nigeria does not belong to the areas of any significant achievement. Now, we are faced with the Sustainable Development Goals, with fifteen years’ target for attainment - Year 2030.

What will be the fate of Nigeria and Nigerians at the end of this second target period?

The Nigerian Society Engineers, as a leading corporate citizen, is poised to play that leadership role by taking steps towards positioning Nigeria on the platform for attaining the Goals by 2030. Everything that was humanly created was a creation of engineering which are considered as civilizations or drivers of civilizations. The evolution and the mix of human-population, infrastructure, energy sources, communication and transportation, among others brought “better” standard of living as well as distortion to our world’s delicate equilibrium.

The social and technical infrastructure required for sustainable development is practically obtainable through engineering means. All of the SDGs rely on engineering foundations. The Nigerian Engineer must therefore lead the narratives and thrust for national development especially in these days of CHANGE.

In this light, NSE has instituted a Workshop with the main theme as, “Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria Engineering Perspectives”. The workshop, which has several other sub- themes, presents the platform for stakeholders to guide government on the strategies to deploy to attain these agreed and laudable goals within the available resources for the good of the Nigerian citizenry.

We have invited representatives of the United Nations, ECOWAS, Federal Government of Nigeria, Academia, Industry and Non-Governmental Organizations to this important Workshop. They will shed light on the issues as a trigger for the processes of determining our general direction and related actions. We have the goal of a timely reversal of the environmental degradation and the colossal waste of life and resources that are plaguing our beloved country and the World.

Indeed, the Workshop is not designed to provide immediate solutions. We anticipate further timely gatherings of stakeholders in many places around the country in this regard. This Workshop promises to provide the necessary templates for those systematic, effective and efficient discussions.

I believe the insight and depth of the discourse as assured by our engineering training and experience will pin-point the innovative solutions to this global challenge. I know the recommended solutions and approaches will guarantee our common humanity in Nigeria and beyond, as we tend to an equitable and balanced world. Nigerian Engineers as professionals are ready and must create a changed Nigeria for the good of all.

The first in the series of Workshops on Sustainable Development Goals will hold on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at the auditorium in our Phase two building. We will invite some of you to witness proceedings at the Workshop.

Recommendations from 2015 National Engineering Conference

The speedy development of our infrastructure is required to advance our economy and deal with the incidence of disease and reduce poverty. The present poor condition of many of the ones provided due to poor maintenance culture will no doubt negatively affect our plan in the direction of achieving our national targets.

Failure to bring infrastructure projects under construction to completion is yet another issue entirely that need to be fully addressed for us to achieve our dreams. Power, oil and gas installations, steel complexes, roads, bridges, water supply schemes, communication, airports and railways are all key aspects of infrastructure required for our advancement.

As a key stakeholder in the growth and development of Nigeria, NSE has taken it as a duty to stimulate government to accelerate investment in national infrastructure. It is against this backdrop that the Society collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning at our National Engineering Conference, Exhibition and Annual General Meeting (AGM) which held in Akure from 16th - 20th November, 2015. The theme of the Conference was, “National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) 2014: Strategies for Implementation.

Arising from the Conference, several recommendations were made to government. They include:

  1. ToensurethattheNIIMPiseffectivelyimplemented,itshouldbegiventhe fullbackingthelawthrough an Act of

This would provide the needed confidence that investors require to guarantee the safety of their investments. The law should address concerns relating to project selections, project structuring and prioritization, funding mechanisms, the regulatory pattern and the implementation strategies.

  1. Thefederalandstategovernmentsshouldensurethatallexistinglawsaffectingthedeliveryandmaintenanceofthevariousinfrastructureassetsinthecountryshouldbereviewedinthelightofpresentrealitiesandpeculiarcircumstancesofthecountrysoastoachievethegoalsand objectives ofthe
  2. ThefederalgovernmentshouldalsolookintotheBureauofPublicEnterprisesAct,theInfrastructureConcessionandRegulatoryCommissionActandapplicableoldlawsforpublic-privatepartnerships and amend asnecessary toenhancetheir
  3. ThefederalgovernmentshouldreviewandamendtheBureauofPublicProcurementActformoreeffectiveuseininfrastructuredeliveryin
  4. Thefederalgovernmentshouldcreateanindependentnationalauthority by law to regulate, monitor and evaluate the

implementation of the NIIMP. For the Authority to be effective, it should be located in the Presidency and not as a unit in any MDA as it requires the potency of the highest level of political leadership in the country.

  1. ArobustinfrastructureknowledgeandResult-BasedMonitoringandEvaluationSystemsManagementframeworkshouldbedevelopedandimplemented to track the implementation ofthe

  1. Thefederal,stateandlocalgovernmentsshouldharvestthehugebenefitsofpublic-privatepartnershipinfrastructuredeliverymodelwhichisaveritableandtooltopromotethesustainabledeliveryof infrastructurein

  1. Thegovernmentsatalllevelsshouldtakeadvantageofleveraging pensionfundsfor financinginfrastructure

  1. TheResearchandDevelopmentCentersshouldpartnerwiththeProfessionalbodiesNSE,NIA,NIB,andRegulatoryCOREN,NERC,NCC,ICRCtodeploytherequiredknowledgeandtechnologyinacoordinatedmannertodrivetheNIIMPtomeetthesettargets in 30 yearsand aspirationsof

  1. Theacademia,professionalbodies,regulatorybodiesandtheindustryshouldfosterfunctionallinkagesintoacquireanddeploytechnology to support the implementationof

Using Africas Funds to Finance Africas Infrastructure

Many developing African countries should be in a position to finance infrastructural development wholly in spite of competing needs and financial constraints, if available public funds are judiciously, frugally and patriotically utilized, and private capital mobilized.


Policy-Based Finance for Infrastructure & Industry

In this regard, financial tools that developed and most developing nations apply for developing and maintaining their infrastructure and industry ought to be applied by African countries without further delay. Such tools include:

               Policy-based finance created and controlled by the National Governments, made available on a revolving commercial basis to prioritized projects through Development Banks. It was noted that Japan set aside about 50% of their general account (about 8% of GDP) in this regard to spur development.

               Policy-based credit provided from funds generated from Central Bank’s skillful use of her discount rates; deposit money banks, funds mobilized from external borrowing, excess crude oil and other minerals earnings.

               Strategic use of pension funds

Nigeria Infrastructure Report Card The Journey So Far

During the Society’s Annual Engineering Conference and AGM which held at Akure, Ondo State from 16th to 20th November, 2015 the Society presented to the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir David Lawal, FNSE, the maiden edition of the Nigeria Infrastructure Report Card. Gentlemen of the Press, am very pleased to present additional copies of the report to you and the Nigerian public today. We indeed plan to take this report card on a roadshow around the country to sensitize policy makers to pay serious attention to addressing our nation’s serious infrastructure deficit.

The Report Card, which used inputs of professional Engineers and other stakeholders from across the country as a basis, scored the infrastructure position of our country as “E2” meaning a score of 2.08 out of 5. This means that the present condition of our national infrastructure across all sectors is a

threat to public safety. Our score card is modelled on international best practice.

I am pleased to inform you that the NSE is institutionalizing the report card process and the next edition is expected to be published and issued after two years and will go down to grade infrastructure at State and Local Government levels.

Publication and management of the Nigerian Infrastructure Report card is one of the ways the NSE has continued to contribute to the development of our country, in this case, focusing on infrastructural development. We want the report card to be a monitoring and reporting tool for citizens and a critical companion guide to policy makers in prioritizing solutions to our national infrastructure delivery challenges. Please read and publicize the report.

NSE Position on Composition of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)

Over the years, the Nigerian Society of Engineers has continually identified some issues thwarting development and shown possible solutions to such problems.

We recently wrote an Open Letter to Mr. President on composition of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). It will be recalled that in 2005, the Commission was established by the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act and NERC was thus saddled with the responsibility of regulating the Generation, Transmission and Distribution activities of electricity, all of which are primarily engineering functions and responsibilities.

The crux of the matter is our reliance on the import of Section 34(2)(a) and 34(3) of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act of 2005 to therefore request that Engineers should form the core of membership of the new Commission, thus:

               Chairman

               Commissioner for Generation

               Commissioner for Transmission

               Commissioner for Systems Operation

               Commissioner for Distribution/Marketing

It is very important to mention here that we are making the professional demand with respect to the composition of NERC with the sole intent of driving productivity and proper administration to achieve desired results hinged on effectiveness and efficiency.

Support for Proposed National Economic Summit

Economic summits are usually organized either by a group of nations or an individual country to address devastating financial conditions with the accompanying negative impact on living condition of citizens. The fora present unique opportunity for think tanks to proffer solution which when implemented revamps the economy.

We have followed with interest the keenness of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, through pronouncements and pragmatic steps, towards improving the country’s infrastructure stock specifically, and enabling rapid development of our nation, in general.

The concerted efforts at boosting the economy even in the face of dwindling price of oil across the globe, alongside the eroding value of our currency are all noticeable.

Gentlemen, as part of our contributions to national development, we feel compelled to lend our voice to the public debate on the need to create a platform to bring stakeholders from the private and public sectors together at the proposed National Economic Summit by the federal government.

Whether ad-hoc or permanent, we believe that this platform will enable healthy brainstorms on realistic ideas aimed at recreating a robust and viable economy for Nigeria.

With our array of experienced and accomplished professionals as well as a history of affiliations and collaborations with international counterparts, we

are ready to make positive contributions that are capable of hastening the realization of Nigeria’s developmental goals. This is based on the strong connection of the engineering profession to agricultural, infrastructural and industrial development activities and trends. We are optimistic that this is a move that could eventually deliver the turning point in the economic fortunes of our nation.

Thank you for listening.

Engr. Otis Anyaeji, FNSE, FAEng

President

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INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS - GIE ENGINEERING WEEK

28th March – 2nd April, 2016

Attended the Ghana Institution of Engineers “Engineering Week and Inauguration of new President”, alongside Engr. I.K. Inuwa, FNSE, Engr. Olumuyiwa Ajibola, FNSE Engr. Balarabe Shehu, FNSE (President FAEO), Engr. Valerie Agberegba FNSE, Engr. Sola Obadimu MNSE, at the Gerhard Schroder Hall, Kofi Annan Peace Centre, Ghana.

Conference Theme: Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure: The Role of Military and Civilian Engineers

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PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE COUNCIL MEETING OF NSE

PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE COMMUNIQUÉ FROM THE

COUNCIL MEETING OF THE NIGERIAN SOCIETY OF ENGINEERS ON THE 21ST APRIL, 2016 BY ENGR. OTIS ANYAEJI FNSE, FAENG, PRESIDENT NSE

Introduction 

Gentlemen of the Press, I welcome you all to this Briefing session, which is yet another in the series of our regular interactions with the media and by implication, the general public.

On this occasion, we issue a Communiqué from the meeting held on 21st April, 2016 by the Council of the Nigerian society of Engineers at the National Engineering Center, CBD, Abuja.

As a major stakeholder in the growth and development project of Nigeria, the Nigerian Society of Engineers has an avowed commitment to collaborate with governments at all levels and key private sector players, in hastening the realization of Nigeria’s developmental goals. This is based on the strong connection of the engineering profession to agricultural, infrastructural and industrial development activities and trends.

Today, our attention is on some topical issues that are gaining traction in the ongoing debate in putting our national life back on the course of progress and prosperity. The subjects are as enumerated below:

NSE’s Position on the Nigerian Railway Corporation Reform Bill 2015

This submission covers the observations, comments and recommendations of the Nigerian Society of Engineers to the Public Hearing of the Senate (National Assembly) on the Nigerian Railway Corporation Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2015 as proposed by Senator (Dr.) Emmanuel Andy Uba, MFR (Anambra South), which held on Monday, April 25, 2016.

The Bill is a private member bill, which is different and separate from the Nigeria Railway Authority Bill 2015 submitted to the National Assembly by the Executive. The Executive bill had received expansive inputs from various stakeholders in the transport sector before the past Executive submitted it to the National Assembly.

In our opinion, the (Repeal & Enactment) Bill has not addressed the major constraint to the development of railway transportation in the country, which is the need to unbundle the Nigerian Railway Corporation as presently constituted to make allowance for the participation of the private sector and sub national governments in the running of railways.

Objectives –

We believe that the objectives of this Bill should be to promote and regulate the efficient and sustainable development and operation of the railway sector; facilitate the development of competitive markets for services in the railway sector; promote the provision of safe, reliable and efficient railway services; increase the network of railway services and accessibility to railway infrastructure nationwide; encourage and promote private sector, state and local governments participation in the provision of railway infrastructure, operation and services; and finally, ensure the provision of a conducive environment for the protection of the rights and interests of operators, customers and other institutions operating in the railway sector.

The Bill as presented still retains the monolithic structure of the existing Nigeria Railway Corporation without consideration for unbundling of the current system and institutionalizing Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the spirit of international best practice in railway governance and management in Nigeria. Articles: 10(2) (i), 11&12 vests the power of concessioning railway infrastructure on the corporation.

In recent times, there have been arguments for the separation of infrastructure ownership and rail traffic (rolling-stock) operations. The current Bill does not give consideration to this, as it maintains the status quo whereby the owners of infrastructure are also the owners/operators of rail traffic operations.

Unbundling of Nigerian Railway Corporation –

Moreover, it is imperative to unbundle the Nigerian Railway Corporation into viable entities using time-tested PPP models as has been exemplified in other nations with long history of railway operations. Separate private companies under suitable PPP arrangement could be formed to take care of Infrastructure Network, City/Inter-city Passenger Train Operations, Freight Traffic Operations and Leasing/Maintenance of Rolling stocks. For adequate credit enhancement, it is advisable that the company that manages or builds the track, also operate the rolling stocks. To complement the present scenario, State Governments and Local Governments should be given the right under an enabling law to invest in railway business without hindrance. This Bill under consideration should be redrafted to effect this proposition. States and LGAs that desire to improve the sections of the rail network within their geographical area could form companies to operate the current system and also enlarge the rail network within their area of jurisdiction, alone or in conjunction with proximate States and LGAs.

Need for Nigeria Railway Regulatory Agency –

Another observation in the Bill is that, it does not provide for a Regulatory Body that will perform regulatory functions in the rail sector as we have for the telecommunication industry in the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), for example. The Bill rather provides that regulatory functions will be performed by the Nigerian Railway Corporation. Therefore, it is anything but international best practice. There should be a distinction between who implements, who operates and who regulates.

PPP Policy Framework –

For the proposed Nigerian Railway Corporation Act to be virile and efficient, a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) policy framework should be put in-place to guide administrators on the PPP arrangement and implementation guidelines to be adopted in the restructuring of the Nigeria Railway Corporation. This PPP framework should be specific to the Railway Industry.

In modern railway administration, as supported by international best practices, the responsibilities for safety, security, accidents and investigation are no longer vested in the Inspector of Railways. Rather these issues come under a Railway Safety Regulatory Agency that will be separate from the proposed Nigerian Railway Corporation. This body will be responsible for investigating the causes of accidents and for making recommendations based on lessons learnt.

The Bill should therefore, be redrafted to include consideration for Nigerian Content. The interest of Nigerians and Nigeria as they concern economic participation, professional inclusion and capacity building should be enshrined in the Bill. The era of state-owned rail systems had long passed. Many of the items in the bill did not capture a rail system that would be imbued with the best commercial and sustainability inputs required. The ownership and competition faced by state-owned railways have forced them to restructure in order to cope with the future. The experience of countless countries such as the UK, Germany, Argentina, South Africa are there for us to draw from. Privatization, commercialization or Structural Reforms are the way to go.

Recommendations –

The Nigerian Society of Engineers, having reviewed the proposed Nigerian Railway Corporation Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill 2015 recommends as follows:

  1. In other to achieve efficient operations and management in the Corporation, the core of the membership of the Governing Board should be Engineers. Specifically, the Vice Chairmen, Managing Director and at least three (3) of the four (4) Executive Directors should be qualified Engineers.
  2. We recommend that a Railway Research and Development Institute be set up and fashioned along the line of the Korean Rail Research Institute or the Chinese Academy of Railway Sciences. It should aim at Training, Capacity Building, Research and Development for the railway transportation sector. The institute should be reasonably autonomous.
  3. The Nigerian Railway Authority Bill proposed by the executive which made ample provisions for private sector participation and the institutionalization of a regulatory agency in the transport sector should be considered and subjected to further review and enactment.
  4. The Nigerian Society of Engineers will participate actively in the review of the Nigerian Railway Authority Bill with a view to establishing a slim government organization saddled with the responsibility for regulation and safety, while operation and development are left to the private sector and sub national government.
  5. An Accident Investigation Bureau should be established to consist of Civil/Structural department to handle issues on rail tracks and bridges, Mechanical Engineering department to cater for investigations concerning equipment and maintenance and Electrical Engineering department to handle issues and investigations concerning signals and communications.

Conclusion –

We have made the above critique and recommendations in order to support the efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria in repositioning the Nigeria Railway Corporation for national, regional and global relevance. It is our desire to work with the Senate Committee on Land Transport to achieve a workable bill that will transform the railway sector in Nigeria by deploying international best practices in railway governance and management.
 

Nigerian Content Development under the Nigerian-Chinese Bi-Lateral Agreements

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) applauds President Muhammadu Buhari’s genuine concern for the growth of Nigeria and we believe that the recent visit to China to solicit Chinese government’s partnership and support in the efforts towards achieving growth and prosperity will yield maximum benefits in the long run.

However, we want to offer a few professional suggestions which we strongly believe will aid in achieving the desired benefits from the efforts. They are thus:

  1. 1.We need to apply Nigerian Engineering Resources strategically in policy formulation as well as implementation.
  2. 2.We must watch how some International Lenders or Donors tend to work against the participation of local professionals in the very important infrastructure projects being financed by them. In this regard, Mr. President, special note is taken of the Nigerian Railways Rehabilitation and Expansion Projects, as well as the Airport Terminal Buildings at the major airports. These projects do not appear to include any space for local participation as advocated by Engineers Against Poverty (EAP), Engineers without Frontiers (EwF) and other multilateral donors.
  3. 3.Since our country must pay back borrowed funds for these projects, we must endeavour to benefit beyond the completed infrastructure from the transactions, to the advantage of shoring up technology acquisitions and, by implication, Local Content Development.

It is notable that the performance of the local industry is not in doubt anytime an enabling environment is provided. Examples abound in the achievements of the late ‘70s to middle ‘80s and more recently in the execution of the PTF projects under Mr. President’s guidance.

The gains included;

  1. Shoring up the hitherto collapsing Engineering Consulting Industry in Nigeria and hence, putting engineers and other associated professionals countrywide back to work.
  2. General reduction in the hitherto very high infrastructure project Construction Procurement Costs.
  3. The much talked about technology acquisition in the various infrastructure areas.

This approach is recommended and considered to even be more appropriate in the current situation of our country. We trust that the above shall enhance Mr. President’s determination to actualize the Nigerian dream of rapid infrastructural development at affordable cost.

Using Africa’s Funds to Finance Africa’s Infrastructure

Many developing African countries should be in a position to finance infrastructural development wholly in spite of competing needs and financial constraints, if available public funds are judiciously, frugally and patriotically utilized, and private capital mobilized.

Policy-Based Finance for Infrastructure & Industry

In this regard, financial tools that developed and most developing nations apply for developing and maintaining their infrastructure and industry ought to be applied by African countries without further delay. Such tools include:

  • Policy-based finance created and controlled by the National Governments, made available on a revolving commercial basis to prioritized projects through Development Banks. It was noted that Japan set aside about 50% of their general account (about 8% of GDP) in this regard to spur development.
  • Policy-based credit provided from funds generated from Central Bank’s skillful use of her discount rates; deposit money banks, funds mobilized from external borrowing, excess crude oil and other minerals earnings.
  • Strategic use of pension funds.

Nigerian Infrastructure Report Card 2015: Way Forward

The 2015 Nigerian Infrastructure Report Card, which used inputs of professional Engineers and other stakeholders from across the country as a basis, scored the infrastructure position of our country as “E2” meaning a score of 2.08 out of 5. This means that the present condition of our national infrastructure across all sectors is a threat to public safety.

Arising from a meeting held between our Society and officials of the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, we are recommending as follows:

  1. The Nigerian Society of Engineers will continue to undertake this initiative on a biannual basis, independent of government funding. This will involve continuous updating of the Report Card and promotion of the adoption and application of the package by relevant parties. However, we are open to support from external multilateral agencies that are well established in upholding the principles of good governance.

  1. The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) seeks closer collaboration with Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning in promoting harmonization of National capacity building programmes to ensure enhanced planning, execution and management of major NIIMP programmes and projects. 

  1. The Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning in partnership with NSE should champion National Capacity Development and strengthening of public institutions and personnel in both public and private sector in order to enhance infrastructure procurement and management in Nigeria.

  1. As part of our token contribution to National Development, NSE has resolved to set up three specialized bureaus as below –

a.    An Engineering Manpower Planning Bureau to identify and highlight the demand level of professional engineering and other technical personnel, the supply level and subsequently, to establish the demand/supply gap.

b.    A Cost Indices/Infrastructural Scorecard Bureau. This will constantly review rates of engineering materials as may be required for project estimates and also seek to revise/review the infrastructural Scorecard report biannually, the next edition being due in 2017.

c.    An Engineering Accreditation Bureau to review and recommend on curriculum development, training and accreditation issues in engineering faculties in universities and other technical institutes.

NSE’s Engagement with Ministry of Labour and Employment –

In continuation of our regular interactions with government, we recently met with the Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment. Highlights of discussions at the meeting include:

  1. NSE is desirous of working in synergy with the Ministry. The Society is focused on persuading government to set up industries to produce/manufacture goods rather than import them.

  1. NSE wishes to partner with the Ministry in undertaking the issuance of periodical certificates to factories and industrial houses in respect of compliance with safety standards & regulations to ensure that a safe, healthy working environment is guaranteed for workers as well as institute good manufacturing practice.

  1. The Ministry of Labour & Employment is an Industrial Engineering Ministry, and it is key to structuring and manning industrial activities. It is therefore the responsibility of the Ministry to undertake inspection of factories, industrial facilities including equipment such as Pressure Vessels, Boilers etc.

With our array of experienced and accomplished professionals as well as a history of affiliations and collaborations with international counterparts, we are ready to make positive contributions that are capable of hastening the realization of Nigeria’s developmental goals. This is based on the strong connection of the engineering profession to agricultural, infrastructural and industrial development activities and trends. We are optimistic that this is a move that could eventually deliver the turning point in the economic fortunes of our nation.

Thank you for listening.

Engr. Otis Anyaeji, FNSE, FAEng

President

26th April, 2016

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PRESIDENT'S ACTIVITIES - PRE-INAUGURATION WORKSHOP

COMMUNIQUÉ

PRE-INAUGURATION STAKEHOLDERS’ WORKSHOP OF THE 30TH PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN SOCIETY OF ENGINEERS, ENGR. OTIS OLIVER TABUGBO ANYAEJI, FAEng, FNSE, FNIMechE, F.Val, FAutoEI, FCostE, FIMC, FSESN, FNISET HELD AT THE MAIN AUDITORIUM, NATIONAL ENGINEERING CENTRE, NSE HQ, OPP. NEW NATIONAL LIBRARY, BEHIND NATIONAL MOSQUE, CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT, ABUJA FROM 13TH - 14TH JANUARY, 2016

THEME: Engineering Education, Practice and Regulation

PREAMBLE:

The Nigerian Society of Engineers held the first in the series of 2016/17 Monthly NSE Workshops and Conferences at the Main Auditorium, National Engineering Centre, NSE, HQ, Opp. New National Library, Behind National Mosque, Central Business District, Abuja, Nigeria from 13th-14th January, 2016 on the theme “ENGINEERING EDUCATION, PRACTICE AND REGULATION” as part of pre-inauguration activities of the 30th President of The Nigerian Society of Engineers Engr. Otis Oliver Tabugbo Anyaeji, FAEng, FNSE, FNIMechE, F.Val, FAutoEI, FCostE, FIMC, FSESN, FNISE.

A welcome address was delivered by the Chairman, 2016/17 Monthly NSE Workshops and Conferences Committee, Engr. Prof. David Esezobor, MNSE while the opening address was presented by the NSE President Engr. Otis Anyaeji, FAEng, FNSE who also declared the 2016/17 Monthly NSE Workshops and Conferences open. Keynote addresses were presented by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, University of Ibadan, Dr. Umar Musa Mustapha; the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie who was represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary Ibrahim I. Dan’iya; the Honourable Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Gozie Anwuka represented by Mr. S. G. Chega, Director, Technology and Science Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja; and Engr. Kashim A. Ali, FNSE, mni President of COREN.

The following papers were presented during the workshop; Engineering Education, Regulation and Practice in Nigeria by Engr. Prof. Funso Falade, President, African Association for Engineering Education; Engineering Education, Regulation and Practice in Nigeria by Prof. Mohammed Hamisu Mohammed, former Vice Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University; Developing Entrepreneurial Engineers by Engr. Bar. Tope Oribiyaku, World Bank Consultant on Safe Corridors and CEO Techgrade Consulting Ltd; and Engineering Regulation: Reforming the Regulator and the Regulated by Engr. Prof. Simon Irtwange, Executive Director, Engineering Personnel and Citizens Civil Right Development Initiative.

There were seven (7) breakout session on the following workshop sub-themes: Academia – Industry – Government Partnership for Advancement of Engineering Education and Practice; Innovating the Engineering Curriculum to meet Contemporary Industry Demands; Consulting and Contracting Engineering and Engineering Services; Manufacturing and Vending Engineering; Quality Control and Quality Assurance; Licensing and Code of Ethics; Mentoring and Entrepreneurship.

The National Universities Commission, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, National Board for Technical Education, University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, University of Benin, Ahmadu Bello University, Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, Federal University of Wukari partnered with the Nigerian Society of Engineers to host this event which was attended by over 100 participants.

OBSERVATIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS:

The following observations and recommendations were made at the end of the workshop:1.There is weak Academia-Industry-Government partnership for advancement of engineering education and practice in Nigeria as evidenced in (a) the challenges of low quality industry-ready graduates and employability due to sharp disconnect between industry need and existing inappropriate engineering curriculum; (b) poor funding and ill-equipped workshops and laboratories of engineering training centres; and (c) brain drain and inadequate staffing, poor industrial training, research findings and practical applicability, non-availability of Nigerian codes and monitoring standards, poor inter-industry collaboration among others. It is therefore recommended as follows:

    1. Academia-Industry-Government should partner in developing research agenda and vigorously pursue patenting and commercialization. Staff exchange programme should be encouraged between academia, industry and government. NSE should spearhead the realization of the partnership.
    2. Regulatory bodies should collaborate with industry and academia to review and adopt appropriate engineering curricula for the various cadres of engineering education and improvement on the curriculum delivery by continuous evaluation.
    3. Government should provide adequate funding for engineering training centres/faculties and vocational training schools; encourage university-industry-government linkage through giving incentives to industries, such as, tax break for collaboration with a Nigerian engineering institution; and also cajole staff/staff unions to abandon strike action when bargaining for improved condition of service among others;
    4. Government should also invest in teaching and research facilities, Supervised Industrial Training Scheme in Engineering (SITSIE) should be activated by COREN and supported by Government.
    5. Institutions should adopt Innovative Teaching methods like project/problem solving or team based learning.
    6. Nigerian Association for Engineering Education should be established to constantly champion the advancement of education in Nigeria.

  1. 2.Training is one key component of capacity building, which must be undertaken in all segments of the engineering value-chain. The existing concept of ‘co-regulation’ appears to weaken the desirable synergy drawn from all the segments of the engineering practice thus creating room for proliferation of quacks. There is need for strict regulation of education of technologists, technicians and craftsmen and their educators and moving away from the concept of ‘co-regulation’. The Nigerian University Commission (NUC), National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and professional bodies, such as, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), should form a coalition with the Universities and Polytechnics in reviewing Engineering curricula, to address societal needs and realities. Institutions of higher learning and Research and Development (R&D) Centres should patent and be involved in commercialization and marketing of developed technologies, so as to promote and sustain the entrepreneurial mind-set. There is need for fostering functional linkages between academia, professional bodies, regulatory bodies and the industry, in order to synchronize Engineering knowledge transfer and certify skill acquisition for the appropriate support of critical sectors of the economy.

  1. 3.There is weak Quality Assurance and Control in terms of internal quality assurance by the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in training of graduates, regulations through accreditations, and from the international perspective. External examination system should be reinforced in scope by HEIs, Engineering Regulation Monitoring (should ensure compliance with design specifications; and global acceptability of Nigerian graduates should be enhanced through improvement of global and continental ranking called Webometrics.

  1. 4.Manufacturing has been identified as the key to unlocking the available in-country potentials as a means of improving the National economy, empowering engineers and creating a stronger industry and academia relationship through research and industrial training. However, the absence of sustainable infrastructure (power, transportation, and communication), maintenance and spare parts availability, undeveloped raw materials resources and absence of clusters and industrial parks coupled with corruption are the major challenges impeding the development and growth of the Manufacturing sector in Nigeria. Government should take steps to tackle the challenges to manufacturing in Nigeria.

  1. 5.Vendoring Engineering which is the engineers’ interface with the end user at the point of sale of a manufactured product in order to enable the prospective user to understand factors for appropriate and cost effective selection - use, value, costs, safety and limitations of the product is not practiced in Nigeria. Non-engineering professionals are principally the Vendors for the procurement of engineering products in Nigeria. This results in poor safety consideration and misguided selection of products and services leading to avoidable failures of products/projects or services which sometimes result in fatality. It is imperative to develop policies to regulate point of sales of engineering materials and products, codes and standards, effective regulations (monitoring, control and enforcement) and public enlightenment. The procurement of all Engineering products and services should be regulated and assigned to only accredited engineering Vendors and Valuers.

  1. 6.The Consulting and Contracting engineering and engineering services sector in Nigeria is awash with non-professionals. It is recommended that:
    1. NSE should collaborate with financial institutions like bank of industry to set up equipment leasing companies to mitigate associated funding problems.
    2. There should be political will to give Nigerian Engineers jobs, so as to train the young ones. Mentoring of young engineer’s structures in engineering work places should be encouraged to drive home continuity in engineering practice.
    3. There is a need to develop local capacity in contracting, and this may require harmonization of procurement and Nigerian content ACTs.
    4. Engineering firms should build capacity by availing themselves with the trainings of the Institute of Appraisals and Cost Engineers. Cost Engineering should be built into curriculum of HEIs for sustainability.
    5. Engineering Firms should build capacity in bid preparation and packaging.
    6. The situation in which Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) is registering and categorizing engineering firms is unacceptable. It is the duty of COREN.

  1. 7.There is the absence of prerequisites for enhancing the entrepreneurial capacity of engineers which are the combination of “technical thinking” and “engineering feeling” with knowledge background on market and business environment understanding, and development of strategic thinking and entrepreneurial feeling. To address these prerequisites, the engineering curricula should advance the development of non-technical skills, the provision of sufficient knowledge related to economics and management, and the injection of a culture promoting creativity, initiative and entrepreneurship.

  1. 8.The practical way to guarantee economic development and employment is through entrepreneurship for socio-economic stability and prosperity. Thus, engineering curriculum for all higher institutions in Nigeria should be reviewed and expanded to inculcate entrepreneurship. An inter-institutional committee for proper monitoring of entrepreneurship component of engineering training should by coordinated by COREN.

  1. 9.The invasion of non-professionals in engineering practice can be accounted for by the devalued and income driven licensing by COREN which enforcement is ill-effective; and whereas the MDAs are no longer for professional practice and growth, the code of ethics for engineers is decreasingly referenced and publicized. It is therefore recommended that Industry, Academia and Government Joint Board of Practiced Engineers should develop curriculum for certification; and licensing, as part of regulation and control should be implemented at all levels.

  1. 10.The Nigerian Society of Engineers is the corner stone for Nigeria’s development agenda at all levels of governance from policy formulation to project delivery. Reform should be in place to make the NSE catalyst for the national development agenda through committees to pilot projects on Professional Codes & Standards, Engineering Manpower Survey, Regulation of Engineering Firms, Codes of Ethics in Engineering Disciplines & Specializations, Nigeria Infrastructure Assessment Scorecard, among others. COREN is challenged to produce regulations by setting up engineering focused regulation boards. Regulations are needed in the general areas of Engineering Procurement, Maintenance of Infrastructure and Public Assets, Manufacturing and Production of Engineering Goods and Services, etc.

In conclusion, the participants commended the efforts of The Nigerian Society of Engineers for organizing this thought provoking workshop that addresses real problems affecting engineering education, regulation and practice in Nigeria.

Engr. Otis Oliver TabugboAnyaeji, FNSE, FAEng.

President of The Nigerian Society of Engineers

 

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