Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
To further halt the rising incidents of building collapse in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari, has signed a new bill, the Engineers (Registration etc) Amendment Act, 2019.
Presidential Liaison to the National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, while briefing State House correspondents, explained that the act gives more powers to the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).
According to him, the amendment now signed by President Buhari broadens the powers of COREN giving it far-reaching powers of prosecution of infractions, regulating industrial training of engineers, imbues it with more capacity to contribute more local content to the Nigerian engineering industry.
Enang said: “Specifically, the new law grants COREN powers of prosecuting any person or firm that contravenes the provisions of this act in a court of competent jurisdiction, regulating industrial training schemes among engineering practitioners and students, ensuring capacity-building and monitoring local content development in the Nigerian engineering industry through mandatory attachment of Nigerians to expatriate engineers on major projects to understudy them from inception.
“Ensuring that all foreign engineering firms establish their design offices in Nigeria; granting of compulsory attestation to all expatriate quota for engineering practitioners, including turnkey projects where there are no qualified and competent Nigerians for the job in question at the time of application. Granting of the expatriate quota shall be contingent on training of such number of persons as may be required for the execution of the job, and; ensuring that, before being allowed to practice in Nigeria, such foreign engineering practitioners granted work permit, register with the council and obtain such licenses as may be required from time to time; investigating engineering failures.”
Enang added that the act further admits into the council (COREN) the following: “Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering, Nigerian Society of Engineering Technicians, and Nigerian Association of Engineering Craftsmen, and one person each appointed to represent the Association for Consulting Engineer in Nigeria, Federation of Construction Industry in Nigeria Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, and the armed forces in rotation.”
He added that “the council is now entitled to maintain a fund into which shall be paid money appropriated by the National Assembly, subventions, fees, charges for services rendered or publications made, donations, engineering development levy, among others.
Regarding NYSC, the amendment states:
“The Directorate of the National Youth Service Corps shall ensure posting of graduate engineers and technologists to places of relevant professional engineering experience.
“Pursuant to the provision of subsection (i) the Directorate of National Youth Service Corps shall communicate the location of graduate engineers and engineering technologists to the council.”
“The act broadens engineering practitioners to include a registered Engineer, engineering technologist, engineering technician and engineering craftsman. It emphasis more on engineering practitioners as against ‘engineer.’
“The act has been remitted in accordance with standard legal procedures.”