By Olatunde Ajayi
The Nigerian Institution of Highway and Transport Engineers (NIHTE) has called on contractors and other stakeholders to adhere to standard specifications in road construction projects.
Its Oyo State Chairman, Mr Rafiu Lasisi, made the call while speaking during the 3rd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the institution on Saturday in Ibadan.
The theme of the AGM is : “Monitoring the Progress of Civil Engineering Highway Road Projects in Accordance with the General Specifications”.
Lasis said strict adherence to these specifications ensures the delivery of quality and economically viable road projects.
Lasisi, who is also a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), said this year’s AGM theme focused on monitoring the progress of civil engineering highway road projects in accordance with general specifications.
According to him, the theme aims to draw attention to the need for engineers to supervise road projects while adhering to specifications.
Lasisi further emphasised the need for the government to expand the country’s rail network to alleviate the burden on road infrastructure by facilitating the transportation of articulated loads through rail.
He also called on governments at all levels to implement sound policies that would enable effective budgeting and financing for road projects.
Also, Mr Adebayo Shittu, the guest lecturer at the AGM, explained that the general specifications for road construction are compiled and regularly updated by both British and Nigerian engineers, drawing on their extensive experiences in the field.
He charged NIHTE members not to compromise on specifications for financial gains or pressure from contractors.
Shittu, also NSE fellow, added that government’s decision to switch to concrete road construction was a good move due to it durability, while providing job opportunities for Nigerians.
The National Chairman of NIHTE, Saidu Hassan, highlighted that the key to addressing road challenges in Nigeria lies not only in the choice between concrete or asphalt construction but in comprehensive road reform.
Hassan said that the Road Reform Bill, currently awaiting the President’s assent, would establish a federal road authority and federal road fund to enhance smooth project funding.
Commenting on the issue, Mr Azeez Adeoye, an awardee at the NIHTE 2023 AGM, urged young engineers to prioritise building a strong professional career rather than focusing solely on financial gain.
Adeoye, also the Executive Director of the Ogun Osun River Basin Development Authority, noted that compromised engineers and contractors often contribute to the problem of substandard road projects.
In her submission, Mrs Oluwakemi Oladeji, the Deputy Director of Works in Egbeda LGA, expressed her appreciation to NIHTE for recognising her contributions to the engineering profession through the awards.
She also encouraged more young girls to consider joining the field of engineering. (NAN)
Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa