By Perpetua Onuegbu
The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) says it plans to institute Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as a compulsory requirement for all practitioners applying for practice licence.
Mr Ali Rabiu, the President, COREN made this known at the opening ceremony of the 29th edition of the Engineering Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday.
Rabiu said the aim was to ensure the systematic improvement and broadening of knowledge, skill and development of personal qualities for execution of professional and technical duties throughout a practitioner’s working life.
“In essence, it aims to achieve knowledge and skills to keep abreast of the fast evolving technologies, especially in the engineering industry and broadening of competencies to other areas of relevance and interest, which could serve as impetus for career expansion.
“CPD system has been become important in today’s industrial environment, whereby the rapid evolutions of technologies demand that competencies in the relevant engineering fields should stay abreast via rapid and intensive learning modules.
“It is important to bear in mind that at this juncture, the council will soon promulgate regulations on the introduction of CPD as part of requirement for obtaining professional and firm practice licence.
“Such demanding environments require professional workers to engage in the learning process concurrently with their professional practices in order to stay relevant in their business and areas of core competencies.”
Rabiu said that the council’s overall objective was to encourage the engineering faculties to adopt Out Based Education in Engineering (OBEE) system and thus graduate globally recognised engineers.
According to him, this is another effort to enhance capacity and mobility of registered engineering practitioners in the country.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said that unprofessional or unethical engineers must be promptly sanctioned.
He said this was in accordance with the rule of law to prevent them from adversely affecting national prosperity objectives.
Fashola was represented by the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu.
“I learnt that some engineers were recently de-registered for the professional misconduct to serve as deterrent to others.
“ I believe these sanctions need to be carried out regularly and necessary to avoid infranstructure failures.
“This calls for all engineering practitioners to adopt international best practice in the provision of infrastructure development, maintenance and management.”
The minister said that COREN as the regulatory body had a critical role to play in this regard.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to toward advancing the frontiers of engineering practitioners in Nigeria.
” This is manifestly demonstrated in “Executive order No 5 (EO5)”, which all ministries, departments and agencies of government were directed to engage indigenous professionals in the planning.”
He said the president’s commitment to infranstructure had left no one in doubt about his desire to rapidly grow the Nigerian economy.
In his remarks, the Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi said that there should be compulsory skills training for engineers just as the case of lawyers, where graduates were trained for one year in the Law School.
“ A lot of students come out without practical experience of the profession, we should adopt a compulsory one year training programme after graduation, this will be criteria to being called an engineer, which should involve six months theory and six months practical.
“Engineers are very key to any country’s development. The young ones we bring up today are the ones that will design our roads tomorrow.
“We need to cultivate discipline, patience and patriotism; these are very important in our profession.’’
Umahi promised to build for the council a-3000 capacity building to promote the training and capacity building of engineers in the state.
Mr Inuwa Musa, the keynot speaker, who spoke on the theme of the assembly, “Advancing the Frontier of Engineering Practitioners and Entrenching Professionalism for National Development” said that the foundation for education must be right.
“As professional in engineering, we need to aspire for career success first and to do that, we have to contribute to national development.
“National development is national ability to improve the lives of citizens in the country. Some graduate are not employable, unfortunately some are not even computer enlightened or can even write application.
“A building will collapse in the hands of engineers, who passes exams through cheating, the collapse of education is the collapse of the nation.
“A professional is someone who understands his or her contribution to the society or nation in any field, must have human touch and human value. Professionalism is not what you do but how you do it.
“The foundation in education must be right.’’ Musa said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Engineering Assembly is a gathering of engineering practitioners and relevant stakeholders to rub minds on topical issues in the profession and how to move the country forward.(NAN)