COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE 51stNATIONAL ENGINEERING CONFERENCE, EXHIBITION AND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE NIGERIAN SOCIETY OF ENGINEERS (NSE), KADA 2018, HELD AT CHIDA EVENT CENTRE, UTAKO, ABUJA, FROM 26TH-30THNOVEMBER, 2018
The 51st National Engineering Conference, Exhibition and Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) tagged KADA 2018 which was planned to hold in Kaduna town by NSE Kaduna Branch was shifted to Abuja due to unforeseen security challenges experienced in Kaduna and its environs. The event was held at Chida Events Centre, Utako, Abuja from 26th-30th November, 2018. The theme of the Conference was “Sustainable Engineering Infrastructure for Accelerated Rural Development”.
The following observations were made at the end of the Conference and Annual General meeting:
- The rampant appointment of non-registered Engineering professionals into certain ministerial and commissioner positions at federal and state levels is not healthy for the nation and is largely responsible for the stagnation in the growth of rural infrastructure in the country,
- Most of the infrastructure interventions in the rural areas lack community participation from conception stage to implementation stage, which leads to lack of ownership, abandonment, ineffectiveness of such infrastructure.
- Lack of proper manpower development and utilization plan to generate the skilled labour required to facilitate establishment of the needed rural infrastructural development.
- More than 60% of the Nigerian population lives in the rural areas with gross deficit of infrastructure, making life miserable for rural dwellers, which promotes massive rural urban migration.
- The poor management of flood and other related incessant natural disasters across the country driven mainly by Civil Engineering monolithic approach was observed to be very ineffective, costly and unsatisfactory, resulting in loss of lives and properties.
- There is lack of consistent review and implementation of the National Rural Development Policy to promote integrated rural development in a coordinated manner, involving public and private sectors transcending three tiers of government.
- Failure of Engineers and related disciplines to initiate and participate in rural infrastructure in their communities.
- Inconsistencies in rural infrastructural development programmes by government, which often lead to discontinuity and abandonment of such projects by successive governments.
- There is general misconception of PPP viewed as a contract rather than an investment by the private sector to compliment budgetary allocations from the public MDAs.
- There is generally adverse effect of non-performance of the traditional contract procurement method in project execution and delivery in order to sustain the existing, but inadequate, funding of rural infrastructure by strict compliance of Procurement act of 2007.
- There is gross under-utilization of abundant natural and mineral resources as a result of lack of rural infrastructure and skilled labour for effective harnessing
The following recommendations emanated from the Conference and Annual General Meeting:
- NSE and COREN leadership were charged to make declaration and lobby aggressively that only registered Engineering professionals are appointed to positions of portfolio ministers and commissioners at federal and state levels,
- NSE, COREN and other leading engineering related organizations in both the public and the private sectors to demand for a complete overhaul of the curricula of tertiary education, specially in universities; polytechnics; monotechnics; Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET); Innovation Enterprise Institutions (IEIs); and Vocation Enterprise Institutions (VEIs) in order to improve the synergy and degree of interface between engineering discipline graduands and the labour market,
- MDAs responsible for the promotion of rural infrastructural development should be charged to make community participation in provision of rural infrastructure a requisite in the delivery of rural development programmes to promote involvement of rural dwellers to take the ownership of any infrastructure provided for them to ensure sustainability.
- There is the urgent need for NSE, COREN and other leading engineering related organizations in both the public and the private sectors to carry out technical skill audit of all professionals involved in the value chain of rural infrastructure development to be championed by the public and private sectors.
- NSE, COREN and other leading engineering related organizations in both the public and the private sectors need to call and advocate for the promotion of innovative funding mechanism to ensure the intensive involvement of the three tiers of Government as well as the private investors in rural infrastructural development.
- The Federal Ministries of Water Resources and Environment in conjunction with the relevant agencies and organizations need to promote multi-disciplinary structural, managerial, attitudinal measures to forestall future occurrences of incessant flooding and related natural disasters.
- The Federal Ministry of Agric and Rural Development, RBDAs, corresponding MDAs at state levels with the technical support of NSE, COREN, etc., need to strategize on how to advocate for the development of National Rural Development Policy involving other relevant stakeholders to promote ownership and sustainability.
- Re-orientation of Engineers championed by NSE and COREN to be responsive to the rural infrastructural challenges identified in their communities.
- NSE, COREN need to engage BPP, ICRC, etc. to initiate a legislation which would facilitate and guarantee completion, utilization and maintenance of rural infrastructural developmental programmes by successive governments.
- The need for NSE, COREN to engage BPP, ICRC to promote strategic communication to change the perception of public officials toward PPP.
- NSE, COREN need to engage BPP, ICRC to promote the extension of implementation of Procurement Act of 2007 to States and Local Governments as well as to the private sector.
- To bridge the gap of infrastructural deficit in Nigeria, NSE, COREN and other leading engineering related organizations need to advocate for the active participation of the private sector to bring the resident expertise and skill in order to complement the seeming limited capacity in the public sector.
The opening ceremony was chaired by the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu, FNSE. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, (FNSE) was ably represented by the Hon. Minister of State II for Power, Works and Housing, Surveyor Suleiman Hassan Zarmaas Special Guest of Honour. The President of NSE, Engr. Adekunle O. Mokuolu, FNSE, delivered the welcome address. The Hon Minister of the FCT, was ably represented by the Executive Secretary of FCDA, Engr. Umar Gambo Jibrin, FNSE, also graced the occasion as the Chief Host and delivered an encouraging speech. Other distinguished dignitaries present at the occasion included the Hon. Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Sulaiman Adamu, FNSE; the President of COREN, Engr. Kassim Ali, FNSE, mni, Engr. Sen. Emmanuel Ibok Essien FNSE, Engr. Hon. Solomon Maren, MNSE and Engr. Prof Sani Haruna FNSE – Executive Vice Chairman NASENI.
The Keynote address was delivered by Engr. Prof. Oluwatoyin Ashiru, FNSE, FAEng, MD/CEO of Tricontinental Group. The Keynote Address was titled “Sustainable Engineering Infrastructure for Accelerated Rural Development”. The keynote speaker highlighted the huge infrastructural deficit in the country especially in rural areas, which hinders sustainable development and economic growth.
Also in attendance was Engr. Otis Oliver Tabugbo Anyaeji, FNSE, FAEng, former NSE President and current President of WAFEO. The opening ceremony was concluded with the opening and tour of the Exhibitions led by the representative of Mr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
CONFERENCE AND AGM PROGRAMMING
The five-day event comprised variety of activities including Opening Ceremony, Plenary and Technical Sessions. Panel Discussions and Poster Presentation, Symposium by Board of Fellows, MEMART Workshop, Group Dynamics for NSE Divisions and Branches, Students’ Programme and Young Engineers Forum were other key activities observed.
The Conference was enriched with other equally important social activities that enhanced interaction amongst the participants. These included Excursions, Spouses Programme, Cultural/Award Nite, Welfare and Manifesto Nite, Annual General Meeting (AGM), Annual Dinner/Dance and Closing Ceremony. All activities were well attended by Engineers, Researchers, Academia, Industrialists, Local and Foreign Investors, Policy makers, Legislators, Development Partners, and experts, etc., from all works of life. More than 4500 participants registered for the Conference.
A total number of 4 Lead Papers were discussed at 1 plenary session and 1 panel discussions sessions, 38 Technical Papers and 4 Posters on the 7 Sub-themes were presented. Foreign delegates from Ghana and Kenya Institutions of Engineers participated fully in the conference. Twelve (12) accredited companies and organizations, most of the Divisions and some Branches of NSE participated in the exhibition during the conference.
The AGM was graced by the presence of his Royal Highness, Muhammadu Sanusi II, Sarkin Kano, who challenged the Nigerian Engineers to refocus their rule of engagement with the general public by way of applying their competence and skill in tackling basic societal problems. He furthermore admonished the audience to have a reorientation of our values where self worth and esteem would be rekindled in whatever we do so as to be competitive and role models specially amongst the professionals who have the noble task of building the infrastructure for the society.
KADA 2018 witnessed an innovation under the spouses’ programme where the 60th anniversary of the society was commemorated with the rehabilitation and replacement of 7km 33 KV vandalized electrical power line with associated 2 no. 33/0415KV distribution substations of 500KVA capacity. The project was commissioned at Juji community, Kaduna South Local Government Area, Kaduna State. The Hon. Commissioner of Trade and Industry, Mrs. Ruth Alkali who represented the Wife of Kaduna State Governor, Arc.Hadiza Isma El-Rufa’i commissioned the project in the presence of NSE President, Engr. AdekunleMokuolu, FNSE.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
The Society successfully deployed online voting for the election of the officers to run its affairs in 2019. The following officers were elected:
- Adekunle Mokuolu, FNSE – President
- Baba Gana Mohammed, FNSE – Deputy President
- Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, FNSE – Vice President
- Adeniran Ibitoye Kilomodemo, FNSE – Vice President
- Joseph Olatunde Akinteye, FNSE – Vice President
- Adediran Halimat S.C. MNSE – EXCO Member
- Babalola Abdulrasheed Babalola, MNSE- EXCO Member
- Garba Yakubu Ali, FNSE – EXCO Member
- Igwegbe Chinyere Nnena, MNSE – EXCO Member
- Akintola Charles Akintayo, MNSE – EXCO Member
- Oloruntoba Mojirade Monsurat, MNSE- EXCO Member
- HRH Engr. Otis Oliver Anyaeji, FNSE, FAEng- Immediate Past President
- Abdulkadir Aliyu – Ag. Executive Secretary
Engr. AdekunleMokuolu, FNSE
President, Nigerian Society Engineers (NSE)