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Highway Engineers inaugurate Oriakhi as 2nd Chairman; call for revision of existing laws on Road construction

The Nigerian Institution of Highway and Transportation Engineers (NIHTE), Port Harcourt Chapter has inaugurated new executive committee led by Engr. Francis Oriakhi, who took over from Engr Jones Nwadike as second chairman of the chapter.

The event anchored by Dr. Solomon Orumu, attracted impressive array of distinguished engineers and stakeholders in Highway and Transport Engineering sector. It was declared opened as exactly 11.43 am by Engr. Precious k. Bob-Manuel.

The National Chairman of NIHTE who also chaired the event, Engr. Oludayo Oluyemi, praised the Chapter for the accelerated progress made in its short history. He commended Engr. Nwadike, for his leadership traits that had helped him in building such a formidable young chapter within a short time.

The New Chairman, Engr Francis Oriakhi, appreciated the outgoing Chairman Engr Jones Nwadike for the foundation laid. He implored members to join hands and build on the “high position the institution has attained by the collective efforts of past and present leadership at national and chapter levels..

He outlined his vision map to include: “increase visibility and the awareness of activities of the Highway engineers, professional development of members and piloting the Nigerian Institution of Highway and Transportation Engineers Port Harcourt chapter to be among the top three chapters in Port Harcourt Branch and also improving professional standards, as well as grooming potential leaders of tomorrow, develop and raise them in the miniature world of an institution through diverse portfolios that are offered to mark a difference. He pledged his commitment to the highway and transportation 2020 plan and how we deliver it.

Engr Fyne Chima Ogolo, who was the special guest of honour at the event commended the institution for its activities within the short time of its formation. He expressed his optimism that the new Chairman will build on the existing legacy. He also used the opportunity to praise the National Chairman Engr Oludayo who he described as cerebral and a round peg in a round hole to lead at the National level. He further charged the Institution to worked through appropriate agencies to “ensure that we have more durable and sustainable roads in Nigeria.”

Among dignitaries who graced the Occasion are: Engr. Oludayo Oluyemi, National Chairman and Chairman of the Occasion, Engr. Precious K. Bob-Manuel, Chairman, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Port Harcourt Branch and Chief Host, represented by Engr. Batem Ogariawo Max, Engr. Fyne Chima Ogolo, former Executive Secretary of NSE, Special Guest of Honour; Engr. Dr. Tam-Jones Atuboyedia, Keynote Spreaker and his Wife; HM King Barr. Disreal Gbobo Bob-Manuel, The Amanyanabo of Abonnema as the Royal Father of the Day, represented by Engr. Prof. Kelvin D.H. Bob-Manuel, FNSE, HoD, Marine Dept., RSU; Engr. Enoch Amakiri Job George, Engr. Prof. Hart Howels I. former Deputy Vice Chancellor, RSU.

Others are Engr. Prof. Beredugo Youpele O., Engr. Frederick Nosakhare Ogbeide, Chapter Chairman, Benin and Director, PMD, NDDC; Engr. Edward Nkalu, immediate past Chairman, NSE Awka Engr. Denis A. A. Dania, Chairman NIMechE PH; Engr. Olovie Charles Emem, Engr Obiudu Chidi. And many others including over 200 stakeholders from professionals, students, academia, government, oil and gas industry representatives and engineering practitioners from other engineering-based sectors, organizations and institutions were in attendance.

A Call for revision of Existing Law…

Meanwhile, Engr. Dr. Tam-Jones Atuboyedia, who was the Keynote Speaker at the event, in his paper titled FLEXIBLE PAVEMENT DESIGN, CONSTRUCTION AND QUALITY CONTROL has called for revision of existing laws. Noting that the “design parameters in the current usage of our roads seem inadequate or outdated; work methodology is near absent and quality control at source is hardly monitored.

“If the design life of these roads should attain their minimum 20-year span, we need to revise existing laws and reinforce others such as road taxes on overloading, indiscriminate abuse of the pavement.” He said.

He advised the engineers to pay attention to problem solving and ensure their works address this. In his word, “It is more usual than not to concentrate engineering on the computational aspects of a problem, with the result that people become conditioned to equating numerical solutions with problem-solving. Problem-solving, however, implies decision-making which in turn implies numerous compromises with prevailing environmental conditions and, particularly for public sector problems, with the politics of the budgetary process.”

“The engineer’s role in the decision-making process can only be enhanced by a full appreciation of how the environment facilitates or constrains alternative solutions to his/her problems. The engineer cannot stand by smugly on the side-lines with the ‘best’ scientific and technological solution, oblivious to the environment relating to its application. He/she must appreciate that the result of all of his/her computations is the establishment of technical boundary conditions, and that in the analysis he/she must recommend a ‘good’ or ’optimum’ course of action, i.e., one that is acceptable to the ultimate decision-makers.” He emphasised.

He said good road means appropriate design, supervision on the construction site and quality controls at the batching plants, which means appropriate review of soil, traffic and asphalt parameters.

‘Good roads do not come cheap in terms of money, time and materials. The design elements for a road can be numerous but it takes a lot of ‘thinking through’ to achieve the ultimate goal to providing comfortable, aesthetics and safe riding surfaces.

You can read the full paper here

Executive Committee Members sworn in at the event are;

  1. Engr. Francis Oriakhi, Chairman
  2. Engr. Onome Unuavwodo, Vice Chairman
  3. Engr. Felix Nwankwo, General Secretary
  4. Asuquo Uduakobong, Assistant General Secretary.
  5. Engr. Ulovie Charles, Treasurer
  6. Keka Timothy, Financial Secretary
  7. Mosses Oguzie, Technical Secretary
  8. Engr. Anwankwo Uduak, Ass. Technical Secretary
  9. Uzoigwe Paul, Publicity Secretary
  10. Engr. Emem M. Abasiattai, Ex-Officio
  11. Engr. Alexus Akwukwaegbu, Ex Officio
  12. Engr. Nwadike Jones, , Immediate Past Chairman.

The Nigerian Institution of Highway and Transportation Engineers is one the divisions of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) which, within 6 years has attained an enviable position among the divisions of the NSE.

Report compiled by Isqil Najim

The PH chairman and vice chairman with Engr F. N. Ogbeide, Benin Chairman of the institution
Swearing in of the new executive members of the chapter

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