ENGINEERS; THE DIE IS CAST BY – A O. Onyokoko

May the attention of all Engineers in Nigeria be drawn to the recent video clip now trending on social media in respect of the proposed bill on the floor of the National Assembly on the issue of BEME and BOQ.

Obviously, the NQIS wants to streamline the duties of the Engineer to design and Construction only. They want the quantity surveyor to take charge of the taking off and preparation of the bills, certification and general project management of all Engineering projects. They have gone ahead to justify their claims as you can see in the video.

If the bill being sponsored in the National Assembly is enacted into law:
(i) BEME will cease to be operational. BOQ becomes the operating bill document
(ii) the engineers job is constricted and the quantity surveyor becomes officially the valuer of all Engineering projects.
(iii) the quantity surveyor becomes the project manager of all Engineering projects.

According to the the argument being put forward before the law, Engineers and BEME is responsible for corrupt practices in the construction industry. In other words, Engineers are not experts in measurement and valuation of project items. Quantity surveyors generally in Nigeria believe that quantity surveying is a borrowed course in engineering faculties.

From the above, it is obvious that COREN and NSE has a huge responsibility to defend the engineers role on BEME, certification and project management of Engineering projects in Nigeria. Once a dog is given a bad name, it becomes easy to kill it. NIQS is telling the whole world that the way Engineering is being practice in Nigeria with the use of BEME as a management tool in the construction industry, corruption is encouraged and indeed enshrined into the system. We should not forget that before the advent of the procurement act, procurement was domiciled in engineering departments. The same song of corruption was sang and the LAW became convinced and today, we have procurement as a separate department outside Engineering in the MDAs in Nigeria.

A public hearing has been advertised for the bill put forward by the NIQS. Engineers must therefore articulate and present a very strong paper to counter the seemingly good argument presented by NIQS.

The quantity surveyors have chosen such a time when it seems there is a crack in NSE. Some regions are planning to pull out of the main professional body to form a parallel one if their grievances are not resolved speedily. The quantity surveyors are definitely not unaware of this commotion in the Engineering house occasioned by the botched EGM earlier this year. It has therefore become pertinent that we put aside, albeit interim, all issues that may tend to pull us apart and jointly fight this crucial battle. The wall geckos and lizards can only penetrate the walls of our houses when cracks exist. Note that a three time chord is not easily broken. Together we stand, divided we fall. The die is cast.

A word is enough for the wise.

Engr A O. Onyokoko FNSE.

Also read: COREN Response

Full Text of Response to ESVARBON Petition on COREN Regulations for Engineering Appraisal/ Valuation, Government Notice No. 91 in the FRN Gazette

1 COMMENT

  1. Ego aside, if QS should be relieved of Bill of Quantities and Valuation, they become automatically nonexistent!
    We have left our profession to foreigners and quacks who only practice it to reserve the bad name for us. You dont hear “Engineers” except for the wrong reasons like Building Collapse or Projects Failure.
    These ones have realized they were lagging and decided to rise to the occasion.
    I had always said that we dont have any business with bill of quantities, procurement, and valuation – without knowing anything like this was lurking in the corner.
    Our business should begin with determining the right solution to the felt-need and end at specifying the right material to be used in constructing the various components to be used in implementing our designs, to the QS.
    They do the take-off and derive the Bill for those in Finance who handle actual procurement.
    However; an ingenier should guide those in Procurement to identify and ensure the right materials were purchased.
    We had rather taken this BEME of a joke too far. When I wrote COREN Examination, it was more about BEME than engineering. It was spiced with executing it on Spreadsheet and national essay – else a pupil from secondary school would handle it comfortably.
    We should fight to protect Engineering, Mindwork, not taking other people’s vocation.

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