Open Letter to COREN: COREN AND THE HIGHER NATIONAL DIPLOMA (HND) ENGINEERS

Council for the regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) is the regulating body for all engineering practices in Nigeria that registers Engineers (B.Sc. Holders), Engineering Technologist (HND Holders), Technicians (OND Holders), Craftsman, Consulting Engineering Firms, and has over the years
registered over 25000 Engineers and less than 3000 Engineering Technologists.

But of a truth can one say of the body to have justified its mandates without prejudice as it can only be seen serving sectional interests especially in favour of the B.Sc. holders, judging from its polices and board corium
(although boards of the engineers are nominations from different groups) but also the fact remains that 97% of its board members are B.Sc. Holders while the remaining 3% is shared among the other
cadre at 1% each.

This frightening figure has influenced many decisions of the council to the detriment of the HND holders with the game of numbers being played in our society.

Part of the disturbing thing the body has afflicted the HND Holders with is the use of the prefix Engineering Technologists (Engn. Tech.) In front of their Names as against what is applicable to Engineers.

This is part of COREN’s inhumane policies and I ask, “does graduating with a B.Sc. make one more intelligent or more knowledgeable than an HND Holder?”

Of course, this is not to say that HND Holders are better off than B.Sc. holders, however, the reverse is also not the case. It would be better if COREN can make bold in the interest of the country’s development to put the duo on a fair plain field for a knowledge based test and let the market determine their competence.

Let COREN know that it is just like sitting on a time bomb.

Engineering is fast becoming archaic while Engineering technology is fast sweeping all, ’surely the stone the builder rejected has become the chief of stones’.

The apparent inferiority complex created by COREN has even made the Engineering Technologist who later obtained post graduate degrees to discard being called an Engineering Technologist but preferred the so called dignified Engr Designation.

I await a time when a B.Sc. holder will go and reenrol in a polytechnic for both sound practical knowledge and technology driven curriculum before going to the field, it may sound ridiculous but I believe many so called Engineers need to do so, there and then can we say we are getting there!

COREN over the years has not impressed Nigerians as little has been done in Engineering advancement with the relative higher figure of B.Sc. registered Engineers. Can COREN beat her chest that a good number of its Engineers can withstand their foreign counterparts, and if this is so, why is
it that most jobs especially multi million naira projects in Nigeria are awarded to expatriates, who are mostly technicians but with qualitative training and prerequisite skills, which are most times gotten out of the four walls of the classroom. This brings to an obvious fact that the hide and seek game we play with our certificates be it M.Sc., B.Sc., HND and so on is surely an impenitent dance to the gaol.

COREN has also refused to give a professional seal to the Engineering Technologist and if one may ask COREN why? If the HND Engineers can’t vet or check a drawing, can it not also seal a test result or do they need an Engineer to perform their duties for them again? Why the monopoly of the Engineering stamp and seal?

Let us call a spade its real name; judging by the influx of professionals that will eventually have the seal should they not monopolise it from the HND holders, evidently their only means of livelihood might meet its sudden end as it is some Engineers only weapon.

And if one may still ask COREN, do this Engineers Submitted superior project for the Engineering Cadre to an HND Engineering Technologist before rating one over and above and if the reports are of the same standard Obviously COREN need to revisit its decisions.

While COREN only base its ratings on the Universities and polytechnic (colleges of technology and monotechnics inclusive) curriculum when our country Nigeria is marred with incessant strike actions, where curriculums are hardly exhausted and students eager to leave their worst nightmares (the Campus), this has formed COREN’s judgment.

I don’t know which is which, but let COREN publish its syllabus and let’s know who fares better in the Engineering profession. It is only when interests are not met that we go to the archives to trace certificates which is so with COREN, because learning is not only in the walls of the classroom, as many certificates bagged by many prestigious Nigerians were obtained in the confine of their homes, which are internationally recognised.

Why can’t such certificates be thrown away since the bearer had not sat under the tutelage of a professor? Can the Council for regulation of Engineering in Nigeria answer these questions among many others?
1. Is there no learning on the field?
2. Is there no learning by experience?
3. Is there no learning by apprenticeship?

– Jacknolly Chinedu

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