A WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE CHAIRMAN NICE, PH CHAPTER – ENGR. ONUOHA C. OBEKA, FNSE, FNICE, AT THE OCASSION OF THE 6TH ENOCH GEORGE ANNUAL LECTURE SERIES ON 1st DECEMBER, 2020 AT THE NSEPH SECRETARIAT.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is indeed with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the distinguished annual lecture, the 6th in the series in honour of our icon and accomplished Geotechnical engineering practitioner, Engr. Enoch Amakiri Job George, FNSE, FNICE.
The Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers (NICE) Port Harcourt Chapter has over the years organized these lectures not only to honour the services and contribution to knowledge of Engr. Enoch George, but also to highlight some of the prevalent challenges within our local environment. It serves to equally seek ways to providing solutions to these identified problems. Our celebrant started his career overseas in the United Kingdom, where he made indelible marks in his field of specialization (Geotechnical Engineering) and later returned to Nigeria to contribute his quota in the development of civil infrastructure. He has been involved in providing geotechnical engineering solutions to problems of highway and building infrastructure development all around the country especially the Niger Delta.
Time will fail me to chronicle all the works that he has been involved in. I believe in the course of reading out his citation, some of those information will be divulged. However, it is worth mentioning that, Engr. Enoch George has played leading roles in providing sound geotechnical engineering designs for projects in the oil and gas industry, corporate organization, public institutions and private clients etc. He has published well researched papers on Civil/geotechnical engineering in international journals. He has also published a compendium of local idiomatic expressions and wisdom quotes. He is currently working on publishing a textbook on the principles of geotechnical engineering. This is intended to be a guide to understanding the subject of geotechnical engineering for civil engineering students and practicing engineers alike.
The spate of building collapse around the country and especially the Niger Delta region has in the recent past taken an embarrassing turn or as a matter of fact, reached an alarming proportion. The immediate and remote causes we have highlighted in our previous public lectures. Due to the monumental losses in terms of material, financial and human lives occasioned by these in most cases avoidable collapse, we have again thought it wise to probe into the stability of the foundation soil for building construction. It is this background that has informed our choice of topic for the 6th Enoch George annual lecture series.
Our topic for this year is ground stability issues in building construction in the Niger Delta region, from the Geotechnical engineering perspective to be delivered by no less a scholar and soil mechanics/geotechnical engineering practitioner than Prof. Samuel U. Ejezie, FNSE, FNICE. Our guest lecturer is a former Vice President Africa and member of board International Society for Soil and Geotechnical Engineers, former Chairman, Nigerian Geotechnical Association, former Dean faculty of Engineering, University of Port Harcourt. He currently occupies the professorial chair in geotechnical engineering instituted by Engr. Enoch A.J. George, FNSE, FNICE. I am sure Engr. Prof. Samuel U. Ejezie will do justice to the paper.
Due to the restrictions on public gathering occasioned by the COVID -19 pandemic, we will today be having our first ever hybrid annual lecture, Apart from those of us present in the hall, we hope to have scores of other participants joining us online for the event. According to the biblical injunction “if the foundation is destroyed what can the righteous do”. I implore you to listen attentively to our eminent lecturer do justice to the topic ground stability issues in the Niger Delta region from Geotechnical Engineering perspective. It is important for us to understand the structure and characteristics of the foundation soil upon which we build our structures. This way we can arrest the ugly consequences of failure of these structures with the attendant human, material and economic losses.
Let me conclude by appreciating the effort of our celebrant and indeed all our members and guests in sustaining this noble annual lecture. We pray that God will preserve all of us to witness many more of these lectures in the series in the coming years.
Welcome, and may God bless Nigeria.
Engr. Onuoha C. Obeka, FNSE, FNICE, FNIHTE, MASCE, C.ENG