By Nike Popoola
The Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers has said that engineers should specialise in their core areas of competence.
The President, FNIStructE, Dr Kehinde Osifala, said this during his investiture as the 20th president of the institute in Lagos.
The event was attended by engineers and other prominent stakeholders in the industry.
During the event, FNIStructE launched its advocacy to move against building collapse in the country.
While presenting his acceptance speech, Osifala said this would help to prevent structural failure and collapse in the country.
He said, “I want to reiterate the fact that engineers must be encouraged to practice in the area of their core competence;
“This is why the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria as a regulatory body must provide enabling environment by recognising and empowering the divisions using the COREN Act of 2019.”
Presently, he said, there was confusion as regards who should talk when structural failure/collapse occurred.
In the engineering family, he said, the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers and the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers were jostling for prominence and relevance with each claiming authority to talk on collapse.
He said, “There are three basic engineering fields vis civil, electrical and mechanical.
Civil engineering, he explained, was made up of structural, water and waste water, hydro-technical, geotechnical, highway, transportation and environment.
He said the branch of civil engineering that studies, deals with and is responsible for the structural behaviour including collapse is the structural division.
“One would, therefore, expect those who having studied structural engineering or those who read civil engineering and have sufficiently practiced and demonstrated competence in the art of structural engineering practice to talk on structural behaviour especially collapse,” he said.
He said the NSE as a body, was made up of branches and divisions and the specialised division on structures is the FNIStructE.
The president said it was launching the sustainable advocacy programme targeted towards the federal, state and local governments, the regulatory agencies and the general public on what structural engineers do.
He said the institute was committed to increasing awareness that would curb the menace of building collapse in the country.
Osifala, who was being inaugurated for his second term, said despite the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, it moved into action in the execution of its programmes.
He said the institute’s areas of focus were training and retraining of its members and others in the built environment, revenue generation and welfare of its members.
The Chairman of the occasion, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, said, “The advocacy project that you wish to launch today is another laudable programme which I believe all of us must support.
“There is need for enlightenment and mobilisation of the populace against collapse of building structures in Nigeria.
“It is embarrassing not only to you engineers but to all well-meaning Nigerians.”
He said it was time to put an end to human and material losses.