Construction Union seeks stiffer punishment for quacks in construction sector

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By Frank Ikpefan,
The Construction and Civil Engineering Senior Staff Association (CCESSA), has called on governments to enforce stiffer punishment for unprofessional engineers undertaking building constructions across the country in order to halt the spate of building collapse in the country.

CCESSA, an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), said most of the building collapse recorded in the country was as a result of clients giving construction jobs to unprofessional engineers.

This was part of the resolution reached by members of the union at an event to mark this year’s International Youth Day, with the theme “Get Ready for the Future” in Abuja yesterday.

CCESSA National Youth Leader, Comr. Idorenyin Brooks urged the Federal Government, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) to make strong policies and strong punishment to clients who give jobs to quacks.

He said: “Speaking from the construction industry and also as an engineer. I think most of the building collapse we have witnessed, it is because of clients giving jobs to quacks; people who are not so knowledgeable on the building construction or in construction in general. So I believe that the Nigerian Society of Engineers, COREN and the federal government should be able to also make strong policies and strong punishment to clients who give jobs to quacks.

“There are a lot of engineers who also want to cut corners to save cost of one thing or the other which can at the long run cause building collapse. So there should be stiff punishment to people who want to cut corners just for them to achieve a certain goal.”

The National President of the Union, Comr. Isaac Egbugara, also raised concerns over the challenges facing the construction Industry.

He said some of the challenges facing the sector include COVID-19 pandemic, attacks and kidnapping of workers at sites, non-payment of debt, abuse of employment of foreigners, casualisation and contract staffing in the industry.

He said youths must start now to live the future especially in the face of the pandemic.

He said: “Everything is starting afresh because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The youths must start now to live the future because the future is here and starts now.

“I believe that at the end of the program, the youths in the construction industry will become fully abreast of how to handle the new normal in the world of work.

“I want to believe that the construction industry is the worst hit by both the pandemic and insecurity in the country. So many sites have been shut down because of the dreaded COVID-19 and the rising spate of kidnappings across the country.

“We have suffered a lot in the industry. Many workers have lost their jobs as construction cannot function in the rural areas where infrastructural development is taking place due to fear of several hazards such as kidnappings, insecurity and the new normal has really affected us greatly.”

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