COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE 29th COREN ENGINEERING ASSEMBLY HELD AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE ABUJA, 2 ADDIS ABABA CRESCENT, WUSE, ZONE 4, ABUJA
The 29th COREN Engineering Assembly was organized and held at International Conference Centre, Abuja from 9th-11th August 2021. The theme of the Assembly was “Advancing the Frontiers of Engineering Practitioners and Entrenching Professionalism for National Development”.
The three-day event comprised variety of activities including Opening Ceremony, Plenary and Syndicate sessions, Engineering Family Forum, and Closing Ceremony. The Assembly was enriched with other equally important social activities that enhanced interaction amongst the participants. These included Presidential Cocktail held on the first day and Dinner on the last day. Exhibitions were mounted by industrialists, manufacturers, service providers, consultants, etc.
The special guest of honour invited at opening ceremony was His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR (FNSE), President of Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The Chief Host was His Excellency Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Works, and Housing, ably represented by the Hon. Minister of State Works & Housing, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, FNSE. The Host was Mohammed Musa Bello, the FCT Minister, ably represented by his Chief of Staff, Mohammed Bashir Maiborno.
The opening prayer (Second stanza of the National Anthem) was said unanimously. The opening ceremony was chaired by His Excellency Engr. David Nweze Umahi, FNSE, FNATE (The Executive Governor, Ebonyi State) who strongly advocated for a mandatory one (1) year internship for engineering graduates as obtained in other professions like medical, pharmaceutical, etc. This novel practice, according to him, would allow engineering graduates acquire the requisite skills and proficiencies to easily blend into the ever- dynamic industry.
The keynote address titled, “Advancing the Frontiers of Engineering Practitioners and Entrenching Professionalism for National Development” was presented by Engr. Inuwa K. Musa, MFR, FNSE, FNICE, mni, (Majidadin Minna). The ceremony was declared open by the Senate President His Excellency, Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, ably represented by Senator Adamu Aliero, Chairman Senate Committee on Works. He also led the tour of the Exhibitions at the end of the opening ceremony.
Other highlights of the Ceremony were the presentations of awards by the Committee of Deans of Engineering and Technology of Nigerian Universities (CODET) to categories of University lecturers, engineering undergraduates and graduating students for best paper publications, best group projects, best individual projects, and best graduating students, respectively. Similarly, the Committee of Deans of Engineering of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology (COMPODET) presented awards for the best three (3) individual projects.
Other Special Guests present at the Opening Ceremony were:
1. The Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila ably represented by Hon. Engr. Mohammed Ali Wudil, FNSE, FAEng the Chairman of House Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity.
2. Hon. Minister of State Works & Housing, Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, FNSE.
3. The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor ably represented by Major General G. A. T. Ochigbano.
4. Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal I. O. Amao ably represented by Engr. Dr. Air Commodore A. A. Shinkafi, FNSE, mni.
5. HRH Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad I JSC Rtd., Emir of Lafia ably represented by HRH Aliyu Ahmadu Ogah, OON, the Andoma of Doma accompanied by three other paramount rulers from Nasarawa State.
6. Director of Safety Electronics & Engineering Services, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Engr. Farouk Ahmed Umar, FNSE.
Goodwill Messages were delivered by:
1. Representative of the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Engr. Sunday Hyat, FNSE, mni, Past Council member of COREN and Head of Service, Plateau State.
2. Representative of Hon. Minister of Science & Technology, Prof. Eli Jidere Bala, FNSE, FAEng, Director General Energy Commission of Nigeria.
3. Representative of the Chief of Defense Staff, Major General G. A. T. Ochigbano.
4. Representative Architect Registration Council of Nigeria (ARCON), Arc. Wilson Agboola.
5. HRH The Andoma of Doma of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Dr. Aliyu Ahmadu Ogah, OON.
6. Engr. Hon. Mohammed Ali Wudil, FNSE, FAEng Chairman, House Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity.
Papers presented that addressed the sub-themes were:
i.Engineers Role in the Provisions of Sustainable Solutions to the Recurring Security Challenges in Nigeria by Engr. Prof. Umar G. Danbatta, FNSE, FAEng, the Executive Vice- chairman NCC.
ii. Promoting Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) for Job and Wealth Creation in Nigeria by Prof. Ifeoma Mercy Isiugo-Abanihe, Registrar/CEO NABTEB.
iii. Implementation of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Enhanced Engineering Practice in Nigeria by Engr. George C. Okoroma, FNSE, JP, President ACEN.
iv. Adoption and Promotion of OBE by COREN: Towards Repositioning Nigerian Engineering Graduates to Meet Societal Needs by Engr. Prof. Baba J. El-Yakubu, ABU Zaria.
The 29th Engineering Assembly made the following observations:
- i. The processes and procedures of training Engineering graduates in Nigeria need improvement to make them competitive and mobile.
- ii. The amended COREN Act of 2018 and the proclamation of the Presidential Executive Order 5 have broadened the powers of Council with authority to prosecute infractions, ensure capacity building and monitor local content development in engineering practice.
- iii. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in the engineering context is a holistic and a never-ending commitment of engineering professionals and firms to continually up-skill and/or re-skill themselves to retain their capacity to practice safely, effectively, and to stay updated in their ever evolving scope of practice.
- iv. One of the core drivers of the new frontiers for advancing engineering profession is QUALITY EDUCATION that will facilitate the achievement of the set deliverables within the time frame. At the core of global evolution of educational advancement especially skill- oriented and competency outcomes of educational packages is the Research and Development.
- v. At the heart of engineering profession is an elaborate and stringent regulation framework that diligently check the competencies, level of compliance with codes and standards set for professionals and firms in producing products and delivery of services, etc. COREN in collaboration with the NUC, NCEC, NBTE, NABTEB with the facilitation of the four (4) cadre professional associations and other engineering practitioners’ associations such as NSE, NATE, NISET, NAEC; APWEN, ACEN, MAN, in performing this critical role satisfactorily.
- vi. Statistics available in COREN register has shown that there are more Engineers than Engineering Technologists, Technicians and Craftsmen combined with an era of the inverted pyramid of skill mix and a wide skill gap. Consequently, there is huge capacity gap leading to capital flight as expatriates exploit opportunities.
vii. Craftsmanship training and development in Nigeria is predominantly provided through apprenticeship system for skill acquisition as well as employment without formal training and certification.
- viii. Nigeria is facing some of its worst security challenges since independence. These security challenges include kidnapping, banditry, cyber insecurity etc, which affect the socio-economic and political stability of the country.
- ix. The existing input-based educational system practiced in Nigerian Universities, Polytechnics and Technical Colleges fails to comply with the assigned carrying capacities in COREN BMAS and does not have an established mechanism to index student enrolment during training and beyond for effective tracking and performance assessment of graduates.
- x. There is apparent lack of co-ordination amongst NIGCOMSAT, NASRDA, NITDA, NCC and the registered service providers in the country leading to inaccurate geo-informatics to aid the fighting of insecurity in Nigeria.
- xi. The continued effort of GIZ-NESP with the collaboration of COREN in the training and capacity building of young engineering graduates to improve their competencies and skills in Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency, is commendable and needs to be sustained and expanded in order to increase the opportunities for engineering practitioners.
The 29th Engineering Assembly made the following corresponding recommendations:
- i. COREN should intensify partnership with relevant stakeholders in the implementation of the Outcome Based Education in Engineering (OBEE) in Nigeria, being a low capital endeavour.
- ii. COREN should deepen efforts in establishing corporate synergies with relevant organizations and institutions to harness the gains of the amended Act.
- iii. COREN should promulgate Regulations that will make Continuing Professional Development (CPD) a compulsory requirement for obtaining practice license for both personnel and firms. COREN should partner with relevant stakeholders to promote the new regulation.
- iv. COREN should partner with NUC, NCEC, NBTE, NABTEB, etc, to advance the initiative of TETFUND on promoting triple concept leveraging on the university and polytechnic system which aims at fast tracking Nigeria’s global competitiveness in product development and service delivery by leveraging innovation systems led by Research and Development in line with the new priorities of new frontiers for advancing engineering profession.
- v. All practitioners and professional engineering associations, CODET, COMPODET, COPTEC, MDAs, MAN, etc., to actively support the COREN Standing Committee on Codes and Standards to ensure speedy review and release of new set of Nigerian Engineering Codes and Standards.
- vi. COREN should partner with NBTE and all relevant stakeholders to urgently redress and resuscitate TVET in Nigeria by linking the human capital requirements in the industries and training capacity of educational institutions.
- vii. COREN is to partner with NBTE and NABTEB to advance the National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) programme for timely, certification, recognition and tracking of graduates.
- viii. There is a need for a deliberate and systematic promotion of synergy amongst NCC, NITDA with the relevant security agencies in technology deployment, data information gathering and sharing to enhance our national capacity in combatting crime and criminality.
- ix. COREN in partnership with all the regulatory agencies in education, along with professional engineering bodies should enforce the statutory requirement of class sizes, student/teacher ratio, indexing of students for effective tracking of graduates for engagement in the SITSIE programme. In addition, COREN, NSE, NATE, NISET, NAEC in collaboration with the educational institutions should institutionalize and commence oath-taking and induction of engineering graduates at all levels.
- x. COREN should champion and promote the synergy amongst NIGCOMSAT, NASRDA, NITDA, NCC and the registered service providers to ensure accurate geo-informatics for the country to effectively combat insecurities.
- xi. COREN should identify strategic partners to build functional alliance to continue with the good work initiated by the collaboration with GIZ-NESP and other similar interventions to ensure sustainability and expansion of global best practices.
- xii. COREN appreciates the commitment of the Ebonyi State Governor, His Excellency Engr. David Nweze Umahi, to provide a 3000 sitting capacity accommodation for the take-off of the proposed compulsory 1 year training for young Nigerian Engineering practitioners in Ebonyi State.
The laudable programmes and activities being promoted by COREN which include promotion of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET); implementation of Outcome Based Engineering Education (OBEE); institutionalization of CPD; development and dissemination of Codes and Standards; implementation of the Presidential Executive Order 5 and the COREN amended Act; advancement of ERM activities at the State level, etc, are highly commendable. The Assembly is hereby invited to give maximum support to the leadership of COREN for “Advancing the Frontiers of Engineering Practitioners and Entrenching Professionalism for National Development”.