NSE, SON Launch Investigation Into Akwa Ibom Building Collapse

NSE, SON, building collapse, Akwa IbomThe special committee set up by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has begun investigation into the collapse of Reigners Bible Church building.

The incident was said to have led to the death of scores of worshippers during the bishopric ordination of the founder of the church last week in Akwa Ibom State, southeast Nigeria.

The investigation committee, led by a professor of structural engineering, Charles Uko, was at the scene of the incident to take measurements of materials used in the construction of the collapsed church building.

Professor Uko, who is a former Vice President of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), said his committee would carry out proper investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the tragic incident.

church-collapseHe promised that the committee would present an unbiased report that can be confirmed anywhere in the world.

The academic also assured the public, especially families of the victims that the prevention, investigation and failure analysis committee under his leadership would be thorough in its assignment.

Similarly, a delegation from the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) visited the site of the collapsed church building.

The team, led by the Akwa Ibom State Coordinator of SON, Mr Dauda Mshelia, also took samples of materials used in the construction of the collapsed building for laboratory analysis to ascertain the cause of the collapse.

Mr Mshelia assured the public that the team would be objective in its findings.

Professional Body Calls On Senate To Intervene In Construction Sector

Samuel IlugbekhaiThe President, Nigerian Institute of Structural Engineers, Samuel Ilugbekhai, on Wednesday called on the Senate to intervene in the construction sector and “create an enabling law for the competent practice of structural engineering in Nigeria” in order to prevent building collapses, such as that of the recent Synagogue Building.

Mr Ilugbekhai, who noted that issues concerning building collapse in Nigeria have been discussed for over 30 years, emphasised the need for the general public to have structural engineers on building sites, as only such a professional can guarantee that a building has strength.

“An average building has a team that works on it. The architect conceives the building. The structural engineer gives the building the strength to stand its entire lifetime. So the building standing everyday means that the structural engineer is continuously at work.

“Any day that building suffers any form of defect that makes it come down, it means that structural engineering has failed,” he said, while on Sunrise Daily.

He noted that the Institute has been in existence since 1968 and “till date, none of our members have been found wanting, in terms of any form of collapse”.

He went further to emphasise that “if you are going to build anything, that a human being is going to be inside, a structural engineer must be there”. He noted that even the simplest of all constructions, bungalow, should also have such an engineer on site.

However, it appears that the general public does not often patronise the services of structural engineers.

“I mentioned that for the past 30 years alone (at least which I’m aware of), we have tried to drum the signal of this danger to the ears of those who are supposed to know.”

We mentioned that many letters had been written to “the appropriate authorities” including Council Of Registered Engineers in Nigeria (COREN), the overall regulating body for engineering in Nigeria, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), warning of the impending danger.

“If you are not a structural engineer, don’t dabble into structural engineering.”

He argued that the engineering authorities should have sent out warning signals to all practitioners and also put in place an enabling policy.

“Thank God the Senate has come into it. It is within their reach to do that.”

He suggested that the Institution, which is tailored after the Institute of Structual Engineers in the United Kingdom, should be backed by an act of law.

“What the Senate will just do is create an enabling law for the competent practice of structural engineering in Nigeria.”

He however agreed that the use of substandard materials also play a major role in the collapse of building, adding that inclement or extreme weather conditions, act of God and human factors are the other reasons for building collapse.

“If after over 30 years, we have not been able to remove substandard materials from the market, then there’s an agency who is not working properly”, he noted.

2015 General Elections: NSE ask INEC to explore Nigeria made systems

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) have asked President Goodluck Jonathan to direct the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to liaise with the Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited and the Engineering body to explore the possibility of deploying Electronic voting for the forthcoming 2015 general election.

The President of the society, Engineer Ademola Olorunfemi made this request at his investiture as the 29th president of the NSE.

Engineer Olorunfemi explained that the Engineering Society has already developed an electronic voting system, which was deployed for the election of NSE executives in 2013.

The new president who is a Special Adviser to the Ondo State Governor on Agriculture listed the agenda for his tenure. Among them is a plan to push for the use of Electronic Voting System as developed by Nigerian Engineers in the next general election.

The Society is hoping to develop a national engineering strategic plan, which will build a value-driven production economy.

FEC Approves Text Books Worth N8.6bn For Primary And Secondary Schools

The Federal Executive Council has approved contracts over 8.6 billion naira for the supply of text books to public primary and junior secondary schools in the country.

The contracts were validated following a memo by the Education Minister, Raquyat Rufai for the provision of text books on Mathematics, English Language, Science and Technology.

Briefing journalists after the meeting the Information Minister said flanked by the education Minister and his state education counterpart, Nyesom Wike stated that the 400 million textbooks and other resource materials will be customized with the inscription: “FGN-UBEC 2012 intervention, not for sale” and state codes for easy tracing in case of diversion to unauthorised places will also be imprinted on these books.

The council also approved the contract to locally procure 40 utility vehicles for field works ahead of the 2016 national population census. President Jonathan gave the National Population Commission directives to procure the vehicles locally so as to encourage, develop and provide foundation for local manufacturers in the automobile industry.

Expect Constant Electricity Supply Soon, Engineer Tells Nigerians

The Vice President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Otis Anyaeji on Wednesday said that if the Federal Government continues with the pace it applied in the power sector since the 2009 then Nigerian may soon enjoy steady power supply.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Mr Anyaeji said achieving steady power generation is not the main issue but maintaining the power generated and the supporting infrastructure.

He said, “Certainly, if we continue moving at the pace the country has moved in power since 2009, there is no doubt that we are going to achieve steady, reliable power supply status in the shortest possible time and then maintain it at that because power development is not a senile phenomenon as it is an activity that has to go on at all times.”

He said to achieve the desirable power supply, Nigeria has to keep investing in power to add capacity and maintain what’s already on ground and continue to expand on these investments.

Mr Anyaeji said power generation goes with distribution and transmission and that Nigeria has and can achieve equal capacity in all the three areas.

He however noted that the major problem is capacity. He cited a a grid study done after the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) did some emergency installations of infrastructures to boost power generation saying the study found that the grid would not be able to take on those plants built by the NIPP, hence more projects for strengthening the grid.

Watch video for more details.

Engineer blames inconsistent water policies for low water supply

Former president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr Kashim Abdul-Ali says the challenge of water supply in Nigeria is a function of weak and inconsistent water policies.

In his lecture at the 2012 October lecture of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, he recommended that local government authorities should be empowered to provide mini-water schemes in their areas or pair up to provide larger water schemes.

He called on the federal government to review and streamline the functions of the Ministry of Water resources in order to reduce its influence on policy institutions like the river basin development authority.

Figures made available at the lecture shows that about N800 billion has been expended in capital expenditure by the federal government on water yet access level remains low.

Nigeria space research agency to generate N2 billion annually

The Director General of the National Space Research Development Agency, Dr Saidu Mohammed has pledged the agency’s commitment to the development of the nation’s economy through space research.

Addressing officials of the Nigeria Society of Engineers in Abuja, Dr Mohammed announced that the sector has the potential to generate over N2 billion  annually for the economy.

According to him, the sector has the potential of growing other key sector of the economy such as health and agriculture.

Dr Mohammed said this while speaking with officials of the Nigeria Society of Engineers at the proposed site of the Space Craft Assembly, Integration and Testing Centre.

The centre, according to the director general of agency will serve as a model centre for Nigerian scientists and engineers to assemble and test parts for the development of made in Nigeria satellite.

Beside how to develop made in Nigeria satellites, these engineers believe that the sector could contribute immensely to the nation’s economy. They are also of the view that tariffs on telephone and satellite television broadcast could  be reduced if attention is given to this area.

Officials of the National Space Research Development Agency say over a hundred of its scientists and engineers have undergone series of trainings both at home and abroad. This according to them will assist the agency in developing the nation’s economy.