COREN Moves Against Quackery Among Construction Firms In Akwa Ibom
…COMMENDS GOVERNOR EMMANUEL’S CHOICE OF INDIGENOUS CONTRACTORS
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley |
In its effort to ensure that proper practice of engineering is done in order to forestall incidents occasioned with poorly constructed building, road and other infrastructural projects, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), in collaboration with the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Uyo Branch has moved against untrained construction engineers.
A visit to construction laboratories where materials are tested before taken to site, operational bases, workshops and construction sites by a group of engineers under the regulatory body of Engineering Regulatory Monitoring (ERM) to see the safety measures taken by technicians to ensure that workplace ethics and standards are strictly adhered to, by some indigenous contractors.
The engineers however frowned at the way most construction firms employ and mobilise untrained engineers to sites, saying that it can result to compromise in quality delivery.
First point of visit was the 9.5km dual carriage Ring Road 3 with 8m wide service lane traversing Aka Nung Udoe – Oron Road – Nwaniba road with underground tunnel to channel storm water to the Ibesikpo ravine, being handled by Hensek Integrated Services Ltd.
The Chief Inspector of Engineering Regulatory Monitoring (ERM) and Fellow of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr. Chief Benjamin Ekanem, said that the duty of the engineers is to ensure that the quality of jobs done on construction sites can be compared with other international companies.
He thanked the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, for his vision to continue in the development of the Uyo metropolis, and his choice of indigenous contractors, saying that type of job done by Hensek qualifies it for a five-star construction company.
On his part, Chairman of NSE, Uyo Branch, Engr James Amiang, a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, also commended the government of Akwa Ibom State ably led by Deacon Udom Emmanuel for giving an indigenous contractor the opportunity to handle such a magnitude of project, saying, “From what we saw, we are optimistic that Hensek will not let the government, his professional body and the regulatory body down as well as the entire engineering family domiciled in Akwa Ibom State.”
The contract awarded to Hensek Integrated Services Limited, which he said is 100% wholly indigenous with over 98% Akwa Ibom people working there, is invariably improving the economy of the state as whatever is being paid out for the services rendered by the workers, returns to the various markets in the state.
Engr. Amiang further stated that apart from the fact that a son of the soil is being patronised, the funds of that contract, the services provided and payment that comes revolve within the boundaries of the state with only a little leaving the shores of the state.
He stressed that there are certain guidelines and minimum standards, construction companies are expected to meet before being awarded jobs especially infrastructural projects which can either make or mar, and warned that those who are not COREN recognized are considered quacks no matter how beautiful their works may look and that could land such culprits in jail or mar them forever.
He said COREN statutorily holds the big stick and can apply it on any erring practitioner either as a contractor or consultant at any time.
Also speaking, Vice Chairman, Uyo branch of NSE, Engr. Ukeme Okpob, expressed satisfaction at the manner and approach Hensek is using in getting the Ring Road 3 construction, and believed that with the inspection, the effort will double. “We appreciate the level of earth work he is doing to show his competency. He has gone deep in removing the bad portion unlike some other contractors who would have filled up those portions and get the job done never minding the duration.
“Hensek has all it takes to compete with foreign contractors. This is what we have been agitating for over the years for indigenous contractors to be the given opportunities. The present government is doing the right thing by giving indigenous contractors the opportunity unlike what it used to be in the time past.”
Engr. Okpob, CEO of Opulence-5 Contractors Ltd and Nigerian Country Representative, Kenzai Ceramics Industry of Bangkok, Thailand, who celebrated his 43rd birthday yesterday, noted that COREN will not relent in its oars to put construction firms on their toes to ensure that they meet the required standards.
The Managing Director/CEO, Hensek Integrated Services Ltd, Engr. Uwem Okoko, thanked Governor Emmanuel for believing in Nigerian engineers and the capacity of indigenous contractors to compete with what other foreign companies do, and assured that HENSEK will make them proud.
Hensek Integrated Services Ltd has completed several roads, with others at various stages of completion for the Akwa Ibom State Government, which include the Ibom Power Plant access road in Ikot Abasi; the 13.7km Ini-Akpan Nya road, Ikot Akpan Abia – Enen Nsit, Mkpok-Okat road, Ntobo-Ikot Ebo road Abak and Etim Ekpo, Ikot Okoro road, School of Art and Science road in Ikono.
Other internal roads are Ntiedo Udosen road, Believers Assembly road, Nung Ette dualisation in Shelter Afrique and the underground tunnel which evacuates water to Ibesikpo ravine as well as several other projects.
Also in the inspection tour were National Vice President of Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering (NATE), South-South, Engr. Dominic Udoatan, FNATE; Engr. Dr Essien Udo, MNSE; Engr. Ekerette Ukere, FNSE; Engr. Victor Okon, MNSE; ASP Engr. Akaninyene Akpan, MNSE; Mr. Bernard Mbeke, MNSE; Miss Blessing David, COREN Officer, and Mr Benedict Agbonko, COREN Officer.