By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law the Engineers Registration Amendment Act, 2019.
The act vests the constitutional right to the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria COREN to regulate engineering practice in the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents, on Friday, in Abuja.
He explained that the amendment broadens the powers of COREN with far-reaching powers of prosecution of infractions, regulating industrial training of Engineers, capacity building of local content in Nigeria engineering industry among others.
According to him, the new law grants COREN powers to prosecute any person or firm found to have contravened the provisions of the Act in a court of competent jurisdiction.
It will also oversee industrial training schemes in engineering practitioners and students while ensuring capacity building and monitoring local content development in the Nigerian engineering industry through – mandatory attachment of Nigerians to expatriate engineers on major projects to understudy them from inception.
Other prospects of the new act include; ensuring that all foreign engineering firms establish their design offices in Nigeria and granting compulsory attestation to all expatriate quota for engineering practitioners.
The act equally empowers COREN to regulate turnkey project, that there are no qualified and competent Nigerians for the job in question at the time of application and that granting of the expatriate quota shall be contingent on training of such number of persons as may be required for the execution of the job.
He said, “By the assent to this amendment it ensures that, before being allowed to practice in Nigeria, such foreign engineering practitioners will be granted work permit, register with the council and obtain such licenses as may be required from time to time.
“The Act further admits into the Council (COREN) the following: Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering, Nigerian Society of Engineering Technicians, and Nigerian Association of Engineering Craftsmen, and One person each appointed to represent the –Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria, Federation of Construction Industry in Nigeria Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, and Armed Forces in rotation, among other functions.”
The Act is coming few weeks after a school building collapsed in Lagos, sending over hundred people to early graves.