As COREN moves to sanitize building industry

NAEC assures training, support for ATN

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

The Association of Tilers Nigeria, ATN, Thursday, expressed hope over COREN Act 2018 to weed out quacks responsible for building collapse and other shoddy jobs in the building industry.

The Founder and National President of ATN, Engr Craftsman Olarenwaju Hassan, states this while speaking with journalists on the 10th anniversary of ATN, held in Abuja.

Olarenwaju said it is a concern to the ATN on incessant building collapse in the country, which makes it imperative to ensure the building industry is sanitized to allow professionalism thrive.

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According to him, the association has impacted a lot within its 10 years of existence in the building industry, as it has also helped them to understand their stake and strategic position tilers occupy in the industry.

He added that through the Council for Regulating Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, his association derives legal backing on what  they are doing today through the Nigerian Association of Engineering Craftsmen, NAEC, and with them the association has  been able to reduce quackery in the building industry.

The 10th anniversary had in attendance government officials, corporate organisations, and 17 State chapters of ATN.

Also awards were given to deserving members to spur them to continue their professionalism.

He said: “As of today in Nigeria, if you don’t apply force there is nothing Nigerians are willing to do that is why we really appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the COREN Act 2018, which empowers the council, and if somebody is not licensed he cannot practice in the building industry, and if such a person goes on and he is arrested he will be dealt with appropriately according to the COREN Act.

“And what we are looking out for in the next 10 years is for the full implementation of the COREN Act, and the Act simply says if you are not a professional you cannot practice, and that gives the professional edge in the building industry.

However, the ATN boss said his association cannot mete disciplinary actions but the Council for Regulating Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, has the power backed up by the Act of Parliament to deal with quacks.

He also stated that, “The challenge we face in the building industry today is lack of monitoring because if government can take it upon itself to weed out quacks that is when we can have lasting solution to the issue of building collapse.”

Speaking on what his association is doing to eliminate quackery he said, “Like in tiling that is where you find a lot of quacks, and these are people who did not complete their training and have become a menace in the building industry, and ATN is working hard to safeguard the building industry against all forms of quackery.”

On the criteria used to register  members of the association, he (Olarenwaju) explained that, “Our membership is over 2000 because we are all over the nation, and we have 17 States represented here.

“You must get your apprenticeship certificate to confirm that you are a trained tiler, and we also have our officials who take the person to field to try your job practically, and that will determine your training and we certify him.”

He also appealed to government to give land to the association to build comfortable houses as a way to ameliorate their plight of paying high rents, “and if government can do this for we will remain eternally grateful to God.”

Meanwhile, the President of COREN, Engr Ali Rabiu, who was represented by the National President of Nigerian Association of Engineering Craftsmen, NAEC,  Engr Tanko Gyang, disclosed that by the end of 2022, regulatory team will be on the field to arrest and prosecute all who violate provisions of the Act.

Rabiu said: “In COREN, we have a team called Engineering Regulatory Monitoring, ERM, and it is been established and inaugurated in almost all the states, and we have done 60 per cent of all the States, and we have made it in such a way that the Governor in the State is the one in charge of all activities with prominent engineers, professionals in that environment to make sure that everyone that starts a build must look for professionals.

“In incidence of building collapse we have investigated and found out that there was no qualified person among those who did the job.

“Like one of the building collapse incident, the person that signed as the project engineer was not an engineer.

“We advice Nigerians to get a professional who is certified tondo a particular job whether is a tiler or any other in case there is any problem that person can be held responsible by the regulatory body.

“We are also giving time to sensitize artisans, and of course by the end of this year the Engineering Regulatory Monitoring, ERM, will start monitoring and arresting those practicing without license, but we are taking this time to create the awareness of the action we intending taking to sanitize the industry.

“Even the president has said we should arrest and prosecute whoever violating the law including engineers found wanting.

“In the regulatory team we have the Nigerian Police Force, lawyers, Correctional Service personnel, state governments, all members of engineering bodies.

“So it is a team work which Federal Government has given us the go ahead to start.

“It will be a long time solution because we cannot be everywhere but if everybody tales it as a sense of responsibility within a short time to eradicate that.

He also added that some of the building collapse is as a result of age “because buildings too have their lifespan, and without maintenance they collapse. So Nigerians should maintain their buildings to avoid collapse.”

Meanwhile, the grand patron of the association, Rev God’spower Martins, tasked members of the association to be very professional and well behaved to attract patronage of their services.

“We are expected to behave ourselves more professionally henceforth with the aim to halt and send out of business the unskilled and amateur who have infiltrated the artisans field.

“So the need to conduct ourselves as professionals would go a long way.

“I also enjoin us to step our skills by training and retraining to get all the necessary certification to compete abroad and home.

“The quality of our services and products should stand the test of time, and also to be a platform to sell us”, Martins stated.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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