Saturday, May 15, 2010

SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN (ENGR. A .A. OMOPELOYE) ON THE INAGURATION OF OSUN STATE CHAPTER OF NICE


His Excellency, the Governor of Osun State, The President of N.S.E, The Hon. Commissioner for Works, Osun State, House of Assembly Member here present, Council Members, Fellow N.S.E, Past National Chairman, the New Chairman, Gentle Men and Women of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen.

With special Appreciation to Almighty God who owes us nothing but we owe Him everything. I feel highly honored to welcome you all today for this great Occasion of Inauguration of the Osun State Chapter of NICE.
In the beginning, Civil Engineering included all engineers that did not practice military engineering; said to have begun in 18th century in France.
The First, “Civil Engineer” was an Englishman, John Smeaton who constructed the Eddystone Lighthouse in 1761. Henry H. White, first KY Civil Engineering Graduate from Bacon (Georgetown) College in 1840.
John Wesley Gunn of Lexington received first Civil Engineering degree from A & M College (UK) in 1890.
In 1818 the Institution of Civil Engineers was founded in London, and in 1820 the eminent engineer Thomas Telford became its first president. The institution received a Royal Charter in 1828, formally recognising civil engineering as a profession. In the 18th century, however, the term civil engineering came into use to describe engineering work that was performed by civilians for non-military purposes.

Civil engineering is the broadest of the engineering fields. Civil engineering focuses on the infrastructure of the world which include Water works, Sewers, Dams, Power Plants, Transmission Towers/Lines, Railroads, Highways, Bridges, Tunnels, Irrigation Canals, River Navigation, Shipping Canals, Traffic Control, Mass Transit, Airport Runways, Terminals, Industrial Plant Buildings, Skyscrapers, etc.
It is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines including environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, municipal or urban engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, coastal engineering, surveying, and construction engineering. Civil engineering takes place on all levels: in the public sector from municipal through to federal levels, and in the private sector from individual home owners through to international companies.

The Chapter been Inaugurated today is the 16th of its kind in Nigeria. As you may wish to understand that Civil Engineering Profession is the Mother of other professions. We welcome you all.

I wonder if any other period would have been more apt than this Inauguration at this period of economic inexactitude, when the profession has been terribly abused and engineers have been thoroughly marginalized through non-inclusion in policy making.

Civil Engineering family is loaded with intellectual both in the academics, public and private sectors; the functions and purposes of the Institution among others are:
·        To develop their members in capacity building
·        Continuous Professional Developments and Training.
·        Assisting the Government to formulate Civil Engineering Policies
·        Monitoring Civil Engineering projects to ensure contractors conformity with the description of items on the Bill of Engineering Measurement and Estimate (BEME).
 Ensure that quality materials are used.
·        And to reduce or eradicate quarkry in the profession.

It is however pertinent to mention the state of Roads in Nigeria which is a great concern to the Institution. We have started a program suggesting a way out of this predicament to the Government. Not that we do not have enough expertise and experienced Civil Engineers in the public service, but there are factors militating against the engineers in the public service, that is the fear of being victimized for any positive suggestions/ideas.

Other factors are lack of funding, maintenance budget and the political factor whereby a Non-Professional is appointed to head professional ministry, like a Lawyer as a Commissioner in Ministry of Environment or a Journalist as a Commissioner in Ministry of works. These are some of factors affecting solution to roads failure in Nigeria (not in Osun State I presume).

The importance of roads to the economy of a nation is not a “joking matter”, Statistics reveal that we lose 65% daily man hour to bad roads. There is need to review the construction calendar of Nigeria, according to the climatic condition, major road construction and maintenance during rainy season is share waste of public fund as we were taught that “Water is the worst enemy of Pavement”

NICE is coming up with a program to monitor the qualities of road construction all over the Country, we have divided the Country into 8 zones and we are mobilizing to take-off soon. (Osun State Chapter will surely head one of the zones).

To the Chairman and Executive Council, your duties are to be involved in capacity building of your members, training and retraining, in partnership with your State in line with the vision and mission of the State Government.

NICE has lately been undergoing very great landmark transformations. We now have a permanent, well-staffed and computerized secretariat with uninterrupted power supply. We have also organized many courses, workshops and seminars in order to be able to effectively discharge our constitutional responsibilities to our members in the area of Continuing Professional Development. Our various Chapters have been busy organizing workshops, seminars and technical sessions; your chapter is expected to do more, ANOTHER GOOD NEWS. NICE is now a full member of World civil engineering body. 

I want to quickly add that the task of running an Institution is enormous in terms of logistics and finance. This therefore calls for the co-operation of all Civil Engineers and their friends to join hands with us in this Herculean task.
Members to pay their annual dues as at when due.
Finally on behalf of the Exco and the Council of NICE, I congratulate the Executives and wish you a successful tenure.

You are permitted to criticize the Government positively but provide adequate solutions. Don’t criticize without provision of alternative solution. Remember NICE or NSE are not political organization, however you are permitted to join politics individually and see what is going on there at various level, let me clear the statement by this shot  story of a fowl.

Join the Politics and let us help Nigeria in making a good policy to move Nigeria forward on the area of our profession.
Long live - Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers!
Long live - Nigerian Society of Engineers!!
Long live – Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Engr Amos Ade Omopeloye
National Chairman.

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