By Samuel Ogidan and Gift Chapi Odekina
Members of the House of Representatives have taken steps to amend the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) Law to enable the professional body arrest and prosecute quacks in the industry.
The House which has received the report of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) set up by the House Committee on Works to review the Engineers (Registration) Act (Amendment) Bill submitted to the panel, included a provision that give COREN the arrest and prosecute powers.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, had on January 22, 2018, constituted TAC, headed by Prof. Christian Amaechi, to review the 37 submissions it received and make relevant recommendations on the amendment of the Act.
TAC, which was inaugurated on February 20, 2018, stressed the urgent need to amend the Act to promote the highest standards of professionalism in engineering practice in Nigeria.
The objectives of the Bill, according to TAC, are to “empower COREN to arrest and prosecute quacks in the practice of engineering; give oversight responsibility to COREN on companies engaged in engineering projects in Nigeria; enforce the regulations, rules, ethics and codes of practice.”
Other objectives are to “register and license all engineering personnel and firms; offences and penalties as well as their enforcement; empower COREN to earn more revenues to fund its operations to compliment government’s funding and extend the mandate of COREN to include engineering regulation and monitoring.”
TAC, whose term of reference was to review all the submission made to House Committee on Works at the public hearing, research and analyse global best practices and their adaptation to the Nigerian environment and other references, has, however, adopted the option of hybrid of both combined government and professional association driving process.