Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, has given an assurance that his administration will continue to collaborate with stakeholders, especially experts and professional bodies in the built industry, to ensure that due process and procedures are followed in the construction of buildings.
The Governor stated this in his address at the opening ceremony of the Y2021 Conference and 34th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers (NIStructE), tagged ‘Eko Ile 2021’, with the theme “Digital Technology and its Impact on Structural Engineering Practice in Nigeria” held on Tuesday at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, added that the government relies on NIStructE to strengthen the regulatory regime that will guarantee due process in the built industry.
He noted that the recurring issue of building collapse is an indication of the urgent need to take a holistic view of the entire process of building construction, including the competence and professional conduct of those involved in construction, as well as the effectiveness of regulatory framework for appropriate remedial measures to avert future occurrence.
Commenting on the theme of the conference, the Governor pointed out that it speaks to the need for structural engineers to embrace technology and digitisation as a necessary tool to enhance professionalism and better outcomes in construction processes.
He added that the gathering will provide an opportunity for participants to share thoughts, exchange views and forge a common front in addressing some of the critical issues in the built sector.
The Governor assured the Institution of his administration’s commitment and support to the realisation of a digital technology that will advance the structural engineering practice in Nigeria.
In his presentation on the theme of the Conference, the Guest Speaker and immediate past president of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers, Engr. Eddy Atumonyogo, stressed the need to harness and implement digitalisation in Structural Engineering Practice, highlighting the impact of technology.
He submitted that structural engineers should embrace technology, collaborate with others, adjust to accommodate technology-savvy young leaders and guide them to acquire digital knowledge as part of efforts to enhance the profession.
While commending the present administration on the digitalisation of its operations, the Guest Speaker, however, charged the Lagos State Government to do more in making information more accessible on the website to ease the business of structural engineering.
In his speech, Chairman of the occasion and President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr. Babagana Mohammed, urged the engineers to be actively engaged in politics and governance so as to bring their professional competencies to bear on the process.
Commenting on the issue of building collapse, the NSE President commended the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers for following the dictates of professionalism by ensuring that due process was followed in contributing to the ongoing investigations at Gerard Road, Ikoyi.
He asserted that the use of qualified engineers will positively impact the quality of projects being undertaken, adding that society will greatly benefit from the wealth of knowledge and experience of Nigerian engineers.
Also in his welcome address, President of the Nigerian Institution of Structural Engineers, Engr. Kehinde Osifala, disclosed that the theme of the conference was carefully chosen to educate its members and stakeholders about the capabilities of technology and how it relates to the future of structural engineering.
While bemoaning the spate of building collapse in the country, especially in Lagos, Osifala said the Institution is ready to partner and collaborate with stakeholders to bring about a reduction in structural failure and building collapse in the country.
He said that the institution has submitted its preliminary report on the recent collapse at Gerrard Road, Ikoyi, to the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and a Memorandum to the Lagos State Panel of Enquiry on the incident.
The highlight of the event was the conferment of an Honorary Fellowship Award of the Institution on Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu for the State’s achievements and strides in infrastructure and digital transformation of Lagos.