Worried by  the reoccurring incidents of building collapse across the country, the president of Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE),  Otis Oliver Anyaeji, has vowed to invoke the powers vested in  the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), to commence the regulation of engineering works and practice within private and public institutions.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, he called on the professional body to be more proactive and devise ways of curbing the activities of quacks in the industry. He further enjoined state governments to enact building control laws regretting that governors use construction projects as rewards to political friends incapable of handling such projects.

According to him, “They bye-pass due process and waste innocent souls and resources when such projects collapse and later transfer the blame on the engineers thus giving all of us a bad name as we are also always the first to be arrested.”

Anyaeji however pleaded with governments to restructure their engineering departments by engaging the services of qualified engineering professionals to head engineering positions.

“The major common factor in most of the collapses is that vital evidences that could reveal the causes of the failure are destroyed during rescue operations and the destruction of the vital evidences could at times be deliberate as witnessed in the Ogun State case,” he  explained.

He pleaded with the  Ogun State government to set up an investigating team independent of government officials to unravel the major cause of the collapse at Itoku, Abeokuta adding that it should also set up another team of engineers to carry out a structural assessment of such structures in the state.

Anyaeji however called for punitive measures on culprits to avert further reoccurrence of such incident.

He said that  the  incessant collapse of buildings  had assumed an epidemic that could warrant the declaration of a state of emergency in the building construction industry.

“The testing of the concrete strength and steel reinforcement of a building determines the structural stability but the testing of the materials is only a process in the structural assessment of the building structures that provides results that are subsequently applied to determine the safety or otherwise of the building for habitation,” he added.