Civil engineers to unveil alternative methods of construction

The Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE) says it will unveil alternative methods of construction that will be cheaper and durable.

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NICE’s National Chairman, Mr Andem Ekpo-Bassey made this known on Thursday in Abuja, at the institution’s 3-day International Conference and Annual General Meeting tagged: Unity 2017.

The theme of the 3-day conference is “Civil Infrastructure Development in a Challenging Economy.’’

Ekpo-Bassey regretted that fifty-seven years after Nigeria’s independence, it had yet to construct roads that would link all parts of the country no matter how remotely located.

He said that the institution would constitute committees to research and come up with low cost method of construction as Nigeria wriggled out of recession.

According to him, high cost of construction materials militate against infrastructural development; hence the need to research on the way forward.

“We choose the theme because we are just coming out of recession and infrastructural development is key to national development.

“We have to research to make sure that construction goes on in the midst of economic challenges.

“We are in a challenging economy and we have researched on how to engage less expensive material,’’ he said.

According to him, unity and trust is crucial for the institution to grow and impact on the nation’s infrastructural development.

“As a foundation is important to the stability and safety of the infrastructure, so is trust important to the unity and growth of a nation.

“This is the best time for us as civil engineers to apply a little of our intellect, professional skills, intuition which we use in building foundations to build trust.

“Our knowledge and experience are very much needed now than ever,’’ he said.

The Institution also conferred its 2017 Excellent Performance Award on Mr Freeborn Okhiria, the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).

Ekpo-Bassey, said that Okhiria deserved the award as he had creditably acquitted himself.

He said the awardee had recorded outstanding performances and great achievements in service and hard work.

Okhiria, in his response, expressed his delight for being chosen for the prestigious award.

He said that the Nigeria railway services had evolved over the years and currently expanding and improving its services.

Also, speaking with newsmen at the sidelines of the event, Mr Kashim Ali, President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), urged the Federal Government to tackle the nation’s infrastructural challenge.

“When you have civil infrastructure, your health bills will come down; if you have potable water, diseases will be eliminated; if you have roads, people are willing to move.

`It creates interaction and economic development; farmers will be able to take their produce from the farm to the market.

“The challenges are mainly the lack of political will on the part of the government because if you have priorities, you will put all your efforts toward actualising them.

“The Federal Government should make the development of infrastructure a priority,’’ he said.

He urged the Federal Government to adopt the new policy guideline for the development of infrastructure and also enforce the local content law in projects in order to reduce the cost of construction, ‘’ he said.


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