Stakeholders Highlight Gaps Hindering Growth in Nigeria’s Civil Engineering Industry – THISDAY Newspapers

Oluchi Chibuzor

Civil engineering and Construction industry stakeholders have highlighted the Executive Order Five and Nine as well as inadequate curriculum as gaps hindering the nation from tapping opportunities in the sector.
Speaking in Lagos at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Nigeria International Section conference, the International Director, ASCE Region 10, Elias Sayah pointed out the need for industry experts to integrate traditional methods with modern day technology to achieve maximum results. 
He urged them not to merely focus on acquiring and developing their skills, but rather apply it towards generating environmental and infrastructural solutions to problems concerning the society. 
“Possessing and implementing soft skills while carrying out our activities as engineers and builders is crucial towards containing and solving problems on site.
“Soft skills like effective communication, good values, and intact integrity are vital for any engineer or builder towards achieving maximum results,” Sayah added. 

The conference with the theme: ‘Civil Engineering and the Future of the Built Environment; Opportunities and Challenges,’ attracted industry experts.
The President, American Society of Civil Engineers Nigeria International Section, Rasheed Hassan said civil engineers must begin to see themselves as stewards of the natural environment and its resources.
According to him, the future belongs to innovators and integrators of ideas and technology across public, private, and academic sectors, managers of risk and uncertainty caused by natural events, accidents, and other threats.
He opined that the public has become increasingly aware that development needed not result in a compromised and depleted environment, saying enlightened citizens see sustainability, not as an unattainable ideal, but as a practical goal. 
For him also, civil engineers must increasingly transform themselves from designers and builders to project life-cycle sustainers in the future of the built environment.
“Such broadened responsibilities-along with the increasing breadth, complexity, and rate of change of professional practice- all put greater emphasis not only on continuing education, but also on what a basic civil engineering education must deliver up front.
“The body of knowledge necessary to effectively practice civil engineering at the professional level is beyond the scope of the traditional bachelor’s degree, even when coupled with the mandated early-career experience.”
Speaking on the gaps hindering the opportunities in the sector, Hassan listed barriers like language and culture, capacity for mega projects, deployment of virtual solutions, remote services, among others.
“Modern tools and equipment, new technologies in materials, processes, softwares for design, planning, monitoring, curriculum improvement, government deliberate actions, for example, Executive Order 5 and 9 in Nigeria are all gaps that must be bridged.”
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