The ASCE Nigeria Section Vision 2025 Conference was organized by the ASCE Nigeria Section and held at Radisson Blu Hotel Ikeja, Lagos on the 25th of August 2022. The theme of the Conference was “CIVIL ENGINEERING AND THE FUTURE OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES”.
The one-day event comprised variety of activities including Keynote presentation, Plenary session, Technical presentations, and the Young Members’ presentation. The Conference was also enriched with other equally important social activities that enhanced networking and interaction amongst the participants. These included the Business Luncheon, Exhibition, Red carpet photographs, etc.
The special guests of honour present at the event were Engr. Ali Rabiu FNSE FNICE FASCE, the President of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and the ASCE Region 10 International Director, Engr. Elias Sayah FASCE who was present online and physically represented by the ASCE Region 10 Governor, Engr. Saliu Lawal FNICE MASCE. The guests of honour, Engr. Tasiu Saad Gidari-Wudil FNSE, the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) was ably represented by some NSE delegates led by the Vice President North-East, Engr. Aishatu Umar FNSE while the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye FNSE was represented by the Vice President of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Engr. Tokunbo Ajanaku who also represented the NICE Chairman, Engr. Jang Tanko FNICE MASCE.
Other Special Guests present at the event were:
1. Engr. Fatai Ajibade Oke FNSE, President of the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria.
2. Engr. Wopa Kamila Maliki FNSE, Former Registrar of COREN.
3. Engr. Robbie James Owivry FNSE FNICE MASCE, Past National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers.
4. Engr. Kunle Adebajo FNSE, Principal Partner at ARUP Nigeria.
5. Engr. Joshua Egube, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
6. Engr. Yakubu Ali Garba FNSE, Vice President North-West of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
7. Engr. Saifullah Garba, NSE delegation.
8. Engr. Mada Abbass, NSE delegation.
Other Special Guests present virtually at the event were:
1. Engr. Elias B. Sayah FASCE, ASCE Region 10 International Director.
2. Nives McLarty, Senior Manager at ASCE Global Programs.
3. Engr. Tunde M. Olatunji FNSE FNICE, Past National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers.
The opening remark was delivered by the ASCE Nigeria Section President-Elect and Chairman of the Programs and Membership Committee, Engr. Austin Odibi MASCE while the welcome address was conveyed by the President, Engr. Rasheed Adekunle Hassan FNICE FASCE.
Goodwill Messages were delivered by:
1. Engr. Aishatu Umar FNSE, on behalf of the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. Speaking on the theme of the conference, the NSE President stated that there is a need for better technological advancement, and to connect the world together.
2. Engr. Robbie James Owivry FNSE FNICE MASCE, Past National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers. He noted that the activities of ASCE in Nigeria has helped immensely in shaping the tides of things within the profession.
3. Engr. Ali Rabiu FNSE FNICE FASCE, President of COREN. He highlighted that one of the greatest concerns of developing countries like Nigeria is the population growth accompanied by huge power, water and material consumption and its resultant consequences, acknowledging that the COREN is concerned about the non-availability of sustainable infrastructure in the country.
Representing the ASCE Region 10 Director, Engr. Saliu Lawal who is the current Region 10 Governor delivered the keynote address. During the course of his presentation, he emphasized on the impact of civil engineering on the built environment stressing the fact that civil engineering is the mother of all engineering. He also emphasized on the impact of a well-developed civil infrastructure on human health and productivity while encouraging the spirit of coming together to form a consortium as a great tool to influence policies.
Panelists that addressed the sub-themes were:
1. Skills, competence, and ethical requirements for a sustainable built environment by Engr. Peter Akpelu MNSE MNICE MNIStructE MASCE.
2. Civil engineers as innovators and integrators of ideas and technology by Engr. Kunle Adebajo FNSE.
3. Risk management of civil engineering infrastructure by Engr. Peter Sarki FIMC MNSE MASCE.
4. Influencing public infrastructure policy and decisions by Engr. Niyi Adeyemo.
5. The session was moderated by the Chairman of the Technical Committee, Engr. Aileme Unuigbe MASCE MNIStructE
Other technical Presentation on the sub-themes were:
1. Sustainable stewardship of the natural environment and its resources by Engr. Nimot Muili MNSE.
Young member technical Presentation were:
1. Roles of Civil Engineers in ensuring an eco-smart city; the Circular Economy approach by Ahmed Ayinla MASCE.
The ASCE Region 10 International Director, Dr. Elias Sayah FASCE addressed the audience virtually where he charged the engineers to embrace communication and problem-solving skills as well as quality and integrity as core values required in addressing construction challenges. He encouraged members to take advantage of the ASCE free 10 PDHs for their professional growth. He also urged the students to embrace the ASCE Foundation Student Activities Reimbursement Award (StAR) prize as an opportunity to participate in international programs.
OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The following observations were drawn from the speakers and panelists:
- There should be a deliberate plan towards training of the young engineers.
- The built environment stakeholders should create an adequate reward system for brilliance so as to encourage and motivate the young innovators.
- Professionals in the built environment should stick to their core areas of specializations so as to ensure productivity and quality project delivery.
- The younger generation needs to focus more on learning the engineering basics before software.
- Our engineering curriculum should be reviewed and facilitated by COREN to ensure that the academic sector is well reformed and upgraded to adapt with trend.
- As attaining full sustainability is the goal of the Nigerian built environment, professional bodies and relevant government agencies must continue to organize workshops and conferences such as this (the ASCE Nigeria Vision 2025 Conference) to educate construction professionals on their practicable roles in delivering sustainable development and the great future for the built environment.
The laudable event being facilitated by the Nigeria Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers to assess the position and preparedness of the Nigerian built environment stakeholders towards achieving the ASCE’s global Vision for Civil Engineers by the year 2025 are highly commendable. Words of commendation were rolled out to the organizers from the distinguished personalities present.