Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN (2nd left), former Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, and Vice Chairman of the Soros Investment Funds, Lord Mark Malloch Brown (2nd right), Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law, Gbenga Oyebode MFR (2nd left), President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Okey Wali SAN (right) and the representative of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Moyosoro Onigbanjo SAN (left) during the opening ceremony of the 8th Annual Business Law Conference with the theme, “Exemplary Governance: Enhancing Economic Development in Nigeria”, organized by the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Monday, May 26, 2014.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Monday, 26th May, 2014, received the national executive members of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) in audience, charging them and other professionals in the country to raise their games and be more professional in the discharge of their duties.
The Governor who spoke at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, southwest Nigeria, said one of the ways to achieve this is for the professional engineers to have a rethink about the way they manage construction sites by ensuring that it does not become a dumpsite of a sort as it is presently.
He added that a situation where the sand, gravel and cement to be used at a construction site litters the road is not very tidy and that even in many instances such materials are dumped without any arrangement for the evacuation of waste from the sites.
This, according to him, is because at the end of the day, such materials end up in the drains, as they are washed away by the rain, adding that what many people fail to realize is that it is an attitude that costs people their hard earned money because when a new building is finally constructed, the materials that have gone into the drains will bring about flooding which will eventually damage the building.
He gave a commitment that the State Building Control Agency would collaborate with the engineers while the Waste Management Authority would provide skip bags to move waste materials from construction sites so that the process can be smooth and devoid of the present eyesores.
He reiterated that the engineers must make it a point of duty that at every construction site it must be duty of some people to remove wastes from construction sites, saying the State is open for such a partnership as it wouould signal her arrival as a modern mega city state.
He added that the state Safety Commission is at the forefront of this campaign and pleaded that the engineers help the cause by welcoming them to construction sites and ensuring that at any construction sites where there is non-compliance, such a site can be closed down.
The Governor urged the engineers to also draw positive messages from distant locations as being witnessed with preparations toward the hosting of the World Cup in Brazil, adding that comparisons are already being drawn with what obtained there when compared to the World Cup in South Africa, where there were only reported cases of two deaths as against Brazil where eight deaths have already been recorded, saying it was only in Europe when the European Nations Cup took place that no deaths were recorded in the course of the preparations.
He also noted that timing was another crucial issue which engineers must take a second look at, adding that the present situation where a construction site closes by 4pm leaves much to be desired, stressing that nothing stops a construction sites from operating two shifts where another shift can take over from one when they close.
He maintained that the various construction sites should first experiment with 16 hours working format before a consideration can be made for a 24 hours construction timing and noted that there must always be night work at construction sites.
He also urged the body to consider a change from the present construction style, as most buildings have too much of concrete in them, noting that apart from the cost implication of such building types, the engineers must also consider aesthetic which could come in the form of using more aluminum and claddings for buildings.
He believed that adopting this option would reduce what would be spent in maintaining such structures adding that while a rainfall could easily act as a cleaning agent for a structure that is built with predominant aluminium, the same may not be said for a painted concrete building that may require repainting at several intervals.
The Governor, who commended the Society of Engineers for its collaboration with the state, also informed that the state is engaging the body to work with it on the provision of Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme and noted that this has ensured that members of the body are kept at work very well.
He explained that at a point, two construction companies in the state employed over 15,000 people in the built industry in a move towards continually engaging professionals in the built industry and also aimed at creating more jobs through the construction of more roads for the people in the state.
Speaking earlier, the President of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, (NSE), Engineer Ademola Olorunfemi commended the state for its various initiatives on the Independent Power Projects at Akute and Lagos Island as well as the Alausa power plant.
He added that the visit is about the intention of the body to offer a fresh hand of fellowship to the state government to further help in consolidating its achievement in the construction industry.
He proposed that the state set up an Infrastructure Protection Agency which would assist in protecting all public infrastructure against any form of abuses, assuring that the NSE was ready to provide assistance in this wise.
The Governor was joined by members of the State Executive Council including the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire; state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Environment, Mr Tunji Bello; Special Adviser to the Governor on Works, Engineer Ganiyu Johnson; and his Environment counterpart, Dr Taofik Folami; to receive the NSE team while those on the entourage of the NSE President include Mrs Florence Seriki of OMATEK Computers; Alhaji Babagana Mohammed; Engineer Olusegun Ajayi; and Dr Dele Dahunsi among others.