The Role of Engineering Professional Bodies in Ensuring Continuing Livelihood for Young Engineering Professionals in Nigeria
The professional bodies are the umbrellas of any professional which Engineering as one of the noblest professions is not left out. COREN-Council For The Regulation Of Engineering In Nigeria and NSE-The Nigerian Society Of Engineers, with order sub-professional bodies are the shields under which the career of a newly hatched engineer are developed and guided for him to be useful and functional in the society where he lives and equally looked upon as a born problem solver. The enrollment into these professional bodies make the young engineer to appreciate his profession, become dedicated and live within the professional ethics and at the same time uphold the code of conduct. In engineering there are several professional bodies that help to sharpen and regulate the profession through repositioning the steps of its members in accordance and synchrony to the economic, social and technological needs of the public and development objectives and strategies of the government, non governmental agencies and allied parastatals. Stated and discussed below are the various ways through which COREN, NSE, NSChE, APWEN, ACEN, FIDIC etc among order professional bodies governing the engineering profession could help the young engineers and other members have a sustainable source of livelihood in a midst of the almost disappearing paid-employment. pp
1. Development of local standard:
In his inaugural speech, the 25th president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. E.M. Ezeh (FNSE) marshalled out some of the steps which his leadership committee will apply to take NSE to an enviable height. The development of the local standards being one of his steps to achieve this is a welcome development. This will go along way in speeding up the rate at which engineering projects are executed. With the local standard available on the table of the young and old practicing engineers, success in self-employment will be achieved with effortless ease. This is one of the strategic and very important tools required by the young engineers and consulting fellows to say good bye to paid-employment.
2. Organization and funding of seminars, workshops and technical paper presentation:
When the professional bodies organizes seminars, workshops and technical papers presentation with the experienced practicing senior engineers who has renowned track record as the resource persons, there will be a double promotion of self-employment. First and less targeted benefit will be to the resource persons who are also a member of the professional body as he will be financially benefited as well as personally developed. Moreover, the recipients including the young engineers will acquire skill, scientific knowledge and be kept abreast of the most recent technological advanced techniques that will encourage self development.
3. Engineering salary scale:
With the introduction and close monitoring of the implementation of a standard engineering salary scale, the sky will be the limit of engineers as it will help the ones who are already in paid-employment to raise money and go into self-employment because one of the most militating factors dragging the consulting engineering backwards is poor financial base of the consulting engineers. But with the good engineering salary scale, one can easily raise enough funds to start his own engineering firm and equally acquire sophisticated engineering equipment to enable him handle more challenging projects which the nation spends huge amount of money in inviting foreign companies to execute. With the above financial state, he can equally hire young engineers and offer them the required training. The only time to do this is now and it is the professional bodies that will bell the cat.
4. Compulsory post graduate retraining:
Organizing compulsory post graduate training and encouraging continuous professional education for the engineers is a veritable tool for professional self independence. An engineer who does not receive fresh training and technical growth will easily be phased out in his practice. Therefore it will be of high importance for the professional bodies to subject every engineer to Mandatory, Continuing and Professional Development and training and retraining to help bring them to the same par with their mates in the developed countries who are honoured in Nigeria as Kings of Technology. This will help Nigerian Engineers not to rely on paid employment.
5. Documentation of engineering projects:
The documentation of engineering projects will help the young engineers to benefit from the lessons thereof. There are so many magnificent and wonderful engineering projects standing tall today in Nigeria without any documentation by both NSE and COREN. This starves the young engineers the lessons which they could have learnt from such projects. Therefore, it is very encouraging to the young engineers and practicing engineers to be provided with the documented forms of virtually all powerful engineering projects which would be very useful as reference projects. The professional bodies are expected to be at the frontline to achieve this.
If the professional bodies should do all these and little more, I strongly believe that self employment will not be a heart pounding issue again in our country (Nigeria) for the almost hopeless young engineers.
Engr. Esonye, C. MNSE, MNSChE
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