Stakeholders in the engineering sector have rejected a bill seeking to give legal backing to the Chartered Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering.
They made their position known at a public hearing by the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service chaired by Sen. Ibrahim Shekarau in Abuja.
The hearing was on two bills- a bill for an Act to established Chartered Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering of Nigeria and and a bill for an act to establish Integrated Data Management Commission.
Some of the stakeholders included the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), the National Universities Commission (NUC), Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Mr Kings Adeyemi, the National Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers pointed out that in the Engineers act there was no mention of electrical engineering describing it as abnormal.
“This is why we are calling for a bill that will give legal backing to the Institute,” he said.
The Registrar of COREN, Mr Joseph Odigure said the provisions of the bill were a duplication of the council’s mandate in all aspects and ramifications.
“We will have loved to see a more proper, conceptualised bill for the electrical sector.”
“In as much as we need regulatory bodies, we cannot duplicate our functions.”
“We are here to say categorically that the way it is presented is a duplication of the function and mandate of COREN.”
“Therefore, it is not in the spirit of regulation which is purely to enhance social acceptance of government function to enhance the value for money of the society.”
Mr Umaru Kawu, the Director Legal Services, SON said that some of the functions of the proposed institute clashed with that of his organisation.
“Some of the proposed functions of the institute especially section 1(2) (d) (11) of the bill empowering the Institute to certify equipment and products clash with the functions of SON under Section 5 of the SON ACT, 2015.
“The SON has been empowered to establish and approve standards in respect of metrology, materials, commodities, structures and processes for the certification of products in commerce and industry throughout Nigeria.”
“The organisation is also empowered to organise test and do everything necessary to ensure compliance with standards designated and approved by its council.”
“We are thus of the view that while the proposed institute can carry out registration, certification and standardisation of the practice, education, services and qualification of personnel, certification of products which is tied to standards remains within the mandate of SON as the National Standards Body.”
“This section of the bill should be amended to remove registration and certification of equipment and products,” he said.