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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF 5-DAY INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON MAINTENANCE OF INFRASTRUCTURE HELD AT ROCKVIEW HOTEL (CLASSIC), ABUJA FROM

20TH 24TH FEBRUARY 2012

Theme: Maintenance of Infrastructure

PREAMBLE: The 5-Day international workshop on the theme Maintenance of Infrastructure organized by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in collaboration with International Network for Professional Engineers Development Institute (INPEDI), Engineering Staff College of India (ESCI) and International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre (ISTIC) was held at Rockview Hotel (Classic), Abuja between 20th 24th February , 2012. The workshop was declared open by the Honourable Minister of Works, Arch. Mike O. Onolememen, mnia, mnim. A goodwill message was delivered by Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, Honourable Minister of Water Resources represented by Engr. E. C. Eze, Deputy Director (Dams), Federal Ministry of Water Resources. Other dignitaries at the workshop were Engr. Mustapha Bulama, FNSE,OON, President of COREN represented by the Vice President of COREN, Engr. Prof. J. O. Odigure, MNSE; Chairman of the Education and Training Committee of COREN, Engr. Prof. E. S. A. Ajisegiri; Registrar of COREN, Engr. Felix Atume, FNSE, mni and Education and Training Committee members of COREN Council, Presidents of NATE, NISET and NAEC, among others. The workshop was attended by about 100 hundred participants from Federal Ministry of Works; Water Resources; Land, Housing and Urban Development; Niger Delta Affairs, FERMA, Engineering Consultants, Public Sector Engineering Departments from various States in Nigeria; etc The technical papers presented at the workshop included; Overview of the Concept of Infrastructure Maintenance, Concept of Green Building and Maintenance Management, Maintenance Needs in Building Sector Including Services and Convergence Technologies for Maintenance and Evaluation of Infrastructure by Arvind Jaiswal, Chief Consulting Engineer, EON Designers, India; Infrastructure Maintenance Needs, Water Conservation, Harvesting and Drainage, Maintenance of Dams and Maintenance of Irrigation Infrastructure by G. D. Ojha, Head and Senior Faculty, Water Resources Development Division, ESCI, India; Maintenance of Building Functions of Estate Management, Operational Maintenance of Roads and Bridges and Maintenance of Railway Infrastructure by R. N. Raghavan, CEO, ANURAG Project Management Consultants, India; Road Maintenance Management System by Engr. Felix Atume, FNSE, mni Registrar of COREN; Financial Planning and Budgetary Control by Commander Arvind K. Poothia, Director General, Engineering Staff College of India; and Safety in Construction by Engr. David Oloke, Principal Consultant, Progressive Concept Consultancy Ltd, UK. Commander Arvind K. Poothia also presented the Keynote Address and Concluding Remarks at the Workshop which also featured technical and field visits. Certificates were presented at the end of the training workshop to the participants. The international workshop was organized to sensitize the participants on the importance of maintenance of infrastructure and inculcate the idea of maintenance culture as a way of life in nation building. Page | 1

OBSERVATIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS: At the end of the international workshop, the following observations/recommendations were made for Nigeria: 1. Government should evolve a maintenance policy on the various aspects of infrastructure in the country commensurate to the design life of the infrastructure. Maintenance planning should be part of budget rolling plans in Nigeria and should further be incorporated at the conception stage of all projects. Approving authorities in Nigeria should ensure that maintenance manuals henceforth accompany all new items of infrastructure to be developed before approvals are granted. Furthermore, maintenance cost should form part of the cost of procurement/award of contract such that during the award of any contract (construction or rehabilitation work), provision should be made in the conditions of contract for the contractor to maintain the infrastructure for a minimum period of five years. The contractor must submit maintenance manuals in English language before certificate of penultimate payment is issued. Government should ensure that all items of infrastructure incorporate Green Engineering for energy and cost saving purposes. COREN should ensure that this requirement is incorporated into the National Building Code. The Federal Government should establish the Road Authority and States should be encouraged to do same. Furthermore, there is the need for the establishment of Road Fund as another source of funding for road development in the country. Government should establish special funds for maintenance of infrastructure and such allocation should not lapse at the end of each financial year neither should the funds be vired. Government should ensure that the data bank on infrastructure is updated regularly and utilized. Users of services/facilities/infrastructure should pay for their maintenance. In view of the deplorable condition of the roads, there is need to generate funds for their maintenance/rehabilitation through appropriate tolling charges. The prevalent axle load on our roads is higher than the designed axle load. There is need to control by establishment of weighbridge stations. There is a dearth of craftsmen, technicians and technologists in the infrastructure industry. There is the urgent need to resuscitate all Technical Colleges/Institutions as well as Training schools at the Federal and State levels. Capacity building for maintenance of infrastructure must be given priority.

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The influx of foreigners into Nigeria in the infrastructure development industry when there are available Nigerians qualified to do the job is a major cause of youth unemployment and lack of practical skills acquisition by Nigerian youths in the various trades. The white paper on strategic plans for engineering development and control should be implemented by Government. There is need to develop inter-modal transport system in Nigeria. This calls for effective resuscitation and subsequent development of rail and other transportation systems in the country being cheap, efficient, sure mode and eco-friendly. There is need for Government to urgently facilitate the enactment of the new railway Act to encourage private sector participation in the rail industry. This should be done in concert with the resuscitation of Railway Schools in Ebute Metta and Enugu. Adequate funding for the inspection, monitoring and maintenance of dams and its associated structures nationwide should be provided and approved in the Annual Budget of the Federal Government. Users of dams and reservoirs should contribute financially to the maintenance of these structures on some Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements. Federal Ministry of Water Resources to continue the training of personnel and regular update of manuals and data for the inspection and maintenance of dams and its associated structures. The Federal Ministry of Water Resources should continue to encourage research into the management and regulation of ground water. Measures to protect water resources to include inspection of the treatment of effluent to a minimum standard by the Federal Ministry of Environment and its relevant agencies. The Federal Ministry of Information should collaborate with Federal Ministry of Works in educating the Nigerian public on the effects of the misuse of roads and other public infrastructure. Safety must be emphasized in all projects from conception, design, construction and maintenance.

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In conclusion, the participants commended the efforts of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) and the Engineering Staff College of India (ESCI) for organizing this educative and interesting training workshop and also appreciated the opportunity given to them to participate in the programme.

Engr. Felix Atume, FNSE, mni Registrar COREN

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