Engineers blame lack of maintenance design for infrastructure collapse

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Nigerian chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) have blamed lack of maintenance design for the collapse of infrastructure in the country.

The group added that the country must have a “rethink on its maintenance planning and culture in other to tackle its engineering construction challenges.”

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This was made known at the weekend in Lagos during their inaugural event themed ‘Promoting a world class maintenance organisation in mechanical engineering’.

Various speakers, who delivered papers at the event, suggested that Nigeria must begin to rethink its maintenance planning and culture to tackle its engineering construction challenges.

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They stressed the need to collaborate with countries and societies with higher technologies, to bridge the gap in mechanical engineering.

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Head, Production and Service, John Holts Plc, Dr. Ben Iheakam, charged Nigerian engineers to take advantage of the opportunities offered by ASME to improve their skills in various aspects of mechanical engineering.

“The only way we can bridge the gap in mechanical engineering is by dealing with countries and societies with higher technologies. Our engineers stand to benefit a lot from the innovations that they have developed and tested,” he said.

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Chief executive officer of EPINA Ltd, Prof. Eguakhide Oaikhinan, explained that most of the nation’s key infrastructure “are breaking down” because the government and engineers who built those structures did not factor maintenance design in their planning.

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Eguakhide, who is Nigeria’s first professor of ceramics, regretted that in most cases, buildings and various engineering construction projects were already concluded before maintenance design would come to mind.

He said: “Some of our engineering constructions are collapsing today because we missed the maintenance design at the time of initiating the project. In most cases, some high rise buildings you find today are completed before a maintenance design is considered.”

Executive director, Maintenance Institute, Jonathan David, noted that Nigerian engineers needed to upgrade their skills to remain relevant, because of technological disruptions in the engineering field across the world.

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“The field of engineering is fast changing. Internet of Things (IoT) and new technologies are changing how we carry out maintenance operations. We must learn and adapt quickly if we must remain relevant in this profession,” he said.

He, however, suggested the review of engineering curriculum in the tertiary institutions to reflect the changing realities in the profession.

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