Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) yesterday declared engineering courses rendered by the University of Abuja (UniAbuja), Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma and the University of Calabar (UniCal) as illegal.
Also included in the list by the statutory body responsible for the regulation, control, training and practice of engineering in the country were the Modibbo Adama University (MAU) in Yola as well as the Technical University, Ibadan (TUI) in Oyo State.
Speaking in Abuja, during an event to intimate the public on the development, the President and Chairman of Council, COREN, Prof. Sadiq Abubakar, explained that the resolution was reached at the body’s 179th Ordinary Council Meeting held on September 7.
Abubakar grouped the infractions by the affected universities into three groups, namely: the ones with expired accreditation, those that failed outright to get pre-accreditation before running the courses and the institutions that failed to renew their accreditation after expiry.
For UniAbuja, the COREN president stated that the accreditation for Chemical Engineering and Civil Engineering expired since March 26, 2020, while for Electronics Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, it expired on April 20, 2022.
COREN explained that AAU, Ekpoma has had the renewal of its accreditation for Mechanical Engineering and elect/elect due since November 12, 2020 while the MAU, Yola, failed accreditation for its Agricultural Engineering course.
It added that civil, elect/elect, chemical and mechanical engineering accreditation for MAU had also expired since October 11, 2020 and March 10, 2022 respectively.
According to Abubakar, UniCal is currently running engineering programmes up to 300 level without resource verification/pre-accreditation by COREN, while Technical University, Ibadan was offering engineering courses up to 500 level with the same infraction.
“All five universities have been written officially to call for accreditation of their programmes, as presently their programmes are illegal and they need to rectify the abnormalities, but there has not been any positive response from any of them,” the engineering regulatory body stated.
Quoting Section 12 of the Federal Government Gazette No.113 of March 3, 2023 on Regulations and Accreditation of Engineering Programmes in Nigeria, COREN said it possesses the powers to impose sanctions on erring institutions.
It listed the sanctions as withdrawal of accreditation and non-recognition of graduates of such programmes for registration as engineering practitioners.
It added: “The general public is also being notified that COREN is hereby notifying the affected universities to rectify the abnormalities and get the programmes accredited before the commencement of the next academic session.
“Failure to rectify their non-accreditation status will result in blacklisting them as non-accredited institutions whose graduates of engineering programmes will not be recognised for registration as engineering practitioners and will lack the legal backing to practice engineering in Nigeria.”
COREN also urged engineering practitioners to obtain their Annual Practicing Licence (APL) for 2023 in order to comply with the law regulating engineering practice in Nigeria.
Abubakar stressed that the Act establishing COREN as a statutory body also imposed on it the mandate to regulate and control the education, training and practice of engineering in all its aspects and ramifications.
He pointed out that one of the areas where COREN carries out the mandate is by ensuring quality assurance of engineering training institutions, firms and operators through the accreditation of engineering programmes in Nigerian universities, polytechnics, monotechnics and technical colleges.
COREN, he said, is further empowered to determine who an engineering practitioner is and register them as engineers, engineering technologists, engineering technicians or engineering craftsmen.
In addition, he noted that it also determines what standards of knowledge and skill are to be attained by persons seeking to be registered as engineering practitioners and raise such standards from time to time.
The COREN president noted that the Act expects the body to ensure the establishment and maintenance of the registers of persons entitled to practice as registered engineering practitioners and the publication from time to time of list of those persons.