By Jariatu S. Bangura
The Deputy of Minister of Works and Public Assets yesterday tabled the Professional Engineering Regulatory Council Bill 2021 for enactment in order to help sanitize the engineering sector, as the spate of unprofessionalism in the construction sector in the country continues to pose danger to lives and property.
Hon. Philip T. Tondoneh said the proposed Bill would help strengthen the engineering profession and most specifically the professional engineers’ council, to ensure greater impact on the country’s infrastructural development, as well as facilitating the bodies created by government for national development.
He said it will provide technical oversight and massive investment in roads and other infrastructural development.
“The Professional Engineering Regulation Council has clear objectives in improving the profession in terms of control, practice of engineering, prescribe or approve clauses of study and the conduct and standards of qualifying examinations for registration of any person as a registered professional under the Bill.
He added that the council will help to maintain and publish the registered professional engineers annually and that effort over the years by the council to improve the professional standards has been a fruitless effort, because the 1990 Act does not help to adequately provide them the authority to address issues that are relevant to the country.
He noted that amending the Act will empower the council to support government effort towards efficient utilization of resources and development, by ensuring that value for money is achieved.
Hon. Mark Mahmoud Kalokoh said it would be good to follow due processes and procedures when bills are to be discussed for thorough scrutiny for MPs to debate properly.
He said document presented the same day for enactment would be difficult to peruse and make salient contributions and approve it to stand the test of time.
He stated the minister or drafters of the Bill should help clarify whether it was to be amended or be repealed in the memorandum of object and understanding.
According to Hon. Joseph William Lamin, the quality of the material used by contractors to construct roads or buildings across the country are sub-standard and that it was high time they looked at the bill before passing it into law for it to stand the test of time.
He said the ministry should be in a position to monitor those engineers that deserve the professional title and not those that just want to make money.
Hon. Sama Sandy said if they want to do justice to the profession and the society, there was need for a curriculum review, stating that the idea of mentorship and coaching should be a continuing process at the council as it is done in the legal profession.