The Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria, ACEN was founded in 1972 and registered in 1979. The Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria-ACEN is a body of registered independent private engineering consultancy firms and voice of the profession in Nigeria.
"ACEN shall build a strong membership that fosters equal opportunities, creates competitive advantage through increased visibility with strategic partners and improves the standards of consulting engineering in line with international best practice."
"To remain the ultimate reference business association of choice for organisations providing professional engineering consultancy services in Nigeria."
- Ensure that the highest level of technical competence and business ethics are brought to bear on the practice of the profession in Nigeria.
- Ensure that every State has the highest level of Consulting Engineering practice by having members in every state of the federation and the federal capital.
- Increase the number of engineering firms in the country relative to the size of the nation.
- Ensure that stakeholders in the built environment get maximum value for their investments by monitoring standards of practice within the industry.
- Grow the industry by promoting the growth of large consulting engineering firms.
Prior to December 2007, ACEN membership was open to individual and firm members, who possessed the required experience and professional integrity. At the 2007 AGM, a motion was passed limiting ACEN membership to firms. This was to further emphasize the business nature and focus of the association. Membership is therefore now open to Consulting Engineering firms with the adequate experience and commitment to continuous improvement in technical and business integrity. Today, ACEN’s over 300 strong members are located in 30 of the 37 states and FCT.
The Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria is the statutory body with responsibility for the regulation of all Engineering activities in Nigeria. It is empowered to keep a register of all Engineering craftsmen, technologists, Engineers and Engineering Firms who wish to practice in the country. No individual or organization is allowed to practice Engineering in Nigeria without the approval of COREN. Thus all member firms of ACEN must be registered with COREN and the senior members of such firms must also be individually registered by COREN.
ACEN has just recently been mandated by COREN to register all consulting engineering firms in the country. Furthermore, ACEN President now seats on the Council of COREN. Thus, ACEN is now better positioned within the built industry.
ACEN & NSE
The Nigerian Society of Engineers is the umbrella association of all graduate Engineers in Nigeria. It registers only individual Engineers and has student, member and fellow categories. Although a voluntary organization, all Engineers are proud to be members, and most Engineers employed in ACEN members firms are members of NSE. Conversely, most members of NSE with interest in Consulting Engineering practice are members of ACEN. ACEN focuses only on the business interest of Consulting Engineering Firms and her interest is, therefore, specific and complementary to the scope of COREN and NSE.
ACEN & FIDIC
The International Federation of Consulting Engineers is a 103 member organisation which provides the strongest platform for our international activities. FIDIC aims to be the voice of Consulting Engineering all over the world, and it does this through seven major focus areas: Representation, Business Practice, Ethics/Integrity, Image, Sustainability, Globalization & Quality.
FIDIC is perhaps best known for its contracts documents, which are used all over the world, especially international projects in the third world. The documents are used extensively by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Works. In addition, FIDIC has a Guide to Practice that teaches best practice in Consulting Engineering, Business Integrity Management Manual, Quality Management Manual and several others.
Two ACEN members, Engrs. J.I. Folayan and Bayo Adeola have served on the FIDIC Executive Committee, the highest level of the organization. Other ACEN members have served on committees and task forces of the organization, and members attend the yearly annual conferences in large numbers regularly.
ACEN & GAMA
FIDIC Group of African Member Associations, GAMA is a subset of FIDIC to address specifically African concerns. GAMA currently has 18 members, holds regular annual conferences and AGM, and promotes networking among its members. Nigeria played a very active role in the formation of GAMA and has continued to be very active in the association.
ACEN former President, Engr. (Mrs.) Mayen Adetiba was once President of GAMA while several of ACEN members have been serving on various committees of GAMA.
ACEN provides a series of activities tailored to deliver service and benefits to our members in these key areas:
- Training through the ACEN School of Consulting Engineering.
- AGM & EGM for effective dissemination of information to members.
- Attending International Conferences.
- Membership / Certifying Standards.
- Quarterly Business Evenings meetings to discuss topical issues affecting members.
- The Young Professionals Forum.
- Quarterly Publication of “The Consulting Engineer” magazine.
- Monitoring and follow-up on policies and bills relating to matters of engineering practice.
- Legal retainership program to advice members on legal issues.
- Advancing the practice of consulting engineering for favourable business environment for members.
- Setting up of Special Task Forces on: Collapse of buildings, conditions of engagement/ scale of consultancy remunerations, quackery, Industry Study, formation of built industry transparency initiative, local content for the construction industry, etc.
CHALLENGES OF ACEN
Despite the fact that ACEN has been in existence for over thirty years, some of the challenges leading to its formation have remained while new ones have appeared. The most notable current challenges are as follows:
- Unfavourable Government Procurement Policies especially in the states.
- Private Sector Perception.
- Loss of Engineers to other Sectors due to low remunerations.
- Number, Size and Scope of ACEN Member Firms.
- Delayed payments to members.
- Limited awareness and knowledge of the savings consultants contribute to the overall cost of projects if employed by governments and entrepreneurs.
- Lack of Corporate Sponsorship to Enhance Smooth Operations of the Organisation.