The Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Araba Essaba Torkornoo (Mrs), has told engineering practitioners in the country that issues such as corruption, safety concerns and adherence to code of ethics have always dented on the nobility of the engineering profession.
She added that, engineers shape our infrastructure, propel technological advancement and drive innovation. Their role is pivotal to the progress and prosperity of the nation.
Her Ladyship Justice Torkornoo made these remarks when she chaired the 2023 Annual Ethics and Leadership Lecture of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE), held at the Engineers Centre, Roman Ridge, Accra on Thursday.
She said the choice of the theme, “Improving National Values, Professional Practice, and Engineering Ethics”, is demonstrative of the fact that the engineering profession recognizes its traditional role in the Republic of Ghana.
In his welcome address, the Chair of the Professional Practice & Ethics Committee of GhIE, Ing. Ludwig Hesse explained that in pursuit of ethical excellence within the engineering profession, engineers must recognize the pivotal role of national values in shaping the landscape of their conduct.
He said that even though numerous professionals, engineers included, hold leadership positions within public institutions and belong to professional organizations like the GhIE, which have established code of ethics, we seldomly witness these professional bodies holding their members to account.
The President of GhIE, Ing. Kwabena Bempong, in his remarks, said, as engineering practitioners, they recognize the enormous responsibility placed on them in the infrastructure development of our dear country and the world at large.
He continued that engineers have a sacred responsibility towards society and this is a charge, they must keep.
“Lack of ethical behaviour on the part of engineers could have disastrous trust, safety, financial and economic implications on our beloved country and the professional reputation would thus be irredeemably damaged”, the GhIE President added
The guest speaker for the lecture, Ing. Yaw Nsarkoh, who is a chemical engineer by profession and a renowned public speaker, suggested that any professional engineer who does a sloppy and shoddy job and deliberately causes mass injury and fatalities should be jailed and struck off their professional role.
Ing. Yaw Nsarkoh explained that, whatever this country has become, professionals deserve their equal share of credit and the blame as well.
He said the authorities must apply sanctions and the law must work where engineers and indeed all professions are involved.
If it has become the case everywhere that engineers have become complicit in subverting public procurement practices by paying bribes for deals and sustaining a system of political patronage, people must suffer for it.
He added that it should not be a matter of discretion to be an ethical or values-led professional.
Speaking to the media at the sidelines of the ethics lecture, the Executive Director of the GhIE, Ing. David Kwatia Nyante, said the GhIE represents over 10,000 registered professionals who are spread over four main technical divisions, namely, civil, electrical, mechanical, and chemical technical divisions.
He said modern engineering disciplines such as computer engineering, aerospace, biomedical, petroleum, Oil and Gas, etc, are all grouped under one of these divisions.
The GhIE Ethics and Leadership lecture was attended by the Vice President of GhIE, Ing. Sophia Abena Tijani, council members, past presidents and members of GhIE and the media.