SIWES-students industrial work experience scheme is an organizational body responsible for skill training programme and forms part of the approved minimum academic standard (MAS) in the various degree programmes for all the Nigerian Universities.
Brief History of Siwes
            Students Industrial work experience scheme (SIWES) was orchestrated by the Federal Government relationship between what is taught in the institutions (theory) and what is obtainable on  ground (practice).

            It was formally initiated and funded by the industrial training Fund (ITF) during the formative years 1973/1974. Due to the large out-turn of students into tertiary institutions, funding this scheme by the ITF became reservative, hence, ITF withdrew in 1978 and the Federal Government in 1979, handed it over to both the National university commission (NUC) and the National Board for technical Education (NBTE).
            By 1979, the colleges of Education were not part of the scheme and later in 1984, the Federal Government reverted back to the industrial training fund which took over the scheme officially in 1985 with the Federal Government providing the funding.
Objectives of the Scheme
v    To provide placements in industries for students
v    To equip students, in-dept, for real life issue (work) they will met
when they graduate.
v    To acquaint students with skills and techniques of handling tools and equipments which they never met before in schools.
v    To make the “school to labour market” transition smooth and enhance students contact for later job placement.
v    To avail students the opportunity to implement the knowledge in real life situation, there by closing the gap between theory and practice.
v    To promote the required technical know how for the
advancement of the nation.

Nigerian ports authority (NPA) is not a company OR firm so to say, rather it is a port organization run by the Federal government which is responsible for the in-coming and out-going goods and services by means of inland water navigation.
            As a Federal government parastatal, they employ many professions into the various departments in the organisaiton.
            Among the various department, is the Engineering sector. The Engineering sector is further split into architectural, survey, civil among others.
            There, the Architectural Department is commonly known as the the Drawing office located at No 1 Joseph street Marina Lagos, Lagos State.
            Nigerian ports authority is not a today organization, most of their major projects have been drawn and documented long ago. So the architects here are limited to supervision of those projects, ronovation and partition of rented apartment, and designing and officiating of staff houses.
            Nigeria ports authority as an organization operations and development in Nigeria began in the middle of the 19th century.
            Efforts towards the provision of facility for ocean going vessels started in the early 1900 with the construction of the Lagos breakwater (east and west moles) capital dredging activities aimed at opening up the logos lagoon commenced in 1906.
            A year later, precisely 1914, the Lagos harbour was opened to shipping traffic. Twenty one years later (1948) capacities were expanded through the building of additional quarry walls of port operations and management remained under the control of different government departments during this era (pre 1954) Cargo handling at the terminals was the prerogative of Nigerian Railways while the marine Department took charge of vessel movements in the channel up to the quays.
            Maintenance of the quay wall was the responsibility of the public works department.
*          Develop, own and operate ports and habours
*          Provide safe and navigable channel
*          Offer cargo handling and storage services
*          Maintain port facilities and equipment
*          Develop and own properties
                        This system hindered port development and curtailed operational efficiency. The ports became less competitive and a conduit to drain the meager national resources. In an attempt to change this trend, the activities of the Authority (NPA) were commercialized and offered greater autonomy in accordance with the recommend of the technical committee on privatization and commercialization   However, this could not bring the expected improvement because of the public service bureaucracy and interference. It was later revised to the initial status. In an effort to reposition and enhance the national economy, the federal Government embarked on various reform initiatives in the public sector, which includes the maturities sub-sector this initiative was to foster an economy that is responsive, robust private sector oriented and in line with the international best practices.
            In line with the reform programmed, the transactions commenced with the advertisement for expression of interest EOIs on the 3rd of December 2003 by the National council on privatization agent. A total of 110 E01 were harvested out of which a4 were pre-qualified.
            Pre-bid conference, Data room and physical due diligence were also done and request for proposals sent out to bidders………….Technical bids were submitted and evaluated and financial offers also opened to determine the successful bidders……………….
            All the successful bidders negotiated their concession agreements with a public sector team made up of Nigerian ports Authority and the Bureau of public Enterprises. Successfully negotiated agreements were signed and transaction programmed initiated preparatory to handling over-under this new arrangement, the authority ceded some of functions and responsibility as enumerated below.
*          Ownership and administration of land water within ports limits.
*          Planning and development of port operational infrastructure.
*          Leasing and concession of port infrastructure and setting bench mark for tariff structure.
*          Responsible for nautical/Harbour operations and hydrographic survey…………….
*          Marine incidents and pollution……..
*          Maintenance of safety and security at the common user areas...
*          Enacting port regulations and bye-law as well as monitor and enforce them.
*          Day to day monitoring of operations and enforcement of relevant section of respective agreement.
*          Development and maintenance of ports’ superstructure.
*          Acquisition of cargo handling and operations related equipment.

Am-àEngr Rufai Mohammed
AGMà Engr Peter Obinomen
Executive director Engineering & technical -à Engr Mohammed saleh
ED Finance & Admin à Mr. Olumide Oduntah
Managing Director à Mr. Habibu Abdullahi
ED Marne & operation à Engr. David Omonibeke.

            Majority of the works I did as an industrial trainee under the auspices of Nigerian ports Authority (NPA) is relegated to staff building Via Designing and Auto carding, partitioning and site visitation, scanning, Photocopying and printing.
            For clear enumeration of work done, it would be necessary to split or group my work experience under office and on-site experiences.
(1)         OFFICE EXPERIENCE                                                     As Architects we do paper work in the office and what is obtainable in paper, put to scale, is also practicable on      site, put on ground.
            Here, are some Experience gain in the office
            The call for the use of CAD in this computer age cannot be decried as it makes work easier and faster and with no or negligible error.
            The use of AutoCAD was my first major experience while working with NPA. Here I was taught the basics in Autocad use only in 2D drawing it took a total of three weeks to master the full autocracy of 2D Autocad in design.
            The second major experience is in the use of Revit VAD application in projecting both 2D and 3D drawings. Overall, it took a total of 6weeks to learn both Autocad & Revit.
            The use of these CAD make it easier and faster with less time consuming for me to do work in the office as the use of hand to draw, may be prone to error and time consuming. This is important as the use of hand is no longer employed outside school system. 1 stand to be corrected.
            Below are some Autocad 2D and Revit 3D drawing during this period of industrial training.
*          A 3-bedroom terraced flat of 5 units
*          A 4 – bedroom bungalow
*          A 2 – bedroom semi detached bungalow
*          A 3- bedroom semi detached duplex
*          A 4 – bedroom Bungalow.
*          Others not specified.
            Industrial training is a rich form of equipping students in various ways and with various skills. Though, here, in school we were not thought how to print, scan, type and photocopy, Yet this opportunity Availed us the experience and technique. Often times, we take our term papers and other documents pertaining to studies to business centers for typing, duplication and scanning with little or no experience on how these machines are operated.
            There in NPA, I was availed the opportunity to operate their Xerox machine which has many usage (photocopying, Printing and Scanning sets) in documenting drawing.
            One of the first test I faced as an industrial trainee is in the detailing of some building components like flush doors, balustrade, staircases and folded plate roof.
·                    Flush doors:- Flush door consists of a core of either skeleton frame work or laminated solid timber with a facing of plywood, veneer, hardboard, aluminum, Plymax or plastic. A hardwood edging or lapping strip is required on all the edges of the facing materials.
*          Folded plate:- folded plate roof is mostly employed in the roofing of circular structures. In details, it had four major focal perpendicular vertices known as the ridges and the subordinate diagonals as the valleys. In some eases, the fall is channeled towards a centrally located gutter or hole known as run-off to discharge water down the building. This is seen in high rise circular structures.
            Building drawings give the most effective means of communication in the building industry. They explain the building design in sketches and details that constitute the essential working basis for any building structure. it is divided into two VIZ sketch and production or working drawings.
*          Sketch drawing:- these are the preliminary drawings or diagrams showing the designers general intentions. Here, the scope of the project is defined, the various spaces are connected and the basic design is expressed in elevations and perspective drawing. Sketch make our intentions clear and gives us freedom to outline any shape before putting them to scale.
*          Working drawings:- working or production drawings as it is called, is the most effective mode of conveying to the constructors- quantity surveyor, engineer, the specific intentions of the accurate dimensions (meters) and the different construction elements and materials are outlined.
     They include
*          Location plan.
*          Site plan
*          Floor pan
*          Roof plan
*          Elevations
*          Sections
*          Details
*          Schedules
*          Perspectives
*          Models
            This is important as it is not possible to use the original drawing on site as they are not durable enough especially when they come in contact with water. Also, many copies of the drawings are normally needed during both design, planning approval, contract and construction stages of the building. Inking was the means of Duplication before, now, it is with photocopy Machines.
            In the previous chapter (chapter two) I said that Nigerian ports Authority is not a construction company but a port organization which is responsible for transportation and documentation of goods and services in and out of the country by means of inland water navigation. As it is a federal Government property, they employed the services of different professions to undertake its various functions, including Architects and Engineers. most of the Architects there are limited to supervision works while most their projects are handed over to private firms on contract duties.
As it stands, we only do minor projects like staff houses, renovation works and mostly partitioning of rented apartment. So when I say “site”, I am taking about staff projects……..
            The word “site” is a part of a plot of land undergoing construction. A typical site is not usually a community farmland, but rather, a thick bush, with big trees, water logged areas, valley or site with old buildings. It is therefore necessary to prepare any of these types of building site with a lot clearing and leveling tools or heavy machines.
            My site experience could said to be divided into various segments that affect the erection of any building structure.
The main function of the local planning authority is to give planning approval, which is the permission granted any individual, firm or government organization to erect a structure.
The drawings are first submitted to the registry of the area planning office for registration. After being assessed, and the client charge certain fee, it is then sent to the technical registry where it is checked and made sure it met the architectural principles of ventilation, lighting, comfort, safety and structural stability. It is sent to the lands department for assessment before returning to the area planning officer for stamping & collection. Overall, the drawing are to be duplicated in four sets after which only two is returned to the client before execution starts.
The construction of a building involves the services of many professions either directly or indirectly. Categorically, they are panelled in four groups.
(i)        Client
(ii)       Designers and Administrators
(iii)     Statutory organization and personnel
(iv)      Constructors.
(i)        Client:- The client is the person or organization that commissions the building work. He directly or indirectly employs other specialists and provides relevant information’s and bears the financial implications of the project.
(ii)       Designers and Administrators:- They are responsible for the interpretation, design and supervision of the project. Architects fall into this group and they take the lead from here. They include Architects, clerk of works, Quantity surveyors.
(iii)     Statutory Personnel:- Having mentioned before, they are the urban or local authorities responsible for registration and approval of building projects. They consists of Town planners, Building control officers, public Health inspectors.
(iv)      Constructors:- These sets implement or erect the projects as they are being supervised by the client, Designers and administrators, and the statutory personnel’s. They include the contractor, builder, General foreman etc.
The practical stage of my site experience is getting to see, feel, observe and know the various tools and equipment used in the site and their uses.
(i)        Site preparation tools and equipments
Hand tools:-Cutlasses, Hoes, Axes, Spade, Chain saw.
Heavy Machines:- Bulldozer, Pay loader, Grader, Tipper
(ii)       Block work Tools
Hand trowel, Pointed trowels, the Hawk, square, lines, spirit level or plumb, ranging Pole    
(iii)     Carpentry Tools
            Saws, Planes, hammers, chisels, nails
Overall, I a attended three setting out programs. The first was at Enugu, second was at 32 omidiji street otto Ebutte meta Lagos and the third was at 23 Omidiji street otto Ebutte meta Lagos state.
In the construction of any building, setting out is the first major procedure to be undertaken. Careful examination is required because any alteration in this stage affects the Architect’s intention in later stages.
(i)        Locating the beacon and boundary of the site.
(ii)       Taking the offset as shown in the site lay out plan.
(iii)     Pegging and nailing of the profile board, other wise called ‘The Approval’ and must be perpendicular at every intersection.
(iv)      Marking out the lines of the walls with respect to the approval.
(v)       After marking out of the walls, offset of the building blocks is taken in two opposite side of the wall to give room for workability other wise called the gatt.

*          Foundation type
The choice of foundation is affected by the load bearing strata of the soil, site conditions, type of construction, magnitude of the load and intensity.
After the excavation of trenches, blinding of about 5OMM depth is cast. The essence of the blinding is to
(i)        To serve as a base for foundation forms
(ii)       To serve as base for structural formation reinforcements
(iii)     Base for workability
(iv)      To serve as a regular flat base.
*          Site Horizon
(i)        foundation block is formed on the blinding up to a required surface level.
(ii)       In setting the blocks, plumb and ranging poles are used by masons to determine levels and straight lines. At intersection of walls, they either use builder’s square or transfer of measurements.
(iv)      I never witnessed the hardcore used in the site rather they introduced wire mesh as reinforcement for the mass concrete (German) floor.
*          Site Deductions
(i)        in water logged areas, we use pile foundation, there is no need for blinding, rather piles are drilled into the ground, a chemical denser than water (benzonette) is poured to displace the water and finally concrete mixes which is denser, forces the benzonette out. In some cases, the benzonette helps the concrete to dry quickly……….
(ii)       Offset of building lines from major high ways is 45m. offset of 30m from major road. Offset of 6m from township roads
(iii)     At anytime the engineer wants to alter the drawing due to site constraints, he will need
            VO-> Variation order
            AI-à Architects instruction
            Else, he is responsible for any tactical improptu.
(iv)      Two blocks plus the gap in between equals 1m
(v)       standard concrete Mixes = 1: 2: 4
(i)        Traffic congestion
I experienced traffic a lot during my time at Nigerian ports Authority. Both in the morning while going to work and at evening while closing down.
            Waking up as early as possible in order to beat the traffic. The second is to try and find attachment close to your area in order to be punctual regularly and save cost of transportation.
(ii)       Cost of transportation
Initially, when I started, it cost N 500 to and from the office complex and actually it was not funny.
(a)       Find an attachment close to your house
(b)       let your parents or guardian know about the distance
(c)       Make friends with your co-workers who have cars so that they can drop you by
(iii)     Installation of Trial version
Revit trial version installation was used up and the next thing was uninstalling the software and properly installing the full version. It cost me my initial works in the office which was never saved in the flash drive.
            Always seek the services of a good computer technician to crack your software and install them properly.
(iv)      Working with Different Tribe
First was language difficulty as I would only hear them speak Yoruba and would not appropriately reply in same language.
            As a student, try to be linguistically diversified because it will take you to many places. 

Overall, students industrial work experience scheme is worth a shot …. It really gave me the experience I’ve ever craved for as a student architect. I have never been more exposed in this field of study like I was during this period working with different tribe, adjusting to real life situation, knowing actually what it means to meet your client’s demands, Having to stay under the sun just to make sure you understand every pinch of construction work going on in the site;
            Nonetheless, it is interesting getting to known how to make quick drawing with CAD use, projection of 2-Dimension or perspective drawings. And most especially getting connected with Nigerian ports authority is worth giving thanks first to God and finally to the siwes Department Nnamdi Azikiwe University AWKA, Anambara state………

1          SIWES Hand book, by ENGR. JA. Okeke
2          Nigerian Ports Authority office Profile Keep
3          Fundamentals of Building Construction by FADAMIRO J.A & OGUNSEMI D.R.
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