ESTABLISHING RELIABILITY OF THE NIGERIAN TIMBER AS A STRUCTURAL MATERIAL: BOOSTING LOCAL CONTENT-BASED ECONOMY

Engr. Professor James Isiwu Aguwa

Thursday 9th December 2021

 Structural reliability analysis in structural engineering is not just for predicting future failures but in reality, for preventing future failures of structures. It has heavier implications than reliability studies in most other human endeavors. Nigeria as a country is naturally endowed with various types of timber species that can be harnessed for structural purposes. It is high time Nigeria looked inward to make use of this natural gift in order to reduce dependence on foreign construction materials. It appears that we are not grateful for this gift of nature and that is why more are not coming. One of the Spiritual Laws is that “Abundance flourishes in a Grateful Heart”. The earlier we applied this law in harnessing our locally available structural materials the better for us to get more from God. Again, replanting of these trees is possible and this will generate employment for our teeming youths thereby increasing the local content in our technological development.

A typical timber bridge costs from 40 to 60 percent of a typical concrete bridge, resulting in much savings. That is, the cost of one concrete bridge can almost provide two of the timber bridge counterparts. Embarking on the design and construction of engineered timber bridges is the best option for Nigeria as a developing country. In addition, maintenance of timber bridges is simple as it involves the replacement of the elements. A typical engineered timber bridge has a design life span of 100 to 150 years.