President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr Tasiu Gadari-Wudil, has called on the Federal Government to leverage the capacities of local engineers for quality project delivery.
Gadari-Wudil made the call at a fellowship conferment ceremony organised by the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE) on Saturday in Lagos.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Executive Order Five to promote Local Content, but lamented that the Order was not being implemented.
He appealled to Buhari to ensure its enforcement because local engineers were complaining of being exempted from projects, adding that, calls by NSE to be included in implementation had not been successful.
“I must say it officially here that the Executive Order is not working because we have not seen the dividends.
“Our colleagues are not engaged; Nigerian Engineers are not engaged, they are still engaging foreigners to do most of these jobs.
“It has come to a point that the NSE has decided to start talking, we are challenging the Nigerian political class and private sector to challenge Nigerian engineers with any project they think we cannot do and we will deliver it,” he said.
Gadari-Wudil said Nigerian engineers were making impact abroad and had enermous untapped potential, which should be deployed at various stages of projects.
He said recently an engineer from Akwa Ibom constructed a 10-lane world class 9.5 kilometer road in the state and the quality superceded what reputable foreign construction companies were delivering.
He said the NSE already had a N300 million counterpart funding ready towards construction of its technology hub in Abuja to further bridge innovations gap in engineering.
National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE), Engr. Mrs Funmilade Akingbagbohun, joined the call for engagement of professionals to prevent brain drain.
“We must give our experts sense of belonging and arrest the disturbing trend of brain drain from all sectors of the economy.
“Nigerian professionals remain our hope of stimulating our nation’s massive industrialisation, job creation and prosperity for all. And to achieve this, technology will be a critical asset,” she said.
The guest speaker, Dr Segun Ogunsanya, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Africa Plc, said technology had a special role in touching lives.
Ogunsanya, represented by Mr Adedoyin Ademola, said Nigeria missed the first and second industrial revolutions, lagged behind in the third but must embrace new technology in order not miss opportunities of the fourth, which explored ICT devices and formats.
“The impact of ICT is growing steadily beyond our imagination, the new world normal is with us and we have to embrace it,” he said.
Speaking on the topic, “Information and Communication Technology in the New World Normal,” he urged local engineers to form partnerships and work in synergy to set new frontiers in the technological space.
The Chairman Board of Fellows, NIMechE, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ashiru, said NiMechE was established 20 years ago to propagate mechanical engineering ideals to grow capacity of members.
Ashiru urged the members to upgrade theirs skills and keep moving with new technological trends and innovations to drive Nigeria’s growth.