The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has asked Nigerian Engineers to wake up to their responsibilities with pragmatic approach, remain innovative and develop captive capacity in order to develop infrastructure within the Nigerian economy.
The Minister stated this while receiving the President of Nigeria Society of Engineers, Engr. Otis Anyaeji, and some Executive members in his office recently.
Fashola, said that the Nigerian Engineers must endeavour to close up the vacuum that allows foreign firms to take over and dominate the Nigerian infrastructural sector of the economy, adding that no serious government would prefer foreign firms to indigenous ones except if they are not proactive.
While appreciating the society’s support for the government, Fashola said that since the inception of this administration, the Ministry has been trying to pay contractors and consultants in line with the Procurement Act; and focus on completion of projects that were stopped due to non-payment.
The Minister also said that “in a developing economy we have over-regulated procurement and it’s skewed in a way to prevent quick intervention” and thus asked that the public Procurement Act 2007 should be reviewed.
The Minister further stated that Mambila Power Plant contract was awarded before this administration but the Ministry is proposing to construct six dam projects and that if the local Engineers have capacity, the Ministry will be willing to partner with them.
Earlier, the President, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Engr. Otis Anyaeji, FNSE, stated that when Nigerians voted for change, “it means that they actually had strong desire for high quality of life offered from self-sufficiency of food, local production of goods and services as well as adequate and reliable infrastructure.” He added that the country has to rely on engineering for a clear and direct manner.
Engr. Anyaeji further stated that engineering is key to over ninety-five percent of the activities of public sector of the economy such as engineering infrastructure economics, engineering industrial economics and engineering agricultural economics are critical for planning and managing an economy.
He also canvassed for holistic review of the project execution strategies with painstaking attention to the Contract Agreements to ensure that jobs are not exported or imported to further worsen the ravaging unemployment and security situation in the country.
The President called on government to encourage the sourcing and manufacturing of housing materials locally, adding that Nigeria Society of Engineers is one of the major stakeholders in the Ministry and it is ready to put its intellectual and professional expertise to the use of the ministry.
Amongst the dignitaries present are the Permanent Secretary, Power, Works and Housing (Works Housing Sector), Engr. Abubakar Magaji, Directors in Ministry and some of the Executive Members of the Nigerian Society Engineers.s.
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