Nigerian engineers will take centre stage in national development, says Osinbajo
Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday assured that programmes and policies being put in place by the current administration would ensure that Nigerian engineers are placed at the centre of national development.
Speaking at the 26th edition of Engineering Assembly organised by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), in Abuja, he explained that decisions taken, particularly in the Science, Technology and Innovation roadmap from 2017-2030 would help the country plan ahead for the short, medium and long-term needs of the engineering sector.
He forecast that in the next 10 to 15 years, the country would be looking for scientists, engineers and other professionals from outside the country due to industrial revolution.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, said the Federal Government was working hard to place engineering at the core of national development.
Onu assured that government was determined to change the trend by empowering local capacity through policies and programmes that would promote economic diversification.
He warned that Nigeria would no longer be a dumping ground for all manner of foreign products.
“For too long, we have depended on imports to meet many of our needs and we have paid a very big price for this. Nigeria cannot continue to be a main consumer nation, Nigeria wants to be a producer nation whereby we can produce many of the things that we need and this is the thrust of this administration,” he stated.
Chairman of the occasion, Governor Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa State, advised that the country should evolve a regulatory framework and more attractive conditions of service to forestall capital flight and exodus of local engineers in search of greener pastures.
He further called on COREN to consider putting up short-term training and enhancement programmes for artisans and craftsmen.
This, according to him, “will go a long way in lifting Nigeria from a dumping ground for pseudo engineers in the name of expatriates and address the challenges of the engineering sector.”
Meanwhile, indication emerged at the event that the Federal Government would henceforth ensure strict regulation of engineering practice in Nigeria by expatriates.
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) will partner with COREN in the enforcement.
Delivering the keynote on “Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing in Nigeria: Challenges and Opportunities for a Better Future,” Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, decried the way all manner of foreigners come into the country and dabble into engineering practice.