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Engineers move to harness indigenous capacity

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Babagana Mohammed

To maximise the gains of Executive Order 5 and enhance national development, Nigeria’s engineers have called for the capacity development of practitioners.

They also stressed the need for the adoption of renewable energy and immediate expansion and strengthening of existing 330KV, 132KV transmission, and substation lines as well as infrastructure to accommodate the evacuation of all available generating capacity in excess of 7000MW currently trapped at the various thermal plants across the country.

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In a proclamation entitled ‘Presidential Executive Order for Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology,’ President Muhammadu Buhari had, in 2018, signed Executive Order No. 5 (“EO5”) by which all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (“MDAs”) of government were directed to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design, and execution of national security projects and maximise in-country capacity in all contracts and transactions with science, engineering and technology components.

The practitioners said to harness domestic talents and the development of indigenous capacity in science and engineering for the promotion of technological innovation needed to drive national competitiveness, productivity, there was a necessity to improve engineers’ capacity through improved training.

The engineers, under the aegis of the Ikeja branch, Nigerian Society of Engineers’ Ad-hoc Committee on power saddled with the responsibility to advise the President of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Babagana Mohammed, stated this during the submission of its report in Abuja.

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Muhammed is a member of the Special Purpose Vehicle on Presidential Power Initiative (PPI-SPV) set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, to drive the National Power Initiative and implementation.

Committee head, Olu Ogunduyile, said the issue of revenue collection in the power sector needs to be addressed while metering and reduction in power theft must also be given urgent attention.

According to him, the committee highlighted the need for decentralization of the national grid network to accommodate regional, sub-transmission, and sub-distribution hub development.

Other recommendations, he said centre on the creation of the National Power Planning Authority (NPPA) that would be saddled with the duty of overseeing the enforcement and implementation of the nation’s master plan on power demand and supply side of management.

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Ogunduyile, who is also the Managing Director, Kenol Nigeria Ltd, thanked the engineers for trusting him to lead such enormous initiative. He said Power is one of the most critical challenges facing the country in its bid towards attaining true economic development. He noted that Nigeria can’t advance technologically like the other countries except the power and energy challenges are addressed.

Chairman of the branch, Tosin Ogunmola recalled that the branch was inspired to constitute a high-level technical committee following the appointment of Babagana Mohammed as a member of the Presidential Special-purpose Vehicle Committee on Power. He said the choice of Ogunduyile as the chairman of the think tank was based on his vast experiences in the sector.

Members of the Power Committee are Olu Ogunduyile, Chairman, Engr Akinsola Cole, Vice Chairman; M. B. Odetokun, Adegboyega Adeleye, Olajide Kumapayi, Engr Bunmi Daramola, and Ayodele Sagoe, as committee members. Others are Mrs. Atinuke Wuraola Owolabi and Mr Messiah Ameh who serve as the secretary and assistant secretary respectively.

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