Executive order is not working for Nigerian engineers, says Gidari-Wudil
The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has reiterated the need for the Federal Government to engage and effectively utilise skills of members for infrastructural projects across the country.
They lamented that ‘Executive Order Five’ signed into law by President Muhammed Buhari in 2018, aimed at promoting science, technology acquisition and participation of local firms in government procurement activities, is not working for engineers.
NSE President, Tasiu Sa’ad Gidari-Wudil, who spoke at the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE) fellowship conferment ceremony in Lagos, said Nigerian engineers are not involved because government prefers foreigners to do most of the infrastructure projects.
He said the Federal Government should engage NSE officially, in monitoring the implementation of the Executive Order for proper implementation.
The NSE president said: “We are asking government and states to challenge Nigerian engineers with projects that they think we cannot do. Our members have proven their capabilities in different places in the country. We have also done well outside the country and can do it in this country.
“The Akwa-Ibom State government recently commissioned a 9.5 kilometres, 10-lane road with tunnels to evacuate storm waters. A Nigerian engineer and indigene of Akwa Ibom executed the project. We are also challenging private sector to give us projects and we will deliver. We thank the Federal Government for the Executive Order Five, but I must say that the executive order is not working.”
Gidari-Wudil, further disclosed that the NSE has a new scheme called, ‘smart office’ that will host a technology hub in Abuja, which will enable engineers to develop their products. He added that it costs about N300 million.
He disclosed that when the centre starts operations, Nigeria will have sufficient projects to show in terms of technology development.
The National Chairman, NIMechE, Mrs. Olufunmilade Akingbagbohun, advised government at all levels to harness skills of local engineers to stop brain drain in all sectors of the economy.
She said: “Nigerian professionals remain our hope to stimulate industrialisation, ensure job creation and prosperity for all. To achieve this, technology will be a critical asset. It is my belief that our national policies must lean progressively towards recommendations and input of professional bodies. This is the only way we can carry everyone along and open up new opportunities.”
Akingbagbohun, who congratulated the new fellows and awardees that included, the Chairman, Elizade Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, charged them to serve the institution at chapters and committees levels.
Also speaking, Chairman, NIMechE Board of Fellows, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ashiru, who is the Pro-Chancellor of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoyi, urged engineers to upgrade their skills for relevance in the society.
In his presentation on ‘Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the New World Normal’, the Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Africa Plc, Dr. Segun Ogunsanya, who was represented by Mr. Adedoyin Adeola, emphasised the role of technology in socio-economic development.
He argued that while Nigeria missed out from the first and second industrial revolutions, there was a need to embrace new technology to be part of opportunities offered by the fourth industrial revolution, which is driven by ICT.
Ogunsanya challenged engineers to form partnerships and synergy to set new frontiers in technological development.