|Deputy President, Engr Otis Anyaeji and The President, Engr Isaac Olorunfemi|
THE Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) would unveil a comprehensive report on the factors inhibiting the development plan of Nigeria soon, its President, Ademola Olorunfewmi has disclosed.
The NSE boss, who stated this in Abuja at the 2015 October lecture of the Society, said the report would be released next month (November) during the NSE national engineering conference.
Olorunfemi explained that the an infrastructure scorecard is a veritable tool for designing nation’s developmental framework as well as a tool for comparative assessment of performance of infrastructure delivery which does not exist in Nigeria.
He added: “NSE is set to deliver the first National Infrastructure scorecard for the country. In 2014, we set up a high level Expert Group on the development of the maiden scorecard. Reports on some critical infrastructure such as power, communications, oil and gas among other infrastructure formed the crux of the scorecard which is due for release in November 2015, at the opening ceremony of our national engineering conference.”
According to a former President of NSE, Olumuyiwa Ajibola, who presented the 2015 edition of the October lecture, blamed the inability of local engineering firms to develop into conglomerates on dearth of hire purchase facilities by big dealers some of them whom have exited the country.
|Engr Alade Ajibola, FNSE|
In his lecture which had ‘creativity in the application of Nigerian engineering resources for effective economic development: a national policy imperative’ as theme, Ajibola posited that it is now a matter of utmost importance for Nigeria’s national leadership to become political creative and find its willpower to muster all Nigeria’s God given resources, both material and especially human, to propel Nigeria out of its present orbit of ‘underdevelopment’ to the next orbit.
Specifically, he mentioned that the construction industry remains a breeding ground for generation of massive employment but expressed regrets that the sector is suffering from myriads of challenges that have limited its potentials.
To reverse the trend, Ajibola submitted that Nigeria must revisit all previous policies and white papers on the construction industry in Nigeria, provide a law to regulate the construction industry and introduce deliberate policy and law that promote ‘Nigerian content in the construction industry in Nigeria.
He also added that government must insist that all projects, irrespective of value or complexity, must be awarded to Nigerian engineering companies and that Nigerian companies should be lead on all consultancy works for projects in which foreign companies are involved.
Ajibola said there was the need for Nigerians to watch how some international lenders or donors tend to work against the participation of local professionals in the very important infrastructure projects being financed by them.
Along this line, he specifically mentioned the Nigerian railway rehabilitation and expansion projects as well as the airport terminal building at the major airports in the country that do not have any provision for the participation of local Engineers as advocated by Engineers Against Poverty (EAP), Engineers Without Frontiers (EWF) among other multilateral donors.
“Since our country must pay back borrowed funds for these projects, we cannot afford not to benefit beyond the complete infrastructure from the transactions. This would have offered a lifetime opportunity to develop our own core of railway experts to operate and maintain the structures and systems after completion and commissioning,” he explained.