The Nigerian Society of Engineers on Wednesday distanced it members from the vandalism of oil and gas pipelines based on comments made by President Muhammadu Buhari.
At an event with engineers in Abuja on Tuesday, Buhari had reportedly stated that ordinary Nigerians, without the required technical know-how, could not go far into the sea to vandalise pipelines.
“If I will go in the negative side, how can an ordinary Nigerian go into the sea, 70Km or more, go down two metres and blow up oil installations?
“That cannot be an ordinary Nigerian. So, I hope you will appeal to your colleagues to make sure that what we have built, they should safeguard them whether they are working with multinationals or the government,” the President had said.
When asked to react to this during a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, the President, NSE, Otis Anyaeji, distanced engineers, especially registered members of the society, from such criminal acts.
Anyaeji said, “It is not engineers that dive into the waters. It is not possible. Our registered engineers are not even involved in all these incidents, such as building collapses and the likes, not to talk of engineers going to take dynamites to blow up pipelines. That cannot happen.”
He, however, stated that engineers were pleased with Buhari for appreciating the capabilities of indigenous practitioners, adding that the President paid superlative compliments to Nigerian engineers.
Quoting what the President stated about indigenous practitioners, Anyaeji said, “His Excellency said ‘I think that if Nigerian engineers are denied their roles, it is not the fault of the profession. It is the fault of some individual governments. Other governments have done their best and found Nigerian engineers competent and cost-effective. Nigerian Engineers are very quick in performing in the field.’”
He further noted that the energy situation in Nigeria and Africa was vulnerable because there was inefficient and inadequate refining capacity in the countries.
Anyaeji added, “In addition, there is inadequate gas transmission infrastructure. Therefore, we recommend the optimum utilisation of existing refineries and facilitation of establishment of additional refineries. There is need for co-operation among West African and other regional member states towards establishing regional energy hubs that will guarantee sustainability in supply of gas in the future.”