According to statement released by the Special Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina, President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja has called for more concerted effort, creative and innovative ideas from the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in reversing the infrastructure deficit in the country, saying “Nigerian problems require uniquely Nigerian solutions’’.
President Buhari, who received a delegation of the NSE led by the President, Council of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Adekunle Mokuolu, said reversing the deficit will require indigenous capacity, noting that the government has deliberately structured policies to favour more local content and capacity development.
“The foundations of any developed, competitive and prosperous society are based on good education and quality infrastructure. Many nations we look up to are those with adequate and accessible infrastructure, power and water resources.
“They achieved these by embracing engineering and of course, engineers. Over the years, Nigerian engineers have been recognized globally for carrying out amazing and impactful projects. Unfortunately, this is not the case here at home as for decades, the enabling environment was simply not provided for these innovative and creative professionals to flourish and showcase our country as an engineering hub,’’ he said.
The President urged the professionals to look inward in showcasing their knowledge and skill in a way that will directly impact the nation.
“In the past four years, we focused on reversing this trend by introducing policies that will create the enabling environment for engineers to succeed and thrive.
“We introduced Executive Orders and embarked on several infrastructure development and rehabilitation projects. As a Government, we also prioritized local content in our procurement processes,’’ the President added.
President Buhari asked the engineers to continue to support Government at all levels to build a more prosperous society.
In his remarks, Mokuolu commended the President for expressing his belief in local capacity in 2009 at an NSE conference and following up with Executive Orders, appointments and recognition of the regulatory council to further encourage engineers in partnering with the government to develop the country.
The NSE President said the engineering society had been playing a strategic role in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and had established a North East Rehabilitation Committee, while presenting a list of requests to the President, which includes involving members in conceptual stages of projects
Mokuolu said the council had started domestication of global codes and standards, noting that it now has 75 branches spread across the country, with two in foreign cities, Houston and London.
Recall that the President of the NSE, Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu, FNSE had joined the Federal Government delegation to Japan for the recently concluded 2019 edition of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7).
President Buhari had in March this year, signed into law the Engineers Registration Amendment Act, 2019, which vested the constitutional right to the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) to regulate engineering practice in the country.
The Council had also backed President Buhari’s signing of Executive Order 5 last year to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
Supporting the order, Engr. Mokuolu, had declared “Those who doubt the capacity of local engineers is like questioning the capacity of a woman to get pregnant.”