Engineers ask FG for roles in policy formulation, infrastructure development

Engineers ask FG for roles in policy formulation, infrastructure development

The President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Otis Anyaeji, has requested the federal government to partner Nigerian Engineers on the crafting of policies that deal with technical matters and the development of infrastructure. Anyaeji made the demand recently, when he led a team of Senior Engineers on  a visit to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde  Fashola  in Abuja.

Anyaeji told the minister that government at all times should consider the expert view of engineers in the formulation of technology advancement policies as well as the execution of same. The president requested the involvement of Nigerian engineers in the final lap of the tidying up of the documents on the Nigeria-Chinese bi-lateral loan agreement which was recently secured by the federal government.

Anyaeji pointed out the need to involve Nigerian engineering firms for the execution of the projects earmarked for delivery under the loan agreement. He said such a step will further boost the capacity of Nigerian engineers.

He called for the strict adherence to the relevant procurement laws in the execution of projects and  the use of local materials for the execution of government projects.  

In response, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola hinted of plans to enhance local content in Nigeria’s infrastructural development under the Nigerian Chinese bilateral agreement. He urged indigenous  engineers to always take the step of responding to bids advertisements by the federal government in the media.

Fashola told the engineers not to allow funds paucity to deter them from competitive bidding for gigantic contracts advertized by government. He urged them to explore local and offshore funding for the execution of targeted projects.

He disclosed plans by government to engage Nigerian engineering firms for the construction of six hydropower dams to boost power supply in the country. He assured of government’s commitment to continued partnership and patronage of Nigerian engineers for national development.

The minister lamented the unwieldy nature of some of the procurement laws, saying attempts to their strict adherence have continually delayed projects execution. He therefore called for the amendments of such laws to enable government expedite action on vital projects.

Fashola urged  the Nigerian engineers to close up the vacuum that   allows foreign firms to dominate the infrastructural sector of the economy, adding that no serious government would prefer foreign firms to indigenous ones except if they are not proactive.

While appreciating the society’s support for the government, Fashola said that since the inception of this administration, the ministry has been trying to pay contractors and consultants in line with the Procurement Act and focus on completion of projects that were stopped due to non-payment.

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