The President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), has debunked the view in certain quarters that Nigerian engineers were not good enough to handle major projects in the country.
Kashim Ali told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Sunday in Abuja that such an excuse was untrue, insisting that Nigerian engineers were the power behind the railway system in Britain.
“The problem we have in Nigeria is that we are good at blaming and as I speak to you, we have so many Nigerian engineers doing a lot of work abroad.
“Nigerians are the engineers behind the rail system in Britain and if Britain can rely on Nigerians to handle their system, why can’t they do it in Nigeria?
“The truth is that the blame game cannot continue; what I am saying is that we should give people direct challenge.”
Ali advocated that the Federal Government should insist on adherence to competence as one of the criteria for the award of contract to Nigerians while payment of taxes and other requirements should apply to non-nationals.
“All you want should be their competency, call them to be sure that they have the competence and ensure that they have evidence to show that they can do the Job.
“Then other laws and subsidiary issues should be put on hold till the project is completed.
“That is what is done everywhere in the world to encourage local contractors.”
According to him, foreign contractors are in the country because the have an overflow in their countries.
“If you go to North African countries, no foreigner can get a job in those countries unless you come under a local firm.
“The foreign contractor must work with the local contractor who has not gotten sufficient expertise.
“It is a practice that is universal because engineering is expensive; you need a lot of tools.
“We are not saying government should give us money, it should create an environment that is suitable to protect and encourage local engineers,” Ali added.
Source: Business Day