Reading through pages of most Engineer-related MDAs in Nigeria, it is easy to conclude that Ingeniers are only employed as a favour to collect salaries. This way, they are not properly scrutinized on competence and ability/capacity to deliver but sentiment and such nonapplicable things like region, state, local govt, tribe, catchment-area, political godfather, backbone, chop-I-chop, bigotry, animosity, etc.

All the engineering jobs and assignments are comfortably awarded as contracts to foreigners and/or multimegacorporations while, in a bid to ekeout some extra change, we go behind floating some mushroom firms and lobbying for subcontracts. This is an error!

I dont need to have a multibillion asset corporation to engineer a project. Construction is not involved here but to define how such need can be met, using available trades and other capacities, and averting consequences. After the engineering, we are suppose to prequalify the contractors to bid for the construction/implementation of such project. The bid is conducted by those in Finance and Admin as well as the likes. It is onus on us to supervise and ensure proper implementation, verification, validation, and commissioning.

One thing we need to be wary of is the seduction of and quest for exortic capacity. Just because foreign firms brandish heavy duty trucks and equipment does not diminish nor dwarf the fact that such projects can also be realized without such equipment. Most often, they are better executed with rudimentary implements than not.

Exortic capacities, in other climes, are rarely employed except with the deliberate intent to adopt and adapt such technology for multiple other local applications.

As we demand a special salary scale, it should not be on the altar of what is good for one is good for the other. We should put a gain to it for government by way of the fact that we shall ingeniere in a way that more local trades and crafts firms can easily implement. There shall be boom in job creation, trim capital flight, reduce balance of payment deficit – to elliminate with time, etc, which all translates to enhance economic development and prosperity.
Ignorant of this quality information, Fashola can comfortably say he could do his job as Works Minister without the involvement of NSE and her members while Amechi thinks we need to condescend to learning junk rejected and expired rail technologies from the Chinese.

Irrespective of zero current statutory proclamation to this effect, COREN should add this as update to her extant statutes as necessity. It is not a matter of choice anymore but (professionally, economically, socially, security-wise, etc) it has become an emergency.


Eke Augustine



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