WorldStage Newsonline– President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged Nigerian engineers to embrace the opportunities generously abound on the recently signed Executive Orders No5 in order to successfully challenge the dominance of foreign firms in the nation’s construction industry.
The Executive Order is one of the series of the economy focused orders rolled by the administration. It is aimed at planning and executions of projects, and promotion of Nigerian content in contracts, science, engineering and technology.
President Buhari, represented on Tuesday by Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Sulieman Adamu at the 27th Engineering Assembly organized by the Council for the Regulatory of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), said “with implementation of the Executive Orders No5 the Ministry of Interior has now restricted issuing visas to foreigners seeking to take engineering works in the country.”
The theme of the forum is: The Nigerian Built Industry: ‘Building a Sustainable Structure with Allied Professionals’
The President said, “Coming just as I recently sign the Executive Order No5 which state that the in quote ‘procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigeria Company and firms in the award of contact in line with the public procurement act 2007.
“The implementations of this Order have started and as expected some of its attended benefits including the promotion of science technology and innovation in several sectors of the economy are beginning to manifest.”
He however lamented the absent of infrastructure in most engineering faculties of our universities to complement theoretical teaching in the practical knowledge has created a wide deficit in the quality of our engineering product.
He said the absent of up to date engineering curriculum it will reflect in the current global trend of engineers has drastically reduce the competitiveness of our engineers.
He emphasised on the disturbing gap between engineering training in Nigeria and those trained in abroad, urging universities to turn out quality and world great professionals.
Governor of Taraba State, Architect, Darius Dickson Ishaku, commended COREN for ensuring that quacks were not parading themselves as engineers, saying, “I have seen a lot of improvement and lots of change.”
The governor advised Nigerian engineers on the need to improve on construction, saying they either come together as individuals or together with others on contracts rather than allowing foreigners take away their businesses. He also advised those retired in the engineering profession to setup specialized engineering schools.
On his part, President of COREN, Engineer Kashim Ali, said with the Executive Order was an indication that government now believes in the ability of indigenous practitioners.
Engr. Ali stated with the Executive Order, Nigerian Engineering Practitioners must prove competent to be able to execute projects that meet international standards, adding that COREN on its part was strengthening its regulations and monitoring mandates.
He acknowledged the minister of power, works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola for approval of two regulations, which include: The regulation on licensing of engineering firms and regulation on the construction industry, adding that such regulation had brought sanity in the engineering practice among Nigerian practitioners in national development.
In his remarks, Registrar of COREN, Engr. Kamila Maliki, noted that the council had consistently organized the assembly as an annual gathering and that the tradition represented a singular most relevant avenue for stakeholders’ discussions to update the knowledge of practitioners and share ideas on emerging issues and technologies.