Engineers Make Case For Indigenous Contractors

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The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has said that the gap between local and foreign practitioners will be widened, especially within the construction industry in Nigeria, if the imbalance in project award is not addressed. He has therefore called on policy makers to address the issue.

Engineers expressed this view at the conference/annual general meeting of NSE Lagos branch held recently, with the theme “The Nigerian Engineers and the Public Private Partnership (PPP). Transformation of the Economy”.

A major point of discussion at the forum was the attitude of Nigerian Government at all levels to local engineers and other professional bodies when it comes to the issue of award of contracts.

General consensus among the speakers was that government officials for the reasons best known to them, always preferred to give contracts to foreigners at the expense of their indigenous counterparts, irrespective of the qualification and ability of the latter.

The Deam, Faulty of Engineering of the University of Lagos, Professor Omotayo Fakinlede in his speech observed that Nigerian engineers had failed abinitio, anytime contracts are awarded, by not asking basic questions that are capable of putting government on their toes.

He said that the transformation of Nigeria’s economy would remain a mirage, unless Nigeria is ready to develop its own people, pointing out that technicians who parade themselves as engineers from China, Europe and Asia come to Nigeria to do the work that Nigerians can do better.

Main speaker and the Vice President of NSE Otis Anyaesi who canvassed that Nigerian engineers take their crucial role in the nation’s development also urged government at all levels to provide level playing ground for all the competitors.

He also stressed the importance and advantages of the Public Private Partnership initiative, describing it as a way of doing things effectively.