The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) on Wednesday said it had earmarked N2 billion for its Community Engineering Project (CEP) aimed at developing infrastructure of selected villages in the country. The President of the society, Mr Adekunle Mokuolu, disclosed this at the closing of the Silver Jubilee of its Ikeja branch, Lagos. Mokuolu said the society would collaborate with local councils and state governments for the execution of the project to open up rural communities.
The president said the society was also collaborating with some successful Nigerian engineers in the Diaspora to tap into their wealth of knowledge to enable it execute the project. He urged the federal government to give local engineers a chance to contribute their quota to the development of the nation. He attributed the poor maintenance culture of many of the nation’s infrastructures on non involvement of local engineers in their execution. “Maintenance is everything about engineering infrastructure. When we do not know anything about a project, how can the engineers be able to maintain it?” He said the greatest resource of any nation was its human resources, adding that although engineering principle was the same globally, local engineers were not given opportunity to grow.
He said the federal government had invested large resources in the training of local engineers, lamenting that preference was, however, given to foreigners in the award of contracts. The Guest Speaker, Mr Joseph Makoju of the Dangote group, represented by Auwalu Halliru, Senior General Manager, Dangote Projects, stressed the need to diversify the nation’s economy for rapid industrialisation. “We particularly need to deepen and expand our manufacturing, agricultural and mining sectors as a first step.” Makoju called for the development of the manufacturing sector as Nigeria was lagging behind some nations it was at par with in the past. (NAN)