President Muhammadu Buhari has identified investment in critical technologies as key to addressing the lingering power supply and metering challenges in the country.
The President made this remark at the 27th Engineering Assembly of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in Abuja.
Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, harped on the need for an upgrade in engineering practice in Nigeria.
He explained: “Our country is in dire need of new engineering technologies to improve our infrastructure development. We need to upgrade the quality of engineering practice and concentrate on the application of modern engineering technology in road construction, power, manufacturing and housing among others.
“New engineering technologies are also needed to improve services in agriculture, transportation and power sectors, particularly to revamp our power generation, transmission and distribution, as well as our metering system”, the President added.
This is even as he pointed out that the absence of the requisite infrastructure in most engineering faculties in the nation’s tertiary institutions which should complement theoretical teaching with practical knowledge was lacking, thereby creating a huge gap in the quality of Nigeria’s engineering products.
The President also noted that Nigerians had become victims of poor quality of service delivery by poorly trained and unqualified engineers with the attendant negative impact on the nation’s infrastructure and other related assets quality.
President Buhari clarified further: “Similarly, the absence of up to date engineering curriculum to reflect the current global trends in engineering, has drastically reduced the competitiveness of our engineers.
“There is a deserving gap between engineers trained in Nigeria and those trained abroad. There is the need for our universities to turn out quality and world grade professionals”, he added.
The president expressed his administration’s commitment to the development of engineering training and practice in the country with a view to improving the living standards of Nigerians.
He canvassed support and encouragement for the leadership and members of the engineering profession as a strategic step towards evolving practical ways and means for improving engineering vocation and practice in the country
In his presentation at the assembly, the President of COREN, Mr. Kashim Ali, commended the Federal Government on the Executive Order Number 5, which gives preferences to indigenous companies on contract awards.
He described the measure as a demonstration of government’s belief in the technical and professional competencies of indigenous professionals in adding value to the nation’s capital projects.
Ali pointed out that with the Executive Order in place, Nigerians engineers should be able to prove that they are competent to handle critical projects that meet global standards.
The engineering expert also described the current efforts to amend the Engineers (Registration) Act CAP E11 of 2004, which vests powers on COREN to regulate the practice of engineering in the country as desirable for professional regulation of members.
He pointed out that the prolonged years of non-amendment of the Act had hampered optimal performance of COREN, especially in the area of enforcement of its provisions, disciplining of erring members and prosecution of quacks that forayed into the profession.