Center urges FG to enforce local content law in engineering projects

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The Centre for Atmospheric Research, National Space Research and Development Agency  has advised the Federal Government to enforce laws that promote local content in all aspects of engineering projects.

Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, the Director of the centre, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja that the measure became necessary to enhance economic development.

Rabiu said that the enforcement of local content law in engineering projects would reduce capital flight; improve infrastructural development and local engineering technology.

He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari in February signed the Executive Order 5 which promotes the procurement of local content products and services.

The director said that the Nigerian engineers should leverage on the order to boost their work and the country’s economy.

“Local content law should be enforced in all engineering projects in the country.

“This should not be limited to the award of contracts; rather it should be made to reflect in the ownership of any engineering based company operating within the shores of Nigeria.

“Certain percentage of ownership of every engineering firm operating in the country should be Nigerian.

“Foreign companies operating in Nigeria should have certain percentage of ownership even at top echelon reserved for indigenous Nigerian registered engineers.

“This in turn will save capital flight and fast track sustainable development which drives economic and industrial growth,” he said.

Rabiu urged the Federal Government to embark on novel strategies to engage indigenous technology, patronise national and local engineering firms to sustain infrastructural development.

He said that there should be a re-orientation of development policies to encourage patronage of indigenous technology and local engineering firms.

The scientists, however, called on Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) to take up advisory and regulatory roles for engineering projects for sustainability.

He said that there should be a review of educational curriculum at tertiary educational level to include entrepreneurial components.

“NSE and COREN should assume oversight function over every engineering projects being embarked on by the government at all levels.

“NSE and COREN should also set up appropriate committee to sensitise, mobilise indigenous engineering practitioners and local engineering firms to take advantage of the recently promulgated Executive Order 5.

“Engineering is a dynamic profession and so there is need for continuous training and retraining of professionals in order to keep abreast of new developments in their respective fields.

“NSE and COREN should sustain their training programmes for registered members.

“This will complement the government’s effort and ensure that standards are maintained in execution of projects within the government.’’

According to Rabiu, Nigeria imports and consumes a lot of products that can be indigenously made which has jeopardised the economy.

“Any nation that is a great consumer of imported technological products will end up being an industrial dumpsite for the technology produced by other nations,” he said.

He said that the Ajaokuta Steel Company, if completed and revived, had the capacity to drive national engineering and infrastructural development.

Rabiu said that no nation could rise above the level of its infrastructure and engineers, adding that engineering profession were indispensable in national development. (NAN)

– Sept. 17, 2018 @ 16:37 GMT |

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