Nigerian Society of Engineers insists on local content policy

Golfa Francis, Abuja

The Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, says it will work with governments at all levels and key private sector players, in the full realization of the country’s local content policy.

In an effort for NSE to achieve this mandate, it highlighted vital issues that need to be put in proper perspective to guarantee Nigeria’s growth as a nation.

President of NSE, Otis Anyaeji at a briefing with journalists in Abuja applauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s genuine concern for the growth of country especially local content development under the Nigerian-Chinese Bi-Lateral Agreements.

“We in NSE believe that the recent visit to China to solicit Chinese government’s partnership and support in the efforts towards achieving growth and prosperity will yield maximum benefits in the long run, however, we want to offer a few professional suggestions which we strongly believe will aid in achieving the desired benefits from the efforts,” Otis said.

According to him, the country needs to apply Nigerian Engineering Resources strategically in policy formulation and implementation, thereby watching how some International Lenders tend to work against the participation of local professionals in the very important infrastructure projects being financed by them.

Otis laid emphasis on the Nigerian Railways Rehabilitation and Expansion Projects and the Airport Terminal Buildings at the major airports which he said do not appear to include any space for local participation as advocated by Engineers against Poverty, Engineers without Frontiers and other multilateral donors.

“Since our country must pay back borrowed funds for these projects, we must endeavour to benefit beyond the completed infrastructure from the transactions, to the advantage of shoring up technology acquisitions and, by implication, Local Content Development” Eng. Otis added.

When asked on NSE’s Position on the restructuring of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Eng. Otis said that Nigeria must take bold step and placed the highest emphasis on the proper use of Science and Engineering professionals, and the promotion of its study amongst the youths.

We are aware that the announced structural change of NNPC into Thirty Companies is under review by some Consultants.

As the foremost Engineering Body in this Country, we would like to caution that adequate care should be exercised not to send a wrong message that competence in Engineering, Science and Technology is not necessary for enhanced performance of the Corporation by largely subordinating Engineers to the leadership of other professionals as appears to be the case,” Otis said.

According to him, it is the duty of NSE and Council for the regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, to certify the proficiency of practicing Engineers in Nigeria.

“We are aware of government effort at restructuring for Commercial Independence and Operational efficiency. Therefore we suggest that positions of top management of the Corporation should be maintained by an Engineer at Directorate Level for safety and accountability along with effective Corporate standards and oversight,he added.

The NSE president also emphasized that the Structure of the Top Management in NNPC should be replicated in all the thirty companies with Engineering, remaining the key function in Operation, Process, Maintenance, HSE, and Construction.

Oits added that NSE and COREN should be invited to review and authenticate on the forthcoming new structure and the Engineering personnel to man them.