President Tinubu Underscores Importance Of Engineers In National Development

By Timothy Choji, Abuja

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Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, says the story of national growth and development cannot be complete without Engineers.

He made the declaration in Abuja on Tuesday, at the opening of the 2023 National Conference, Exhibition and Annual General Meeting of the Nigeria Society of Engineers.

President Tinubu, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima at the event, noted with pride that Nigerian Engineers are committed to excellence and are respected globally.

According to the President, “Nigerian Engineers have created a niche for themselves by their shared embrace of excellence and commitment to quality representation. The Nigeria Society of Engineers is a well-respected organization not only nationally but globally.

“Indeed, no story of national growth and development can be told without acknowledging the significant contributions of the various facets of the engineering profession. The theme for this year’s conference, ‘Re-engineering the manufacturing sector for competitiveness and enhanced economic growth and innovation’ is especially apt for a time like this when more than ever before, Nigeria needs to take its place on the global stage in the hub of engineering, manufacturing and innovation.”

Focus

President Tinubu said the current administration in Nigeria is maintaining its focus on job creation, fight against hunger and corruption among others, in order to unlock the full economic potentials of the country.

“The Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration is defined by our commitment to unleashing our country’s full economic potentials by focusing on job creation, access to capital for small and large businesses, inclusiveness, Rule of Law and the fight against hunger, poverty and corruption,” he added.

The Nigerian leader used the opportunity to correct the impression in some quarters that Nigeria’s population is not useful, as he said the nation can within a decade become a trillion-dollar economy.

“Nigeria has the population and resources to be a trillion-dollar economy within the next decade however; we cannot achieve this ambitious target without recognizing the critical importance of the key elements embodied by the theme for this conference, which include manufacturing, competitiveness and economic growth.

“Some people view our large population of over 200 million people as an obstacle to our economic development. I beg to vehemently disagree with them. What I see is tremendous potential and opportunity in the largest black population in Africa and on earth.

“With the median age of 19, we possess not only a large pool of industrial and engineering labour but also a vast market for any product manufactured within Nigeria. The challenge before us is to turn this workforce into one of the greatest national assets the world has ever seen and this is where you come in; the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the umbrella body of all engineering ceilings and expertise in the country,” the President stressed.

Collaboration

President Tinubu sued for collaboration between the government at all levels and Engineers in order to tap the potentials of the country, as he promised to provide the enabling environment for Engineers to succeed in their chosen profession.

“You have a huge responsibility before you, to work with the government and with all the stakeholders so that we can jointly chart a path to true and lasting prosperity for Nigeria. Our administration requires your support to harness the immense opportunities in front of us and to turn the promise of Renewed Hope into reality for the generality of our people.

“I once again offer you my solemn promise that I am committed to providing the enabling environment for every policy, legislation and action required for this to happen,” he said.

Revenue and Taxes

The President restated the government’s desire to raise more revenue and also reduce the burden on citizens and business, by streamlining the number of taxes in Nigeria.

“Our goal is to increase Nigeria’s tax revenues while also reducing the burden on individuals and businesses. It might sound like a contradiction but it is not. By streamlining the number of taxes, introducing greater efficiency and blocking the loopholes through which leakages occur, we can and will deliver less burdensome tax regimes to businesses and employers of labour,” President Tinubu assured.

The Nigerian leader noted that State governments are getting seed financing as support for the provision of infrastructure for a transformational infrastructure path across the country.

The representative of the President and a few other dignitaries that graced the opening ceremony of the conference were decorated with various honours of the Nigeria Society of Engineers.