The federal government on Tuesday announced that it had resuscitated the institutions technical colleges and vocational institutions following calls from engineers, who have attributed some lapses in the engineering profession to the absence of such institutions.
The FG also called on state governments and private owners of such institutions to follow suit and bring them back to life so that technicians and other workers with vocational skills, who were crucial to the implementation of engineering projects can be formally trained before being unleashed on the system.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Abubakar Mohammed, also announced that besides the 500 engineering graduates recently employed through the Ministry of Works, about 1,000 were being interviewed for engagement in the power sector.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 22nd Engineering Assembly of the Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN), in Abuja, with the theme: “Accelerating National Development: The Role of the Engineering Profession in Nigeria,” the president said: “I have noted the serious concern raised by COREN on the state of technical colleges in Nigeria.
“As rightly observed, engineers cannot successfully deliver their projects without the contribution of engineering technicians and craftsmen. I commend COREN for all the effort to bring this challenge to the fore.
“The federal government has already taken precise steps to resuscitate its technical colleges and training institutions.
“The state governments and private owners of these institutions are strongly encouraged to do the same to restore the old glory of our technical and (vocational) training institutions.”
Speaking further, he said, “Our country can attain its full developmental potential only if we resolve to advance the level of engineering. This nation cannot continue to depend on the expertise of other nationals.”
President Jonathan therefore urged engineering personnel in the country to identify and remove the cogs in the wheel of their progress to take “commanding control” of all engineering works in the country, adding: “The time has come for the Nigerian engineering profession to meet the expectations of our nation.”
The president also charged COREN to strive to use and allow only registered engineering personnel of proven ability to practise in the country, while assuring them of government’s continued support.
The president of COREN, Kashim Ali, said the federal government should as a matter of priority resume the culture of maintenance of all existing infrastructure through the provision of adequate funding.