The Federal Government has employed 500 indigenous engineers in the construction sector to boost local content and lay quality foundation for infrastructural development.
President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by the Minister of State for Works, Mr Bashir Yuguda, made this known at the inauguration ceremony of the 29th President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) on Saturday in Abuja.
He said the recruitment of the engineers was in fulfilment of government’s commitment to professional excellence and local content drive in the country.
The president said the gesture was also in response to the request of the works ministry in line with his administration’s resolve to bring professionalism into governance.
He said government was reforming all sectors of the economy, especially the road sector to enhance the achievement of Vision 20:20:20.
“In line with the transformation agenda of this administration, the government promotes professionalism and that is why 500 engineers have been employed.
“The National Planning Commission is responsible for the development of a 30 year National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan from 2014 to 2043.
“The commission is working closely with all the relevant stakeholders, including development partners to ensure that it meets the deadline.
“This is to avoid the gap that we have in delivering infrastructure to the nation and we will appreciate the effort of the NSE”, he said.
The president commended NSE’s monitoring and evaluation exercise, saying “it is a welcome development as it will help to enhance infrastructure development.’’
Jonathan urged the body to continue to strive to bring up young engineers, especially those involved in industrial training.
Earlier, the former president, Mr Mustafa Shehu, said that the NSE had a lot of achievements during his tenure.
He said that during his tenure, the society upgraded the network of its ICT infrastructure to meet global standards.
Shehu said that the NSE partnered with NIGCOMSAT for the provision of the e-voting software which was solely developed by Nigerian engineers and used for its elections.
“The technology has been tried for two years now and the outcome has been splendid; it is indeed an achievement the nation can learn from in elections in Nigeria”, he said.
He urged Nigerian engineers to continue to strive to uphold professionalism and engineering ethics while developing the country’s construction sector.
Mr Ademola Olorunfemi, the new president of the body, said his administration would focus on providing quality and inspirational leadership through the display of the ingenuity of Nigerian engineers.
Olorunfemi said that an NSE monitoring Action Group (NMAGs) to monitor policies and programmes affecting critical sectors of the economy would be established.
He also said that NSE would initiate policy reforms and practical action to mitigate growing youth unemployment and create technological development for sustainable development in the country.
Olorunfemi added that the Nigerian Content Development Law 2010 was a scheme with the potential to create over 30,000 jobs in the next five years, adding that this could only be achieved by encouraging local production.
He further urged government to continue to create avenues to promote local content, saying this would lead to sustainable development. (NAN)