The President, Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN), Engr. Charles ‘Yele Akindayomi, has charged Nigerian construction engineers to ensure that global best practices are observed in projects designs and construction. Speaking recently at the association’s Extra-ordinary General Meeting held in Abuja, he expressed delight that the days when Nigeria awarded contracts to foreign engineers and consultants at the expense of local professionals were over. He however admonished construction engineers to ensure that projects’ designs are in line with international best practices. He also expressed the need to reposition local firms to take advantage of the Presidential Executive Order 5.
“We are glad that the days of award of contracts to foreign engineers and consultants are over. All we need is to reposition our firms to take advantage of the Order 5. We’ve written to MDAs on the Order, and will be visiting them”, he said. “We are glad that the days of award of contracts to foreign engineers and consultants are over. All we need is to reposition our firms to take advantage of the Order 5. We’ve written to MDAs on the Order, and will be visiting them”, he said.
Government functionaries including Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, his counterparts in Federal Capital Territory as well as Works, Power and Housing, Alhaji Mohammad Musa Bello and Babatunde Fashola,
respectively, attended the meeting. There were also construction engineers and relevant stakeholders from across the country in attendance with the theme, The Role of Engineering Consultants in the Implementation of the Presidential Executive Order 5, the forum deliberated on the process of taking advantage of the Order in repositioning local engineers for necessary actions.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had in February, signed the said Executive Order 5, with the intention of improving local content in science, engineering and technology procurement. In his remarks, the Minister for Water Resources, Adamu, assured that the guidelines for effective implementation of the Order 5 would be ready soon. The Minister, who is also a member of the Technical and Guideline Committee on the Order, stated that implementation ought to have started since February except for the guideline, which was to clear likely ambiguities on the operations of the Order.
The Minister further expressed the need for local engineers to play prominent role in all construction projects, stressing that they have the capacity to compete with expatriates. He added that with the order, Nigerian engineers would consequently be in charge of their home affairs, and grow with time. “The Order 5 is the best
that has happened to Nigerian professionals. The need for local content development is unprecedented, and the need for Nigerians to lead even when we have foreign consultants and contractors is paramount. According to him, the Order has succeeded in entrenching principles of local content, provided capacity building for local engineers, including the application of science and technology in all sectors of the economy.
Also speaking was the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola who assured the gathering that MDAs have no option than to comply with the order. He added that as soon as he received the 16-page document from the Presidency in February, he instantly directed all Permanent Secretaries under his portfolio to ensure strict compliance.