President Goodluck Jonathan
By John Shiklam
The Chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Abdul Audu, has tasked President Goodluck Jonathan on the need to engage professionals in his cabinet.
In a paper presented at a one-day lecture with the theme, ‘Total Quality Management: The Role of Professional Engineers in Achieving Sustainable Development in Nigeria,’ organised by the Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria (APWEN) in Kaduna, Audu noted that one of the challenges confronting the country today was the placing of wrong people to head organisations that required expertise.
He stressed that it was wrong for a non professionals to be appointed to head sensitive ministries such as ministries of works or health which requires professionals.
“We are more than worried that those that are supposed to man engineering position in the country are being short-changed. For instance, you can’t take an engineer to head the justice ministry or you can’t take a lawyer to go and head the federal ministry of health but there are many engineering ministries that are being manned by non-engineers.
“This is so painful. It is annoying and this one of the problems that we have in the country. You can make an engineer to perform so many things but you can’t make an ordinary man or anybody to perform the functions of an engineer. You will rather destroy the business that you want the person to manage.
“A lot of things are going bad in this country simply because the right professionals are put or place in the wrong place. Like I said earlier, you can’t pick an engineer to do the work of the lawyer. The lawyers will protest.
“The globally accepted practice is for professionals to head offices they belong. Government should do the right thing, put square peg in a square hole and a round peg in a round hole”, he added.
Also speaking at the occasion, the President of APWEN, Mrs. Olayinka Abdul, urged the Federal Government to always give indigenous engineers the chance to prove their worth.
She noted that there had been a very wide gap between the policy makers and Nigerian engineers, adding that there was need to carry professional bodies along in the formulation and execution of policies.
While lamenting the incidences of collapse buildings across the country, Olayinka maintained that most of the buildings affected were never supervised by professional engineers.
“We go all out to educate the populace about the use of professionals in building projects. When you don’t use a professional to do any work, there will be problem. A lot of people out there are willing to cut corners, they don’t want to engage professionals, and they feel a professional will charge them too much money. They will rather use quacks at the detriment of their safety”, he added.