Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo- Olu has declared unflinching support for the integration of Nigerian Engineers into national development. The Governor said “Lagos State believes in inclusive governance and patronage of the local market as it helps in capacity building of our work- force; reducing capital flight and brain drain”.
This was contained in an address read on his behalf by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Engr Olujimi Hotonu at the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN) Conference, with the Theme: Integrating Nigerian Engineers into National Development, held at the Sheraton Lagos Hotel, Ikeja.
Sanwo- Olu declared that the government has strong belief in the professional competence of our engineers and trust that they can hold their ground among their peers outside the country.
He opined that the nation could not continue to rely on foreign nationals for all her construction projects when there were local professionals who could compete favourably with their counterparts around the globe.
However, the governor noted there was the need for them to be encouraged through inclusion and involvement in the design and execution of major projects that cut across all the aspects of engineering including civil, mechanical, chemical to mention but few. Adding that, it is only by so doing that our engineers will acquire the needed impetus, skills and experience to be more updated and globally competitive.
Governor Sanwo Olu disclosed that his administration was developing the necessary condition and framework for the State to effectively transit to a Smart city in line with the vision of the founding fathers, disclosing that stakeholders in the built industry and other relevant sectors would be encouraged to actively participate in the design and the execution of major projects so as to jointly realise the dream of a new Lagos that is safe with great aesthetic value.
Espousing the role of Engineers in national development, he said “the role of the construction sector in our daily life cannot be overemphasized. Virtually all other sectors rely on the construction industry to provide and maintain their accommodations, plants and infrastructure. With the application of digital technologies, the role of the construction sector is bound to become even more important owing to various global megatrends”.
Speaking further the Governor said “We require the services of construction engineers who will assist with project conception, implementation, delivery and management. Thus, it is important for us to galvanise and integrate skilled professionals including project engineers to supervise and ensure effective management and timely completion of projects.”
He encouraged Engineers to always abide by the new Public Procurement regulations in their projects execution, the governor stated that, the passage of the Public Procurement Act (PPA), which emphasized competence, appropriate pricing, structured funding, usage of standard and quality materials, amongst others, was meant or designed to entrench quality, efficiency and safety, in line with global best practices.
Earlier in his welcome in his welcome address, President of Association for Consulting Engineering, Engr. Charles Akindayomi stated that the conference was aimed at bringing Engineers together to rub minds on how to move engineering profession forward to meet international standard practice.
He said the body was working hard to ensure that they take good initiatives that could help to achieve sustainable development in all engineering practice, while they were determined to ensure that all contracts awarded to any of their members was well monitored to ensure efficient execution and timely delivery of contracts as specified in the contract terms of reference.
In their goodwill messages, Presidents, Council for the Regulations of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Engr. Ali Rabiu and Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu commended the organisers of the conference, noting that the outcome of the conference would help to shape the practice of engineering practice in the country, noting that the conference would help to promote the growth of engineering in the country.