It was a great day on Wednesday September 4, 2019 as President Muhammadu Buhari hosted the leadership of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) led by its President, Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu FNSE at State House, Abuja.
The NSE President, Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu FNSE in his remarks commended the President for expressing his belief in local capacity in 2009 at an NSE conference and following up with Executive Orders, appointments and recognition of the regulatory council to further encourage engineers in partnering with the government to develop the country.
While describing it as legendary, he called on the President to keep to his promise in acceding to the list of requests of the NSE which includes involving members in conceptual stages of projects. He also used the opportunity to charge all engineers to continue to support government at all levels to build a more prosperous Nigeria.
The NSE President urged President Buhari to strongly consider declaring a State of Emergency on Engineering Infrastructure in Nigeria, involve the Nigerian Society of Engineers at the conceptual and initial stages of the processes for new engineering projects, particularly the ones tied to loans.
Engr. Mokuolu requested the President to establish a Special Salary Scale for Engineers in the Civil Service, inclusion of Nigerian Society of Engineers in the Monitoring Council of the Presidential Executive Order 5 of 2018, inclusion of the Nigerian Society of Engineers in the Protocol List of the Presidency because the NSE needs to increase its network locally and internationally, to use his good office to stop the forceful encroachment of the administration of Kings College into their land in Victoria Island, Lagos, a case which had been in court for the past 14 years without any progress, assignment of members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers to one or two engineering project(s) as a challenge, to provide solutions in planning, design and construction and the invitation of Mr. President as the Special Guest of Honour to the 2019 National Engineering Conference and Annual General Meeting will hold in Kano from December 2nd to December 6th, 2019, with the theme: “Building Resilient Infrastructure to Promote Sustainable Industrial Growth”.
He reminded the President of the contributions of the NSE’s which include, Sustainable Development Goals where it had collaborated with state and local governments for development of Geographical Information Systems and master plans as well as offering free advises in addressing critical engineering-related goals, the NSE Council approved the setting up of a committee named the North-East Rehabilitation and Development Committee, increase partnerships and engagements with other stakeholders on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, making several interventions in the past by developing Position Papers and sponsoring Bills in the National Assembly for some critical sectors of our economy.
Some of them according to Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu include the National Road Fund Bill, Federal Road Authority Bill, National Transport Commission Bill, the Metallurgical Industry Bill and Position Papers on Iron and Steel Development, Highways, Railways, and Water.
In his own response, President Muhammadu Buhari charged the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) to make concerted effort, create innovative ideas in reversing the infrastructure deficit in the country, saying, “Nigerian problems require uniquely Nigerian solutions’’.
The President while stating that reversing the deficit will require indigenous capacity He noted that the government has deliberately structured policies to favour more local content and capacity development and that the foundations of any developed, competitive and prosperous society are based on good education and quality infrastructure.
The President urged the professionals to look inward in showcasing their knowledge and skill in a way that will directly impact the nation adding that in the past four years, his administration had focused on reversing this trend by introducing policies that will create the enabling environment for engineers to succeed and thrive.