The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has urged the Federal Government to act in line with Executive Order 5 by encouraging more multinational engineering firms to employ Nigerian engineers.
Chairman of NSE, Lagos State branch, Mr. Musliudeen Agoro, gave the advice on Sunday while speaking with the newsmen in Lagos.
Reports show that President Muhammadu Buhari had, on February 12, 2018, in Abuja, signed Executive Order 5 that stipulates the need to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
Agoro said that signing of the executive order by President Buhari had empowered and protected the local engineers, local suppliers and local contractors such that Nigerian engineers could lead projects.
He, however, said that signing of the executive order might not be enough, and called for its enforcement, government’s full backing, and encouragement to enable Nigerian engineers to secure and also lead in execution of projects.
According to him, the implementation of the executive order on local content will not only drastically reduce capital flight but also reduce unemployment and boost Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the country.
“The signing of the executive order was very encouraging, but its implementation is key.
“If there is no full support and backing from government, it will be difficult for the Nigerian engineers to lead in the execution of projects amid foreign contractors,” he said.
Agoro lamented that the effects of Executive Order 5 had not been felt in the construction industry, saying that most of the projects were still being awarded to multinational companies at the detriment of Nigerians.
He suggested that where Nigerian engineers did not have the expertise, they could partner with foreign firms in the execution of mega projects to avoid situations whereby jobs were hijacked by foreign firms.
“Unfortunately, collaboration is virtually non-existence between the local and foreign engineers/contractors in the construction sector.
“All the multinational firms protect their interests; they gradually fill the company with their nationals to the detriment of the Nigerian engineers.
“Let the government put Nigerian engineers in position of authority so that they can influence national policies.
“Until government trusts the Nigerian engineers to allow them lead in execution of projects, the Executive Order 5 will remain more of theoretical and not practical,” Agoro said.