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‘Forget foreign expatriates, give construction jobs to Nigerians!’ – COREN VP

Amid the growing concern by local professionals on the dearth of building and civil engineering jobs, the Council for the Registration of Engineering in Nigeria [COREN] has urged the Federal Government to extend the local content policy in the oil and gas sector to the construction industry.

COREN Vice President, Prof. Charles Uko who made the appeal during the University of Uyo 41st inaugural lecture entitled, ‘Bridges over Troubled Waters’ said that the practice of structural engineering has suffered in the country because of lack of encouragement of indigenous engineers.

He stressed that, Nigerian engineers are capable to do those jobs given to expatriate companies, and urged the Federal government to review its policy as means of building the capacity of Nigerian structural engineers. He said: “Henceforth, no design of bridges should be given to foreign based multinationals that have no Nigerian partners”.

“Billions are spent each year but most of these go to multinationals with the attendant capital flight and lack of opportunity for capacity development; Nigerian engineers are very capable and are only waiting for opportunity to prove themselves. It is my sincere prayer that the days will soon come when most of the mega projects will be handled by Nigerians”, he said.

The university lecturer therefore called on government at all levels to look inward and give serious consideration by ensuring that, Nigerian structural engineers are given opportunity to be involved in structural engineering projects in the country.

According to him, if this is not taken seriously, the country stands to lose from the massive infrastructural investments being expected in the coming years from this sector.

The Professor of structural engineering with long years of experience warned that, the world has changed as far as construction materials is concern, calling on government to provide adequate research funds, as such would encourage more engineers and scientists to undertake more ground breaking works.

Credit: Guardian Newspaper

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