Engineers have called on the Federal Government to see to the implementation of Executive Order 5 in order to boost local capacity among manufacturers and solution developers.
Under the aegis of the Nigeria Institute of Electrical Electronic Engineers (NIEEE), the body noted that the previous efforts of government geared towards achieving economic development had relied on the use of foreign aid, investment in machines, fostering education at the primary and secondary level, controlling population growth and giving loans and debt relief on reforms to stimulate the economy with a view to achieving self-sufficiency.
However, the engineers claimed the previous efforts were yet to yield the desired results, hence the need for full-scale implementation of Executive Order 5 to boost local production.
NIEEE made the call during its Fellowship Conferment Ceremony of 29 Engineers, which was held in Abuja.
The Chief Executive Officer, Kenol Nigeria Limited, Olu Ogunduyile, in his public lecture at the event, stressed the importance of empowering local manufacturers through the implementation of Executive Order 5.
He said the active participation of more professionals in the development process would harmonize all efforts to achieve the desired results.
Ogunduyile also stressed the need for mentorship by fellows of professional bodies, saying, executive council members of professional associations should foster relationships with all fellows and senior members to ensure engineering professionals are enlisted for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), not as teachers but to industries for industrial experience.
He added that collaboration with academia and industries in Research and Development (R&D) would promote industrial growth.
He also urged the government to encourage the Nigeria Industrial Development Bank (NIDB), to fund the industrial growth at a single-digit interest rate with a long period of repayment of six years.
According to Ogunduyile, “to reduce pressure on naira, the government should support agriculture, textile industries and many others to reduce capital flight that put pressure on the economy.”
He also said since Nigeria had a shortfall of 20 million housing deficit as of 2018, the government needs N21 trillion to fund it.
According to him, “Remember there are millions of engineers, technologists, technicians, artisans and other trades that will benefit from this exercise.
“In other words, you will be sending out the hoodlums, kidnappers away from our streets. An idle hand is the devil’s workshop.
“We need a lot of synergies, thoughtfulness, and collaboration to look inward to solve these challenges.
“We also want the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to rise up to the immediate challenges to foster relationships with the industries and the academia to ensure massive production of ventilators, spraying machines and other equipment that will take away the pressure on our currency.”
The National Chairman/Chairman-in-Council, NIEEE, Kings Adeyemi, said the body would continue to foster development in the country.
Speaking about innovation, Adeyemi said: “So many fellows have many designs but designing is not the issue rather the implementation is the problem, which has to do with the environments that do not encourage engineers to strive.
“So, there is a need for engineers to go into governance to influence the decisions of government by playing an advisory role,” he stated.
While speaking about quacks in the system, Adeyemi said: “Unfortunately, every profession has a certain degree of quackery and electrical engineering discipline is not left out. There are so many laws, and some contradicting, which allows so many quacks to take cover and legislative backing is the way out.”