The Federal Government says it will expose Nigerian scientists and engineers to relevant large-scale scientific and engineering projects that will ensure long-term local contents development.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu made this known at a workshop organised by Nigerian Society of Nigeria (NSC) in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to Onu, exposing Nigerian engineers to relevant scientist and engineering projects will increase job opportunities for Nigerian scientists and engineers as well as strengthen national self-reliance.
He said that the government would fast-track infrastructural development course by fully encouraging Nigerian engineering firms to be the arrowhead of such developmental effort.
“Nigeria is in dire need of sustainable social infrastructure to support the much anticipated socio-economic development.
“We may take the easy route of becoming the world’s destination for “ready-made“ skills and products.
“By extension, we will be offering other opportunities to advance ready-made capacities and skills which we will continue to pay for at the peril of killing our growth potential in all ramification,“ he said.
Onu expressed optimism that such development would positively affect fiscal activities such as relieving seemingly futile reactionary regulatory efforts on Nigeria currency foreign exchange values.
The President of Nigerian Society of Engineers, Mr Oliver Anyaeji, said that the awards of projects to foreign companies would neither help in effectively empowering local firms nor lead to the attainment of respective installed capacities.
Anyaeji said that the workshop aimed to explore effect of Federal Executive Council (FEC) guidelines for planning and execution of projects, programmes and contracts with science, engineering and technology components.
“It would interest you to know how the FEC guidelines for planning and execution of projects, programmes and contracts with science, engineering and technology would guarantee steady and rapid capacity building to Nigerian engineering companies.
“We are most concerned with our basic occupational areas inclusive of engineering consulting, contracting, manufacturing, maintenance and repairs among others,’’ he said.
The workshop examined the needs and benefits of Executive Order on Local Content inclusion via Nigerian engineering firms on projects and programmes with Science, Engineering and Technology contents“.