BY DEMOLA AKINYEMI
ILORIN—THE Federal Government has directed that all engineering and construction projects below N5 billion in the Ministry of Works be reserved for local contractors as from January 2013.
The Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, who made this known in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, yesterday, said this was to enable them develop and compete effectively with their foreign counterparts.
Onolememen spoke at the opening ceremony of this year’s Annual National Conference of Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE.
The Minister also identified huge infrastructure deficit as one of the major factors inhibiting economic growth and development in the country.
He said: ”As from the year 2013, all engineering and construction projects below N5 billion in the ministry of works will be reserved for Nigerian contractors as a deliberate effort of the Federal Government to help build local capacity and promote local contents in the industry.
”To reverse this trend, special emphasis must be placed on local capacity to develop and effectively deploy technology and know-how that is required to build and sustain our nation’s infrastructure.
”Continued reliance on imported technologies and professionals to build most of Nigeria’s infrastructure such as roads, power, energy, water supply and transportation is simply not sustainable in the long run.”