The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has said that the abandonment of Ajaokuta Steel Complex and Delta Steel Company had been a major setback to attaining technological advancement of the country.
The President of NSE, Mr Otis Anyaeji, said this at the African Engineering Conference on Energy, UNESCO African Engineering Week and NSE’s Annual General Meeting in Uyo on Monday.
Anyaeji said the abandonment resulted in the importation of all its iron rods for construction as it also impacted negatively on the economic growth of the nation.
According to him, open market costs of the imported construction materials has led to flooding the country with inferior building materials, which are the direct consequences of the collapse of engineering structures.
“Open market costs of these elements have hit the roof because of our weak currency. Substandard materials flood the market. This adds to the high rate of the collapse of engineering structures.
“Monopoly of manufacture of cement by a select few restricts choice and indiscriminate pricing. Costs of products, especially in the building industry become unpredictable.
“High cost of construction materials and scarcity of loans have slowed down activities in the industry. This has led to inadequate provision of affordable houses”, he said.
Anyaeji said that the award of contracts to foreign firms without proper scrutiny of the conditions of contract had led to the side-lining of Nigerian professionals and importation of expatriates and artisans that are in some cases inferior to their local counterparts.