Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology said on Thursday that the Federal Government would strengthen the use of indigenous engineers to develop the nation.
Onu, spoke as the Special Guest of Honour at the 38th annual conference of the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN) in Lagos.
The theme of the conference was; “Formulating a National Action Plan towards Integrating Nigerian Consultants into National Development-A case for inclusiveness’’.
According to the minister, it is unacceptable that Nigeria still relies on foreign experts to build her infrastructure, construction, refineries and many others.
He said that Nigeria was a great nation with sufficient resources that could build and develop her economy.
“It is only Nigerians that can best develop Nigeria. We are not fully utilising our limitless opportunities. Even President Muhammadu Buhari has said that this has to change.
“The Ministry of Science and Technology will not rest until it strengthens the country’s indigenous capacity for national development,’’ Onu said.
He said that the ministry would ensure that Science, Technology and innovation became an important instrument for economic renewal and social stability.
Onu commended the association for their commitment to national development as professional, noting that mathematics, science and engineering were important for creation of wealth, jobs, providing shelter, securing the nation and fighting hunger.
The minister said that the country had no business importing food and other goods if it was utilising its indigenous experts.
He said that the ministry was determined to move the economy from a resource based to a science and innovation base economy.
According to him, the ministry will need the skills, expertise, support and talent inherent in members of ACEN and other stakeholders to achieve its plans.
The Present of ACEN, Mr Suleiman Adamu also said that every developed country used its indigenous experts to fashion its developmental programmes.
Adamu said that by using indigenous experts in building the economy, the country would be improving the expertise of the nation as well as creating jobs.
He said that when indigenous experts were neglected and foreigners are used to execute projects, the country would not grow and the youths would not improve.