The professional organisation in the country, under the aegis of Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), said the Next Level agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration may be difficult to achieve if indigenous professionals in the country are not carried along.
The Association, therefore, urged the President to carry professionals along in the formation and implementation of his administration’s policies.
Speaking at the ongoing 8th annual Summit of the Association, President of the APBN, Engr Olumuyiwa Alade Ajobola called on professionals in the country to be ethical in their conducts, stressing that “overall, the necessity for the professionals to remain ethical will be of uttermost importance in the journey to a sustainable next level.
He said, “He said, it is our belief that in order to give positive expression to the Next Level mantra of government, the Nigerian professionals have an indispensable role to play amidst other compatriots
“This year, the summit has been designed specifically to address the Next Level desire of President Muhammadu Buhari, promised at the 2019 election. We interpret this to mean a commitment of the government to repositioning our dear nation Nigeria amongst the committee of Nations, to a higher nexus, in all aspects of governance and hence benefits to the people.”
He, however, cautioned that without the professionals it may be difficult to attain the Next Level, saying they have the expertise to execute the government plans.
In his keynote speech, Pharm. Lere Baale said it is crucial that the professionals are carried along. He expressed concerns that indigenous professionals are leaving the country because they feel their contributions are not being appreciated by the government.
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He said, “The Next Level is more like a dream, but in implementing the strategy that is contained inside the Next Level document, it is crucial that the professionals are carried along. Even if they are not carried along, the professionals should proactively engage government. We are all together to build a better nation.
“The professionals, working with the government can take our country even beyond what is contained in the Next Level documents.”
According to him, Nigeria is blessed with professionals making global impacts.
He recommended the formation of a Public Professional Partnership Forum to be situated within the Presidency to liaise between government and the association of professionals in the country
Earlier on Monday at the opening ceremony of the event, Ajibola charged professionals in the country to key into the policies of the federal government, especially the Executive Order 5 and 7 declared by President Muhammadu Buhari and increased their participation in national development.
According to him, the APBN is determined to be a more responsive and effective organisation and an indispensable contributor to national development
Ajibola said this year’s summit avails the body the opportunity to find solutions to issues which impact on the practice of professionals in the country.
He said, “this year, in view of the low times being experienced by Nigerian professionals due to lower participation in the development of many sectors of the economy in which professionals practice, the Council and Board decided to examine government’s declared panacea for the involvement of Nigerian experts in the rapid development of infrastructure going on in the country at this time, but which are mainly foreign-dominated.
“President Muhammadu Buhari Executive order 05 declared to facilitate increased local participation, and later,
Executive order 07, both geared towards bridging the infrastructure gap while also energizing the economy as well as leaving on the private sector for additional funding thereof, are both positive steps in the right direction.
“However, in order to make the Executive Orders fulfil the objectives, professionals must add their thoughts to the implementation. This is what had advised the theme of the year’s retreat.”
In his address, former minister of sports, Bala Kaoje said President Buhari through Oder 5 and 7 has given the opportunity to professionals in the country to contribute their quotas to national growth and development
He noted that no country can move forward without engaging its professionals. But stressed that with the Executive Order, “the cry that government has abandoned local professionals will not be heard again”
Keynote speaker, Engr Otis Anyaeji said the government has to give priority to Nigerian professionals in the award of contracts.
He said in areas of engineering, manufacturing, consulting, among others. According to him, if Nigeria begins to produce what it needs locally, issues of youth unemployment will be addressed
He, however, said Nigerian professional must develop their capacity and capability to under complex engineering projects to take advantage of the Executive Order 5 and 7
He said, in the next 15 years, engineering firms in Nigeria should be in a position to compete with other relevant professionals in the global market.”