By Gabriel Olawale
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged different associations in construction industry across Nigeria to commence self-cleansing in order to compete favourably with their counterparts around the globe.
He disclosed that the role of engineers in construction cannot be overemphasised in human daily life as virtually all other sectors rely on the construction industry to provide and maintain their accommodation, plants and infrastructure. Speaking at the 41 Annual Conference /AGM 2019 of the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria in Lagos, Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Olujimi Hotonu, said that with the application of digital technologies, the role of construction industry is bound to become more important due to various mega trends.
“We always require the service of construction engineers to assist in area of project conception, implementation and management. Thus, it is important for us to galvanize and integrate skilled professionals, including project engineers to supervise and ensure effective management and timely completion of projects.
Speaking on “Integrating Nigerian Engineers into National Development”, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos state government believes in inclusive governance and patronage of local market as it helps in capacity building of workforce, reducing capital flight and brain drain.
According to him, “We have strong belief in the professional competency of our engineers and we trust that they can hold their ground among their peers outside the country. However, there is need for them to be encouraged through inclusion and involvement in design and execution of major projects that cut across all the aspects of engineering.
On his part, the President of Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria, Engr. Charles Akindayomi, urged members of the association to embrace merger and acquisition which is the new global trend.
He however, identified lack of widespread access to modern engineering technologies as one of the challenges that can be tackled through merger, insisting that “The stability of our economy depends on how well we sustain the country’s infrastructure development. To ensure government patronage, we must ensure that the design and construction of our national assets are carried out in line with international best practices and standard that is compatible with our culture and environment.”
The Keynote Speaker, Engr. Nurudeen Rafindadi, tasked government to address factors that limit Nigerian engineers from competing with their global counterparts such as high cost of funds and capital in establishing engineering practice and pioneering of projects generally.
“Government should consider establishing infrastructure bank or credit agency that will lend at concessional rate to empower local engineering firms as it’s being practised globally”, Rafindadi noted.