The President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, spoke in “The 28th October Lecture” hosted by the organisation, that it has been discovered that engineers and engineering practitioners are sidelined in the affairs of the nation. To buttress this point, Tasiu said that there could be a Minister of Communications, that could require an engineer since it is close to it, but the office is occupied by one in a totally different field. There could also be a Minister of Water Resources that should be an engineer, but most times, it isn’t. People with the required skills, don’t fill the right positions.
Potential employees should not be neglected and people with little or no knowledge, should not continue to manage strategic positions in the government. Governance and politics require infrastructural development. As a result, engineers should be treated with honour and not the other way which is the current situation. The growth the country needs is to properly utilize the skills available already and not await a miracle. If the Federal Government runs a critical check, they would discover people that do not have adequate skills occupying key positions; but the ones with the required manpower are left idle. Prominent countries that have accomplished a lot as regards development, have a large percentage of engineers occupying positions in government.
The Keynote speaker for the event, Dr. Otis Anyaeji, a fellow of NSE, proposed the revamping of the Ajaokuta steel sector. The presentation was titled “Advocacy and Activism in our Engineering DNA”. Dr. Otis highlighted that if N701 billion is put into Engineering, it would generate N809.56 billion profit over 10 years, averaging an N80 billion profit/year over the period on a 30:70 ratio public/private participation basis. This is a way of adding value to local resources, creating more job opportunities, and as a result, improving the economy.