From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
As the Federal Government expresses commitment to promote engagement of indigenous professionals, the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN) has called for more local content development and patronage.
The President of the APBN, Surveyor Akin Oyegbola, who made this call in the association’s press briefing also raised alarm about Nigeria’s rising insecurity, saying it is becoming a challenge that highly detrimental for the nation’s economy.
He said the country is yet to recover from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and violence that followed the #EndSARS protest of 2020. He further stated that the nation needs a peaceful atmosphere for the nation to attract attention from foreign and local investors.
He said the change of baton at the top echelon of security apparatus may not be the only requirement but the small beginning of a completely different far-reaching and effective strategy for providing the much needed security for lives and properties in the land.
Oyegbola also said the Association will continue to emphasize the need to encourage local content development by engaging Nigerian professionals in areas where they have comparative advantages.
He said it has been proven that Nigerian professionals can hold their own anywhere in the world. The APBN boss urged the government to invest urgently in making Covid-19 vaccines available to Nigerians.
He said: “The APBN strongly requests the NCDC to urgently ensure the sequencing of the variants of SAR-COV-2 circulating in Nigeria. This, in addition to conducting a dossier of currently available vaccines, will guarantee that Nigerians gets the most appropriate vaccine.”
On the ongoing strike by the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Union of Universities (SSANU), the APBN appealed to the two unions to allow peace prevail.
He said, “we use this opportunity to commend the federal government and other African countries that are signatories to the the landmark Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement. The Association will also like to appeal to the nation’s professional associations to leverage this trade agreement that provides them the opportunity of exploring the different opportunities inherent in the various African markets”
Also speaking, the director general, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Inrahim, said rather than going abroad to look for expatriates that would execute projects in the country, the federal government will engage competent indigenous professionals
The NOTAP boss argued that one of the ways the incumbent government intended to demonstrate such commitment was through its Executive Order 5, which, he added, the government was vigorously pursuing.
According to him, the federal government was gradually moving towards the implementation of the Order, signed by the president, to encourage Nigerian professionals.
He added that the federal government, through NOTAP, would be collaborating with associations, such as the APBN, and also develop a database that would consist of list of qualified professionals in the country, as a way making the Order work.
“By doing that, we are sure that with the click of a button, we are able to know where to find who, when projects are about to be implemented, instead of the tradition of looking beyond the shores of the land for professionals that would execute such projects,” he added.