From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The Federal Government has warned that Nigeria will no longer be a dumping ground for all manner of foreign products.
Speaking at the 26th Engineering Assembly organised by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in Abuja, yesterday, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said the present administration is determined to change the trend by empowering local capacities through policies and programmes that promote economic diversification.
Represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Osinbajo said the administration is working hard to place the engineering family at the centre of national development.
“For too long, we have depended on imports to meet many of our needs; for too long, we have paid a very big price for this.
“Nigeria cannot continue to be a main consumer nation, Nigeria wants to be a producer nation whereby we can produce many of the things we need, and this is the thrust of this administration,” he stated.
Onu said in the next 10 to 15 years, Nigeria will be looking for scientists, engineers and many other professionals even from outside the country because of industrial revolution.
He explained that many decisions taken, particularly in the Science, Technology and Innovation roadmap, which covers a period of 13years, (2017- 2030) will help the nation plan ahead in meeting the short, medium and long term needs of the engineering sector.
Governor Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa State, who chaired the occasion, advised that a stringent regulatory framework and more attractive conditions of service be evolved to forestall capital flight and exodus of indigenous engineers in search of greener pastures.
He further called on COREN to consider putting up short term training and enhancement programmes for artisans and craftsmen.
This, according to him, “will go a long way in reducing the rate at which Nigeria has become a dumping ground for all kinds of pseudo engineers as expatriate engineers, as well as address the critical challenges affecting the Engineering sector.”