From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) yesterday, condemned Federal Government’s practice of appointing non-engineers into engineering positions.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 28th October Lecture of the society, the president of the NSE, Engineer Tasiu Sa’ad Gidari-Wudil, said that engineering practitioners have been neglected in the affairs of the country, to the extent that most ministers who are not engineers are occupying offices meant for engineers.
“We find out that engineers and engineering practitioners have been neglected in the affairs of this country. You have a Minister of Works and Housing who is a lawyer. You have Minister of Communications who is very close to engineering but he is not an engineer. Minister of Water Resources is an engineer and so many ministries are engineering base. But why can’t you bring in somebody who is from that field who will be able to deliver.
“So let there be a round peg in a round hole. So, let the government understand that everything about governance and politics centre on infrastructural development. You cannot get infrastructural development by neglecting engineers. So, if we want this country infrastructurally, we just have to get the right people. So, the engineers must be involved. Other technologies must be involved” he said.
He attributed Nigeria’s underdevelopment to the neglect of engineering profession.
“The former US President, Barrack Obama, who once said how he wished there were more engineers in the US than lawyers. Obama is a lawyer but he wished that there were more engineers in his cabinet than lawyers and that’s the problem we’re having.
“If you look at China or the political structure of China, there are over 26 per cent engineers in that country who contribute to the development of China” he said.
According to him, engineering is so vast that it is not only engineers in the field that work. We have craftsmen in engineering. We have technicians. We have technologists, and then we have the engineer.
On NSE, the president recalled that it was established in 1958 and at that time, there was no government regulatory agency. It was due to the instrumentality of NSE that gave rise to the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).
“It was due to that advocacy of the Nigerian engineers that the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), was established as a council for registering engineers and at that moment it was only engineers. In 1996 again, the same set of people moved again to expand it in order to let the council regulate the activities of other areas of engineering” he noted.