The Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN), has appealed to local engineers to form consortiums to handle big projects in order to bridge Nigeria’s infrastructure gap.
The President of ACEN, Mr Charles Akindayomi, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.
Akindayomi said that the signing of the Executive Order Five by President Muhammadu Buhari empowered and protected local engineers, local suppliers and local contractors such that Nigerian engineers could lead projects.
“That is very encouraging for us that, no matter what the project is, it has to be Nigerians leading it.
“The issue that we now have is how to get our members to participate in these projects,“ he said.
He said though there were consulting engineers in the country,their number remained small in nature, adding, “the number of us in major contracts is not many.
“ We have about two or three consulting engineering firms who can employ more than 100 engineers but these projects that various governments are giving out as infrastructural projects are huge projects.“
He said where Nigerian engineers did not have the expertise, they could partners with foreign firms to in the execution of jobs to avoid the previous situation where jobs were hijacked by foreign firms.
Akindayomi noted that local engineers were ill-equipped because most local engineering firms were small and would not be able to compete against established multinationals, except they form consortiums.
“So we are now looking inward to tell ourselves that, If we have so many of these smaller consulting firms, why can’t we find a mechanism where we can all collaborate as one unit,’’ he said.
He explained that the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola was waiting for the engineers to come up with their consortiums to take up big projects.
Akindayomi said that he would drive the vision to conclusion before expiration of his tenure in December, adding that committees had commenced work on the modalities to achieve the mission.
“My advice to engineers is that they should forgo their egos to achieve bigger success. It is better to be part of a large succeeding group than own your company and achieve little’’.