By Monday Ijeh
Abuja – The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Abuja chapter has decried the low patronage of indigenous engineers by the Federal Government in the execution of its projects.\
Dr Ezekiel Coker, the branch Chairman, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He said it was misnomer for the government of a country not to patronise its local engineers, adding that nobody could love a country more that its citizens.
According to him, any country without technology cannot develop and this development can only come when the local engineers are encouraged.
“Nigeria has had people who studied engineering and have been the best of the best in the world.
“Yet, there have been low patronage of local engineers on the part of the government and we are not happy about it.
“We have been doing our best to convince the government on the need for a level playing ground with the foreign contractors and I assure you, we will perform better,” he said.
The chairman said that although indigenous engineers had made mistakes in the past, they have learnt from their mistakes.
“Yes, we agree that we have had incidences of building collapse in the country, but it is not peculiar to Nigeria because it is equally happening in other parts of the world.
“We cannot use that to conclude that the engineers in such countries are not good and as human, we learn from our mistakes.
“Let government give us a chance and let us make mistakes and I am very sure we will learn and correct ourselves.
“From correction, we will grow to perfection,” he added.
According to him, in Brazil the government purchases machinery for local engineers and “as I speak to you, there is no foreign company handling any contract in Brazil.
He said the Federal Government could do same in Nigeria by providing machinery and support to encourage local engineers.
“We have the brains in this country, but what we lack is the equipment and machinery to undertake the projects.
“Assuming the government can give us the opportunity to get the machinery, we will perform better than these multinationals that are in the country,” he said.