The Federal Government has disclosed that all engineering and construction projects below N5billion in the Federal Ministry of Works will be henceforth be exclusively reserved for Nigerian contractors who have the requisite capability to execute them. The policy will commence from 2013.

Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen made the disclosure during a keynote address delivered on Infrastructure Development and Maintenance in a Technology-Driven Environment at the just concluded National Engineering Conference tagged: ?Harmony 2012.? The conference took place in Ilorin.

He said it is a product of the deliberate effort by the Federal Government to help in building local capacity as well as promoting local content in the engineering services industry, adding that as a further step towards ensuring technological transformation for technology-driven economy, a directive had been given that contractors handling major projects in the ministry must comply with the policy of employing Nigerian engineering personnel.

Onolememen also assured that the Works Ministry is doing its best to prioritise the implementation of government projects, in order to ensure that projects embarked upon by the Federal Government are well funded and completed within the contract period. He stressed that with the on-going reforms in the road sector, problems facing Nigerian roads will soon be overcome.

The Minister charged the Nigeria Society of Engineers to use the platform of the conference to launch home-grown technology and workable strategies that will guarantee the sustainable maintenance of key national infrastructure which support and promote the nation?s economic growth.

He further advised engineers to use their knowledge to move the country?s economy from consumer-driven to a production-driven economy, adding that engineers are to?take the driver?s seat in the crusade. In his words, ?The success of the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government depends largely on the engineering profession which must aim at driving the economy with technological skills and knowledge to make it become more innovative than ever?.

Enakeno Oju

Enakeno is a journalist and television producer

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