According to reports, the former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, on Thursday urged the Federal Government to patronise local engineers to curb capital flight.
Kalu made the call at the inauguration of the 7th Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers in Abuja.
According to him,there is an urgent need for the government to partner with the local engineers to salvage the economy from recession.
“I condemn in totality a situation where the government takes a loan from foreign countries like China without partnering with engineers; it is an abomination.
“No country that wants to succeed and grow will go that way, both this administration and the past ones have been making that mistake.
“Taxpayers money should not be used to encourage capital flight by importing a lot of foreign engineers out of China, Philippines, etc. because it is making our capital flight to be on the rise.
“Nigerian engineers will not be looking for dollars to take to their countries since they are here, so, there is the need for the government to partner with them.”
Kalu also urged the government to involve the youths in the affairs of the nation, adding that any nation that doubted the ability of its youths, had doubted its future since they owe the key to development.
He said that the impact of youths, especially engineers, in national development, would liberate the society from lack and called for a partnership between the government and the youths to move the nation forward.
“The engineers must be brought into governance to man engineering works, design work, housing ,roads etc, for progress.
“If you go to some of these airports and ask who designed the jobs you might not even know who the designers are because they are Chinese, so, if it gets bad we must wait for them to come back and repairs them,” the former governor said.
He urged the government to have a change of heart toward Nigerian engineers because they held the key to national development.
He also advised the engineers to concentrate on innovations and inventions that would lead to manufacturing products that would take the country away from depending on importation to exportation.
Kalu added that most of the equipment manufactured in China and the other countries could be done in Nigeria if our engineers were given the full support.
He urged the government to build an institution that would enable it to partner with local engineers to boost manufacturing industries to industrialise the nation.
Also speaking, Mr Ben-Osy Okor, the newly-inaugurated Chairman of the institute, appealed to the government to create an enabling environment for local engineers to thrive .
Okor said no nation could develop without the input of engineers, adding that there was a need to allow engineers to man ministries such as housing, works, Power so as to enhance productivity.
“It is necessary for the government to put the right peg in the right hole to get value for projects.
He urged engineers to always improve on their skills so as to keep abreast with global best practices.
He added that henceforth,quackery would no longer be condoned in the profession as the institute was partnering with security agents to apprehend quack engineers and prosecute them.