The former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday said Nigerians are yet to witness the change campaign promises of the current administration.
Obasanjo disclosed this at the presentation of award to the former Managing Director of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Engr. James Olotu, during investiture ceremony of new president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), in Abuja.
The new NSE President, Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu, had earlier commended Olotu for his outstanding performance in delivering all the independent power projects and the power injector substations.
He applauded other distinguished Nigerians who have contributed significantly to the power and engineering sector in the country while Obasanjo made the award presentations.
But Obasanjo, who was in his cream traditional Agbada attire and a matching cap, quietly asked Olotu on the podium if the projects were actually completed with a response from Olotu.
Facing the crowd in the Africa hall of the International Conference Centre, Obasanjo said, “If you want to know what I have been asking him, I asked him if all the 10 NIPP has been completed but he said they are 85 per cent completed and the Power Injector Substations have been completed above average.
“Let’s hope that all the 100 per cent of them will be completed and all of them will be feeding power into our homes. Maybe we will see the change.”
However, Obasanjo applauded the new president for his commitment and tenacity to developing the engineering sector.
In his remarks, President Muhammadu Buhari, said the NSE has proven to be good partners to developing the nation’s infrastructure and the economy.
He said the role of local engineers is imperative to really achieving the National Economic Recovery Growth Plan, thus reason the Federal Executive Council approved new policy plan to promote local content.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu said the new policy would be of immense benefit to local engineers.
“Our engineers are well placed to assist in the realisation of our numerous policy initiatives. The recent guideline on design, planning and execution of projects, programmes and contracts that have science, engineering and technological components is particularly instructive.
“These policy guidelines which already have been approved by the federal executive council are equipped with great revolutionary potentials of great benefits to the engineers and other professionals in science and technology,” Buhari said.
Mokuolu in his inaugural speech called for a change in the present procurement process if the nation must be the envy of other countries.
He said the absence and inadequacy of infrastructural facilities has led most people to migrate to other countries at a risk through the Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea.
However, he restated commitment of the NSE to ensure the success of all programmes initiated by the President and his administration.
Mokuolu disclosed plans to commence initiatives that will increase population of Engineers in the country with special attention on girls to encourage them to flourish in the profession.
He assured to increase interactions with the Industrial Trust Fund and the Supervised Industrial Work Experience Scheme.
“We shall introduce competitions in engineering and technology innovations among students in the first quarter of 2018 and facilitate seamless connect between the Academia and Industry,” Mokuolu added.
In a new report titled, the Nigerian Infrastructure Report Card, distributed at the event, the study rated the nation’s infrastructure system (F1) – Unfit for Purpose.
According to the report, the F1 rating is a further drop by two points from E2 in the previous rating carried out in 2015.