Engineers decry lack of access to capital, flay electricity ‘Band’ system

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has bemoaned the lack of access to capital and patronage by the government at various levels.

The 34th President Society of Engineers, Margaret Oguntala, who stated this in Abuja, lauded the Bola Tinubu’s administration for appointing engineers to critical ministries, said the Society is studying the Renewed Hope Infrastructure Fund that was established by the Federal Government to provide funding for the provision of infrastructure.

She said: “It is difficult for Nigerian engineers to compete with their foreign counterparts because foreigners have access to cheap capital as all as their governments’ support. They also have access to modern equipment. The Nigerian engineers, though qualified, are at a disadvantage when compared with their foreign counterparts.”

The NSE President lauded the government for including its members in the Ajaokuta revival team, saying placing attention to the resuscitation of the steel plant, the Aladja Steel plant as well as other steel rolling plants is critical to the revival of the manufacturing sector.

On the increment of electricity on consumers on Band A, the NSE explained that the process was ill-advised and hastened.

“First, lumping everyone one a particular feeder or transformer into a band is not justiciable. There could be residential and commercial entities within the same area. There could be small apartments and people within the lower rung of the ladder within the same band. How do you deal with these different consumers within a band? We think that each consumer should be dealt with on an individual basis rather than addressing the rise through band system,” the body said.

The NSE called for the deepening of transparency and accountability in the power sector to boost the availability of electricity that is fair to all segments of Nigerian society.

On what the society is doing to encourage girls to embrace engineering and science subjects, Oguntala said the NSE has opened partnerships on a mentor/mentee scheme that will stimulate the interests of girl-children in V-STEM education, which will ultimately be to the advantage of Nigeria’s rapid technological advancement shortly.

She added: “We are also giving support to the resuscitation and re-invigoration of the Junior Engineers, Technologists and Scientists (JETS) Club in secondary schools by organising National competitions. We are embarking on advocacy for diversity, equity and inclusion as the sought-after organisational framework at each of our fora.”

Oguntala disclosed that the Society is partnering with the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK) on the planning and execution of the 2024 World Engineering Day, with the theme ‘Engineering for a Sustainable World’.

The partnership with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) is aimed at tackling gender imbalance through the Presidential Implementation Committee on Technology Transfer.

She explained that the initiative is geared towards increasing the participation of women in engineering.

Back to top button