Yemisi Ajayi , Ibadan
The Nigerian Society of Engineers, Ibadan branch has said that one of the ways the country’s economy can be speedily taken out or recession is for the government to spend its way out of it and expand the productive and construction base of the economy.
Noting a cue from the immediate past President of America, Barak Obama, who demonstrated same after he inherited an economy on the downturn but invested heavily in infrastructure and resuscitated the prostrate manufacturing industries, mortgage and financial institutions of the country, the Society stressed that there is the need for the Nigerian governments at all levels to put a lot of investment into the development of the nation’s infrastructure and manufacturing base.
Ibadan branch chairman, Engr. Bola Olowe gave the charge while speaking at a press conference to announce the kick off of the 2017 Engineering Week of the Branch with the theme: “Bringing the Nigerian Economy out of Recession; The Professional’s Approach”
The weeklong event which started with a thanksgiving on Sunday will also feature a symposium on the theme and the finals of the Chairman’s annual quiz competition between secondary schools in Ibadan metropolis as well as an engineering workshop/exhibition, jumat service and the annual dinner where new corporate members of the NSE will be inducted
The lead speaker for the workshop slated for today (Tuesday 21st) is Professor Ademola Ariyo, a renowned economist and administrator from the University of Ibadan. Other resource persons for the symposium are: a former Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor on Roads and Infrastructure, Engineer Busayo Taiwo and a renowned banker, Mr. Abayomi Ogunsanya.
Speaking on the theme of the weeklong annual event, the branch chairman said the theme was deliberately chosen “to provide inputs from the engineering/professional’s point of view into the ongoing efforts by the governments to revamp the economy and take it out of the current recession.”
Lamenting that the current infrastructure base of the nation is not at par with that of other developing economies like it, Olowe maintained that the “government has to make deliberate efforts to implement plans and policies that will put a lot of money into the development of infrastructures, such as road and transportation, power and water supply, including but not limited to telecommunications.
“These are the necessary facilities that will help the growth of our large, medium and small scale industries. There can be no industrial growth without good infrastructure base. When money is spent on infrastructure, it brings about creation of jobs, suppliers of construction materials are positively engaged and there will be a great multiplier effect on the economy, as funds will trickle down and there will be a robust engagement of the entire populace. This will help to reduce the negative impacts of the recession”
However, he also enjoined governments at all level to make deliberate efforts to patronise and develop indigenous professionals in order not only to reduce capital flight, but also to grow the indigenous professional capacity and competence.
“If our governments refuse to patronise us, I wonder which government will. It is high time our governments jettison the short term view of infrastructure development by thinking that it is only foreigners that can provide quality service. Nigerian engineers, are up to the task; they are able and have indeed been providing qualitative services in their various engagements all over the nation.
“I also admonish members of the general public to always patronise real and genuine professionals and not quacks when developing their projects.”