The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has requested the National Assembly to fast-track the passage of six bills in order to boost engineering activities in the country. They are the Metallurgical Industry, Iron and Steel development, the Road Sector Reform and the Water Resources Industry laws.
Similarly, the Society is seeking the enhancement of local content in Nigeria’s infrastructural development under the Nigerian Chinese bilateral agreement. Equally, it has also reminded the lawmakers on the need to revisit the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) law which was passed by the Seventh Assembly but not signed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
President of NSE, Engr. Otis Anyaeji, FNSE, FAEng made the presentation when he hosted Engineers elected into the National Assembly to a dinner at the National Engineering Headquarters in Abuja.
Anyaeji told the Legislators that the Metallurgical industry laws as passed by the immediate past assembly lacked the ability to turn around the country’s fortunes by enabling large scale industrialization, hence the need for the lawmakers to consider the version submitted by the Society which has taken into cognizance such vital element.
The President lamented the slow pace step towards the institutionalization of the Road sector reforms saying that it had dragged for the last forty years, thereby, urged the lawmakers to support the Society’s position and expedite action on its passage into law.
Speaking further, the President drew the attention of the Legislators to the Water Resources Industry Bill. He said the there was urgent need to review the policy framework of the Water Industry Sector with a view to provide portable water for domestic, industry and hydro power generation amongst other crucial needs. “We have carefully studied the existing Water Bill and therefore proposed amendment to the Act, and we are ready to work with the National Assembly on this” he stated.
In response, Member of the House of Representatives, Engr. Hon. Chris Azubogu, MNSE commended the Society for drawing the attention of the National Assembly to salient issues in the listed Bills, saying that, the National Assembly will dispassionately deliberate on them and fashion out laws that would impact development positively.
Also speaking Engr. Hon. Silas Bulus, MNSE assured of the National Assembly commitment to the building of strong institutions that would move Nigeria forward. He also disclosed that the Public Procurement Act is currently being reviewed by the House of Representatives and asked NSE to bring forward its input in the amendment.
NSE has since reached an agreement with the National Assembly Caucus of Engineers for a meeting on the third Wednesday of every month. The avenue will be effectively utilized for discussions on how to promote engineering and the interest of Nigerian Engineers, particularly where legislative backing would be required.