The Nigerian Society of Engineers
MR PRESIDENT, RECONSIDER MINISTERIAL NOMINEES
TO ACHIEVE REAL PROGRESS AND PROSPERITY FOR NIGERIANS
The Nigerian Society of Engineers, the umbrella body for all engineering professionals in the country is worried over the list of Ministerial nominees sent to the Senate for confirmation in the ongoing screening exercise as this does not reflect the spirit of the moment and the desire of the Nigerian people to have astute professionals in key areas of the economy especially Infrastructure.
In a country where there are many key Engineering- based Ministries , the Society is shocked that there is no single engineer in the President’s list. We therefore ask – who is to man these ministries? Over the years, we have advocated that square pegs be put in square holes in Ministries of Power, Works, Water Resources, Communication, Industries, Steel and Petroleum, etc . Many of these ministries have not had an Engineer as a minister since the inception of the Fourth Republic in 1999.
It is rather curious that despite the Government avowed intention to improve power supply in the country over the years, the Ministry of Power has not had a Power Engineer to drive the initiative as minister, as a typical example. This is a clear demonstration that the Government has not got its priorities right as the value of an experienced professional in that position should not be a matter for debate.
The Society is dumbfounded that none of the nominees in the list so far, both confirmed and those about to be confirmed, is an Engineer and wonders which of them would pilot a knowledge- driven policy formulation and implementation in the engineering based ministries listed earlier. We believe that we cannot fold our hands and watch the administration drift away from the expectations of professionals and many Nigerians.
As earlier stated in our memo titled “The Route to Progress and Prosperity “ to President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, The Nigerian Society of Engineers is of the view that the success of Mr. President in his role as Executive-in-Chief would hinge on his success in attracting and selecting appropriate talents into both political appointments and employment in public service.
With the President’s garb of the Executive-in-Chief, it behoves him to put emphasis on an approach that will produce the best End-Results. This approach is clearly weighted in favour of Technocrats being appointed into the cabinet of Mr. President.
Therefore, in the view of Nigerian Engineers, Mr. President must be willing to seek people who have different and diverse backgrounds with pedigree and the track records of success in particular sectors.
The process of screening so far observed does not indicate the portfolios for which the candidates are being considered. Surely the field of competence of a candidate should be paramount to the expected performance in the intended office. This is the only fair and transparent way of ensuring that square pegs are put in square holes as mentioned earlier. The outcome of this process if adopted would guarantee that each minister may not require an unnecessarily long term in office to deliver.
For the sake of performance, and quality executive service to the citizenry, Nigerian Engineers on behalf of Nigerian professionals again demand that the President constitutes his cabinet with at least 60% Technocrats.
In making this demand, Engineers strongly recommend to Mr. President to depoliticize the selection process and demystify the senate screening exercise by attaching portfolios to those nominated for ministerial appointments. This process would have helped the Senators in the screening exercise as they would have focused their attention on the sector so designated. This has not happened.
The Nigerian Society of Engineers therefore calls on Mr. President to quickly make amends in his nominations if the much talked about transformational agenda of his government aimed at swiftly delivering progress and prosperity to Nigerians is to be realised.
Engr. Olumuyiwa Alade Ajibola, FNSE
President, Nigerian Society of Engineers.
Editor’s Note: Barth Nnaji is not an engineer as per NSE definition without COREN certification though he was once the best robotics professor in America.