Buhari seeks Nigerian Engineers support to reverse infrastructure deficit

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja called for more concerted effort, creative and innovative ideas from the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in reversing the infrastructure deficit in the country.

The President, who made the call when he received a delegation of the NSE led by the President, Council of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Adekunle Mokuolu, observed that “Nigerian problems require uniquely Nigerian solutions’’.

According to him, reversing the deficit will require indigenous capacity, and the government has deliberately structured policies to favour more local content and capacity development.

“The   foundations   of   any   developed,   competitive   and prosperous society are based on good education and quality infrastructure.

“Many nations we look up to are those with adequate and accessible infrastructure, power and water resources.

“They achieved these by embracing engineering and of course, engineers.

“Over the years, Nigerian engineers have been recognized globally for carrying out amazing and impact projects.

“Unfortunately, this is not the case here at home as for decades, the enabling environment was simply not provided for these innovative and creative professionals to flourish and showcase our country as an engineering hub,’’ he said.

The President urged the professionals to look inward in showcasing their knowledge and skills in a way that will directly impact on the nation.

“In the past four years, we focused on reversing this trend by introducing policies that will create  the  enabling environment for engineers to succeed and thrive.

“We   introduced   Executive   Orders   and embarked   on   several   infrastructure development and rehabilitation projects.

“As a Government, we also prioritized local content in our procurement processes,’’ the President added.

Buhari urged the engineers to continue to support government at all levels to build a more prosperous society.

In his remarks, Mokuolu commended the President for expressing his belief in local capacity in 2009 at an NSE conference and following up with Executive Orders.

He also lauded the appointments and recognition of the regulatory council to further encourage engineers in partnering with the government to develop the country.

The NSE President said the engineering society had been playing a strategic role in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

While presenting a list of requests to the President, which includes involving members in conceptual stages of projects, Mokuolu revealed that the Council had established a North East Rehabilitation Committee.

He disclosed that the council had started domestication of global codes and standards, noting that it now has 75 branches spread across the country, with two in foreign cities, Houston and London.(NAN)

NSE: Market indices upbeat, up by 0.62%

#TrackNigeria Trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), for the third consecutive days, maintained a bullish trend to close the week upbeat.

The crucial market indices on Friday appreciated further with a growth of 0.62 per cent.

Specifically, the market capitalisation of listed equities inched N33 billion or 0.62 per cent to N13.524 trillion from N13.441 trillion achieved on Thursday.

Also, the All-Share Index rose by 170.51 points or 0.62 per cent to close at 27, 800.17 points against 27,629.66 posted on Thursday.

An analysis of the price movement table shows that Nestle led the gainers’ table, growing by N10 to close at N1, 230 per share.

Unilever followed with a gain of N2.45 to close at N29.45, Guaranty Trust Bank gained 90k to close at N27.90 per share.

Forte Oil improved by 66k to close at N16, while C & I Leasing also added 60k to close N7.30 per share.

Conversely, Dangote Cement Industry recorded the highest loss to lead the losers’ table, declining by 50k to close at N166.50 per share.

Continental Reinsurance trailed with a loss of 10k to close at N1.50, while Dangote Sugar Refinery was down by 10k to close at N1.30 per share.

Triple Gee lost 7k to close at 63k, while Unity Bank declined by 6k to close at 63k per share.

Similarly, the volume of shares traded closed higher with a total of 1.24 billion shares valued at N3.29 billion in 3,644 deals.

This was in contrast with 272.60 million shares worth N4.49 billion exchanged in 3,425 deals on Thursday.

Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc was the most active stock, trading 900.02 million shares valued at N216 million.

FBN Holding followed with an account of 80.12 million shares worth N401.08 million, while Courtville traded 55.07 million shares valued at N12.11 million.

Access Bank sold 36.42 million shares worth N236.89 million, while Transcorp exchanged 34.56 million shares valued at N36.94 million. (NAN)

5 killed as 2 buildings collapse in Jigawa

#TrackNigeria: Five persons were killed on Monday when two residential buildings collapsed in Kuraduge and Madachi villages of Kirikasamma Local government area of Jigawa.

The buildings were among  several others that gave way following days of rainfall in  parts of the north-western state.

Alhaji Salisu Garba-Kubayo, Chairman, Kirikasamma Local Government, who spoke on the development, said that the houses collapsed “during a heavy rainfall”.

“Three persons – a mother, Halima Manu, her daughter, Aisha Manu, and son, Dauda Manu, were killed in Kuraduge village, while a man, Musa Wuliwuli, and his wife, Hauwa Musa, were killed in Madachi village.

“The rain also destroyed 200 houses in Kukadabu, 100 houses in Mattafari and 30 houses in Kuraduge,” he said, adding that most parts of the local government were affected by the flood disaster.

He called on the Jigawa and Federal Governments to come to the aid of the victims.

“As we speak, more than 30 villages in Kirikasamma have been taken over by flood as a result of heavy rain.

“We have provided thousands of sacks to residents of these villages to erect sand-bag embankments to check the flood; they have spent days and nights doing this.

“But, containing this problem is beyond our capacity; we want the  Jigawa and Federal Governments to come to our aid,” he pleaded. (NAN)

Insecurity: NSE urges FG to deploy space assets

#TrackNigeria: The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has called on the Federal Government to deploy space assets to address the nation’s security challenges.

Mr Adekunle Mokuolu, President of NSE made the call on Monday in Abuja, during the First Distinguished Lecture organised by Giri branch of the society.

The lecture, with the theme, “Application of Space Technology: A Tool for Enhancing National Security’’ was held in honour of Mrs Aishatu Umar, the pioneer chairperson of the branch.

Umar was honoured “for her pivotal roles in the establishment and sustaining and consolidating the Giri branch of the society.

Mokuolu, who was represented by Mr Babagana Mohammed, the Deputy President of the society, said expectations were high from the citizens for government to address the lingering insecurity in the country.

He, therefore enjoined the government to harness the available space and engineering capabilities in the country to resolve insecurity and related challenges.

“For us to achieve a formidable security framework for our nation a combination of pragmatic steps must be taken and it must include holistic deployment of our space assets.

“The assets will not only be useful for security surveillance, but will also ameliorate poverty by improving on agriculture and dealing with incidences of diseases and climate change,’’ he said.

Speaking in the same vein, the branch Chairman, Mr Hamid AbdulKareem, decried security threats in many part of the country, stressing that space engineering technology can be deployed to address them.

“Providing solutions to these national challenges may not be fully achieved without the sterling contribution of the Nigerian engineers.

“Nigeria is left with no choice than to critically and timely explore the use of varying technological strategies, especially space technology to bring to sight the desirable defeat of insecurity that pervades the land,’’ he said.

Abdulkareem said NSE is ready to join forces with relevant stakeholders to provide lasting solutions to the worrisome security challenges in the country and within the West African sub-region.

He urged stakeholders to explore the applications of space technology to improve intelligence gathering efforts in the prevention of terrorism, violence and interventions by security agents.

Dr Lasisi Lawal, Head, Space Navigation, Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) said the use of space assets was crucial to national security and international stability of any country.

“Space-based capabilities provide integral support to the military,” he said.
He added that the existence of a national space programme was symbolic to a country’s relevance in the comity of nations.

The lecturer added that Information Communication Technology (ICT) that is available, affordable, accessible, adaptable and adoptable will play key role in advancing national security.

He, however, said that government needed to establish the Assembly, Integration and Testing Complex (AITC), vital to the development of space technology in the country.

Lawal also said that the space agency and NIGCOMSAT needed huge support to enable them implement the 25 years roadmap of the country’s space policy which was set up in 2005.

In a remark, Umar said the branch has the human capability to make remarkable contributions to the development of NSE and the national security issues.

She thanked the branch for honouring her and urged for the creation of more branches of the society.

Umar is currently the Chief Resident Civil Engineer, Federal Housing Authority and the Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers. (NAN)

NSE scrutinises sustainable rail transport in Nigeria

The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Bwari Branch, on Saturday met to scrutinise the way forward for sustainable railway transportation system in the country.

This was part of the association’s target at the branch’s 2019 Engineering Conference and Annual General Meeting in Abuja.

The theme of the meeting was ‘Effective Rail System in Nigeria; A Panacea for Sustainable Economic Growth and Development’.

Mr Dauda Musa, Chairman NSE, Bwari branch said that the theme of the conference was chosen in view of the achievement and stride of the present administration in developing the sector.

He said that the rail transport has been identified as a panacea to transportation challenges globally.

Musa said Nigeria’s developmental progress would be significantly enhanced with the attention given to rail transport by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Mr Babakobi Mohammed, Guest Speaker and also, Patron of the branch, said that the Federal Government was on the right track in reviving the system.

While commending the Buhari administration for the effort, he also noted that the transport system would undoubtedly have an extensive impact on the economy.

He said: “These impacts are on job employment, reestablish commercial hubs and socio-econmic development.

“An efficient rail network is critical to reducing the overall carbon emissions given the existing underserved volume of passengers and freight traffic across the country.

“Nigeria’s rail development will also spill to the standardisation of our ports. For instance, decongesting the Apapa port and removing trucks from the road.

“This will enable the ports to be more efficient and make goods cheaper for Nigerians and ultimately drive down cost of doing business in Nigeria.

“Nationally, it will also reduce the cost of road maintenance, promote longetivity of our road network, ensure safety of vehicle, drivers and less road accidents.”

Also speaking, Mr Ali Rabiu, President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), said that the development of the rail system was key in every developing country.

Rabiu, who was represented by Mr Felix Ebuzeme, said that the government needs to put more efforts in the development of the sector.

He said: “Its development in this country has since lingered and is still struggling to meet up with other developed nations.

“It is imperative for government at all levels to consider the development of the system for a sustainable economic development. All hands must be on deck to achieve this,” he said.

The conference coincides with the branch’s one year Anniversary and First Annual General Meeting since its inauguration in July, 2018.

The event had in attendance representatives from various Engineering societies and their Executive members, Council members and government and private stakeholders. (NAN)