How we will contribute to engineering practice, by aspirants

Dr. Obafemi Hamzat

Faced with non-recognition by government in projects designs and development, engineers are drumming support for their colleagues vying for different elective positions in the 2019 general elections to reverse the trend.

The practitioners say with their requisite experience, competence and can-do-attitude, they have a role to play in turning around the fortunes of the profession through active participation in Nigerian political process.

At an event organised by all branches of the Nigerian Society of Engineers in Lagos, five aspirants who spoke at a forum tagged “Engineers in Politics Talkshow”, pledged to make impacts in traffic management and transportation network, technology innovations, improve environment and bring back research and innovation council to enhance development of the country.

Participants include, the Lagos Deputy Governor candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC); Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, a candidate for Federal House of Representatives, Ganiyu Johnson; an aspirant for the Lagos State House of Assembly, Gbolahan Yishawu and candidate for Ogbomosho constituency, Federal House of Representatives, Gand Abu Salami.

According to the aspirants, the time has come for professionals not to abhor politics but see it as deserving their involvement to better the society.

Setting the tune for the event, NSE Chairman, Victoria Island Branch, Rose Madaki pledged the society’s support to realise their ambition. She said the profession looks up to them for lasting solution to the humiliation of the position of engineers in federal appointments.

“We are aware that the process is tasking, but as engineers we are always prepared to face the challenges and proffer solutions”, she stated.

Dr. Hamzat, said: “Lagos a rapidly expanding city needs experience and talented people to put the right things in place. Experience is important especially at this critical time in the history of the country, the people can not affords to do trial and error”.

“Experience is key, you must have the skills, and know what it takes. That will help us tremendously when the people vote us into power.

“What that mean is that everybody, depending on what you bring to table is important.  So the engineers are important, the doctors are important, everybody is important. What needs to happen is we need to bring in people that understand different areas. Whatever everybody bring to the table that makes us to progress as a state that is what we must do.” Professionals and well educated individuals must embrace politics to effect changes and ensure a bright future for their children.

“Going around the state during the campaign and meeting with people helped us to formulate a master plan called project – Theme for the transformation of the state. Under it, we would focus on traffic management and transportation and build a transportation network and control traffic management to ease movement”.

“Studies shows that there are about 61 gridlocks in Lagos, but the solution varies. Some we can solve in six months, some might take two years. But at least we have identified them and our target would be to resolve them.

“Under health and environment, we intend to revamp primary health care facilities. “If we will do health insurance so that a family pays N1, 200 a month, that will give them access. So the idea is to revamp the health facilities and use effectively LAWMA to clean the state up and our drainages.”

Another candidate, Ganiyu Johnson explained, “my driving force to politics is service to the people. Joining governance is to ensure that the engineering profession made progress. “Whatever we can do to improve and change the dynamics of the environment, I am for it. And that is what I am lobbying for in term of infrastructural development, empowerment, healthcare delivery, cleaner environment.

“I will seek cooperation of others in the house for intervention in community projects, roads and so many others. I promised to ensure the transportation system which has been a big problem in my constituency receive a big boost, put in efforts to ensure government expands the single carriageway from Pako along Isolo road to Mushin to improve traffic flow. We will champion the dredging of the canal from the airport to FESTAC to promote water transport in that corridor.”

Abu Salami said: “With my knowledge of engineering, I know I would be able to impact positively on the profession when we talk about contract and projects. I will call for the strengthening of Engineering Regulation Monitoring (ERM). This could be achieved by lobbying the government and security arms to provide support in enforcing compliance”.

For Gbolahan Yishawu, “the transformation of the transport system in Lagos would start with the rail system.

“ The funding of the rail system in Lagos is key. It is the only way we can move people around Lagos. We can buy 10, 000 buses, it is not going to work. That rail system is the backbone of a multi-modal system. We put money in it last year and I will use everything within me to ensure in the 2019 budget we put a lot more money.

“I will ensure that the house use oversight to monitor projects and ensure the executive follow laid down rules to the letters. Lagos is working on expanding existing water channels. We must enlighten the people to stop blocking the drainage with buildings and wastes. Continuous education, management and maintenance off drainage system is practically the only way we can manage the water flow”.

“I promised to continue put my engineering skills and position as chairman appropriation committee to ensure the fund of the state are judiciously spent on projects that are meaningful and bring sustainable development”.

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