President Buhari has shared his sentiments on engineering talents who are aiding pipeline vandalism in Nigeria. On that note he said these pipeline vandals were not ordinary Nigerians.
He pointed out that the knowledge and skill of these pipeline vandals gives him a cause to worry.
He believes that the militants are working hand in hand with highly knowledgeable and trained engineers who are unfortunately displaying their skills on a wrong platform.
“If I will go in the negative side, how can an ordinary Nigerian go into the sea, 70 kilometres or more, go down two meters and blow up oil installations that cannot be an ordinary Nigerian.”
The president said this during an occasion with Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) at the Presidential villa on Tuesday; where he was conferred the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE).
Mr President does not doubt the high engineering expertise of pipeline vandals, thus requesting Nigerian engineers to equally come up with ideas that can help salvage the nation’s oil sector from further disaster.
He said that Nigerian engineers were key to Nigeria’s infrastructural development over time.
“Somehow, every time and anywhere I have served in this country, we found it cost effective to use Nigerian engineers, and we relied on their capacity to understudy, learn and deliver.”
According to him, Nigerian engineers contributed over 90% to the design and construction of 2 refineries, 2,500 pipelines and 20 depots in the country in the mid-1970s while he served as minister of petroleum.
In her address, NAE President, Maduka, equally expressed her faith while recounting the impacts of home grown engineers.
Buhari Acknowledged that these local and well trained engineers “are underutilized for the tasks and challenges of nation building”.
“Furthermore, the fact is that Nigeria is grossly under-engineered as there are insufficient engineering professionals taking the population per capita basis.”
Present at the occasion were NAE President, Mrs. Joanna Maduka, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal and the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu amongst other senior government functionaries and presidential aides.