Nigeria: Nwasuka, The 10th NSE Umuahia Branch Chairman Speaks On Infrastructural Deficit, Way Forward
The Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE Umuahia branch has called for the inauguration of a high powered think tank, made up of seasoned professionals and diplomats, to intensify international engagements, with the aim to mitigate the infrastructural deficit which currently is the bane of development in Nigeria.
In his speech shortly after he was installed as the 10th NSE Branch Chairman at the Michael Okpara auditorium, Umuahia, Abia State, Engr. Nnamdi Cyprian Nwasuka lamented that the nation is faced with horrendous decline in infrastructure and wondered how an effective and sustainable infrastructural development in Nigeria could be achieved in the light of obvious institutional weaknesses and global economic recession.
Nwasuka who suggested an inauguration of the high powered team, further recommended that the team be provide with a solid platform that will birth a dependable strategy to scale up more participation by international donor agencies like the World Bank, African Development bank, AfDB among others.
His words, “The Government should provide a master plan for the rehabilitation and maintenance of infrastructure assets. There should be an intentional, high level and evenly spread regional discussions on sustainable infrastructure policy in Nigeria. Funding for the maintenance of these infrastructure must be streamlined while adequate budgetary provisions should be allowed. Technical designs and construction of key infrastructure should be handed back to the professionals, quacks should be denied the mischief of destroying our infrastructure. Infrastructural based government ministries, parastatals and agencies like Ministry of Works, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Public Utilities and Water Resources among others, should be headed only by professional engineers. Orientation and reorientation of the populace on how not to abuse public infrastructure should be scaled up using the media and the National orientation agency. Citizens must be made to realize that the drains must be desilted regularly, while other abuses like disposing wastes into the drains should be penalised”.
Nwasuka maintained that infrastructure plays critical role in the economy of any nation, as the bedrock for a veritable private sector growth and key contributor to a conducive business environment .
Nwasuka said, “Policy actions and investment in Infrastructure is a pivotal enabler of regional integration. An investment in infrastructure is a trigger to agricultural advancement vis-a-vis human development, efficient health delivery as well as education services especially to the poor”.
Nwasuka who also called on the Federal and state governments to partner with Nigeria Society of Engineers to build engineering centres in all the states and federal capital territory where engineers will be trained and retrained, passionately appealed to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to give NSE Umuahia branch a suitable land for a well-equipped engineering centre in Umuahia.
Moreover, he commended Governor Ikpeazu for the uncommon achievements recorded in Abia State, especially, on the quality of the roads he has thus far delivered.
In his valedictory speech earlier, the immediate past Chairman Umuahia branch NSE Engr. Uzoma Ohia described the theme of the year 2021 inauguration tagged “Effective and Sustainable Infrastructural Development in Nigeria: The Way Forward” as quite apt and essentially what, “Our country needs now even as we continue to recover from the unfortunate impacts of the covid-19 pandemic on world infrastructure among others”.
Ohia who also went down memory lane to recall the challenges faced by his administration and successes it recorded within the period under review, said, “On the 27th of November, 2019, during my inauguration as the 9th Chairman of N.S.E. Umuahia Branch, I stated that ‘the branch will pursue vigorously the objectives of the society which are to promote the advancement of engineering education, research and practice in all its ramifications’. These are to greatly contribute in maintaining and enhancing the professional capacities of members to further equip them in fulfilling the needs of our noble profession for the good of all in a changing world. Sequel to this, various standing committees were constituted with specific terms of reference to help the branch in actualising the objectives of the society within our catchment areas”.
The event which featured the inauguration of the new executive committee members; induction of new members and award ceremony, saw past chairmen of the branch, Engr. Rich Onyeaso FNSE, Engr Chief L.O Eleke MNSE. Engr. Hon. Matthew Ibeh, MNSE, Engr. Shedrach Iweha; Engr. Victor Ihediwa; Engr. Nelson Onwuka in attendance.
Prof. Onyemachi M. Ogbulu, Vice Chancellor, Abia State University Uturu, ABSU represented by the Dean Faculty of Engineering, Engr. Prof. E.E. Anyanwu FNSE, Dr. Ngozi Ogbonna-Erondu, Special Adviser and Acting Executive Secretary ADCOM; Chief Dr. Isaac Ogbonna, JP (former Executive Chairman, Obingwa LGA); Engr. Iroakazi (Represensative of the NSE President); Hon. Victor Nwakanma, Sole Administrator, Abia Comet Football Club; Prof. S.I Onwuchekwa, Director, IDEA, ABSU; Elder (Hon) Ezebunwa Ubani, Ph.D (Chairman Physical Planning and Infrastructural Development Fund; Engr. Rev. Mba Nkuma Emea MNSE (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industries, Abia State); Engr. Edith Y. Ishidi, Ph.D, FNSE ( former V.P NSE); Engr. Okechukwu Eluwa MNSE( LNG Bonny); Engr. B.U Obioha FNSE, FNICE(Comptroller, Federal Ministries of Work, Abia State); Chairmen of NSE, Aba and Orlu Branch among other prominent personalities also attended.