The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has urged the Federal Government to pay more attention to the housing industry, given its potentials and capacity to help in revamping the economy.
The President, NSE, Mr. Otis Anyaeji, made this known at a World Press Conference held by the body in Abuja, recently.
According to him, trends in developed countries have buttressed the argument that a nation cannot be or remain in recession if the housing sector remains strong.
This, he explained, is because the housing industry has a powerful multiplier effect on the rest of the economy like steel, wood, cement, paint, aluminium, glass, plastics, cables, piping, sand, quarry stones, roofing sheets, electricity, water, etc, and the gains are best maximised if these products are manufactured locally.
He also urged government to reject the option of developing housing through continued importation of materials, but rather insist on local manufacturing.
Reacting to series of building collapse in the country, Anyaeji disclosed that soil investigation and complying with test results from the exercise, was a major parameter in preventing failure of engineering facilities like roads, buildings, bridges, etc. He faulted the National Building Code for not paying much attention to this aspect of construction.
“Given the frequency of building collapse in Nigeria, the government needs to support getting soil investigation done on every engineered land improvement project and ensure that standards are adhered to strictly across all facets of construction activities,” Anyaeji said.
The NSE President also charged President Muhammadu Buhari to recognise that the next two and half years have to be a revolutionary period in government and also business.
He said the President has to believe in, and tap into the capacity of Nigerians and Nigeria for rebirth and renewal as already witnessed in the entertainment, communications, banking and other industries.
While urging the government to focus attention on manufacturing, the housing sector, transportation, petrochemicals as well as the textile industry, the body also stated that for the sake of performance and quality service delivery, President Buhari should constitute his cabinet with 60 per cent technocrats and 40 per cent politicians.
“Engineers strongly recommend to the President to depoliticise the selection process and demystify the Senate screening exercise by attaching portfolios to those nominated for ministerial appointments before screening,” Anyaeji said.