In­fras­truc­tural devt: En­gi­neers urged to par­take in pol­i­tics

Daily Trust - - PROPERTY - By Mustapha Suleiman

En­gi­neers have been urged to par­tic­i­pate in pol­i­tics in or­der to in­flu­ence leg­is­la­tion that would lead to rapid in­fras­truc­tural de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try.

This charge was given by Engr. Mustafa Balarabe Shehu, Pres­i­dent, Fed­er­a­tion of African En­gi­neer­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tions in a pa­per he pre­sented at the 2nd edi­tion of Engr. Otis Anyeaji lec­ture se­ries en­ti­tled ‘Nige­rian En­gi­neer­ing Prac­ti­tion­ers and Par­tic­i­pa­tion In Pol­i­tics -Up­hold­ing the Dig­nity of the En­gi­neer­ing Pro­fes­sion’ or­gan­ised by the Nige­rian So­ci­ety of En­gi­neers, Maitama Branch, Abuja.

He said, “Peo­ple lament that if we had more en­gi­neers in par­lia­ment the de­ci­sion mak­ing would be dif­fer­ent and that more en­gi­neers should have a go at en­ter­ing par­lia­ment, mak­ing a dif­fer­ence be­cause they have a dif­fer­ent view and val­ues.”

The former Nige­rian So­ci­ety of En­gi­neers (NSE) pres­i­dent said that the en­gi­neer­ing pro­fes­sion is di­rectly af­fected by the gov­ern­ment ac­tions which af­fect the pro­fes­sional cli­mate in this coun­try.

He said that pro­fes­sional en­gi­neers must bring to the leg­isla­tive process the prac­ti­cal, eco­nomic, le­gal and eth­i­cal view­point that the engi­neer is known to pos­sess.

He said, “Pro­fes­sion­als and busi­ness­men who ne­glect pol­i­tics can­not lament un­sound leg­is­la­tion. The engi­neer must there­fore par­tic­i­pate in pol­i­tics in or­der to in­flu­ence leg­is­la­tion. En­gi­neers have long term strate­gic think­ing. An engi­neer’s job is to en­sure things work, that the struc­ture holds un­der load and stays up for a long time. En­gi­neers are log­i­cal, de­tail ori­ented and me­thod­i­cal; peo­ple who don’t mind work­ing au­tonomously whether, in­de­pen­dently or in teams; and are peo­ple who are very con­fi­dent in their own abil­i­ties. En­gi­neers fo­cus on the long term and make com­mu­nity safety their first pri­or­ity.’’

Shehu stressed that an engi­neer can con­trib­ute to shap­ing the na­tion’s tech­nol­ogy agenda from within gov­ern­ment and out­side of gov­ern­ment: “Out­side of gov­ern­ment, en­gi­neers can con­trib­ute ad­vice and con­sult with ex­pert opin­ions. In­side gov­ern­ment, en­gi­neers can solve prob­lems, put qual­i­ta­tive sense to lo­cal so­cial prob­lems and make sense of data and sta­tis­tics. En­gi­neers are driven to solve prac­ti­cal prob­lems with clar­ity and pro­vide ef­fec­tive rec­om­men­da­tions for res­o­lu­tion. En­gi­neers could proac­tively help to im­prove politi­cians’ un­der­stand­ing of tech­nol­ogy op­tions.”

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