The Federal Government has begun restriction of issuance of visas to foreigners seeking to take up engineering jobs in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday gave this indication at the 27th Engineering Assembly of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
He explained that the visa restriction to foreign engineers by the Ministry of Interior was in compliance with Executive Order 5 signed by him.
Buhari, who was represented by Minister of Water Resources Suleiman Adamu, said the decision would free up more jobs for Nigerians and improve local content
Beyond the restriction, he added that he had approved two key regulations for Nigeria’s engineering/construction sector and they include the Regulation on Licensing of Engineering Firms and Regulation on Construction Industry.
Buhari said the Federal Government was serious about the order and would ensure that it was strictly adhered to.
“The implementation of this order has started and as expected some of its attendant benefits, including the promotion of science, technology and innovation in several centres of the economy, are beginning to manifest.
“Directly connected to these benefits is the fact that the Ministry of Interior has now restricted issuing visas to foreigners seeking to take up engineering roles in the country. Overall, the proclamation of Executive Order 5, meant to improve local content and free up more jobs to Nigerians and give them increased access to procurement opportunities, is achieving its intended purpose,” Buhari said.
However, the President stated that absence of up-to-date engineering curriculum in tertiary institutions in Nigeria to reflect the current global trend in engineering had drastically reduced the competitiveness of Nigerian engineers.
“There is a disturbing gap between engineers trained in Nigeria and those trained abroad. Hence, the need for universities to churn out quality and well-trained professionals,” he said.
On the approved regulations, COREN President Kashim Ali stated that the rules were approved by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and would be implemented by the council.
Ali stated that the regulation on licensing provides for the licensing of various companies, which include consulting engineering firms, engineering contracting firms, engineering manufacturing and production companies.
Others include companies that are into engineering service provision, vendoring of engineering machines, plants and materials; and fabrication/repair and maintenance firms.