The Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Prof Nyaudoh Ndaeyo, has made a case for Nigerian engineers, saying patronising local contractors would prevent capital flights.
He called on governments at all levels, wealthy individuals and institutions to stop patronising foreign engineers at the expense of local ones.
Ndaeyo stated this while taking delivery of a block of lecture theatre for the Faculty of Environmental Studies constructed by Fens Properties Nigeria Limited on Tuesday.
He said besides preventing capital flights, local engineers would also learn in the process.
While commending the constructing firm for the timely delivery of the project which he adjudged to be of good quality, Ndaeyo said he was always pleased to see some of the road projects constructed by local contractors in the state as they can comfortably meet the international standard. He urged governments to always encourage them through patronage.
He, therefore, thanked the Federal Government for providing the facility through the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, saying that the facilities would ease the accommodation problem experienced by the institution even as he assured of its proper maintenance.
According to him “I am using this opportunity to encourage others, other institutions and even the government to make use of Nigerian engineers so that they can deliver and gain experience in the process.”
“I want to encourage other contractors who have been given the privilege to work for us to emulate this company, Fens Properties. I say so because even in the face of the challenges they faced, they never one day asked for extension.
“They took over this site on the 13th of September last year, and by my mathematics, it’s not up to eight months. But some contractors have been given contracts for three years, since 2014/20l5 and they are still on site.
Speaking earlier, the Secretary, NEEDS Assessment Committee, Mr Otu Etukudoh said the building was donated to the institution to ameliorate the scarcity of lecture theatres in the institution.
Etukudoh urged the university to make effective use of the facilities and ensure adequate maintenance to avoid rot.
“This is the first project of NEEDS that has been completed and delivered to the University of Uyo. We must commend the contractor for building the facility to specification and prompt delivery”, he said.
In his remarks, Mr Michael Udofia, Managing Director, FENS Properties Nigeria Ltd., the contractor handling the project, said the lecture theatre was constructed in line with international best practices to ensure quality and durability.
Udofia said that even though the project was completed within record time, the company experienced a scarcity of cash to pay its workers during the initial introduction of cashless policy in the country.