Why #BuyNaijaToGrowNaira Is Not Feasible In FG Budgets - FasholaNigeria's Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has stated that while the government may be interested in patronising Nigerian brands, there are instances where local firms are nowhere to be found.
The minister made the claim on Tuesday, November 1, when the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) led by its president, Mr Otis Anyaeji, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
Fashola said Nigerian engineers have created a vacuum that forces government to award contracts to foreign engineering firms, by not bidding for projects advertised.
The minister is quoted by Premium Times to have said:
“If there was no vacuum, there would not be foreign engineering consultants and contractors in Nigeria.
“Unless we honestly stand up and accept that there is a vacuum, we look in the mirror and tell ourselves that we honestly do not like what we see, it will not change.
“I can tell you from experience when I was a state governor, that when I advertised for rail project, no Nigerian firm bidded for it.
“Government will not stop the development of the country, if you are not ready,” Fashola said.
The immediate past Lagos state governor noted that while individuals could point a finger at government, it was also important to admit responsibility for certain lapses, considering that foreign companies doing business in Nigeria were mostly privately owned.
Fashola therefore advised Nigerian engineers to accept their deficiencies and build their capacities to be able to compete with foreign firms.
The minister decried what he called the over legislation of procurement process and called for a review, to enhance speedy development of infrastructure in the country.
“In a developing economy like Nigeria, I think that we have over-legislated our procurement process.
“Some of the fast track procurement systems that we need, given also our weather circle, are still in the way of project intervention to deliver infrastructure,” he said.