President Muhammadu Buhari believes individuals with technical expertise are responsible for destruction of oil pipelines in the Niger Delta.
According to the president, when one goes into the deep sea to blow up pipelines with ease, it only suggests the fellow is technically equipped.
Buhari made the observation at the Presidential Villa, after his investiture as the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) led by its President, Joana Maduka.
President seeks support of engineers
The president then called on the professional association to ensure their members are not involved such act, while urging them to help in safeguarding oil facilities.
“How can an unskilled Nigerian submerge, go under the sea, 70 kilometres or more and blow up oil installations?
”That couldn’t be an ordinary Nigerian.
“So, appeal to your colleagues to make sure that what we have built, they should safeguard it whether they are working with multi-nationals or the government,” he told the engineers.”
Buhari disagrees with delegation
Buhari also faulted the delegation’s earlier submission that Nigerian engineers were being under-utilised.
The President revealed that local engineers have contributed more than 90 per cent to the design and realisation of two refineries. It involves 2,500 km of pipelines and 20 depots in the country during his tenure as minister of petroleum in the mid-1970s.
He further said that the success of the Petroleum Trust Fund was largely hinged on their skills.
“Somehow, every time and anywhere I have served in this country, we found it cost-effective to use Nigerian engineers. And we relied on their capacity to understudy, learn and deliver.
Blame politicians for ailing infrastructure
President Buhari further said individual political leaders should be blamed for Nigeria’s ailing infrastructure, not the engineers who had always been willing to contribute to national development.
“I think that if Nigerian engineers were denied their roles, it is not the fault of the profession, it is the fault of some individual governments.
“Other governments have done their best and found Nigerian engineers competent and cost-effective. Nigerian engineers are very quick in taking up and performing in the field,” Buhari said.