FG’ll ensure MDAs engage indigenous engineers, says Buhari

The President, who was represented by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, gave this assurance during a public forum organised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering on Monday, while speaking on the topic ‘How COVID-19 pandemic opened up immense talents of Nigerian scientists’.

Present at the virtual public forum were President of Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Alex Ogedegbe; Executive Secretary of Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Titi Omo-Ettu; Guest Speaker, Prof Babatunde Ogunnaike and other top officials.

He commended Nigerian engineers for the diversity of their experience and competence.

The President recalled his “Executive Order Nos 5 which directs all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design, and execution of national security projects and maximize in-country capacity in all contracts and transactions with science, engineering and technology components.”

He described Nigerian scientists as worthy assets to be nurtured, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the potentials, talents, and creativity of the scientists.

The pandemic had opened up the immense talents and creativity of Nigerian scientists and engineers and if the current momentum was supported, the next few years could be incredibly exciting, he said.

While commending the academy and its membership, he said, “We are proud of Nigerian Academy of Engineers; your membership is made up of accomplished Nigerian engineers across all disciplines industry sectors of engineering in Nigeria and in the diaspora.

“This provides it with the depth and diversity of experience and competence to provide advice on virtually all areas of engineering in the country.”

Giving an update on the production of a local vaccine, he noted that the African Centre of Excellence for the Genomics of Infectious Disease located at Redeemer’s University Ede, had developed an efficacious rapid test for COVID-19 and had been working on a vaccine in collaboration with DIOSynVax (Digital Immune Optimised Synthetic Vaccines), Cambridge UK, using the DIOSynVax genomic-based technology.

He said, “There are also efforts going on therapeutics of various kinds. The development of vaccines, tests, and therapeutics these days are aided by automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, so this is a strong point of synergy between science and engineering.”

While citing the opportunities presented during the lockdown period, he said there was the huge potential for the creation of effective technologies for telework activities, including telemedicine and fintech.

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