By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo.
Top government functionaries, captains of industries and other key stakeholders in the infrastructure value chain are converging in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state to brainstorm on teething challenges militating against the provisions of adequate infrastructure as relates to the energy sector in Africa.
The event is the 2016 African Engineering Conference on Energy, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Annual Conference, Exhibition, Annual General Meeting and UNESCO African Engineering Week with the theme, “Adequate, Reliable and Sustainable Energy in Africa”.
Briefing journalists on the event, President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Otis Anyaeji said President Muhammadu Buhari is expected as the special guest of honour while Akwa Ibom state governor, Udom Emmanuel is the chief host.
According to Engr. Anyaeji, over 3,500 engineers and their spouses have registered online for the week and would feature; Technical Paper Presentations, Exhibitions, Cultural Shows, Spouses Programme, Young Engineers Future Leaders (YEFL) Programme among others.
Slated for November 21 to Friday November 25, 2016, the event which coincided with NSE 49th Conference in the series, he said would give opportunity for Nigerian Engineers to compare notes with their colleagues from other parts of the world on the issue of tackling infrastructural gap in energy sector.
The NSE President noted that even though African continent is well endowed both fossil fuels and renewable resources, the inability of governments to effectively optimize these available resources has made the pursuit of socio-economic activities difficult.
In order to address the malady where African countries lose large scale investments to other countries on account of decaying energy infrastructure that NSE considered as very pragmatic, the theme approved for the 2016 Engineering Conference is tailored towards exhausting all issues hindering the provision of adequate energy.
According him, “we have effectively used our conferences over the years to sustain a tradition of setting agenda for government and other stakeholders towards engendering good governance, economic growth and technological advancement”.
In the housing sector in the country, the President said the society, conscious of the challenges of sustainability of engineering infrastructure and facilities and the national deficiency in this sector, have put in place an expert group known as the Nigerian Institution of Facilities Engineering & Management to focus on this national need and meet the gap in both short and long terms.
The Nigerian Society of Engineers is already deploying this expertise to the Nigerian people and is willing to assist government in policy design and implementation in order to ensure the sustainability of investments throughout the project life span of engineering infrastructure and facilities projects in Nigeria, Engr. Anyaeji stated.
By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo.