The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has blamed Nigerian engineers for creating the vacuum that made the Federal Government patronize foreign contractors.
Mr. Fashola said this on Tuesday in Abuja when a delegation of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) led by its President, Otis Anyaeji, paid him a courtesy visit.
He said that the failure of Nigerian engineering firms to bid for government projects was responsible for the patronage of foreign contractors.
“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.”
According to him, while we point a finger at government, we must also point the same fingers at ourselves because foreign companies doing business in Nigeria are privately owned.
He advised Nigerian engineers to accept their deficiencies and build their capacities to be able to compete with foreign firms.
Meanwhile, 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.