Abubakar Lawal Yar’Adua, former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), who is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Armiya’u Foundation of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has urged engineers to contribute positively to the development of the country by making a strong case for use of local contents.
Speaking at the weekend as guest speaker at the 10th public lecture and award presentation by Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) in Kaduna, the former GMD of NNPC urged Nigerian Society of Engineers never to be afraid of failure while rendering services to the nation, stressing the importance of local contents, which he said could not be overemphasised.
According to him, “Local content is very important in developing our country. So, as Nigerian engineers, don’t be afraid of failure. If you failed, evaluate why you failed. It is very important in developing Nigeria as a country in terms of infrastructure.”
He said, “I recalled when I was in Kaduna Refinery, there was a failure in the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) and we searched Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and they said Ajaokuta Steel can repair that and I said okay, we put Ajaokuta on the list of six companies. We invited them. They came. They gave a very good proposal which we sent to Kellogue Engineering who had the licenses of the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit.
“Kellogue replied that they cannot even repair it. So, the question now came about the finance and Ajaokuta again, came lowest. Then, I was the MD here (Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company).
“We went to the Federal Executive Council meeting under General Sani Abacha. I was sitting down with my GMD. They called on us to present our case. I presented the case – list of companies that we registered and how technically Ajaokuta became the best.
“I told them that we wrote to Kellogue Engineering who had the licenses for the FCCU; they said that they can’t even do better. In fact, they said they are going to send some inspectors to come and witness that job and of course, they are the lowest.
“As an engineer, I don’t fear failure. If it fails, we will evaluate why it failed and then we correct it and move ahead. There is nothing wrong and if that is not acceptable, I am ready to be sacked or even ready to go to jail for that. I told the then Federal Executive Council of the late General Sani Abacha.”