NSE tasks engineers on skill acquisition
To remain relevant and competitive globally in the engineering profession, President, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Babagana Muhammed, has implored practitioners to develop their skills.
Muhammed warned that engineering was no longer about degree certification in private and public practices but skills development.
He spoke during the inauguration of Emeka lbeh as the eighth chairman of NSE, Victoria lsland branch, where he also charged colleagues to imbibe ethical engineering practice and mentorship for growth.
He encouraged members to be united, sort out their challenges amicably and move the society as well as Nigeria forward.
The investiture featured induction of 51 corporate members and new executives of the branch and awards to some members.
The NSE president also harped on the need for members to develop the idea of community engineering, which involved identifying what is not going right in communities and proffer solutions. He said that while the government is doing its best, professionals must also act.
Speaking on ‘SME Development: The fulcrum for accelerated in-country industrial growth’, the guest speaker, David Fisher, who is the Lagos State coordinator of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), emphasised that professional engineers need to develop more specific approaches to small and medium scale enterprise to become job creators rather than job seekers.
Fisher said if the sector is well harnessed, it could trigger the next industrial revolution for Nigeria.
He also disclosed that SMEDAN is developing a concept of ‘one local government, one product’ to develop rural areas and promoting SME digital academy.
“It is not a subject for the government alone, Nigerians must explore their talents and turn it to enterprise,” he said.
The special guest, Johnson Awoyomi, who corroborated Muhammed’s views, challenged engineers to sharpen their skill sets and export capacity to developed countries.
In his investiture address, Ibeh assured members that the new administration will sustain programmes started by his predecessor, promote new ones as well as facilitate membership services and welfare.
As a deliberate policy to encourage entrepreneurship development among members, lbeh said the branch established Vocational Skill Acquisition Program (VOSAP) to encourage job creation, adding that it also partnered with four SMEs to deliver relevant Continuous Professional Development training services to members and corporate bodies.
He noted that SMEs face multiple challenges in their operations from access to finance, inadequate productive capacity to regulatory compliance somersault across the three tiers government. Ibeh expressed optimism that the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) will effectively alleviate these challenges.
Earlier, the immediate past chairman of the branch, John Audu, thanked members for their outstanding support during his two years tenure despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its the impact on professional practices and economies across the world.