Professionals task government on employment for young Nigerians
Worried about the inability of young Nigerians to access gainful employment and create intellectual hubs for the country’s socio-economic and infrastructure development, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) has charged government at all levels to make job creation a priority.
The Academy expressed concerns over the increasing births, unemployed graduates and young people in schools without corresponding job opportunities that would guarantee a brighter future for them and their families.
President of the association, Mrs. Joanna Maduka, who spoke at a press conference in Lagos, observed that the greatest challenge to young Nigerians was the deficits in infrastructure that could boost their creative skills and talents.
She pointed out that a practical approach to curb the problem as being carried out by the institution was to engage the private sector to take up the challenge through viable projects in institutions and equipping the youths with facilities through personal resources and fund from other sources to increase their capacity for jobs creation in the country.
“Our responsibility is to leverage the unique knowledge and experiences of our members to provide advice to government and the business community on issues that have to do with application of technology to our needs.
“A landmark achievement in this regard was the commencement of our partnership with the royal Academy of Engineering on the Africa Catalyst Project (ACP)”.
“The ACP aims at specifying the required competence of different grades of engineering practitioners in Nigeria, through a document called the Nigeria-SPEC. We hope to see policy impacts from the provisions of the Nigeria-SPEC in the near future for policy improvements in engineering education are now overdue,” she stated.
On the quest for credible and focused leadership in the country, Maduka said the academy was ready to induct new fellows into the association based on their remarkable contributions to engineering research and practice.
According to her, the academy is organising a public lecture on: Training Engineers for Global Century,” to be delivered by Prof. Michael Adewunmi from the Pen University, United States of America (U.S.A.).
The press conference was attended by professors Adetokunbo Denloye, Rafiu Salawu, Titi-Omo-Ettu, Fola Lasisi, as well as Ibrahim Inuwa and Olusegun Adedeji, among others.
Denloye, who is also an engineer, noted that Nigeria and African countries needed to change the way students are taught in schools and focus more on how they could learn while teachers need to be retrained regularly to give their best.
Salawu said the problem of education and engineering was the students’ lack of zeal to learn, adding that the backward state of engineering graduates was largely due to lack of experience on the utilisation of equipment.