Industrialising Nigeria, technically
Industrialising Nigeria technically is as important as developing Nigeria agronomically. Both should be given the same attention and publicity now if Nigeria is to really be an industrialised nation. To do otherwise Nigeria will only resign itself to being supplier of raw materials which it was before oil discovery.
The painful loss to Nigeria will be waste of most of the agricultural products we are now striving to encourage production of and /or production of the endowed minerals for others to profit from like our oil. Both developments should be simultaneous. It will yet take decades to reap from but now is the time to plant. We need the technology and machinery and more important the education to get to the competitive level with other nations.
The revolution is scientific and is a combination of Art and Technical Education. The conception of any industry begins with Art i.e. the production of any product and what it will entail. It is the structure that will contain the concept whether in a whole assembly or in parts with connections to achieve the concept. The feature then is prepared with graphic designs by an artist and/or an Architect with briefs, followed by professionals i.e. architects, engineers and all necessary technologists with contributions from the respective industries in the concept. Nigeria lacks this motivation whether in small or large industrial development.
To create this revolution Nigeria needs the education both academic and technical, also practical experimentation without fear of failure at times but seriously be home grown. The training will have to be aggressive with milestone assessments for progress. If should be a progressive development not subject to political manipulation, but reviewable to impact with the times. From such programme Nigeria will be able to solve myriads of problems confronting the nation, socially, environmentally, financially and industrially.
To begin with, there must be appreciation of graphic forms of nature:
• The nation should introduce art and technical drawing as a compulsory subject in the school curriculum. Students should be encouraged to study either from infancy i.e. Nursery to SS 2 (before school certificates subjects).
• Teachers must be trained either full time or part time correspondingly as it will involve their own Continuous Professional Development too, both in their outlook and appreciation of forms and life, artistically and technically. Teachers from industries for part time tutorial be attracted as it suits teaching and tutors, both in towns or villages. The teaching should cover both manual and computer education.
• Create practical laboratories in schools for training from nursery to secondary schools. For students interested in pursuing further education, exposing them to industries through visits to firms and industries to develop career instincts for future career employment.
• Promote further industrial training as part of the school curriculum organized by Universities and Polytechnics with MAN through solicited cooperation for creative work with firms and industries in iron foundry, carpentry and wood technology, plastics technologies and moulding technology, machinery and forms, electrical works and utilities technology (both designs, moulds and production). Same in all the concrete industries. Also technology in steel industries i.e. melting, moulding for different uses in manufacturing for civil, structural, mechanical and construction works. Steel including forging, welding and various steel productions in qualities for different industrial uses and same in the Aluminium industries.
• Senior students or graduates from Universities and Colleges of Technology and Technical Schools and Trade Centers will develop their career into land transportation, construction industries, ship building, aircraft and highly industrial and production industries. These are the industries that will promote Nigerian growth.
From the above there is a realisation that Nigeria has not started preparing for industrialisation nor the production of machinery for industrialisation; not even the education for industrialisation. There had been some semblances of preparation for training as needed in a few industries and government organisations like the Nigerian Navy, Nepa, Posts and Telegraphs in the past.
With the decay in the country due to politicisation of everything in the country, all collapsed; probably with exception in the Armed forces. The effect of these we are witnessing today in unemployment of our youths and social class decay.
Nigeria must re-start now by re-planning for a reorientation rather than focusing our daily attention on discussing politics, law and constitution. We should re-direct our attention on issues that will teach and employ our youths. All must be involved starting with those in the governments at all levels in making the relevant laws. Those at home must participate by focusing on the purposefulness of education and usefulness of their children to themselves, parents and the nation in this direction. It cannot be imagined how much employment from the revolution will benefit the country.
There are many educated idle hands in Nigeria without direction but seeking quick wealth. Anything to challenge the new generation mentally is now an aberration, otherwise why killing and dismembering humans for wealth? Idleness is creating a new generation of villains/tyrants.
Between independence and the late eighties, in some cities, there were evening and weekend classes privately arranged to promote technical education using government classrooms. These were scrapped by politicians under the guise that they were not government controlled. Many craftsmen improved on their knowledge especially those who attended modern schools and who desired upgrading. Now the middle level labour force/craftsmen are nonexistent.
It is the only way for progress for any nation. Japan started sometime after World War 1 which manifested in their technical growth in World War II and beyond. It has even robbed on all countries in the South East Asia, Korea, Singapore, Philippines, Hongkong, Malasia, India, China, Russia, all followed same pattern. This development had taken many Nations more than fifty years to achieve their meaningful success. Nigerians are quite intelligent and will surely not take that long to develop but it is not a decade or two achievements. Nigeria lost an opportunity in the “60 decade almost 50 years now. Should we lose another 60 years?
Nigerians should change our lackadaisical approach to industrialisation for creativeness. Let us stop pretending our civilisation and contribute to the development of the world and assist less endowed Societies in Africa to do likewise.
Let us teach our children labouring pays and not the quick wealth they seem to believe will uplift this nation to greatness. Nigerian should not be consumers or labourers for other nations.
All policy makers must respond to this alert. Nigerians must wake up in their choice of leaders. Our youth must wake up to determine what and who will be of benefit to their future and lives. Otherwise we will manufacture more Boko Haram, Niger Delta Avengers, Biafrans, Odua People Congress like Ijaw Youths and Arewa Youths and similar. Failure will lead to more unrest and poverty whole using our resources for buying ammunitions to quell the unrests or fight unnecessary wars.
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