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Engineers lament neglect by government


Ex-Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof Rahamon Bello.

The Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE) has expressed worries over the poor recognition of the expertise of its members in the quest for the nation’s industrialisation. It therefore urged leaders to get aware that engineers are the people that could turn the country to the path of faster social-economic development.

Speaking at the yearly lecture titled, ‘Celebration of engineering icon: Leadership by a silent tongue’ organised by its Lagos/Ogun Chapter in Lagos, the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos Prof. Rahmon Bello, expressed worries that the profession has not been given its pride of place in Nigeria stressing that low recognisition, has impeded the country from moving forward in infrastructural space.

He noted that any nation that relegates chemical engineers to the background often finds it difficult to experience rapid grow.“China is a leading example of nation that values chemical engineers and as you must have observed, most of the growth in the economy is made possible by engineers who understand processes and system. Most of the things that are imported are what Nigeria could produce in terms of manufacturing and processing of our materials but we are not yet there. Engineers determine processes and relate them with the challenges. Nigeria has enough raw materials and all that we need to do is to think of value addition”.

Prof. Bello, who was the chairman of the occasion, lauded the founding fathers of the institution; Anthony Shobo, an engineer, whose 87th birthday was also marked at the event and others for their professionalism and commitment to the growth of the Society. The Chief Executive Officer of Vitafoam Nigeria PLC, Dr. ‘Dele Makanjuola in his speech, stated that members need to address the wrong notion of young and experienced chemical engineers that the society was only for the ‘achievers’ and chemical engineers who are high-profile players in the oil and gas sector of the economy.

Makanjuola advised established engineers to groom the young ones through mentoring to develop a sense of belonging in the profession.“Teachers in our tertiary institutions must train the students to have passion for the profession, build their self-esteem and give a good platform for the confidence building. This would position the young engineers rightly for a future to reckon with. Chemical Engineers are too endowed to allow a slip away and must come to terms that irrespective of their work place, the chemical engineer converts ability to make the world a better place”, he stated.He stressed that the celebrant, Anthony Shobo, has laid a good foundation for budding engineers in the country,

“We are celebrating his commitment to the profession.He has proved his worth by giving the profession good standing. He practiced excellently and nurtured it to a greater height, showed us examples on how to service the profession actively through conferences in his active years. He also showed leadership and concern with anything that has to do with chemical engineering”.

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