Engineers seek FG’s investment in industrialisation
Against the backdrop of the vital roles of engineers in nation-building, the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers ((NIMechE)) has restated the need for the federal government to increase its investment in processes that would accelerate Nigeria’s rapid industrialisation and boost the local capacity of professionals.
The institution states that with more industries, there would be more jobs, economic development and improve the standard of living of the people.
The new chairman of the Lagos state chapter (NIMechE), Dr. Uche Obiajulu stated this in Lagos during his investiture at the weekend. He was of the view that one of the most prominent challenges facing the country is unemployment; this he stated is no doubt tied to the low level of industrialisation.
He said, “We must develop and protect local industries. No Nation develops without her engineers, and mechanical engineering as the bedrock of engineering and industrialization. We need engineers to drive industrialisation from the point of sourcing the raw materials to turning them into finished products, they will play vital roles.
“Our tertiary institutions churn out dozens of research works and prototypes every year. Commercialising these works is vital to our development and conducive environment for them to nurture the business and also break even. We should be poised to actively promote entrepreneurship among engineers and encourage our members to be job creators”.
On professional development, Obiajulu said the practice is advancing at a rapid rate and engineers have to double their efforts in a bid to meet up with the changes and remain competitive in the industry.
He stated that the increasing focus on local content, in the country as well as the opportunity offered by the ‘Executive Order 5’ signed by President Muhammadu Buhari means that engineers, would need to up our game to compete against their counterparts in any part of the world.
“One of the most contentious issues affecting our young engineers today is the lack of opportunity to undergo their industrial training in preparation to become active participants in the engineering sector. We frown at the posting of graduate engineers to schools and other unrelated institution for their NYSC as this waste the talents and opportunities these young and vibrant graduates. We are urging NYSC to abide strictly by this while also appealing to Companies and industries to absorb and train our younger engineers. On our part as an institution, we will be creating more programmes for our younger professionals to assist them in transit to the top level in their careers”.
“Some of the areas we will also look at supporting members are in assisting our research-oriented members to get support from us and get entrepreneurs to buy their patents. We will assist them to commercialise their research and also connecting them to members for collaboration.”, he said.
In a lecture on ‘The versatility of the engineering profession’, presented by the executive vice chairman Signal Alliance Limited, Collins Onuegbu, he explained to survive in the era of upcoming fourth industrial revolution, engineers must retool themselves because the profession is evolving.
According to him, the old mechanical engineering is passing away and being replaced by a new mechanical engineering that is at home with computer science.
Earlier, the National Chairman of NIMechE, Dr. Robinson Ejilah had urged the federal government to tap the expertise of professional engineers to industrialise the nation and create employment opportunities. He also advised members to support Dr. Obiajulu and its team to able to discharge their responsibility, provide needed leadership and realise the vision of the association.
The managing director, SNEPCo, Bayo Ojulari represented by Mr. Femi Otubanjo, on his part stressed the need for Nigerian engineers to focus more on innovations, entrepreneurship and the commercial skills to diversify to other fields.