Obafemi Hamzat, Lagos State deputy governor, says technology is an important tool for national growth and development, adding that the future belongs to people who are ready and willing to adopt and adapt to it.
Hamzat spoke at an induction ceremony for University of Ibadan Engineering Graduates, 2021/2022 session, who were admitted into the graduate membership of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).
The deputy governor delivered a keynote address at the event with the theme, ‘Developing Innovative Strategy for Building a Sustainable Career as a Young Engineer in the 21st Century.’
He noted that technology development was highly flexible and could be adapted to suit various life issues and circumstances, adding, “the most interesting aspect of technology development is the manner it has transformed governance, socio-economic growth and development through its application and implementation of innovative strategies and initiatives.”
He added that the bedrock of socio-economic growth and development in a country was the provision of infrastructure to stimulate socio-economic activities that would transform the society, such as intermodal transport systems, road construction, affordable housing, and food security through the provision of mechanised farming and grain storage in silos.
These activities, he said, would generate economic empowerment for the people through employment generation, stressing that engineers were central to the achievement of these activities or strategies.
He urged the new inductees to see the ceremony as a stepping stone to the fulfilment of their dreams as engineers and achieve success in building up their career profile.
“As you grow in the engineering profession, you must learn, unlearn and relearn due to constant changes in knowledge and development in technology. There has seen phenomenal growth in Artificial Intelligence (Al) and the impact it has had on the way people live, work, and interact”. He said.
21st-century Engineers in a country like Nigeria, the deputy governor said, offered opportunities to engineers such that they would not be armchair engineers, but rather solution providers, adding that education provided only a foundation while the reality check was that they must put their theoretical training to design great engineering feats.
“Our challenges are your opportunities, Climate change, agricultural production, housing challenges, infrastructure development and maintenance are all areas of opportunity. We have recorded incidents of building collapse in some areas and incidents such as this bring our profession into negative perception by the public. We must, therefore, put it at the back of our minds that we must reshape the negative mindsets created by the various activities,” he said.
Hamzat noted that the world of engineering was filled with opportunities waiting to be explored and there were boundless opportunities in the public sector for young engineers to achieve their potential as young professionals, adding that it was their turn to contribute their quota by coming up with ideas and concepts that would further enhance life experience in the country.
He urged the young engineers to go back to the drawing board and think of innovative ways and means by which they could make a meaningful impact in their chosen field with the necessary guidance and inspiration from their mentors.
“If you want to build up a sustainable career, three things are very important for you: never stop learning, nothing is impossible and if you can dream it, you can achieve it,” he said.
Kayode Adebowale, a professor and the vice chancellor of the university, enjoined the graduating students to be of good character and good ambassadors of the institution as well as put all the training they had acquired in the institution for the development of the country.
The vice-chancellor who was represented at the event by the deputy vice-chancellor, Academics, Aderonke Baiyeroju, a professor, added that the country required their expertise for socio-economic and political development.