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NSE Ikeja canvasses home-grown industrial revolution

...holds Engineering Week

The need to develop the engineering profession to achieve a home-grown industrial revolution in the country was a major issue discussed at this year’s Nigerian Society of Engineering (NSE) week, Ikeja branch.

Speaking at the weeklong-long event which came under the theme, ‘Integrated Engineering Development as a Catalyst for Home-grown Industrial Revolution’, Chairman of the NSE, Ikeja branch, Tosin Ogunmola bemoaned the present state of Nigerian economy, saying that the country would only have a vibrant economy when it becomes a producing nation.

“We are indeed as a nation at a crossroads. It has clearly shown in the state of the economy; we have been a struggling economy because we are not exactly a production economy; it is clear that any nation that does not produce what she consumes, such nation cannot produce a vibrant economy,” he said.

According to him, “The truth is that if we do not build Nigeria, nobody will build it for us. We have a situation where our compatriots are running out of the country and we will not blame them, but l kept saying that those who are running to other developed countries of the world, should also know that any country that is working, there are individuals in that country that made it work.”

“So, we are throwing up a challenge starting up from ourselves as professionals and to the rest of our compatriots that it is time we build the country, for our feature generations,” he added.

Read also: Clintonel Innovation partners UNN to bridge Nigeria’s engineering skills gap

Highlighting the roles of the academia in the development of the engineering profession in the country, he said: “If you visit some of the tertiary institutions, you will see annual final year projects written by students; these students actually come up with projects that have lots of ideas staged in a place”.

Speaking on ‘Disco policy as a guideline for energy consumers’ satisfaction’, Managing director Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Adebayo Fadeyibi explained that energy consumers are broadly categorised into those who use energy for residential purposes, ; consumers that are of commercial and business service in nature, and consumers that are industrial in nature.

According to him, Nigeria Electric Supply Industry (NSEI) in the recent time had made several efforts to improve customer satisfaction through consistency, , reliability and quality of supply to all electricity customers irrespective of category and nature of demand.

He further explained that with the new Service Based Tarif, customers were charged based on the estimated hours of supply.

The Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, who also spoke at the event, stressed the need for collaboration among engineers in Nigeria, adding that there were engineers who cannot stand alone.

Dangote, who was represented by the Group General Manager/Human Resources, Dangote Projects, Fola Ali, said: “We need to get ourselves empowered, encourage collaboration among members of our distinguished NSE branches. We have engineers who cannot stand alone, but you can come together. If engineers collaborate, it would boost manufacturing, address capital flight and enhance local capacity development”.

On his part, Group Executive Director, Strategy, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, who joined the meeting via zoom, also said that industrialisation could be speedily achieved through manufacturing.

Edwin further commended the knowledge and skills of local engineers, saying they had the capacity to uplift Nigeria. “Nigerian engineers are excellent, but needed more exposure to be able to make greater impact,” he noted.

Representative of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Rotimi Thomas, permanent secretary, Office of Infrastructure in the State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, lauded NSE Ikeja branch for organising the programme, but drew their attention to the importance of local content development.

Recognising the role of collaboration in growing economy like Nigeria, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said that collaboration is key to closing the gap between power generation and distribution, while calling for adoption of clean energy as well as energy mix.

Represented by his Special Adviser, Bola Ilori, Aregbesola challenged engineers to do more to boost the capacity of young engineers through mentorship.

Dean of Engineering, College of Engineering, Bells University of Technology, Otta, Ojo Sunday Fayomi, a professor, described the theme of the annual event as one that would help provide possible solutions to the challenges within Nigeria’s Industrial system.

While recalling that the world is advancing, metamorphosing, revolving and evolving, Fayomi challenged engineering graduates to work harder in order to match the appropriate response to the broadening expanse of technology in the 21st century much more in the century to come.

“Work place and the nature of work are changing very fast and engineers must be equipped, prepared, and well-furnished to adapt in order that society receives maximum benefit from their training and for the sake of their careers.

“Studies have shown that focusing on a narrow specialisation may be good for a short time, but bad if things change. The engineering profession would also benefit if its members can be aware of changes and adapt because this would tend to put engineering more in the foreground, closer to society which the profession is meant to serve,” he said.

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