29 June 2014

Nigeria: Engineers Critical to National Development - Ogunye

Lagos — Immediate past president of Nigerian Academy of Engineering professor Ayo Ogunye last weekend said Nigeria will succeed like China if only Federal Government will include engineers in the many developmental projects embarked on by the government.

Ogunye stated this while delivering his valedictory speech at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos during the 2014 Academy Lecture of The Academy titled "Interdisciplinarity: implications for complex problem solving" while citing how China was developed added that China was developed because of the dominance of engineers in governance. "In China, they put the development of their state in the hands of engineers. For Nigeria to grow, they must depend on engineers because engineers will make the difference and we all shall see the difference." He said while lamenting the inclusion of just one engineer in the recently inaugurated 25-member advisory committee for the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan headed by the minister of Trade and Investment.

Speaking further, Ogunye noted with dismay that engineers are never consulted as think tank by the government. "The truth of the matter is engineers are able to work out a long-term strategy for which is best, based on scientific rationale to analyze problems, evaluate means and alternatives, and formulate achievable goals. This has resulted to the growth in the economy of China at 10 percent a year for two decades and the country now exports more in a day than it did before. We are offering our hands of fellowship in Power Report, Petroleum products importation, and committee on industrial revolution plan. The Academy want to play their parts in this Mr. President ambition of making Nigeria lead Africa to attain the top 10 globally in the shortest possible. This we can achieve through the Advisory Committee Technical sub-committee. Let the engineers constitute 75% of the Technical Sub-Committee. The result will be overwhelming," he said further.

Ogunye revealed that up to the end of the first half of the twentieth century, only a few Nigerians had acquired full professional engineering status and that they obtained their basic engineering qualification and training abroad, mainly in the United Kingdom.

He further stated that the Academy was inspired by the need for a small, focused engineering body that would have the narrow objectives of the advancement and pursuit of excellence in Technology and Engineering, and the provision of a national platform for experts to pool their experience and insights to make input in policy making.

Toiling the line of Ogunye, Professor Rafiu Salawu in his acceptance speech at the occasion pledged that The Academy under his leadership will provide necessary assistance and counsel to the government whenever the need arise.

Salawu who alongside some officials of The Academy at the occasion inducted 12 fellows into The Academy said, Nigeria would still be parading less than a hundred fellows, trailing far behind the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Korea and other developed nations. He challenged the Engineers to braise up with the challenges of their profession in order to increase the productivity of the country and gain a proper place in the academy.

Some of the newly inducted fellows include Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corportation (NNPC) Engr. Andrew Yakubu, former Vice Chancellor Federal University of Technology, Minna Professor Suleyman Adeyemi and other eminent engineers.

Nigerian Academy of Engineering was incorporated as a private limited organization by guarantee in September 1997 for the purpose of promoting excellence in technological and engineering training and practice to ensure the technological growth and economic development of Nigeria.

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