Professionals in the field of engineering and medicine have been urged to work as a team in order to achieve the desired results.
Making this admonition was the Chairman, Governing Board of Digital Bridge Institute, Engineer Titi Omo-Ettu, who was one of the guest lecturers at this year’s Annual General meeting of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Lagos Branch.
While delivering the lecture with the theme: “The Role of Engineering Professionals in Rebuilding Nigeria’s Economy, Post COVID-19”, at the event which was held in Lagos last Tuesday,
Eng. Etti urges professionals in engineering field, to always think, work and provide solutions together in order to build an industry around the solutions which was not taken seriously before the outbreak of COVID-19 .
“We must coordinate our efforts and promote business. I play in the Nigerian Academy of Engineering now. I can tell you that we have started, a process of Engineering Business Promotion which, as we speak, is linking centres and spots of engineering solutions to manufacturing opportunities, he says.
“We must kill corruption before corruption kills us. If we are producing and our counterparts in government and in the industries continue to prefer importation because of ‘what is there for them’, then society will remain destroyed.
“We must work with the realisation that those who supply solutions today will be around tomorrow to stop our own solutions from thriving. That is the reality and we better be prepared”, Etti said
He added that rebuilding an economy starts from working as a team and looking inwards for solution saying however, that it does not end there.
“To build a strong economy is a huge engineering endeavour that extends to building agriculture, transportation, communications, health, education, infrastructure etc.
“That is to say, the above principles must be applied as fundamentals to build sustainable and enduring engineering culture and systems.
“However, if we must involve Government responsibilities in this discussion, we must expand the requirements to oEngineering professionals who are to provide solutions that are appropriate and affordable”, saying it could be more, but no less.
In his welcome remarks, the National President, The Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Babagana Mohammed, charged participants, to be leader, one that must be gentle, thoroughly brought up with integrity, saying, “we need to change certain things – Engineers must rise up to the current challenge.
“When COVID-19 pandemic started, France, Australia, Japan, including ‘Grand Commander’ of the pandemic, China closed their borders. We should use ordinary sense to get the meaning because if we use common sense which has been failing Nigerians, these countries mentioned would produce and whatever they produce would not be given to anybody until, they take care of themselves. By extension, if you couldn’t produce, waiting for them to produce what you need, you would die”, he said.
He further said : “We need to raise our game, it would put more money in our pocket, develop our infrastructure, develop our country, we can’t be saying, we are waiting for the government” .
He reiterated the commitment of the national body, saying it doled out N1million each to 16 students who chose engineering as course of study in the university with minimum score of 336 out of 400, during 2020 UTME exam, conducted by JAMB.
He said as leaders tbere is the need to do the right thing, so that Nigeria can get out of the wood.
Delivering his paper at the event, the Second speaker who is the Managing Director, Kenol Nig. Ltd., Engr. Olaolu Ogunduyile, highlighted the problems facing Nigeria economy which he says includes lack of proper engagement between the government and the citizenry; Poor Human Capacity Development; Unemployment ; Crime and terrorism; Poor Infrastructure; Corruption; Environmental and Health Challenges as well as Policy somersaults
He said in postulating on the role of Engineering Professionals in Rebuilding Nigeria’s Economy, Post Covid-19 , the body of engineers must look at the COVID-19 pandemic as a problem to be solved and a challenge to overcome.
“The pandemic though severe, is not without benefits as much as there are so many challenges. In fact, it is going to define a new relationship approach globally being an eye opener to everyone that can reason objectively”,he said.
Speaking on the roles of the engineering professionals that would impact very positively on the economic development of the nation in general, Ogunduyile said they must key into the policy direction of the federal government through the Central Bank stimulus package for revamping the economy and developing critical infrastructure over a period of time.
He also said that Inventions in all spectra of the economy must be encouraged by the practioners.
“The Nigeria Society of Engineers must be up and doing in fishing out talents and creating enabling environment to enable them operate by navigating the government mechanism for the inventors and helping to nurture ideas.
“Alternative energy solution is of critical importance now, more than before especially since crude oil is on a record low-level globally and Engineers are expected to come up with various energy options that are affordable, durable and suitable for use as well as Agricultural support.
He said this is the time for Government to invest heavily in mega scale mechanized farming and
Transportation adding that, Engineering professionals are in the forefront for a meaningful development of this key sector of the economy.
He said the engineering professionals can not shy away from their key roles in this very special sector of the economy adding that Engineering professionals have a lot to do in the energy development of the economy,
educational Development, both formal and informal .
He further informed that COVID-19 pandemic has actually shown the importance of a well-developed communication infrastructure.
“The communication companies are really having a field day of harvest during this period of global challenges.
” The neglect of critical development of effective healthcare facilities came out very bold and loud during the COVID-19 pandemic. The empty noise of various government leaders was drowned in the ocean of health crisis that erupted everywhere almost at the same time and caught the entire system “pants down”. The lack of geosciences information is a barrier to investment. Funding is insufficient to conduct the required level of technical work, enforce regulation or complete planned projects.
“The solid minerals industry has enormous potential to help diversify the economy, but it is constrained by several factors”, he said.
In her goodwill message, the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, who was the special guest of honour at the event Engr. (Mrs.) Noimot Salako-oyedele, said pandemic is something that affects everybody saying “over the years, we ‘ve had to rely on external support. So we could not go to the normal places where we seek help. We have had to rise up to the occasion with our factory, industry and we had to rise up to the occasion by making simple things like hand Sanitizers. I am sure many of us now known formular for hand sanitizers because many of us just rush and buy but now it has becomes major thing used in every homes.
” When there is no opportunity to import, this tell us, there’s market opportunity in Nigeria. Even when importation of Rice was banned, we could see the way rice farming is booming in Nigeria now, all what we need to do is to put right policy in place”.
She said COVID -19 gives everybody opportunity to look inward.
Part of the activities at this year’s AGM was the election conducted into the various executive positions.
Engineer Ayotunde Ogunnoiki was elected as the chairman of the branch, taken the mantle of leadership from Dr. Musliudeen Agoro, while Engr. Mrs. Omolola Adetona .was elected as his vice.
The election also witnessed the emergence of Engr. Adekunle Bello as the General Secretary and Engr. Yusuf Salami as his assistant.
Engineer Adeshina Oshinloye will serve as the Treasurer while Engr. Olukorede Kesha is the new Financial Secretary.
Others are: Technical Secretary, Engr. Dr. Ajibola Tijani;
Assistant Technical Secretary, Engr. Micheal Alonge;
Publicity Secretary, Engr. Folami Idris Olatunde and
Engr. Bright Ojete as ex-Officio.
They have all vowed to continue from where the former executives led by Dr. Musliudeen Agoro stopped .