Just few days to the 2nd edition of Engr. Akintunde Zedomi annual lecture series, organized by the Nigerian Society Engineers (NSE), Apapa Branch, Lagos Engr. (Dr) Ombugadu Garba was elevated to the rank of Fellow, approved by NSE Council based on Board of Fellows’ of the NSE recommendations.
As if the good news from the NSE was not enough, the chairman of the Branch, Engr. Christian Ufot presented Dr. Garba with an award of excellence “for his meritorious service & contribution to the development of the engineering profession in Lagos and Nigeria at large.”
Engr. Garba said in a chat that as an expert, and a professional engineer, he’s been doing his best in terms of mentoring younger engineers so that they could take after them tomorrow.
“There’s need to also teach and encourage them that knowledge in school is not enough. They need to train and upgrade themselves in terms of skill development to make them more relevant.
“As a matter of fact, a 21st century engineer should be an embodiment of skill so that he would be able to perform better. We have also been making sure that we add our input and restrategise on what’s going on in the profession so that we could have more influences in the society.
“Engineers rule the world, but in Nigeria, we find it difficult to operate. Everywhere in the world, engineers are performing. If a Nigerian engineer is taking out of the country, you would not belief what he would do.
“From our analysis, we discovered that we need more involvement. We would continue to press on, we would continue to support the government in any way to build infrastructure in the country to be an enviable place that we deserve,” he said.
Dr. Garba further said that engineers in Nigeria were not given the needed preference, or an enabling environment to operate.
The engineer stated that the government has not invested enough to see to the development of the nation, adding that though efforts were being put in place by the federal government to sign the local contents bill into law, the challenge they sometimes had is implementing these laws to the latter
He stated that the Local contents Law has been since been signed into law but my concerns is about the implementation of the Law and how Nigerian Engineer can leverage and make great impact.
“Look at some key agencies that should be driven by Nigerian engineers, you would see that they are not there.
“We would not relent, we would continue to press on to do better. We have the skill, we have what it takes to develop any infrastructure for the nation, but sometimes we are not being considered.
“Lots of researches are being done by schools, but many of them are lying down there, why can’t the government encourage them to develop.
“During the lockdown, we developed ventilators. But you would see that lots of researches are lying fallow in Nigeria. The government needs to create funds specifically for technological development. This would encourage many people to give in their best.
“Any nation that is just consuming would not develop. We must produce what we consume, whether service or infrastructure it would improve the economy, generates more jobs for the teeming youths,” Garba said.
He added that our industries were not working, asking that how long were we going to import, and that we are an oil producing nation, but that every litre of oil used in the country is imported.
“How could you develop in that manner, how could the economy grow. But by the time our industries are working, definitely, there would be improvement in the economy. The value chain for oil production would be enhanced, we must develop technologically in the country if we want to have a place in the comity of nations,” he said.
Engr. (Dr.) Ombugadu Garba was the 7th chairman of NSE, Apapa branch between 2016 and 2018. He took over from Engr. Olalekan Taiwo.