The Managing Director of Peri Formwork and Scaffolding Nigeria Ltd, Engr. Stefan Euchenhofer has urged young engineers to take huge advantage of information available on the internet to further their knowledge about the engineering profession.
Euchenhofer stated this, when the leaders of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Lagos State Branch, led by its Chairman, Engr. Ayotunde Ogunnoiki paid a courtesy visit to the corporate office of Peri Formwork and Scaffolding in Ajah, Lagos on Tuesday 24th, February.
The MD said that young engineers have access to the internet, and information, and that they only needed to be selective of what information to trust and the ones to mistrust.
“So don’t go for widespread social media information if you believe that would not have engineering effect. Look at home pages of universities, national renowned publications, start reading the subject you are interested in, you might find nice articles about the subject you want to learn more about.
“Don’t limit yourself about the books you receive in the university. In general, try to improve your knowledge and look for practical experience wherever it’s possible.
“I might not know how it is done here in Nigeria, but in Germany, I had to work as a construction worker, it was only when I did this that I started to appreciate the work ordinary construction worker do.
“Certainly, you would be able to estimate or judge what a worker could do because you have done it before. So it is only when you have experienced it physically that you would understand why people have limitations. Then you would appreciate, and respect them.
“Try to get this experience if you have got the chance. I know it is not easy, the market in Nigeria is overcrowded, you have a great number of unemployed youths,” he said.
He explained further that the engineering profession was not just about learning by books, but that they should reach out, make use of the opportunity they have in the Nigerian Society of Engineers, and the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers.
Speaking further, Euchenhofer stated that his organization is involved in training programmes and that it is a practical company, which is in the field of providing practical know how for the profession.
“I think Nigerian universities partly are not optimally equipped, therefore, education in Nigeria is mostly about theory and they neglect practical.
“But we in Peri Group could fill the gap in conjunction with other companies in the field, which provide similar education.
“It’s important for everyone to continuously learn to improving knowledge, it’s not only when you have a degree that you know it all. With a degree you have just entered into the real world,” he said.
He attributed the issue of collapsed building to the materials currently being used for construction in the country.
He stated that according to British standard, materials have different grades, adding that it is very important that engineering societies must check and verify that engineers in the market comply with the British standard being used in Nigeria.
“If you design with one standard, and use materials, which do not comply with that standard the building might collapse and that’s a great danger to members of the public and to the engineering profession because people would ask why we permitted them, how did that happen, people would ask us questions.
“To prevent building collapse, our engineering regulations needed to be enforced. Also there’s need to check engineering design, an external person might need to look at it.
“Someone who’s qualified should check if the engineering design is done properly and if the architecture design is also done properly. When you check the measurement, you would know if the architect made mistake.
“All these things should be verified and standard must be followed. It is about reducing mistakes and improving quality at the end of the day,” he said.
Furthermore, he stated that Peri Formwork and Scaffolding Nigeria is supporting a number of construction companies, and supporting constructing sites.
He said that the company provides education to Nigerian Society of Engineers and Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, provide both theoretical and practical education for young engineers brought by Nigerian Society of Engineers.
“We provide training for construction companies.
In a couple of months, I will be leaving Nigeria for another subsidiary of the Group in Philippines. After spending nearly 15 years in Nigeria, ‘am handing over to a Nigerian engineer; our Sales Manager. I am very proud that I am not being replaced by another expatriate but by a Nigerian, that’s the way to go, we are creating Nigerian jobs,” he said.
Engr. Ayotunde Ogunnoiki described the visit to Peri Yard as a fruitful and knowledge development for young engineers.
His words; “we went for a courtesy visit to the company and took our young engineers for a workshop there.
“We are really happy that Engr. Stefan, out of his busy schedule met with us. We saw the work they are doing at Peri Formwork and Scaffolding Nigeria Ltd as the company is into subcontracting, a division in the construction industry,” he said.
Ogunnoiki said that Lagos Branch of NSE is passionate about research and development of young engineers, adding that this was why they went on the visit with young engineers, so that they could have knowledge, and that scaffolding is part of civil engineering work.
The Chairman then urged young engineers to take advantage of the workshop and put it into practice to enhance their work, and for the development of the profession.
The Sales Manager of the company, who has been tipped to take over from Mr Stefan as the Managing Director, Mr. Niyi Adeyemo said that they introduced their products to Nigerian engineers to optimize material usage, and save cost at the end of the day.
“I think for us to be where we supposed to be, there’s need for us to look at our local content, that’s why as our out-going Managing Director is leaving, the company felt that they didn’t need to import another expatriate from overseas, but make use of a Nigerian.
“Ultimately, if we are able to source for a replacement internally it is better for everyone. One good thing about Germany is that they are trying to develop local content.
“Therefore, they feel it’s better to develop our local content rather than importing, and I want us take a cue from that.
“Let’s be open minded. The problem with many of us is that we are not open minded. The truth is that the world changes every day, there are new innovations everyday. People need to be open minded to embrace what’s possible and whenever we lack the capability then somebody should be able to come and teach us,” Adeyemo said.