The Future of  Countries development lies in the youths with raw talents begging for supports and they need our help.  This was the clarion call by Engr Mrs Funmi Akingbagbohun at the recently concluded Second Edition of the Nigerian Energy Forum Conference in Lagos where she was a Speaker, during the Energy Research Opportunities Workshop (EnROW) put together as part of the event organised by joint partnership of NIEEE and Nigerians in diaspora.

Akingbagbohun who is the Chairperson Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Lagos State Chapter also noted that  Opportunity doesn’t translate into reality unless it meets preparation and that both institution and the individuals must be prepared for opportunity so that they can tap into it. 

“The Future of  Countries development lies in the youths who are mainly with raw talents begging for supports. They need our help”- Engr Funmi Akingbagbohun

Speaking on NIMechE Innovation Challenge, sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, she said that “talents abound in Nigeria and Africa from every institution among our graduates begging to be unearthed and developed.” While calling on the local and international organisations to emulate the Royal Academy of Engineering’s African Catalyst Programme and “support African efforts at unearthing these gems”

In her presentation, titled: “NIMechE Innovation Challenge: Bridging the gap between Ideas and Execution” she linked energy crisis and unemployment situation in Nigeria. And noted that many companies have shut down or reduced staff strength in  bid to cut cost. And energy challenge is among the factors cited by the companies.

Listing some of the efforts of NIMechE so far in assisting young engineers to include internship programmes, Workshops and seminars for the young engineers, partnering with companies like Toyota Nigeria in distributing training equipment to tertiary institutions among others. 

Training and development of Young Engineers does not and should not end in the classroom

Engr Akingbagbohun who is also the Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Ikeja Branch traced the journey of the NIMechE Innovation Challenge Competition back in time and thanked the Royal Academy of Engineers and project Manager partner, IBLF for making the vision a reality. However, she warns that more still need to be done as there are other hidden talents.

She said that the NIMechE Innovation Challenges benefited from the African Catalyst Programme of Royal Academy of Engineering, UK as part of the efforts to boost engineering capacity in Africa.  “The overarching aim is to ensure there is sufficient, and appropriately skilled, local engineering capacity to participate in and drive national and regional development in sub-Saharan Africa. ”

This competition targeted students in the Mechanical Engineering departments in ten (10) tertiary institutions across Lagos State. It aims to support the discovery of ideas that offer local solutions to identifiable problems in agriculture, power supply, renewable energy and automation.  The goal is to stimulate job/enterprise creation and the contribution to our national economy .

As we look towards the future as a nation, the NIMechE Innovation Challenge aspires to engage stakeholders both locally and internationally and strengthen corporation in the area of technology and human resources development. We are convinced that this will result in an improved perception of the engineering industry in Nigeria at home and abroad… Engr Akingbagbohun

She advised the Young Engineers not to be negative or avoid the professional associations because of their individual challenges, but rather deepen their contact and relationship with their various professional Associations for meaningful impact. “It is necessary for the Students and Graduates to have contact with the practicing Engineers. This provides greater impetus for application of their knowledge and also in discovering which of their works is realistically executable in the real world.  Training and development of Young Engineers does not and should not end in the classroom. Attending of Conference, Seminar, professional gathering offer a lot of opportunities for development as well as new ideas inspiration. She concluded.


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