Welcome Address at 2018 MEDL lecture by NIMechE National Chairman

National Chairman, Dr. Robinson Ejilah

Welcome Address by the National Chairman, the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers on the occasion of the 2018 Mechanical Engineers Distinguished Lecture on Wednesday, 25th July, 2018 at the National Engineering Centre, CBD, Abuja.

Protocols.
It is my pleasure and honor to welcome you all at the opening of the 2018 Mechanical Engineers Distinguished Lecture (MEDL) of our great institution on this very auspicious day of the 25th July, 2018, as the 12th in the series of lectures delivered by distinguished Nigerian Mechanical Engineers.

The Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE) being the premier Institution for professional development, knowledge acquisition and dissemination of mechanical engineering and allied disciplines in Nigeria, hold very dearly the MEDL as one of its foremost professional events for the reason that; it provides a platform for sharing professional knowledge and expertise on the latest technologies and trends from an engineering standpoint with the view of stimulating discussions and intellectual debates, while drawing to our attention pertinent challenges, and raising our guesses across many of the big picture issues confronting the contemporary human society.

Our 12th Distinguished lecture is titled ‘Fast Tracking the Paradigm Shift from a Fossil Fuel-driven Economy to Renewable Energy: A Clarion Call to Nigerian Mechanical Engineers’. In the course of time, our eminently qualified and distinguished lecturer, Engr. Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru, FNSE, FNIMechE, will be sharing his thoughts and opinion on the need for shifting our attention from the inordinate reliance on crude oil to renewable energy, with the aim of promoting energy security, creating more jobs for the economy, and ensuring a cleaner and sustainable environment.

By providential grace, our 12th distinguished lecture is indeed historic as it coincides with the year, our larger engineering community, the Nigerian Society of Engineers, is marking the 60th anniversary of its formation. This makes me more hopeful than ever, that the happenstance of this lecture and our cherished engineering anniversary will further strengthen the existing bond between the Nigerian engineering community and the foremost oil and gas industry (i.e.NNPC), through closer partnership and collaboration in the areas of research, engineering professionalism, and the infrastructural development of our dear nation.

Without fear of contradiction, I wish to quickly mention that the title of the lecture is well situated in the context of the trending thematic global challenges in man’s areas of needs for equitable access to sustainable development, and sustainable economies, and to create new knowledge and drive engineering innovations that would ensure that everyone across the globe has access to clean air, water and sanitation, and affordable reliable sustainable energy and livelihoods supported by strong foundations for inclusive economic growth and innovation. Hence, the paper will be sounding out the warning note of a bleak future adversely influenced by our present pattern of fossil fuel consumption, and also provide a ray of hope while harping on the prospects of a future of renewable energy investments in Nigeria, for the needed energy security without endangering the health and well-being of the people and environment.

As a thing of great joy and honour, I want to warmly congratulate Engr. Dr Baru FNSE, FNIMechE on his nomination and confirmation as the Mechanical Engineers Distinguished Lecturer for the Year 2018. It may interest you to know that NIMechE’s decision was unanimous on the choice of Engr. Dr. Baru as the presenter of the distinguished lecture, on account of his resounding first-in class intellectual propensity, and his well-over twenty five years of professional engineering and leadership experience in the oil and gas sector. All these attributes of his, with a dint of hard work and divine providence, add-up to make him one of the most sought – after personalities in the Nigerian energy sector today.

I would like to mention that we are indeed fortunate and very grateful to have the Distinguished Lecturer create time to do this presentation today, in view of his very busy and competing work schedules. I am also delighted to say that as the helmsman of the nation’s foremost energy industry, our Distinguished Lecturer has been of immeasurable assistance to NIMechE through his very supportive corporate partnerships across a wide range of professional activities.

NIMechE as a professional Institution, want to assure our Distinguished Lecturer that the ‘food for thought’ soon to be served us in a short while, would of necessity provide a ‘nucleus’ for our renewed advocacy drive; to encourage research and development efforts, and investments in, – and the commercialization of – renewable energy technologies for the purpose of mitigating pollution, boosting energy supply and creating jobs for the economy in the coming years.

You will agree with me that energy sufficiency is not only desired to improve the comfort in our homes, but is also required for driving the cogs of industries, and the economic prosperity of nations. It remains unquestionable that the unavailability and high cost of energy today is largely responsible for the under-performance of the Nigerian industrial sector.

Our forth coming NIMechE International Conference and AGM between, 23rd -26th October, 2018, in the commercial city of Kano – with a theme tagged ‘The Revitalization of the Industrial Sector for Rural Infrastructural Development: The Role of Mechanical Engineers’,-intends to take a critical look at the relationship between energy availability, industrial performance and infrastructural development with an aim of proffering solutions to the nation’s ailing industries. The choice of Kano in every sense is strategic for our event, as it remains one of the foremost industrial hubs of our country. We are hopeful that at the event, deliberate and well-informed statements will be made to generate technical and thought provoking discussions in this regard. Hence, I wish to seize this opportunity to invite you all to our conference, and also solicit for your support to ensure its success.

In a special way, I want to thank the President, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Adekunle O. Mokuolu, FNSE, for taking time from his busy schedule and accepting to grace this event as Chairman of the occasion in spite of other competing engagements. We are grateful for your untiring support and encouragement in our collective efforts to grow the profession and practice of engineering in Nigeria.

I want to in a very special way also welcome to this event our distinguished guest of honour, Engr. Amb. Bunu Sheriff Musa, OFR, -a truly distinguished engineer and patriot, a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and Nigerian Academy of Engineering, a serial honourable minister of the Federal Republic, and former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of France. It may interest us to know that as the search for a befitting distinguished guest of honour for this event intensified, Engr. Amb. Bunu Sheriff Musa’s standing as a man of unblemished personality, enjoyed overwhelming support in view of his versatility, and well-grounded experience in engineering practice, administration, public policy, and diplomacy. I want to thank you Sir, for making it to our event, and gracing it with your dignifying presence, in spite of the short notice of invitation.

I wish to also welcome and express my profound gratitude to our special personalities and guests, relatives, friends, professional colleagues and well-wishers of the Distinguished Lecturer and NIMechE, for supporting this programme. We thank you for finding time to be with us despite your numerous engagements, we are indeed proud of your service to our beloved country.

Before I wrap up my address, I would like to quickly recognize the contributions and effort of the Engr. Prof. Adisa A. Bello’s – led MEDL Planning Committee for their wonderful job.

Once again, I welcome you all to our 12th MEDL lecture series, and I wish you all a very exciting and fulfilled lecture session.

Thank you for your time and attention and May God bless you all.

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