On the 9th of May 2019, the NIMechE National Chairman, Engr. Dr. Robinson I. Ejilah, FNIMechE led a delegation of Mechanical Engineers on a courtesy call to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, MIKAP Nigerian Limited, Chief Michael Kaase Aondoakaa (SAN), at the premises of his Agro- processing Industry, along Gboko Road, Makurdi. In the delegation are the following; Engr. Dr Sylvester Aye, MNIMechE, the Benue NIMechE Chapter Chairman, Engr. Ochiga- Awyetu Ochiga, MNIMechE ;the Benue NIMechE Chapter Vice Chairman Engr. Kasso Terseer, MNIMechE, the former Benue NIMechE Chapter Chairman, and executive committee members of the state chapter, corporate members, and NIMechE student leaders of the Institution.
After a brief introduction of the members of the delegation, the National Chairman in his opening remarks conveyed his greeting and felicitation message to the Chairman, MIKAP Nig. Ltd., and his entire management team on behalf of NIMechE Council and members. In his words he said ‘NIMechE is indeed delighted that the Chairman, MIKAP Nigeria. Limited, accepted their request for a scheduled visit to his organization’.
Dr Robinson I. Ejilah observed that the visit was in recognition of the giant stride MIKAP Nig. Ltd., is making in the medium and small-scale Agro-allied sub-sector of the Nigerian industrial economy by boosting food production, and wealth and jobs creation for Nigerians. He also said the purpose for the visit is to encourage and explore new frontier of partnership and collaboration with MIKAP in a manner beneficial to both organizations. The NIMechE leader expressed his profound gratitude to the Industrialist for the honour done to him by putting on hold other important engagement(s) of the day to receive the delegation in his office and at the factory premises.
Engr. Ejilah also said he would wish to seize the opportunity of this visit to do a detour of the industrial facility for the purpose of identifying and intimating NIMechE with various areas of technical challenges, confronting the factory which may require technical assistance and improvement. He further appealed to MIKAP’s to open its door to industrial training opportunities of Nigerian mechanical engineering students who may wish to serve out there industrial attachment/internship programmes in his facility. He said engineering requires a good measure of hands-on practical exposure to enable students and young graduate engineers close the skill gap existing between mechanical engineering training and practice, to make for well-rounded engineering training.
The NIMechE leader furnished the Industrialist with information on the forth coming NIMechE’s 32nd International Conference/AGM in the month of October, 2019. He stressed that NIMechE is very keen on extending its special invitation to the management of MIKAP Nig. Ltd., on account of its very impressive performances in the agro-allied sub-sector of the industrial economy. He said the ‘ theme of the year’s conference is centered on Modern Manufacturing Technology and Practice for National Economic Growth, and will also avail MIKAP the benefit of showcasing its recorded success amidst the largest assembly of Nigerian Mechanical Engineers, in the city of Yenogoa, Bayelsa State.
The NIMechE leader urged the Management of MIKAP to continue with its deliberate strides of boosting the economy in areas of food production, wealth and job creation, and also pledged NIMechE’s continual support for his industrial progress, as it look forward to a very productive technical and professional relationship with MIKAP in the coming years.
In response, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, MIKAP Nig. Ltd., thanked NIMechE for the recognition and great honor done to him firstly by the award of excellence presented to him by the Benue Chapter of NIMechE at an earlier date. He also expressed his delight over the opportunity giving to him by the Nigerian Society of Engineers to make a presentation at the Society’s 2014 Abuja conference. He said there is no doubting the fact the Nigerian Engineering community has gone to great length to showcase MIKAP and its industrial activities over the years, and for this he feels much honored.
While giving a brief run-down on MIKAP’s activities, in his words he said ‘the components that constitute our company’s operations are almost 80% mechanical. Therefore our operations are dependent largely on the services of mechanical engineers – that is apart from the electrical motors that drive through the equipment as prime movers, every other thing is dependent on mechanical operations’.
Mainstreaming the company’s activities in the context of the Nigerian local content policy, the MIKAP’s boss, also said ‘We are the only company that has 100 % indigenous Nigerian engineers on its employment. That is to say all the engineers working with us are Nigerian Engineers. Yes, some of them may not yet be enjoying any membership affiliation to NIMechE, but their demonstrable practical experiences speaks volumes, and within a short time you will see for yourselves what they are capable of doing. However, for those that are yet to meet NIMechE’s membership requirement, we solicit you consider them for associate membership of your institution’.
The MIKAP Boss also spiced up his words with these very exciting sound bites, by adding ‘ We have been in operation consistently for eight years and for eight years we have not stopped production on the grounds of any major technical problems on account of our complete reliance on indigenous engineering expertise of Nigerian Engineers. Hence, we had no need to fly in expatriates from any oversee country, as we have always sought for indigenous solutions to our industrial challenges’.
Chief Aondoakaa pledged to cooperate fully with NIMechE, and promised to honour its invitation to the Bayelsa Conference because exposure is very key to any successful life endeavor. In his words ‘when one gets the right exposure, the zeal to work harder is spurred. So MIKAP will certainly support and be with you at the Bayelsa conference in due time.
On Partnership and collaboration, the MIKAP boss had this to say ‘MIKAP have this robust partnership with the Benue State University because of the role our industrial facilities play in the training of student at the higher degree levels, our collaboration has attracted World Bank support to the University. The World Bank came and inspected the facilities and guaranteed that after one year of their operation, three years, four years they now got another renewal, and so the program has extended, and now is spanning to fourteen years because of the strong support we provide. I had wished that too could be extended to the University of Agriculture, Makurdi on account of the fact that they offer higher degrees in Mechanical Engineering, and the design of post-harvest storage facilities storage facilities, such as; Silos, are essentially mechanical, but that doesn’t stop us from extending our collaboration to them any way’. Chief Aondoakaa said ‘as a matter of fact, MIKAP accept industrial training/ attachment request from institutions across Nigeria, we can also extend same offers to student of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Agriculture Makurdi to do their Industrial attachment if they so desire’.
In the meeting, which is considered very timely, Chief Aondoakaa expressed the Company’s desire to enter into a technical and professional relationship with Nigerian Mechanical Engineers in areas of industrial parts fabrication, quality control and product commercialization to keep the industrial operations at peak performance level.
Before, the tour of the industrial facilities, Chief Aondakaa drew the attention of the NIMechE delegation to some technical challenges, which in his words, he said ‘I must emphasize that you are taken to where we imported our first chimney, it was a big waste of money and something I regret ever doing, and you will be shown round to where our engineers and technicians fabricated the same chimney now put in use for the two water-tube boilers at a comparatively lower cost than the imported version.
In his closing remark, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, MIKAP Nig. Ltd, Chief Michael Kaase Aondoakaa (SAN) impressed upon the NIMechE National Chairman and his delegation on the need to to extend its membership mobilization drive to his factory. He urged NIMechE to consider for associate membership technical personnel who are actively participating in engineering and fabrication not necessarily to the standard that meets the requirement of NIMechE corporate membership requirements, but at least have sufficient practical experience to make a whole lot of difference in areas of hands-on training and technical problem solving. He assured the delegation that his facilities are wide open; and his General Manager/Head of Production, Mr. Kennedy Achan, will take the NIMechE Chairman and his team round to assess and have a feel of their industrial activities. NIMechE National Chairman, promised to convey his request to the National Council of the body for consideration.
The delegation was received by the Chairman, and his top management team.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, MIKAP Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Kaase Aondoakaa (SAN) is a legal luminary, statesman, farmer and industrialist. He is a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.