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    ENGINEERS or ENGIFARS by Ohuche Joseph

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    Over the years, Nigeria universities have trained over a thousand graduates in various Engineering discipline. Many have gone as far as bagging the much adored and respected title of “Professor in Engineering”. But one question always beg the answer of the general public, “Why is Nigeria still technologically backwards?”

    Each year, Hundreds of Engineering graduates are churned out of the Nigeria Universities. Having been in their shoes at certain point, I can imagine the joy that comes with being tagged an Engineer. After our days in school, many dive out of the turbulent Waters of Engineering profession into a career path that is totally divergent to what is expected of a graduate of Engineering. Many great Brains even forget some of those important formulas that helped put on their academic cap, countless numbers of A’s, just few kilometers away from the venue of their final degree Examination. Some proudly claim that all they learnt in school should stay in school, as they find no relevance in the real world. This belief system has made Engineering in Nigeria ” A comedy-show that makes its audience shed tears of sorrow”.

    Due to the unfortunate attitude of Engineers in Nigeria, Technicians -men and women who learnt their trade through Informal ways- now proud themselves as Engineers. Some claim to be far better than Nigeria trained Engineers, because of its ability to defend his/her trade whenever he/she is called upon. Same technician who call the whites ‘gods’ , won’t waste time in describing a Nigerian Engineer as dummies. Some that I have came in contact with, only know the “HOWs” on doing the Engineering jobs, but lack the needed skill to understand the “WHYs” it’s done the way it is done.

    My Boss, Mr Benjamin once said that Engineering is crawling in Nigeria because, Nigeria Engineers lack the needed “Theoretical understanding” of what they learnt in school. As an Electrical Engineer who has devoted the last one year of his life into garnering practical Engineering knowledge from technicians, I have found out that, all we need to know as Engineers – who should innovate and make our society better- is hidden in those textbooks we crammed countless formulas and definitions just to pass our Exams.

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    Recently, I came across the latest Welding machine that is made from Diesel generators -More like the Nigeria “I pass my neighbour” generator. The designer just changed the winding pattern of the generator stator windings and added diodes to some parts of the field coil. This welding machine will in no distant time replace the old welding machine that uses a tap changer transformer.

    Definitely, as Engineers , we all know what diodes are – many may even mention their different types .The truth remains that we only know the word , but we know little about the several applications of that word in real life Engineering practise.

    Until we begin to study Engineering with the sole aim of solving the numerous technologically needs in our society , rather than making A’s that we can’t defend, we will remain ENGIFARS.

    I am ENGIFAR
    Ohuche Joseph

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