Ahmed Ayinla, popularly called “the Creative Engineprenuer” is Deputy Zonal Coordinator SouthWest NICESA. He spoke with Isqil Najim on the forthcoming Smartcity Summit organised by the Student wing of Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, South West, and other things.
Isqil Najim: Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Ahmed Ayinla: My name is Ahmed Ayobami AYINLA, I’m currently a fresh Civil Engineering graduate of the prestigious Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta Ogun State. I love innovative and creative ideas and I like to relate them with engineering and politics that is why I was nicknamed “the Creative Engineprenuer”. I so much believe in the influence of engineering in National development as it drives infrastructure and thereby enhance the nation’s economy. This is the reason why I have chosen to be an advocate of engineering in politics, creative design thinking and innovative solutions.
I have also attended series of programs and presented papers in this regard. Some presentations I have made in this regard includes; “the role of Engineers in Nigerian Politics” at the Nigerian Universities Engineering Students Association NUESA conference FUNAAB 2017 where I advised the Engineers to get into politics, Biogas renewable energy as an antidote to the Nigerian Power problem presented at the 2019 2nd Quarterly meeting of the American Society of Civil Engineers Nigerian Section and lots I cannot remember.
I have also held and served different leadership positions which include the NICESA President of MAPOLY 2017/2018, the NICESA National PRO 2017/2018, I’m currently the Deputy Southwest coordinator of NICESA, the ASCE Students Campus Outreach ambassador representing Nigeria Section and the chairman of the CEITSummit organizing committee.
Isqil Najim: Tell us about NICESA..
Ahmed Ayinla: NICESA is the acronym for Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers-Students Affiliates. The only organized and constituted body that coordinates the Civil Engineering Students in Nigeria under the umbrella of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers which is a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
Since 2009, when the Affiliate was been formed, it has recorded a lot of ground breaking activities to foster and enhance civil engineering education in virtually all Civil engineering accredited institutions (Polytechnics and Universities) in Nigeria. Most of these activities normally occur at the Students’ session of the Annual General Meeting and International Conference of the parent body (NICE) until the last AGM at Calabar where the Immediate Past National Chairman Engr Hon Andem Ekpo-Bassey advised that each region should create their executive council members so as to ease the affairs of the students affiliate and for swift coordination.
In the Southwest region, we have to some extent achieved enough than what’s expected from us. Part of the ways we have impacted positively in our colleagues includes but not limited to securing IT and SIWES placements, providing technical support for the projects students, organizing technical sessions with giveaways, and the forthcoming mega CEITSummit, with the desire to do more.
Our future plans is to create a unique and smart platform to network all Civil engineering personnel (students, graduates and senior professionals) together to provide networking, mentoring, job opportunities, technical supports and career developments.
Isqil Najim: Your association, NICESA is planning a Summit can u tell us what it is about?
Ahmed Ayinla: The Civil Engineering Innovation Technology Summit is a platform to showcase innovations and technologies through the use of emerging technologies, researches and development as it applies to the built environment.
The CEITSummit, in its maiden edition is going to be an annual event with the focus on exposing Civil Engineering Students in the South-West region of Nigeria and beyond to the various innovations and technologies in engineering as they break and trend.
This edition of CEITSummit is themed “Building your Smartcity” and is going to host the Smartcity competition. The Smartcity competition is an inter-school competition among Civil engineering accredited schools (Universities and Polytechnics) in the South-West region of Nigeria.
How long has this been in pipeline and how many institutions have indicated interest?
So far, we have started planning for the CEITSummit for the past four months and we had 9 institutions that have signified interest in the Smartcity competition.
Isqil Najim: Talking about the theme of the summit. What informed the choice of the theme?
Ahmed Ayinla: The reason why we chose the theme “Building your Smartcity” was simply because the world is getting advanced day by day, things are getting smart. There are new innovations been brought to the means of livelihood day by day. Such innovations includes the renewable energy, electric and driverless vehicles, light rail systems, BIM, smart parking, smart metering systems, 5G network spectrum, and lots to mention. These innovations can only work with the aid of smart technology, in our cities.
There are other developed and developing countries who have adopted the Smartcity systems, so we feel with the bunch of talents we have in Nigeria, if we bring them together on the CEITSummit platform, we should be able to also create our own smart cities that works.
Isqil Najim: Any cost implications?
Registration and entry ticket is absolutely free and can be obtained through the event website at ceitsummit.nicesa.com.ng
Isqil Najim: How supportive are the senior Engineers? Especially the NSE NICE.? What extent is their engagement in it?
Ahmed Ayinla: Those that we engaged among the NSE NICE and ASCE Nigeria has really been supportive, some has given us their financial support while we still look up to getting something from others. But they have been really amazing by being attentive and giving us the platform to showcase the summit to the members and the general public.
Isqil Najim: What about Corporate organisations? How supportive have they been?
Ahmed Ayinla: We have a very few organizations who has offered support in the Summit, which is not really encouraging.
Isqil Najim: What way can government support the younger engineers towards job creation and enhancing their Entrepreneurial instinct..
Ahmed Ayinla: One of the ways in which the government can support the young and budding engineers is simply by supporting programs like the CEITSummit. Because as far as Civil engineering in Nigeria is concerned, it serves as the viable platform where all the Civil engineering students and professionals come together to showcase innovations and technologies which applies to the built environment.
Governments can also organize similar programs and attract it with fascinating prizes and reward, to awaken the can-do spirits in the young engineers for the purpose of National development.