A former Vice President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Chief Akintunde Zedomi,on Monday urged engineers to take bold initiatives to proffer solutions to societal problems.
Zedomi made the call during a Distinguished Lecture Series in his honour in Lagos, at which he was the guest speaker.
He said at the lecture, with the theme “NSE Apapa Branch: Golden in Name and Deeds”, that local engineers needed to take bold steps in the nation to make their impact felt.
Zedomi, who was founding chairman of the Apapa Branch (2001-2003), advised engineers to publish their recommendations on how to develop various sectors for government, corporate organisations and private individuals to buy into such research.
“Engineers today are docile; in our own days we were hard, we spoke out, we redesigned systems; not only did we speak out, if for a example a road is bad and we want to make it better, we make a design and publish it.
” The problems today are usually at the contractual stages where engineering inputs are neglected.
“For example, some 20 years ago, we designed Made-in-Nigeria car when I was chairman of the board, and today there are made-in-Nigeria cars through Innoson Motors and the others.
” Look at the agricultural system, the same hoes that my great grandfathers used to carry sand is what is still in use, and we have agric engineers parading their professorships.
“Nigerian engineers should go out there and use their God-given tactics to improve the lot of Nigerians,” he said.
Zedomi called on Apapa Branch to solve problems in the Apapa axis with engineering and increase female membership of the association for rapid economic growth.
“They should go out there to the communities and think of how use engineering to improve the living standards of people in those communities,” the NSE Fellow said.
He advised the branch to increase participation with the education sector to get more young people into the field, as well as engagement of traditional institutions to understand local challenges and solutions to them.
Giving a brief history of the evolution of the Apapa Branch, Zedomi said they had come a long way in solving problems in Apapa axis to show that the branch was “Golden in deed”.
The Apapa Branch chairman, Mr Sunny Ejeje, while delivering his welcome speech, said that the branch was 19 years old.
He said that the branch was birthed by three people, which included Zedomi — the pioneer chairman — who had brought development to engineering in the nation.
Ejeje said that the branch had come of age and won several engineering contests, leading over 77 other branches.
“We don’t have money, but we have resources. We are about 700 members,” he said.
On contribution of the branch to solving problems in Apapa, he said a collaboration was on with the local government, state and federal government to find lasting solutions to issues of congestion and flooding.
The President of the NSE, Engr Babagana Mohammed, who was represented by Engr Olayemi Morankiyo, advised the Apapa branch to continue in its stride, to excel.
He commended the decision to honor Zedomi in his lifetime.
Mohammed commended the Buhari administration for the executive orders signed to improve engineering practice in Nigeria.
By Grace Alegba and Mary Anighoro, NAN