We are here today for another historic import in the annals of NIMechE to perform the launching of the National NIMechE Students body and election of the Executives of this august body today. Very soon, the National Executive Committee of NIMechE shall call a Conference of all Students of Mechanical Engineering to discuss common problems associated with the their studies and developments and come up with acceptable solutions in education, training and skill acquisition. We therefore express our gratitude to God for preserving our lives to witness this occasion and to adopt them into the fold of the NIMechE Students Chapter.
ROLE OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING:
Engineering as we know is the application of Science and Techniques to harness the resources of nature to produce artefacts for the benefit and convenience of mankind and his environment. It is the practice of designing and producing Machines, Roads, Bridges, Railways, Electrification of cities, Communication Equipment, Chemical Plants etc Specifically, Mechanical Engineering is easily one of the largest, broadest and oldest Engineering disciplines. By using the principles of energy, materials and mechanics to design and manufacture Machines, Mechanical Engineers are able to create Mechanized and Automated Systems that drive technology and industry.
The Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers is the Mechanical Division of The Nigerian Society of Engineers. The Institution has full standing authority as derived from the Articles of Association of The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) of which he is a Division, it is not a parallel body to NSE.
Our Mission Statement is “To propagate the effective practice of Mechanical engineering within Nigeria and ensure its entrenchment in our body polity”.
CHALLENGES OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
More than fifty years down the road after independence, our country regrettably is still grappling with so many challenges of technical and managerial order due to policy inconsistencies resulting from poor leadership and unsystematic approach to developmental issues.
This has resulted in the following: Stunted industrial growth (where are the Ajaokuta and Aladja Steel Complexes, Oshogbo Machine Tools, The Steel Mills,The Textile Factories, The Cotton and Groundnuts, The Assembly Plants etc?) leading to Mass poverty and unemployment (low HDI) due to Weak infrastructures (grossly insufficient and unstable electricity, poorly funded education, health), Weak technological know-how for self-reliant, sustainable development
The NIMechE has over time been able to identify some of the challenges in the training of mechanical engineers/technologists and has categorized them into three: Foundation; Post-Training Opportunities and Exposure; Job and Employment.
For the Foundation level, there exist the following challenges:
Engineering curriculum development in our universities and Polytechnics
Poor physical infrastructure
Low funding level
Lack of intellectual infrastructure for engineering, science and mathematics
Becoming harder to attract qualified and experienced engineers from overseas
Available and experienced workforce are getting due for retirement in a couple of years and
Getting the right focus on book-smart versus industry-ready engineers
Lack of world-class engineering libraries. Most of the present ones are dysfunctional.
At the level of training and exposure, we can identify the following challenges:
Limited opportunities for industrial training
Dearth of basic manufacturing metal industries
Lack of exposure required to build confidence and increase competence
Lack of collaboration among Nigerian engineers that would create professional development and training opportunities for the budding professional.
Finally at the level of job seeking and employment, the challenges are
Overdependence on government as the provider of jobs and employment
Decreasing focus on the private sector especially manufacturing
On graduation, many young engineers are ignorant of codes and standards talk less of adherence to their provisions
Many engineers cannot function properly without the knowledge of applicable codes, consequently, they are not employable in many job situations.
Most engineers are oblivious of certification agencies
Most certification agencies are based abroad and only few in Nigeria
The certification trainings are costly and practically demanding but are rewarding.
NIMechE is determined to mass mobilize for a sustained struggle towards the solution of the identified challenges for the industrial development of Nigeria. This occasion therefore provides a veritable attestation of that resolve.
I congratulate the organizers of this event as well as the entire Students of Mechanical Engineering for this opportunity to be here and to wish a successful launch. Let us join hands together to fight technological backwardness for the industrial progress of our potentially great country.
I thank you for your attention.
By Dr Adeyemo, former Chairman Lagos State Chapter, NIMechE