Welcome Address, Engr. Prof. Mohammed B. Ndaliman, MNSE, FNIMechE, National Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers on the occasion of the Press Briefing and Launch of the NIMechE Internship and Mentorship on-line Digital Platform, Friday 24th July, 2020 at the NIMechE National Secretariat, Gwarinpa, Abuja.
I am very delighted to welcome you all to this historic event of the Launch of Nigeria’s first professional Internship and mentorship geared towards developing our budding mechanical engineers and students. The NiMechE Internship and Mentorship Platform (NIMP), is the second (after the FAFMEs’ Mentor Bootcamp), in the suite of projects of the Forging Africa’s Future Mechanical Engineers (FAFME) – a project suite funded by the Royal Academy of Engineers, UK, Grand Challenge Research Fund (GCRF), Africa Catalyst Phase 3.0.
I am happy to state that FAFME is coming at a time when leaders of 54 African nations across the continent are coming together to promote the economic integration of Africa through the African Continental Trade Agreement (AfCTA) to build unarguably, the world’s biggest economic bloc, boost the volume of trade to generate an economic dividend within the range 4-6 trillion dollars, and lay the ‘building blocks’ for the gradual realization of the ‘Agenda 2063- the Africa We Want”.
Nigerian Mechanical Engineers are indeed grateful to the President of the Federal Republic, H.E. Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR for his vision and very crucial endorsement of African Economic Integration through AfCTA- to the envy of the rest of the world! It is our belief that AfCTA will be the real test to continental economic growth, and with the agreement in place, and African markets fast growing, manufacturing and industrialization largely driven by African Engineers will be unleashed on a Pan-African scale. Hence, this call for an overriding need to invest in human capital development to close the skill-gap for Nigerian Engineers to provide the needed technological leadership to drive the robust continental economic integration project, to develop Africa into the global power house of the future.
Towards this end, Nigerian Mechanical Engineers wish to reiterate their commitment to compliment the developmental strides of the federal government, other pan-African Leaders and other supportive organization to prepare young engineering graduates and students deliver on the mandate of industrializing Nigeria and the African continent, through skilling and re-skilling of the industrial work force, of which internship and mentorship for young engineering professionals and students plays a very important part.
Hence, today it is a dream come true for our esteemed professional body to formally take ownership of a well-structured on-line digital platform, to promote internship and mentorship programmes, as an important endeavor for the professional development of our members.
We could not have achieved this without the funding received from the sponsoring organization, Royal Academy of Engineers, – GCRF, Africa Catalyst Phase 3.0, and the support and cooperation received from our partnering organization, such as; IAESTE, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Energy Training Centre, Industrial Training Fund, IMechE-UK, EFN-UK, Balbus, UK Limited, Laspotech, African Engineering Education Association, and other distinguished Nigerian Engineers and Engineering Organisations. NIMechE owes you all a debt of gratitude. We are truly delighted to have our UK Partner and Programme Director, Engineers Against Poverty (EAP), Mr. John Hawkins join us in the event and share his perspective on the programme.
I want to specifically express our profound gratitude to Engr. Cassandra Janakos, a Cultural Mentor with TechWomen through the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, for accepting to deliver the keynote address. However, leveraging on her vast experience as an engineer and member Board of Trustees, Society of Women Engineers, Stanford StartX Mentor, and TechWoman, we are looking forward to very informative and pleasant delivery as the event progresses.
The Leading figures of the Nigerian Engineering community are also in attendance. In a special way, I want to thank the Chairman of the Occasion, Engr. Babagana Mohammed, FNSE, President, Nigerian Society of Engineers, for always being there for us, and making himself available to grace this event as Chairman of the Occasion. In fact, we cannot thank you enough for your untiring support and encouragement in our collective efforts to grow the profession and practice of engineering in Nigeria.
I want to also welcome our Special Guest of Honour, The President of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), our amiable Engr. Ali A. Rabiu, FNSE, FACE for his tremendous support in professional engineering development. I also want to acknowledge the contributions of COREN in engineering regulation and nation building.
In a short while, I will be calling upon Engr. (Mrs) Osazoduwa Agboneni, MNSE, FNIMechE to deliver the concept note of the NIMP project. Engr. Agboneni is a mechanical engineer, a technoprenuer, development worker of note, and a three-time grant award winner of the Royal Academy of Engineering – GCRF African Catalyst grants.
Prior to the commencement of this programme, we have had a press briefing on the theme of the event, and in the ensuing moment, we shall be witnessing the formal presentation and unveiling of the NIMP platform by the Chairman, of the NIMechE-FAFME Project Implementation Committee, and Immediate Former National Chairman of NIMechE, Engr. Dr. Robinson I. Ejilah, FNIMechE, who has been working so hard alongside his FAFME Project team members, towards the successful completion of the project.
I want to welcome you all for honoring our invitation and gracing us with your distinguish presence. This event would not have been complete without you.
Thank You for coming