COMMUNIQUE OF THE PRE-INVESTITURE COLLOQUIUM OF THE NIGERIAN SOCIETY OF ENGINEERS’ PRESIDENT, ENGR. TASIU SAAD GIDARI WUDIL, FNSE, HELD ON FRIDAY, 21ST JANUARY 2022 AT THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE, ABUJA, NIGERIA.
The pre-investiture Colloquium was organized by the Nigerian Society of Engineers. The Colloquium focused broadly on Engineering a Better Nigeria: Professionalism, the Engineering Craft, and the Greatness of a Nation with particular emphasis on the manifestations of the nationality crisis, the productivity crisis, and the ethical crisis that deter the greatness of the country.
The event drew participants from members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, the Legislative and Executive Arms of Government, other professionals, stakeholders and the media.
The Keynote Speaker, Panelists and participants at the Colloquium acknowledged the widening trends in all forms of inequalities that led to the nationality crisis, the productivity crisis, and the ethical crisis that deter the greatness of the country.
The Keynote Speaker Dr Sam Amadi, former Chairman and Chief Executive of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission and now Director of Abuja School of Social and Political Thought and Chair of The Leadership Centre presented a paper that focused on how citizens can ‘engineer’ a better Nigeria, and considered problems of professionalism in nation building to underline the moral direction required in the run-up to and post 2023.
The paper was reflective, discursive, practical and pragmatic, especially in providing solutions to the crisis of nationhood and development in Nigeria. A panel of 5 distinguished discussants includes: Maj. Gen K.O Kadiri, Commander, Corps of Engineers, the Nigerian Army; Engr. Prof. Toyin Ashiru, FNSE, FAEng, Group Vice Chairman/ CEO Tricontinental Group Plc; Alhaji Mohammed Dahiru, Chairman Presidential Committee on Implementation of Technology Transfer; Engr. Prof. Mohammed Dauda FNSE, FNIMechE, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (CEED), University of Maiduguri; and Engr. Hon. Iboro Ekanem, Member House of Representative 2015 -2019.
Stakeholders at the Colloquium made the following observations:
- A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public, as possessing special Knowledge and Skills in a widely recognized body of learning derived from Research and Learning at a high level, and who are prepared to apply this knowledge and exercise these skills in the interest of others.
- Professionalism is a functional device to define and control the practice of a body of knowledge. It is an ineffable something that a person exudes in manners, dress, speech and standards of practice that is palpably powerful; standards like honesty, due diligence, perseverance, willingness to listen and learn, creative thinking within framework of training and other qualities most people would be hard put to describe but which they expect in the professionals with whom they engage.
- Nigeria’s problems were categorized into the Nationality Crisis, the Productivity Crisis, and the Ethical Crisis
- Nigerians constructed an incoherent social and political order that deprives the citizens of Nigeria the prospect of attaining the degree of nationalism required to create a consensus around development.
- The productivity crisis is partly generated by the nationality crisis because our constitutional order is not rooted in the ideals of democratic citizenship, but rather centered on privilege and prerogatives, whose overriding fundamental objective of State Policy and its Directive Principle is consumption, not production. Our problem of low productivity is largely caused by the prevailing values in the country.
- The virus of lack of ethics is deeper in the Nigerian society than can be captured by any perception index. We are trapped at the bottom of global transparency and accountability index. These values also determine the quality and integrity of governance and the efficiency of the public service.
- Nigeria’s ruling elites do not diagnose Nigeria’s problems from a deeper analytical lens. They superficially focus on the symptoms rather than on the underlying causes of the social pathology.
In order to reverse the widening gaps of inequalities that led to Nationality Crisis, the Productivity Crisis, and the Ethical Crisis that deter the greatness of the country, stakeholders at the one-day Colloquium recommended that:
- Differential Diagnostic approach to solve the Nationality, Productivity and Ethical Crisis as a critical perspective to developing policy options that have higher chance of success raises the importance of a professional mindset in understanding and solving socio-economic challenges of development.
- There is need for more professionals like Engineers in Government, in places of policymaking and execution to solve our national problems.
- Government should continually use local manpower from start to completion of large-scale engineering projects.
- There is need for Re-engineering the Engineers by increasing enrollment in engineering fields through incentives, enhancement of University-Industry-Collaboration to drive long-overdue curriculum update, and real-life applicative knowledge transfer through valuable industrial training.
- There is need for Starting, Growing and consolidating more Engineering businesses.
Engineers must prepare to take full and active roles in the delivery of sustainable development ideals.
- The Nation should invest more in Engineering Education and Skill Technologies that will contribute to economic development and create jobs.
- There is need to have a Cabinet of Engineers with degree of high expertise and character, like Taiwan did, to have the kind of technological and economic success it recorded within a short time.
- There is need to have visionary leaders at all levels:
- who can inspire all of us to greater nationalism, as well as to be able to manage human and material resources in a manner that guarantees sustainable development;
- who can create prosperity from poverty, beauty from ugliness and harmony from disorder.
- who have the managerial competence to envisage change, team building, construct a structure that enables transformation and executes firmly and effectively.
- who are not only visionaries, but also technically minded who can deal with the complexities of our society.
Participants at the Colloquium resolved that every citizen, and specifically the professionals, have significant responsibilities to play in nation’s development at all levels towards achieving rapid reduction in all Nationality, Productivity and Ethical Crisis.
Stakeholders at the one-day Colloquium were unanimous in their views that to achieve a productive country that we all dream of there must be in existence, courageous leadership that will reset the entire governance architecture in Nigeria. Leaders must build a profoundly different and more human-oriented economy which prioritize the roles and participation of professionals and the well-being of all citizens