The Managing Director, Lonadek Nigeria Limited, Engr. (Mrs) Adenike Ibilola Amao has sent a wake up call to Nigerian Engineers to brace up to address the multiple challenges facing the country, Isqil Najim writes.
She made the call while delivering the closing speech on behalf of the new fellows of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering in Lagos. Dr Amao observed that Nigeria has done little to take advantage of the opportunities in the oil and gas sector. Instead, the country is still facing looming shortage of petroleum products while also experiencing electricity challenges across the country.
“As Engineers, we owe Nigerians, data driven envisioning, SMART goal setting, strategy, planning and execution. The importance of data gathering, R&D as well as bridging the gap between industry and academia is critical to our individual, collective and national survival.” She said.
She challenged the engineers to brace up to making more contributions and impacts on the lives of citizens through their works. She said that Some persons must think tank and conceptualise data driven solutions and strategy, then plan and execute.
For the academy to play its roles, she suggested that “it needs to act as a catalyst of transformation through cooperation, collaboration and coordination of resources with external stakeholders.”
She regretted that the post colonial era education system in Nigeria has relegated skill and talents at the base as almost everyone seeks to be white collared. She recommended the newd for mutual respect and recognition of blue collar contributions to the system. In her words’ “For a country with huge mineral and natural resources we need a system where the white collar respects the contribution of blue to achieve the best outcomes. The white collar compensation is only sustainable if the base can carry the top. We need to turn our human capital pyramid back on its base.”
She advocated reform in education sector and seek lasting solution to Academic Staff University Union, ASUU strikes. Adding that our best brains doing well abroad can be mobilized to join in our national transformation journey. She pointed out that while Nigerians are very good at attaining individual brilliance and achievements, they have not been able to collectively work together to transform the brilliance to national development.
The Chief Executive Officer of Lonadek Oil and Gas, whose company has contributed immensely to capacity building in Nigeria Oil and Gas sector suggested what can be done differently to tackle the challenges. According to her, we need to celebrate team rather than individuals, in order to foster cohesion.
For young professional development, she called for multi-disciplinary pupillage programmes and increase participation of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering’s fellows in mentoring, and empowerment of younger ones.
“Our graduate training schemes requires a better strategy. We must encourage a broad field and design office experience on which to base the innovation that Information Technology affords you. We need to widen the funnel, attract quality engineers to Engineering rather than Finance.
“We need to Design, develop and execute Continuing Professional Development programmes running from Higher learning institutions right through industry. Experienced Engineers through the Academy should be encouraged to get engaged in what the universities are doing most especially research and Development. She said
“We can all get engaged, leave our footprints in the sands of time by leveraging Technology, bringing our potentials, talent and passion to bear as we focus on improving society through SDG-focused projects, initiatives and assignments that alleviates poverty and creates jobs.” She said.
She made a rallying call to engineering professionals to unite toward mutual benefits and change the chaotic situation we find ourselves in our country. Saying that; “A tree does not make a forest. We are here because we exist, which means we are a part of many parts. Families, communities, organizations, societies, associations and Nigeria. It is only in our coming together to do things differently that we can bequeath the next generation a better Nigeria. Engineers are best positioned to Project Manage Nigeria from failure to success with the right strategy.” She said.
“As my fellow Inductees and I sign up to the Challenge of making a positive contributions to the academy and impactful difference in Nigeria through the academy, I look forward to a future that is tied to projects, initiatives and assignments that would build a better Nigeria. She concluded.