The Managing Director/CEO of Engineering Automation Technology (EATECH) Limited, Dr Emmanuel Okon has lamented the huge gap between engineers that are produced from Nigerian academic institutions and what was required in field of work. He therefore task all stakeholders in the industry to work together to close the gap.
He stated this in Eket, Akwa Ibom state while being conferred an honorary fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE) for his unwavering commitment and contribution to the engineering profession in the country.
While dedicating the award to staff and management of EATECH, Okon lauded NIMechE for their commitment to unlocking the full potential of Nigerian youths for use in the engineering industry and the determination to improve the capacity of local engineers, thereby bridging the noticeable manpower gaps in the sector.
The elated Okon praised the work of the NIMechE under Engr Funmilade Akingbagbohun, stating that, “One of the reasons I am accepting this conferment is because I saw the commitment of NiMechE in training young engineering graduates hence providing job security to the youths. There is a major gap between the engineers that are produced from schools and engineers that are required for field jobs and identifying and bridging that gap has been a yearning. Hence, when I learnt of your commitment, I was motivated.
“I am also inspired by the major projects the NiMechE as an institution has put in place and I want to appeal to the Board to follow through to the end and if possible, extend to the oil and gas industry so that major gaps can be closed out. The engineering and construction department will work hand in hand with the Institution to provide the required training once that has been put in place,” he said.
Earlier while presenting the award, the National Chairman of NIMechE, Engr Funmilade Akingbagbohun extolled Okon’s corporate leadership and foresight in pioneering an indigenous firm that she said was making great exploits and generating jobs for youths in the country.
Akingbagbohun recalled the history of NIMechE and how it started as Mechanical Engineering department of Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, in the 60s. She said that selfless and committed leaders have since led and nurtured the institution and laid the foundation upon which it stands today.
Akingbagbohun who was accompany by the Board of fellows Members, Engr Aminu Jalal, Engr Vera Ntofon, and others used the opportunity to highlight some of the remarkable strides and progresses the Institution has recorded this year.
According to Akingbagbohun, “In the course of the year, we have made tremendous progress in growing our institution and served our members despite various challenges encountered. We have deepened collaboration with the Engineering Forum of Nigerians in the UK..
“We have a collaboration with the University of West of Scotland with the Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for some of our young engineers who would love to go into the space of entrepreneurship just as Dr Okon has been a leader and mentor in. We also have a collaboration with the University of Lincoln on training for manufacturing and production for some of our young engineers.
“We are building a Welding Academy in collaboration with the Federal University of Technology, Akure where we will be going through the process of underwater welding, Robotic welding and Surface welding for some of our engineers.
“This aside, our various workshops and activities aim towards the professional development of our members,” she said.
She commended the EATECH boss for his vision, commitment and hard work in realizing his set targets as a local player in the industry and urged him to see the award as a motivation to do more for society and to remain a selfless example for others to emulate. (MyEnineers)