Countries are referred to as first world or third world based on their technological prowess, the strength of a people now depends on their mental power and not physical strength as it was centuries ago.
For a country to survive and compete favorably with its counterparts, that country needs to be technologically sound. The economy of a country is directly proportional to its advancement in technology; it is therefore the responsibility of engineers-custodians of technology (and economy so to speak) to take the country to the next level.
Nigeria is faced with a lot of challenges and there is a need for her engineers to employ an integrated engineering approach to tackle the menace.
Social, economic and political growth will be made possible when engineers come up with a systematic solution for solving the multifaceted challenges.
It is important to trace problems to the roots and make necessary corrections, this way future problems would be avoided.
Education and training is what a newly born child needs to become an engineer in the nearest future. If proper and sound education is not given to the young ones of a generation, it becomes certain that subsequent generations will suffer and mediocrity will become the order of the day.
It is therefore of utmost importance that practicing Nigerian engineers set up committees to look into the ways in which our undergraduates are trained in school, it is their responsibility to ensure that the engineers of tomorrow are armed with practical and theoretical knowledge.
Industrial work experience schemes should be made compulsory to aid the understanding of abstract concepts; admission into engineering courses should be on the basis of merits; exam questions must be up to international standards and malpractices must be given zero tolerance. Academic and moral training will breed engineers with integrity, intelligent engineers that will solve problems.
The use of low quality materials for engineering projects has resulted in a lot of calamities, the collapse of building, bridges and other structures can be attributed to the use of inferior materials and the involvement of quacks in the construction of those structures.
Electrification projects too has suffered from the factors stated above, this is one of the reasons why the country’s electricity supply is epileptic.
These issues call for the creation and enforcement of laws that will ensure that only competent engineers are awarded contracts.
Defaulting projects would not be endorsed and law enforcement officers will shut down such projects. Also, any registered engineer that uses low quality materials would have his/her license revoked and would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Proper supervision of public projects will result in qualitative outputs. Certain materials that pose potential security threats (e.g. dynamites) would be made available in specific quantities to only recognized engineers, this will solve the issue of terrorism to an extent.
It would be possible to apply these measures if the engineering societies of Nigeria are organized and strong.
The imported technologies in Nigeria are more than the exported ones; this has a negative effect on our economy. Companies have been forced to fold up just because their equipment had minor faults which could not be fixed locally.
There is a pressing need for Nigeria to produce her own industrial equipment; the success of this will require adequate funding for research and development projects.
Innovation should be encouraged and rewarded with incentives; this will boost domestic production and dependence on imported equipment will reduce, new markets would be discovered, jobs would be created and the standard of living of citizens will improve.
The future would be secured when proper training is given to upcoming engineers. Quality would be maintained and security threats would be averted with laws created to regulate the practice of engineering in Nigeria.
Policies that encourage domestic production will improve the economy and unemployment will be reduced. Through a well-structured and efficient society of engineers, social, economic and political problems would be solved effectively.
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