Academy decries neglect of engineers in Nigeria’s development initiatives
Efforts at developing Nigeria have not adequately involved Nigerian Engineers, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) has said.
Speaking in Lagos at 2017 fellows forum, the President of the Academy, Joanny Maduka, said the engineering sector in the country has not been given the due recognition that should be given.
She insisted that government needs to encourage engineering professionals stating that over 80 per cent of what modern society enjoys is done by Engineers.
“We need to be more visible. Government will have to challenge us more and not treat us like we are second class citizens and also people that appointed into engineering fields seem not to respect the professionals,” she said.
In his presentation, a Professor of chemical Engineering and Dean, College of Engineering, University of Delaware, USA, Prof. Babatunde Ogunnaike, said half of the $2 million paid to Legislators, as salaries should be deployed into the productive sector of the economy.
The Professor argued that such money could as well be used to provide equipment and learning materials for higher institutions in the country to boost academic efficiency.
“The money should be invested in our education sector and other critical areas of the economy and it will yield massive return in the economy,” he said.
He explained that political leaders should learn to sacrifice rather than cater for self, saying the education sector needs to be revived for it to play more than passive role in the resuscitation of the economy.
He added: “The economic downturn was as a result of failure to believe in ourselves, it high time we rose for solutions among ourselves rather than waiting. Nigeria cannot (must not) wait for western Engineers to provide solutions for the country.”
The Varsity don therefore urged Engineers to play critical role in solving the challenges confronting the country by involving themselves in research, training and education.
“Nigeria will only keep making effort which will ends up in vain if the government did not move more to the engineering sector for solution,” he said.
He said Engineers have a significant role to play in nation building therefore need to be more creative and be more innovative rather than waiting at all time on government’s interventions.
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