Don wants homegrown synergy between engineering, manufacturing sectors

Ajaokuta Steel Company

Nigeria’s ship of industrial development might continue to go adrift, without a strong homegrown nurtured synergy between engineering and the core-manufacturing sub-sector otherwise known as machine tool industry, so says Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Covenant University, Ota Ogun State, Festus Oyawale.

Presenting the institution’s 11th inaugural lecture titled: “Engineering Manufacturing: A sine qua non for Pertinence,” Oyawale said no nation can achieve industrialisation without the homegrown machine tool, which he described as the mother of all manufacturing.

He said the level of a nation’s homegrown machine tool industry is dependent on its degree of economic development and sustainability, calling on the Federal Government (FG) to embark on the production of machine tool and tooling.

He said a strong collaboration between the engineering sector and the machine tool industry is pertinent, adding that no nation could be tagged industrialised without the homegrown machine tool industry.

He said, “The FG should create a vibrant manufacturing sector and a steel sector that would drive mass employment, improve skills, eradicate poverty and provide the foundation for a long-run sustainable economic growth.”

Stating that talent is the most important key elements of manufacturing and competitiveness, Oyawale lamented that rather than attracting foreign talents, Nigeria is losing her talents to the developed world.

He regretted that the Delta Steel Company (DCS) Aladja and the Ajaokuta Steel Company were both founded ostensibly to propel Nigeria along the path of industrial growth but this dream has failed to materialise.

The don said: “as countries strive to enlarge the scope of their industrial revolution via the use of iron and steel, the DSC has remained idle for many years. Nigeria has a massive untapped raw reserve of iron-ore spreading from Akoko Edo in Edo State down to Okene in Kogi State… Nigeria’s manufacturing sector had failed to undergo the critical structural transformation necessary for it to play a leading role in national development, as the foundation of engineering had been neglected for too long.”

Also at the event, the university’s Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo, who was represented by former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Aize Obayan, said the thought-provoking theme was chosen to address a lot of Nigeria’s indigenous challenges.

Lauding the university for blazing the trail across several platforms such as engineering, computer science, business management, innovation and creativity, Oyedepo stated that the inaugural lecture has put a lot of things in place for them to take leadership in this part of the world by the products they are able to bring to the fore.

He stated that for bringing on board that which the university is able to showcase and taking Nigerian to the next direction, the lecture was indeed a definite necessity, without whatsoever, a sine qua non to pertinence.



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