Economic Growth: NSE Makes Case For Engineers

BY AUSTIN OYIBODE
THE Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has called on the Federal Government to look beyond political attachments and give opportunity to professionals to deploy their years of experience to grow the economy and add value to the living standard of Nigerians.
The NSE, during the annual lecture and induction of new members in Asaba, the Delta State capital, said with the vast knowledge of professionals coupled with the nation’s drive to diversify the economy, it is imperative for the Nigerian government to embrace professionalism so as to meet the development needs of individual sectors of the national economy.
Chairman of the Asaba Branch of the NSE, Engr. Rex Ohre, and Assistant Dean, Faculty of Engineering of the University of Benin, Engr. Joseph Achebo, jointly made the submissions, while delivering a lecture on the theme “The Indispensability of Engineers in a Transition Period of Government” in Asaba.
Engr. Ohre said Nigerian professionals are skillful and proficient in all areas, which he stated to include but not limited to planning and construction of pipelines and refineries, rehabilitation of schools, hospitals, national highways, or procurement of goods, among others which are indispensable ingredients to smooth running of society.
The NSE said following the high expectation of Nigerians from the new government in terms of security and general welfare, with particular focus on raising the standard of living of the average Nigerian through the application of science and technology, the role of professionals with specific reference to engineers, cannot be underestimated.
The body also insisted that “Engineering covers every aspect of human life. There is a constant reminder of the pervasive and all encompassing nature of engineering in every sphere of life. Building structures, chairs, and virtually every day amenities are mass-produced in factories, the car you drive, your clothes, your air condition, your food and everything that makes life good are all aspects of engineering”.
Engr. Joseph Achebo, who is also an Associate Professor of Manufacturing Engineering in the University of Benin, said a nation’s transition from an agrarian to an industrialized one is the distinguishing factor between the first world countries and less developed ones, noting that investment in infrastructure and a robust manufacturing sector are the main indices for raising living standard and opening opportunities for empowering the populace.
According to him, “the importance of infrastructure cannot be over emphasized, with the basic infrastructure in place, an economy would likely be flooded with investors eager to set up shops within their shores”, lamenting however, that Nigeria is plagued with the reverse phenomenon of “Bring Your Own Infrastructure, which he said could lead to many issues that in the long run would be counter-productive to the economy of the nation.
He decried the nation’s over-dependence on mono economy, saying Nigeria’s over reliance on petroleum has put the country in a precarious position and has left the entire economy vulnerable to the whims and caprices of the fluctuations of oil prices.