Minister tasks engineers on alternative sources of energy
The Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, on Monday in Lagos challenged the nation’s engineers to come up with innovations on alternative sources of energy to reduce the nation’s dependence on petrol.
Aregbesola made the call at the 29th Founders’ Day Celebration of the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and the inauguration of the society’s Engineering Resource Centre named after him.
The minister, who is a fellow of the NSE, urged Nigerian engineers to copy the Egyptian model of transport system where all the commercial vehicles were running on gas and as such reduced pressure on consumption and continuous subsidy of petrol.
He appealed to engineers to take the lead in harnessing the huge employment opportunities in various sectors to create jobs for the nation’s teeming youths and grow the economy.
He lamented that lucrative opportunities in underwater welding that required short training for artisans in the oil and gas sector was wasting because Nigerian youths did not have the skills to take up the jobs.
He also urged local engineers to profer solutions to the nation’s power sector and meet expectations of playing vital role in building a strong foundation for the future of younger ones through its innovative approach.
He said every aspect of life has bearing on engineering while enumerating roles of engineers in health, telecommunication, industry, power, transportion, construction and other sectors.
“Everything about human life is engineering,” he said.
He called for engineering solutions to problems of overcrowding and housing deficit in Lagos State.
Aregbesola urged Nigerians to help in saving foreign exchange earnings through proper implementation of the federal government local content policy.
He said NSE and other professional bodies should position themselves to ensure the government received value for money on projects across the nation.
“More than anything, engineers and professionals in general, should re-horn their sense of role and responsibility to the society in a developing economy like ours,” he said.
Newly elected National President of the NSE, Mr Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, charged all NSE branches and districts to begin rural area projects that would have direct impact on the people.
Gidari-Wudil commended the inauguration of the newly-built Engineering Resource Tower and assured an inclusive government, which would ensure welfare and development of engineering.
Mr Olutosin Ogunmola, Ikeja Branch Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), said beyond innovations for the nation’s economic growth, the tower would be used for training of young engineers.
Ogunmola said the Founders’ Day event was an occasion to celebrate the Ikeja branch and acknowledge the contributions of past leaders to inspire the new generation to do more.
Also speaking at the event, the special guest of honour, Dr Taiwo Afolabi, Chief Executive Officer, SIFAX Group, who inaugurated the building said he supported the project to ensure the growth of the engineering profession.
“I am sure the opening the Rauf Aregbesola Engineering Resource Centre will help advance the cause of the engineering profession in Nigeria,” Afolabi said.
Mr Gasper Olawunmi, Former Rector of the Lagos State Polytechnic and a past General Secretary of the Ikeja Branch of NSE, delivered the 29th Founders Day lecture.
By Grace Alegba