Mrs Ebele Okeke, Chairman Board of Fellows, Nigerian Society of Engineers, has urged youths to utilise their creative and innovative capacities to utilise clean energy and develop energy efficient infrastructure to tackle climate change.
Okeke, also former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, stated this at the 2021 Valerie Agberagba Clean, Renewable and Energy Efficiency Competition (CREEC) and Public Lecture, in Abuja.
She said that the youths should also be involved in climate change issues to enable the tackling of the nation’s environmental challenges.
According to her, one thing we need to know is that whatever policies and strategies we are putting in place now; we have to ensure that they are sustainable for future generations.
“This will make the youths to benefit from it and that is what engineers are planning, so that even when they are doing the planning they, are thinking of generations to come.
“It is the generations to come that will benefit from what is being put in place by the engineers.
“One thing we know is that for the Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved, engineers should be involved and that means that it must be for the younger generations to be able to key into whatever policy that is being put in place.
“The youths are the ones to implement the policy, enjoy the policy, and build on the policy.
“We saw that talking about climate change to adults, they already have a mindset on what they want to do, so we are talking of the future generation who will engage the environmental policy that will help to address climate change and other environmental issues,’’ she said.
Mrs Lynda Elesa, Chairperson, National Institution of Environmental Engineers, (NIEE), Abuja Chapter, said that the theme of the programme was: “Sustainable city’’.
Elesa said that the programme would bring in industry, government and private institutions, non-governmental organisations and academia to discuss environmental challenges.
“The discussion will also incorporate scientific and engineering solutions to their businesses, the energy sector and other sectors of the economy, towards sustainable national development.
“The project is aimed at spurring children to use their creative and innovative capacities to utilise clean and renewable energy, develop energy efficient infrastructure and equipment as well as climate change solutions.
“This competition will help the students test their knowledge of energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy. It will also help to know how their designs, science, engineering, and knowledge stack up against their peers.
“It is our desire that young and innovative engineers, town planners, energy experts and other professionals will emerge as a result of this exposure.
“The overall aim of this programme is that the contestants will become change-makers in their own communities and the nation at large,’’ she said.
Elesa said that the institution, in collaboration with Global Awareness for Development Initiative (GLADI), was committed to promoting environmental sustainability in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that seven schools in the FCT emerged in the Valerie Agberagba Clean, Renewable and Energy Efficiency Competition (CREEC).
Government Junior Secondary School, Karu took first position in the competition, Government Junior Secondary School, Zone 1, Wuse, took second, while the third position was won by Government Junior Secondary School Karshi.
Mrs Valerie Agberagba, past Vice President, World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO), congratulated the schools and advised them to ensure they made good use of their talents.
Agberagba said that the theme of the programme was “sustainable city” aimed at making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable in the country.
She added that the students should, therefore, ensure that they worked hard to achieve a sustainable environment for a better Nigeria.
Mr Sobande Paul, GSS Karu, Basic Studies Teacher, who spoke on behalf of other schools, appreciated the NIEE for organising the competition.
Miss Benita Nkemakonam, a student of GSS Karu also thanked the organisers for the opportunity given to the schools to participate in the competition.
By Vivian Emoni