The Vice-Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde has declared that Nigeria as a country was counting on engineers and scientists to solve myriads of problems confronting its development as a nation. He emphasized that a strong engineering and technological education have always been identified as a catalyst for national development.
According to him, engineers are needed for maintenance and operation of critical infrastructure to meet specific needs of the country.
“It is in the light of this that Nigeria, as a country, is counting on engineers and scientists to solve myriads of problems confronting and impending our development as a nation.”
The Vice-Chancellor added that the deliverables from engineering professionals were very tangible, impactful and pivotal to the growth of all types of economics.
Professor Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde was making these remarks at the 4th and 5th combined Induction Ceremonies of 411 Graduate Members of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), held on Tuesday, 18th February, 2020 at the Open Field of the College of Engineering and Environmental Studies, Ibogun Campus.
Professor Olatunde challenged the lucky inductees who had already completed their degree programmes during the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 academic sessions from the College of Engineering and Environmental Studies, OOU, Ibogun Campus (CEES) that they should apply themselves to more recent developments in engineering profession. He added that they have to establish themselves in analytical, logical and quantitative thinking for practical application of engineering technology and science in solving real world problems.
According to the Vice-Chancellor, the University took the issue of acquiring technological education seriously bymaking substantial investments in infrastructure and equipment that would enable its Engineering Faculty compete favourably with the pioneers in the field.
“This University places high premium on the acquisition of technological education. We have constantly made huge investments in infrastructure and equipment for the engineering programmes that would enable us to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with pioneers in the field across country and even beyond.
“As I am talking to you, we have infrastructural projects that are ongoing on this campus, to further strengthen our base for qualitative technological education. We are not resting on our oars, as many more projects are on course for this Faculty, all in a bid to ensure that our products compete favourably with their counterparts from other institutions.”
In addition to strengthening the technical base of its Faculty of Engineering, the Vice-Chancellor disclosed that several collaborative efforts with industries are currently being consummated to enable students acquire practical experience so that each Faculty could engage in meaningful result-oriented researches that would be beneficial to the community and Nigeria as a whole. According to Professor Olatunde, this was in line with the new policy direction of the University which focused on proffering solutions to problems of the institution’s immediate environment, which would eventually have impact on the larger society.
Speaking at the occasion, the Provost, CEES, Professor J. O. Akinyemi was full of praise to the Vice-Chancellor and his management team for “putting in place a friendly learning and teaching environment at Ibogun Campus.”
He thanked the present administration for its unprecedented efforts in promoting unique interest and commitment to the development of engineering training in the University.
“Within the few years that this Management came on board, they have purchased for the College several millions of naira worth of equipment during the accreditation by NUC and COREN.”
Professor Akinyemi, thereafter, informed the inductees that the society believed in them and they should reciprocate by focusing on how they would ensure that the lives of people are improved through their profession. He urged them to use the practical knowledge of engineering they have acquired to reform mankind and effect positive changes in their environment.
“You should not join the overcrowded community of complainants, but identify problems, analyze them and proffer solutions, with a view to creating wealth for yourselves and others, while, at the same time, advancing societal development.”
In his own address, the Acting Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Dr. M. A. Sulaiman, described the Induction Ceremony as a call to stand tall in integrity, be impeccable in character, professional in service and uphold the high ethics and values for which the engineering profession was known for.
As a Faculty, Dr. Sulaiman remarked that they would continue to highlight the importance of dignified and well-equipped facilities in delivering values and quality training to their students. He acknowledged the need for Faculty staff to be transparent by holding themselves accountable to the highest standards and, therefore, called for more support from the University Management, industrial partners and parents.
The Acting Dean, challenged the graduands to uphold the tenets of innovative working relationship and strive to make strides that would lead to the growth of their prospective organizations and the country at large. According to him, they should initiate creative projects and programmes, walk their talk and serve with passion, commitment and sense of responsibility.
While inducting the graduands into the profession, the President, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr. Babagana Mohammed, FNSE, said that the professional body is focused on vocational and Technological education. He noted that certificate was important but far more important was what the holder of the certificate could do to make the larger society better and meaningful.
Engr. Babagana Mohammed who was ably represented by Engr. M. O. Odesanya, FNSE urged the inductees to be humble by showing readiness to learn even from craftsmen. The representative of the NSE President advised the University Management to sustain the accreditation status of its engineering programme warning that “any institution that loses its accreditation, will find it very difficult to get it back.” He congratulated the graduands for the rare priviledge of being successful in their studies to qualify as professional engineers.
Earlier on, the NSE Branch Chairman, Dr. Olanrewaju Ahmed Apampa, FNSE had informed the inductees that engineering was about professionalism, skills acquisition and expertise.
Unlike the Law profession, Engineer Apampa said that it was practically impossible for an elderly to enter into engineering profession. According to him, to practice engineering, one’s intellect has to be at its peak coupled with the expected physical rigour that goes along with the profession.
A major highlight of the event was the presentation of an Induction Lecture entitled “21st Century Engineering Education in an Entrepreneurial Economy,”delivered by Engr. Okubanjo Abayomi, Head of Automation and Electrical Department, Nigerian Breweries Plc.
While presenting his lecture, Engr. Okubanjo Abayomi said that engineers are technically skilled professionals who were responsible for solving problems and their main focus was on making things work efficiently and effectively by applying the theories and principles of sciences and mathematics to research, and develop economic solutions to technical problems.
He added that engineers were responsible for dams, bridges, roadways, building safety, architecture, and many elements of agriculture.
“Engineers in general build what the dreamers dream, and they utilize the products the scientists and inventors have conceptualized” said, Engineer Abayomi.
The Guest Speaker went on to list the key characteristics of the 21st century engineer to include possession of high level theoretical and practical competence, be innovative and entrepreneurial, be commercially savvy, professionally flexible and most importantly he must be globally mobile.
Engineer Abayomi also emphasized that a modern engineer must as a necessity be able to handle engineering equipment safely and effectively in order to avoid accidents. He noted that such a modern engineer should be able to develop preventive maintenance programs and support in energy conservation improvements. He was also of the opinion that a modern engineer must possess the ability to analyze potential problem and suggest corrective actions.
He, thereafter, called on the inductees to be digitally savvy since 90% of jobs would require digital skills in the next two to five years.