By Kingsley Adegboye
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola has urged engineers among other professionals to brace up to the challenge of developing cost effective, home grown concepts and ideas that drive development as well as generate employment and wealth.
The Governor stated this while delivering his key note address as a Special Guest of Honour at the 24th International Conference/Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE.) held at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos last week.
He disclosed that a preliminary design for the production of a locally fabricated waste-to-energy plan which will aid the waste management process and generate energy is being worked on.
Fashola who was represented by the Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson noted that many things being currently done manually can be mechanized so as to ensure faster and large scale production. He added that mechanical engineering had facilitated power generation and ICT and should continue to innovate.
He stressed that Nigerian mechanical engineers should be at the fore front of breaking new grounds in the design and production of new equipment, machinery and tools that could make life easier and better for the people.
He said the administration has been providing and will continue to provide adequate public infrastructure that will sustain the human and traffic population in the Lagos Mega City.
While stating the need to develop technical competence of the relevant section of the population, the Governor disclosed that the administration has established the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB) to create the vital middle level manpower.
Praising the quality and contributions of the engineers in the employment of the State Government, the Governor disclosed that they have designed and fabricated a probity street sweeping mechanic and are currently improving on the efficiency and effectiveness of the prototype.
The Governor said a number of projects being undertaken by his administration have critical engineering component that offers opportunities for partnership.
He listed them to include Eko Atlantic City project, the Light Rail, Suspended Bridges, harbor works and multilevel commercial buildings.
In his welcome address, the National Chairman of the Institution, Engr. Adeyemi Oyedepo declared that tertiary education is not enough to make a complete mechanical engineer, equipped for rapid industrial transformation duties.
He noted that it had to be accompanied by “regular need based training, given a continuous practical touch and pimped with entrepreneurial skills.” He added that creativity, innovation and being business savy are necessary if the mechanical engineer will fulfill his place in the economy.