The Nigerian Academy of Engineering, NAE and Arco Group have expressed concern that engineering education and profession are not being given the pride of place they deserve in national planning and development and called on the Federal Government to give the profession the desired attention.
The Academy led by its President Engr, MrsJoanna Maduka was in Arco’s Head Office to brief Arco on its expanding role in promoting engineering education and profession as well as discuss ways and means of broadening its collaboration with Arco in different spheres of its activities. The visit was also a gesture of appreciation to Arco for its commitment towards sponsoring the Academy’s annual post-doctoral fellowship.
In her opening remarks, Mrs Maduka observed that the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan recently put in place by the Federal Government did not have sufficient technical input, a situation she said did not reflect the crucial role of engineers in economic planning in Nigeria.
She also deplored the pervasive scarcity of modern teaching instruments and equipment in the engineering and technical departments of tertiary institutions in the country and called on all concerned to improve the situation in order to enhance the technical competence of graduates of the institutions.
The Academy’s President told the Management of Arco that a recent survey of abandoned projects all over Nigeria showed that the total cost of such projects is N5 trillion, adding that most of them were engineering projects. She called for fresh initiatives from the public and private sectors on how to review and revive the projects for completion.
Responding to a question raised over the relevance of research being carried out by the beneficiaries of the Academy’s Fellowship, Mrs Maduka said that there should be proper link between engineering research fellows and industries because the results of research projects should meet specific needs of their sponsors.
She said: “A study should have immediate and medium term benefits that will galvanize the economy.” Another member of the delegation, Engr. Babatunde Soyode, praised the founder of Arco Group, Mr. Alfred Okoigun for his endeavours and his encouragement of younger Nigerian engineers to improve their skills through company sponsored scholarships and on-the-job trainings.
The Group Managing Director of Arco Group Mr. Alfred Okoigun expressed the gratitude of Management of the Company to the Academy for its consideration of Arco as a worthy ally in the promotion of engineering education and profession.