By Yinka Kolawole
The Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NImechE) is collaborating with the United Kingdom-based Royal Academy of Engineering on a project that will see engineering students of Nigeria’s tertiary institutions and young graduates compete for innovative ideas tagged, Forging Africa’s Future Mechanical Engineers (FAFME).
The project is jointly funded by Global Challenges Research Fund, (GCRF).
Speraking at the flag-off of the project in Ikorodu, Lagos, Project Manager/Grant Awardee of FAFME, Mrs. Osazoduwa Agboneni, said the initiative is aimed at bridging the gap between the gown and the industry through capacity building, by preparing young engineers to be entrepreneurs.
She noted that the programme involves training on engineering designs and skills, such as welding, automobile, maintenance, operations and metal fabrication.
According to her, other components of the projects include, chapter/campus competition, zonal competition, national capacity building boot camp for 200 participants and 40 mentors across Nigeria, sponsored engineering design training for 100 people, establishment of a digital design and fabrication hub in Ikorodu to create a sustaining environment for individuals and businesses and encourage growth of local innovation ecosystems.
She stated: “We are looking at building the mechanical engineering skills of Nigerian students and graduate who had left school between three to four years on how they could improve their skills because many of them are out of school and jobless. “We have a lot of innovative ideas coming from our schools but nothing is been done to commercialize the projects. We want to get the best mechanical engineering projects from schools and let them compete with other schools in different states, and zonal level.
“We are looking at having 3D printers and other facility that would help to come out with a good prototype, have good product for the market and create jobs as well as break the prices in the market instead of importing products.”