Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr Abubakar Aliyu has stated that focus on quality engineering education will ensure the delivery of world class infrastructure in order to better the lives of citizens
The Minister was speaking as a Special Guest of Honour at the 18th International Conference and Annual General Meeting, (AGM) , of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), which was held in Abuja, with the theme “ Reform of Engineering Education: A Strategy for Sustainable Development in Nigeria.
In his reaction to the theme of the Conference, he said “… it is only fair that we focus on quality engineering education in order to ensure the delivery of world class infrastructure to better the lives of our citizens”
Engr. Aliyu also explained that, it is only through a better adoption and adaption of Engineering that we can share in the good life that it offers in other climes, and this he said can solely be achieved through quality Engineering education
Accordingly, the Minister noted that Sub-Saharan Africa seriously lacks engineering capacity and relies heavily on imported expertise, which he said was attributable to insufficient output from training institutions, poor- quality education, and lack of practical experience among graduates.
He said that according to UNESCO landmark report on Issues, Challenges, and Development Opportunities, Nigeria produces 3,500 engineers a year, a modest number relative to its population, but suffers significant unemployment among them because of the lack of the requisite training.
However, the Minister assured the delegates that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in line with its change mantra, is committed to development of the engineering profession considering its critical role in bringing about sustained economic growth.
He added that this administration has heavily invested on Research and Development generally and particularly on engineering education, however only modest achievement was made due to challenges that are huge but not insurmountable.
He also pointed out that synergy and harmonization of programmes, cooperation and collaboration can link Nigerian engineers’ consultancy services to global practices and marketing frameworks
Earlier, in a welcome address, the National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Engineer, Mrs Aishatu Aliyu Umar stated that the annual Conference which is the second in her tenure is exceptional to Civil engineers who gathered from different sectors of the economy to deliberate on the sustainable ways to enhance the profession.
She added that the conference is also an opportunity for the engineers to individually analyse their performance, asses impact and restrategise on ways to practice the profession for sustainable development of the nation
Engineer Umar described the 2020 theme as well thought out considering the fact that the World is being reshaped for better technological advancement and Nigeria cannot continue to be left behind.
While delivering an opening address, the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, (NSE), who was also the Chairman of the occasion, Engineer Babagana Muhammed described the annual conference and AGM as a gathering of professional engineers for the advancement of engineering practice in Nigeria in line with the global best practice.
Engineer Muhammed urged engineers to talk to stakeholders in their respective states on the water bill so as to give it the necessary support that will be in the interest of the people. He charged Nigerians who have the wherewithal to give back to society especially those that enjoyed free education.
Among the dignitaries that graced the occasion were :Engineer Umaru Bago Tafida, the Emir of Lapai and Royal Father of the day, Engineer Alimasuya Rabiu, President of COREN, Michael Jiang Yigao, Chairman/MD CCECC, Engineer Chris Okoye, Chairman/Principal Consultant CCGE Ltd
Salisu B. Haiba
Deputy Director (Press)