The Nigerian Society of Engineers has emphasised the need for practising and prospective engineers to develop requisite entrepreneurship skills.
The Chairman, NSE, Lagos Branch, Mr. Johnson Akinwande, said this at the society’s 2018 annual public lecture/awards and induction ceremony with the theme, ‘From engineering to entrepreneurship: The Rainoil story’.
He explained that there was a need for engineers to be more creative, adding that this was achievable through inventions and investment.
According to him, young engineers need to be more innovative to outshine their counterparts in other countries.
He stated, “Engineering is a very innovative profession. It is one of the industrious professions but many of us are not tapping into the numerous opportunities available to us.
“Beyond being a professional, engineers can also be successful entrepreneurs. We are seriously concerned about the hopelessness of our youths, especially young engineers. They are losing hope in themselves and in our country.”
The Group Managing Director, Rainoil Limited, Mr. Gabriel Ogbechie, advised young engineers to go for entrepreneurship training after their professional courses.
Ogbechie, who was the guest speaker, noted that the education system for Nigerian youths needed to be fixed in order to have employable graduates.
He said, “If you look at the kind of artisans we have today, you can’t get good Nigerian artisans to work as electricians, bricklayers, welders etc., most of the people doing these jobs correctly are artisans from other West African countries.
“This is something we need to fix through education and not through platitudes or admonitions. We need to go back and fix our educational system.”
The Founder and Managing Director, Slot Systems Limited, Mr. Nnamdi Ezeigbo, also warned professionals against depending solely on their certificates.
According to him, it is wrong to assume that certificates create wealth as envisioned by most youths in Nigeria.
He stated, “I think the youth are depending so much on their certificates. Certificates do not create wealth. Acquiring certificates is just a way of developing your mind and helps you to be equal to your peers.
“The tertiary education system is not structured to make you or help you create wealth. Graduates, undergraduates and young people who want to be entrepreneurs, businessmen or women should endeavour to acquire the needed training for competence and knowledge about the businesses of their choice.”
Apart from Ezeigbo and Ogbechie, the Rector, Yaba College of Technology, Mr. Obafemi Omokungbe; and the pioneer Managing Director, Planet Project Limited, Mr. Otunola Adebayo, were given awards for their contributions to the growth of the engineering profession in the country.
Others who were also recognised were the Executive Director, Operations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Mr. Oluwarotimi Fashakin; and the Chief Executive Officer, Kenol Nigeria Limited Mr. Olaolu Ogunduyile.
The NSE, Lagos Branch, also inducted 77 engineers and corporate members at the forum.