Quality engineering education silver lining to infrastructural development- FG

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By Akanbi Victor, Abuja

Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu said focus on quality engineering education will ensure delivery of infrastructural development to citizens.

Aliyu 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) 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 explained that through the adoption, adaption of Engineering education the gains of infrastructural development will be attained in Nigeria.

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 his remarks the National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Engr. 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

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, Engr. 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.

Engr. 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.

Engr. 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 were in attendance.