Several key sectors of Nigeria’s economy are suffering due to a lack of engineers who some say could provide the “backbone” for rapid development in the country.
Femi Akintunde, CEO of Alpha Mead Facilities and Management Services Limited (AMFacility), is the latest entrepreneur to publicly discuss the country’s shortage of engineers.
During the presentation of his paper, “The Engineer as the Prime Mover of Economic Development,” to the 2014 inductees of the Nigerian Society of Engineers at the University of Ibadan, Akintunde said the country is in “dire need of engineering solutions.”
“Today, the world and Nigeria is in dire need of engineering solutions,” he said. “This simply means that, if the simple economic rule of demand and supply is anything to go by, then there are limitless opportunities for engineers in the pool of problems that confront our nation.”
Akintunde went on to say that Nigeria’s “current economic indices and realities” can’t be solved without taking a close look at “engineering principles and practices.”
“These challenges therefore place a huge responsibility on the shoulders of engineering stakeholders; and as you join the league of this noble profession today, it is only ideal that we provoke your thinking to imbibe a solution mentality towards our nation’s economic problems,” Akintunde said. “You cannot afford to join the bandwagon of those complaining about Nigeria. The Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan is a document that highlights key areas of the economy, that can take our economy through the maturation circle of Vision 20:2020. You should make such documents a companion.”
The Nigeria Vision 20: 2020 document spells out a plan for Nigeria to become one of the top 20 economies in the world by the year 2020.
Akintunde also had a message for the lecturers at the ceremony.
“Our lecturers must also understand that, as the society advances, its challenges also advance, and the only responses that can contain such advancements are new researches,” he continued. “The new breed of engineers has to be equipped with contemporary knowledge to be able to move the economy forward.”
Earlier this year, The National Power Training Institute of Nigerian relayed a similar message.
Back in April, the director-general of the Institute, Reuben Okeke, revealed that Nigeria needed more than 50,000 engineers to boost the power sector reform.
At the time, that sector had only 200 of the 51,000 required engineers.
Okeke said that since the employment embargo in 1998, the country has struggled to attract young, qualified engineers.