NSE plans training for 60,000 engineers

The Nigerian Society of Engineers has initiated a Specialised Skills Training Programme for young engineers, aiming to retrain 60,000 individuals to address contemporary engineering challenges.

The society also advocated a shift to alternative energy to bridge the gaps for sustainable development.

The NSE President, Margaret Aina Oguntala, disclosed this during the unveiling of its training manual at the World Engineering Day 2024 themed “Engineering Solutions for a Sustainable World” on Monday in Abuja.

The World Engineering Day proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation General Conference on November 25, 2019, is observed to honour all engineers around the country and to encourage the public to recognise engineers’ contributions to national development.

In her welcome address, the NSE’s first female president emphasised that the society is enhancing the professional capabilities of Nigerian engineers, enabling them to fulfil the demands of their profession by contributing to the development of critical infrastructure for the benefit of society and the advancement of our nation.

According to her, engineering innovations have enhanced mass communication and improved the well-being of humanity.

Oguntala said, “Today, we are proud to say that the Nigerian Society of Engineers has become the veritable platform for true professional development of engineers and, by implication, the vehicle for driving the technological advancement of our country.

“In the face of the current global economic, social and humanitarian crises, the world is yet beckoning on engineers to rise to the occasion and provide solutions for better and sustainable living.”

Oguntala noted that the World Engineering Day platform has offered a unique opportunity to provide inspiration and hope for younger persons, whether they are already in the profession or aspiring to become engineers.

“Therefore, not only do we have students from secondary schools who are here to exhibit their innovations, we are also launching our Specialised Skills Training for Young Engineers”.

She explained that the NSE would be running the programme with in partnership the Nigerian Content Development and Management Board.

“It is a year-long programme targeted at building the capacity of Young Engineers across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. It is also a multi-modular training that is going to start with a course on Cyber Security and Ethical Hacking”.

“At the end, we expect to train at least 60,000 young engineers. So for every geopolitical zone, we are starting with 100 and it is a four-week program which will run concurrently in each geopolitical zone. We are starting with North Central and FCT,” she added.

Prof. Abubakar Sambo, in his presentation on the topic “Bridging the electricity access gaps for sustainable development”, lamented that Africa has the poorest access to electricity with below 60 per cent access.

He said countries like Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and the Gambia had higher access to electricity than Nigeria.

He suggested the adoption of uranium, wind, and coal to address energy gaps in the country. However, he highlighted the inadequacy of the current workforce to ensure sufficient electricity supply, emphasizing the need for a well-defined manpower development plan.

“We need the political will to explore our gas and coal, We can’t stop using oil and gas as a nation.”

Also speaking, the MD/CEO Automation and Engineering Academy Ltd, Engr. Ikotun Adewale said Nigeria has a compressed natural gas deposit that could last up to 170 years.

He, however, lamented that there was no policy on CNG and warned that such could pose a disaster if hijacked by unscrupulous elements in the society.

“Nigeria has a deposit of natural gas that can last us for 170 years, Dangote will continue to be rich because for the past 25 years 90 per cent of his trucks have been running on compressed natural gas all of us are looking at PMS whereas a cheaper and cleaner gas is out there without being taped in fact they are being flared up.

“We are exporting 80 per cent of our CNG, we use less than 10 per cent and the rest is flared, wasted. We need Infrastructural investment to boost gas production and usage. We need more engineers to convert vehicles to CNG.”

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