The chief special adviser to the president on industrialization at the African Development Bank, Professor Oyebanji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, has expressed concern about the country’s weak engineering system.

He said that Nigeria’s Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) is affected by a lack of funds and improved technology, as well as coordination and learning between organizations.

Oyelaran-Oyeyinka said this recently, at a public forum on ‘Engineering as a key enabler of national development policies and strategies for the incoming administration’, in Lagos.

He listed other challenges to include a lack of qualified personnel and physical infrastructure to support innovation; too many abandoned projects and failed industrial initiatives,

According to him, “specialized infrastructure for Research and Development (R&D) and product development is lacking. There are also very few engineers, scientists and other researchers.”

He stressed the need for the credibility of the government’s commitment to industrial policies, the ease and cost of doing business, the application of anti-corruption laws, guaranteeing security by defending industrial and economic assets, among others.

In his article titled ‘Leveraging Nigeria’s Engineering Capacities’, he said that the state capacity is meant to promote R&D, academia-industry exchange by fostering learning channels such as joint publications, mobility of scientists and engineers, cooperative R&D, public research institutions, supporting universities in the production of engineers and scientists that feed the industrial system.

The special adviser also expressed concern that capacities are weak or dying due to underfunding and mismanagement.

Former President of the Federation of West African Engineering Organizations, Otis Anyaeji, in his article “Manufacturing: Engine of Economic Growth”, expressed concern that Nigeria has failed to diversify the economy to make it self-sufficient through investment in the production of capital goods and the development of engineering infrastructure.