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.
He called for restructuring the productive base of the economy to reduce the country’s excessive dependence on imported products through building domestic capacity for manufacturing capital.
“Sustainable industrialization requires the country to develop the capacity to produce the necessary industrial machinery and equipment with components. To achieve this, it will be necessary to establish an engineering infrastructure to create a technological base,” Anyaeji, former president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers ( NSE) said.
A professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, Ayodeji Demuren, stated that universities and research institutions should receive funding to carry out the necessary research and development.
In his article, ‘Engineering Technologies: Electric Power and Battery Power’, he said that government policy should encourage the manufacture of solar cells and the manufacture of lithium-ion battery cells from locally sourced raw materials, adding that the gaps in the energy supply chain need to be closed urgently. .
Speaking on ‘Flood Mitigation in Nigeria’, a former Chairman of the Council of Registered Engineers in Nigeria (COREN), Kashim Ali, called on governments to strengthen enforcement of urban planning laws as the uncoordinated allocation of Fraudulent parcels and approval of building plans have been implicated in the devastation that many cities have suffered in recent times.