The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has charged engineers to come up with innovations to leverage alternative energy sources to reduce the country’s dependence on gasoline.
Aregbesola, gave this charge on Monday at the 29th Founders’ Day of the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and the commissioning of the Engineering Resource Centre named in his honour.
The minister, who is a member of the NSE, urged Nigerian engineers to copy the Egyptian model of a transport system where all commercial vehicles run on gas.
“Engineers should now take the lead. There should be new approaches to providing cheaper and affordable alternative sources of energy and conversion of our machines, vehicles and appliances to function with these innovations.
“I am therefore using this occasion to challenge our engineers to come up with very creative ideas to help the country reduce its cost of subsidising petroleum for Nigerians,” the Minister requested.
He also advised professionals in engineering to up their game by proffering solutions to the many challenges facing the society, including housing deficit.
Speaking further on the role of professionals in setting minimum standards for development in the country, Aregbesola stated that professional bodies should put themselves in the position to ensure that the government is getting value for money on projects and that the public feel their impact on the way government conducts its business, so they can gain the respect and admiration of the public.
His words: “More than anything, engineers and professionals in general, should hone their sense of role and responsibility to the society in a developing economy like ours. On roads, for instance, engineers and other professionals should come up on an annual basis with the requirements and the cost of constructing different categories of roads in the different regions of the country.
“This will prevent just anyone from coming up with arbitrary figures that aid corruption and deplete public resources. Such a template should be available on any public works. We need to entrench a culture of government officials and contractors being conscious that they are being watched and scrutinised and that they will be held accountable.”
Also, the President of NSE and chairman of the occasion, Tasiu Sa’ad Gidari Wudil, praised the inauguration of the newly built Engineering Resources Tower and assured an inclusive government, which will ensure the welfare and development of engineering.
The special guest of honour and CEO of the SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi stated that he supported the project to ensure the growth of the Engineering profession.
“I am confident that the opening of the Rauf Aregbesola Engineering Resource Center will help advance the cause of the engineering profession in Nigeria,” Afolabi said.
The Chairman of NSE, Ikeja branch, Olutosin Ogunmola encouraged the long-standing members to renew their faith and commitment to the Branch as they look forward to combining the wisdom and experience of the old with the energy and innovation of the young to recreate the Branch as the bastion of engineering excellence to drive for the advancement of the Nigerian technology across all facets of engineering development.