The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has charged engineers on innovative solutions for jobs creation to mitigate the impact of the coronavarius pandemic on the economy.
Mr Kunle Adebajo, a former NSE Ikeja Branch Chairman, made the call on Thursday at a webinar in Lagos.
He said that job creation, especially for the youth, would mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on their welfare.
Speaking on the topic, “Leading Engineering Innovation in the 21st Century: Role of Professional Associations’’, Adebajo urged engineering bodies to create platforms that would drive new inventions.
He said that Nigeria was a fertile market for engineers to come up with inventions to solve the various societal problems capable of creating mass employment in the nation.
He advised young engineers to grow beyond seeking for jobs to job creators.
Adebajo said they were equipped with necessary skills to create solutions that would make them employers of labour instead of job seekers.
He said that new technologies offered massive opportunities for local engineers to quickly solve problems in the various sectors of the country.
“The NSE should be creating platforms for fostering innovations. We should make it a priority. If we are not pursuing digital transformation, we have missed the boat.
“We need to lead innovation, we are in a COVID-19 ravished state but we are lucky not to be badly hit. We need to be more innovative to find a way to be ahead.
“The challenges and opportunities therein are numerous. There are so many opportunities in a fertile land like Nigeria. We need to be more innovative to find a way to be ahead. Even an existing task if done in a new way is an innovation,’’ he said
Adebajo said that local engineers were underutilising their potential and harped on the need to explore the business aspects of their profession by developing entrepreneurial skills and partnerships.
He called for continuous mentorship as well as capacity building of local engineers for them to be able to grow capacity to run with new technological advancements and trends.
A fellow of the NSE, Mrs Ibilola Amao, who joined the meeting from England, called on local engineers to rise above traditional practices to form partnerships to drive innovations.
Amao said Nigeria had enormous manpower and leveraging technology through partnerships was important for the growth of both the engineering practice and the nation.
She said from her experience in the oil and gas and other sectors in the nation, “Nigerian engineers don’t have problems with capability and competence, the problem we have is capacity’’.
Amao said the country had several brilliant innovative engineers but needed to form partnerships to harmonise wealth and wisdom to harness bigger opportunities in the technological space.
Other participants at the webinar called for adaptation of borrowed technologies to suit local peculiar needs as well as increased investments into engineering education and mentorship of the younger generation.