The Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE), Lagos State Chapter, on Wednesday called on the Federal Government to create an industrial hub to boost the nation’s Fourth Industrial Revolution drive.
The Chairman of NIMechE, Lagos State Chapter, Dr Uche Obiajulu, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria during the association’s engineering week programme.
Obiajulu said that President Muhammadu Buhari should adopt proactive measures for Nigeria to keep pace with technological trends toward the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
He said that the nation had several research bodies and agencies which would need synergy to ensure a focal point to drive the revolution.
“Government and real operational committees who are the research people must come together and build an industrial park specifically for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“An industrial park means there will be a place that people in operational research will transform their prototypes and theorems into commercial production,’’ he said.
He said that the process would give opportunities to manufacturers and researchers to work toward speedy inventions.
He advised the government to drive the process.
“My advice to President Muhammadu Buhari is for him to call mechanical engineers, scientists and other professionals and let them advise on where to have the park.
“Federal Government should take the bull by the horn.
“President Buhari should form this committee, give it the responsibility to launch Nigeria into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
`’Government should key in from beginning so that while others are churning out their products, we are doing the same,” he said.
He noted that Nigeria took part in the First, Second and Third industrial Revolutions, urging that it should not be left behind in the Fourth Industrial Revolution processes.
He said that the Fourth Industrial Revolution meant using internet to achieve aims and solve problems in various sectors.
According to him, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the first revolution that cut across professional fields.
Obiajulu, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of engineers, said that technology was moving at a speed that would make computers and machines to reason like humans.
“Any nation that does not develop its technology would just be a consumer and not producer,” he said.
He appealed to the government to empower mechanical engineers to take up the challenge to bridge the gap for Nigeria to be part of the production process for nation’s advancement in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“The only way to be relevant tomorrow is to join today.
“In that, we are looking at the Internet of Things (IoT) like using automation and robotics to do what so many people can do or so many computers can do at once and to drive things that naturally will require human beings and computers to drive.
“The development is so fast that any nation that does not key in, will just be a consumer.
“Super technology involves super fee; that means, you would buy them costly.
“What that means is that any country that does not key into the Fourth Industrial Revolution may not be able to afford the technology when it comes out eventually,’’ he said.
Obiajulu noted that China encouraged the practice of engineering such that 95 per cent of its professionals had the knowledge.
He called for a similar support for engineers in Nigeria.
He said that Nigeria had the best engineers in the world, who should be used for the project, adding that NImechE had already formed its own committee toward actualisation of the revolution.
He thanked Buhari for signing legislation to promote engineering practice, noting that the president used local engineers when he headed PTF and they did not fail him.
He said that the engineering week was to carry out awareness on the importance of engineering.
“No nation can develop beyond its engineering.
” Engineering is the bedrock of every form of development, and mechanical engineering is the bedrock of engineering.
“We are very relevant to what Nigeria will be or look like tomorrow,” he said.
Listing the achievements of his administration in his speech at the association’s annual general meeting, Obiajulu said several trainings were planned through the NIMechE, Lagos Chapter Consult Committee.
“We barely finished inaugurating the functional committees of the chapter when suddenly, the gargantuan challenge of COVID-19 showed up.
“We had no option than to redesign our strategies.
Edited By: Josephine Obute/Ijeoma Popoola