National Development Challenge is Engineering Challenge – Engr Adeniran Ibitoye

  ‘Societies have managed to find a way of dumping their problems on the heads of Engineers, because Society’s problems are engineering problems.’

At the packed conference hall of Engineering in Osun State Polytechnics were the crème of academic and other dignitaries, Engr. Adeniran Felix Ibitoye, reminded the engineers across the country that National Challenges are their challenges and they must brace up to perform more roles in helping the society tackle the many challenges confronting it.

This position was made at the 2nd Engineering Conference organised by the Faculty of Engineering of the Institution. The 2-Day Event which took place at the Staff Club Conference Hall of the Institution has the Theme: Engineering & Technology: A Tool for Sustainable National Development.

Engr Adeniran Ibitoye, popularly known as ‘Kilomodemo’ while delivering the keynote Address titled; “Science, Engineering and Technology Academic Leaders: Perspectives and Current Challenges towards National Development,” observed that despite the fact that our societies are dominated and “driven” by ideas and products from Science, Engineering and Technology (SET), the majority of the professionals in this class have refused to show interest in how the society is being run. Further, he said the coming years will even be more reliant on Science, Engineering and technology expertises as the society trod forward in its quest to make the world a better place to live.

The challenges facing every society are engineering challenges. In his words, ‘When the Societies get tired of their old homes or the roads need expansion to arrest traffic gridlock, they call on the Engineers to bring up something better and more innovative than they are used to. When the cost of unemployment mounts and more Youths are out in labour market in search of work, the Societies make use of the Engineers, in creating new jobs. Can there be a productive factory without Engineers being its core drivers? When the cost of food piles and the Society experiences food shortage, it is the Engineers that are called upon to provide modern tools that can boost Agricultural output.”

Consequently, every time there are problems in the society, the societies always look out for engineers to solve it even though the engineers barely got much commendation for the job done. As he rightly put it ‘Societies have managed to find a way of dumping their problems on the heads of Engineers, because Society’s problems are engineering problems.’

‘Despite all these connections, many of us (engineers) have refused to show active interest in how the Society is being run. The politics, the finance and the law and even the common leadership (positions) are left to others (to run for us). Many Engineers even concluded that politics is dirty for them and refused to socialise. The sum total of this is that Engineers now have Non Engineers dictating their affairs: The Non-Engineers dictating their emoluments and also their positions in the society...’  He noted.
Further, he eulogised the leadership of, Ogbeni Adesoji Rauf Aregbesola, a Fellow of Nigerian Society of Engineers who was among the few engineers that took the risk to go into politics and serve the people.  His achievements are numerous and envied among other leaders.  In his words; ‘As an Engineer, he has deployed the dual skills of engineering and leadership toward transformation of the State of Osun. Our State today is much better than it was before he took over. He has navigated the ship of the State and laid a solid foundation for our infrastructural and economic growth.“ The State of Osun would have been deprived of such novel and visionary leader had he, (Ogbeni  Aregbesola) at any time, decided that politics is dirty and that engineers have no business being vying for  leadership in the society.

He urged the academic community to help nurture more leaders of men and resources who would take the baton for older engineers. ‘‘In addressing the challenges facing as Engineers, we can no longer turn our back against the system that controls our destiny. If we cannot put ourselves forward, it is a wise judgement that we support our colleagues who are putting themselves forward.‘

He enumerated his roles as the chairman of Osogbo as well as his involvement in the politics as he aimed to help bridge the gap. Among them are establishment of NSE Examination after 31 years establishment of COREN Engineering Regulation and Monitoring Inspectorate (ERM), Partnership with (Adeleke University, UNIOSUN, Govt, NSE HQ, Divisions, etc), etc while promising that more will come.

He expressed his appreciation to the Governing Council and the Faculty of Engineering Management of Osun State Polytechnics Iree for putting the event together. He commended the management for their achievements in taking the institution forward. He especially made reference to the  the establishment of new departments (Mechanical Engineering Technology, Welding and Fabrication Engineering Technology, Agricultural and Bio-Environmental Engineering Technology) in the last three academic years with more to come. Aside the expansion of the course, the Institution also completed the Construction of the new engineering complex while Agricultural and Bio-Environmental Engineering complex are still ongoing. He expressed his optimism that Iree Poly, as the Institution is fondly called would record more good news in both infrastructural development and academic excellence in coming years if they can keep up the pace of development as well as sustain their efforts in research and other areas. He noted that this is the kind of effort that would contribute into turning the State of Osun into industrial state.

He pointed out that the Academic community has as much roles in the development of the society as the practicing engineers. He therefore urged them to see themselves as a member of collective units working toward making our society better.  What is more, engineer’s can no longer take back seat in society development in this era of rapid technological advancement utilisation. They must be ready to be part of the changes they helped conceived.

In his closing address, he encouraged the engineers in the institution to participate fully in the activities of the engineering professional bodies in order to contribute into engineering development. He solicited the support of the Management on partnering with the Osogbo Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers by releasing the Engineers in the institution for the upcoming National Engineering Conference and Annual General Meeting taking place in Akure, Ondo State between November 16 and 20, 2015. The Theme of the Conference tagged SUNSHINE 2015 is NATIONAL INTEGRATED INFRASTRUCTURE MASTER PLAN (NIIMP) 2014: STRATEGIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION.

The conference attracted many dignitaries likes the Rector (Dr Jacob Agboola), Dean Faculty of Engineering (Engr I. Obilade MNSE) and other Deans, Guest Speakers, other Principal Officers, Management Staff and Students. Others in attendance are the Past Chairmen of NSE Osogbo Branch, (Engr W.O. Ibrahim FNSE and Engr S.A. Ademola MNSE), Chief Examiner of Osogbo Examination Centre, (Engr F.A. Oginni FNSE), SSA to the Governor of Osun on Project Monitoring (Engr Oluwole Idowu MNSE), Branch Exco Members and scores of Committed Members.

Reports Compiled by Isqil Najim @isqilnajim (twitter)

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