Former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, on Wednesday, said that without the right investment in the development of Science, Technology and Industrialisation, a country’s economy will never evolve.
Nebo made the assertion in his keynote address at the opening of a three-day Biennial Engineering Conference of Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Alex Ekwueme Federal University (AE-FUNAI), Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi.
The conference, which had experts from the academia, industry, researchers and practitioners of various fields of engineering had “Engineering and Technology: A Driver for Sustainable Development’’ as its theme.
According to him, Nigeria needs to harness the incredible array of knowledge in engineering and technology to leap frog from a developing economy to a developed one.
He said “industrialisation is the deployment of science, engineering and technology to transform the mode of production.
“Industrialisation can be operationally seen as the process by which an economy is transformed from primarily agricultural to one based on manufacturing of goods.
“It is engineering that uses the principles of science to design systems of operation to solve physical problems.
“Industrialisation, therefore, is the process by which traditionally non-industrial sectors of an economy become more of manufacturing.”
The former minister recalled that the government’s review of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) launched in 2017, revealed the natural place of science and technology as drivers of sustainable development.
According to him, the ERGP should be propelled by the National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the Nigeria Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan to ensure that the target of industralising the country by 2020 is achieved.
He said NIRP was all about science, technology and industrialisation but required the political will and attitudinal change from the leadership and citizens.
“I am confident that using engineering and technology to power the NIRP and ERGP will industralise the country, create the much desired jobs and ensure that Nigeria attains its potential.’’
Prof. Chinedu Nwajiuba, the Vice Chancellor of AE-FUNAI, urged participants and engineers at the conference to come up with ideas that would solve issues of building collapse in the country.
Represented by Prof. Sunday Elom, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Nwajiuba acknowledged that the country had experts who could tackle technology challenges.
According to him, it is time to harness the potential from the experts and imbibe a disciplined culture to develop the country.
Prof. Onuegbu Ugwu, the Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Technology of the school, said that the conference would create platforms to discuss problems affecting the engineering and technology sector for sustainable development.
Ugwu said that engineering and technology had always played key roles in the quest for development which had revolved over decades.
He added that ” sustainability and sustainable development constitute major global paradigm shift in engineering practice, education research and development.
“The global engineering community must address the challenges of sustainable development, while the global university system must find requisite solutions as they relate to engineering practice, research and development for the benefit of humanity.”