By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: Harmonization and optimization of Nigeria’s energy potentials for sustainable development, will take centre stage at the 34th International Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers(NiMECHE)—a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
Making this known on Tuesday at a press conference in Abuja, to mark the beginning of the series of activities lined up for the events, the National Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NIMECHE) Engr. Prof. Mohammed Baba Ndaliman, said the event which will be the largest gathering of Nigerian Mechanical Engineers both from within and outside the shores of this country, will discuss issues bothering on the professional development of the institution.
He stated that the theme of this year’s conference, ‘Harmonization and Optimization of Nigeria’s Energy Potentials for Sustainable Development’, will be discussed by seasoned professionals such as Industrialists, Members of the Academia, Researchers, Entrepreneurs, and Policy Makers, among many others, and presentations on various issues that bother on energy policy, energy resources, potentials, security, consumption, emissions and utilization will be made.
The National Chairman also announced that the opening ceremony which comes up on Wednesday, will have the Keynote address taken by the Director General, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Engr. Prof Eli Jidere, adding also that Engr. Prof. Gwadangaj Danshehu will be the Lead Paper Presenter.
According to him, “We are going to have various categories of awards, there will be fellowship awards to distinguished receipts as well as distinguished performance awards to members and supporters of the Institution. We also have various programmes for young budding Engineers who are young graduates and students. We will include some training workshops among their programmes and also mentoring programmes’’, he said.
He further noted that the NIMECHE has distinguished itself in terms of mentoring and training of young people, as about 60 young Nigerians through Training of Trainers (TOT) have been trained on the conversion of auto from the use of petrol, adding that it is part of the plan to be on the same page with the world in the area of clean energy.
Also speaking, the immediate former National Chairman, Engr. Robinson Ejilah, responding to questions on the theme of the event, said there is a need for Nigerians to begin to reappraise their lifestyles and significantly cut down on carbon footprints, adding that fossil fuels is basically one of the problems we have in Nigeria.
“Well over 40% or thereabout of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions we have in the atmosphere today, the manufacturing industry, the oil and gas industry and the transportation industries are the culprits. So, it’s an engineering challenge that every Engineer, irrespective of their specialization, should begin to think about.
“They should bring about innovations to bypass this, and that was the reason we had to go back to the drawing board to think about how to engage other sources of energy to drive our economy, to move around from one part of the world to another, and also run our lives’’, he said.
For her part, the National Membership Secretary, Mrs Oduwa Agboneni, noted that they do different training within their workshops, ranging from automobile to energy and building services.
“We had a partnership with the Industrial Training Fund and it was also funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom and we trained our students and even graduates on how to fix cars. The training lasted for between three to six months and the trainees had hands-on experience on how to fix cars. Such training helps the students to learn”, she said.
She further stated that NIMECHE helps students with industrial placements in their areas of interest so that they can bridge the gap, adding also that they work with Universities to ensure that the students have enough time for practical as well as theory.
Currently, there are over 5,000 registered members of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers which includes fellows, Corporate members and Associates.