Stakeholders in Nigeria’s engineering industry have called for the establishment of an engineering finishing school in the country to provide practical training for engineering graduates. The President of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Peter Onwualu, said that the education sector has not played its capacity-building role well enough.
Onwualu suggested that engineering graduates should spend six months or a year in an engineering facility to learn things that they were not taught in university, similar to the clinical period that medical students undergo. This would add to what students learn under the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme while in school.
The finishing training can be done in industrial hubs, science and technology schools, manufacturing industries, or even government establishments. When done with this training, graduates would be ready to work in any sector of the economy.
Onwualu claimed that engineering laboratories and workshops in most institutions were outdated and needed to be modernised with new technologies to keep up with the changing times. He stressed the need for the incoming government to find a way to end the destruction in the system, whether in the form of strikes or shutting down universities, to provide students with a seamless and uninterrupted educational system.
In addition, he suggested that every faculty of engineering in the country should be modernised with modern facilities.
Taye Olufemi, a Partner at Building Services Design Consultant Limited, noted that the development of technologies, factories, and industries for graduates was essential. He proposed that engineering graduates should spend six months or more in an engineering facility, where they could see how things are manufactured firsthand and apply their theoretical knowledge gained while in university.
Professor Rahamon Bello, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, said that many engineers in the country were not fully involved. He stressed the need to utilise internal resources to solve Nigerian problems, and Nigerian engineers should take up these problems as they do in other climes. He proposed that Executive Order five on local contents needs to be more specific regarding the implementation process to aid the utilisation of internal resources in a functional way.
Professor Ayodele Ogunye, the Executive Vice Chairman at Nautilus Nigeria Engineering and Construction Limited, noted that Nigeria was still on the same level it had been since 1978.