Consulting engineers must jettison lamentation, but should brace up and make themselves and the engineering sector more relevant in the country, being the bedrock of any meaningful development of any nation
The Association For Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN) has been charged to stop lamenting but to uphold the path of professionalism and ethics, which enthrone values within the engineering sector.
Chairman, ACEN Eminent Icon Honours Award, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, last week, called on the consulting engineers to brace up and make themselves more relevant in the country, saying the field of engineering is key to the development of any nation.
According to the professional body, the event, which was first of its kind in the history of the professional group, was to honour its members above 75 years of age and who have traversed the field of engineering for over four decades.
In the first outing seven were honoured. They include Dr. Joseph Ibikunle Folayan; His Royal Highness, Oba Michael Olusegun, the Olowu of Owu-Ijebu; Dr. Edet James Amana and Mr. Bosun Oke. Others are Rev. Ette Ikpong Etteh; Mr. Saliu Akintunde Olowu and Sir Omotunde Adeyemi. They were recognised for their contribution and development of engineering in Nigeria.
In his keynote address, Adelusi-Adeluyi, who noted that the problem with Nigeria was management of resources, charged the engineers to desist from lamentation but to evolve enduring ways to turn Nigeria around.
“Let us put an end to lamentation; let us do something constructive to turn Nigeria around. The problem with Nigeria is that of management. ACEN should put in place strategy for making engineering a profession that has a force that cannot be ignored. This is a collective assignment.”
The pharmacist and former Minister of Health said ACEN needed to do more advocacy programmes, adding no nation has been able to achieve much without inputs from engineers.
He urged Nigerian engineers to come up with ideas that would move the country forward. “Nigerian engineers should find a place to stand to move Nigeria forward through engineering. You have an advantage to make your profession better appreciated and relevant to make a difference in the economy and well being of the nation.”
He added that ACEN has thrived and evolved from the commitment and toils of hard work of the seven gentlemen that were honoured, as each of our honourees is above 75 years of age, and has lived through ACEN membership for at least 40 years, having lived and served through the difficult days of association.
Some of them, according to Kehinde having served in various capacities in the association and others have simply been leaders and elders, who have always made themselves available to be called upon when we needed counsel, direction and advice.
The immediate past president said things could never have been the same without them in the association. “Eve in the twilight of their careers, they still serve as forthright beacons and guiding lights. They are perfect examples on issues of practice directions, ethics and how to serve. And even at these ages, which they have attained and when we should be the ones to be giving to them, they still, when the occasions so demand, answer our calls for periodic financial support for the association. Now is our opportunity to say thank you, Sirs; and we want to say so from the bottom of our hearts. God in His infinite mercy is the only one who can reward your lives of service and your contributions to ACEN. But in our small ways, we want to say ‘‘Thank you’ and long lives.”
Still speaking on the virtues of the awardees, Kehinde said: “Our icons and eminent consultants have blazed laudable trails; and been great examples in professional and community service and those of us who are following cannot and must not complain of a lack of positive example to follow. And we shall indeed follow in your footsteps!”
Mindful of his tenure, which was getting to a close, Kehinde said: “For me too, this is a special event in my ACEN journey. It has been a great opportunity and delight to have served and sometime served with these enviable leaders of both the Engineering Profession and the human family. I have learnt and grown in stature all the way.”
Representing the awardees, Folayan, who noted the award was first of its kind in the history of ACEN, said it was one of the evidences of the growth and great achievement of the association in recent years.
In their appreciation, Pa Folayan said: “It is difficult to find words to express our joy and our gratitude for this honour you have accorded us from the oldest at 85 to the youngest at 76, especially since we all belong to the founding members and remember what the association went through in the early years. We thank the leadership and plead that you keep the banner flying high. We identify with the aim of ACEN not to only grow membership but to also strengthen the association.”