Presidential Speech of the Academy President, Engr. (Mrs) J. O. Maduka, MFR during the Investiture of President Buhari, GCFR as the Grand Patron of NAEng

PROTOCOL

I feel highly honoured to lead this delegation of the Fellows of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering to our President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. This unique occasion is for the Nigerian Academy of Engineering Investiture of Your Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, as the Grand Patron of the Academy. 

Mr. President, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, is familiar to you as you will recollect that on June 21, 2013, you honoured our invitation when you accompanied the current Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Engr. Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, FAEng., to his induction as a Fellow of the Academy at the University of Lagos.

Mr. President Sir, Article 7.0 of the Constitution of the Academy provides for the appointment of a Grand Patron to promote, support and protect the activities of the Academy. The Nigerian Academy of Engineering has followed with interest the policies of your Administration towards moving our nation to her rightful position in the comity of Nations.  NAE is convinced that your Government can take the country to the arena of developed nations by funding and harnessing the gains of Science, Technology and Innovation.  In the last one year, Nigerian Engineering companies performed laudably well in the Engineering procurement and construction of a 600 MW power Generating plant and a 330kV switching station, the biggest in the national grid.

The role of an Academy of Engineering all over the world is to serve as THINK TANK for the technological and economic development of a nation.  Countries like China, USA, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia are examples of nations that have harnessed the benefits of their Engineering academies for economic progress.  Fellows of the Academy of Engineering are Engineers who have reached the peak of their careers and are invited to join.  The Academy interacts and collaborates with sister Academies like the Royal Academies of U.K. and Sweden, National Academy of US, Academies of China and India.  There are currently 140 Fellows in NAE.

Mr President Sir, we are highly delighted at the desire of your Administration to fix all the infrastructural deficit in our country. This effort is very germane to the development of our nation. For this to be done effectively and efficiently, inputs are required from all cadres of engineering disciplines.

The physical indices of development of any country are engineering based like Roads, Railways, Water Supply, Power, Housing and other infrastructure.  However, Nigerian Engineers are underutilized for the tasks and challenges of Nation building.  For the country to attain sustainable growth status, the Nigerian Engineers need to be adequately engaged in planning, policy formulation, consultancy and construction as well as industrial processes of production and manufacturing.  Furthermore, the fact is that Nigeria is grossly under-engineered as there are insufficient engineering professionals taking the population per capita basis.  For example, in China, between 2000 and 2013, all the nine members of the Standing Committee (Ministers) (Ministers) of the Politburo were trained engineers.  Currently, about half of the Cabinet Ministers in Singapore are Engineers and in China, seventy (70) percent of the Cabinet are Engineers.

Mr. President, we observe that the anti-corruption efforts of your administration is a move in the right direction as it will bring economic transformation to the country.

I seize this opportunity to thank His Excellency, Mr. President, for appointing one of us, Engr. Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, FAEng, as the Honourable Minister of Science and Technology.

Mr. President Sir, we are appreciative of your acceptance to be the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering and for giving us the opportunity to meet with you.

 

Engr. (Mrs.) J. O. Maduka, FIET, FNSE, FAEng, MFR

President, Nigerian Academy of Engineering

2017 Annual Lecture