Don tasks engineers on solar, renewable energy

SOLARFOR sustainable environment, which is the slogan in the globe, Nigerian engineers have been asked to familiarize themselves with technologies that will aid provision, maintenance of solar and renewable energy, a United States of America (USA), don, Professor Joseph Ojo, has said.

But, the Nigerian professor based in the US, was quick to add that, importing foreign technologies without situating them within the socio, economic, political reality in the country may not suffice.

Ojo last week threw the challenge on renewable energy to his local counterparts at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Lagos, during the “2015 Annual Lecture, Life Achievement Awards and Induction of New Fellows”, organised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE).

According to him, Nigeria’s overall development is hinged on technological and engineering development and this is contingent on the versatility and commitment by the practitioners, especially, those in the academics. Besides, lack of knowledge of history, politics, social sciences and other literary studies may be counterproductive to the overall development that engineers are craving to promote.

Over dependence on gas and dam for power generation in Nigeria may not be sustainable, and now that environmentalists are calling for solar and renewable energy, Nigeria cannot afford to be indifferent

The lecture that had as its theme: “Distributed Renewable Energy Resources for transport Electrification and Premium for Industrial Development in Nigeria”, was delivered by Professor Joseph Ojo, of the Department of Electrical Engineering, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, USA. Speaking on the imperative of research to developmental project, Ojo, while making allusion to Senator Ben Bruce, on his advocacy for electric car to save environment from pollution, said positive change might not be achievable by being a good engineer, but also “educated and certificated”. “We need to study politics, philosophy, sociology, history and others.

We must understand our society to know the kind of technologies that can suit our environment. “People become change agents and gain political and administrative skills through broad-based education, especially, in the subject of humanity and social sciences, a nation without a sense of history is bound not to unravel insights into an appropriate developmental process”, he said, adding that, people should read to understand emerging idea and paradigm to meet the challenges in their environment. He said the over-dependency on gas and dams for power supply may not bring the necessary change needed in Nigeria’s energy sector, but rather, alternative means such as solar energy and other renewable energy resources.

Speaking on behalf of the recipients, Chief Ebenezer Osoba, while urging the new inductees to embrace the tenets of the profession, said striving for excellence should be their watchwords. “I am sure that Nigeria is capable to be one of the most developed countries in the world if we stick to excellence and will engaged in serious research.

Nigerian engineers are competent professionally and in academics. All we need to do is to get the enabling environment by which our potentials can be maximized.”

In his address, the President of the Academy, Professor Raifu Isola Salawu, stated that the objectives of the academy, that include the promotion of excellence in the advancement of engineering science, education, practice and technological advancement is fully on course.

He said to facilitate dissemination and exchange of ideas among members and other similar bodies and establishment, especially, to anticipate and assess the changing needs of Nigeria and advise appropriate bodies on the technical resources that should be applied and sponsor programmes aimed at meeting those needs.

“Also, to provide independent and experts on matters of national importance pertinent to engineering and technology and related disciplines and to interact and cooperate with other engineering and scientific professional bodies, and other academies locally and Internationally”, he said, adding that to also recognise engineering achievement and outstanding contribution to society, among others. Six distinguished academicians bagged “Life Achievement Award”.

They are Dr. Olusegun Ajayi, Professor Albert Alos, a Spanish, Professor Augustine O. Esogbue, Professor Emem Ufott Nwa, Professor Ephraim Effiong Okon and Professor Ogbemi Ola Omatete.

The newly inducted fellows were also 10 engineering practitioners from various fields of engineering.

These include Professor Sam Sunday Adefila, Messrs Olumuyiw Alade Ajibola, Abidoye Ayoola, Emeka Muoma Eze, David West (Snr.) Manye,and Oluremi Olatunbosun. Others are Professor D.O Onwukuli, Chief Ebenezer Babaranti Osoba, Messrs Nurudeen Abdulrahaman Rafindadi and Professor Haruna Mohammed Sani.

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