By Oke Peter
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru, has charged engineering practitioners in the country to provide viable solutions towards fast-tracking Nigeria’s quest to diversify the economy.
Dr. Baru gave the charge while speaking at the 30th Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers (NiMechE), shortly after he was conferred with the Institution’s Fellowship in Kaduna today.
“Mechanical engineers are expected to play a major role in Nigeria’s quest for diversification and industrialization. In the near future, you are expected to provide the necessary tools and equipment for agriculture and transportation system which would drive Nigeria’s industrialization,” Baru said.
Describing engineering as a branch of knowledge which provides the foundation for industrialization and growth in both advanced and developing countries, Baru stressed that alternative energy sources were other areas that should interest engineers.
“Another area where engineers could venture in is Renewable Energy where you can provide ethanol to compete with the fossil oil as fuel for our vehicles towards ensuring a cleaner environment,” he stated.
According to Baru, Mechanical Engineers could also impact the economy positively by getting involved in the design and manufacturing of highly efficient cooling and heating systems, pumps and their drivers.
He noted that in the Oil and Gas industry, engineering remains the bedrock of NNPC’s day-to-day operations both on the onshore and offshore environment.
“Today, our Mechanical engineers are at the forefront of innovation, design, construction, operations and maintenance of our critical equipment across the oil and gas value-chain,” he stressed.
He expressed NNPC’s commitment to forge strong partnerships with professional bodies such as NiMechE to enable the Corporation deliver on its mandate of moving the nation’s economy forward.
While conferring the Fellowship on the GMD, the National Chairman of NiMechE, Engineer Ugochukwu Nzurumike said Dr. Baru’s worthy contributions to Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry could not have gone unrecognized.
“Today, we celebrate someone who has not only added value to the mechanical engineering profession in the country, but has also moved Nigerian oil and gas industry forward,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engineer Otis Anyaeji, said for Nigeria to achieve its industrialization potentials, mechanical engineers must drive the wheels.
Established in 1990, the NiMechE is a division of the NSE charged with developing the professional capacity of mechanical engineers across the country.
The theme of the 30th International Conference/AGM was “Mechanical Engineering in the Diversification of Nigerian Economy.”