Involvement of Engineers in Policy Making will Boost Productivity, Says Expert
Nigerian engineers should take their rightful place in government and private concerns and ensure that things were done the right way if the nation is to redeem declining productivity, a seasoned entrepreneur and productivity consultant, Engr. (Dr) Uche Emmanuel Obiajulu, has advocated.
He added that if this suggestion was taken, myriad of challenges plaguing the Nigerian economy such as inadequate power supply, community interruption of operations, poor workers’ morale, poor remuneration, poor infrastructure, and corruption among others would be removed or reduced.
Engr. Obiajulu, who was the Guest Speaker at a recent Town and Gown Seminar of Covenant’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, where he delivered a lecture titled, ‘Arresting the Productivity Decline in Nigeria: The Engineer’s Part to Play’, said optimum productivity was achievable when an engineer was the head of a project team, or at least a senior member of the team.
While defining productivity as a ratio between output of goods and services and the input of resources, the Guest Speaker said it was the comparison between quantity of goods and services produced and the quantity of resources employed in making goods or services. According to him, methods of productivity included increasing the level output faster than that of input (managed growth), producing more output with the same level of input (working smarter), producing more input with a reduced level of input (the ideal - common), maintaining the level of output while reducing the input (greater efficiency), and decreasing the level of output, but decreasing the level of input more (managed decline).
Engr. Obiajulu, Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Lagos Chapter, stated that prior to the Nigerian economy entering recession between 2016 and 2017, the productivity of the Nigerian employee had always been higher than many contemporary nations but lower than that of South Africa and Morocco. “The surprise is that despite high GDP (Gross Domestic Product), the productivity has always been like three times lower than the contemporary nations of the world with same size of economy, according to NBS (Nigerian Bureau of Statistics),” he explained.
The Guest Speaker, while highlighting the role of engineers in arresting productivity decline in Nigeria, said an engineer is the planner, creator, repairer, and inspector of solution models of mankind by training, and should know that 80% of the solution to arrest productivity decline in Nigeria is in his kits. He said in government and politics, engineers should start to register with political Parties with the aim of seeking for elective positions in Nigeria; every engineer in service should use registered engineers or technologists or technicians to execute his projects; engineers should refuse direct labour in project execution and shun corruption, tribalism and nepotism in decision-making.
He stated further that in private firms, engineers should study and be perfect in executive business management so as to position themselves to take up top decision-making posts in companies. Engineers should also learn crisis management and personnel management, and an engineer should make sure materials, men and money and other resources required for the job were provided.
Earlier in his remarks, the Head, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Professor Sunday Oyedepo, had urged students of the Department to pay attention to what the Guest Speaker had to say, being a vastly experienced individual who had worked in the oil and automobile industries. He said the Town and Gown Seminar was designed to benefit the students so that their future would be better.
Also at the Town and Gown event, the third organised by the Mechanical Engineering Department in the Alpha Semester of the 2018/2019 Academic Session of Covenant, were faculty and staff of the Department.