An engineer is an individual who has graduated from mere scientific knowledge to a pragmatic/technological status; deploying forensic and mathematical skills acquired in course of his training to invent, repair, maintain, troubleshoot and solve problems of man.
By the foregoing definition, he is more mathematical than a mathematician, more scientific than a scientist, more logical than a lawyer, and more creative than an artist. Having successfully covered virtually all topics in mathematics, science, and also covered the fundamentals of law, humanities, management and religion.
It is however regrettable that the engineer is highly neglected by the government of Nigeria, such that the joy and morale of an engineer has almost dropped to the baseline, reducing the graduate engineer to a mere classroom teacher, artisans traders and many more unbecoming jobs to earn a living after graduation. This is unlike his pars in Medicine and Law who are given their staff of office by their automatic adoption into their professional cadre immediately after graduation with a lot of fanfare and cheers.
In the second year of engineering studies, the undergraduate engineer is taught that, engineering regulations in Nigeria does not permit him to bear the title “Engr.” after graduation until at least 5years, then he can sit for an exam – if recommended by Nigerian Society of Engineers(NSE). If he passes the exam, then he qualifies to practice engineering with all privileges.
Making it a total of 10years to become an engineer in Nigeria- yet there are no airplanes, ships, cars, machines built by a Nigerian engineer till today. When I asked, I was told that the idea is to reduce quackery and avoid the building of substandard structures, yet there are substandard structures everywhere, and there are quacks everywhere too. But when I checked Medicine which deals directly with human life, this stringent condition does not apply.
Even undergraduate medical doctors attend to patients in the clinic- that is why they have university teaching hospital. In law, which deals with justice, this undue strictness does not also apply, everyone knows that there are incompetent lawyers and judges everywhere in Nigeria- that is why there is Appeal to cases and judgement.
I, Graduate Engineer Abbah Rufus, on behalf of all concerned undergraduate and graduate engineers in Nigeria, make the following suggestions, submission, appeal, or demands as the case may be, to the Nigerian Government:
1. COREN should be reformed immediately to allow immediate adoption of graduate engineers into the engineering profession with all privileges, either automatically or with lesser conditions.
2. The national Assembly should initiate a bill to make a law that will establish Engineering Institute, that will be regulated. This institute will have NSE responsibility to prepare the graduate engineer for professionalism.
3. There should be Engineer General of the Federation. Who is to among other functions, be the Chief Adviser to the government on Engineering, Technology and Industry issues. Just like there is Attorney General of the Federation, Auditor General of the Federation, Accountant General of the Federation, and surveyor General of the Federation.
4. Government should ensure that credit from Bank of Industries is given to engineers with minimal or zero interest rate, to encourage engineering, and National Industrialization.
5. There should be an order of mandamus, from the office of the Engineer General of the Federation to companies operating in Nigeria to as a matter of obligation, to engage undergraduate engineer during his period of internship to improve his engineering experience with stipend to offset the cost of his logistics.
Graduate Engineer, Abbah Rufus.