The Nigerian Engineering Series – Nairaland: Nigerian engineers are not competent

I was just reading on a post on entitled: Nigerian engineers are not competent. The title strikes me to the bone, maybe because I am a Nigerian and an engineer, but I beg your pardon: I am competent.

The post starter begins his talk with:

Please fellow Nairalanders, Why do we have more Foreigners expert in the Niger-Delta than their Nigerian counterparts? Also, Why should our Engineers be sent abroad for further acquisition of knowledge on Engineering? Are Nigerian engineers not competent? If yes what are the reasons?

read on here

Looking around myself, especially in the engineering field, and even besides the Niger-Delta issues, the truth is there are a lot of bona-fide Nigerian engineers walking the streets (jobless) while ‘Foreign experts'(lets give them the benefit of the ‘expert’ doubt) are doing the jobs that, in the real sense belong to Nigerian engineering graduates.



  1. Should we say there is a serious dearth of knowledge in the Nigerian engineering circle: a dearth of knowledge in the engineering-challenges beholding us and a total lack of knowledgeable Nigerians to face such challenges?
  2. considering how far we have come, and the general enlightenment level, can the ‘Nigerian engineer’ (big picture) rightly say that he does not know what to do / where to source information from independently?
  3. are Nigerian engineers-in-general ingenious in Nature? are they smart or are they outrightly stupid? are they merely theoretical results of an epileptic University system where they graduated from just by the grace of God? to the point that all hope is lost as far as getting-them-in-shape is concerned and therefore their 5-engineering certificate is merely equal to an American/European Engineering student semester / summer course?
  4. how can ‘ingenuity’, ‘originality’, ‘invention’ and ‘self-sustenance’ be promoted and enforced in the long run of engineering profession, considering that Nigeria is becoming more a dumping ground of every kind of product manufactured anywhere in the world.


  1. does the typical 1st or 2nd-class upper certificate translate to an intelligent University graduate in the place of work? a competent engineer/employee in the line of duty and responsibility?
  2. is the problem that the typical / fresh-engineering graduate does not ‘truly know anything’ upon graduation or that he needs an EXTRA AND LITTLE TRAINING to put him/her in shape?
  3. how much, how long(time) and what are the financial implications of this ‘EXTRA LITTLE TRAINING’? should employers / will employers be willing to invest in the Nigerian engineer?
  4. can the typical Nigerian engineering graduate ‘perform’ if given the opportunity?
  5. is the Nigerian engineering graduate willing to learn? is he willing to work? is he trust-worthy enough to take on responsibility. Is he or she curious enough to learn by self without being guided in the A-Z? how long after an initial training can the Nigerian engineer be depended upon and labeled ‘competent’.
  6. when will the chapter of discrimination between HND and BSc graduates be concluded on a National level.


  1. are there enough jobs available where the frieshie-graduate can avail of immediate experience to keep going.
  2. base-level: Is it right to employ a non-engineering-graduate to do the job of an engineering graduate? and vice-versa? can the ‘find a job by all means’ mentality be erased from the Nigerian mentality?
  3. is there a motivation upon graduation that drives the engineering graduate to really seek to practice his/her profession? or just to find a job, just to be engaged doing something.
  4. Nigerian engineering women – where are they? are they technical enough? are they allowed to strut their stuff as far as know-how is concerned, or is the ‘she is just a woman’ Nigerian cultural bias allowed to take root even in the place of work? what of the salary-scale of male and female engineers? are males not given a preference?
  5. From inflated government contracts to collapsing buildings, don’t we need regulatory bodies in every area of engineering endeavor to monitor the activity/professional capacity of our engineers?


  1. base-level: is it right to employ an expatriate to do the job that should be made compulsorily available to the Nigerian engineering graduate?
  2. talking of expatriates, is the ‘necessity for a superior technical-expertise not available locally promoted and enforced by the Nigerian Engineering stakeholders,  Nigerian embassies, etc., abroad who issue working visas to these expats?
  3. why do we have a lot of expatriates who are fresh graduates from their countries taking up a first employment in Nigeria/Africa? Isn’t it insultive on our mental capacity as a nation?
  4. where is the definition of RECIPROCITY BETWEEN NATIONS as far as expatriate employment is concerned? are Nigerians given employment consideration in the same technical capacity/commensurate salary scale in foreign countries for which a lot of expatriates are availing themselves on a monthly basis as they arrive in droves at our international airports? is there any regulatory body in the Nation making sure there is no abuse of local talent?
  5. when will Nigeria begin to export technical talent.


I have put the above questions on the fly, and I believe, I have stimulated a nerve somewhere up there. At least we are now on the same frequency.  I will try to do justice to some of the above in my subsequent posts on this issue commonly I’ve titled: the Nigerian Engineering Series …..



p.s do you want to contribute? put some thoughts together, answer(full/partially) one of the above / related questions as a regular post.

Kindly mail your entries to africantux at gmail dot com. It will be nice to see the other side of the coin from another persons man’s looking glass.




13 responses

  1. i think the way thing is working in nigeria this day , most people are now appreciating the work of HND than b sc because let look at it from develop country that know the meaning of education they tell you HND is much more better than graduate .if it bcos of prof in university
    i see you,he is not next book that those great scientist they published that they still bring out.go out their go and see what work shop attendant is doing in will see that prof is yours a name.thank’s

  2. that article is so true. i work with a Geology and Civil Engineering consulting firm as the Company secretary/Personnel Manager. We are currently employing for our civil engineering dept and it has been a rather difficult task for me to select one competent person from the loads of application.

    It’s such a shame!!
    We want a graduate of Civil Engineering or Geology with a minimum of 2:2 from the University. Post NYSC experience of 2yrs minmum will be an added advantage.
    Sufficient exposure to site works and preparing of reports (especially soil investigation reports) is also an advantage.
    If there’re any competent ones out there pls send ur cv’s to Maybe you could help me stop my search.

  3. divine ezekiel

    If given a chance some do perform.I’m one of such who believe in oppurtunity.Let NIGERIANS be given the right environment and support foreign counterpart do have,they wouldn’t fail us.

  4. Awodi John J.

    Sincerely speaking,there is nothing like giving an opportunity. Because,after graduation you could imagine what Nigeria Engineering
    Applicants are passing through.Counting all the companies with huge insult from the gate men of and all sort as that.Since 2007 February that I finish my NYSC,if not for Plumbing work that is keeping my hand engaged,I wander what could have be my state by now.As a mechanical engineer (HND)consider the money involves in training if is what individual can afford.Without working where will that experience so required come from?Coupled discrimination we are facing in this country,instead of moving forward after HND,to get out of this,we must go back to university to get out of this mess…

  5. I am an electrical/RF engineer oversees and have since wandered about the state of engineering in Nigeria myself. In my opinion, I do not believe the Nigerian engineering grauate to be incompetent or inferior to foreign engineers in any way, but rather I believe that most of our young graduates are handicaped due to a lack of adequate training needed to mitigate the challenges of working in a real engineering job. The abstract training aquired in college must be coupled with real life skill sets that are being employed in their field or industry.
    What I have read on this forum tells me that the Nigerian engineering community may be at fault partially, and will have to be willing to invest time and money in the training of its engineering students. Abroad, many in the engineering industry understand the need for training, and that’s why they invest immensly in the pre gradute and new graduates within their early years in order to bring them up to a minimum level of proficiency on the job. I think we can do a better job in this area overall.
    Also, engineering firms must believe in our young graduates and be willing to hire them fresh out of school. Those are my thoughts for now..

  6. john j. awodi contact me at once.

  7. Akwuh adawebo samson

    Longing to meet you now. He is my uncle and iam writting his on behalf of him and the family. Use his address to get in touch with me and you all so get him. How is abraham?

  8. If you are concerned about maintaining the prevailing natural conditions, then all the professionals interested in a structural project for instance planners and civil engineers will come up with solutions that don’t alter the natural environment. — 1852 Century Place

  9. Nigeria is at fault because the educational system is not structured H.N.D Engineering graduates are being discriminated because Nigeria believes in certificate not competence.Is a pity.Nigeria is doomed if we do not change our H.N.D to B.Tech degree so we can have equality.I am an H.N.D Grad very intelligent but is all a waste because i am discriminated because of my H.N.D Mechanical i did for four years, what a pity.Now i am thinking of carrying my knowledge oversees where i can be regarded as an engineer even further to Msc.No place in the world H.N.D is done for five years only in Nigeria where their educational system is not structured, the government they are all happy to see inequality.I went to poly because i had no money to bribe my way in to university like others did way back but still we came out with same cert that stands for same purpose.Please test the H.N.D and University grads tell me What you see.What i see is They are both good and some of both are bad.Please lets unite to kill this National monster called Discrimination.Thanks.


    Dr Kolawole Peter HND, PhD
    We need to change our atitude.

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