I was just reading on a post on www.nairaland.com 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?
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.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
NIGERIAN ENGINEERING GRADUATES
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- can the typical Nigerian engineering graduate ‘perform’ if given the opportunity?
- 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’.
- when will the chapter of discrimination between HND and BSc graduates be concluded on a National level.
THE ENGINEERING PROFESSION
- are there enough jobs available where the frieshie-graduate can avail of immediate experience to keep going.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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?
- 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?
EXPARTIATE / EXPERTRIATE QUOTA
- base-level: is it right to employ an expatriate to do the job that should be made compulsorily available to the Nigerian engineering graduate?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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 …..
LETS PUT OUR HEADS TOGETHER:
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.