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Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has expressed delight over the emergence of Dr Olufunmilade Akingbabohun, as the national chairman of the Nigerian Institution Of Mechanical Engineers (NIMechE).

Speaking at the investiture of Akingbabohun in Abuja, the minister who lauded the role of engineers in the society, noted that it is even more exciting when the group is being led by a woman in the country.

Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State, Works and Housing, Mu’azu Sambo, said that the job of the mechanical is so critical that everywhere a tool is seen, from machines to computers, to vehicles and aircraft, bulldozers, cranes, caterpillars and so on, the profession should be applauded.

He explained that without their input, along with those of other engineering and science disciplines, the human civilisation will be in some era like the Stone Age, arguing that the mechanical engineer was critical to nation building.

“Of course, while other engineers such as the civil, structural, electrical and those of other specialties have their equally important and complementary roles to play, it is a life without machines that I ask you to think about.

“Imagine if all the work now done by machines were still done by hand. Imagine if all the rocks now hauled by cranes have to be carried by men. Imagine if all the construction machines materials transported by trucks were still being carried on human heads or horseback.

“Indeed, life was once like that until mechanical engineering blazed the trail of the world of machines. This is how far the mechanical engineers and their other colleagues have brought us but it is not the end of innovation for the human civilization.

“This is also why the inauguration of Olufunmilade Akingbagbohun must represent the start of a new dawn for the practice of mechanical engineering in Nigeria.

“Not only do we have infrastructure to deliver for which we need machines, we have a large and growing population that needs to be fed and nourished on a large scale. Therefore, I can only say that this is a challenging time to lead, and a fantastically opportune time to forge an unforgettable legacy,” he stated.

Earlier, at the maiden edition of the NIMechE roundtable tagged: “Agenda Towards A More Competitive Mechanical Practice”, several speakers had underscored the need for training and education of engineers, innovation and entrepreneurship in the field, as well as the need for public/private sectors collaboration.