A video Conference Meeting Presentation to the N.I.E.E.E. on May 9, 2020
NIEEE MEETING PRESENTATION BY TITI OMO-ETTU 09052020
TEXT OF THE PRESENTATION
Covid-19 & the Nigerian Economy: The Engineers’ Perspective
Titi Omo-Ettu FAEng, FNSE
May 9, 2020
For me the responsibility of the ENGINEER is to solve human problems using the KNOWLEDGE, LAWS, and RESOURCES of science and technology.
COVID-19 is one problem that caught the whole world UNAWARES and UNPREPARED. More so ENGINEERS across the world.
That is not to say whatever solutions that are required are impossible. If an engineer tells you any solution is impossible, please tell him that he is a liar. He is facing either one or all of three problems: It is either he does not know what to do, or he cannot afford the solution he knows, or he does not want to solve the problem
Since it waded into our lives it has taken away lives, diminished inter-persons’ RELATIONSHIPS and took all economies of the world DOWNWARDS.
In places like ours where the economy has never been strong it has brought the economy to its knees, not yet totally but ultimately so.
In Nigeria, many engineers and engineering schools have engaged in designing solutions to problems that came DIRECTLY on the heels of COVID-19
As we speak, The four most common solutions that have been presented are HANDWASHING and SANITIZER DISPENSERS, FACE SHIELDS, IR THERMOMETERS, and VENTILATORS. I say this with authority and as a strong player in the Nigerian Academy of Engineering which is about now MOBILISING such efforts across the country for RAPID PRODUCTION.
While those efforts are relevant to address immediate problems, my real concern is the need to prescribe solutions to PROBLEMS THAT WILL ARISE after the pandemic might have hopefully subsided or contained to safe levels.
In other words, I want to do a forecast of the imminent condition and status of the economy at the end of the pandemic and what SOLUTIONS engineers will need to provide for the purpose OF THAT TIME to make the solutions RELEVANT and SUSTAINABLE.
For analysis, let us take the global economy for about a GDP of 140 trillion USD. And consider that
Nigeria has a GDP of 420 billion USD and that is already being bastardised by global oil consumption and price plummeting.
MY TAKE IS THAT ENGINEERS SHOULD PUT THEIR MINDS TO DESIGNING SOLUTIONS FOR POST PANDEMIC NIGERIA WHILE THE ON-GOING EFFORTS TO SOLVE IMMEDIATE PROBLEMS ARE NOT IGNORED.
The following interest areas are suggested
• Respiratory Equipment
• Personal Protection Equipment
• Early detection Technologies
• Environmental Infection Control
• Personal Hygiene Engineering
ON THE BALANCE, it is suggested that Engineers are guided by the following solution bases to make their solutions relevant and sustainable. Namely; PREVENTION, DETECTION AND PROTECTION.
In doing this, the following forecasts are presented:
1. Nigerians consumption pattern will shift to NEEDS rather than WANTS
2. JOBS are bound to be LOST and there may be a rise in tendency to ROB
3. Solution users are going to be conscious of VALUE FOR MONEY and not just paying any amount for anything.
4. Regrettably I cannot vouch for improved public power supply BUT I hasten to say this is a problem of POOR MANAGEMENT rather than LACK OF TECHNICAL CAPACITY.
5. I bet to say that SOUTH WEST will see considerable improvement in infrastructure build for the reasons that they have voted largely for Engineering to lead their governance.
Other regions are advised to put engineering in priority of their choice of who govern them.
Thank you and God bless.
+234 802 322 4572
May 9, 2020