By Moyosore Salami
The Nigeria Institute of Mechanical Engineering, NIMechE is set to establish a standard Welding Academy in Ondo State in partnership with the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).
The National Chaiperson, Engr. Mrs. Funmilade Akingbagbohun, said “the welding academy is part of efforts to equip graduates with practical skills needed to compete in the industry and contribute to the national development of the country.”
She noted that the situation that enables multinational firms to import welding experts for critical projects in a country where there are thousands who can be trained to handle the job must be checked through the development of local manpower and enhancement of their expertise.
According to her, “NIMechE as an institution was established to contribute to the professional development of mechanical engineers both young and practicing.
“We are working to ensure that our institution lives up to its purpose and also serve our members by providing more opportunity for their career growth”
The National Chairperson observed that the need to close the skill gap in the fabrication industry necessitated the drive to establish the academy noting that the choice of FUTA, stems from its reputation as a serious player in human capital development.
In his response, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Joseph Fuwape thanked the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers for the visit and for choosing FUTA as the base of its mechanical welding workshop adding that FUTA is one of the schools running programmes to support the COREN Outcome Based Education (OBE).
“Your choice of FUTA is not a mistake. We have taken steps to enhance our welding workshop in order for it to deliver optimally in the training of our students and there have been proposals to the NUC. Our objective is to ensure that our graduates are not just engineers by nomenclature but built for purpose. FUTA has been trying to bridge the gap but this infrastructure will give it the needed boost,” he added.
Fuwape, however, approved a parcel of Land for the building of the welding academy in order to ensure prompt take off of the project which would cater for both underwater and surface welding.
He added that the accreditation for a welding certification for the professional development training is to be pursued to ensure standardization. Professor Fuwape gave the assurance that the university is ready to assist with the preliminary works for the successful implementation of the project.
Also, the facilitator of the Welding Academy , Engr.Mike Adeyanju expressed his profound gratitude to FUTA and NIMechE for supporting the project which he said would lead to the bridging of the skills gap in the welding space to boost local content. He promised to start the project immediately when all necessary preparations have been concluded.