The Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, on Monday in Lagos called for manpower development to address the skill gap in engineering practice to achieve rapid national growth.
He made the call during the flag-off of the Rauf Aregbesola Engineering Resource Centre being constructed by the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).
Aregbesola, a fellow of the NSE, was represented by Mr Kolawole Omotunde-Young, a former Commissioner for Education in Osun.
According to the minister, every aspect of life has bearing on engineering.
He cited health, telecommunications, transportation, aviation, power, housing as examples of some sectors propelled by engineering.
The minister said that though engineering was important for positive growth and development, some criminal minds turned it into negative avenues for destruction.
He said that he had been in partnership with the Ikeja Branch of NSE for over 21 years, and thanked them for the honour to name the edifice, meant to bridge the skill gap in engineering, after him.
“Practically, everything that has to with man has a touch of engineering.
“We lament our lack of development and stunted growth in comparative terms, but to think that most of what is now Nigeria, especially our big cities, used to be thick jungles, is humbling.
“It will surely get better. Engineers, just keep at it. It is my sincere hope that our world will be made better by engineering,” he said.
The minister said that the resource centre would be a modest contribution of the Ikeja Branch to that dream.
“I urge everyone to contribute in one way or the other to its erection.
“I must sincerely thank the association, particularly the chairperson of the branch, for her dedication and zeal toward the realisation of this goal.
“My special thanks go to everyone that supported my nomination and have pledged to contribute cash, materials, knowledge and any resource in kind,” he said.