The Role of Engineers in Economic Development

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  THE ROLE OF ENGINEERS IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA   There is a great reliance on technology to solve environmental problems around the  world today with an almost universal reluctance by governments and those who advise them to make the social and political changes that would be necessary to reduce growth in production and consumption; yet the sorts of technological changes that would be necessary to keep up with and counteract the growing environmental damage caused by increases in production and consumption would have to be fairly dramatic. The technological fixes of the past will not do. And the question remains: can such a dramatic and radical design of our technological system occur without causing major social changes, and will it occur without a rethinking of political priorities? Technology is not independent of society either in its shaping or its effects. In the data of human experience, our tools need to interact with every component of our existence: physically, environmentally, educationally, psychologically, socio-economically, politically and spiritually in order to be fully relevant to human needs. Sustainable economic development is the challenge of meeting human needs for natural resources, induce trial products, energy, food transportation, shelter and effective waste management while conserving and protecting environment for future human and capital development, when they are fully harnessed to create jobs and generate income for the government, for the purpose of economic development and transformation of society. To enable engineers fully be part of the economic development, there should be  broadening and strengthening the education of engineers and finding innovative  ways to achieve needed economic development in all areas while conserving and preserving natural resources.  Who is an engineer?     According to Oxford advanced learners English dictionary, an Engineer is a person  whose job involves designing and building engines, machines, roads, bridges, etc or a person who is trained to repair and control engines. An engineer can be Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, Materials, Electronic, Petroleum, Software, Chemical, etc. Engineers are also found in military barracks because they design and build military structures and equipments, so they can be soldiers as well. We also have Genetic Engineers. The profession of Engineering is similar to that of accounting, medicine, law, architecture and so forth, as it requires a high degree of integrity and accountability. Therefore, to strengthen the effectiveness of the engineering profession, they need to  be regulated with an appropriate Code of Conduct. Developments, whether they are infrastructure, private, public or tourism based cannot take place without proper input from professional engineers. It is for this reason, the profession of engineering must be regulated. ã For Legislative Efficiency   - To have a comprehensive, consistent statutory registration system for engineers that would alleviate inconsistencies across jurisdictions. ã  For Professional Recognition- So that the set of standards and skills expected of the engineers are maintained. ã For the Industry/consumer efficiency  - To provide consumers with the level of experience and skills that is required of the engineer  What is economic development?  Economics can be defined in many ways; the following are some of the definitions. Economics is the human Science which studies the relationship between scarce resources and their various uses which compete for these resources. Economics is the study of how people choose to allocate limited resources to satisfy their unlimited wants. Economics is the study of how society decide what to produce, how to produce and whom to produce. Purpose of studying economics by engineers is to learn how not to be deceived by economists.  Economic development is the development of economic wealth of countries or regions for the well-being of their inhabitants. The economic development process supposes that the legal and institutional adjustments are made to give incentives for innovation and for investments so as to develop an efficient production and distribution for goods and services. Economic development is a sustainable increase in living standards that implies increased per capita income, better education and health as well as environmental protection. Development is economics on a social level that has evolved into a professional industry of highly specialized practitioners normally working in public- private partnership that are sanctioned and many times at least partially funded by local, regional and state/ provincial tax . These economic development corporations function as individual entities and in some cases as departments of local governments. Their role is to seek out new economic opportunity and retain their existing business wealth. There is intensive competition between communities, states and nations for new economic projects. The creation and retention struggle is further intensified by the use of many variations of economic incentives to the potential business. These incentives vary greatly and can be highly controversial. The measurement of success within this industry is normal job creation, economic growth and increased or retained tax base. How engineers can ensure a sustainable economic development  Sustainable economic development can only occur as a result of the creation of a  worldwide caring community. A Community of people who are working together for common ends and to meet the basic needs of all our people. The concept of sustainable economic development is central to the achievement of these key goals. It can be taught of in terms of policies and programs designed to meet their own needs. The achievement of sustainable economic development requires a new and different approach to policy making and its implementation. The Government is looking for greater integration and co-ordination of policy making and its implementation across the public sector and across social economic and environmental policy  portfolios. It is also looking for an approach characterized by greater partnership  between central government, local government, economic entities, private industry and other community groups. Engineers must lead this new industrial economic revolution. There is some excellent leadership by professional organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers(IEEE), World Engineering Partnership for Sustainable Development (WEPSD), World Federation of Engineering Organization (WFEO), Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and  World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), among others to make sustainable economic development high priority in engineering and business  both in practice and in the education of future engineers. They are promoting codes of practice, education, mentoring programs and policy changes that will encourage the engineering profession to lead this economic revelation. The engineering courses being studied in higher institution of learning should also include borrowed courses that bother on acquiring business knowledge and skills at the first and at the second year level in order for the engineers to be able to relate their engineering practice to the business reality on ground, in order to contribute fully to the economic development of Nigeria . That’s one way the engineers can be fully integrated into the running of the country. Designing a sustainable future requires a paradigm shift towards a systematic perspective which encompasses the complex interdependence of individual, social, cultural, spiritual, economic and political activities and the biosphere. The engineers of the future must be much more interdisciplinary –  the lines between the traditional engineering disciples must be much more fluid. Engineers will have to oin forces with biologist, chemist, meteorologist, economics, planners, political scientists, ethicists, religionists and community leaders in unprecedented ways to lead the society on a sustainable economic path. Since it is likely that we will double the amount of housing and building construction in the twenty-first century (and buildings utilize a tremendous amount of materials and energy) it is imperative that civil engineers team up with architects, planners
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