Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has accepted to mentor students of welding, material science and metallurgy from across Nigerian universities, assuring them of placement in factories to be trained while undergoing their industrial attachment.
Governor Sule made this known when he hosted the officials of the National Association of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Students, NAMMES at the Government House, Thursday.
Though the Governor declined the association’s request to be its grand patron, he however demonstrated his willingness to reach out to his former general manager, who’s now retired but who has tremendous experience and capacity to mentor members of the NAMMES.
The governor who regretted that his schedule may not allow him give members of the NAMMES the required attention however assured them of his continuous support.
“I don’t have to be your grand patron to support you. I think it will be my responsibility. I don’t want to accept a big title and then at the end of the day, you call me and call me.
My General Manager is a a metallurgy and material engineer, “His name is Engineer Bryan Ogunwale. He is one of the finest that I have known when it comes to area of maintenance, metallurgy, welding machine and the rest of that. He is fantastic. And he just retired. He worked for me as my general manager but I always saw him almost as a mentor to me. He believes in the youth, he will create the time, he doesn’t need your money. He is the one to travel everywhere to get internship for you,” he said.
The Governor assured that, the man he has lined up for the responsibility of mentoring the students will also get jobs for them.
He expressed confidence that he will reach out the industry practitioners, especially factories that shutdown mostly during Christmas periods and who mostly require the services of welders and fabricators.
“What we will do is that we will go ahead and connect you with the businesses that we believe have what we call shutdown. Most of these businesses shutdown during the Christmas period and when they shutdown they are looking for fitters and welders,” he stated.
Engineer Sule cited factories in Ikeja, sugar refineries and automobile assembly plants, as examples of companies that shutdown during Christmas and who could afford to provide training for members of the NAMMES while on industrial attachment.
He commended the officials of the NAMMES, particularly the national president, Miss Umah Roseline Ojochogwu, for her ingenuity in steering the affairs of the association.
“I was even going to start supporting but you have already started. I was moved by the fact that you could also put together as students some money to support one of you who couldn’t pay their fees. That is a wonderful thing you are trying to do,” he pointed out.
Engineer Sule encouraged the students to see their profession as a thing of pride, stressing that the future holds great potentials for them. He pointed out that there is a growing demand for professional welders and fitters and as such, members of the NAMMES should see their profession as any other engineering discipline.
“It’s something that you all should be proud of and continue to follow. You are in a profession that you should be proud of because there are opportunities for you. I don’t want you to throw it away,” he stated.
Earlier, in an opening remarks, National President of the National Association of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering Students, Miss Umah Roseline Ojochogwu, appreciated the Governor for finding time out of his tight schedule to receive them.
Miss Ojochogwu said the NAMMES under her leadership, is reaching out to successful professionals who will mentor and guide them, as according to her, the association is facing the challenge of lack of experts in the field that can provide training for students across the country.
“We have had so many challenges. First is mentorship. We have been less privileged to meet people in the field who are doing exploits, to train us or to give us hope and insights about what the future promises us,” she said.
She particularly lamented the daunting challenge faced by members of the association when it comes to IT placement, which is a mandatory requirement before they could graduate.
“We go to places and they tell us they have mechanical engineers. During my tenure, I made sure I wrote several organisations but only a few accepted us and allowed us to send in students to train with them,” she explained.
The NAMMES national president said that informed her decision to visit Engineer Sule, whom she described as an outstanding role model.
“I was overwhelmed when I learnt you belong to us, you are not just an engineer but you are our own father. We are proud of you Sir, we are honoured. Thank you for giving us hope. You are our only shining star now,” she stated.
She disclosed that, based on the recommendations, the association has decided to honour Engineer Sule with the title of the grand patron of the NAMMES with a view to flying the flag of the association.
She commended the Governor for his visible development strides that she said, is making Nasarawa State stand out among its peers.