The Nigerian Institution of Safety Engineers (NISE), a division of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has conferred Fellowship on Engr. Akin Olateru, the Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
NISE said that Olateru who was among the top 10 professionals conferred with the honour was recognized for his professional performance since he was appointed as the helmsman in the bureau.
Other professionals conferred with the prestigious recognition are Dr. Maikanti Baru, former Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engr. Oladimeji Oguntominiyi, the Director Highways Construction and Rehabilitation, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Engr. Babagana Mohammed, Deputy President, Nigerian Society of Engineers and Engr. Idris Abubakar, Executive Director, Engineering and Technical Services, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Others are Engr. Salisu Daura, Director of Engineering Services, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engr. Bayo Adio, Managing Director, Thoriums Limited, Engr. Benjamin Olamijulo, Managing Director, Accord Engineering Limited and Engr. Funsho Adebiyi, Regional Director (South West), Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
Engr. Adeyemi Oyedepo, the President, NISE in his remarks said that Olateru’s performance in office was unprecedented and charged him to continue in that stead.
He explained that the Fellowship conferment on Olateru and others was not a frivolous jamboree, but a sacred occasion and opportunity to honour and celebrate with Nigerian and non-Nigerian members who he said had attained the highest level in engineering safety and clearly exhibited exceptional achievements in their careers and in engineering safety.
He added: “For today’s conferment, our screening committee has selected 10 safety icons from all engineering fields to be made worthy fellows. The selection process reminded me of the Beans Theory of Selection; when you put a handful of beans in a bowl of water, the light-weight and weevil ravaged ones float to the surface to be thrown away, while the viable one and useful ones sink to the bottom.
“I urge them to see the Fellowship as a call to more engineering safety service, a ladder and motive to be an engineering safety mentor, counselor, catalyst, coach, supporter, anchor and promoter.”
In his speech, Olateru lauded the leadership of NISE for the conferment, describing it as a great honour.
Olateru, however, lamented that Nigeria does not punish Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) for non-performance, stressing that Nigeria never put too much emphasis on performance.
He vowed that he would consistently uphold the ethics of the profession and offer maximum supports to organizations that seek to promote safety in the sector.
He said that aviation industry was a very dynamic one, which required maximum concentration, stressing that with dedication, the industry would move forward.
Olateru who was the first African to be honoured with the award of Fellowship by Royal Aeronautic Society in United Kingdom, maintained that recognition of hard work by organisations and associations would encourage improved performance.
He said: “What gives me joy is when people recognize your efforts. It is a great pleasure for me to be awarded this Fellowship. Aviation is very dynamic, while a lot of things change regularly.”
Olateru further charged the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) to participate with the Federal Government in solving the power challenge in the country, stressing that several factories had closed shops because of lack of constant electricity supply.
He insisted that employment generation was hinged on effective power supply, which he lamented had taken the backseat in the country for almost four decades.
He noted that France generates uranium from Niger Republic to power energy, wondering why Nigeria, a close neighbour to the West African country could not do the same through it engineers.
“France is one of the biggest electricity generators via nuclear energy. France gets uranium from Niger Republic. We are a next door neighbour to Niger Republic. Why can’t we benefit from this? We have been on 10,000mw in the last 20 years. Something must be done urgently to address this gap.
“A lot of organizations have left Nigeria because of lack of electricity supply. Our institutions are turning out young graduates and engineers, but they are not employed and have no work to do,” he said.