By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
A professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Ilorin,Prof. Segun Adedayo has disclosed that welding has a unique peculiarity over other sectors in the country as it provides the highest employment opportunities.
He added that iron bending, automobile parts welding services engaged a considerable highest population of young people for job opportunities.
Adedayo made this disclosure at the 184th Inaugural Lecture of the institution with the theme”Optimal Application of Materials Joining Towards Rapid National Development, held on Thursday at the citadel Auditorium.
According to him registered workshops of self-employed electric arc welders with the active presence of journeymen and apprentices in Ilorin East, Ilorin West and Ilorin South Local government Areas totaled 932 as at 2014.
He said based on data from these three Local government Areas, relative to the total of 774 local government in Nigeria, it was estimated that the number of registered welding workshops in Nigeria may be about 240,456, which he said was an enormous size that plays a significant role in the economy of Nigeria.
He traced the commencement of Welding application in Nigeria to 1896 when the first railway-line between Lagos and Abeokuta was constructed.
Adedayo noted that if the Federal government can develop appropriate local technology, about $140 Million used in importing agricultural machinery between 2016 and 2018 would translate into massive job opportunities.
He identified inadequate laboratory facilities as one of the major deficiencies of several engineering departments in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions.
Adedayo urged the government to create a special location for any welding based engineering outfit with a dedicated power supply from the national grid as stable electricity supply been the bloodline of the sector.
He also said the government should alternatively invite concessionaire to run the Ajaokuta steel company as the complexity of operation of steel plants doesn’t allow for successful as a government parastatal.
The one time employee of Ajaokuta steel company said the government should recognize, regulate and support the informal sector of Welders and other metal fabricators towards optimization of Material joining towards national development.