Mechanical Engineering Students Urged to Embrace Entrepreneurship
Mr. Nicholas Barberapaulos, a veteran in the Foundry industry, has described entrepreneurship as a panacea to unemployment among youths in Nigeria as he urged Mechanical Engineering Students to embrace enterprise.
He said this at the just concluded Town and Gown Seminar organised by Covenant University’s Mechanical Engineering Department on Wednesday, January 20, 2016; where he was the guest speaker.
Mr. Barberapaulos, who spoke on the topic, ‘The History and Development of Foundry Practice in Nigeria,’ pledged his commitment to the goal of the university to equip its students with job creation mentality and skills. He said that Covenant University students are welcome to undertake any level of internship with his company. “This,’ he said, “would help to provide the students with practical hands-on training geared towards preparing them for possible careers in ‘Foundry’ business.”
Mr. Barberapaulos, who is also the Deputy Managing Director, Nigeria Foundries Limited, situated in Ilupeju, Lagos State, stated during his presentation, that the importance of iron to human progress and development cannot be over-emphasised. He explained the process of extracting the pure iron, as smelting, and the by-product as wrought (worked) iron; stating that the earliest evidence of iron-work in Sub Saharan Africa, came from the Jos Plateau in Nigeria, and from the area around Lake Victoria.
He further said that the Bantu speaking tribes, holding this technology way back then progressed with better farming and faster and more lethal hunting techniques. He emphasized that iron means power, therefore, dexterity in iron works in the early 1800s gave rise to several powerful kingdoms in Sub-Saharan Africa. Iron he said, is still powerful today, and now has other components like steel which is more malleable.
He encouraged Covenant University students to consider developing careers in the area of Foundry ownership and operations; stressing that the current shortage of employment opportunities in Africa is as a result of ignorance, lack of adequate career guidance and skills development.
The veteran further advised the students to pay attention to the efforts of the management of the university to provide them with skill development opportunities in different areas of engineering. This is in order to expose them to a broad range of information, helping them decide on favourable specialty areas even prior to graduation.
In his remarks at the occasion, the Dean of the College, Professor John Ndueso, represented by the Sub-Dean, Dr. David Omole, expressed his appreciation for the commitment of the Nigerian Foundries Limited towards partnering with the university in pursuit of its vision of raising a new generation of leaders. He commended the company’s efforts, stating that it would encourage local participation and spur the interest of the youths in nursing the idea behind metallurgical and materials engineering and invariably improve the university’s drive for local content participation.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Head of Department, Dr. Oluseyi Ajayi, welcomed the speaker, Mr. Barberapaulos, and enthused at the prospect of the impending formalisation of the partnership between the Nigerian Foundries Limited and Covenant University. He stated that the partnership will enhance the university’s efforts towards becoming a world-class university by the year 2022. The HOD encouraged the students to be attentive, expressing his conviction that the information emanating from the Town and Gown Seminar and discussions, would be invaluable to the students in building them up to become industry players in the future.
Also present at the event were the Director, Vision 10:2022, Professor Christian Bolu; Professor Israel Dunmade ; Professor Festus Oyawale and other members of the Mechanical Engineering Department.