Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) yesterday formally kick-started its N600 million smart innovation hub at the national headquarters of the organisation in Abuja, a development it said will help boost the country’s new digital economy.
Speaking at the event, the President of the NSE, Tasiu Gidari-Wudil, noted that the move was in fulfilment of one of the administration’s focus to ensure the ease of doing business and more transparency in the profession.
The event was themed: “Embracing the Digital Future: Unveiling the NSE Smart Innovation Hub,” and was attended by engineering professionals, government officials and captains of industry.
Aside providing an official business space reserved to foster productivity and networking for its consumers and stakeholders, the president noted that the hub would integrate technologies, services, tools, and data analytics that empower users to lessen face-to-face interaction.
The smart office dashboard, he added, would have a unified web interface that can allow users to sign-up for available physical and virtual office spaces, executive conferences and workshops and organised virtual meetings with physical access control policies.
He listed the objectives of the hub to include serving as a smart business solution to members; making the learning curve easier by providing available resources, with an e-library that can be accessible both online and on the premise.
“It will provide a technology innovation hub that will facilitate Research & Development (R&D), mentorship and product development to the NSE financial members and other stakeholders,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the event, who doubles as the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) Managing Director, Mohammed Alkali, said the commission would back any endeavour to promote engineering, innovation and technology which he described as the bedrock of the NEDC’s operations.
Besides, Alkali stated that when completed, the centre would create a space for research and development, innovation challenges, and ease of doing business, to impact positively on the economic and technological development of the country.
In his intervention, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Wema Bank, Moruf Oseni, said the project embodies the fusion of engineering brilliance and digital innovation.
According to him, it also holds the potential to reshape businesses, industries, and the nation as a whole.
“The NSE innovation hub, will be a haven for minds that dare to dream and innovate. It will be a breeding ground for collaboration, where thinkers, makers, and visionaries come together to shape the next wave of progress.
“The AI/IoT Lab will be a sanctuary for exploring the limitless potential of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. It is where we will unlock solutions to complex challenges, revolutionising industries, and the way we interact with the world around us,” he added.
He stated that the hub would serve as a sanctuary for engineers and professionals to collaborate and innovate as well as offer training and resources to facilitate the adoption of digital technologies within businesses and organisations.
Also speaking, Group Managing Director, Sahara Group, Kola Adesina, stated that today’s engineers have gone beyond designing structures and systems, but are now data architects, leveraging information to drive decision-making, optimisation and efficiency.
He explained that it was the responsibility of engineers to ensure that digital technologies are accessible to all, regardless of their socio-economic background.
“This smart innovation hub should not stop here, we should see this replicated in schools across the country where government and private sector collaborate to make it a reality,” he advised.
According to him, innovation ecosystems remain a fertile ground for start-ups, entrepreneurs, and engineers to collaborate and create transformative solutions.
Adesina, stressed that connectivity comes with increased vulnerability to cyberattacks, urging engineers to prioritise cybersecurity in their designs and systems as well as adhere to strict data privacy principles to protect individuals’ rights.
A Trustee of the NSE Smart Innovation Hub, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ashiru, in his speech, noted that the facility will play a pivotal role in advancing the engineering profession, assuring that it will gradually expand all over the country.