A Professor of Industrial and Production Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Buliaminu Kareem, says with proper equipment maintenance culture, Nigeria can attain its rightful position in the comity of technologically advanced nations by 2037.
Speaking on the topic: 'Paradox of Human Physiology: Design and Maintenance from Cradle to Grave' at the 90th inaugural lecture of FUTA, Professor Kareem said just as man needs comfort for excellent performance, machines also require conducive environment to operate efficiently.
Kareem said Nigeria could achieve technological breakthrough by 2037 by taking advantage of the presence of small scale industries and fabrication enterprises.
"Many small and medium scale capital goods shops producing the needs of the people are the only way out of recession and economic instability that many nations find themselves today.
"When local fabrication and production of machinery is encouraged to feed the technological needs of these industries, more goods will be available for local consumption, thereby lowering importation," Kareem said.
The scholar who has researched into performance of various machines further recommended design and fabrication of machines locally using local content to achieve faster maintenance accomplishment at minimum possible cost.
He further called for local competition among stakeholders to reward best invention and innovation.
According to him, competition triggers continued improvement which, in the nearest future, will enable realisation of global technology status.
Analysing machinery failure and maintenance strategy, Kareem said maintaining a good working environment requires colossal sum of money, but failure of resources due to poor working environment would be costlier in the long run than the cost of maintaining conducive working environment.
The inaugural lecturer who was rated one of the best five innovators in Africa in 2011 as well as a recipient of the Best Researcher of 2011 at FUTA, called on relevant agencies like Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) to enforce registration of illegal engineering design and maintenance outfits for easy monitoring and quality control of products.
He also recommended that states could establish Directorate of Need-Driven Research and Development (DINRAD), while higher institutions should have Centre for Need-Driven Research and Development (CENDRAD) under the coordination of seasoned and academic industrial engineers.
Professor Kareem appealed to corporate bodies and individuals to establish smart maintenance (zero-tolerance) system by building capacity for local/indigenous expertise in creating centres for critical equipment and spare parts, to serve as out-sourcing outlet for the production industries.
The FUTA vice chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape, described Professor Kareem as a thoroughbred academic with immense contributions to knowledge both locally and internationally.