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Engineers tasked on mentorship, support for female practitioners

By Victor Gbonegun
20 January 2020   |   4:14 am
The new president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Babagana Mohammed, has urged established professionals to groom young engineers. Such gesture, he said, was important so that the young graduates would be job creators for themselves and others.

The new president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Babagana Mohammed, has urged established professionals to groom young engineers.
Such gesture, he said, was important so that the young graduates would be job creators for themselves and others. He stated this during his investiture as the president of the society in Abuja. Mohammed also called for urgent moves towards equipping the young people with skills.

According to him, what matters now to the society is the greater good of the nation even as the world is moving away from certificate-based employment to skills based ones. He emphasised on the need to build the country on different fronts particularly by aligning with the national development goals 2030 and ensures that the profession gives its best to national development. Mohammed further assured that members with ideas, which could move the nation forward would get supports from the society.

In his speech, his predecessor, Adekunle Mokuolu, encouraged the new president to uphold the ideals of the association and ensure that he gives his best to uplift members. He urged him to ignore any form of distraction especially from people who have nothing good to offer. The chairperson of the investiture planning committee, Aishatu Umar, acknowledged the qualities of Babagana Mohammed, his good intentions as well as his drive to move the society forward.

Similarly, the new president of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Mrs. Funmilola Ojelade, has advised governments and Nigerians to support the task of increasing the number of practicing female engineers in the country. Ojelade, who said there was the need for a ‘revolution of girl-child’, opting for engineering as a career, called for the encouragement of women to achieve professional excellence as leaders in the profession and the society.She stated this during her investiture at the weekend in Lagos.

According to her, the association having gained a mileage of 10 years, has attained significant height and visibility impacting lives of girls and pupils in primary/secondary schools through scholarship awards and, honours for engineering professionals who are role models, but stressed that more needs to be done to boost participation of the girl-child in the profession.Mrs. Ojelade disclosed that the association would intensify efforts at introducing the town and gown mentoring for pupils to help them develop skills required in the industry and make them employable.

She stressed that the ‘invent it, build it’ programmme, an innovative challenge for pupils would be further spread across the six geo-political zones of the country, to advance the participation of women in engineering. Also, NSE president, Babagana Mohammed lauded the tenure of the out-gone president of APWEN, Dr. Felicia Agubata for championing programmes that drew government and other stakeholders’ attention to the education of the girl-child, with emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), training for our girls and their teachers.

Mohammad charged the new President of APWEN, to lead by example by exhibiting quality leadership skills for others to follow.“As we all know, nothing good comes easy, therefore her present status can be explained against the backdrop of hard work and dedication to the ideals of NSE. I have no doubt in my mind at all that as the President of APWEN, she will put all her knowledge and experience to bear in moving APWEN to the next level in the drive for the growth of Engineering. We will look forward to a very purposeful tenure, and be rest assured that we will offer our full support from the Headquarters.”

Muhammad restated commitment to bringing the engineering profession in Nigeria back on the path of honour and glory through implementation of action plans for members’ development. In her address, the chairman, First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika acknowledged the shortage of women in science and engineering in the country stressing that the development is not due to absence of women that are smart enough to get through it but the lack of diversity of gender which has rob off negatively on the engineering profession. Awosika who spoke on, ‘Diversity of expression’, urged women in the profession, to be open minded and understand that engineering education only enhance certain approach to do things in terms of specificity, and attention to details. She advised them to apply the skills that the profession offers, to every other endeavours of life and impact more lives by finding solutions to problems.

“Even though you are trained as engineers, use your training to restructure a society that has no structure, and rebuild a society where the process of governance requires discipline. Don’t walk away with just your engineering degree or engineering work, but be the guy who because of your engineering training can challenge the government process because it’s not working as it should and help to redesign the process in a way that there would be continuity”.

“Encourage the young women and offer them the options that the world of engineering offers, that they could be anything they want to be. How does the skill you acquired combine with the gifts and talents of your life and bring them together to change the world, create value. You need to think outside of the box. Take out the rigidness of the profession and make it simpler for the next generation to understand that it is not as difficult as people thinks but have capacity to learn, innovate and do great things,” she added.