Years of consolidation and Growth of the NSE Ibadan Branch
By the 1970s, the Nigerian Society of Engineers had stabilized so much so that by 1978, twelve branches of the society had been established across the country. Ibadan Branch had also been able to stand on her feet, and had, indeed, become a horse to be reckoned with in the NSE. For about ten years, it was the only branch in Western Nigeria. Other branches were subsequently established in Lagos (1971), Abeokuta (1978), Akure (1981), Ile-Ife (1982), Osogbo (1985), Ado-Ekiti (1990), and Ilesa (1993). The growth and development of the branch was sustained with a crop of visionary and dedicated leaders who served at one time or the other as branch Chairman: These included the likes of Engr. Teju Oyeleye (1971-1972), Engr. N.O. Oyelola (1972-1973), Engr. H.A. Shadeko (1974-1975), and Engr. Ife Akintunde (1976-1978), Engr. Adegbola Tokun (1979-1981).
Ibadan received another boost in engineering activities from which the branch benefitted in terms of membership with the establishment of the faculty of Technology, University of Ibadan approved to run programmes in Agricultural and Forestry Engineering, Design & Production Engineering and Petroleum Engineering in 1972. This was followed in quick succession with the founding of the Polytechnic, Ibadan in 1970. The Branch Chairman was subsequently made a member of the Board of the Faculty of Technology, University of Ibadan, a platform on which it was able to contribute to the training of engineering students. Many of the engineering firms in the city have also been able to contribute to the training of engineering students of both the University and the Polytechnic by offering their facilities for industrial attachment.
Activities of Ibadan Branch in the 1970s
Some of the major activities of the branch in the 1970s, apart from monthly meetings where technical papers were read and discussed, included seminars and symposia to discuss matters of engineering interest, regular industrial visits to notable engineering establishment such as Kainji dam and Osogbo Steel Rolling Mill; career talks to secondary school students and publication of a newsletter which commenced around 1972/1973 with Engr. Dr. J.B. Adeyeri as the pioneer editor. Monthly meetings of the Branch were held with great enthusiasm and excitement in members’ homes in rotation in the absence of a Branch Secretariat. Not only did members attend meetings regularly, they also participated actively in Branch activities. Branch executive committee comprised 10 members including the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Honorary Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Secretary, 2 Editorial Board members, and 2 Ex-Officio members. Engr. Ife Akintunde recalled with relish the glamorous annual dinners of the Branch anchored by hilarious joke crackers such as Engrs. O.Olugbekan and N.O. Oyelola as Master of Ceremony to which members of other professional associations including lawyers, architects, medical doctors, and others were invited.
Some the feats recorded by the branch during this period include the following:
- It developed the first NSE weekly television programme captioned ‘Focus on Engineering’ in 1971.
- In 1975, the branch hosted the 8th annual conference of the NSE, the theme of which was ‘The Engineering Profession and the Implementation of the 3rd National Development Plan’.
- On November 11, 1977, the branch under the Chairmanship of Engr. Ife Akintunde, successfully launched a five hundred thousand Naira (N500,000.00) Endowment fund on behalf of the NSE Headquarters with following objectives:
- To build an NSE Headquarters with facilities for national and international conferences and seminars, technical and reference library, offices for both the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (as COREN was then known)
- To establish branch offices, libraries and other facilities in important centers in the federation.
- To judiciously invest funds, the proceeds of which will be used for activities promoting the attainment of the objectives of the society, such as publication of journals, bulletins, etc; encouragement of aspirations for excellence through the award of prizes, fellowships, scholarships, participation in international conferences, seminars, etc., and promotion of research and development, the formulation of engineering codes of practice, and in collaboration with appropriate bodies, the establishment of standards.
Some of the prominent engineering firms based in Ibadan that participated in the launching of the endowment fund included:
- Lee Fakino Nig. Ltd
- Adeyemi Ogundipe & partners
- Ette Aro & Partners
- Osot Associate & Partners
- Comprehensive Engineering Consultants
- Associated Constructing Engineers
- Kuforiji & Partners
- Abayomi Olufawo & Partners
- Profen Consultants
- Unique Construction Co. Ltd
- Ove Arup & Partners
- Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick & Partners
Engr. Ife Akintunde vividly and enthusiastically recalled that Engr. Akinyele Fajenyo, the Managing Director of Lee Fakino Nigeria Limited, Bodija Estate, Ibadan donated a handsome sum of N25, 000.00 which went in history as the largest donation to the NSE until then. This generous donation was used as bait to challenge the big engineering firms in Ibadan to make generous donations.
Another plus for Ibadan Branch is its association over the years with one of the success stories in engineering partnership in Nigeria to Ette-Ette Aro & Partners. Established in 1970 by Engr. Ette I. Ette, FNSE, OFR, and the late Engr. Lawrence Arokodare, FNSE, this foremost engineering firm has executed major engineering projects across Nigeria and beyond. Besides, in over 40 years of existence, it has trained over 400 qualified engineers including at least two Presidents of the NSE, Engrs. Mustapha Bulama, FNSE and Olumuyiwa Ajibola, FNSE. It has sponsored over 50 engineers for Master and doctoral degrees overseas. No other engineering firm in Nigeria has recorded such feats to date.
Welfare of Potential and Current Members
Another major activity, for which Ibadan Branch is rather well-known, is the welfare of members paramount in his activities. As part of its annual activities over the years, visits are usually paid to secondary schools for career talks with students to encourage them to study engineering. A visit is also paid biannually to the National Youth Service Corps Orientation (NYSC) Camp, Iseyin on invitation to identify with, challenge and encourage Engineer Corps members. Efforts are also usually made to secure placements for primary assignment in engineering firms for graduate engineers.
The branch is also usually in the habit of assisting newly inducted members to collect membership certificates at the national headquarter. Bereaved members are usually visited by members of the Executive Committee and given a purse on behalf of the branch. Engineers holding positions of responsibility in the public service and the private sector are usually visited to encourage them. Executive Committee members are also in the habit of paying courtesy visits to senior and aged engineers either at home or in the office.