Memo to All Members,
Since the resumption of the President, Engr. Otis Anyaeji, FNSE, FAEng, in office in January 2016, the Society has consistently made several advocacy efforts to the Federal Government through relevant political office holders, on the need to rightfully position qualified and registered Engineers to hold key leadership responsibilities in specific engineering establishments/institutions for effective and optimal performances of these concerns.
To this end, we have had cause to engage the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Vice-President, the Senate President, several Ministers inclusive of Minister of State for Petroleum, Minister of Labour & Employment, Minister of Science & Technology, Minister of Solid Minerals, among others, at different times, physically as well as through various correspondences.
We are glad that these efforts have started to yield fruits. We are thus, pleased to present an update on these advocacy efforts as below:
1.Appointments at the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC):
We are glad that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, FNSE, has finally acceded to the first major advocacy effort of the NSE President, Engr. Otis Anyaeji, FNSE FAEng, on assumption of Office by nominating Dr.Akintunde Ibitayo Akinwande, a professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as the Executive Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC). Prof Akinwande received a B.Sc. degree (1978) in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Ife, Nigeria, a MS (1981) and Ph.D. (1986) in electrical engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, California.
President Buhari has also nominated two other engineers as Commissioners. They are: Dr.Frank Nwoye Okafor, FNSE whois a professor in the department of Electrical Engineering, University of Lagos and a specialist in Power Systems and Control, alongside Engr. Sanusi Garba, MNSE, who bagged B.Sc. Engineering degree from ABU, Zaria in 1974 and Master’s in Industrial Management from the University of Birmingham in 1980.
These nominations were direct fallouts of the open letter written by the Society to Mr. President on the issue of NERC Composition with Reference Number NSE/HQ/PRES./9/VOL.VI, published on page 27 of Wednesday, February 03, 2016 of Daily Trust newspaper.
2. Appointment of an Engineer as GMD, NNPC:
Recently, Dr. Maikanti Kacalla Baru was appointed the new Group Managing Director of the NNPC, being a significant positive response to the Society’s persistent request for an engineer to head the overall activities of the Corporation, which is basically an engineering institution. Dr. Baru holds a First Class Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering and also holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering. He is a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE).
3.Constitution of Board of NNPC:
The NNPC Board has been reconstituted in response to NSE letter on the same issue, with reference NSE/HQ/PRES./8/VOL.275. As a matter of fact, the President met physically and jointly with both the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr. Babachir David Lawal, FNSE, as well as the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and presented copies of letter (NSE/HQ/PRES./8/VOL.275) in respect of NNPC restructuring.
4.Appointment of an Engineer as Principal of Petroleum Training Institute (PTI):
It is also noteworthy that the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has recently appointed an engineer – Prof. Sunny Esayegbemu Iyuke, as the Principal/Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Training Institute. Prof. Sunny Iyuke is a Professor of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also a registered professional engineer with the Engineering Council of South Africa, a Fellow of the South African Academy of Engineers, as well as, a Chartered Engineer with the Engineering Council, United Kingdom. The President also advocated vigorously with both the SGF and the Minister of State for Petroleum, NSE letter NSE/HQ/PRES./8/VOL.275 refers.
These were achieved from the persistence and submission of the Nigerian Society of Engineers with respect to the Oil & Gas Industry. The fact that the Petroleum Training Institute is now being headed by an engineer showcases that Government is willing/ready to listen to the voice of reason with justification. We are glad that the Government has finally halted the practice of appointing non-relevant professionals into key engineering leadership responsibilities at PTI, in line with the provisions of the Act of 1972 in setting up this institution.
A.Engineering Salary Scale
The NSE has made a joint Submission (with COREN and the Federal Ministry of Works) on the need to review the Entry Salary Scale for Engineers at this year’s Council of Establishment Meeting/Conference in Minna last week. The Society has detailed clearly the analysis between the placement of engineering graduates/new intakes in the Civil Service with those of other professionals as part of its submissions. This matter has now been referred to a Standing Committee of the Council for appropriate consideration, to report back by September.
It will be noted that the President rallied round the Branch Chairmen to support this advocacy by linking up with their respective State Heads of Service. He also sought support of the incumbent Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, through the assistance of Engr. Prof. Ephraim Okon, former Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, as well as, the former Federal Head of Service, Engr. Mrs. Ebele Okeke, FNSE. He also dispatched the Executive Secretary, Engr. Olusola Obadimu, MNSE, FIoD, to Minna (for lobby and close monitoring of proceedings during the Conference) who delivered a well-received presentation to the body of Permanent Secretaries present on the first day of the Conference.
The Committee will thus meet in Port-Harcourt in September to further deliberate & submit its recommendations to Council. The Society continues to strategise and watch developments in this regard.
B.Chinese Railway Contract:
We have scheduled a meeting with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Federal Ministry of Transport has written us to submit a proposal with the Ministry’s Reference Number (T. 4527/T1/41). These are fallouts of our letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, FNSE (NSE/HQ/PRES/9/VOL.VI) in respect of our intervention in the wake of the announcement of an MoU signed with a Chinese consortium in respect of the construction of Lagos-Calabar rail line.
C.Senate Nomination to NSE Council:
We have received a letter from the Senate President, Sen. Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON, nominating Senator Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir, MFR, FNSE, Chairman Senate Committee on Senate Services to serve as a co-opted member on NSE Council. We are also expecting the nominee of the Federal House of Representatives shortly, to serve on NSE Council.
Other advocacy efforts are on. We will keep members abreast of developments as they come in.
Engr. Olusola Obadimu, MNSE, FNSE