The Ikeja Branch of Nigerian Society of Engineers recently clocks 25 years and the Branch is rolling out the drum for the Silver Jubilee Celebration. Isqil Najim, and Bola-Oluwaniyi spoke to the Chairman of the Silver Jubilee Organising Committee, Engr Francis Oguamanam.
MyEngineers: Ikeja Branch of NSE is 25; Can you take us down memory lane and journey so far?
Ikeja Branch was the 32nd Branch of NSE inaugurated in 1993 when Engineer Vincent Maduka FNSE, FAEng was the then National President. The Branch came to be with the efforts of the late Engr Olu AWOYINFA FNSE, FAEng. Our 1st Chairman was the late Engr Ralph ALABI, who was followed by the late Engr Chike Morah and then Engr Anthony Oludaiye FNSE. I was Chairman 1999 2001 ( 4th Chairman) Since then we have had 12 successive Branch Chairmen. At the time Ikeja was established, there was only one Branch in Lagos and some people did not see any reason for another Branch, but for the doggedness of some of the elders, those who initially opposed the establishment had to give up. Today there are over 5 Branches in Lagos including the new Otta Branch at the outskirt of Lagos.
ME: The Ikeja Branch of NSE recently clocks 25; what is the significant of this Accomplishment looking bank into time
Ikeja had come a long way. Four years after the inauguration we had the privilege of hosting the NSE Annual AGM and International Conference tagged “Ikeja 97.” It was acclaimed the best organised. To date there is no evidence that the record of Ikeja 97 has been beaten hence Ikeja got the appellation ‘ The Branch to beat and ‘ The best of the best’ Ikeja Branch is clocking 25 years this year and when we look back we would say Ikeja had played a leading role in the affairs of NSE and can proudly hold our own head anywhere. Almost every year since inauguration, we had one award or the other including coming first at the national level in the Annual Group Dynamics Competition. We also initiated and successfully moved into the Branch’s permanent Secretariat and all our activities are usually held therein.
MyEngineers: With insight, Can you say the Branch had met the Vision of its Founding Fathers?
Significantly, the Branch has met the visions and aspirations of the founding fathers in the area of ascension to the position of Branch Chairman. We have also encouraged the young engineers in to maximise their potentials in their various fields of engineering and even encouraging secondary school students to take up engineering as a career. And to take engineering to greater heights
MyEngineers: The Branch as produced many great leaders. What is the secret behind this?
Yes the Branch has produced many great leaders among them, the founding Chairman Engr Ralph ALABI who was Managing Detector and later Chairman of Guinness Nigeria Plc. Not to forget the likes of Engineers Awoyinfa, Ganiyu Johnson, Yemisi Shyllon and Ademola Olorunfemi who became NSE President. Many of our Branch members have also held positions as members of Exco and Chairmen of Divisions at the national level.
The secret is that we encourage members to aspire higher and higher. It was for instance the late Engr ALABI who restructured our national AGM to be business like in line with what obtains in the corporate world.
Ikeja Family has been known to be much closer. How have you been able to sustain this over the years and what should we expect in years ahead?
Ikeja Branch is a close nit family and that was the legacy the founding fathers left for us. Many young engineers including undergraduates always want to identify with the Branch. We fix them up for Industrial Attachments and get them employment. Our monthly meetings record high turnout of new members and Ikeja is perhaps the only Branch where the elders attend meetings and activities regularly in large numbers . In the years ahead the level of togetherness will be sustained as the old members take the new members to what makes Ikeja tick and so there is smooth succession
MyEngineers: What are the events Outlined for the Anniversary and what should we expect?
Ikeja Branch is celebrating 25 years of existence and this is an epoch- making event. We have a 7-day programme which will start on our meeting day Thursday April 5, 2018 . Other activities shall include press conference, exhibition, worship at religious centres, visit to eminent personalities, Ikeja Family get – together to celebrate with our spouses and children, and visit to Orphanages. All these will be rounded up on April 11, 2018 at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers with a Book Launch and Luncheon.
Thank You sir