Speech by the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu, FNSE at the Inauguration of NSE Houston Branch, Held on Thursday, May 3, 2018
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
Welcome to history!
On behalf of Council and entire membership of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), I am indeed, very delighted to stand before you today to perform the official inauguration of NSE Houston Branch which has brought our Branch network strength to 72. Houston Branch is the first Branch to be inaugurated outside the shores of Nigeria but the second International Branch to be established by the Council after London Branch as the 71st Branch of NSE.
I wholeheartedly commend and appreciate those who have in one way or the other facilitated the setting up of NSE Houston Branch. Particular mention should be made of the initial work of Engr. Fisoye Delano, Bayode Atandeyi and others.
This occasion is suitable for me to acknowledge the courage and the tenacity of the founding fathers of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, who made various personal sacrifices since February 16, 1958 when it was established in London, United Kingdom, all in the bid to build a national umbrella organization for all Nigerian Engineers. It is also gladdening that we have commendably maintained the tradition upon which the Society was founded.
Distinguished colleagues and invited guests, our Divisions and Branches are the platforms upon which the ideals of our Society are initiated and achieved. The official launch of Houston Branch as we witness today, is therefore a welcome development for us, not just because it has increased the numerical strength of our Branches, but because it is offering broader opportunities for growth for engineering practice in Nigeria. What this means is that we will witness more research work, mentoring, service and collaborations with our government and the organized private sector.
In line with our policy for all Divisions and Branches of the Society, Houston Branch will be required to imbibe and propagate all the programmes of NSE, such as promotion of Nigerian Content Development and advocacy for Engineering Regulations and Monitoring.
I am trusting that owing to the fact of your location in a ‘First World Country’, we will enjoy the advantage of the Houston Branch been able to leverage and respond quickly to provision of position papers on technical matters of interest to NSE. Also all Nigerian Engineers residing in United States of America (USA) now have the opportunity to participate in provision of engineering infrastructure in Nigeria as businessmen, regulators, educationists and volunteers for the wellbeing all. Nigeria needs you at this critical time to contribute your intellectual and material resources towards her development. The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, FNSE, GCFR, is fully committed to engaging Nigerian Engineers for Nigeria’s development through the signing of Presidential Executive Order 5 to anchor Nigerian Content in Science, Engineering and Technology. I seize this opportunity to thank the President for his courage to sign this Executive Order 5. I am confident that the Nigerian Engineers in Houston and indeed USA would supply and bridge any identified missing gap for any project delivery in Nigeria.
I wish to inform you, that your coming on board has taken place at a time of bundle jubilation for the Nigerian Engineers, especially as we celebrated the 60th anniversary of our great and honourable Society, on February 16, 2018. We are also elated that the period has coincided with the 50th anniversary of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), which was hosted in Paris, France in March, 2018.
Similarly, just last month, we actively participated in the 50th anniversary celebration of our West African sister organization, the Ghana Institute of Engineering.
Perhaps this is an opportunity for me to hint you that, at the auspicious occasion of my investiture, I made commitment to work with our colleagues to focus on corporate social responsibility; through this means, we shall impact our citizenry positively.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the focus here involves massive deployment of our professional manpower to rural communities across Nigeria. The objective of the project is to provide basic engineering infrastructure through voluntary service; infrastructure which includes rural roads, water projects, school buildings, electrification, provision of farming implements, building of livestock ranches, poultries, and such other services that are guaranteed to foster unity and progress in our country.
The projects are designed to be a collaborative venture between the NSE, Local Governments and the traditional institutions across the country. We have commenced a transparent process of selecting six (6) remote villages, one from each of the geopolitical zones in Nigeria, which will enjoy the status of PILOT in the Community Engineering Project (CEP).
Execution of CEP is expected to be done at an estimated cost of N2 billion ($5.5 million). We are optimistic that funding of the projects will be achieved through donations from public spirited individuals, corporate organisations, international donors and friends of engineering. I expect our colleagues to voluntarily provide expertise to make the project a success.
By this initiative, we have undertaken to assist government in bringing growth and improvement to the lives of citizens in the rural areas. They have invested, at least, their ‘sweat capital’ to provide the food that ensures the well-being of those who relish the luxury of living in the urban cities. I believe that you will agree with me that the least that they deserve is the basic infrastructure to make life easier for them.
On this note, by the powers conferred on me by the Grace of God and the common will of Nigerian Engineers, I hereby inaugurate Houston Branch as the 72nd Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
Long live The Nigerian Society of Engineers!
Long live Nigerian Society of Engineers Houston Branch!
Long live United State of America!
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Thank you all for your attention.
God bless you all.
Engr. Adekunle Mokuolu, FNSE