One could not believe that Abeokuta is the birth place of the Nigerian Society of Engineers more than 60 years ago. But Abeokuta branch could not take off as many engineers then were working and living in Lagos the then Federal Capital, and Ibadan (old capital of South Western region).
Almost immediately Ogun State was created in 1976, many engineers migrated to Abeokuta to man some of the ministries, parastatals and institutions that were engineering based. Some notable engineers among whom were Engrs: V.O.A. Ajayi, S.A. Egberongbe and others started deliberating on the formation of Abeokuta Branch.
After several meetings, deliberations and reaching out to other engineers in the state, the branch was inaugurated on 6th June, 1980 -40 years ago- at Centenary Hall Ake. Twenty seven (27) engineers graced the occasion, they include Engrs: Ajayi, Opelami, Egberongbe, Kehinde, Adenekan, Bankole, Ojelade, Ademefun, Solanke, Lawale amongst others.
At the inauguration ceremony, Engr. V.O.A. Ajayi was elected Chairman, Engr. S.A. Egberongbe Secretary while Engr. Ojelade and Engr. Solanke were Treasurer and Technical Secretary respectively.
Since then Abeokuta Branch has been a force to be reckoned in the comity of branches. She is noted for her vibrant, energetic, vivacious and active participation in both local and national programmes. Abeokuta Branch has to her record to have:
- hosted successfully NEC/AGM in 1988 tagged “OLUMO ’88”
- received giant Silver Trophy as Presidential Award during NEC/AGM in LAGOS ’97.
- had one of her members in person of Engr. O.O. Bajomo to be among the best three distinguished Fellows at ILORIN ’99.
- organized for the first time, mini Olumo Night at Ilorin ’99 during which members as well as well wishers wined and dined.
- hosted NEC/AGM in 2006 tagged “GATEWAY 2006”, the good memory of wish is still fresh in the minds of the participants. Equally, the spouses (“engineeresses”) who attended it were yet to see equal of the treatment they received from their hospitable colleagues here in Abeokuta.
- had one of her members in person of Engr. M.I. Abbass elected into the National Executive Council at “Heartland 2009” Owerri. This is an epoch making in the history of Abeokuta branch as he is the first to be elected into such position.
- had about 10 distinguished engineers from the Branch elected into the fellowship (highest) cadre of the Society within two years.
The list of the successes of the branch no know bound.
Administratively, the branch had had her affairs to be directed to date by nine distinguished engineers as chairmen. They are:
- V.O.A. Ajayi, FNSE 1980 – 1982
- B.O. Opelami, FNSE 1982 – 1983
- Yomi Ademefun, MNSE 1983 – 1985
- S.A. Egberongbe, FNSE 1985 – 1990
- M.A. Ogunfemi, FNSE 1990 – 1993
- O.S.A. Famuyiwa, FNSE 1994 – 1998
- M.G. Adebayo, FNSE 1999 – 2003
- O.L. Oyewunmi, FNSE 2004 – 2007
- T.S. Sogbaike, FNSE 2007 – 2009
- M. O. Odesanya, FNSE 2009 – 2011
- Rev. A. A. Awolana MNSE 2011 – 2013
- A. A. Lawal MNSE 2013 – 2015
- M. I. Abbass FNSE 2015 – 2017
- Dr. O. A. Apampa FNSE 2017 – 2019
The Branch maintained and still maintaining cordial relationship with the government at State and Local levels and ensures that qualified engineers are appointed to statutory positions on Boards of parastatals. Similarly, technical lectures are being delivered on monthly basis, workshops were organized etc.
In recognition of the membership drive prowess of the branch, the President, Engr. Kashim Abdul Ali, FNSE, granted the branch to be one of the centres to conduct Corporate Membership Examination. This was possible with the relentless effort of the then amiable Chairman, Engr. T.S. Sogbaike and his ever-loyal Vice, Engr. M.O. Odesanya. Thereafter, Chief Examiner in the person of Engr. M.G. Adebayo FNSE a man of integrity and principle was appointed then other examiners.
The Branch presented 35 candidates in her first examination which conducted in April 2009 which was rated as one of the branches that has highest candidates. Abeokuta branch was adjudged to be one of the best centres, if not the best, for well-organized examination conducted in serene environment of University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. Engr. M.B. Sheu FNSE, the then head of membership committee (now Deputy President) could no hide his commendations when he saw the way and manner in which the examination was conducted.
The history of Abeokuta branch will not be complete if one does mention the transition from the Oke-Ilewo secretariat to the permanent secretariat adjacent to NNPC Mega Station along Abiola way. In 2006, during NEC/AGM hosted by the branch, the then President, Engr. Emeka Eze, FNSE led the turning of sod ceremony of the secretariat.
When the ultimatum given to the branch to vacate the Oke-Ilewo lapsed, the branch had no option than to move to her permanent site for holding her monthly meetings, though under canopy. To God be the glory, the mini hall part of the secretariat is near completion.
The history of Abeokuta branch is a fascinating one that cannot be exhausted in a one page write up. However, Abeokuta branch has made history and history made Abeokuta branch.
Long Live Abeokuta Branch!!! Long Live NSE!!! Long Live Ogun State
By: Engr. K.A. Olonade MNSE