VITAL INFORMATION ABOUT NIGERIAN INSTITUTION OF POWER ENGINEERS FOR THE ATTENTION OF ALL ENGINEERS

The Nigerian Institution of Power Engineers (NIPE) is affiliated to the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and many other International engineering professional bodies across the world. It is the specialized Technical Institution for the body of Engineers and Engineering practitioners in the Nigerian Power Industry. NIPE as an Institution has the onerous MANDATE to professionally drive the Nigerian Power industry through the articulation and synthesis of the knowledge of ALL Power Engineers undertaken through Technical interactions on Power Engineering & Management challenges sessions as part of the institution’s efforts towards the realization of the “Nigerian Power Project.”

The Institution is one of the Five (5 – Distinct) independent Specialist engineering Institutions that was created out of the old Electrical Group. Others are as below:

Nigerian Institution of Power Engineers (NIPE) – industry; TCN, REA, NERC, Discos, Gencos, Etc

Nigerian Inst. of Communication & Information Technology Engineers (NICTE) Computer, AI & Software, NCC, MTN, Etc

Nigerian Inst. of Instrumentation Engineers (NIIE) – industry; Brewery, Manufacturing Proccess, Printing

Nigerian Inst. of Radio & Television Engineers (NIRTE) – industry; TV, Radio, Movies, Music, DSTV, NBC,
Nigerian Inst. of Bio-Medical Engineers (NIBE) – industry; Hospitals & Medical Instrumentation design, development and Management
Nigerian Inst. of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (NIEEE) – ACADEMIA, Research & development Agency

WHY THE FRAGMENTATION, WE HAVE NIEEE?

The answer to this question is simple.

We all went to engineering school and studied Electrical Engineering Sciences, others studied Agric Engineering Sciences, Civil Engineering Sciences or Mechanical Engineering Sciences, etc. In later years before graduation, we were introduced to industry based engineering Science
specifics like Power, Machines, Telecommunications, Electronics, Radio & Television Engineering, computer Engineering, Networking, AI, Software Engineering Sciences, Electrical/Electronics, etc (About 10 more in the UK, USA). Infact, you might have studied Electrical Science and today you are a Space Engineer or even a Marine Engineer. The reason is, we all studied basic electrical engineering sciences at school. Some of us actually chose our specialty and majored thereto – Power, Telecomms, AI, Software, etc

After graduation, we came face to face with a specific area of practice. Our chosen area of practice or engagement tookover and we are then regarded as “DASH” Engineer. The word Electrical is a generic name where engineering practice is mentioned. Some Engineers and Nigerian public erroneously call us Electrical Engineers, they don’t recognize us as specialist or professionals, but we are specialist and indeed professionals and must recognise ourselves as such.

As “Electrical” Engineers we could be engaged as telecommunication Engineers (NCC, NITEL, MTN,
AIRTEL, STARCOMMS, ETISALAT, HUAWEI, GLO, etc); as Engineers (Electrical), we could be engaged as Power Engineers (TCN, REA, NERC, all Discos, all Gencos, all IPPs, SIEMENS, ABB, DANALEC, Etc); as Computer/Software Engineers, we can be engaged as Database Manager, ICT team lead in Banks, Corporations and all Government ICT infrastructure, etc; as Instrumentation & Control Engineer, we are engaged in most manufacturing and process industries like Breweries, etc; as Radio & Television Engineers, we find engagement at TV Stations, DSTV, NBC Movies, Radio stations, Radio Communication – Motorola, Digital Camera (Manufacturing, Operations & Maintenance) while those in the Academia – Universities, Polytechnics, Research & Dev. Institutes, etc are partially referred to as the generalist Electrical Electronics.

So, the answers to the above question is that you are a Specialist on a particular field and only the last group (Academia, etc) will remain a generalist Electrical Engineer because of its peculiarity. With time however, this too will change. The world is changing fast as technology dictates new trades and areas of engagement

For some countries, specialized universities is now the norm. Thus we have Railway University, etc

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGE OF THE SPECIALIST UNITS?

Today’s’ word is the heritage for the specialist. If you wish to be considered as a professional then you must be specific or simply a specialist in your trade. Electrical Engineers as some prefer to be called does not tell anyone what our trade is or what professional calling we have tethered our tents. Consequently, we are generalist until we say the next couple of word; I work at …….. and
then …. and ……….. then.

Other professionals like the Environmental Sciences, Accounting, Medical and Legal Profession to mention but a few have realize this mistake and have taken necessary and decisive steps to reorganize themselves from being a generalist profession to become specialist.

However, Engineers and Engineering practitioners have spent Sixty (60) years without doing what others have done. We have finally hit the bottomless pit and blamed every other person or processionals groups but ourselves.

Finally, some courageous Engineers thought it wise that the self pity and game blame era is over, its time to carry out the surgical operations that will make us Engineering Professionals to be BIGGER and
BETTER than other professionals.

So let see what others have done:

1. ACCOUNTANTS: Tax consultants, Auditors, Accountants, Management Account, Insurance consultants, Stockbrokers, Auditor, Accountant General, Audit Firms, Banking, Financial & Risk Mgt Consultants, etc. Over twenty Specialist units from just one discipline or course of study. Each of these specialist units are fully independent of the other and chartered Institutions from the Nigerian National Assembly through an Act. But they are all from one discipline – DOES THAT MAKE ANY SENSE TO YOU?

2. ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN/SCIENCES: Here you have the Architects, Builders, Landsurvey, Quantity Survey, Town Planners, Unban and Regional Planning, Estate Survey & Valuers, etc. Over Seven Specialist units from just one school. Each of these specialist units is fully independent of the other and Chartered Institutions from the National Assembly.

The Nigerian Government and the Nigerian populace see these professionals or Specialist as distinct group. No Nigerian has ever called a Surveyor an Architect – DOES ANYTHING STRIKE YOU HERE?

3. LAW/LEGAL: For the Lawyers or Legal professionals, the special units are endless. Contract law, Family law, Oil & Gas law, Telecomms Law, Arbitration, Tax law, Property law, legal Adviser/Company Secretary, Registrar, judges, lawyer at Court, Prosecutors, Attorney general, Constitutional law, etc. Over Fifty Special units from just one discipline or course of study. Each of these specialist units is related to one industry and are independent of the other. But they are all from one discipline. In fact, as we speak, we have the Association of Telecommunications Lawyers, ditto for Oil & Gas, etc – HAVE YOU OBSERVE THIS SCENARIO YOURSELF?

4. I CAN GO THE MEDICAL WAY AND OTHER ALLIED PROFESSIONALS TOO BUT TIME IS IMPORTANT TOO.

WHAT IS THE DISADVANTAGE OF THE OLD ARRANGEMENTS:

The disadvantage is enormous and disastrous. Firstly, the engineering profession is a cluster of over Sixty engineering specialist Institutions or Courses of Study but we were much comfortable as being a monolithic group as against stand alone specialist units. Thus we have one Society and one Regulating body for ALL Engineering DISCIPLINES (institutions) irrespective of their diverseness.

Now, if the Federal Government wishes to set up a particular technical committee for any particular situation, it will request for one Engineer since any Engineer is an “Engineer” (No specialty, no trade or professionalism) but the same Federal government will appoint specialist for all other positions like head of planning, Survey, Architect, Head of Audit, Head of Account, Head of Human Resources, Head of Legal/Agency Secretary, Head of Insurance, Head of Works and Facility Management, etc.

Why is this so? The other professionals have informed the Nigerian Government and public that they only read the same course at school but what they are practicing is distinct and thus are chartered bodies to that effect. So who is losing?

Secondly, if Government is to give monetary subventions to professional bodies in Nigeria, say one hundred Million annually, Engineering body will receive just one portion while environmental Sciences group will receive Seven Hundred Million, the Accountants will go with oover Two Billion Naira while the Lawyers may clean out the vault. ARE WE CURSED AS A PROFESSION?

Thirdly, at the gathering of professional bodies in Nigeria APBN), the scenario explained above applies so the Accountants can use their representation to give direction, etc

WHAT WILL NIPE DO DIFFERENTLY?

  1. NIPE will avoid the generalist mentality and focused on the power sector alone.
  2. NIPE will play complimentary role to all stakeholders in the power Industry. Every member of NIPE is a Power Engineer or Power Engineering practitioner and thus a stakeholder in the success of the industry.
  3. The Institution (NIPE) will partner, collaborate, provide specialist advisory services, undertake advocacy, identified success pathway, etc in order to achieve an efficient Power sector that will have the desired deliverables such as adequate, affordable, reliable and sustainable Power as it relates to national development.
  4. NIPE intends to be the most competitive player in the Nigerian Power Industry.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
NIPE membership encompased all practicing Engineers and Engineering practitioners in the power industry. It is has Electrical, Mechanical, Civil, Structural, Geotechnical, Communication, Gas, Chemical, Hydrological Engineers, etc. It is a distinct industry and its practitioners are thus peculiar.

Thus, being an Electrical Science graduate doesn’t make anyone a power Engineer

I thank you all

ENGR. ISRAEL E. ABRAHAM, MNSE FNIPE
For more detailed information, please visit www.nipe.org.ng.

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