By IGHO OYOYO
The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Maitama branch has appealed to government at all levels to support young female engineers in order to encourage more participation of females in the engineering sector.
Engr. Oladipupo Mabogaje, chairman of Maitama branch, made this call while speaking with journalists at the 6th Engr. Otis Anyaeji Distinguished Annual Lecture, with the theme: Lighting up the power sector, women in engineering an imperative, organized by NSE Maitama branch.
Mabogaje explained that the event was targeted at looking for ways forward in engineering profession, that as the theme implied, there is the need to improve the numbers of women in the engineering profession.
According to him, although, men is the engineering sectors are performing impressively, but they need more female engineers in the profession, so that there will be equity and justice in the profession.
“In order to encourage females in the sector, there is a project that the female engineers are doing presently. They are going to secondary schools to encourage females, by giving them scholarship to study engineering so that we will have more females in the sector.
“We believe that soon, we will have a female national president for the Nigeria Society of Engineers. With this, I will like to advice the government to encourage young female engineers in the sector by giving them scholarship.
“Because for females to join engineering institution they have a lot of things to do. So, for them to be able to do it, they need support from the government which would serve as an incentive to them, in order to move the engineering sector forward,” he said.
Engr. Valerie Ifueko Agberagba, while presenting a paper on UNESCO encouraging women in STEM and Engineering, lamented that historically, women have been significantly underrepresented in engineering fields, typically making up only 10 – 20 percent of the engineering work force.
“UNESCO is helping member states to fulfill this human resource need through programmes and workshops that encourage women to pursue engineering studies and retain women engineers in the profession.
“One of such workshop/programme was done in Nigeria in 2013, where about 2000 secondary school students, including 1500 girls participated in a week-long engineering and science event at University of Nigeria, Nsukka. This was UNESCO’s first engineering outreach event in Nigeria.
“The event offered students the opportunity to learn about engineering by examining water, shelter, transportation, infrastructure and hydroelectric issues. Through various hands-on activities organized by EWB-UK, students had the opportunity to identify innovative solutions to contemporary development problems,” she said.