The Nigerian Society of Engineers has conferred fellowships on 142 ‘Distinguished Engineers on Saturday in Abuja
Gidari-Wudil was joined at the conferment ceremony by the Chairman, Board of Fellows/College of Fellows, Mrs Ebele Okeke.
In his address at the conferment ceremony, the president of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr Tasiu Sa’ad Gidari-Wudil, praised the new fellows of the society for their contributions to the development of the engineering profession.
According to him, the fellows now have the responsibility of being NSE’s ambassadors by delivering valuable services to the development of the nation, and they have also acquired the responsibility of being role models to younger engineers and those who need their inspiration to join the engineering profession.
He said, “ Getting to this level is a major attainment because everyone adorning the fellowship gown in this hall today has gone through the proverbial eye of the needle. The screening and assessment process undertaken by the Board of Fellows was thorough. Therefore, I specially congratulate all the conferees for achieving this feat. Let’s appreciate them with a resounding round of applause.
“As a fellow of the society, you have automatically assumed the responsibility of being a role model and mentor to younger engineers. You will also be expected to increase your participation in NSE’s activities and in making valuable contributions to the growth of the society. In addition, it is expected that you will always uphold good character and ethical values that will portray you as a worthy NSE ambassador as you deliver value-adding services in your respective endeavours, towards the development of our beloved nation.
Asphalt Or Concrete Debate?
Reacting to the current debate on building roads with concrete rather than asphalt, he said that though he was not a specialist in civil engineering, the choice however depended on the situations.
Gidari-Wudil.said: “Few weeks ago, a debate was sparked in the media and in engineering circles by statements made by the Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, over the preferred or most potent materials for building roads.
“Technically, we call them rigid and flexible road pavement, on the normal parlance, we call it concrete or asphalt. Each one of these has its own advantages and disadvantages.
“We in NSE are not canvassing for anyone, rather we are convening a national discourse where the professionals in highway, in materials engineering, geotechnic, civil engineering other stakeholders will chat the way forward.
“These are choices that mostly depends on the situation that the engineer finds himself, so if we are going to go for one solution it cannot fix all.”
According to the president there are situations whereby the best option to use is concrete, while in other situations asphalt is used.
Gidari-Wudil added: “I am not going to preempt that discourse because i am not an expert on that subject matter.”
The NSE president, however, said that the society was going to set up a committee to work out the modalities for a national discussion on the issue.
He added that it would be a holistic event with all the stakeholders in the field both in and outside the country including the Federal and States’ Ministries of Works would be invited
Gidari-Wudil said it would be tagged ‘National Highways: Between Asphalt and Concrete’.
He said: “As a major stakeholder in infrastructure development and maintenance in Nigeria, we take interest and lend our voice to matters that concern the engineering sector and, by extension, the wellbeing of Nigerians
“Recently, we called a press conference to release the NSE Position Paper on the proposed increase in electricity tariff by the DisCos, which generated some controversies across the country.
“Before then, there was also a press conference on flooding in Nigeria where we proffered engineering solutions to mitigate the devastating effect of flooding.”
Gidari-Wudil explained what the society wanted was an option in infrastructure that would endure and add to national development.
Low Percentage of fellows to membership
In her remarks, the Chairman, Board of Fellows/College of Fellows, NSE, Engr Mrs Ebele Okeke, commended the conferees for having scaled through the procedures, adding that the process had remained very thorough but fair.
“This is why, even though the membership strength of the society is currently about 82,000, only a few percentage had been elevated to the Fellowship grade.
“Therefore, any engineer with the appellation ‘FNSE’ is always accorded appropriate recognition and privileges.
“I welcome you all to this occasion where we will interact to celebrate the new Fellows, as well as exchange ideas on how to play active roles in the infrastructural and economical growth of our dear nation,” she said.