Engr. Esther Gonda, FNSE, OON, Fpsp, is one the best engineers the country ever produced. She retired from the civil service as a Permanent Secretary. As a Fellow of Nigerian Society of Engineers, she was at the Pre-inauguration workshop which precedes the investiture of the newly elected executives to be led by the new President of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr. Ademola Isaac Olorunfemi, the 29th President of NSE.
Speaking to our editor at the event, Engr. Gonda gave a projection of what Nigeria will look live if the action plan of the NSE will be implemented. She was of the opinion that Nigerian engineers have come a long way that if they are provided with enabling environment will go far in developing the country in the near future. She went memory lane to inform our reporter that in the seventies when she was working with the only refinery in the country, that it was Nigerian engineers who undertook the maintenance of the facilities. She was trying to explain how good Nigerian engineers are.
Engr. Gonda frowned at the attitude of some Nigerians who never saw anything good from Nigerian engineers. She cited example with some developed nations who build satellites and they crash, yet their countrymen give them support to go on. She therefore posited that Nigerians should stop castigating our engineers whenever they have some hitches in the course of their duties.
At the second day of the pre-inauguration workshop, members of NSE were divided into three groups for panel discussion, after a keynote presentation by Engr. O. J. Mbonu. Each group was mandated to come up with some strategic plans that could be implemented by the new executive.
One of the three elected Vice Chairmen Engr. Mrs. Margaret Oguntala, FNSE told our editor that the investiture is the major activity of the society that will usher in action plans that will reposition the activities of NSE. She said the society will concentrate on professional development of members at branch and division levels. According to her, branch has to do with geographical location of members whereas division has to do with individual discipline of engineers; mechanical, electrical etc.
On challenges faced by female engineers, Engr. Oguntala, said that engineering profession is not gender sensitive; that is, male and female engineers face equal challenges on the job, but the female have to combine it with home front which poses a big challenge to them. Engr. Oguntala who graduated some 28years ago said there were only ten female engineers in her set of 134students. According to her the percentage of female student engineers in our tertiary institutions has increase to between 25-30 percent.
On why some engineers are yet to join the society, she attributed that to lack of awareness and she said that the society has put some measures in place to address such issues. She revealed that any engineer what does not identify with NSE cannot attain some grade level in the civil service.
The investiture comes on Saturday 11th Jan. at the International Conference Centre Abuja.