New NSE President Advocates Grade 9 Entry Level for Engineers

January 21, 2024
Margaret Oguntala

By Adedapo Adesanya

The new first female president of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mrs Margaret Oguntala, has called on state governments to implement Grade Level 09 as the entry point for engineers in civil service.

She made the call during her investiture as the 34th president of the engineering professional body in Abuja over the weekend.

She also called for a policy formulation that would compel employers of labour to pay commensurate welfare packages/hazard allowances to engineers.

Mrs Oguntala said the advocacy would be key among her focus in the next two years as the president of NSE.

According to her, setting clear focus areas is paramount to guiding the collective efforts to accomplish her vision.

Mrs Oguntala unveiled a “strategic agenda” which she said would underpin her mission, a roadmap that she named the “Margaret Oguntala Presidential Agenda, or MOPSA.”

“MOPSA is not just a collection of words; it is a manifestation of our overarching vision which is ‘Rebirth the NSE for the growth, empowerment and advancement of engineering in Nigeria.

“It is a meticulously crafted blueprint that encompasses five key themes, each designed to address crucial aspects of our mission.”

She said the MOPSA document consisted of one strategic agenda, five strategic themes (pillars) and 34 strategic actions.

“The first pillar is membership development; we shall focus on upskilling our esteemed members, offering mandatory professional development to keep them at the forefront of knowledge.

“NSE shall actively engage intergovernmental bodies, industries and academia to foster partnerships that drive progress, innovation and knowledge exchange.

“We shall collaborate with leading international engineering organisations and foreign missions to gain access to resources and opportunities for our members.”

The president of the NSE said advancement of innovation through the establishment of new technology-driven engineering innovation hubs would also be a key priority during her tenure among others.

The President of the Senate, Mr Godswill Akpabio, represented by his deputy, Mr Barau Jubril, said Mrs Oguntala had shattered the glass ceiling.

“We celebrate the progress our society has made in promoting gender equality and inclusivity in the field of engineering.

“Engr. Oguntala’s appointment serves as a powerful testament to the fact that talent, dedication and expertise know no gender boundaries.

“It is a clear indication that the Nigerian Society of Engineers recognises and values the contributions of women in shaping the future of engineering; 33 men have come before her, serving as presidents of this great body.

“However, the time has come for the NSE to enter the labour room and give birth to a new version of itself. And it is only fitting that a mother, who knows the pains of giving birth, should be in charge of this rebirth.

“As we embark on this new chapter under the leadership of Engr. Oguntala, it is crucial that we reflect on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

“However, it is through collective efforts and a shared vision that we can overcome these challenges and pave the way for a brighter future.”

Mr Akpabio said enhancement of engineering education and training was key to the rebirth and needed immediate attention.

“We must strive to equip our engineers with the necessary skills and knowledge to compete on a global scale. This can be achieved through partnerships with educational institutions, Industrial leaders and professional organizations.

“By fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing, we can ensure that our engineers are armed with the latest tools and techniques to tackle complex engineering problems.

“As engineers, it is our responsibility to design and implement sustainable solutions that will drive economic growth, improve the quality of life for our citizens, and create an environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Our engineers are breaking new ground and leading the way in technological innovation.

“The NSE should reach out to Nigerian engineers in the Diaspora and urge them to respond to the call in our National Anthem.

“Let them come home and share their skills with us and contribute their unique perspectives and experiences.”

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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