A giant jinx was broken yesterday when the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Uyo branch gathered in her own building for the fist time since 1985 for her April 2022 general meeting.
The jinx breaker himself and the dynamic Chairman of Uyo branch, Engr. Ukeme Okpob MNSE broke a jinx of 37 years by being the first Chairman of Uyo branch to build a National Engineering Center / Uyo branch Secretariat. It is worthy of note that since the creation of Uyo branch, every Chairman has attempted to secure a land and build a Secretariat, but by one way or the other such plans never saw the light of the day. Upon inception of the Chairman, he promised the branch that he will build a Secrtariat before the end of his administration and history was made yesterday when the Uyo branch of NSE ceased from being tenants at Akwa Ibom water water company, Uyo- Venue for general meetings and NSChE secretariat, Paul Bassey Street, Uyo – Venue for EXCO meeting. By gathering in her own building for a general meeting in her own bonafide structure last Sunday, the jinx of 37 years was broken. Thanks to the Capacity Chairman of Uyo branch, his Executive Committee and all the supporters of the project for erecting this magnificent Structure.
The Chairman during the maiden meeting in her own meeting hall, titled his speech “Let us encourage ourselves”.
In his opening speech, the Nsit Ubium born, Engineer said that he was happy that the day has finally come when the General Meeting of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Uyo Branch can be held for the first time in her own permanent building, a place where all Engineers in Akwa Ibom State can be proud of, The National Engineering Center Annex/ Uyo Branch Secretariat.
“Today is another opportunity to once again appreciate the collective efforts of all Engineers in the Branch, for coming together for the interests of development and growth of the Branch. The reason for bringing this monthly general meeting to the Engineering Building at this point in time is to encourage ourselves!”, he said.
“In 1985, two years before Akwa Ibom State was created, exactly 37 years ago, the Uyo Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers was established. Since then, the branch has groomed and nurtured world-class professionals, yet the Branch remained a periodic tenant of several buildings in uyo metropolis. Therefore, hosting this general meeting here today is a welcome development to a new era and a great opportunity for us to encourage ourselves”, he added.
Speaking about the National Engineering Centre annex, Okpob said, “There is a great sign that we are moving forward. The answer to every adversity lies in courageously moving forward with faith despite all discouragements and opposition. All hands must be on deck for us to complete this building. The building will boost the reputation of the branch in the face of government, corporate organizations and private individuals. Most times, the branch and its activities are ignored because there is no Secretariat to serve as a point of contact, not even an office space for the Chairman and other Exco members. This building, when completed, will serve as a place for planned professional activities, international workshops, Virtual Meeting Room, Engineering Library, Material Laboratory, conferences and exhibitions. Through this complex, recommendations can be made for employment of our young engineers as well as private companies own by our members for service delivery. The essence of this meeting here is to continue to appeal for massive support for the completion of the building.”
While speaking, the Chairman of the branch said, “As a society, we have laid a solid foundation of growth and development that will blossom in the next few years for our future Engineers. The Branch is gradually gaining recognition in the state. Recently, the office of the Chairman Nigerian Society of Engineers, Uyo Branch was enlisted in the protocol list of the Governor, and the Chairman is always recognised among other dignitaries in State government functions. This is a great step toward our dream destination. Let us continue to encourage ourselves!”
Engr. Ukeme Okpob has been breaking many jinxes since his ascension in July, 2020, accomplishing feats bogged down by inertia and bureaucracy.
Another jinx broken by Okpob’s administration was the appointment of two commissioners in the State Executive Council, who were all members of Uyo branch. While informing the members of the branch, Engr. Okpob said
“Equally, with our continuous agitation to have Engineers in the State Executive Council and to have an Engineer as commissioner in Engineering related Ministries. Recently, His Excellency Governor Udom Emmanuel in his magnanimity appointed two Great Engineers into the State Executive Council. One, who is the former Technical Secretary of our Branch, Engr. Dr Bassey Bassey Okon MNSE our tear rubber Commissioner for Special Duties and Ibom Deep Seaport and Engr. Camillus Essien Umoh, Commissioner for Trade and Investment.“
The maiden meeting in the new branch Secretariat also featured a technical paper presentation by Engr. Dr Essien Akpan Udo, Associate Professor of Geotechnical Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Uyo.
The Chairman thanked Engr. Dr Essien Akpan Udo, who presented the first Technical Paper in this auditorium on the topic, “Techniques in BEME Preparation and Engineering Applications.”
His presentation was aimed at educating the Engineers present on the Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation abbreviated as BEME as well as the Engineering Applications.
The Chairman was grateful to his EXCO for their tremendous support. “Finally, I wish to greatly appreciate my Executive Committee members who most time disagree to agree for us to achieve this level of unimaginable attainment within this short period, also my appreciation goes to all our esteemed supporters and all engineers who have contributed in one way or the other and those who are yet to contribute for the building. We are grateful. “ he said.
He beckoned on the members of the branch to support him to complete the project.
“Let us continue to join hands to build the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Uyo Branch of our dream and secure a future for full recognition, development and growth for our upcoming engineers and generation yet unborn.” he added.
High point of the event was the presentation of Certificates to past paper presenters in the Branch.
The event which was well attended by over 200 Engineers was epoch-making and remarkable. Key dignitaries who attended the event were the DG, National Metallurgical Centre, Jos, Engr. Prof. Linus Asuquo FNSE; the National Chairman, NIAE , Engr. Prof. Folarin Alonge FNSE; Engr. Efiong Effiakedoho FNSE; Past Chairmen of the Branch, Fellows, Corporate members, Graduate members, Student members and others.
By Uduakobong Akpan