IEEE Nigeria Section History
The story of professional activities of members of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc (otherwise called IEEE – I-Triple-E) in Nigeria date back to 1978 with the recognition accorded Nigeria Section. IEEE Nigeria Section was active both at the local and international levels. Because of some challenging reasons such as the downturn in the nation’s economy and due to the stringent policies in place as regards remittance of dues overseas, membership activities dwindled as members were finding it difficult to update their status with the organisation. This eventually led to a decrease in the number and interest of volunteers to run the affairs of this professional group thereby resulting in IEEE Nigeria Section becoming inactive for some years.
A ray of hope came in the last quarter of 1999 when some members started to make efforts to reactivate the Nigeria Section to foster better relationship between members and for members in Nigeria to derive greater benefits from the global organisation. After making several contacts with some members of IEEE in Nigeria on the need to come together, and with encouragements from IEEE Headquarter and Region 8, a meeting was held at Nigerian Society of Engineers Auditorium on Saturday 27th May 2000. The meeting was well attended and it was unanimously agreed that IEEE Nigeria Section should be reactivated. At the end of that meeting, Engrs Isaac Adekanye, Muyiwa Taiwo, Tunde Salihu, Sunday Faturoti, and Idris Umar-Lando were nominated to lead the drive. Thus Nigeria Section was reactivated after about eight years of inactivity. Petition to form GOLD Affinity group was signed for submission at the meeting. The members in Port Harcourt have earlier started meetings since February 2000. Nigeria Section total membership strength then was 102.
Since its reactivation, IEEE Nigeria Section meetings are held in different venues across the country notably Port Harcourt, Lagos, Ibadan, Awka and Owerri, Abuja, Yola, Nsukka and Minna with good attendance recorded especially by the student members. There are 4 active Subsections in Port Harcourt, Owerri, Lagos and Abuja and more are in the process of formalizing their Subsection approval. IEEE Stand has always been a regular feature at all gatherings of engineers (NSE and COREN) in Nigeria.
A lot is being done in Membership Drive where our efforts have always been yielding positive results ever since. The Section membership strength is currently more than 3000 members (at the end of Q1 of 2011). The number of Senior Member in this Section has also increased from 3 to 34.
Nigeria Section has severally won the RAB Sections Award for Membership Developments in Region 8 since 2001.
Response from students in Electrical, Electronics and Computer departments in the Universities and Polytechnics to IEEE as a professional body has been tremendous. This is evident with the formation of 12 Student Branches in the last five years and some are still in their formative stages. Student members are very active in the Section activities. They also have some programmes organized in their different branches from time to time such as IEEE Week, S-PAC, and Career Talks etc. The relationship between students branches have remained cordial and networking is visible among the members. Society Chapters and Affinity Groups are formed and active in some student branches.
Nigeria Section was represented by three Student Branch leaders and a GOLD Rep at the last Region 8 SBC/GOLD Congress 2004 that was hosted at Passau-Germany. Maiden edition of IEEE Nigeria Section SBC/GOLD Congress was held at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka in October 2005. Students from about 10 branches were represented at the congress. Obafemi Awolowo University hosted the event in 2006.
There are 16 active student branches in the section.
GOLD Affinity Group was initiated during the section rejuvenation meeting in 2000. With this, the first award from Region 8 – RAB Award for Innovation was given to the group at the end of 2000. This group still exists in the section and acts as link between the various Student Branch members and the non student members. The group played a big role in the recently held Nigeria Section SBC/GOLD Congress at Awka.
Region 8 Leadership Award for GOLD was won by Prince Ibe, GOLD Chair in 2010. GOLD members are very active in Nigeria Section activities.
Women in Engineering Affinity Group have been leading in the drive to create awareness in female students of secondary schools in particular in sciences and engineering. Through their ‘Engineering for Girls’ Seminars held in Lagos and coordinated by Miss Clementina Vincent-Uvwieghara (of blessed memory), they have been reaching across to younger female students to encourage them to pursue careers in electrical, electronics and computer related professions. Before and until her demise in 2007, Mrs Clementina Saduwa was the WIE Coordinator for IEEE Region 8.
The group is currently led by Miss Ifeoma Okoye and recently had a Road Show in Abuja FCT in May 2011 in conjunction with other professional groups. The group participates actively in Section programmes.
There were four technical societies in the section namely Computer, Communications, Robotics and Automation as well as (Power Engineering/Power Electronics Joint Society) now renamed Power and Energy Societies. The Section recently had a Chapter of EMC bringing to five. All these Chapters are functioning with peer-review tactics.
The certificate of registration and recognition in Nigeria was issued to us in February 2005 with the assistance of Engr G. Massari through his company’s legal outfit; his contacts with the leadership of COREN and NSE facilitated the eventual release of the much required certificate. The assistance of Engr Foluseke Somolu and Engr O. O. Oruye to realise this dream also deserve commendation.
With the certificate at hand, it was possible to open bank account for the sections funds now IEEE Nigeria Section have an account with United Bank for Africa Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Members use these bank accounts to pay their dues and for other services.
We have received wonderful supports from the IEEE Headquarters, from our rejuvenation drive until now. From time to time, materials are sent to us that were used in our membership drives. The assistance of Cecilia Jankowski in the Regional Activities Department has been tremendous. Her officers assist us in membership applications processing and gave other logistic supports. Thanks to Vicki Waldman, Cathy Downer, Kathy Barretta, Dan Toland, Felicia Taylor and Geraldine Benedicto, and others too numerous to mention. The assistance is still being rendered.
Nigeria Section was honoured to be invited to Sections Congress 2002 in Washington DC to share our rejuvenation experience with other participants with a presentation on ‘Rejuvenating an Inactive Section or Chapter’. The Section has since participated in other Section Congresses.
Visits from IEEE Headquarters
The visit of Mr Harry Goldstein, Associate Editor of Spectrum Magazine to Nigeria in May 2004 brought a new dimension to IEEE presence in this country. With the overwhelming warm welcome given to him at Federal University of Technology Owerri, and seeing the state of things in the institution (which was a reflection of what is obtainable in other institutions), he sought for a way to add value to IEEE membership benefit. After making contact with willing donors like the Computer giants, Hewlett Packard, Advanced Interactive of Canada and the IEEE Foundations, the Tele-centre was offered. To the glory of God, the centre was commissioned personally by IEEE President – W. Cleon Anderson in January 2006 who came along with Harry Goldstein.
Region 8 Activities
The rejuvenation of Nigeria Section was well received by Region 8 Officer led then by Dr Rolf Remshadt and Prof Charles Turner. Nigeria Section was represented at Region 8 Committee meeting at Cairo Egypt in October 2000 after about 8 years of absence and has since remained active in Region activities. The section was represented at AFRICON 2002 in South Africa and the last ICTIS 05 Symposium in Morocco. Nigeria Section participates actively in Region meetings and events. We continue to relate very well with volunteers from other sections in Region 8.
One of us, Mrs Clementina Saduwa was the Region 8 WIE Coordinator (2005-2007). She was assassinated in Lagos in 2007. IEEE Region 8 has since instituted the yearly Clementina Saduwa Award in her honour for leadership recognition.
Engr Tunde Salihu (Section Chair 2006 – 2011) is currently a member of Region 8 Nominations and Awards Committee.
Since the rejuvenation of activities in the section, there has been series of recognitions and awards given to us especially in membership drive. These include but not limited to:
- RAB Innovations Award to GOLD Affinity Group in 2000
- RAB Award for best Region 8 Section in Membership Drive 2001 – 2004
- RAB Award for best Region 8 Section in Exceptional Leadership 2001 – 2004
- RAB Award for Exceptional Leadership 2002
- RAB Award for 3rd Best Student Branch in Region 8 won by NAU, SB
- Mr Mughal Ahassan of ESUT won the Photo quiz contest for September 2004
- Mr Debo Onifade won the IEEE History Contest in 2006
Collaboration with Professional and Government Agencies
IEEE Nigeria Section has established very cordial and working relationships with the following professional bodies and Government Agencies, to enhance her activities and services to the profession. These are:
- Nigeria Society of Engineers
- Nigeria Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
- Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria
- Standards Organisation of Nigeria
- Nigeria Electricity Regulation Council
- Nigeria Communications Council and recently collaborating with
- IEEE Ghana Section to host an International Conference in 2011.
Nigeria Section had successfully organised her first international conference since inception tagged “NIGERCON 2010” with participants and supports from the above listed organisations.
The Computer Society has been publishing her e-journal since 2008 and the Nigeria Section e-journal started in 2011.
Nigeria Section has been blessed with hard working and result oriented leadership since the section activities was rejuvenated.
- Engr Isaac Adekanye, 2000 – 2005
- Engr Tunde Salihu, 2006 – 2011
- Engr Dr Mrs Gloria Chukwudebe, 2011 –
An election was conducted in Q4 of 2010 and the following were elected to lead the Section. The hand-over ceremony was held in Abuja, FCT on 14th May 2011.
- Dr Mrs Gloria Chukwudebe, Chair
- Engr Raphael Onoshakpor, Vice Chair
- Engr Funso-Oyewole John, Secretary
- Engr Chidinma Ibe, Treasurer
- Prince Ikenna Ibe, Publicity Secretary/PRO
- Engr. Otuene Otunte, Vice Secretary
IEEE Nigeria and the Future
As we march on we are:
- Attracting new and creative volunteers to assure the future of IEEE Nigeria
- Spreading the benefits of IEEE to increase membership
- Ensure relevant government and private organisations collaborate with us in our area of strength such as Standards and Regulations.