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NASENI to Raise Number of Female Engineers in Nigeria Over the Next 5 Years

DELT-HER PIC
L- R: Coordinating Director, Planning and Business Development NASENI, Mrs. Nonyem Onyechi; Chairman Presidential Implementation Committee on Technology Transfer,  Dr. Mohammed Dahiru; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, Mrs. Nko Esuabana; President, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mrs. Margaret Aina Oguntala; Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Mr Khalil Suleiman Halilu and Chairman, Senate Committee on NASENI, Sen. Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi during the launch of the DELT-Her programme in commemoration of the International Women's Day at NASENI HQs Abuja on Friday, 8th March, 2024.

Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu, executive vice chairman/chief executive officer (EVC/CEO) of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) said the Agency would double the number of female Engineers in Nigeria over the next five years.

The EVC/CEO made this pledge today Friday at NASENI Headquarters, Abuja during the official launch of “Developing Engineering Leaders Through Her” (DELT-Her), an event which also coincided with the global commemoration of International Women’s Day (IWD).

Delt-Her, according to Mr. Halilu is an initiative, a subset of Delta-2 programme, floated to close the gender gap in engineering practice in the country, inspire next generation of female engineers, provide financing support for new ideas and projects, translating them into viable businesses, and ultimately to strengthen the entire engineering ecosystem.

Mr. Halilu said, “DELT-Her is what I call an opportunity platform”, through which girls and young women can pitch and present their exciting and groundbreaking engineering ideas, for funding by NASENI, through our collaboration with the Presidential Implementation Committee on Technology Transfer (PICTT).

Speaking further on the project, he said, DELT-Her “seeks to correct the in balance in practice and enterprise development, by focusing attention and funding on young women, and very importantly, creating and cultivating public awareness around the need to train and mentor more women into the engineering professions.

According to him, what this should ideally mean is that women should make up half of all professional spaces in the country but, for now, this is far from reality. “The global average for female representation in engineering is 28 per cent. In Nigeria, it is only five percent, only one in 20 Nigerian engineers is a woman. This awareness component of the work is one that we will take very seriously, working through schools, and storytelling campaigns.

“We intend to, through DELT-HER, double the number of female engineers in Nigeria over the next five years. This will mean working extensively at the level of secondary education, which is where young girls make the vital decisions regarding choice of professional field”, he affirmed.

Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman, PICTT, Dr. Mohammed Dahiru stated that, “The Committee, through continuous support of NASENI is determined to fund innovative and commercially viable ideas in engineering and technology-oriented proposals by women. Therefore, today’s launch of call for proposals from young women marks the beginning of a chain of events which are expected to lead to engineering start-up companies owned and run by women.”

In her key note address, the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr. Margaret Aina Oguntala said DELT-HER initiative sought to address the challenges of practice by the female gender, and to unlock the full potentials of women in engineering.

Other goodwill messages at the event included the chairman, Senate Committee on NASENI, Senator Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi who pledged his support for Women in engineering and science sector to ensure that they are given their rightful position in society.

Others who gave goodwill messages include the Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Citizenship and Leadership, Rinsola Abiola and Chairman, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria(APWEN), Engr. Mrs. Katume Giwa. The event was graced by students from Government Secondary School, Dasara, Kuje, Abuja.

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