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Idiat Amusu, First Female Graduate of Agricultural Engineering in Nigeria: Celebrating an engineer per excellence

When in 1982, Engr Olu Maduka led a group of other 6 women to form a pressure group to press for change against the perception of women position as being in the kitchen and not on construction sites or behind the desk carrying out engineering designs, little did they know that the Association they formed, now known as The Association of Professional Women Engineer of Nigeria APWEN would become a leadership factory for women in engineering in Nigeria. Indeed, the APWEN have since produced many firsts and also opened up pathway in engineering leadership for successive generation of women engineers in Nigeria.

Among the original founding members of APWEN is Engr Idiat Aderemi Amusu, who is subject of this piece.

I wouldn’t know how to start this than borrow from Crystal Foy’s poem, ‘An Admirable Woman” as it perfectly describes this iconic woman and summed up all about her. Here it goes:

An Admirable Woman by Crystal Foy

There is a woman who always keeps her head up high.

Her eyes sparkle like a bright star in the sky.

She has the stamina, beauty, and courage that one would admire,

Even the love and happiness one inspires.

She is a women that one can always count on,

And a woman that sees no wrong.

Her beauty shines from the inside out,

It flows like a journey down a long route.

Her smile shines beautifully like the sun rising over the horizon,

And her intelligence, wisdom, and hard work are not surprising.

She is a genuinely caring woman

Who goes the extra mile to help one in need or broken hearted,

And throughout all of her hard work,

No one ever sees her fall apart.

Engr Idiat Aderemi Amusu was born in the City of Kano on November 27 1952. She attended St Theresa College, Ibadan in 1970 and Baptise High School, Iwo where she distinguished herself. Thereafter, she proceeded to the Prestigious University of Nigeria Nzukka, to pursue a degree in Agricultural Engineering which she completed in 1977 with second class upper; thus becoming, in the process, the first Female Graduate of Agricultural Engineering in Nigeria.

Engr Amusu professional sojourn started during her NYSC scheme when she worked with HIHORT, Ibadan between 1977 and 1978. She later joined ADFARM Ltd, Alakuko as General Manager where she managed 45 acre of farmland.

Passionate about impacting knowledge to younger ones, Engr Amusu enrolled to teach Mathematics and Physics at both Epe Grammar School and Our lady of Apostles, Yaba. Not satisfied with the moderate impact, and desirous of moving higher, she formerly transferred to academic in 1982 to teach Engineering mathematics, at Yaba College of Technology, the first Tertiary institution in Nigeria. She then went on to acquire Postgraduate Diploma and Masters in Food Science and Technology.

She is a total woman, a motivator -in – chief, a pacesetter,one of the very best the Engineering Profession has on offer

– Engr Felicia Agubata

At Yaba College of Technology, she was transferred to Food Technology Department where she lectured in Food Engineering, Steam Generation, Food process and Equipment design. Though the years diligent hard-works, Engr Amusu rose through the ranks to the peak as Chief Lecturer at the College in 1998.

She was the Head of Department of Food Technology between 1996 and 1998. She became the pioneer Dean, School of Technology where she served between 1998 and 2002. The School comprises four departments at inception. Under her leadership, she deployed her experiences as manager of resources and men toward the development of the new School and ensures all departments are accredited while new courses are introduced. Between 2007 and 2009, Engr Amusu proceeded on Sabbatical at Moshood Abiola Polytechnics, Abeokuta.

A woman with many pioneering works and leadership, on her return, she was called upon to pioneer the establishment of Agricultural Technology in Epe, Lagos which has today become a success story. The 8th Inaugural Lecture of Yaba College of Technology in April 2014, which she delivered has remained a reference point at the College and beyond.

She is the perfect confidante and sounding board that anyone could ever need.-

-Engr Margaret Oguntala

A woman of many part who love practical application of knowledge, Engr Amusu equally has her hand on engineering consulting and has consulted for such companies as West Africa Milk Company, Integrated Dairy farm, Vom, Evan Medical Plc and many others.

Engr Amusu has served as a member of the accreditation committee of National Board for Technical Education to many polytechnics institutions in Nigeria. She has also served as an external assessor to Raw Material Development Council of Nigeria, Lagos State Polytechnics, National Board for Technical Education Technical Journal, Federal Polytechnics Offa etc.

Engr Amusu, first female COREN Council Member, receiving Award from COREN President Engr Kashim Ali

Engr Amusu as a professional is the first female Council member of the Nigeria’s engineering regulatory body, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN. She has also served as a council member of Nigerian Society of Engineers; she is one of the founding members of Association of Profession Women Engineers in Nigeria, AWPEN and was the 4th President of the Association. She is a Fellow of Nigerian Society, Fellows of Nigerian Institution of Agriculture Engineers, Fellows of Nigerian Institute of Food Science and technology.

Engr Amusu has interest in fabrication and a keen believer in reverse engineering. She is a woman passionate about mentoring younger ones both males and female and always ready to be there when called upon. There is nearly anyone you speak to that does not have a story of how she had inspired and motivate them toward excellence. Even this writer has been a beneficiary.

In August 2018, National body of APWEN honoured her along with NSE president, Engr Adekunle Mokuolu in Abeokuta for her contributions to Engineering through its National ‘Invent, in Built’ campaign which aimed to honour all its original founding Members. The Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, HRH Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo 111, Alake of Egbaland personally graced the event and showered encomium on her for her many pioneering activities both within the profession and in the community.

Today, we celebrate this heroine of Engineering and wish her many happy returns as we echo APWEN  President, Engr Agubata’s word ‘Our heroine, Our Motivator-in-chief and a Total woman, an engineer per excellence.”

Engr idiat Amusu, middle. flanked by Engr Margrate Aina Oguntala (Erelu), Engr Adedapo Aisheda, Engr Joseph Akinteye, and Engr Adeniran Ibitoye

What they Say About Her:

Engr. Idiat Aderemi Amusu is a very special woman who is endowed with many attributes.
She is beautiful both in looks and within.
She is a superb listener.
She is the perfect confidante and sounding board that anyone could ever need.
She is loving and giving
She is a great mentor.
On this occasion of her 66th birthday, I say with confidence that maami as I fondly call her is like a good wine. She gets better by the day. God bless her beautiful soul.
—-Engr Margaret Oguntala (Erelu)
Three times Vice President, NSE, Past Chair NSE Ikeja, MD Bamsat Nig Ltd

*****

Engr Idiat Aderemi Amusu is a total woman, a motivator -in – chief, a pacesetter,one of the very best the Engineering Profession has on offer.

She has consistently mentored us and still mentoring. She is retired but not tired of her calling- “ Engineering “
I wish her Allah’s mercy and good health as she celebrate another year today.

—-Engr Felicia Agubata, President, APWEN

***

Engr Amusu is not just a professional, senior colleague but a mother in all ramifications. My first encounter with her was some years ago when I was encouraged by her admonitions on how women in Engineering profession should conduct themselves in order to earn respect of the other gender. She has been a Mentor to many of us up till today. Wishing her many more celebrations in good health and prosperity
-Engr. Mojirade M. Oloruntoba, IPC, NSE, Ilesa Branch, Pioneer & PC, APWEN, Ilesa Chapter

***

My Mummy!!! That’s what I fondly call you. You have the heart of angel and never discouraged by the challenges of life. You are an inspiration to every woman and you always crave for our success!!! A dear mother, a sweet grandmother and a mother to all. Who would believe you have been through life’s challenges at all, always full of smile, fashionable and confident. You always have a kind word and encouragement for everyone.

You always tell me” lola go for it “ don’t let anything stop you but keep the home front insured. I love you so much my mummy and I pray for longer life in more wisdom and love. I thank God for you today and I celebrate your day with you

-Engr Lola Adetona, First Female Chair, Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers, NICE Lagos Chapter

***

The few times I have interacted with her I come to a conclusion that she is motherly, supportive and is an advocate of peace and unity
-Engr Oduwa Agboneni, CEO Nenis Auto and PRO NIMechE Lagos Chapter

***

I’ve known Mummy Idiat Amusu as a woman of many parts. I draw inspirations from her anytime I see or thought about her. She is a real woman, she doesn’t white wash, she say it just as it is, either you take it or leave it. Her perseverance, courage, integrity and loving nature are exemplary. She inspires me to work hard and live one day at a time. Her words anytime it feels the day seems longer than usual, “You are just worrying yourself unduly, everything will be alright dear”.

I seize this opportunity to thank and celebrate an icon of integrity for her achievements and outstanding leadership qualities worthy of emulation. She has really impacted a lot of us and always giving us the courage to weather the storm.  

Engr Nimot Muili, MNSE, Former Chairperson, APWEN Lagos Chapter and Senior Manager, Ove Arup and Partners

***

Our Mummy: Engr Mrs Idiat Amusu,FNSE is a leader indeed. She identifies with each and everyone of us on our special individual levels. She inspires us and always rise to the occasion when called upon. Her words of wisdom and encouragement during the last leadership class organised for APWEN Exco Members (including some of us not part of the Exco in attendance) shall remain indelible in my heart. We are encouraged and we shall keep pushing in the believe that YOU WILL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR US.
We celebrate you ma. May you live long in good health and tranquility of the heart to reap the fruits of your labour and may Almighty ALLAH swt continue to be merciful unto you.
Happy birthday and many happy returns, ma. Barakallahu fih!
Engr(Mrs) O. Rahmat Odejayi,FNICE,MASCE- National Vice President Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers.

Royal Blessing. Engr Amusu receiving award from HRH Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo Gbadebo 111, the Alake of Egbaland in Abeokuta

Engr Amusu, flanked by NSE President Engr Adekunle Mokuolu, Engr Felicia Agubata, Engr Abiodun Awe during the event organised in her honour by APWEN in Abeokuta

A Journey into 25 year history: Engr Amusu shares moment with Past President of NSE, Engr Olorunfemi Isaac Ademola as they go through the exhibited photographs covering 25 years history of NSE Ikeja Branch

Engr Lola Adetona, Engr Monsurah Alagbe and others sharing moment with Engr idiat Amusu
A mentor and motivator in Chief in Action. Engr Amusu addressing gathering of Female engineers in Lagos

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.- Maya Angeleo

I am isqil Najim @IsqilNajim

Professionalism, Grace as APWEN Storms Abeokuta to Honour the City, the Culture, the Engineers and Inspires Our Girls

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