It was all extolments and excitements as the ‘Invent it Build it’ collaborative project of NNPC and AWPEN entered another crucial stage with the organisation of the North Central edition, hosted by Kogi State.
The event was well attended by dignitaries across the country with the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Mr Yahaya Bello represented by the State Commissioner for Education,. Science and Technology, Hon. Rosemary Ojochenemi Osikoya,while the NNPC GMD, Dr Maikanti Baru was represented by Dr Shuaibu Musa, Managing Director, Medical, NNPC.
The venue of the event was at LEA Primary school in Ankpa, Ankpa Local Government of Kogi state where the Association also laid the foundation for a Science Laboratory complex to aide the students in their quest for practical science education and motivated to make choice in ‘E’ part of the STEM.
Speaking at the event, the excited President of APWEN, Engr Felicia Agubata went down memory lane to trace the origin and progress of ‘Invent it Build it’ Project. She said the programme was conceived to inspire the Girl-Child to take up career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM.
She said the association is committed to encouraging women achieve professional excellence as engineers and leaders in the community. She took time to outline some of the efforts of the Association towards bridging the gender gap in engineering while also ensuring more girls take to engineering as career of choice. The result has been increases in numbers of active women engineers across all the geopolitical zones in the country.
Engr Agubata, a recipient of 2010 APWEN Emerging Leader Award, said the programme has already been carried out in each of the Nigeria’s geopolitical zone; and that Kogi would be the sixth state representing the North central. Other states that have been covered are: Bauchi in North-East, Edo in South-South, Ogun in South-west, Kano in North-west, Anambra South-East. She revealed that the Association has already awarded scholarship to 61 pupils cutting across all the geopolitical zones and more will come.
The Deputy President of Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, Engr Babagana Muhammad represented the NSE President Adekunle Mokuolu, who he said was on official engagement to attend Ghana Engineering Conference where he had gone to represent Nigeria along with other West African engineering leaders. He espoused the traits of Engr Kashim Ali and challenged all to embrace the spirit of giving back to the community.
Group Managing Director, NNPC, Engr Dr. Maikanti Baru speaking through Dr Shuaibu Musa, the Managing Director, Medical, NNPC, said “It is a documented fact that no nation has become powerful and develops without the development of STEM. Everything you can see around you is products of STEM; engineers are the future of the nation. I have come to encourage you to be engineers,”
He disclosed the plan to build and equip a Science and Technology Laboratory to enhance pupils’ interest in science and engineering career. The laboratory is to be named after Engr Kashim Ali, President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) in recognition of his sterling achievements in services of Engineering and the nation.
He added that the NNPC would award scholarship to 10 deserving girls from 10 primary schools; from primary to university level to study sciences and ultimately engineering. He said that the scholarship award would be named as ”Engr Kashim Ali Engineering Scholarships for Girls’’, and shall be managed by APWEN.
Gov. Yahaya Bello, represented by Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, commended NNPC and APWEN for the initiative and for the choice of Kogi among the North Central States. He said the state was witnessing another success story through scholarships, sensitization, contributions and donations to the education sector.
“We are excited more individuals are developing interest to invest in education sector, just as Engr Ali has done, and has come back home to impact the lives of school children. I am so happy that this gesture has also set a trend for others to emulate, and I am excited that Kogi is going to be finally repositioned in education sector.” He said.
Engr Kashim Ali, the COREN President, thanked the NNPC and APWEN for the honour bestowed on him and praised them for encouraging young children to develop keen interest in science and engineering by catching them young. He promised donation of new set of uniforms to the students in the three schools within the LEA Ofugo primary school premises. He counselled the children to be neat, adding that they should always dress well and be good ambassadors of the community.
In addition, the APWEN presented him Engr Ali who also received Award of Excellence from APWEN for his excellent role in engineering.
Other highlights of the programme include interactive session with parents, guardians and teachers to inspire positive attitude and support for females in the pursuit of STEM. While practical science competitions were undertaken by the pupils under the guidance of APWEN members.
10 selected winners in the competition among the 100 participants from 10 schools, went home with one HP Laptop each courtesy of Engr.Kashim Ali’s friends. Three HP laptops were also donated to the head teachers on behalf of the three primary schools located within premises of the LEA school, Ofugo.
The award of scholarship to girls covering 12 schools will cover primary to university level. The highlight of the event is the laying of foundation for the science laboratory workshop by NNPC.
Some of the dignitaries at the event are: Governor Yahaya Bello. Represented by the Commissioner, Engr Kashim Ali the COREN President, Prof Joseph Odigure Registrar, COREN, Alh Yahaya M. Lawal, Executive Secretary, Kogi State Scholarship Board, Mr. Sule Safiyu, Director Science and Technology, Hon. Lumumba Dah Adeh, fmr Member, House of Rep, Engr Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor, VC Edo State University, Iyamoh, Engr Aluyor Dauda Okoduwa, COREN Council member, Engr Ali Rabiu, Cigarin Lafia, Engr Tech Ahmad Mohamad Yabagi, President NATE, Engr Vera Ntofon, Engr Mayas Adoyi, Dir. Lower Benue Rivers Basin Dev. Authority, Engr Muhamad Adra, Rep Minister of Water Resources, Engr Frank Ibi who Represented the NCDMB Executive Secretary, Simbi Wabote, Hon Ahmed Rabiu Rep Anka 11 at State House of Assembly. Others are Alh Shaibu Usman, Ag. Eje of Ankpa, Ankpa Elder Forum, parents and guardians
APWEN Past Presidents in attendance are Engr Idiat Amusu, Engr Nkechi Isigwe, Engr Olayinka Abdul, and all National Executive members include Vice Chairman Engr Funmi Ojelade, Engr Chinyere, Nnena Igwegbe, NSE National Executive committee member and others.
Others engineering leaders are Engr Rose Madaki, NSE Victoria Island Chair, Engr Funmi Akingbagbohun, Engr Aishatu Umar, National Chairman NICE, Engr Mrs. Obomejie NSE Auchi Chair. Also in attendance are some of the North Central distinguished Female Engineers from the North Central.
compiled by Isqil Najim (isqilnajim)