In what is deemed a homecoming visit, the new president of Association of professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, (APWEN) Engr Mrs Funmilola Ojelade and her team were hosted by the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola at State House in Osogbo on Wednesday. The event also had in attendance the engineers in the cabinet.
The visit was the first official engagement of the President since assumption of office earlier this month and also part of the activities lined up towards the forthcoming Investiture of the new President.
Engr Funmilola who is also an indegene of the state expressed her delight to be home and used the opportunity to appreciate the governor while describing her visit as a glorious home coming having been living outside the state for many years.
Going down memory lane, She recalled how, as the Chief of Staff to the the governor Rauf Aregbesola, Gov. Oyetola supported APWEN during its National Conference and Annual General Meeting held in Ilesha in 2014. She praised the governor for his demonstrated passion for empowerment of women and expressed the desire of the Association to support his administration.
Further, she eulogised Engr Adeniran Ibitoye, for his many contributions to Osun state and engineering. He has also been ensuring everyone is in tune with what is happening in the state while also encouraging other professionals from the state to contribute to the development of the state.
Engr Funmi Presenting gifts to the Governor
Engr. Ojelade used the opportunity to invite the Governor to the forthcoming Investiture ceremony coming on Saturday 18th January 2020 in Lagos where he has been nominated as the Father of the day. The event holding at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos, will attract various dignitaries from both public and private sector.
The immediate past president of APWEN, Dr. Felicia Agubata, earlier spoke about the “Invent It, Build It” program for primary school girls which APWEN organized throughout the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria, in honor of various engineering icons to inspire girls to study engineering.
Ojelade said her administration will build on the achievements of her predecessor. Saying APWEN will commence “Introduce-a-girl-to-engineering” scheme among secondary school students while also targeting the young female graduates who will benefit from the Association’s mentoring scheme.
As part of the activities for the year, the President announced that one of its programes, ” introduce a girl to engineering” will hold in the State at Ife Oluwa Grammar School, Osogbo.
She announced that the Association, through the support of an Australian organisation is poised to run a programme targeting young female graduates and equip them with skills needed for employability and also compete in the increasing competitive labour market. The programme will hold across the six geopolitical zones in the country.
“We have learned by experience, that one of the challenges hindering students in STEM subjects is the method of teaching the STEM subjects.So, starting from this year, we will embark on a massive STEM teachers’ training in partnership with the University of West of Scotland and sponsored by Royal Academy of Engineering, UK. We will also conduct this in the six geopolitical zones..-” Engr. Funmilola Ojelade
She praised the Vice President of the NSE, Engr. Adeniran Ibitoye popularly known as KLM, who is also a cabinet member in the state for his various encouragements of indegenes of the state to contribute to the state while also ensuring they are kept updated on developments.
The Governor in his remark thanked the delegation and commended the Association’s giant strides toward empowerment of girl-child. He described the President of Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) as a role model and ambassador to women across the country.
The Governor praised the Association for fighting against the stereotype that engineering is only a man profession. He applauded them for their numerous projects across the country, especially under the immediate past president of the Association, Engr Dr. Agubata, who was also on the entourage. He promsied his administration’s supports to the Association.
Oyetola while informing the visitors that engineers are well represented in his cabinet, “offered them the opportunity to visit and enjoy the breathtaking tourists sites and hospitality of Osun people during their stay in the state”.
One of the highlights of the event was a surprise birthday presentation to immediate past President of the Association by the governor and the engineers serving in the cabinet in appreciation of her contributions to engineering.
Engr Adeniran Ibitoye on behalf of the Engineers in Osun cabinet surprised Dr Agubata with a birthday presentation.
Other at the courtesy call are the Deputy Governor, Mr Benedict Alabi, Former House of Representatives member, Hon. Ajibola Famurewa, Member House of Assembly representing Osogbo State Constituency, Honorable Taofeek Badamosi, Secretary to the State Government, Prince Oluwole Oyebamiji, Special Adviser to the Governor on Water Resources and Energy, who also is the Vice President of the Nigeria Society of Engineers, Engr. Ibitoye Felix Adeniran among other.
On APWEN side are: Engr. Funmilola Ojelade, President, Engr Dr. Felicia Agubata, immediate past president, Engr. Nkechi Isigwe FNSE, Past President, APWEN, Engr. Bosede Oyekunle, APWEN National Publicity Secretary, Engr. Anthonia Oyebode, APWEN Osogbo Chair, Engr. Prof. Tinuade Afolabi, APWEN Ogbomoso Chair, Engr. Esther Olatundun, APWEN Ilesa Chair, Engr. Juliet Ayobamidele, Engr. Rose Madaki FNSE, Chair, NSE Chairmen’s Forum
Report by Isqil Najim