Investiture Speech of Engr. (Mrs) J. O. Maduka, MFR as the 9th President of the Academy

Investiture Speech of Engr. (Mrs) J. O. Maduka, MFR as the 9th President of the Academy

Engr. (Mrs) J. O. Maduka FIET, FNSE, FAEng, MFR

Mr. Governor Sir, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola

COREN President, President LCCI, NSE

Fellows of the Academy

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is a great honour for me to be standing before you today as the 9th President of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering and to welcome you all to yet another investiture ceremony of this Academy.

I wish to thank the Fellows, my colleagues, for the trust and confidence that go with this position and I accept with pleasure and a sense of fulfillment as this is the first time that a woman will occupy the highest position in the apex engineering professional body in this country and indeed in most countries of the world.   I am therefore delighted to stand before you today, as the first female President of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, and I offer the position to all my colleagues, women engineers.

I want to welcome and thank, specially the Executive Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who blocked today in his diary immediately I gave him the invitation card to this event. I thank the Presidents of other Academies and professional bodies here present, as my special thanks go to my primary constituencies, Queens School Old Girls Association and Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN). I also wish to thank all distinguished guests who have made out time to be here today.

I thank my family, specially, for their patience and understanding over my various activities outside the home in all these years. My husband has been my pillar of support and he has encouraged me to realise my aspirations and ambition.

We are gathered here today to mark a change in leadership. It is a day of reflection on the past, a celebration of the present filled with anticipation and vision for our future. I would like to appreciate the presence of all the Fellows of the Academy, in particular the past Presidents, most of whom are here today. Your presence here today represents the promise that the past, present and future of this Academy was, is and always will be to fulfill the aspirations of the founding Fellows who under the leadership of our Founder President Prof I.O. Oladapo aimed to use the unique knowledge and experiences of our eminent members to provide advice to government and the business community on issues where technology plays a key role in successfully implementing socio-economic initiatives in order to meet the needs of our country, Nigeria, and the global community.

As many of you know, an investiture is part of a time-honored academic tradition where a new president is officially installed. It is a time to acknowledge the efforts of the past leadership of the Academy that have blazed the trail and reiterate that their laudable achievements for the Academy will remain structures upon which more building blocks will be placed as the cause of the Academy advances.

Our responsibility as the Nigerian Academy of Engineering is to forge ahead in playing the role that our well enumerated objectives expect from us; in this vein, I ask us to “fasten our seat belts” and prepare to fly.

Like our counterparts across the world, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering has limited membership and Fellows are nominated on the basis of their distinguished contribution to research and practice of engineering and are positioned to serve as advisers to government and the private sector alike on engineering and technology matters.

Our searchlight as the Academy should also be on the low industrial base in Nigeria, where capital and consumer goods are basically imports. Entrepreneur/Industrialists often import factories and plant wholesale into the country and prime requirement thereafter is for operating, servicing and maintaining the production line. But, whilst we appreciate entrepreneurial industrial investment into the country, real industrialization cannot be achieved without the engineer and technology, and the Academy will collaborate with all stakeholders in promoting creative and analytical technical contribution to the national culture. Nigeria could do with more logical and scientific approach to problem definition and solution.

Please, permit me also to remind us all of the concern for such issues as global warming and climate change, the concept of Earth Systems Engineering that has evolved to define the direction of multidisciplinary process development, new frontiers in technology and engineering such as Nanotechnology, Advanced materials, Petrochemicals, Robotics and advances in biotechnology. Although some of these may sound remote in the Nigerian context,  we should be mindful of developing sustainable engineering solutions that will positively impact our social, cultural, environmental and economic development for the future.

You will all recall that our immediate past President Prof R. I. Salawu championed our inclusion into the world Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS) and the Nigerian Academy of Engineering received an invitation in 2015 to attend the convocation ceremony of CAETS in New Delhi, India. He promoted the holding of the Engineering Open House (EOH) and engineered the establishment of standing committees for the different engineering disciplines with membership within the Academy among other things. In the next two years, we will continue to work for the full realization of these worthy goals.

The Academy will be better positioned to provide analysis and policy support to make more impact along policy lines. We will also endeavor to focus on engineering education and how we can positively impact the economy and social life of the nation.

The Academy will seek meaningful collaboration with sister Academies in Nigeria and international Academies such as the Indian, the Chinese and the Malaysian for example. These countries have made considerable progress in the field of engineering and technology and we stand to benefit from their experiences and ability to get results.  Some of the expected benefits are as follows:

Organizing studies on the frontiers of key engineering science and technology, promoting capacity of innovation in industrial technology and raising the level of management science.
Carrying out more academic exchanges and cooperation at home and abroad at all levels to create an environment for the healthy growth of excellent young and middle-aged experts.
Encouraging international conferencing arrangements with the National Academies of interest and working to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering and being a National Academy with a global outlook.
We will improve on the quality of our web portal and make our website more versatile in its offering. We shall also actively canvass for financial support and donations from old and new friends in corporate organizations and institutions towards the achievement of our goals and objectives.

Quality will remain paramount in the selection of new Fellows into the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, as we have always striven and as one can see in our impressive new Fellows list of 2015.

Finally, I will be asking you, my fellow Fellows, to be involved in more programmes and meetings at various levels during the coming months, and to invest more time, expertise, and treasures in us. I hope that each one of us will rise up and support our collective legacy for the Nigerian Academy of Engineering.

Thank you for your patience and attention.

Engr. (Mrs.) J. Olu Maduka FNSE, FIEE, FAEng, MFR
President, Nigerian Academy of Engineering

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