TRIBUTE TO ENGR. IBRAHIM KHALEEL INUWA OFR – My Personal President & C-in-C of the Unarmed Forces Everywhere & Anywhere by HRH Engr Otis Anyaeji

Having become perfect in a short while,
he reached the fullness of a long career;
for his soul was pleasing to the Lord,
therefore he sped him out of the midst of wickedness.”
(Wisdom, iv. 13-14 ).

In March 1985 when I came to the Council of the Nigerian Society of Engineers as Secretary, NSE, Warri Branch, Engr. Ibrahim Khaleel Inuwa MNSE was 2nd Vice President of the Society. He saw me as a young entrant to Council, though not as young as he was when he entered.

In one of our conversations, he told me he also arrived the Council Chamber as Secretary of NSE Kano Branch. He then made the point of being precociously elected Branch Secretary as a Graduate Member.

Furthermore, he came to the Council wearing two caps ; his cap, and that of the Chairman NSE Kano. The latter was a free mandate from the incumbent, who was regularly unavoidably not available.

Legend has it that even as a non corporate member, the young Khaleel bestrode both seats like a colossus. Thus within a decent interval Engr. Inuwa virtually alone from the North in the chamber, had won the confidence and respect of members of Council to get elected unopposed as Vice President. I did not get closer to him before I left the Council at the end of 1985.

At the 1987 AGM of the Society in Port Harcourt, one was elected Assistant Secretary General. In January 1988, President Ife Akintunde FAEng asked me to work out strategies for enlargement of membership of the Society. One of the recommendations made was that NSE should get COREN to implement one of the latter’s stated conditions for registration, that an engineer applying for registration must belong to an engineering professional society, with an amendment requiring that such a candidate for registration must belong to NSE. There were other commonsensical, but seemingly disruptive recommendations. President Akintunde circulated the proposals to all elected officers.

On ‪this Saturday morning‬ Engr. Inuwa, the 1st Vice President, was in the auditorium of the National Engineering Centre, Lagos, with other members of his Finance & General Purpose Committee about to meet. I went into the auditorium to greet the 1st Vice President and members of his committee. It turned out they were discussing the paper on ” Enlargement of Membership of NSE”.

Engr. Inuwa remarked that the recommendations were good, but that it would be another ten years before we would have reached that level. I promptly joined him in an argument, querying the rationale for not having a go at them immediately. This argument was now developing in high decibel when somebody came and called me out of the auditorium.

When I got to the corridor President Akintunde was waiting for me. He immediately said, “Boy, I want you to be the next Secretary General of this Society, and the person you are arguing with out there, by the grace of God, is the next President of this Society. Go back there and agree in principle with him”.

I complied at once. From then on I realised I had to relate more closely with Engr. Inuwa.

A short while after, I broached my intention to contest for the position of Secretay General NSE with him. He told me clearly that the incumbent, i.e Engr. Olu Awoyinfa FAEng was his bosom friend. And since there was no term limit, if the incumbent chooses to continue, he Engr. Inuwa would certainly support him. I still kept reaching out to Engr. Inuwa nonetheless, and fortunately Engr. Awoyinfa decided not to recontest.

At the 1988 NSE AGM in Abeokuta, Engr. Inuwa was elected, as usual unopposed as President, and yours truly elected landslide as Secretary General NSE. Thus come 1st January, 1989, both of us struck off a partnership that yielded much dividends for the engineering profession in Nigeria, from polemical advocacy and activism. Some of the memoranda President Inuwa and I deployed to affect public policy positively in favour of the engineering profession in Nigeria, are as follows.

* 1989 I. K. Inuwa & Otis Anyaeji : ” Minority Report on the Deliberations of the Consultative Assembly on the Reform of Companies Law.” Submitted to Hon. Attorney General of the Federation.

* 1989 I. K. Inuwa & Otis Anyaeji : ” Presidential Directive on Self-Reliance in Engineering of Nigeria’s Development Projects” – Memo addressed to the C-in-C.

* 1989 I. K. Inuwa & Otis Anyaeji : ” Memorandum on the Review and Reform of Industrial Property Law”. Submitted to the Nigerian Law Reform Commission.

* 1989 I. K. Inuwa & Otis Anyaeji : ” Memorandum on National Building Code”. Submitted to FMW&H.

* 1990 I. K. Inuwa & Otis Anyaeji : ” Memorandum on the Utilities Tariff Commission “. Submitted to the Presidency.

* 1990 I. K. Inuwa & Otis Anyaeji : ” The Travails of the Engineering Profession in Commercial Law Practice of Nigeria”. ( a compilation of correspondences with Government).

The Minority Report on the Deliberations of the Constituent Assembly (1989) resulted in the Decree No. 46 of 1991 which amended Decree No. 1 of 1990 ( Companies & Allied Matters) to give the Engineering professions a seat on the Corporate Affairs Commission ( Section 2) and include ” Engineer” in the definition of “Valuer” ( Section 137 ).

Memo on “Utilities Tariff Commission ” (1990) led to the Federal Government decision to establish four regulatory agencies for Energy, Water, Transportation, & Communications vide Mr. President’s 1991 Budget Speech.

Engr. Inuwa as leader of the engineering professions was very charismatic. He had the full support of most members of the engineering community. Following the footsteps of his predecessor Engr. Akintunde in fundraising, the debt owed on the National Engineering Centre Lagos was paid off during his tenure.

He admitted Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR in eminence as Fellow in 1989.

One incident that happened early in his tenure is worth recalling on an occasion like this. Shortly before his 40th birthday anniversary, he embarked on a marathon pastoral tour of branches in the eastern flank of the country from north to south. The tour kicked off with Jos Branch, continued to Makurdi, thence to Enugu, and then Owerri, Aba, and concluding in Calabar. This was during Ramadan, and so when the entourage got to Enugu, arrangements were made for his early morning meal. The kitchen sloppily failed to provide the meal on the first night, and again on the second night. Engr. Inuwa did not lose his cool, and kept all his appointments. Talk about those who are strong.

It was during his tenure that I introduced the Certification Course on Engineering Valuation in NSE. President Inuwa gladly took on responsibility to teach Automotive and Construction Equipment Valuation.

On the matter of Personal Social Responsibility (PSR), Engr. Inuwa, Engr. Osasogie William Uzebu FNSE, and the undersigned comprised the Inner Committee of Generals, with Khaleel, by meritocracy, holding tightly to the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Unarmed Forces Everywhere and Anywhere. By this bereavement, the camp of performing Generals is thrown into serious confusion.

When one became President in 2016, we had problems with funding necessary foreign trips for officers and officials of the Society. I felt more at ease not representing the Society at most foreign events because the money for the President’s business class ticket could pay for three delegates.

The Executive Secretary and I realised that prior to my tenure as President, Engr. Inuwa would unfailingly make his own arrangements to attend foreign professional engineering organisations conferences. We thus decided that he must be included in the delegations to foreign conferences, moreso as Chair International Committee.

This country will continue to be grateful to Engr. I. K. Inuwa FNSE for the seminal work he did 1989-90 as Chairman , National Committee on Engineering Infrastructure. NASENI i.e National Agency for Science & Engineering Infrastructure is the main deliverable from the work of NCEI,. So also would we be indebted to him for strategic work on Ajaokuta Steel Project .

It is poetic injustice that Engr. I. K. Inuwa OFR FAEng passed on the day the Federal Government constituted a committee for the completion, and operation of Ajaokuta Integrated Steel Complex.

He, before yesterday afternoon, was simply the best for the job.
But for the unkind cut of death, Khaleel was set to join the ranks of the late Engr. Teju Oyeleye FNSE FNIM, and late Engr. Chief Marshall Akinrele M. A. (Cantab) FNSE FNIM in the Presidency of the Nigerian Institute of Management.

Only that these engineer Past Presidents of NIM might be raising eyebrows over young old men jettisoning the mortality convention of First-In, First-Out.

Adieu my President & Kabiyesi !!!!!!!
May the soul of Engr. Ibrahim Khaleel Inuwa OFR FAEng FNSE FNIM rest in the bosom of our Maker.

His Royalty Otis Anyaeji KtSGG FAEng FNSE
Obi Onowu n’ Okija
( Traditional Head Ubahu Okija )

Secretary General & Orator of The Great & Honourable
The Nigerian Society of Engineers (1989, 1990, 1991)


  1. Beautiful history to look back at, even though I personally don’t know him neither was I opportuned to meet Engr.Inuwa but his deeds speak well of him

    May he rest peacefully!


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