A great man does not seek applause or place; he seeks for truth; he seeks the road to happiness, and what he ascertains, he gives to others. Robert Green Ingersollbv
The above quote aptly describe no other than Engr Charles Mbanefo, a former President of Nigerian Society of Engineers who clocks 80 this month. No wonder, friends, colleagues, associates and all mentees are rolling out drum to celebrate him through Annual Charles Mbanefo Distinguished Lecture in appreciation of his stellar professional humanitarian accomplishments. The lecture which held every year has become a converging point for policy makers, technocrats in other professions and engineers to examine critical issues affecting the country.
And what an auspicious time, the 2021 is proving to be special edition as the leadership of the NSE Abija Branch is all set for May 20 2021, for its Charles Mbanefo Distinguished Lecture.
In a nation that has, like other countries, grappled with the impact of the COVID 19 Pandemic which has affected all part of the globe, distort social lives, heightened poverty and weakened economies , finding the right and yet effective solution become a must. As such the theme of the 2021 Edition cannot be come at the right time in a bid to wake up both the leadership, while also beaming attention on the engineers, the heart of national productivity.
And who else could the cap fits than the Renowned Pan-African Prof Patrick Lumumba, former Kenya Anti corruption commission Director. He will be the Guest Speaker at the event whose theme is : “Leading Africa into industrialisation through strategic leadership”. while the President of NSE, Engr Babagana Mohammed will chair the event. Also Expected is Chairman/CEO Yolas consultants, Engr Yusuf Sagaya as Special Guest of honour along with various dignitaries across the country.
The event will hold at International conference center (African Hall) Abuja on Thursday May 20, 2021 at 4pm. and also via Zoom. Intending participants can register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdIPibzXSV-Ne1R0cPtjecWcgqUlIEKepYCysszeF_XCci9Hw/viewform
THE MAN: ENGR. CHARLES ANIWETA MBANEFO, FNSE
Born on 16th April, this sharing the same birthday with Charlie Chaplin and Pope Benedict XVI, Engr. Charles Aniweta Mbanefo, a product of the prestigious College of the Immaculate Conception (CIC) Enugu (SEMPER FIDELIS) is an alumnus of the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, where he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters Degree in Foundation Engineering.
Young Mbanefo began his distinguished engineering career as a pupil engineer with the Glamorgan County Council, South Wale United Kingdom before further gathering his rich experience in construction at Michelle Construction UK and Collavino Incorporated Construction, Ontario, Canada, Thomas White Consulting UK, J R Richard Consulting Ontario Canada, and Trow Ontario Canada. He was also a lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering, Algonquin Poly, Ottawa, Canada.
in 1979, the Emir of Zazzau, His Royal Highness Alhaji (Dr.) Shehu Idris, CFR, persuaded Engr. Charles Aniweta Mbanefo to return to Nigeria and contribute toward the development of the new Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Engr. Charles Aniweta Mbanefo joined the services of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) as a Principal Engineer in 1982, and served the nation meritoriously till his retirement as a Deputy Director in 2001.
During his active years, Engr. Mbanefo supervised the construction of some major districts and monumental edifices in the Federal Capital Territory; and some of the projects in FCT that he participated in are: the Aso Villa, the National Assembly (design stage), the Supreme Court, the Federal Secretariat, the National Stadium, the National Mosque, the Transcorp Hilton, Maitama District, Garki II District, Jabi District (design stage), and many others.
At the conception, the original design of Maitama District had five bridges, but when Engr. Mbanefo took charge as the Chief Resident Engineer for the project, he, with his team, displayed a mastery and prolific engineering finesse by removing four of the bridges, replacing them with culverts and underground drainage; that they also introduced a dam along the Shehu Shagari Way which is plied daily without noticing.
On a professional side, Engr. Mbanefo is the founding Chairman of the Nigerian Society of Engineers Abuja Branch. He served as ExCo Member of NSE for four years (1988-1992) and elected as NSE 3rd Vice President in 1992, and was the last 3rd Vice President before the amendment of the constitution the same year. In in 1993, he was elected as one of the three Vice Presidents under the new constitution.
In 1996, he was elected unopposed as NSE Deputy President and later became the 21st President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers in 1998, thereby maintaining his family’s distinguished professional tradition just like his brothers – Amb. (Chief) A.C.I. Mbanefo CON, MFR, FCA, the Odu III of Onitsha – Past President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), and Arch. Frank Mbanefo, FNIA – Past President, Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA).
Many years after retirement, Engr. Charles Aniweta Mbanefo continues to be very active in the Nigerian Society of Engineers and engineering community in general, and has been a member of the Council for 26 consecutive years. He is currently a member NSE Board of Trustees,
Charles Aniweta Mbanefo holds the traditional title of “Nwamulunanma Onitsha,” he is an extraordinary quintessential star in the intellectual firmament; a charismatic leader; an embodiment of an academic genius and maturity; a repository of wisdom; a monument of excellence; a compendium of integrity; and a citadel of simplicity and humility.
Little wonder, the NSE deemed him a worthy role model who should be emulated and honoured. The Annual Distinguished Lecture have become melting point of ideas, convergence points for high quality professional network and firmament for moulding policy framework for the country. if you are in Abuja and can be in Abuja, don’t miss this event. Be there!