80 Happy Cheers to the first Registred Female Engineer and first Female president of Academy of Engineering

What can be more Satisfying than lookin back at how far you have come and making such impacts as giving opportunities to evolution of multiple generation of Females’ Engineers under your watch while going on to lead from behind as the institution you founded becomes a national pride and vehicle for nurturing resent and future generation of engineers. And this should be the mood of the First Registered female engineers in Nigeria and also the first WOman President of Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Engr Johanna Olu Maduka FNSE, FAEng as she clocks 80 on May 6, 2021.

The president of APWEN, Engr Funmilola Ojelade and her team put together an event to mark the occasion on 6 April 2021. Tagged Oak Jubilee Zoom party, the event organised in her honour attracted digitaries across the country, along with her family members, friends and colleagues in the engineering profession in attendance, who graced the occasion via video zoom.

Some of the dignitaries are the renowned industrialist and investment expert, Chief Mrs. Onikepo Akande, first female President of the Association of Consulting Engineering of Nigeria ( ACEN), Engr. . Mayen Adetiba, first female Engineering from South South Nigeria, pioneer Vice-Chancellor, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and Crescent University, Abeokuta, and former President of  Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Prof. Fola Lasisi’ President, Nigeria Society of Engineers, Babagana Mohammed, other founding members of APWEN, among others.

Speaking at the event, the President of APWEN, Mrs. Funmilola Ojelade expressed excitement that APWEN is celebrating her founder. She recalled the hostory of APWEN and said that the six founding members, who started the association with Mrs. Maduka in 1983, are still very active saying, “All of them are still alive and active in the association which tells you the kind of leadership that Maduka has put in place. They are still playing one role and another to make the association great and we are very grateful for that.”

She recalled that in January 2020 when her tenure as president of the association started, she promised Maduka that her 80th birthday would be grand in her hometown in Ilesha, Osun State, which would also be an opportunity to hold the annual Olu Maduka annual lecture ( OMAL), but the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020 had affected the plans.

“In 2021, we went ahead and planned for the event and booked Oriental Hotel, Lekki, in January, but as it is, we saw that the older ones are at risk of contracting the infection as far as the Covid-19 is concerned, so rather than having a large event at the venue and contravene COVID 19 protocol, we said we will not allow such a day to pass without doing anything. So together with the EXCO, we decided that we are going to celebrate mummy by gathering many people virtually.”

President of Women in Energy, Oil and Gas (WEOG), Mrs. Oladunni Owo, also expressed excitement about the celebration while describing Maduka as a game changer who had impacted women from across the world.

According to her, “Our generation is blessed to have you. We say thank you for impacting our world, being a part of the development of this nation and womanhood at large; and sharing your dreams against all odds.”

Other dignitaries across the country sent their goodwill messages and prayer to commemorate the event.

Her daughter, Dr. Ifeoma Nwogu also congratulated her mother saying, “When I think of mummy, I think of her versatility and projects. She is a people person, a wife and mother. I admire the way she puts her heart into people-projects and she is very visionary. We have all being so privileged to witness the instructions that comes from her. We all are so lucky to have her.”

Her husband and first Director General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Vincent Maduka congratulated his wife for attaining the age of 80 and her service to humanity.

In her response, Engr Olu Maduka thanked everyone including members of the association, who had come to honour her on her day, while promising that she will continue to call for more woman participation in the profession. .

Born in Ilesha, Osun State on May 6th, 1941, Engr. Mrs. Joanna Olu Maduka had her early education at Queens School, Ede, from where she passed the West African School Certificate in 1959. She gained admission to the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Ibadan and passed her Advanced Level Examinations in 1962. Thereafter, she was admitted to the University of Ife where she graduated in Applied Physics with B.Sc. (Hons) 2nd Class Upper Division in 1965. Engr. Mrs. Maduka passed the Graduateship Examination of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (UK) in 1966 and earned an M.Sc. (Engineering) degree from Trinity College, Dublin in 1969.

Her professional career cut across various establishments in public and private sector as well as academic institution.  She has worked with Western Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation Ibadan; she was also a Lecturer in Applied Physics at University of Ife and and also the Principal Partner at Leccom Associates. She is the founder Friends of the Environment (FOTE) which focus on renewable energy, waste management and empowerment of women.

Engr Mrs. Maduka became the first female COREN Registered Engineer in 1974; first female, Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (FIEE), UK; first female, Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers FNSE; Honorary Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Science Technology, 1987, Honorary Fellow, Yaba College of Technology in 1998 and first female Fellow, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering. She also became first Female President of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering where she served between.

Engr. Mrs. Maduka has over the years served on several National and International Boards, Governing Councils of tertiary institutions and Committees including but not limited to: Federal Polytechnic, Idah (1980-1984), (1986-1988); Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, (1990-1995), Implementation Committee for the Commercialization of National Electric Power Authority (1989-1990); Gender Renewable Energy Sources and Development Applications (GRESDA), a programme under the United Nations Development Fund for Women International Network of Women in Science and Technology (INWES).

She is also First female governing board member of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and member of the founding executives of the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas Company (NLNG), she played a major role in the facilitation of the full take-off of the company’s operations in Nigeria.

Maduka is the epitome of an energy woman closing energy gap and moving nations forward. In 2008, she was conferred with the national honour: Member of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR).

She is currently the Chairperson of the International Forum for Women in Energy OIL and Gas (WEOG).

She is the President of Ijesha Society, a group of eminent sons and daughters of Ijesha land. In 2008, she was conferred with the national honour Member of the Federal Republic, MFR

Handshake: On my way to Ilesha…

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