Women engineers ready to fix Nigeria’s refineries if…

By Nudoiba Ojen

The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to give female engineers an opportunity to fix the nation’s moribund refineries.

The new APWEN Lagos Chapter Chairperson, Atinuke Owolabi, assured that female engineers spread across the various arms of the profession could fix the refineries within a year.

Owolabi, a Fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, spoke in Ikeja Lagos during the APWEN’S public lecture and Annual General Meeting.

She said, “All women engineers are ready to come together and see how we can proffer solutions, making sure that we revamp these refineries.

“So, we call on our president to challenge female engineers to revamp and rehabilitate these refineries. And I want to assure you that, within a year, just challenge us, we will make sure that the refineries would be put to operation by the grace of God,” she said.

Owolabi said any nation aspiring for development must empower its indigenous engineers and manpower, saying, “It is imperative that our homegrown engineers are empowered and granted the right opportunity to showcase our competence.

“I want to also implore our leaders, especially our president and governors, to empower indigenous engineers because we are very good. A country without engineers cannot develop,” she said.

The APWEN leader said women had inbuilt natural qualities of being good managers and being excellent, adding that their talents should also be explored in building roads and other critical infrastructure.

Owolabi, who promised that her administration would focus on mentorship and skill development for young engineers, added that they would “shatter barriers and triumph over challenges in reaffirmation of the fact that gender should never constrain one’s potential in any domain”.

The guest speaker and APWEN former president, Olayinka Abdul, speaking on the theme, “The role of female engineers in building sustainable infrastructure”, said that rising fuel prices required urgent measures for green alternatives.

Abdul said that “green buildings reduce waste, conserve energy and ensure huge energy savings and enormous long-term benefits,” adding that Lagos was investing heavily in renewable energy.

Abdul advised APWEN to adopt communities and train them on how to generate power from their waste.

She also enumerated measures female engineers could adopt against workplace discrimination and how to receive mentorship from male counterparts without bruising their ego.

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