Ondo State Governor, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa, at the weekend hailed the historic emergence of Engr. Margaret Aina Oguntala as the first female President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE.
The Governor made the remark as the Guest Speaker at the inauguration ceremony of Engr. Oguntala as the 34th President of the NSE at the International Conference Centre in Abuja on Saturday.
He described Oguntala as a distinguished woman of substance, saying that her emergence “is a testimony to that fact that our great country is again recognising the invaluable contributions of the female gender and the need to encourage and support the emergence of women in leadership roles and in healthy competitive elections. This indeed is a very rare feat that needs to be recognized as well as celebrated.”
The Governor added: “Engr. Mrs. Oguntala is known to be a woman of sterling qualities and substantial substance, and coupled with her vast experience, knowledge and exposure, I have no doubt that this woman of substance would move the umbrella body to great heights. Kudos to you madam for this rare feat, and you make us proud in Ondo State.”
While commending engineers for the crucial roles they play in the development of any society, the Governor stressed that “a major part of the responsibilities of building the nation of our dream lies mainly upon the shoulders of engineers and technologists.”
“However, I must challenge you that it behoves on the engineers and technologists to complement the efforts of government by formulating and producing state-of-the-art solutions to the hydra-headed developmental challenges of our great nation.
“We must begin to build roads, bridges and other infrastructure that will stand the test of time, and even outlive their design-life. We must begin to look at and introduce technology that will conserve energy and preserve our environment that is already being degraded from the dangerous gaseous emissions from gasoline and diesel engines of our automobiles and industries. The way to go, therefore, is to introduce electronic solutions, work smartly and to green energy.”
Mrs. Oguntala, speaking shortly after her investiture, urged the Federal Government to implement fully the presidential order 5 which promotes the consumption of made-in-Nigeria goods and services.
She called on the government to amongst other things “implement the GL 09 entry point for engineers in some of the states that are yet to effect the enhanced entry point for engineers in civil service. Formulate a policy to compel employers of labour to pay commensurate welfare packages/hazard allowances for engineers.
“Implement Executive Order 5 with sincerity of purpose. Promote Nigerian-made goods and services. Have the Presidency invite the NSE to nominate engineers for inclusion in the newly formed “Policy Coordination, Evaluation, Monitoring, and Delivery Unit” as announced by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his 2024 New Year broadcast. We praise the President for this initiative.
“Encourage entrepreneurship by providing incentives and support for engineers in small businesses and startups in the extractive industry. Promote STEM education to encourage more students to pursue engineering careers and contribute to nation-building.”
Earlier in his Keynote Address, Senator President Godswill Akpabio praised the society for electing its first first female president.
Represented by Deputy Senate President, Barau Jubrin, Akpabio said: “Oguntala’s appointment serves as a powerful testament to the fact that talent, dedication, and expertise know no gender boundaries. It is a clear indication that the Nigerian Society of Engineers recognizes and values the invaluable contributions of women in shaping the future of engineering.”
Prince Ebenezer Adeniyan,
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ondo State.
January 20, 2024