By Nse-Abasi Odiong
The Association of Professional Women Engineers (APWEN), Uyo branch, has lauded the Ministry of Special Duties for employment opportunities given to female engineers in the ministry.
The Association, while on courtesy visit to the Honorable Commissioner for Special Duties and Ibom Deep Seaport, Akwa Ibom State, Engr. Bassey Okon, said professional female engineers were known for technical prowess, especially while discharging their assigned duties.
In an address delivered by the chairperson of the Association, Engr. (Mrs) Emem Mendie, the group noted that APWEN which is a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), was established in 1982 with the mission to increase the numerical strength of female engineers.
APWEN commended Engr. Okon for all his achievement within his period as the Commissioner in the Ministry of Special Duties and Ibom Deep Seaport, saying the association was ready to render any technical services that may be required by the Ministry.
The group listed her programmes to include, Back to School Program for Primary School Girls; Career Counseling for Secondary School Girls; Annual Conference, amongst other programmes, and solicited support from the ministry to actualize them.
While lauding the Ministry for giving many professional female Engineers the opportunity to serve in various capacity in the the Ministry, APWEN pledged their continued support to the Udom Emmanuel led administration.
In his response, the Commissioner for Special Duties and Ibom Deep Seaport, Dr Bassey Okon appreciated APWEN for finding time to pay him a visit.
Describing the visiting team as a ‘cream de la cream’ of the engineering profession, Dr. Okon noted that, the programmes of the Association were quite commendable and that such activities embarked upon by APWEN, would go a long way to encourage young girls to develop more interest in the profession.
Okon pointed out that, in his School days, very few female folk had interest in engineering, but that there were more females in the profession, as seen in the visiting team.
He charged them to keep up with the good work to educate young school girls on the need to study relevant engineering subjects like Mathematics, to help give them a solid foundation for the engineering profession.
Engr. Bassey urged the group not to limit their enlightenment programme within Urban area, but extend to schools in the rural areas, to also avail young girls in the rural areas the opportunity of knowing the importance of the engineering profession.
Dr Okon noted that if APWEN actualized programmes listed in the address, it would help in boosting the education policy of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration.
The Commissioner noted their concerns and assured them that the Ministry would look into their proposal and see how to support them.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Engr. Udosen Ephraim also lauded APWEN for their lofty programmes and encouraged them to continue enlightening the female gender on the need for them to chose engineering profession, maintaining that Engineers are problems solver for humanity.
Among the visiting team were female Engineers from various Engineering Fields, including: Engr. Ime Asuquo, Vice Chairperson; Engr. Iniobong Unufi, Secretary General; Engr. Helen David, Treasurer; Engr. Uyime Akanse; Engr. Bethel – Wali Joy; Engr. Emerald Akpan and Engr. Aniedi Ituen.