By Etuka Sunday
The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru has said that Nigerian girl-child possesses the ability to realise her full potential in the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to stardom.
Dr. Baru was reported to have declared this at weekend during the flag-off of “Invent It, Build It” Programme, a flagship project of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), in Misau, Bauchi State.
NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu in a statement said, the GMD, who expressed delight at the kick-off of the project in his alma mater, Central Primary School, Misau, Bauchi State, noted that no nation had ever achieved any meaningful development without the key subjects of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET).
According to the statement, the “Invent It, Build It” programme by APWEN is to inspire the girl-child (aged 8-10 in the upper primary school) to take up the sciences with a view to pursuing a career in engineering.
“The study of Science, Technology and Engineering requires an eye for details, diligence and multi-tasking ability for which women and, by extension girls, are well known.
“I would like to call on teachers and parents all over the country to encourage the study of Science, Technology & Engineering among the girl-child,” Dr. Baru stated at the ceremony.
The statement said, describing engineers as the gears of progress who help accelerate development all over the world, the GMD stressed that the engineering profession held the key to Nigeria’s technological advancement and in turn, economic prosperity.
He lauded APWEN for initiating the “Invent It, Build It” project, saying when the association recently intimated him of its desire to unveil the project, he could not resist the mentoring opportunities which the programme presents.
He said as an NNPC staff, he was very proud of the role played by engineering professionals in the corporation, among whom are engineers, scientists as well as technologists in most of its operations.
He emphasized that the corporation would continue to partner professional bodies towards promoting science, technology and engineering studies, even as he called on well-meaning Nigerians to support APWEN in its laudable initiatives.
He said the APWEN’s initiative would not only encourage young girls nationwide to study engineering, but would also spur other stakeholders across the country to invest in promoting engineering education – especially among the girl-child – for the benefit of the nation.