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.
Atinuke Owolabi, chairperson of APWEN, made the call during the association’s public lecture and annual general meeting on Saturday in Lagos.
Owolabi said female engineers in Nigeria are capable of restoring the refineries to full operation within a year.
“All women engineers are ready to come together and see how we can proffer solutions, making sure that we revamp these refineries,” she said.
“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 into operation by the grace of God.
“It is imperative that our homegrown engineers are empowered and granted the right opportunity to showcase our competence.”
Owolabi said Nigeria needs to reduce reliance on foreign experts and give opportunities to local engineers who are equally or more competent.
“I want to also implore our leaders, especially our president and governors, to empower indigenous engineers because we are very good,” she said.
“A country without engineers cannot develop. Together, we shall shatter barriers and triumph over challenges in reaffirmation of the fact that gender should never constrain one’s potential in any domain.”
Chinedu Anyaso, chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), had also called on the federal government to consider fixing the refineries to avoid over-dependence on the new Dangote refinery.