The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has advised professional women engineers to be role models to young girls in Tertiary Institutions so as to redress the gender imbalance in the engineering profession.

Dr. Onu gave the charge when the executives of Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria (APWEN) paid him a courtesy call in his office in Abuja on 6th march, 2018. He also called on parents to allow their wards, especially the girl-child to take up careers in science, adding that Nigeria will not be able to build a virile economy until there is a visible shift from a commodity-driven to a knowledge and innovation driven economy.

Dr. Onu stated that the on-going Expo 2018 is intended to sensitize Nigerians on the importance of Science and Technology and its linkage to communications, public works, industry, agriculture, health and others. He added that the Ministry is working hard to ensure that Nigerians appreciate the importance of Science and Technology in economic development. Dr. Onu praised the women professionals for attaining prominent position in their various vocations.

He also charged them to seize the opportunity of the Executive Order 5 recently signed by the President to enhance their leverage in the engineering profession and compete for jobs not only in Nigeria but in other parts of the world. He reiterated the commitment of the Ministry to collaborate with scientists and other professionals, including (APWEN) to move the country forward.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Association, Engr. Joy Umunna-Nwaigwe appealed to the Ministry to partner with the Association in its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and biomedical engineering projects with a view to equipping science laboratories in various rural areas of the country. She added that the Association is committed to contributing to the technological advancement of the nation.