THE Nigerian Institution of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineers (NIMMME), a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Awka Chapter, Anambra State, has honored three distinguished members for their contributions to the Metallurgy and Materials Engineering Industry and Profession at the 1st Ezekwe- Barberopoulos-Obikwelu (E.B.O), Honourary Lecture Series, organized by NIMMME, Awka Chapter, which took place, at La Luna Hotel, Awka, recently.
They are Late Prof Gordian Ezekwe, Late Mr Romeo Braberopoulos and Prof D.O.N. Obikwelu who were inaugurated as the Hournorees for the Ezekwe Barberopoulos Obikwelu (EBO) Honourary Lecture as inspiration and mentors to the present and future generations of engineers and inventors.
Prof Gordian Ezekwe, was bestowed a posthumous award, in appreciation for his contribution to innovation and engineering during the civil war through his Technological skills that led him to manufacture bombs (Ogbunigwe), production equipment, spare parts, and refining of fuel for the Biafran side during the Nigeria-Biafra civil war
Prof Gordian Ezekwe later served as Federal Minister of Science and Technology under President Ibrahim Babangida in 1989 and Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI). Which was a brainchild of Prof Ezekwe which was a major breakthrough in the technology management space in Nigeria,
Professor Daniel Obikwelu and late Mr. Romeo Barberopoulos for advancing the profession and dedicating most of their lives towards mentorship of engineering professionals in Nigeria.
Professor Obikwelu a renowned metallurgical engineer and pioneer Head of the Department of Metallurgy at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and a Greek immigrant who was naturalised as a Nigeria late Mr. Romeo Barberopoulos MFR, initially worked as an Electrical Engineer at AG Leventis.
He set up the first major commercial foundry in Nigeria, Nigerian Foundries Limited (NFL) in 1969, After leaving Leventis which is still in operation in Lagos and Ota, Ogun State, the biggest Foundry in West Africa.
Speaking at the event, the National Chairman of the NIMMME (3M), Professor Aje Tokan, described the honorary award given to the three Prominent Engineers, “a distinguishing honour for their indelible contributions to the 3 M disciplines and practice”. Prof Tokan, who was represented by Engr. Nathan Abia-Bassey, while congratulating one of the honoured, Prof. Obikwelu (who is a Past National Chairman of NIMMME), who is still alive, urged him to leave up to the expectations of the society.
He urged the Federal and Anambra state government to immortalised his kind contribution to the nation’s peace and development. The National Chairman used the event to solicit for greater support and collaboration with the federal government, to enable the institution to realise its mandate and to contribute to the present administration’s desire to diversify the country’s economy.
In his address, Awka Chapter Chairman of NIMMME, Engr. Michael Orekyeh said the lecture series was also designed to simplify the materials engineering profession, industry, processes, and business for the general public.
“We hope the E.B.O characters, stories, profiles, and legacies will inspire new generation engineers and entrepreneurs and perhaps what we’ ve learnt from them and the chosen theme for lectures will produce developments that will push Materials Engineering to new and positive heights in Nigeria,” Orekyeh stated.
He commended and thanked the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, for giving many professionals the opportunity to serve the state and understand how Governance works.