Nigerian Institution of Metallurgical, Mining and Materials Engineers (NIMMME), also referred to as 3M), has honoured eminent Nigerians for their outstanding contributions to the growth of Metallurgical and Mining industry in Nigeria.
NIMMME is a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).
The Institution bestowed the honourary award during the 2nd public lecture themed; “Ezekwe-Barberopoulos-Obikwelu (EBO) Honourary Lecture” held on Friday 1st December 2023 at the transmission company of Nigeria hall, in Abuja.
The public lecture christened after three illustrious individuals, namely Prof Gordian Ezekwe, Mr. Romeo Barberopoulos and Prof D.O.N. Obikwelu was aimed at rewarding Nigerians with stellar contributions to the industry.
The Highlights of the event came when each of these Individuals were honoured and they all had someone who spoke on their behalf.
From Father to Son:
Vassily Barberopoulos, the son of Romeo Barberopoulos, who delivered a keynote speech, spoke on behalf of his late Father.
Late Romeo Barberopoulos established and ran the leading metals foundry in West Africa in 1969 after being one of the engineers to set up Africa’s first TV Station WNTV Ibadan during his time with Leventis Group.
His Son, Oye Vassily Barberopoulos, the current MD, is more Nigerian than most of Nigerians and knows all corners of the country and has taken the company to new heights in mining, oil and gas and machine parts among others.
He is an authority in additive manufacturing (especially 3D printing) in Africa. He highlighted the opportunities and threats to existing fabrication industries, .
It would be recalled that Late Romeo Barberopoulos established and ran the leading metals foundry in West Africa in 1969 after being one of the engineers to set up Africa’s first TV Station WNTV Ibadan, during his time with Leventis Group.
From mentor to Mentee
Also, Late Prof. Gordian Obumneme Ezekwe, an illustrious son of Abagana received a post- humous award from Nigerian Institution of Metallurgical, Mining and Material Engineers during the ceremony.
The President Umuada Abagana National Association Iyom Dr. Mrs Ajia Ogugua Agagbo received the award on behalf of his family.
Professor Onwue Abdulmalik Ibrahim, a research director at the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Abuja HQ spoke as guest lecturer for Prof Gordian Ezekwe.
He explained how late Prof Gordian Ezekwe hired him not caring where he came from but that he won NYSC prize as a pioneer staff of NASENI which Prof Ezekwe founded during the General Ibrabim Babangida era.
They worked closely in drafting, welding, fitting in the workshop even on weekends; bringing innovations and ideas to life.
He then has had a sterling career at NASENI passing through many departments and subsidiaries coming from OND and is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering today.
He spoke about NASENI and its drive for local capabilities and manufacturing and the willingness to partner with collaborators.
Late Prof. Gordian Obumneme Ezekwe was a Nigerian inventor, mechanical engineer and former Federal Minister of Science and Technology under General Ibrahim Babangida from 1989 to 1991.
He was a former Director of the Projects Development Agency (PRODA) (later renamed Institute), founder and first Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive of the National Agency for Science and Engineering, Infrastructure (NASENI) and founder of Science Equipment Development Institute (SEDI). Prof. Gordian Ezekwe was the first Nigerian PhD in Mechanical Engineering (1959).
Earlier at the NIMMME event, Dr. Friday I Apeh, d Director in Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NIBRRI), a past National Chairman of 3M, spoke as Lecturer on behalf of Prof Daniel O.N. Obikwelu.
Prof. Obikwelu who was unavoidably not able to make the event, though he participated fully during the 1st Edition of the Ezekwe-Barberopoulos-Obikwelu EBO Honourary Lecture held in Awka, Anambra State 2022.
He is an award-winning student and researcher at the Michigan State University having done work for NASA and The US Navy.
He worked in Delta Steel Company (DSC) Aladja, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) helping set up the SITP program that trained hundreds of Engineers in hands on Technology and also established Metallurgical Engineers as a distinct discipline in Shell HR and enable Metallurgy graduates work in Shell.
He worked at Nnamdi Aziliwe University, ESUT and the University of Nigeria Nsukka UNN, where with the help of the then VC, Prof Chinedu Ositadinma Nebo (Former Minster of Power) they set up the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering department at UNN. He was conferred Fellow of NIMMME.
NIMMME also inducted new membership numbering 110 inductees, 47 Fellows and 2 Honourary Fellows.
The Fellows are;
1) Prof Samson Duna DG NIBRRI (Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute)
2) Prof Hussaini Doko Ibrahim DG RMRDC (Raw Materials Research and Development Council)
3) Prof Chinedu Nebo form Minister of Power and current VC University on the Niger Onitsha
4) Mr. Obadiah Nkom DG Mining Cadastre Office , Abuja
5) Prof Adisa Ademola Bello Registrar COREN
6) Prof DON Obikwelu
7) Engr Jacob Titilope Adeyemo MD GeoCardinal Engineering
8) Prof AbdulGaniyu Funsho Alabi a Past National Chairman
9) Prof Aje Tokan the current National Chairman
10) Engr Michael Orekyeh of the Anambra State Ministry of Works
11) Engr Valerie Agberagba a General Manager at NDPHC
Other Fellows Conferred at the event included.
1) Engr Henry Bolarinwa
2) Prof David Esezobor
3) Engr Chinasaokwu Okorie
4) Engr Joseph Gansallo
5) Engr Sunday Agbalajobi
6) Engr Oduche Azih
7) Engr Kennedy Ibechem
8) Prof Leke Oluwole
9) Engr Ikenna Okonkwo (a Manager in NNPC)
10) Engr Fidelis Ezenwankwo MD Castmaster Ltd Kano
11) Engr Tafa Abubakar Quarry Manager BUA Cement
12) Engr Abdulraman Ottan
13) Prof Abdul Rahman Asipita Salawu of FUT Minna
15) Prof Jamiu Kolawole Odusote of Unillorin
16) Engr Ese Ochoga a Past Chairman
17) Engr Joy Ogbodo of SEDI Enugu
18) Prof Yusuf Shuaib-Banata of Unillorin
19) Engr Ayodele Mesaiyete of Lagarge Wapco
20) Engr Yahya Bukar a Director in Standards Organization of Nigeria
21) Engr Christian Onyibo a Director in Federal Ministry of Work, Abuja
The event was graced by many Dignitaries in the NSE and COREN space such as Engr Ali Rabiu MFR – immediate past President COREN, Vice President North Central Engr Joseph Adebayo, who represented the NSE President Engr Tasiu Saad Gidari-Wudil FNSE, National EXCO members, Branch Chairmen and many others.