Odegua Florence Ogunbor, Leader of the SWE Lagos Affiliate in Nigeria, recaps an event on the impact of COVID-19 on the engineering sector in Nigeria.
Event: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Engineering Sector in Nigeria – A Perspective From Women Engineers
Organised by: Society of Women Engineers, Lagos Affiliate Group Nigeria
Date of Event: 1st Of October 2020
Attendees: 16 (SWE Nigeria: 13, SWE USA: 2, SWE India: 1)
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Engineering Sector in Nigeria – A Perspective From Women Engineers
The event, which commenced at 12pm on the 1st of October, 2020, was to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence—60 years of freedom from the British colonial masters since 1960. Nigeria has since progressed to becoming a leading country in the continent of Africa, being a major economic powerhouse in the continent with the highest population of over 200 million citizens. The oil and gas industry, agriculture, information technology, etc. are major mainstays for the Nigerian economy. This event ensured that majority of these sectors were covered by speakers who did a great job in highlighting their points through very engaging, colourful and interesting PowerPoint presentations.
The event engaged women engineers from diversified fields of engineering to speak on their various professions and highlight the challenges they face with the current COVID-19 situation, how it has affected their organisations and steps they have taken to progress despite these challenges. It was hosted by Ibidunni Ayo-Dayisi (SWE Lagos Affiliate Member and Secretary) and Odegua Florence Ogunbor (SWE Lagos Affiliate leader).
The event commenced with the first speaker, Oyenmwen Idom (SWE Lagos Affiliate member and a SWE global ambassador in Nigeria), who presented her topic: “The Effects of COVID-19 on the Oil and Gas Sector in Nigeria.”
Oyenmwen highlighted the highs and lows of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria for the past 6 months and how the pandemic has caused series of fluctuations in the prices of crude oil at the market level which in turn affected some Nigerian government policies such as setting the pump price of related products at the consumer level. She also highlighted the impact of the pandemic on manpower retention in the oil and gas sector and how many had to deal with pay cuts.
The next speaker, Catherine Omada Ameh (SWE Lagos Affiliate member and a SWE global ambassador in Nigeria) made her presentation on “The Impact of COVID -19 on FinTech (Financial Technology) Organisations in Nigeria.”
Being a new tech area in Nigeria, Financial Technology was a major area of interest at the event and Catherine was very effective in highlighting this area and how it became a major support during the lockdown situation as many financial institutions were closed. She highlighted the importance of FinTech organisations and their mode of operations in Nigeria to individuals and institutions such as technology providers, investment organisations, logistic companies, etc.
The third speaker was Rhoda Salako (SWE Lagos member), who presented the topic: “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Information Technology in Nigeria.”
Rhoda emphasized that the Information Technology sector has experienced more highs than lows since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among others, she highlighted how the use of several technology apps have helped meetings and forums to continue in several organisations despite the lockdown period due to COVID-19, which has ultimately helped retain people on their jobs.
The fourth speaker was Mulikat A.L Idris (SWE Lagos Affiliate member and a SWE global ambassador in Nigeria).
Mulikat spoke on the impact of COVID-19 on the construction industry in Nigeria. She highlighted the effects on contracts, increased workload, lack of bonuses and compensations, and lack of skilled manpower as technology skills became priority in the execution of job tasks. Her presentation was explicit and well-rounded.
Finally, Archana Suryawanshi—who was a guest speaker for the event from India—spoke on behalf of the members of the SWE Global Women Engineers Affinity Group.
She commenced by introducing the Global Women Engineers Affinity Group to the attendees of the event. She then proceeded to highlight the impact of COVID-19 on the engineering sector in India. She was very precise and her presentation closed the event for the day.
The vote of thanks was presented by Odegua Florence Ogunbor. She thanked everyone for attending and encouraged members to indulge in more of such commendable projects in order to continue to build the SWE brand in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
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