By Festus OSEJI

The University of Lagos Faculty of Engineering Alumni Association (UNILAGFEAA) recently hosted its 2022 Alumni Luncheon to raise 500 million naira with the theme: “A Better UNILAG Faculty of Engineering for All Generations”. The event which took place at Ikeja, GRA, Lagos, witnessed who is who in the engineering and the academia in Nigeria, amongst them is the Executive Governor of Lagos state Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu who is also a member of the alumni; Her Excellency, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, Deputy Governor of Ogun State; former governor of Ogun State His Excellency, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, FNSE, FAEng.

Other dignitaries includes Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS, Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos; Dr. John Momoh, OON, ably represented by Chief Dr. Fasi Adetokunbo, first Vice-President, University Of Alumni Association; Engr. Dideolu Falobi, FNSE, Chairman, UNILAGFEAA; Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, FNSE, Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA); Prof. Obanishola M. Sadiq, FNSE, FAEng, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Lagos.

In his welcome address Engr. Dideolu Falobi, FNSE, Chairman, UNILAGFEAA, went down memory lane and told the gathering that the association was founded in 2017 by the 1969/72 class of the engineering department under the leadership of an erudite engineer Engr. Titi Omo-Etu, FNSE, FAEng who served as the pioneer chairman of UNILAGFEAA.

Further in his speech, Engr. Falobi stated some of the achievements recorded and contributions made by the association which includes “enhancement of the existing infrastructure and facilitation of new ones in the faculty, support for the current students in the area of learning, learning facilities, research and acquisition of knowledge in non-engineering skills. Support for Alumni, encouragement of interaction among the alumni and the facilitation of engagement between the alumni and the facility”.

“The efforts and desires of the current executive are to leave the faculty better than our executives met it. However, it also gives us the opportunity to make information available to the public, on ongoing transformation activities of the Lagos state government in the area of rail transportation and the opportunities available therein for potential investors. It’s imperative to note also that the Governor of Lagos state, as well as the Managing Director of LAMATA, and other notable members of the state executive are alumni of the UNILAG Faculty of Engineering.

In a brief chart with the CED Magazine team, Engr. Dideolu said “today is a sort of reunion for the alumni as well as opportunity for networking and I expect that a lot of businesses will be created here and I have no doubt that when the money begins to roll in, you would remember the faculty of engineering”.

The dean of the department Prof. Obanishola M. Sadiq, FAEng in his address appreciates the efforts of the past and the current executives of the alumni most especially Engr. Dideolu Falobi who has consistently been of assistance to the department, for instance “one case needs mentioning. For some time now, a section of the faculty has been experiencing perennial flooding whenever it rains’, and as I it was mentioned to him early this year he took it up and he sourced for a sponsor and the funding of the project has been taken up by the 1987 set (his own set) and is now nearing completion and the faculty will be relieved of this problem once and for all.”  

He also thanked the Faculty Industry Advisory Board (an arm of the Faculty Alumni) headed by Engr. Dr. John Erihne, FAEng for their efforts in ensuring that our engineering curricula align with best industry practice.

The chairman of the occasion and President of University of Lagos Alumni Association Dr. John Momoh, OON, represented by Chief Dr. Fasi Adetokumboh, First Vice-President of UNILAG Alumni was full of praise for the faculty of engineering alumni for their efforts and contribution toward the improvement of the faculty in particular and the university in general.

Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS, the Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, a three-time co-recipient of the Faculty of Science Best Researcher acknowledged the efforts of the UNILAG Engineering Alumni Association for their taught out plans to tackle the challenges facing the department and complement the efforts of the institution leadership under his watch. He also promised to ensure necessary support is given to the department to actualize the development plans for the department of engineering.

The VC whose tenure will come to end in the next 6 months added that under his leadership the institution has recorded tremendous growth in the area of receiving international grants for research purposes. He also told the gathering that UNILAG is one of the best 15 Universities in Africa, 501-600 out of 1,600 all over the world.

Delivering the lecture title: “Lagos Mass Transit Project: The Journey So FAR & Investment Opportunities”, Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, FNSE, Managing Director, LAMATA told the audience that the mandate for the Blue-Line (Okoko to Marina) is to be ready by the end of the year 2022. She added that the rolling stocks are ready; the rail tracks are almost completed and electrified.

In addition, she said “LAMATA will carry out 6 months of constant advocacy to educate the masses on the danger of the electrified rail line and to deter our people from crossing the electrified rail tracks on the Blue-Line from Okoko-National Theater, Iganmu”.

She also said that the Red-Line (Agbado-Marina) which was started by the present administration will be executed in two phases and will have 11 stations. In her words there is an established cordial collaboration between Lagos State Government, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), and the Federal Ministry of Transport for effective delivery of the Red-Line Rail Project.

The governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu was full of appreciation to the LAMATA team and promised that the Blue-Line which was started by the previous administration in the state will be completed before the end of this year 2022, while the Red-line project started by his administration will be delivered as at when due.

He further encouraged the association UNILAGFEAA to remain focused as his administration will do all it can to support the programmes and plans of the engineering department for the benefits of education growth in the state in particular and the country at large. The event witnessed awards and recognition plaques being presented to the following dignitaries; Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, FNSE, Dr. John Momoh, OON, and Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, FAS, while corporate organizations such as CCECC, and Dredging Atlantic Limited also were recognized.

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