Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Meet Engr Dr. Francisca Nwafulugo, Anambra Woman Of The Year, 2020



The Anambra Man of the Year Award, 2020 is already history but the impact continues to reverberate across the length and breadth of the State because of the quality of the awardees and their inspiring stories that merited them the awards. For the first time in the history of award ceremonies in the State, merit was pursued to the letter and was the sole desideratum for considering awardees and not any pecuniary interest. The selection process was very rigorous, and as such it could only throw up persons whose stories create ripples of hope that when put together forms a current that is gradually transforming Anambra State. Among the awardees selected was Engr.Dr.Francisca Unoma Nwafulugo who broke the jinx and became the first female Rector of Federal Polytechnic Oko after over 40 years of its existence; a very elegant, charming, unassuming, intelligent and delectable lady whose mien has positioned her as one of the most outstanding ladies from Anambra state.  
Apart from being a professional high flyer, Engr.Dr. Nwafulugo is a role model, a mother per excellence and a real specimen of what a real woman should be. Here is a woman who has successfully combined her role as a wife, mother and an administrator and has excelled tremendously in these areas.

As the first female Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Oko with over 30 years experience in the academia, she has continued to transform that citadel of learning through sound educational policies and infrastructural development, raising and shaping future leaders and expanding the frontiers of human civilization. It is not in doubt that by the time her tenure ends, the polytechnic would have metamorphosed to an undisputable center of excellence. On assumption of office, about 62 programmes already lacked accreditation and were on the verge of collapsing. She swung into action and facilitated the accreditation of all the 62 courses and even raised new programmes. By that singular action, the academic standard of the institution was raised, giving the students quality learning, hope of graduation in record time, ability to participate in the national youth service scheme and a vista of opportunities. Engr.Dr. Nwafulugo understands the essence of staff motivation and how it enhances staff productivity, translating to better academic environment and improved student performance. So she promoted a great number of staff whose promotion were stagnated and converted some of the staff who had upgraded their academic qualification and this action would usher in a very convivial atmosphere of learning. It is interesting to note that since her assuming office, the institution has not recorded any internal strike and this does not mean that there are no management/ staff challenges, but it has always been resolved by dialogue.

Mindful of the importance of cleanliness and decent accommodation to the learning process, she embarked on hostel rehabilitation, providing basic amenities to ease the stress of students who hitherto use to spend their productive hours trying to secure basic things like water. Such thoughtful actions led to reduction of incidences of examination malpractice in the institution as students channel their energy towards their studies, the very reason they came to school. To her credit, new projects are springing up in the school even while trying to complete projects started by the past administration and these she has done without noise.

Engr.Dr. Nwafulugo has made tremendous success out of engineering, enriching the life of man and inspiring the younger generation to reach out for the stars. She prides as one of the most successful female engineers in the academia in the country and for more than 30 years has contributed to her field immensely. She is a specialist on environment and an international consultant on water treatment and monitoring. She led an Independent team on Water monitoring Project for Green Development. “PoA for the reduction of emission from non-renewable fuel from cooking at household level, United Nations Frame work Convention on climate change (UNFCCC). She was also the chairperson of Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) Kaduna Chapter. Engr. Nwafulugo has received several awards and recognition from several organizations and bodies. Some of the awards are Pan African Prize for Excellence by the African Student Union Parliament, the prestigious Thomas Sankara Integrity Award by the ECOWAS Youth Council, and Award of recognition by the Nigeria Association of Technologists in Engineering. She is a Fellow of the following professional bodies: Nigerian Society of Engineers, Institute of Oil and Gas Research and Hydrocarbon Studies, Institute of Entrepreneurs, Institute of Policy Management Development, Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria, Institute of Management Consultants. Her life has indeed been a life of donations and with her on the saddle, the institution she heads will continue to surpass expectations.

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