Friends, family and associates gathered together at the Qualibest Hotels Abuja on Tuesday to celebrate the retirement of highly resected director of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency, (SMEDAN), Engr. David Ozigi.
Speaking at the well-attended event, Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Prof. Adisa Bello, FNSE, FAEng, who handled the topic ‘’Character and Integrity in Professional Practice’’, described professional integrity as the practice of maintaining ethical behaviour, strong adherence to moral and ethical principles and values such as honesty, honour, dependability and trustworthiness.
Prof. Bello further outlined the importance of integrity in the work place to be beneficial to both the individual and the organisation, stating that the individual gains respect, trust and confidence of his peers and bosses, thus integrity in the workplace ultimately guarantees overall success.
This as he stated that some of the characteristics of a man of character and integrity includes valuing other people’s time, giving credit to where credit is due. They are always honest and never take advantage of others. They give most people the benefit of doubt, they believe in others and trust others. Bello described the retiring SMEDAN director as an epitome of character and integrity.
He went down memory to 1985 when he had his first contact with Engr. Ozigi who was his lecturer at ATBU Bauchi where he taught the course with the title Strength of Materials. He described all the former students of ATBU Bauchi that were taught by Engr, Ozigi as being very fortunate. According to Bello, Ozigi, took his time even outside his scheduled lecture hours to ensure that everyone understood the courses he taught, stating that Engr. Ozigi was however very strict with compliance to instructions, punctuality and thoroughness.
“ Engr. Ozigi has impacted positively on many people’s lives and he maintains his composure in virtually everywhere he is’’. He further described Engr. Ozigi as a gentle man a lot of youth still look up to and need to emulate his character and integrity.
In his remarks the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr. Tasiu Gidari Sa’ad-Wudil,FNSE stated that the celebrant was a lecturer at ATBU Bauchi in the 80’s, when he was a student, and he was noted for hard work and strictness.
He added that he was therefore not surprised that his children are doing excellently well academically. He further stated that as the Chief Examiner for the recruitment of new members into NSE Maitama chapter, he was very delighted to find out that the celebrant is a member of the chapter. ‘’ Maitama chapter has maintained a very good record in the recruitment of members without compromising experience and performance required for membership.’’ Engr. Ozigi as an examiner contributed immensely to the enviable record of the branch in that regard. Engr. Wudil concluded by praying that may God Almighty reward the celebrant abundantly for the positive virtues he has impacted on the lives of some of his former students.
Also speaking at the dinner, Pastor Joseph Seyi Malomo, Chaplain of the Aso Chapel ministered with a sermon
titled ” God Does Not Believe In RETIREMENT But In Completion Of Life Call” drawing his texts from Exodus 7:7; Deuteronomy 34:7 and 2 Timothy 1:9”.
He said: “We gather to celebrate Engr Ozigi who has had a successful 35 years career as a civil servant. We should however, note that God does not believe in RETIREMENT. The Scripture says in 2 Timothy 1:9 that God saved us and called us to a Holy Calling. The holy Calling is the totality of God’s Assignments in the life of a person.
“Since Life is in phases and men are in sizes, this holy calling may take you through different vocations and service in your life. The completion of one service may be called your retirement by the law and policy governing the career, but it is not retirement from the “holy calling” in the eyes of God”.
“Take Moses for instance. At 40years old when he felt he had the physical strength to carry out the Service of delivering the Children of Israel, he went on exile. At 80years old when many people should have retired and be resting, God recommissioned him to go and fulfil that assignment.
Even at 120years, the Bible says he wanted to do more particularly because his natural strength was not weak neither were his eyes dim. But God took him away then because in God’s eyes, He had completed the assignment he gave him. So, God’s promise to Engr Ozigi and everyone here at this retirement in service is that once He has more assignment for you, your retirement from the current service is not the conclusion”, Malomo added.
The occasion was chaired by Gen Chris Abutu Garuba (Retd), mni. Other dignitaries at the event include the Mother of the day, Dr. Mrs. Dere Awosika, chairman Access Bank Plc represented by Mrs. Ibukun Odusote ( retired Federal Permanent Secretary), the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Barr. Boss Mustapha represented by Mr. Gulani Musa (Director/General Services), the minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum represented by Dr. Ahmed Mabudi Bashar ( SA to the Honourable Minister of State), representatives of the Kogi State government- Barr. Moses Okezie – Okafor ( DG Research & Development), Mrs Nanahawa Yetunde Raji (SSA to the Governor on Informal and Vocational Education) and Queen Zara Onyinye (Directorate Of Women); the President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers Engr. Tasiu S. G. Wudil,the National Chairman Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Dr. Mrs. Funmilade Akingbagbohun, Director-General/CEO Energy Commission of Nigeria Engr. Prof. Eli J. Bala represented by Mr. Nathaniel A. Omale ( Director, Human Resource Management/General Services) , Rear Admiral Dr. Sam Epelle (Rtd) and Mall. Shehu Sada, Director (Administration and Finance) SMEDAN.