I observed that an estimated 90% of all the great Nigerians based abroad and globally recognised for their marvellous achievements particularly in STEM areas, had their first degrees in Nigeria!
If you doubt me, let me drop some names below to support my claim:
1. Dr. Bennet Omalu
Is a forensic pathologist, neuropathologist and the Chief Medical Examiner for San Joaquin County, California and a Professor at the Department of Medical Pathology and laboratory Medicine at the University of California, Davis.
He had his first degree in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in 1990.
“He was the first to discover Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in American Football players while working at the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office in Pittsburgh, and established that such brain damage is connected to high-impact sports. Omalu is lead author in a study published in November 2017 that for the first time confirmed CTE in a living person. A chemical tracer, FDDNP, binds to tau proteins, detectable by positron emission tomography, and associated with the distinctive topographical distributions characteristic of CTE. Tested on at least a dozen former NFL players, it was confirmed postmortem in former linebackerFred McNeill.“
Famous Hollywood actor, Will Smith, acted as Bennet Omalu in the movie, “Concussion”.
2. Dr. Olurotimi Badero
“Is a physician (interventional cardiologist and interventional nephrologist) who is the world’s first and only cardio-nephrologist (combined heart and kidney specialist).
He had his first degree in Medicine and Surgery at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria in 1997. He worked at General Hospital Isolo in Lagos to fulfill his one-year service requirement with the National Youth Service Corps. After this, he relocated to the United States where he completed three years of internal medicine residency training at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
He performed the first radial coronary angioplasty in Central Mississippi Medical Center’s history. He also got the US Congressional Citation/Record for Outstanding Medical Career & Service to humanity. “He specialises in internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine, invasive & interventional cardiology, nephrology and hypertension, interventional nephrology & endovascular medicine, nuclear cardiology as well as peripheral vascular interventions”(http://goldmyne.tv/featured/10-things-you-must-know-about-the-worlds-only-combined-heart-and-kidney-specialist-badero-olurotimi/).
3. Dr. Oluyinka O. Olutoye
Dr. Oluyinka O Olutoye is a General Surgery Specialist in Houston, Texas. He graduated with honors in 1988. Having more than 30 years of diverse experiences, especially in GENERAL SURGERY, PEDIATRIC MEDICINE, Dr. Oluyinka O Olutoye affiliates with no hospital, and cooperates with other doctors and specialists without joining any medical groups (cf. https://www.healthcare4ppl.com/physician/texas/houston/oluyinka-o-olutoye-1376623785.html).
He is the Co-Director of the Texas Children’s Fetal Center and Fetal Surgery Team. He had his first degree in Medicine and Surgery at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria in 1988.
He is globally celebrated for successfully operating on a foetus while in the mother’s womb. He removed the foetus from the womb, operated on it and returned it into the womb intact. Months later, the foetus was delivered normally (a baby boy) and today, living a healthy life.
4. Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina:
Is an Agricultural Economist and the current President of Africa Development Bank (ADB). He is the first Nigerian to ever hold such a position.
He worked at the Rockefeller Foundation since winning a fellowship from the Foundation as a senior scientist in 1988. From 1999 to 2003 he was the representative of the Foundation for the southern African area. From 2003 until 2008 to the present he was an associate director for food security.”
He was previously Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (2010-2015). In 2010, he was selected by the UN Sec Gen, Ban Ki-Moon, as one of the 17 global leaders to spearhead the MDGs. In 2016, he was appointed by Ban Ki-Moon once more to serve as a Member of the Lead Group of the Scaling Up Nutrition. In 2017, he was awarded the 2017 World Food Prize and he immediately donated the cash prize he won ($250,000) to African youths in agricultural enterprise.
5. Mohammed Barkindo
Is a Political Sciencist with an intimidating experience in the Oil industry. He is currently the Secretary General of OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries).
Barkindo completed academic degrees from Ahmadu Bello University (Zaria, Nigeria) and Southeastern University (Washington, D.C., USA). He earned a postgraduate diploma from Oxford University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Federal University of Technology Yola.
He previously served as OPEC’s Acting Secretary General in 2006. He was also the MD/CEO of NNPC (Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation) from 2009-2010.
6. Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin
Was a Physician and the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund from 2014 until his demise in June 2017.
“Babatunde Osotimehin was born in February 1949 in Ogun State. He attended Igbobi College between 1966 and 1971. He studied medicine at University of Ibadan, Nigeria. In 1979 he moved to the UK for a doctorate at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and from 1979–1980 was a fellow in endocrinology at Cornell University Graduate School of Medicine, New York, United States.
He was previously Nigeria’s Health Minister (2008-2010).
7. Babs Omotowa
Is an Industrial Chemist and with a fine record in the petroleum industry. He is currently the Vice-President of Shell International.
He had his first degree in Industrial Chemistry at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
Previously, he was the MD/CEO of Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Ltd. “Babs Omotowa, who hails from Kogi State and studied at the universities of Ilorin and Leicester (in the UK), has a first degree in Industrial Chemistry and two postgraduate Masters of Business Administration qualifications that enabled him to specialise in Operations Research and Supply Chain Management. He started his career as a teacher (at Bishop Smith College in Ilorin) and joined Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in 1993 as a management trainee and quickly, through hard work and cleverness, earned the confidence of his new bosses. A rapid rise through the ranks followed; and after completing several senior-level assignments for Shell, both at home and abroad (Britain, Holland and Norway), he eventually became a Director and Vice-President.
Omotowa has now worked in the oil/ gas industry for over 20 years and is currently the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG)…and the Vice President of Bonny Gas Transport Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary that handles NLNG’s shipping requirements).Mr Omotowa, his management team and their predecessors have shown us what Nigerian professionals and workers can achieve when they put their minds to it and embrace integrity, diligence and international standards.
8. Prof. Henry Fadamiro
Is an Entomologist and renowned expert in Integrated Pest Management (IPM). He is currently the Associate Dean for Research and an Alumni Professor at the College of Agriculture, Auburn University, Alabama, USA. He is also the Associate Director of Alabama Agricultural Station and the Extension IPM Coordinator for Alabama.
He had his first degree in Biology (Storage Technology) at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Nigeria in 1989.
He was named a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and has won the total of about $9M as grants towards his research. He has trained a total of about 30 postgrad and postdoctoral students, and published over 100 journal articles.
In 2010, he established an Award Prize in his name (The Prof. Henry Fadamiro Prize) for the best graduating student in BIO 508 (Vector and Pest Management) in the Department of Biology, FUTA. Incidentally, I was the pioneer co-recipient of the award in 2010.
9. Prof. Chinua Achebe
Was a Professor of English literature, writer and novelist before his death in 2013. His first novel, “Things fall apart” is the most widely-read Modern African literature in the world. He won the 2007 Man Booker International Prize for the said book which he released in the 1950s.
He had his first degree in English, History and Theology at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 1953.
Other notable awards include: Nigerian National Order of Merit Award (1979); St Louis Literary Award (1999); The Dorothy & Lillian Gish Prize (2010). He was a Professor at Brown University until his death. “The late Nigerian author Chinua Achebe was honoured in a Google Doodle, underscoring his status as a towering figure of 20th century literature.
The author Macaulay Babajide Milton, is presently a graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Manchester. He was Assistant Lecturer, Department of Biology at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Nigeria. He was also a former Senior Judge at Royal Commonwealth Society. M. Milton, is presently undergoing his PhD in Environmental Geochemistry and Geomicrobiology at the University of Manchester. He holds a Masters of Science degree (MSc) in Sustainable Environmental Management from the University of Greenwich and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biology at from FUTA, Nigeria.