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Prof Okebukola says, 48 Nigerian Varsities among World’s Best in subject rankings in 2023

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The Chairman of the Nigerian Universities Ranking Advisory Committee (NURAC), Professor Emeritus Peter Okebukola has announced the cheering news of the superlative performance of Nigerian universities in the Times Higher Education 2023 Subject Rankings which were released yesterday (October 25).

Coming on the heels of the impressive ranking of 12 Nigerian Universities in the world university rankings published on October 12, this is very cheering news for the Nigerian university system.

Okebukola who is also a member of the international advisory board of Times Higher Education World University rankings, said “in the 2022 rankings, only five Nigerian universities featured in four subject rankings”.

He noted that in the 2023 ranking, 48 Nigerian universities are cumulatively listed among the world’s best in 11 subjects/disciplines.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja, by the former Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), these subjects are arts and humanities; business and economics; education; law; social sciences; computer science; engineering; clinical and health; life sciences; physical sciences and psychology.

“Noteworthy is the impressive ranking of Covenant University, the only private university in the league tables, featuring prominently in business and economics, social sciences, computer science, engineering, and physical sciences.

“No state university is on the league tables. The federal universities with impressive rankings are University of Nigeria Nsukka, University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, University of Ilorin, Obafemi Awolowo University, Federal University of Technology Akure, Bayero University Kano, and University of Benin,” he stated.

Details of the results which Okebukola released are: Arts and Humanities (University of Nigeria Nsukka=601+); Business and Economics (Covenant University=401-500; University of Lagos=501-600; Obafemi Awolowo University=601-800; University of Nigeria Nsukka=801+); Education (University of Ibadan and University of Nigeria Nsukka=501-600); Law (University of Nigeria Nsukka=251+); Social Sciences (Covenant University=251-300; University of Lagos=401-500; University of Ibadan and University of Nigeria Nsukka=601-800; University of Ilorin and Obafemi Awolowo University=801+); Computer Science (Covenant University=401-500); Engineering (Covenant University=401-500; Federal University of Technology Akure and University of Ilorin=601-800; University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, University of Nigeria Nsukka and Obafemi Awolowo University=1000+); Clinical and Health (University of Lagos=151-175; University of Ibadan=201-250; University of Nigeria Nsukka=501-600; Bayero University Kano, University of Benin and Obafemi Awolowo University=601-800; University of Ilorin and Nnamdi Azikiwe University=801+); Life Sciences (University of Ilorin=601-800; Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Federal University of Technology Akure, University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, University of Nigeria Nsukka and Obafemi Awolowo University=801-1000); Physical Sciences (Covenant University=401-500; Federal University of Technology Akure and University of Ilorin=501-600; Bayero University Kano=601-800; Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta and University of Lagos=801-1000; University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria Nsukka and Obafemi Awolowo University=1000+); and Psychology (University of Nigeria Nsukka=301-400).

Speaking further on the results, Okebukola who is also the Chairman Governing Board of the National Open University of Nigeria, (NOUN) expressed appreciation to the Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu and the Executive Secretary of NUC Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed for setting up NURAC and for the commitment they continue to show to improving quality in the Nigerian university system. “Professor Rasheed is one individual who will not rest until the old glory of Nigerian universities is fully restored”, Okebukola noted.

“We assure Nigerians that with the ongoing implementation of the Blueprint for the Rapid Revitalisation of University Education in Nigeria, the days of consigning Nigerian universities to the group of non-performers will soon be over”.

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Education

14-year-old student wins Majesty Academy, NMC Mathematics competition in Kogi

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

MASTER Divine Oguche, 14-year-old student of Living Faith Academy, Lokoja, has emerged overall winner of the maiden Majesty International Academy Mathematics competition organised in collaboration with the National Mathematics Center (NMC), Abuja.

The Mathematics competition hosted by Majesty College, Lokoja, was themed; “Building Confidence, Embracing Mathematics with Enthusiasm.”

Oguche who clinched the star prize of N500,000, a Refrigerator, a Pressing Iron and an electric heater was followed by the first runner up, Ismail Wildan, with a prize of N300,000, a pressing iron and an electric kettle.

The second runner-up, Egede Chris, got N200,000, a pressing iron and an electric kettle as 10 students who participated in the final lap of the competition got N20,000 and N10,000 each as consolation prizes while other participants got Certificates of Attendance.

Principal of Majesty College, Prof. Emmanuel Ohize, in his speech, said the competition was aimed at building interest and spurring the Nigerian child to study and develop love for Mathematics.

Prof. Ohize noted that the competition which was in three stages, had 33 Students drilled in objective questions out of which 23 were weeded leaving 10 students to contest in the second stage, the theoretical part.

He said that five students further dropped as they failed to proceed to the final stage leaving Divine Oguche, Ismail Wildan and Egede Chris to win the first, second and third positions respectively.

Prof. Ohize noted that the study of Mathematics remains critical to science and technological advancements of the nation, adding that the competition was the modest contribution of Majesty International Academy to the enhancement of teaching and learning of the subject.

According to him, Mathematics transcends race, culture and geographical boundaries, saying that it is crucial and remained the major determinant of the students’ academic progression.

He commended the Management of National Mathematics Center for the cordial relationship that culminated in the successful hosting of the competition as well as management team, staff and students of the College for their sacrifices.

The Principal commended the overall winner, Master Divine Oguche, who had previously won similar competitions hosted by the college and charged him not to relent in his quest for excellence in the world of mathematics saying that the sky could only be his starting point.

The Managing Director, Majesty West Africa Limited, owners of Majesty International College, Alhaji Muhammad Aleru, commended the participating schools and students for their commitment in prioritizing the study of Mathematics.

Alhaji Muhammad Aleru assured that Management of the College would continue to encourage and support the teaching and learning of Mathematics in view of its importance to the growth and development of Nigeria.

Ass. Prof. Solomon Ojo, Head, Olympiad Unit of National Mathematics Center (NMC), acknowledged the brilliant performance of the participants and stressed that the nation had what it takes to emerge as a science and technology giant in the sub-Saharan Africa.

He opined that given the needed support, Mathematics could be used to tame the hydra-dreaded monster of corruption facing the country.

“If majority of this young generation embraces Mathematics, the society will be relieved of corruption and other evils as it has capacity to reconstruct the people to know how to avert manipulations by unscrupulous elements.

Amidst tears of Joy, the star Prize Winner, Master Divine Oguche expressed gratitude to his parents, Management and Staff of Living Faith Academy and Majesty International College for the opportunity to participate in the competition. (Ends)

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Obi laments over Nigeria’s weakening economy that has impoverished the academia

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Peter Obi
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***As a professor pleads to be made special Assistant to reps member

The presidential flagbearer for Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general election, Peter Obi has expressed concern over the deplorable State of the economy that will make a professor in Nigerian university prefer to be an aide to a lawmaker rather than continue to lecture in the Ivory towers.
This is coming against the background of an uncanny encounter he had with a University Professor in Nsukka on Wednesday that made him to ponder over the pitiable state of his affairs as a University Professor for 14 years.
The university don even sought Obi’s intervention to land a more lucrative job of serving as Special Assistant to a federal legislator.
Obi’s mission in Nnsukka was to campaign for a Labour Party Rep member involved in a court-declared bye-election when he ran into an old friend and a Professor with the pathetic story that mirrors the plight of virtually all working class in the nation’s Tertiary institutions in the country. 
Sharing the touchy story in his X handle platform,  Obi wrote “My two key assignments in Nsukka,  Enugu state on Wednesday as significant as they were, got consumed in my chance but emotional encounter with an old friend and University mate now a Professor in the institution. 
“My mission in Nsukka was for two important events. First, was to visit and assess a dilapidated health center, and second, to campaign for one of the federal legislators, Hon Dennis Agbo, contesting to represent Udenu/Igbo Eze North Federal Constituency in the forthcoming bye-election on Saturday.”
He expressed the confidence that legislator is committed to the good of his people.
However, while in Nsukka, he met one of those brilliant fellows  he knew while he was a student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in the 80s who graduated with a first class and became a lecturer in the institution. 
“When I later visited the University as the then Governor of Anambra State, he proudly announced to me that he was already a professor and I rejoiced with him.
 “I met him again in Nsukka on Wednesday, but our exchange of pleasantries resulted in very pathetic tales about his general welfare. I noticed in his look and mien that all his happiness of being a professor had vanished.
He began his story by telling me that he felt like he wasted all his years lecturing.
“He dragged his arousing pity story into his current remuneration as a professor. 
According to him his salary as of January 31, 2010, which is 14 years ago remains the same to date, having reached the pinnacle of his career.
 “The only significant difference is that while the money was worth something in 2010, today the same amount is worth nothing.
“The Professor recalled how he was able to buy a Toyota Corolla from his savings, something that is not possible again today. I asked for his salary today, he said about N400,000. 
“He broke my heart when he requested that I put in words for him so that Hon Dennis Agbo can appoint him as Special Adviser when he wins. The reason for the bizarre request that shocked me was that he would earn more and receive more perks as an SA than as Prof.
“Touched by this and applying my finance background  I decided to do some comparative analysis.
“By January 31, 2010, the salary of a Nigerian University Professor was about N400,000. With the then prevalent exchange rate of N150.10 per dollar, the salary amounted to about $2665.
“Fourteen years later, on January 31, 2024, the salary of a University Professor remains about N400,000. With the prevailing exchange rate of N1,510 per dollar, the same salary now amounts to about $265.

“So after putting in 14 years of hard work,  having attained the zenith of his academic career, a Nigerian University Professor now earns 10% of what he earned 14 years ago – this is only possible in Nigeria.
‘A few years ago, a Toyota Corolla cost N4.8 million, so his annual salary without any expenditure on any other item, amounting to about N4.8 million, could buy a Toyota Corolla.
“Today, the same Toyota Corolla costs about N52 million which is more than 10 years of his salary without expenditure, to be able to buy one, after having attained the highest point one can achieve in academia.
“Considering the critical role education plays in the development of a nation, and the low human development index, HDI, we are currently at, we require as many hands and a committed workforce as we can get in that sector. But can we get such, when the earnings of our professors are going backward relatively?
“Sadly, we are in the same country where the government can use an amount enough to buy 3 Toyota Corollas, to buy personal SUVs for the legislators, whose annual earnings amount to several times that of the university professor and can now afford to pay the professor more than he can earn from lecturing in a premier university in Nigeria. 
“How does one then remain earnestly committed to contributing to the critical development of the nation?
He therefore advocated for dismantling of the criminality to create a functional society where people’s talents, efforts, and sacrifices will match up with their opportunities in life.

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Education

Group Provides Uniforms, Enrolls 300 Out of Sch. Children in JIgawa

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By Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse

Civil Society Action Collation on Education for All (CSACEFA), a non governmental organization has enrolled 300 Out of School Children in primary school in Dutse, JIgawa state.

Speaking while enrolling the pupils at Fagoji special primary school, the programme manager of CSACEFA, Malam Mustapha Yakubu said it is part of the effort to reduce the number of Out of School Children in the state.

Malam Yakubu explained that “The 300 children comprised of 150 males and 150 females that were mobilised from different parts of Dutse local government area”.

According to him “The 150 males children were street beggars while the 150 females were street hawkers that are either orphans or less privileged children who were not in to school and now enrolled”.

He stated that the United Nations Children Emergency Funds (UNICEF) through the organization has supported the children with a set of uniform each, school bags, sandals, books and writing materials.

Yakubu stated further stated that the gesture is part of the programme jointly being carried out between the JIgawa through ministry of Women affairs and UNICEF through CSACEFA for reducing the number of Out of School Children in the state.

The project manager maintained that “parts of CSACEFA activities is also a public enlightenment campaign to Almajiris and Girls children hawkers on the importance of their enrollment in to school for minimum of universal basic education.

“To this end we went round some local Arabic schools and villages where we met with their local Malams, parents and guardians and convinced them to accepted to sent their Almajiris and girl child to schools for modern education”.

He added that due to the move they have succeeded in enrolling 300 of them. Indicating that they also provided them with uniform and writing materials to be in the schools”.

Malam Yakubu pointed out that, “during our tour, we also selected some teenagers from among the male and females to be ttrain in some local trade and hand skill that is locally marketable such as cap making, head weavings etc to be made in the comfort of their homes without going to hawk”.

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