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Tenacity, Quality the Secrets of Ade Bakare Couture’s Success – Ade Bakare

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By Eric Elezuo

He needs no introduction in the fashion world. With over 27 years of experience designing and styling some of the nation’s finest women, from first ladies of president and governors, to political bigwigs, Ade Bakere is a success when it comes to couture and regular fashion designing.

In this exclusive interview, the University of Lagos History graduate bares his mind on how Ade Bakare Couture began, the challenges faced and overcame, and his plans for the nearest future. Excerpts:

Ade Bakare is known as both an individual and a brand. Who is Ade Bakare the individual?

I was born in England but relocated to Nigeria with my parents where I had my secondary school education. I attended Federal Government College, Lagos then I went to the University of Lagos where I studied History.

However, I had always wanted to study fashion from an early age, so once I finished my degree I went to England, precisely at Southford University College, Manchester, to study fashion because my parents always insisted that if you are going to do anything, you must do it well; so if you want to be a fashion designer, you have to get the proper training. A year after I completed the training I established my fashion outfit after having employment stints with some of the big names in the fashion industry, this was in the 1990s when the country was going through recession and getting a job was difficult. A lot of businesses were closing down as the economy was rough, that was when I stumbled on an article in the Evening Standard about starting your own fashion…

Ade in his shop

You went to school to study history, at what point did you realize that fashion was the thing for you? Had it always been there or the University brought it out?

Its innate, it had always been there, I just had to nurture and bring it out.
Was there anybody into fashion designing in your family before you?
My father was an Accountant and my Mom was a Caterer. However, in my Mom’s family were many very educated persons and they believe that if you want to do anything, it has to be professional, especially as most of them were doctors and professors and all that. My situation is quite similar to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti who went outside the country to study Music and I think that is what education does, it shows you that these things that you see as hobbies or passion are actually professions and one can do well with them.

During the period you went to study fashion, professions like Law, Medicine among others were in vogue. How easy was it for your parents to give you a go-ahead to study fashion designing?

Well, my Dad had a policy that once you are 21, you could decide for yourself and my Mum had nurtured me in the art of fashion through magazines and it was only natural that she would support me when I decided to go that part, but she stipulated one condition, that because of the Nigerian mentality that if you do not go to school, you are a drop out and would not be taken seriously, I must go to the University and graduate. However, I always think that if I was in England and had finished my secondary school there, she wouldn’t have minded me going from Secondary school to a fashion school. Interestingly, when I got there, I was like the only adult student as majority of the other students were fresh out of the English equivalent of Secondary school and when I said I had a degree, everyone was like, if this was what you want to do, why did you go to study History and I had to explain the Nigeria narrative to them but it was hard for them to understand because fashion designing had been appointed a degree status as early as the 1960s in England.

For them, a lawyer or doctor was not any bigger than a fashion designer, cook or chef but interestingly, a lot of people are now going into those kinds of professions. My parents did not object to my studying fashion designing so I am a product of two minds that had seen beyond all of what I earlier said and I think my case has been a success story because over there, I was seen as a spectacular student and was always called upon to lecture, and from lecturing, I was also called to handle some workshops and even now I am always called upon to teach. I think it is because of my History degree so it has not been all together a waste.

What does your fashion outfit cater for?

We dabble into a bit of everything, we do wedding outfits. For example, when Virgin Airline began, we won the bid to design the uniforms for them and although we always like to cater for other kind of clothing but having had the training in fashion, Ade Bakare Couture just knew what to do because in school you are taught how to do everything, from children’s wear, to wedding and what have you. You finally specialize in your final year.

At what stage did you know that you’ve finally made a breakthrough?

A lot of activities set my path to breakthrough. In the first place, Dele Momodu wrote about me, and portrayed me to the world in his Ovation Magazine. Then it was followed by my invitation to Nigeria by Sammy Ogbodu. Those aside, I was the official designer for late Mrs. Stella Obasanjo. More so, I have been fortunate to be discovered very early because when I started, there were not too many black designers in England. I was a novelty so people were interested in this black designer. People were intrigued, asking who is this black guy?

So your race gave you the breakthrough?

Yes, people wanted to know and work with this black person. They were quite surprised, and again, I was quite young, around 23, 24, just like how you have the musicians today. In reality, people wanted to see me work and what I could do. So, I had a lot of attention and I was able to capitalize on them but it was a two-way thing because I also faced a lot of rejection.

Ade’s adire design being showcased by models in Kigali

Who are your clients? What group of people do you style?

I like to say we cater and make things for everyone because everyone likes to look good, and we are committed to doing just that; things that stand out, that are beautifully cut and of course have good life span. Classical pieces but with a modern touch and for example, I still have ladies that have bought things from us 10-15 years ago and they still wear them.
What’s the process of making or styling a high profile client, and how long does it take?
It’s a collaborative effort and process; you meet with the client, you draw your sketch, you show them to the client, they tell you their likes and dislikes. Like the late Mrs. Obasanjo, she liked silk and soft chiffon, beautiful colors, and things neatly cut and getting all the way to the floor. Different clients like different things so you don’t always have to dictate, and because you are dealing on a one-to-one level, it takes different time to make an outfit. There are always ready to wear clothes and that doesn’t take time because the customer can just come and pick them off the shelf.

How many fashion lines do you have?

We’ve got the Ade Bakare Couture, which is the high end and what we are known for, and then we’ve got the ready to wear lines and they are quite affordable because we’ve got dresses that go for 25 thousand Naira, we’ve got jackets starting from 20 thousand naira, trousers starting from 15 thousand naira, so you could get a good outfit for 30 thousand naira with the same principles of Couture and we have generated quite a lot of success with the ready-to-wear outfits because people come for the ready to wear as they affordable.
Couture is usually expensive because you are using the best of everything but with the introduction of our ready-to-wear lines we have been able to reach a good number of our customers.

What is the major reason why you are concentrated on ladies?

Well, ladies can be very creative. The saying goes that a woman can wear everything a man can and more, she can wear jackets, trousers, shirts and the others. So, for a woman you can be more creative unlike a man, it is always a shirt or a trouser, a shorts and maybe a bit more but a woman offers variety and this allows for creativity. But note that we also run men’s wear line as well. We make desirable cloths for men too.

It was once reported that you were commissioned to do the interior decoration of a flat. Can you please shed more light on that?

Okay, when I came back from England and decided to open an outlet of the business here, we basically had to go to the client’s homes to discuss the designs with them and while there I usually comment on the interior of the house as a creative person. And you know, fashion is an arm of design. The client would then say I like your taste and we are looking to purchase another home, would you like to do the interior designs? And that was how we began, choosing and combining colors to give them the brilliant taste they desired.

As a result, we began getting more requests from clients to do more interior designing for flats, houses and all that. We do soft furnishing; bed, tables, furniture basically, kitchen and more.

Well, if you can dabble into the waters of interior designing being a fashion designer, one can guess that you do other things, so what other areas does Ade Bakare have interest in?
I have always liked to do interior designing but I also engage in costume designs and we’ve done quite a number of that for movies, we did it for ‘A Place in the Stars’, then we also got approached to do something for the cast of the series, ‘Lekki Wives’ and we did something for them. Currently, we are designing for ‘Battleground’ which is a series in its second year. So, that’s another angle to me. We are also in talks with another movie producer to design for one of his projects and I like projects. Designing is usually twice in a year, you do your autumn and spring collection so projects keeps one busy all year round.

What’s the next thing for Ade Bakare Couture?

The goal is to go global, we already have outlets in Lagos, Abuja, New York and London but we would to go global, and I am not just talking of Europe and North America, I mean West Africa. I would want that we have outlets in Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal and other places because I think it kind of unifies us when people know what we are doing then also, we are looking to get investors in the business, people who would own shares.

There are quite a large number of persons who want to go into designing and Couture, what experiences do you want to share and relate to them?

It’s actually funny you should say that. We opened this place in 2006 and that same year, I started the Young Designers Creative Competition, YDCC to support and encourage young designers in the country. With the support and sponsorship of Mrs. Ovia, Mrs. Tinubu, MTN and others we were able to get the Civic Centre. We selected 10 best entries and began working with them, though we couldn’t continue after 2 years. This was due to lack of sponsorship, but not to be deterred we set up the Fashion academy last year to train and teach students the rudiments of fashion designing, the designs, pattern cutting and tailoring.

We also talk to them about the art of designing, how to set up a business and the need to speak a second language because I think one of the things that hold young Africans back from making progress is the inability to speak a second language. We are surrounded by French speaking countries and it would be necessary to learn this language so we can work well and make progress, just like how the world is ‘giddying’ up to learn Chinese. I think for Africans, ours should be French so that when you go anywhere you won’t be limited.
We are also looking to set up academies in the major cities of the country – Abuja, Port Harcourt and others.

So, this is part of your CSR?

Yes and even from the 10th – 16th of November, we would be having an event; a retrospective on my work at Terra Kulture and we would be bringing in secondary school students on the island and mainland providing transportation and giving them an idea of what creativity is and means. It is a way to spark up their mindset at a young age. If a child wants to study music today, he might not get in touch with Wizkid but through exhibitions, concerts and auditions, he might be given a platform.

What people don’t realize is that the Western world usually start grooming their kids from a young age; look at Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Beyoncé, and that’s what we are trying to do – provide a platform for the young ones. We’ve actually done the retrospective thing before, we did it when we were celebrating our 10th anniversary. I am not sure how well people are going to respond to it but so far the feedbacks have been encouraging. For example, sometime at a restaurant, a lady walked up to me and said she remembers me and I was like, oh that’s interesting. She said she had been part of those people who had been selected one time to attend our exhibition and what she took from it was that if you could draw and had a creative side, you could find yourself in this line of work. And a lot of kids are this creative; you see them drawing comics, creating interesting content. Parents of yesteryears might have frowned at that but with the way our artistes are making money, they are persuaded to encourage them, so the key is to discover the talent and support them at a young age.

It doesn’t mean that they don’t read their books and choose to go into the academics but with that talent they can carve a name for themselves and that can become their breakthrough, but that can only happen if we identify and discover these talents.

What would you have been if you were not a fashion designer?

I think I would have been in the Foreign affairs, an ambassador but at the same time, I think what I do is a form of diplomacy, promoting the Nigerian culture and the African culture because I believe a lot of problem comes from misinformation. when I am outside the country and I say I want to do this design, I can do this design, people are always like – an African, are you sure you can do this? All that is because of ignorance and I think that as Africans, we must promote our brand and the best of our ability. I have been invited by FIMA for an exhibition scheduled for 29th of November in Morocco where I would be representing Nigeria so I would be showcasing Africa fashion at that event.

In 27 years of Ade Bakare Couture, there must have been awards, please do list them?

It started from when I was in design school, I won an award at the National Student Bridal Competition, I came second of all the design schools in England. Subsequently, I was selected by Bride magazine as one of London’s most influential designers. I won Business man of the year for Northwest Bank and Western Union, and now, I just recollect something funny, I never like staying out late at events and this particular event Dele Momodu was present and he saw me get up, he asked, where are you going? and I said home, the event is taking longer than I expected and he said you are going nowhere. Lo and behold, my name was called, I don’t know if he had inside information. I also won the Nigeria City People Award on two occasions and a lot more but I like to look ahead and see what the future holds. We’ve also gotten invitations to show our work in various parts of the words, Vienna, Mozambique, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and even the AMAA awards which happened recently, we were flown down and the Rwanda government sponsored the show, so I find it quite interesting because it’s a way of unifying Africans and showing us the meaning of brotherhood.

While in the plane to Kigali, I met a friend of mine who I introduced to Peace Anyiam, the organiser of the Kigali event, and I thought she was on her way to Rwanda but she said no, she was going to Gambia as she had been invited and she had been invited to Dubai also to show her collection, so I think the rest of the world are becoming interested in what Africans are doing and we ourselves must not be in the back line.

We know you are based more in England than Nigeria but is there any challenge or are there challenges on the way to becoming a successful designer?

Oh yes! And one of them is finance; people often think you just need your creativity to function in this kind of business but not so. When you read about some of the top fashion houses, you would realize that they had astute business men behind them and that keeps them moving and going forward. I think the reason most fashion businesses in Nigeria are the way they are is though no fault of the owners, sole trade business and not fashion entities because of lack of foreign investors and the pressure is borne by them.

And when people invest in your business, you are blessed with sound financial advice which you can bring into your business. For example, my very good but now late friend, Remi Lagos, she had said before she passed on that she wouldn’t mind that if the business stops but close to her end, she said she would want the business to continue but how possible would that be, seeing she had not brought in investors. Hopefully, her sister might sell the rights of the business to a financial investor who would resurrect the business. It’s the same thing when you look at big English fashion houses, the owners are long dead, say 1950s, 1960s and someone comes and is willing to pay and resurrect the business.

I’ve really begun to understand the usefulness of investors; you have the creativity and they have the finances and the financial advice to give, so you must be willing to work with them. It’s a double-edged sword because the investors can bring about your downfall but no one comes into a business to see it crumble or make a loss and most business success stories are based on investment.

What can you say is the secret to the success of your business?

Tenacity; I put in 100% and I believe if you can make any success in business you must put all your effort and that has been my driving force. There is no option to it. That’s why I said if I wanted to do anything, it would have been fashion designing and that for me is the way to make things happen if you want to be successful. Here in Nigeria, we see fashion not as a business but as a hobby, someone can say I like playing with colours and patterns and that’s why they want to do it but it’s much more than that, you must concentrate and give it your all.

Do you have any competitor in business?

I compete with myself. I strive to do better than I’ve done yesterday but we have other wonderful designers, no doubt. However, I always see myself as a person of two ways, when I am in Nigeria, I am there and when in England, it’s another ball game. Initially, when we set up here, we were importing a good deal of the outfits and it wasn’t selling that much. We began to make clothes in Nigeria and we saw that it was moving. Nigerians like a bit of their own stuff. For example, when I began the silk adire, I saw that immediately we put them on the rail, they are bought. I asked them why at a point, and one of the ladies said, this is us, this is who we are and we can really relate with these.

With how tedious the business can be, how do you relax?

I listen to music, read books then do a little bit of going out. I also do a bit of swimming.

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Antan Producing Appoints Sagiru Jajere As Managing Director

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Antan Producing Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, with responsibility for the operation of OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 taken over from Addax Petroleum,  has appointed Engineer Sagiru Jajere as its new Managing Director.

A statement from the company described Jajere as a seasoned professional, who has paid his dues in the up and down stream of the oil and gas sector, adding that his outstanding performance, deep theoretical and practical understanding of the industry has made it easier for him to rise through the ranks to his present position.

The statement further described the new managing director as follows:

Engr Sagiru Jajere FNSE, MASCE was born and brought up in Potiskum town of Yobe State. He started his early education at Damboa Primary School, Potiskum and from there he proceeded to Government Science Secondary School, Potiskum, also in Yobe State.

After completing his secondary education, he proceeded to University of Maiduguri, Borno State, where he got his BSc in Civil Engineering. He also did his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at Osun State.

Upon completion of his NYSC, he worked briefly with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Lagos, as Executive Engineer and later moved to National Engineering and Technical Company Limited, NETCO a subsidiary of the NNPC. After 13 years, he moved to the corporate headquarters to support the Local Content Drive under the GMD’s office.

Following the signing into law, the Nigerian Content Act in 2010, he was selected to form the implementation committee that successfully produced the implementation document for the NCDMB and was eventually seconded as one of the pioneer staff that set up the Board.

Engr. Jajere’s secondment ended after five years with the Board at Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and was deployed to Cost Engineering Division at the Corporate headquarters as Deputy Manager, Cost Estimating, and later promoted to Manager Value for Money and Cost Optimization. He contributed immensely to instituting Cost Estimating and Benchmarking of all NNPC projects.

His outstanding performance, deep theoretical and practical understanding of the petroleum industry, earned him a promotion to become the General Manager Capital Projects in the Engineering and Technical Division. In the year 2020 Engr. Jajere was transferred to National Investment Management Service, NAPIMS (Now NUIMS) to head the Production Shearing Contracts as General Manager PSC.

He also held various positions and worked in various sectors and committees of the NNPC and IOCs within and outside Nigeria, particularly with partner companies like Bechtel Corporation of USA, Kellogg Brown and Root and many others.

He attended various technical and managerial courses both in-country and abroad that greatly enhanced his working career.

Following the execution of the Transfer, Settlement and Exit Agreement (TSEA) dated November 1, 2022 between certain Addax Petroleum companies and Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Engineer Jajere led the NNPCL Transition team in the successful handover of OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137 operations from Addax Petroleum to NNPCL. He was appointed Managing Director of Antan Producing Limited, that will be operating the oil assets taken over from Addax Petroleum.

Engineer Jajere is not a one-sided personality. He is a rounded gentleman who combines his love for work with his work for his community. He is often described as compassionate and affable. It is this his soft side that informed the conferment of the title of “Zanna Dujima of Fika” on him by the Emir of Fika, HRH Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammadu Ibn Abali Idrissa.

As Managing Director, Engineer Jajere is definitely the kind of technocrat needed to steer this new ship called Antan Producing Limited and lead the team to perform efficiently and profitably and ultimately, increase production and revenue to stakeholders.

We wish him the very best in this new endeavour.

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Code of Kings: Oluwo of Iwo Steps Out with New Book

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By Eric Elezuo

The distinguished paramount ruler of the ancient and revered Iwo Kingdom, the Oluwo of Iwo HIM Oba (Dr.) Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi Telu 1, is set to launch his book, Code of Kings, come Monday, January 16, 2023, in Lagos. The Oluwo is known as a man, who takes pleasure in purging his path, thereby giving honours a safe passage to continually locate him.

Consequently, arrangements are finalised to make it a double for the revered monarch as he mark his 7th year coronation anniversary.

The event scheduled to hold at Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos will witness the unveiling of the book written to register a pathway for the black race in the traditional institution. Nigerians from all walks of life will grace the occasion.

The Chief Executive Officer of Peculiar Ultimate Concern Limited, Engr. Abel Lanre Adeleke, has been penciled as the chairman of the event while Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, who is the Chairman of Sifax Group will be the Chief Launcher.

A statement signed by Oluwo’s press secretary, Alli Ibraheem, further revealed other dignitaries expected at the occasion to include President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammed Buhari, his Vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Kano born business mogul, Aminu Dantata, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’adu Abubakar, Ooni of Ife, HIM Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Alhaji Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Governor Abiodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State, former Governor of Osun State, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola and few other Governors from the Northern part of Nigeria.

Notable Royal Fathers, serving federal and state legislators, captains of industries, friends of Oluwo from Canada, United Kingdom, leading entrepreneurs, academic professors and doctors, veteran journalists etc are billed to attend the August event.

The book will form part of Oluwo contribution,to learning,knowledge and history with the strong hope, that the it will correct some distortions in our rich history and liberate Nigerian youth from mental slavery.

The Oluwo is one youthful ruler, who bears tradition with fear and reverence of the Almighty God, and as a result, attracts accolades his way. He has been privileged to have been honored in high places, including an Honorary Doctorate Degree by the premier private university, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, in 2018.

A nationalist to the core, Oba Akanbi, who believes politics should not be left to politicians alone, has been in the forefront of canvassing for royal fathers to highly get involved in politics. This, he said is because, politicians cannot be trusted but traditional rulers who has the interest of their people at heart can.

“Kings have to be in politics and so does everybody else, regardless of what you think about it. Politicians are people that you can’t really trust but then as a father, who has the best interest of his community and the nation, one has to be involved,” he was once quoted as saying.

The above and more, has formed the background for which Oba Akanbi has been considered for such a grand honour.

In their own words, the management of the Igbinedion University while honouring him a few years ago, said the choice, is in “acknowledgement of a throne committed to serving humanity and his contribution to academic excellence in Nigeria.

“The award is in recognition of your outstanding contributions as a traditional and cultural icon, outstanding and visionary leader, developmentalist, general role model, and national builder.”

It is therefore, not a fluke that the revered Oba is being honoured in this way seeing that the award is the third so far to be bestowed on him, and according to as many that know him, more are readily in the offing for the first class traditional ruler, who attested that he rules by the directives of the Almighty God.

Born on June 21, 1967 in Iwo, Oba Rasheed Adewale Akanbi hails from Molaasan Compound of Gbaase Ruling House in Isale Oba in Iwo.

He attended Omolewa Nursery and Primary School, Oritamefa, Ibadan between 1972 and 1978 before proceeding to Iwo Grammar School, Araromi, Iwo, where he stayed till 1982. He completed his secondary education at Oba Akinyele Memorial High School, Idi-Ape, Ibadan.

He later attended The Polytechnic Ibadan in 1985, and obtained Ordinary National Diploma in Mass Communication in 1987. He also obtained a certificate in Cybis & Axis System from the Convergys Institute, Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada (2001-2005) in addition to Seismic certificate in Operations, Oil and Gas Processing Facilities (2005).

In the quest for further and standard education, Oba Akanbi attended George Brown College, Toronto, Canada, where he obtained a B.Sc. in Business Administration. This was between 2005 and 2009.

He worked as a Data Processor, Bio-skin GMBH in Hamburg Germany (1996-2005), International Development Analyst (Oxfam Canada); travelling to help war and disaster stricken countries around the world by supplying and supporting refugees with relief materials.

Oba Akanbi also worked as Associate Supervisor, Purdy Wharf Towers, Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada.

He is the Chief Executive Officer of Prince Enterprises, Toronto, Ontario M5H4E7 Canada, Director and Founder of People Against Loneliness Inc. 508-58 Waterson Road, Toronto Ontario, Canada, West Africa Coordinator (Karcher Group FutureTech) presently working on supply of future technology on peace keeping force to the Defence Ministry and Managing Director, Morganz Gamo Quarry, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Podo Village, Ibadan.

A polyglot, he speaks fluent Yoruba, English, French and Deutsche (German)

Oba Akanbi may be the Oluwo of Iwo, but he sees himself as more of a national figure than being limited to his community.

Hear him: I consider myself a king over a nation. Anything that happens in Kano, affects me because an investor is coming from overseas will always ask how Nigeria is; they won’t ask how is Iwo? There are many embassies that I know that have put Nigeria at the high- risk position of ‘you come at your own risk’. It affects me as well. So traditional rulers have to get up and become part of politics especially when it has to do with security of lives and property of subjects.”

He is also a stern believer in the crusade to root out corruption from the Nigeria body polity, saying he is doing his bit in the community where he holds sway.

“Yes. That’s what we’re doing now. We’re tackling corruption the same way Buhari is tackling it. I have started with the crusade of fighting corruption in our traditional and cultural systems. Our culture is not moving because it is steered by corruption. So all those rituals and killings of human beings all around are what we need to take out.”

In March 2022, the Oluwo  wedded Firdaus Abdullahi, a princess of the royal family of Kano, at a colourful ceremony in the ancient city.

The bride is a daughter of the late ‘Madakin Kano’, Abdullahi Sarki Sani Yola, and a grand daughter of late Emir Ado Bayero.

The wedding was held at the residence of Madakin Kano in the Yola Quarters of Kano, with representatives of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and that of the Emir of Kano among  dignitaries who attended.

Oba Akanbi is cherished by his people for his series of humanitarian projects, poverty alleviation programmes and community development activities. He is also in the forefront of projecting peace and tolerance among Yoruba obas.

He once created a stir in the media space when in 2017, he named his child Oduduwa. The child was given birth to in Canada.

In 2021, Oba Akanbi’s foresightedness located the industrious journalist, Chief Dele Momodu and wife, Mobolaji, for grand honours of Aare Tayese and Yeye Aare Tayese of Iwoland.

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The Rise of Amazons of Nigeria’s Ivory Towers

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By Eric Elezuo

Nigerian women are really doing the impossible. While the politicians are busy talking about 30 per cent affirmative as campaign slogans, the womenfolk are busy carving a niche for themselves as they are practically taking over the academic institutions, following the steps of the Professor Grace Alele-Williams, who lorded it over the prestigious University of Benin during the hay days of men superiority in every facet of existence. Prof Alele-Williams’ strides in the sands of academic have resonated among the women-folks of today, and coupled with the echoes of the Beijing Conference, the sky remains the limit of the women are set to do in our various campuses of higher learning.

As at today, the women can boast of heading tertiary institutions across the nation, both in the private and the public institutions, making them a toast, and sounding a note of warning to the men. Consequently we bring you the world of 10 amazons whose impacts in the academic environment have catapulted them to the zenith of their professions. Among these women are the Vice Chancellor of Kogi University, Professor Marietu Ohunene Tenuche; the Vice Chancellor of Chrisland, Professor (Mrs.) Chinedum Peace Babalola; Vice Chancellor of Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Prof. (Mrs.) Ibiyinka Fuwape; Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Professor (Mrs.) Nnenna Nnannaya Oti; Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure, Professor Adenike Temidayo Oladiji; Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Folasade Tolulope Ogunsola; Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University, Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello; Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Lilian Imuetinyan Salami; Vice Chancellor of University of Calabar, Florence Banku Obi and Vice Chancellor of Fountain University, Osogbo, Prof. Olayinka Ramota Karim.

The following abridged analysis of the superwomen is as derived from their various schools’ webpage and/or wikipedia:

PROFESSOR MARIETU OHUNENE TENUCHE OF KOGI STATE UNIVERSITY

Professor Marietu Ohunene Tenuche, the Acting Vice Chancellor, was born on 29th September, 1959. She obtained her West African School Certificate from Government Girls Secondary School, Yola in 1976.

She obtained a University of Cambridge General Certificate in Education (G.C.E.) Advanced Level Certificate from the School of Basic Studies, Kwara State College of Technology (now Kwara State Polytechnic) Ilorin in1978.

Professor Tenuche graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Second Class (Upper Division), in Political Science, from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, in 1981.  She obtained her Master and Doctorate degrees from the same institution .

She started her career as a lecturer with Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin in 1982 where she was until 1992.

She was appointed Lecturer I in the Department of Political Science of the University at the inception of the institution in 2000.  She rose through the ranks to become Professor of Political Science in 2011.

She had served as the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences (2000-2006), Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic (2004-2006, and 2008-2011) and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration (2011-2013).

Until her current appointment as Vice Chancellor, Professor Tenuche was the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies and Chair, Committee of Deans and Directors.

The new Vice Chancellor has assessed senior academics for the positions of readers and professors for some universities across the country, including Ahmadu Bello University,  Zaria; Bayero University, Kano; Nassarawa State University, Keffi, Benue State University, Makurdi, among others.

She has also served as external examiners to many universities, in addition to serving on panels for the accreditation of academic programmes in public and private universities in the six (6) geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

Professor Tenuche was a delegate, representing the North Central Geo-Political zone at the 2014 National Conference. She has attended conferences in and outside Nigeria, and served as professional adviser and consultant to the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

She is a member of the Nigerian Political Science Association, and served on the national EXCO of the Association between 2008 and 2010.

Professor Tenuche has received several awards and honours, with the “Worthy Alumnus” award conferred on her by the Department of Political Science, ABU, Zaria, in 2018 as her most cherished.

She holds the traditional title of “OyinOiza” Ebira conferred on her by the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji (Dr) Ado Ibrahim, in 2003.

Her research interest is majorly on political economy and gender issues. She is married to Pharmacist Muhammed Tenuche, and the marriage is blessed with four children.

She is married to pharmacist Professor Muhammed Tenuche, and they have four children.
PROFESSOR CHINEDUM PEACE BABALOLA OF CHRISLAND UNIVERSITY
Professor (Mrs.) Chinedum Peace Babalola hails from the family of Sir Dr. Isaac Ebere & late Lady Adeline Anyabuike from Imo State, Nigeria. She is a Pharmacist, a distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry/Pharmacokinetics and the immediate past Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan. She attended University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University – OAU) to obtain her Bachelor of Pharmacy (1983), M.Sc. (1987) and PhD (1997) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Pharmacokinetics option). She proceeded to University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada for a pre-doctoral fellowship between 1994 and 1995. She later obtained a Diploma in Advanced Industrial Pharmacy Training (IPAT) jointly from Kilimanjaro School of Pharmacy, Tanzania and Purdue University, USA. Professor Babalola became a registered pharmacist in 1984 and a registered public analyst (MIPAN) in 2001.
Professor Babalola started her teaching and research career in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, OAU, Ile-Ife in 1985 as a Junior Trainee Fellow, rose through the ranks and transferred her services to the University of Ibadan, in 1998 as a Senior Lecturer. She was promoted to grade of Associate Professor in 2003 and full Professor in 2006. By this promotion, she became the first female Pharmacist Professor in the University of Ibadan and the first female professor to deliver an inaugural lecture from Faculty of Pharmacy in 2011.
For over 30 years, Babalola has focused her research on pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD), pharmaceutical analysis, pharmacogenetics and bioethics as tools to study the disposition of several drugs (antimalarials, anti-microbials and other medicines) in Nigerians as a guide to optimizing therapy in Blacks. She has combined pharmacokinetics with pharmacodynamic principles in order to relate drug levels in the body to treatment outcome and thus, improve rational dosage regimen. Her research has revealed significant reduction in levels of some classes of anti-bacterials by some antimalarial drugs in human thus calling for urgent dose regimen adjustment.
She and co-authors reported the first pharmacogenetic study in sickle cell patients and healthy Nigerians using the prophylactic antimalarial drug, proguanil as a probe. Babalola is an experienced administrator and an agent of positive change. She has been Head of Department (first female) of Pharmaceutical Chemistry (2003-2005 and 2012 – 2013), and Director, General Studies Program (GSP) Unit, University of Ibadan, (2005-2010), where she introduced a new course called “Drugs and Mankind” and also brought several innovations including running malpractice-free processing of examinations which the university has adopted for the process of post-UTME till date.
Between 2013 and 2017, Babalola served two-tenures as the Seventh Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan; and again, the first female to occupy the distinguished position. As a Dean, two main items on her agenda were undergraduate program curriculum review (which was overdue by over 18 years) and a purpose-built Laboratory complex for the Faculty. These two feats she confidently and successfully initiated their processes with feasible end dates in view. Babalola was appointed as Head the Deans Forum established by Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) for all Pharmacy Schools in Nigeria from inception in 2014 till 2017 when her tenure as Dean expired. Professor Babalola is a recipient of over 20 fellowships, awards and grants all over the world including World Bank/NUC scholarship at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; DAAD German Exchange Fellowship at University of Jena, Germany; Research Scholar at Hartford Hospital, Connecticut, USA; MacArthur Fellowship at College of Pharmacy and Temple University, Philadelphia, USA; research grants by TWAS, MacArthur, NIH, WHO; UNIDO scholarship for Industrial Pharmacy Advanced Training (IPAT), grants/awards form pharmaceutical companies, and several travel/training awards. She has travelled wide for research and training activities. Due to her novel academic contributions, Prof Babalola became the first female pharmacist to be inducted as Fellow of Academy of Sciences (FAS) in 2011 (the highest scientific award in Nigeria), first female Nigerian to be inducted Fellow of African Academy of Sciences (FAAS) in 2013.
She has since been inducted as fellow of many other groups including Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (FPSN), West African Postgraduate College of Pharmacists (FPCPharm) and Fellow of Nigerian Academy of Pharmacists (FNAPharm).
Professor Chinedum Peace Babalola is married to a very supportive husband and charismatic minister of God’s word, Venerable Collins Olufemi Babalola, who has served God in several ministries and churches. He is presently the Vicar/Archdeacon of St Stephen’s Church Inalende, Ibadan in Ibadan Diocese. The union is blessed with three wonderful children.
PROF IBIYINKA FUWAPE OF MICHAEL AND CECILIA IBRU UNIVERSITY

Prof. (Mrs.) Ibiyinka Fuwape was born in Lagos State to the family of Mr. and Mrs. David Ademokun of Ogun State on 18th December, 1962. She had her primary school education at Reagan Memorial Baptist Girls Primary School, Yaba, Lagos. She also obtained her O’Level certificate with a division one grade in 1979 from the Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, Lagos. She proceeded to Queen’s College Yaba for her Higher School Certificate from 1979-1981.

Prof. Fuwape holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Physics (First Class) from the University of Ibadan in 1984. She went on National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) from 1984-1985. She holds a Master of Science (M.Sc.) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 1986 and 1989 respectively from the same University of Ibadan.

She was employed as an Assistant Lecturer in 1989 at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) and rose through the ranks.  She was promoted a Professor in October, 2003. She served FUTA in many capacities as Coordinator, Acting Head of Department, Head of Department of Physics for a period of nine years. She served as Dean, School of Sciences between 2011-2015 where she got the award of the best Dean of the year in 2012. She eventually became the Chairperson/member of many Committees and Boards of FUTA. She has been a member of the University Senate from 2003 to 2017. She acted as Chairman of Senate many times when she was made the Chairman, Committee of Deans during the 2014/2015 academic session.

She is a member of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, from 2012 to 2017. She also served as a member of Council of Ogun State (Moshood Abiola) Polytechnic Abeokuta from 2013 – 2016. She has successfully supervised many undergraduates, Masters and PhD students theses. She has been in the University system for over thirty-one (31) years.

Prof. Fuwape was a visiting scholar at Ohio University Athens, Ohio, United States of America (USA) from 2007-2009. She was an Associate member of the Abdul Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Trieste, Italy from 1996-2002 where she conducted research with reputable scientists. She is a fellow of the Schlumberger Faculty for the Future (FFTF).  She has attended many scientific conferences at home and abroad. She has also organized many conferences at local, national and international levels. She mentors individuals including women into pursuing scientific disciplines and achieving excellence in life. She has published several papers in reputable journals both locally and internationally.

Today, she is the second Vice-Chancellor of the Michael and Cecilia Ibru University. She is a Christian and she is happily married to Prof. Joseph Fuwape and blessed with children.

 

PROFESSOR NNENNA NNANNAYA OTI OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, OWERRI

Professor (Mrs.) Nnenna Nnannaya Oti is from Afikpo, Ebonyi State. A highly seasoned, versatile and accomplished scholar, Nnenna is a Professor of Soil Science and Environmental Conservation, who was recently appointed the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).

Prof. Nnenna Oti made a First Class Honours Degree in Soil Science, and has an M.Sc in Soil Microbiology/Biochemistry from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), before proceeding to the Katholieke Universitiet Leuven, Belgium, where she bagged a PGD (Distinction) in Irrigation Engineering. In 2002, Nnenna broke an unusual record when she won the NUC – Best PhD in Nigeria Award.

She transferred her services from UNN to FUTO 30 years ago. Her service in FUTO includes 3 cycles as the Head of Department of Soil Science and Technology; 4 years as Dean of Post Graduate School and Chairman, Committee of Deans. Her duties have also included membership of University Senate, joint Council/Senate Committees, Faculty and Departmental Boards and Chairmanship of several Committees.

A Fellow of the Soil Science Society of Nigeria, Prof. Nnenna Oti, is a Chartered Soil Scientist, Member Agricultural Society of Nigeria, Member Soil Science Society of America, Member Crop Science Society of America and Member Agronomy Society of America and a host of others.

With over 70 peer-reviewed national and international publications, Nnenna has also delivered over 100 invited papers at local, national and international platforms on Gender Issues, Youth Empowerment, National Development, Good Governance and Leadership. This responsible union advocate is driven by her passion to create a just and fair world for all.

She is a Team Leader and active member of a number of research teams, including the latest World Bank Centre of Excellence, FUTO CEs-PESS (Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Procurement, Environment and Social Standards) worth millions of Dollars in 2019, the European Economic Commission Linkage Research Trust to Develop Sustainable Supplementary Irrigation Farming Systems for the Derived Savannah Zones of Nigeria, at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka worth millions of Euros, in 1986 etc.

In the course of her scholarship, Nnenna Oti has won the Federal Government Merit Award; Best Graduating Student Faculty of Agriculture, UNN prize; U.A.C of Nigeria prize for Best Student in Agriculture and Best Graduating Student, Department of Soil Science Prize all in 1982. In 1986 she won the European Economic Community Scholarship (EEC) for Developing Countries to Study in Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium and a World Bank Grant for Overseas Development of Academic Staff in Nigeria in 1995. She crowned it all with the NUC – Best PhD Award in Nigeria 2002.

She was a Visiting Scholar at The Ohio State University, USA, 1996-1997; a Visiting Professor at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Abia State (2013-2015) and an Adjunct Professor Imo State University from 2009-2020. As a Distinguished Delegate to the 2014 National Conference, Prof. Oti has helped to develop the blueprint of a great Nigeria. She has also served as a Resource Professor/Consultant to several Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Mrs Nnenna Oti has received commendation letters from different Vice-Chancellors (1) “… for positively projecting the image of FUTO in the National Arena by her excellent academic records … (2009)”; (2) “… for her excellent performance as the Chairman of Gender Policy Committee … (2011)” and (3) “… for her Efforts and Positive Contributions to the Nigerian Society… (2013)”.  Nnenna has served the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASSU) in various active capacities, finally becoming the ONLY female member (in a 31-member team) for ASUU/ FGN Negotiating Team (2006-2009).

Prof. Nnenna Oti is driven by excellence, passion for positive impact and love for humanity. A good team player, with a very friendly disposition, Nnenna sees every obstacle as an opportunity to move ahead.  She enjoys robust health through her daily exercise regimen of jogging 10 km, yoga, flexibility and bodybuilding training!

She is a Christian who firmly believes in family values, truth, honesty, integrity, forgiveness, humility, loyalty and hard work. She is married with 3 adult children. THE ONLY LIFE WORTH LIVING IS THE LIFE OF SERVICE TO HUMANITY!

 

PROFESSOR ADENIKE TEMIDAYO OLADIJI OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, AKURE

Professor Adenike Temidayo Oladiji was born on 27th April, 1968. She attended Christ Anglican School, Ijomu-Oro, Iludun Oro Nursery and Primary School between 1972 and 1977 and St. Claire’s Anglican Grammar School, Offa from 1977 to 1982, all in Kwara State, for her secondary education. She holds a B.Sc Biochemistry, Second Class Upper Division Degree from the University of Ilorin, 1988, MSc. Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, 1991 and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ilorin, 1997. She joined the services of the University of Ilorin in July 1992 as Assistant Lecturer and was appointed a Professor in September 2011.

She has over 29 years of continuous service in the university system. She has held various positions and served on almost all University Committees as Chairman and Member. She has also served in various capacities including Head of Department; Sub Dean of Faculty; Deputy Director, Center for International Education; Director, Center for Research and Development and In-House Training; Director, Central Research Laboratory; Dean, School Of Basic Medical Sciences (Kwara State University); Dean, School of Life Sciences and Member, Governing Council, Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa and Crown Hill University, Eiyenkorin, Ilorin.

A prolific reseacher with over 100 publications, Professor Oladiji has won many distinctions and awards which include University’s Merit Award, Certificate of Merit and scholarships among others. She is a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Science and Fellow, Nigerian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She has served as Member of various Scienctific Committees at the National Universities Commission, NUC, Tertiary Education Fund, TetFund and has been an external examiner in over 20 Universities in Nigeria and outside the country. She is a Member of Professional Bodies such as the West Africa Research and Innovation Management (WARIMA), American Society of Nutrition, Organization for Women in Science for Developing World (OSWD), Science Association of Nigeria and Nigerian Society for Experimental Biology.

She is happily married and blessed with children.

 

PROF. FOLASADE TOLULOPE OGUNSOLA OF UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS

Folasade Tolulope Ogunsola (born 1958) is a Nigerian professor of medical microbiology, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos. She specializes in disease control, particularly HIV/AIDS. Ogunsola was provost of College of Medicine, University of Lagos and is reputed as being the first woman to occupy the position. She was also the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Development Services) of the institution between 2017 and 2021. She was acting vice chancellor of the University of Lagos for a short period in 2020 when the University was plunged into crisis as a result of the removal of the Vice Chancellor by the University Council.

Ogunsola was raised in University of Ibadan where her father, Akin Mabogunje lectured. As a child, she mimicked medical practitioners by using dolls as patients, while offering medical care to them. She attended Queen’s College, Lagos. Between 1974 and 1982, she obtained her first degree from University of Ife and a master’s degree from College of Medicine, University of Lagos, then proceeded for her doctorate at University of Wales between 1992 and 1997.

Ogunsola was Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos for a short period in 2020 when the University was plunged into crisis as a result of the removal of the Vice Chancellor by the University Council. She was also the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services) of the University, a position she previously occupied before ascending to the institution’s Acting Vice Chancellorship. Before being the deputy vice-chancellor, she was the provost of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. Her research areas have been centred on the regulation and management of viral diseases, particularly HIV. She is the principal investigator at the AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN) at the University of Lagos. She has also been the chairman of the Infection Control Committee of Lagos University Teaching Hospital. Additionally, she is the chairman of the National Association of Colleges of Medicine in Nigeria.

In 2018, she expressed concern on disease prevention and control in Nigeria. She identified poor hygiene and overuse of antibiotics as practices that foster antimicrobial-drug resistance. Providing a solution, she maintained that “sustained Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) infrastructure and programs should be built around a set of core components which includes guidelines, training, surveillance, multimodal strategies for implementing IPC, monitoring and evaluation among others”. Speaking during a session with the media, she explained that the solution to reducing the 58% unemployment rate was for Nigerian graduates to begin innovating ideas that will enhance human life. She also noted that knowledge in itself isn’t sufficient, but its application in an appropriate manner to better mankind and enhance livelihood of others is what youths should be concerned about.

She was a founding member of the Nigerian Society for Infection control in 1998 and is also a member of the Global Infection Prevention and control Network.

She was elected as the acting vice chancellor of University of Lagos on 24 August 2020, by the university’s senate following a crisis between the pro-chancellor, Mr. Wale Babalakin and the vice-chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe. She became the first woman to be vice-chancellor in the university’s history.

 

PROF IBIYEMI OLATUNJI-BELLO OF LAGOS STATE UNIVERSITY

Prof Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello was “born in Lagos on April 23, 1964. She had her primary education at Anglican Girls Primary School, Surulere, from 1970 to 1974 and her secondary education at Lagos Anglican Girls Grammar School, Surulere, between 1974 and 1979.

“Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello then proceeded to Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, and Lagos State College of Science and Technology, Ikosi Campus where she did her ‘A’ level in 1982.

“For her university education, she attended the University of Ibadan from 1982 to 1985 where she bagged a B.Sc (Hons) in Physiology. In 1987, at the University of Lagos, she was awarded M.Sc (Physiology). In 1998, she was awarded a PhD in Physiology, also at the University of Lagos after attending a 6-month research training in the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in the US in 1994.

“She rose through the ranks from Assistant Lecturer (1988-1991), Lecturer II between 1991 and 1996, Lecturer I from 1996 to 1999, Senior Lecturer (1999 – 2005), Associate Professor between 2005 and October 1st 2007, all in the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Idi-Araba.

“She assumed duty as the First Professor of Physiology in Lagos State University College of Medicine on 2nd of October, 2007.

“On 22nd December 2008, she was elected the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for a period of two years and re-elected, for a second term in 2010.

“She was until recently, the Director, Lagos State University Directorate of Advancement.”

The new VC is a member of the National Institute and holds a Fellowship Award of the Physiological Society of Nigeria. She was also appointed a Fellow of the Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Mitigation in the year 2019.

Olatunji-Bello is the wife of Lagos State’s Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello.

With her appointment, Olatunji-Bello joined the league of female vice-chancellors in the country like Prof Lilian Salami of the University of Benin, Prof Florence Obi of the University of Calabar, amongst others; who team up with their male colleagues to push the frontiers of higher learning and innovation forward in the 21st century.

 

PROFESSOR LILIAN IMUETINYAN SALAMI OF UNIVERSITY OF BENIN

Professor Lilian Imuetinyan Salami was born on the 8th of August 1956 to the family of Late Benjamin Idemudia Emovon and Mrs. Alice Omoariagbon both from Obadan Community in Uhunmwode Local government Area of the Benin Kingdom. She attended Baptist High School and Itohan Girls Grammar School both in Benin /city from 1969 – 1975. Thereafter, she gained admission into the North Dakota Universisty in Fargo, North Dakota, USA, where she obtained a BSc degree in Home Economics in 1979. She subsequently obtained a Master of Science degree in Nutrition from the same University in 1982.

Professor Salami returned to Nigeria to observe her National Youth Service (NYSC) in 1982 and proceeded to obtain her PhD degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1991. Due to her passion for education, she studied for and was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma in Education by the University of Benin in 2001 and a Postdoctoral degree in Tourism and Hospitality, this time from the Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa in 2005.

This highly productive Academic started her career as Research Assistant in North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, United States of America, in 1979. Subsequently, she returned to Nigeria and was employed as Assistant Lecturer by the ObafemiAwolowo University, Ile-Ife, in Oyo State, Nigeria. Thereafter, she proceeded to the Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria, and later to the University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria where she rose to the position of Senior Lecturer in 1994. She returned to the University of Benin in 1994. She rose to become a Professor in 2005.

Prof. Lilian Imuetinyan Salami is hardworking, Purposeful and result-oriented. In recognition of her attributes, she has been appointed to several positions of trust and responsibility in the University of Benin. They include:

  1. Unit Coordinator (Home Economics) 1996, 1998-2004.
  2. Head, Department of Vocational and Technical Education, (1996-1998).
  3. Member of the University Senate, (1996-1998, 2005-2016).
  4. Director, General Studies, (2009-2011).
  5. Director, Part-Time Programmes, (2011-2014).
  6. Chairman, Integrated Enterprises, (2011).
  7. Hall Warden, Ekehuan Residence Hall
  8. Member, Governing Council, (Representing Senate) (2012-2016)
  9. Dean, Faculty of Education, (2014-2016).

It is worthy of note that Professor Salami is the first female Professor and first female Dean in the Faculty of Education, University of Benin. At the commencement of her second term as Dean of the faculty of Education, Professor Salami was on the 1st of August 2016, appointed by the Federal Government as the Director General/Chief Executive of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA, NIGERIA) Ondo State; a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Education. Her excellent performance in transforming NIEPA has attracted the attention of the host community and other persons. Three years into her appointment as Director-General/CE, she was on the 26th of October, 2019 appointed as the tenth substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin by the University’s Governing Council after a credible and transparent interview process.

She has served as editor, co-editor and consulting editor to many journals both nationally and internationally.

She has been keynote Address Presenter in numerous conferences including the 2017Ondo State Education summit, 14th International Nutrition conference in Calabar, 2nd National Home economics Conference in Abakiliki, 5th National Vocational and Technical Educators’ conference in Uyo and 5th Biennial Home economics Research Association of Ghana, Winneba, 2019, Benin women Conference amongst others. On the 30th of August, 2018, Professor Salami presented her inaugural lecture titled “If the scientist don’t know, how can I? Is it a case of too much information”? Which was the 206th inaugural lecture series of the University of Benin. This, as it were, marked a turning point in the career of this multi- disciplinary and erudite Scholar.

Professor Salami is a fellow of the International Federation of Home Economics (IFHE),Nutrition society of Nigeria (NSN) and Home Economics Professional Association of Nigeria (HEPAN). She was the pioneer president of Home Economics Teachers’ Association of Edo State and a steering member of Home Economics Council of Nigeria. She was also a pioneer member of African Nutrition leadership programme, South Africa.

 

FLORENCE BANKU OBI OF UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR

Florence Banku Obi is a Nigerian academic, author and a professor of special education. She is the 11th substantive vice-chancellor of University of Calabar and the first female vice-chancellor since the inception of the institution. After her appointment as the new VC, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege who chairs the Senate Adhoc Committee on Constitution Review, described Prof. Obi as “an astute educational icon.” She was previously the deputy vice-chancellor, academics and commissioner for women affairs in Cross River State. She was a candidate in the 2015 VC election but was not elected until 2020 when she became the first woman to be elected. In 2007, she served as the social development and member of the executive council, Cross River State.

Obi is from Bansan–Osokom, Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State. She started her education at St Bridget’s Primary School, Ogep Osokom, Boki, Cross River State where she got her F.S.LC, graduating in 1969, she moved to St Thomas’s Teachers Training College, Ogoja, Cross River State, where she graduated in 1983. She obtained her degree in special education at University of Calabar. In 1990, she got her MEd in special education,l at the same institution. She moved to the Jordanhill College where she obtained a PGCEE in 1993. In 2002, she finished her PhD in psychology of education, University of Calabar.

In 1990, Obi started her academic career as an assistant lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of Calabar. In 1992, she won a six-month postgraduate scholarship to Jordan-Hill College of Education, under the World University Service (WUS), World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) during an interview for staff of the Institute of Education.

After the scholarship offer, she was placed in charge of the WWF/NCF funded schools and community education programmes. In 2007, she became a professor of special needs education.

Obi is married with four children and six grandchildren.

 

PROF. OLAYINKA RAMOTA KARIM OF FOUNTAIN UNIVERSITY OSOGBO

Karim Olayinka Ramota is a native of Ijebu Ode, Ogun state. She is a Professor in the Department of Home Economics and Food Science, University of Ilorin, Kwara State. and has a Ph.D. and B.Sc. in Food Science & Technology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. As a NASFAT Muslim, Ramota believes that interreligious dialogue and mediation is important in increasing her skills and knowledge in her service to humanity.

The great achievement of the pioneer Fellows of this program and their enormous contributions to peacebuilding endears her to apply for this program. She is confident that a Fellowship program in interreligious dialogue and mediation will enlighten her on the processes and methods needed for preventing and mitigating conflicts, as well as contributing to sustainable peace in her immediate community.

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