Eight female Vice-Chancellors in Nigeria

Eight female Vice-Chancellors in Nigeria

Over the years, women have shown that they are great leaders. Studies and experience have shown that women bring unique perspectives to leadership roles. 

Women are constantly evolving and reaching new milestones across a wide spectrum of human activities. Women are flexible and empathetic. They are also good builders, good listeners, good communicators and emotionally intelligent.

In the world of academia, some women who have been entrusted with
leading roles to manage human and material resources have more often
than not, proved that given adequate backing, they can perform

In this piece, The Nation presents some of
Nigeria’s most excellent amazons that are making invaluable
contributions to the world of academics as female Vice-Chancellors. In
no particular order, they are:

1. Prof. Lilian Salami – UNIBEN

2. Prof. Florence Obi – UNICAL

3. Prof Nnenna Oti – FUTO

4. Prof Ibiyemi Bello – LASU

5. Prof Kaletapwa Farauta – ADSU

6. Prof. Adenike Oladiji – FUTA 

7. Prof. Folasade Ogunsola – UNILAG

8. Prof. Bidemi Lafiaji-Okuneye – LASUED

1. Lilian Salami – UNIBEN 

Prof. Lilian Salami is the 10th substantive vice-chancellor of the University of Benin, Edo State. She was born in Jos, Plateau State, on the 8th of August, 1956. 

A home economist and former Dean of the Faculty of Education, Salami became the second female vice-chancellor of the institution after Grace Alele Williams, who was also the first female vice-chancellor in Nigeria.

Last year, she was elected as the chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities. With her appointment, Salami became the second female to occupy the position.

2. Florence Obi – UNICAL 

Professor Florence Obi is the 11th Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar and the first female to head the institution in 45 years. 

Obi, a Professor of Special Needs Education in the university, was appointed the VC of the institution on September 10, 2020, replacing Prof. Zana Akpagu, whose tenure ended on November 30, 2020.

Before her appointment, she was the deputy vice-chancellor of the university (academic), as well as a one-time Commissioner for Women’s Affairs in Cross River State.

Obi, who has a PhD in the Psychology of Education from the University of Calabar, started her academic career as an assistant lecturer at the Institute of Education, the University of Calabar in 1990. 

3. Prof Nnenna Oti – FUTO 

Nnenna Oti is professor of Soil Science and Environmental Conservation. She emerged as the vice chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), beating six other candidates for the position.

She is the first female and eigth substantive vice-chancellor of the 41 years old university. She was formerly the deputy vice chancellor (Academics) of the institution.

She was also a two-time dean of post-graduate school and a three-time head of department of soil science and technology in the School of Agricultural and Agriculture Technology (SAAT).

Oti holds a Bachelor of Agriculture degree (B.Agric) in Soil Science from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN; (First Class Honours), Masters in Soil Science (Soil Biology and Biochemistry Option), UNN; a Postgraduate Diploma in Irrigation Engineering (Distinction) from Katholic University Leuven, Belgium and capped her academic laurels with a PhD in Soil and Environmental Conservation from FUTO.

4. Prof Ibiyemi Bello – LASU

Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello is the ninth Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU). She is the second female VC to occupy the exalted post in the Lagos State-owned tertiary institution.

She is the wife of the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, 

Ibiyemi, a Professor of Physiology, had served as Acting Vice-Chancellor of the institution before her appointment The 57-year-old academic was born on April 23, 1964, in Lagos.

5. Prof Kaletapwa Farauta – ADSU

In 2020, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri approved the appointment of Prof Kaletapwa Farauta as the substantive Vice-Chancellor of the Adamawa State University Mubi.

Until her appointment, she was the acting Vice-Chancellor of the institution. She had contested for the position alongside 25 others, out of which three top contenders emerged.

6. Prof. Adenike Oladiji – FUTA 

Professor (Mrs) Adenike Temidayo Oladiji is the eighth substantive vice chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure. 

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.

7. Prof. Folasade Ogunsola – UNILAG

Professor Folasade Ogunsola is the 13th substantive Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Ogunsola, the daughter of the late eminent geographer, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, has served the university in various capacities.

She was at a time the Provost of the College of Medicine in Idi Araba, Lagos and also served as a deputy vice chancellor to Ogundipe.

Ogunsola, a professor of clinical microbiology, is the first female vice-chancellor in the school’s 60-year history. 

8. Prof. Bidemi Lafiaji-Okuneye – LASUED

Prof Lafiaji-Okuneye, a professor of Health Education, is the Ag. Vice –Chancellor Lagos State University of Education

She was born on February 2, 1972, on Lagos Island, Lagos State. 

She obtained Doctor of Philosophy (Health Education) from University of Ibadan (2005), Master of Education (Health Education), University of Lagos (1999), Bachelor of Science (PHE), Lagos State University (1995) and Diploma in Physical and Health Education from Lagos State University (1991).

Lafiaji-Okuneye joined the service of Lagos State University as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education. She was later appointed the Provost, Adeniran Ogusanya College of Education, Ijanikin until her appointment as the Ag. Vice –Chancellor, Lagos State University of Education Oto/Ijanikin.

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