In Nigeria, one of the very difficult situations students find themselves in is securing admission into tertiary institutions of learning.
Hence, the reason many resort to part time education as a means of catching up with their peers who were lucky enough to advance ahead of them.
But there are some people who have been exceptional in their endeavours and have managed to emerge as doctorate degree holders at the early stage of their lives.
A list of Nigeria’s youngest PhDs has been compiled by Nigerian scholars and it is presented below:
5. Dr Olabisi Adeyemi (Age: 26)
This young intellectual earned her PhD in Botany from the University of Lagos. Though she had maintained a track record of academic success right from her secondary school, she acknowledged that having a PhD at her age, and the record of being the best graduating PhD student, did not come easy.
Born in Lagos Island local government of Lagos state, Dr. Adeyemi attended Girls’ Academy, L/Island where she was the best student in WAEC, with seven distinctions. She proceeded to University of Lagos and graduated with a first class degree in botany in 2006. She completed her PhD in record time in 2012.
4. Dr. Shirley Echendu (25)
She is acclaimed as the youngest eastern Nigerian to earn a PhD. Shirley Ogechukwu Echendu is a British-Nigerian born April 1988. She attended Holy Rosary College Uwani Enugu before proceeding to United Kingdom for her BEng (Hons) in Chemical and Process Engineering. She completed her first degree in 2009 and was awarded a full scholarship for her doctorate at Swansea University. She graduated in 2013.
Dr Opeyemi Shodipe (Age: 25)
This young Nigerian scholar received her bachelor’s degree at 19, from Babcock University. After the mandatory NYSC programme, she entered for a masters at University of Ibadan, graduating best in her department. She capped it with a well-deserved doctorate degree in information science from her alma mater, Babcock University when she was 25.
3. Dr Salihu Dasuki Nakande (Age: 25)
Born in October 1987, he is one of Nigeria’s youngest PhD holders, and arguably the youngest in northern Nigeria. He graduated with a first class degree in information technology from Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), North Cyprus at 21. Dr. Salihu completed his Master’s degree at Brunel University, UK. He capped it with a PhD from the same university in 2012.
2. Dr Olaoluwa Hallowed Oluwadara (Age: 24)
Acclaimed as one of Africa’s youngest PhD holders, Olaoluwa is a spectacular Nigerian intellectual and scholar, because of his achievements. He entered university for a bachelor’s degree at 15. He earned two B.Sc degrees in mathematics and physics, from University of Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR), run simultaneously. He received his master’s degree from the same university.
He crowned it with a PhD in mathematics at the University of Lagos, Akoka, where he was the best graduating PhD student. Dr. Olaoluwa H. Oluwadara won University of Bangui’s all-time best student award from the department of mathematics, best BSc student award in physics, 2007 and best MSc awards in physics and mathematics respectively in 2008. He currently is a research fellow of the Mathematical Analysis and Optimisation Research Group.
1. Dr Nkemehule Karl Omebere-Iyari (Age: 22)
Here we have the leader of the pack. A colossus of intellectual ingenuity. Dr. Omebere-Iyari, received his PhD in chemical engineering from University of Nottingham, UK, in 2006, then aged 22. This amazing Nigerian, an old student of Kings College, Lagos had 8 As in his WAEC result at age 16.
He proceeded the same year to Oxbridge, Ikeja, where he wrote and passed his A-levels, scoring ‘A’ in physics, chemistry and mathematics. He entered the University of Nottingham immediately and graduated three years later with a first class degree in Chemical Engineering at 19 in 2003.
He was also the best graduating student in chemical engineering that year. With a university scholarship, Omebere-Iyari wasted no time, and pursued his PhD. He received a EU grant of €17,000 every year, and finished his doctorate in the record time of three years, specializing in multi-phase flow. Omebere-Iyari has distinguished himself as an exceptionally gifted Nigerian.
Since graduation, he has worked with many multinational corporations such as Shell, Halliburton, etc. He earned an MBA with distinction from INSEAD/Wharton, and is a member of many professional groups.