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International Women’s Day: 6 Female Vice-Chancellors in Nigeria

On March 8, the world celebrates International Women’s Day as a focal point in the women’s rights movement, drawing attention to topics such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.

It is also a day to recognize women’s accomplishments, raise awareness about discrimination, and take action to promote gender equality.

The PUNCH has highlighted six female vice-chancellors in Nigeria in commemoration of the IWD 2023:


1. Lilian Salami  – UNIBEN

Prof Lillian Salami is the University of Benin, Edo State’s second female vice-chancellor. Prof Grace Alele-Williams became the institution’s first female VC in 1985.

Salami is also a member of the Nigerian Nutrition Society and the International Federation of Home Economics/Nigeria Home Professionals Association.

Salami, who is from Edo State, was born in Jos and began her schooling there, but due to the Nigerian Civil War from 1967 to 1970, she had to go to Edo State for her secondary education. She went to Baptist High School in Benin City.

She then proceeded to the United States of America and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics, and a Master’s degree in Nutrition at the North Dakota State University in 1979 and 1982 respectively, before returning home to serve her fatherland in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps scheme, in Benin City.

Salami was appointed Vice-Chancellor in 2019 after serving in a variety of administrative roles, including Head of Department at the University of Benin from 1996 to 1998; Chairman of the Board of the University of Benin Integrated Enterprise, Director of General Studies, Director of a part-time programme; and Director General of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration, Ondo State.


2. Florence Obi – UNICAL

Prof Florence Obi is the Vice-Chancellor of Calabar University.

She is the 11th substantive VC of UNICAL and the first female vice-chancellor. She is a professor of special education. Prior to her appointment, she served as the university’s deputy vice chancellor (academic) and as the Cross River State Commissioner for Women Affairs.

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

Obi attended St Bridget’s Primary School in Ogep Osokom, Boki, Cross River State, for her primary education. She also graduated from St Thomas’ Teachers Training College in Ogoja, Cross River State, in 1983. She then earned a Bachelor of Special Education degree from the University of Calabar. einsteinerupload of.

In 2002, she received her PhD in Educational Psychology from UNICAL.

In 2020, she defeated 12 other contenders to become the institution’s first female vice chancellor, following Prof Zana Akpagu.


3. Prof Nnenna Oti – FUTO

Nnenna Oti is a Soil Science and Environmental Conservation professor. She was elected Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, after defeating six other contenders.

Oti also holds a postgraduate diploma in irrigation engineering from Belgium’s Catholic University of Leuven.

She has worked in academia for almost 34 years, teaching, researching, and administrating both in and out of Nigeria.

She was the school’s Department of Soil Science and Technology’s three-time head before becoming the university’s first female vice-chancellor. She was also the head of the institution’s post-graduate school and chaired the Gender Policy Unit.

She took over after Prof Francis Eze, whose term ended in June 2021. In a competition with six candidates, the university don defeated her nearest challenger, Prof Ikechukwu Dozie, who received 69.7 percent of the vote.



4. Prof Ibiyemi Bello – LASU

Professor Ibiyemi Bello, a physiology professor, is the ninth Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University.

Bello was born on April 23, 1964, in the Ologbowo neighborhood of Idumota, Lagos Island, and attended Anglican Girls Grammar School in Surulere, Lagos, between 1970 to 1974. During 1974 through 1979, she attended Methodist Girls’ High School in Yaba, Lagos, for her secondary school.

Bello went on to study at the Lagos State College of Science and Technology. She also attended the University of Ibadan, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology in 1985. In 1987, she earned a Master’s degree in Physiology from the University of Lagos. She also studied at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas, between 1994 and 1998.

She began as an assistant lecturer at the University of Lagos’ College of Medicine and progressed through the ranks, finally becoming the institution’s first professor of physiology in 2007. In 2008, she was also the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University.

She also served as LASU’s acting Vice Chancellor from July to December 2010 and January to October 2011; Deputy Vice-Chancellor from December 2008 to December 2011; Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) from November 2011 to January 2013, and Head of the Department of Physiology from October 2007 to December 2008.

Between 2004 to 2008, she served as the Lagos State government’s representative on the Lagos State University Governing Council. She was also the Senate representative on the Governing Council for the institution.


5. Prof Kaletapwa Farauta – Adamawa varsity

In 202o, Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri confirmed Prof Kaletapwa Farauta’s nomination as the substantive Vice-Chancellor of Adamawa State University Mubi.

She served as the institution’s acting Vice-Chancellor prior to her appointment. She competed against 25 other candidates for the role, with three main contenders emerging.

Farauta, a seasoned academician, was born on November 28, 1965, in Numan, Adamawa State, and attended Numan II Primary School from 1973 to 1979. From 1979 to 1983, she attended Federal Government Girls College, Yola, also in Adamawa.

Farauta held several major leadership positions prior to her VC appointment. From July to October 2014, she served as the Executive Chairman of the Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board.

From August 2015 to July 2017, she was also the Commissioner of Education in Adamawa State. On July 17, 2017, she was named acting vice-chancellor of ADSU by Adamawa State Governor, Senator Muhammad Jibrilla.

Farauta has also contributed significantly to growth in a variety of capacities. She has frequently expressed her desire to bring value to humanity via hard effort and sincerity.


6. Folasade Ogunsola – UNILAG

On October 7, 2022, the University of Lagos, Akoka, appointed its first female Vice Chancellor.

Professor Folasade Ogunsola, a Professor of Microbiology at the University’s College of Medicine, was selected as the institution’s 13th substantive Vice Chancellor, succeeding Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, whose tenure expires in November.

Ogunsola is UNILAG’s first female Vice Chancellor since its inception 60 years ago.

Between 2017 to 2021, she was also the institution’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Development Services). She served as the institution’s acting vice chancellor for a brief period in 2020, when the university was in crisis following the expulsion of the Vice Chancellor by the University Council.

Ogunsola was born in 1958 and raised at the University of Ibadan, where her father, Akin Mabogunje, was a lecturer.

Between 1974 through 1982, she attended Queen’s College in Lagos for her secondary education. She holds a Master’s degree in Medical Microbiology from the University of Lagos’ College of Medicine. During 1992 until 1997, she pursued a doctorate in Medical Microbiology at the University of Wales in the United Kingdom.


Written by PH

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