I am recommending her for some cogent reasons which stand her out as one of the few in Nigeria that have made worthy contributions in the educational development of the country and in enhancing its image and prestige internationally. It starts with her being the first female to have a Bsc, Msc and PhD degrees in Computer Science in Nigeria, obtained in 1976, 79 and 89 respectively. She is also the pioneer female professor in the discipline.
Today, there are seven female professors and about 20-30 female PhD degree holders in computer science in the country. With a population of 200 million, most of them believed to be women, these figures are too few, especially 31 years after she had her PhD degree. This shows that if Mrs. Osofisan had not opted for the profession at the time she did, there would have been fewer women in the profession. For blazing-the-trail in such a difficult discipline for women, Mrs. Osofisan deserves national award to encourage more female going for the it.
Apart from Professor Wole Soyinka, Nigeria’s only Nobel Laureate, with degrees in English language, bestowed with the global honour in 1986, late Professor Adeoye Lambo, a psychiatrist of the World Health Organization (WHO) fame, late Professor Chinua Achebe, Professor (Mrs) Grace Alele-Williams, late Professor Benjamin Olukayode Osuntokun, Professor (Mrs) Osofisan is among the few others known in academic circles internationally. She is even better acknowledged globally than some of the great ones. As seen in her credentials l had presented in the last five weeks, she has been honoured with Fellowships by universities in the United States, China and Australia. While she has for more than 25 years been an External Examiner to universities in Ghana, Sierra Leone and South Africa and four universities in Nigeria.
The third reason for my recommending her is that she pioneered Data Mining Research in Nigeria and was involved in the introduction of Nigeria University Network (NUNET) in 1995 and the Nigeria University Management Information System (NUMIS). This is a software that links all the universities in the country for the purpose of easy communication and information sharing. She was also involved in the introduction in 2013 of the Nigeria Research Educational Network (NgREN).
Also important to draw attention to was the suggestion that ingenious and cerebral Professor (Mrs) Osofisan made at the 9th Annual Forum of Laureate of the Nigerian National Order of Merit in Abuja last year. To reduce over-dependence on petroleum exports she urged the Federal Government to utilize the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector. This is because it can add so much to the nation’s economy and employment if proper investment is put into it. She drove home the point with the information that in 2012-16, a period of five years, ICT created twelve million jobs.
As stated in this column two weeks ago, Professor (Mrs) Osofisan on June 10, last year along with 22 other women, was inducted into the Women Hall of Fame by the National Centre for Women Development. She is also a recipient of the Women of Merit Gold Award for her laudable contribution to development and growth of Computer Science in Nigeria. The icing on the cake is for the National Centre for Women Development, the Nigeria Women in Information Technology, the Council for Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria or the Department of Computer Science of the University of Ibadan to recommend her to the Federal Government for the award of the national honour of Commander of the Order of Niger (CON) or Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR) or a higher one. It is a way to futher encourage women education in the country. I also think that Professor (Mrs) Osofisan’s academic achievements and inventions in computer science are such that she can be recommended for the Nobel Peace Prize for Science. I am therefore suggesting that the University of Ibadan where she had worked for 23 years, retiring last month, on Wednesday, March 11 should do this and leave it to the Swedish Academy of Sciences to consider her or if they can do it for Computer Science. Given the fact that when the Prize was instituted in 1895 the one for the sciences were for Physics, Chemistry, physiology and Medicine.
Next week:The reactions for and against last week’s article on Romans Chapter 13 : 1-3
Admiral Koshoni’s laudable legacies
He left the federal cabinet in October 1986 when he was appointed Chief of Naval Staff, the head of the Nigerian Navy. But realizing he was a towering administrator, Koshoni was the one General Ibrahim Babangida chose in 1989 to be the Chairman of the Civil Service Reforms Committee, which had people with lofty credentials as members. Among them were His Royal Highness Olu Falae, who at the time was the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Professor Dotun Philips of the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan, a world-class economist and Alhaji Adamu Fika, a seasoned and highly regarded civil servant.
It was the Koshoni committee that introduced professionalism into the civil service and redesignated the head of ministries from Permanent Secretary to Director-General. As Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Patrick Koshoni introduced the Nigerian Navy Trident Strategy that is said to have “articulated Nigeria’s maritime strategic imperatives, while streamlining the acquisition of platforms the appropiate size and shape of the Nigerian Navy.” Koshoni is also credicted with the Navy’s manpower rationalization, training programmes. Logistic reform and morale boosting welfare schemes.
Again, it was Koshoni who came up with the Chief of Naval Staff Annual Coonference during which the year’s operations are reviewed and plans made for the following year. When he was the Minister of Health in 1984 he tried to introduce a national insurance programme that would have facilitated medical treatment without making down payment. But this did not materialize when General lbrahim Babangida overthrew General Buhari and redeployed Koshoni to the Ministry of Transportation and Aviation. Koshoni has surely left his footsteps on the sands of time. May the Lord forgive his sins and grant him the grace of making Heaven. So long!
Final Tribute to Dr. Victor Olaiya, the Evil Genius of Highlife music