Nigeria's 7 Female Vice Chancellors In 6 Years
Amazons: Nigeria's 7 Female Vice Chancellors In 6 Years
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Amazons: Nigeria’s 7 Female Vice Chancellors In 6 Years

Are Nigerian universities winning the war for gender balance in academic sector?

3 mins read

Love it, loathe it, the President Muhammadu Buhari’s  government – widely criticized  for its handling of the nearly 8-month ASUU strike – did something positive in allowing the emergence of female vice chancellors over the years.

It approved appointment of at least seven (7) female vice chancellors in Nigeria’s federal universities in the last  6 years, a major boost to ‘gender parity’ in the Education sector.

Unprecedented – though work in progress – this feat is further reinforced  by the Friday October 7, 2022 confirmation of Professor Folasade Ogunsola, another female, as vice chancellor of the University of Lagos (Unilag). It marks a major turning point – a signpost – in the quest for gender balance in government appointments, especially in  the hitherto male-dominated vice chancellor positions in federal universities.

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Unilag’s case is even more peculiar. Prof. Ogunsola’s appointment as VC brings to five the number of women in top management positions at Unilag, arguably making the institution the most gender-friendly federal university in Nigeria .

Ogunsola’s emergence in Unilag was a long way from  Professor Grace Alele-Williams’ as vice chancellor of University of Benin (Uniben)  in 1985.  With General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) as military president  appointing her VC of Uniben in 1985, Professor Alele-Williams who recently passed on, became the first female vice chancellor of a Nigerian university.

Alele-williams believed that her two-tenured appointment, which ended in 1992, was a test case to demonstrate a woman’s executive capability.” she held her ground at Uniben amidst many challenges and opposition.

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In the new dispensation, the appointment of  Professor Fatima Muktar as vice chancellor of the Federal University, Dutse in 2016 appeared to have opened a floodgate that flushed in five more female vice chancellors six years after, the climax of which is the Unilag’s Ogunsola experience.

See the list of female vice chancellors  who emerged in the last 6 years:

  1. Prof. Fatima Muktar – VC, Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa
  2. Prof. Angela Miri – Federal University, Lokoja
  3. Prof. Folasade Ogunsola – Unilag
  4. Prof. Lilian Salami, VC, Uniben
  5. Prof. Florence Obi – University of Calabar
  6. Prof. Nnenna Oti – VC, Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO)
  7. Prof. Adenike Temidayo Oladiji, VC, Federal University of Technology, Akure (AFUTA)
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