By: Adegunle Olugbamila
The University of Lagos (UNILAG) awarded yesterday a PhD to Mr. Olaoluwa Oluwadamilola (24), Africa’s youngest PhD holder.
Olwadamilola had the best PhD thesis, titled: “Studies on Fixed Points of Contractive and Expanding Maps in Multi-Dimensional Spaces”. He scored 5.0 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).
Bakre Oluwafemi Abubakar, a graduate of Electrical/Electronics, was the 2012/2013 Convocation Valedictorian, with a superlative CGPA of 4.86.
Oluwadamilola’s parents are missionaries with the Deeper Christian Life Ministry.
They gave birth to him while on missionary work in African Central Republic, a French-speaking country, where Oluwadamilola had his basic and tertiary education.
He got a B.SC in Mathematics and M.SC and Physics before returning to Nigeria in October, 2009.
According to Oluwadamilola, he began his PhD in 2010, courtesy of a scholarship from the General Overseer of the Deeper Christian Life Mission, Pastor Williams Kumuyi. He spent the minimum three years for a PhD scholar in school.
Speaking with reporters at UNILAG Auditorium One, Oluwadamilola said: “I used to come first in my secondary school days, but not always. My performances became better when I entered the university.”
On his challenges during the programme, he said: “As a Christian, my schedule is very tight. I am focused. There were times when I faced distractions from friends who wanted to take me out. There is nothing bad in it, but it can make you concentrate less. There were times when I had job offers and was tempted to take them.
“I was discouraged at the beginning. One gets a feeling at the beginning of one’s doctorate programme that all the research topics had been considered by previous scholars and so there is nothing else to do, except for the most complicated ones that are most times beyond one’s ability. “Sometimes when you send your papers to international journals, they return it for one reason or the other. That does not mean your work is not good enough, but it can be very discouraging.”
On his next plan, he said: “I want to take another doctoral programme, which will be in either Mathematics or Physics. I will think of what topic to choose before I eventually go ahead.”
Abubakar, the valedictorian, described himself as someone from a privileged home.
Born of banker parents, he said it was not too difficult for him to study Electrical/Electronics, adding: “I will not describe myself as a bookworm, as I try to normalise everything I do. I am not a party freak, but once in a while, I attend social functions with my friends. I am privileged to have been born into a comfortable home. I must confess that I am a product of good advice. I chose the kind of friends I knew would influence me positively and you will always find me in their company.”
Executive-Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof. Julius Okojie, who represented President Goodluck Jonathan, urged the university’s management to be more creative in boosting its Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR).
Okojie, who also commended UNILAG for the prudent use of funds, underscored the need for universities to seek help from the alumni.
The week-long convocation wrapped up yesterday with the inauguration of three projects – the Central Laboratory donated by an alumnus and the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministry, Dr. Daniel Olukoya; the Biodun Shobanjo Mass Communication Multimedia Centre of Excellence, courtesy of the Chairman of the Troyka Group, Chief Biodun Shobanjo; and the Alumni Jubilee House built by the UNILAG Alumni Association in collaboration with Guarantee Trust Bank.