Three academic giants were honoured with an Award of Excellence on account of their contributions to Statistics Education in Nigeria by the Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan. The Award ceremony took place at the 40th anniversary lecture of the Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan, the first Department of its kind in Nigerian Universities. The honourees at the programme were Professsor Biyi Afonja, Professor Samuel Adamu and Dr (Mrs.) Tinuke Johnson.
In a lecture entitled “Statistics: Security, Poverty and National Development’’ delivered by Professor Olawoye Adegboye of the Department of Statistics, University of Ilorin, the don said poverty tempts many Nigerians to engage in nefarious activities, and noted that security of lives and property should remain the primary role of any responsible government.”
He stressed the need to have qualified statisticians who would keep adequate record to project fortunes into the future Nigeria.
Professor Adegboye contended that “national development is about raising the standard of living of the people, both the leaders and the governed, adding that it becomes a collective responsiblity of everybody to contribute to national development of the country.
The don submitted that 70% of Nigerians live on less than three hundred naira per day which is an indication that majority of Nigerians live in abject poverty whereas the country is one of the largest producers of oil in the world.
He called for proper use of the nation’s resources to reduce poverty and arrest insecurity.
For the award, Professor Adamu was described as an academic par excellence and father of statistics in Nigeria. He championed the transformation of the Department of Statistics as an independent Department in 1973 which was dormant since its establishment in 1965. Professor Adamu who specializes in Sampling Theory and Official Statistics has supervised many Master’s dissertations and Ph.D theses.
Professor Biyi Afonja was the first Professor of statistics at the University of Ibadan and the first Nigerian Professor to successfully supervise a Ph.D graduate in statistics. Professor Afonja served as a commissioner in the Ministry of Education in the old Western State.
Dr. (Mrs) Tinuke Johnson, fondly called Mama Johnson was also honoured with the Award of Excellence. She was the first professionally qualified female statistician in Nigeria. “The source of my joy today is that the day I am receiving this Award actually coincides with my birthday”, said Mama Johnson.
The awardees thanked the Department of Statistics for honouring them with the Award.
The Acting Head of Department, Dr Ismail Olanrewaju Shittu was grateful to all those who contributed financially and morally to the success of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Department.