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Youngest PhD Holders in Nigeria and Their Accomplishments

Climbing the academic walls of the higher institution down to the peak of obtaining a Doctorate degree (PhD) has always been considered to be quite a meritorious feat.

Nigerians are one of the most educated nationalities, behind the Indians and Chinese. Nigerians attain the highest level of educational study (PhD) in various fields. The recent trends are the PhD holders in their very young age.

Here are 5 Youngest PhD Holders in Nigeria:

1. Dr. Nkemehule Karl Omebere-Iyari

Age: 22

Here we have the leader of the pack. A colossus of intellectual ingenuity. Dr. Omebere-Iyari, bagged his PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Nottingham in 2006, then aged 22. This amazing Nigerian, an old student of Kings College, Lagos had 8 As in his WAEC result at age 16.

He proceeded same year to Oxbridge, Ikeja, where he wrote and passed his A-levels, scoring ‘A’ in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. He entered University of Nottingham immediately and graduated three years later with a first class in Chemical Engineering at 19 in 2003.

He was also the best graduating student in Chemical Engineering that year. With a university scholarship, Omebere-Iyari wasted no time, and pursued his PhD. He received a EU grant of €17,000 every year, and finished his Doctorate in record time of three years, specializing in multi-phase flow. Omebere-Iyari has distinguished himself as an exceptionally gifted Nigerian.

Upon graduation, he was worked with many multinational cooperation as Shell, Halliburton, e.t.c. He earned an MBA with distinction from INSEAD/Wharton, and is a member of many professional groups.

2. Dr. Olaoluwa Hallowed Oluwadara

Age: 24

Acclaimed as Africa’s youngest PhD holders, Olaoluwa is a spectacular Nigerian intellectual and scholar, because of his achievements. He entered the University for a Bachelor’s degree at 15. He earned two B.Sc degrees in Mathematics and Physics, from University of Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR), run simultaneously. He bagged his Master’s degree from the same University.

He crowned it with a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Lagos, Akoka, where he was the best graduating PhD student. Dr. Olaoluwa H. Oluwadara won University of Bangui’s all-time best student award from the Department of Mathematics (B.Sc), best B.Sc student award in Physics, 2007 and best M.Sc awards in Physics and Mathematics respectively in 2008. He currently is a Research Fellow of the Mathematical Analysis and Optimisation Research Group.

3. Dr. Salihu Dasuki Nakande

Age: 25

Born in October, 1987, he is one of Nigeria’s youngest PhD holders, and arguably the youngest in northern Nigeria. He graduated with a first class degree in Information Technology from Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), North Cyprus at 21. Dr. Salihu completed his Master’s degree at Brunel University, U.K. He capped it with a PhD in the same University in 2012.

4. Dr. Opeyemi Shodipe

Age: 25

This young Nigerian scholar bagged her Bachelor’s Degree at 19, from Babcock University. After the mandatory NYSC programme, she entered for a Masters at University of Ibadan, graduating best in her department. She capped it with a well-deserved Doctorate degree in Information Science from her alma mater, Babcock University. She was 25.

5. Dr. Olabisi Adeyemi

Age: 26

This young intellectual earned her PhD in Botany from the University of Lagos. Though she had maintained a track record of academic successes right from her secondary school, she acknowledge that having a PhD at her age, and the record of being the best graduating PhD student didn’t come easy.

Born in Lagos Island local government of Lagos state, Dr. Adeyemi attended Girls’ Academy, L/Island where she was the best student in WAEC, with seven distinctions. She proceeded to University of Lagos and graduated with a first class degree in botany in 2006. She completed her PhD in within record time in 2012.


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  • Prof Adesuyi A Leslie Ajayi

    First , it is not the age at which PhD is obtained that matters but thr contribution and discoveries from the PhD research. Second , different universities , different fields have different lengths of time to obtain a PhD. In the US, the average duration of a PhD is about 7 years in Sciences and 8 years in the arts. It is definitely shorter in the UK , and possibly Europe. Also you fail to realize that some with a medical degrees also go ahead and obtain a PhD after medical degree and NYSC, or in America combined with medical degree after the BS. Thus compiling list of young PhD degree is mere vanity , without asserting the impact of the research. The discovery should be your focus , though it's impressive to do it early. I speak from experience of someone who gained entrance to university at 15, graduated BSc ( medical sciences ) at 19, became a medical doctor at 22, and after NYSC and Houseman ship earned PhD at 27 years , completed medical specialty , and became a professor at the early 30s. But it's not the age of attainment that counts , but the impact of the work and discoveries that is fulfilling. That is what should be emphasized.

  • Shut Timothy Abel

    nigeria are talented for ages

  • Imrana

    Actualy in d case of Dr. Karl,you have to research again and find his actual age when he obtain his DR.degre bcou at age of 22yrs the information given above is imposible at least his age should b 16+3+2+3+1.