Top 10 Highly Celebrated Nigerian Scientist/Researchers

Top 10 Highly Celebrated Nigerian Scientist/Researchers
Nigeria is undisputedly one of the greatest countries in Africa and by extension in the world. Nigeria is located in West Africa and shares land boundaries with the Republic of Benin in the west, concomitantly, it also shares limits with Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north.From extensive research it was discovered that its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean.

The three principal and most dominant ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.Notable scholars of international repute hails from this great country of ours. Right from her existence, great events has been happening, ranging from inventions, discoveries, mortality, death, politicking, educational advancement and so on..


With the above been said, without retraction, this is a comprehensive list of the top 10 renowned scientist from Nigeria.


Each has been extensively celebrated for their laudable contributions to the dynamic and multifaceted nature of the federal republic of Nigeria.


Alexander Obiefoka Enukora Animalu, PhD

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Date of Birth: 28th August 1938
(age 77) Oba, Nigeria
Citizenship: Nigeria

Major Field of interest
: Theoretical Physics

Institutions Attended
: University of Nigeria, Nsukka. University of Cambridge Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Stanford University. University of North Carolina, Chill Drexel University, University of Missouri, Rolla Alma mater University . University of Cambridge
Doctoral advisor: Volker Heine

Prominent for
: Superconductivity, Isosuperconductivity
Influence:  Chike Obi, James Ezeilo
Notable awards: Shell-BP
Scholarship, Universit Ibadan (1959 – 1962), Crowe’s Prize on Abstract Alga,
Theory of Numbers (1962), Department Prizes in Mathematics (1961 & 1962).
University of Ibadan Postgrad Scholarship at University of Cambridge (1963 – 1965)
The great Alexander Obiefoka Enukora Animalu is Professor Emeritus of Physics at University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He holds a B.Sc. (London), M.A. (Cantab.) mand Ph.D. (Ibadan). He is the pioneer of solar energy in Nigeria.
Animalu scientific mark and name is of international standing, nobody can contest. He was a Member of the uppermost advisory body on Science and Technology to the Nigerian government, He profoundly receive Honorary Presidential Advisory Council award/recognition several times on Science and Technology from (2001–2003) and former Director National Mathematical Centre,

Animalu is the only African member till date of the Advisory Board of theEuro-Journal Physica and the only African member of the Editorial Board of the Hadronic Journal , he is also the founding editor of the Nigerian Journal of Solar Energy and one of the pioneering editors of the Bulletin of the Nigerian Institute of Physics

Due to his extensive works and research, he was principally the orator at the Foundation President of the Solar Energy Society of Nigeria, foundation editor, Nigerian Journal of Solar Energy, foundation member, United States Energy Research and Development Administration and Foundation member and former President of the Nigerian Academy of Science.

Animalu is author of 28 books in both the sciences and the humanities, including the famous Intermediate Quantum
Theory of Crystalline Solids and biographies of Rt.Hon. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Professor Chike Obi , Professor Kenneth Dike , Professor Samuel Okoye , Professor James Ezeilo , Professor Chukwuedu Nwokolo , Professor Cyril Onwumechili among others.

Animalu Early career

Between January, 1966 and December, 1967, Animalu was a Research Associate in
Division of Applied Physics, Stanford University and between January, 1968 and August, 1968.He was a visiting scientist at the Department of Physics, University of  North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In September, 1968, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Missouri, Rolla. His research work was in solid state and elementary particle physics.
In 1970, he moved to Drexel University in Pennsylvania, as Associate Professor of Physics.
 The most important and foremost burst through in his career came in April 1972 when he was appointed a research physicist, at the Lincoln Laboratory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) working under H.J. Zeiger and J.B. Goodenough on research projects related to development of computer core memory and primarily on the development of the transition-metal model potential, thus extending his Ph.D. thesis area to now include all elements of the periodic table .
It was within this period that he completed his principal book, Intermediate Quantum Theory of Crystalline Solids published by Prentice- Hall in 1977.
It became a world-wide classic with an Indian Edition published by Prentice-Hall of India in 1978. It was also translated into Russian by the Russian Academy of Science in 1981, reprinted in US in 1994 and is currently on the World Wide Web.
After a period of teachingand research in the UK and US between 1962–1976, he returned to Nigeria in 1976. Within a year of coming back, he began to make contributions to the
development of Nigeria.
Later Career in Nigeria

He was invited to become a Professor of Physics in 1976 in the Department of
Physics and Astronomy, University of Nigeria , Nsukka by his former lecturer
and  the then Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Emeritus James Ezeilo.
Theformer Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, presented him with the
Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) [5] award for Basic Science in 2000.


He rose in academic positions becoming Head of Department of Physics, UNN in 1981 and 1994 and Dean, Faculty of the Physical Sciences, UNN.

His proposal to the Federal Government of Nigeria led to the establishment of a Centre for Energy Research and Development in the UNN in 1980. He became the first substantive Chairman of its Governing Board in 1989. The idea for a National Mathematical Center in Nigeria was hatched by Professor Emeritus Ezeilo and Animalu.


He was the 1990 Ahiajoku lecturer, the highest Igbo academic privilege given to such scholars as Professor Chinua Achebe and Professor Onwumechili. His theory of high- temperature superconductivity based on the novelty of the pairing mechanism for electrons was published in Hadronic Journal in 1991.


He has trained many Nigerians in the field of theoretical physics and solar energy and established
two youth organizations, Society for Promotion of Indigenous Inventions and Creativity
(SPIIC) and Century-21 Club.

2.Anthony Afolabi Adegbola

Born on the 24th of February, 1929. Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
Nationality:  Nigerian
Ethnicity: Yoruba
Citizenship: Nigerian
Occupation: educator microbiologist researcher Anthony Afolabi Adegbola was a
Nigerian Professor of Animal science and former President of the Nigerian Academy of Science. In 1993, he was elected President of the Nigerian Academy of Science to succeeded Professor Akpanoluo Ikpong Ikpong Ette. I guess Akwa ibomite are
3. Anya Oko Anya
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Professor Anya Oko Anya (born on the  3rd January 1937),  is a Nigerian professor
of Biology who is distinguished for his work in Parasitology.
His Early life
Anya Oko Anya was born on 3 January 1937 at Abiriba, Abia State of Nigeria. He
attended Hope Waddell Training institution, Calabar, University College, Ibadan,
Saint John’s College, Cambridge, England and Molteno Institute of Biology
and Parasitology .He began his working career as a Science Master with Qua-Iboe
Mission Secondary School, Etinan, Akwa Ibom State in 1957.
He was appointed Research Officer, Federal Fisheries Research Service, Lagos,
1961– 1962; Lecturer, Federal Science School, Lagos, 1961–1962; Research Officer,
Federal Department of Agricultural Research, Ibadan, 1963–1967; Lecturer in Zoology,
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 1965–1967; Senior Lecturer, University of
Science and Technology Project, Port Harcourt, 1967– 1970; Senior Lecturer, University of
Nigeria, Nsukka, 1970–1973; Professor of Zoology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
since 1973 and he was the former Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Economic
Summit Group Ltd.
Anya was awarded the Nigerian National Medal of Merit by the Nigerian government
in 1992.
4.Awele Maduemezia
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Awele Maduemezia is a Nigerian Professor of Physics and former Vice Chancellor
of Ambrose Alli University .He also served as president of the Nigerian Association of

Mathematical Physics. In 1995, he was elected as President of the Nigerian
Academy of Science to succeeded Professor Anthony Afolabi Adegbola.

5. Bartholomew Nnaji
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Bartholomew Nnaji is a Nigerian scientist, innovator and one of the inventors of the
E-Design concept. He was born in Enugu State, and earned a Bachelor of Science
degree in physics at St John’s University, and then preceded to the Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University for post-graduate studies. He joined the faculty
at University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1983. After a few years, he became
the director and a founder of the Automation and Robotics Laboratory at the University.
 He was made a professor of mechanical and industrial engineering in 1992. As a researcher,
he focused on three major topics: Computer Aided Design, Robotics and Computer
Aided Engineering. Using the knowledge he gained from his research pursuits, he created the term geometric reasoning, the idea that most things we operate has a geometric configuration. He is also credited as one of the innovators of the E-design concept.
He is also the founder of the first indigenous owned power generating company in Nigeria and was also a former minister for Science and Technology in the country.
He ran in the 2007 Nigerian presidential election as the candidate for the Better Nigeria Party.
On 28 August 2012, Barth Nnaji resigned as Nigeria’s Minister of Power amid reports
that he was linked to a company bidding for a lucrative electricity contract.
The government is privatizing state-run companies in an attempt to end Nigeria’s chronic power shortages. A spokesman for Mr Nnaji said he had faced “totally wrongful accusations”.
6. Professor Benjamin Oluwakayode Osuntokun 
Osuntokun   Lived from (1935–1995), he was a researcher and neurologist from Okemesi , Ekiti State , Nigeria . Known for discovering the cause of ataxic tropical neuropathy, he was a founding member of the Pan African Association of Neurological Sciences and an early advocate and researcher on tropical neurology. Education He had his primary and secondary education at the Holy Trinity School, Ilawe Ekiti , the Emmanuel School, Ado Ekiti and Christ’s School Ado Ekiti .
After finishing his secondary education, he studied medicine at the University College, Ibadan when it was still affiliated to the University of London.
Research and career
He joined the research staff of the University College, Ibadan in 1964, as a medical
research fellow. However, upon  gaining a Smith and Nephew fellowship he went abroad for further studies under the direction of Henry Miller and John Walton,both eminent neurologists in Newcastle upon Tyne .
After spending some time in Newcastle, he took a job at the National  Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queens Square, London before returning to Nigeria in 1965. It was at the University of Ibadan, he launched a productive career, working on neuro-epidemiology and clinical and investigative neurology especially the study of dementia among Nigerians and
African Americans. In the late 1960s, he investigated cases of ataxic neuropathy in Epe where residents usually consume a dose of ill processed cassava with little or no supplement.
He then mapped out the epidemiology of the neuropathy and was able to study the basic aspects of the neuropathy. He discovered the disease was due to cyanide intoxication. At the time, little was done beyond clinical attention to the disease.
His success in discovering the basis of tropical ataxic neuropathy earned him local
and international acclaim in the medical community.
Throughout his career, he wrote a number of scholarly works on his prodigious research on tropical epidemiology and was also Dean of Medicine at the University of Ibadan and later the Chief Medical Officer of that university’s teaching hospital, UCH .
He died in 1995 and was buried in his native Oremesi, Ekiti .
7.Chike Obi (April 17, 1921 –March 13, 2008)
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Chike Obi was a Nigerian politician, mathematician and professor. The African
Mathematics Union suggests that he was the first sub-Saharan African to hold a doctorate in mathematics. Dr. Obi’s early research dealt mainly with the question of the existence of periodic solutions of non-linear ordinary differential equations.
He productively used the perturbation technique, and several of his publications greatly helped to stimulate research interest in this subject throughout the world and have become classics in the literature.


Obi is the author of several books and journals on mathematics and Nigerian politics.

Early life and education
Obi was educated in various parts of Nigeria before reading mathematics as an external student of the University of London. Immediately after his first degree, he won a scholarship to do research study at Pembroke College, Cambridge , followed by doctoral studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States , becoming in 1950, the first Nigerian to
receive a PhD in mathematics.
8.Winston Wole Soboyejo
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Winston Wole Soboyejo  is an American Scientist of Nigeria parentage (son of Prof

Alfred Sobojeyo of Ohio State University), currently a Professor of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, with special interests in Material Science and Engineering.  He is also the Director of the U.S./Africa Materials Institute, and the Director of the Undergraduate Research Program at The Princeton Institute of Science and Technology.

His research focuses on experimental studies of biomaterials and the mechanical behavior of materials. Wole Soboyejo was educated at King’s College London, and the University of Cambridge before returning to the United States in 1988 to become a research scientist at The McDonnell Douglas Research Labs in St. Louis, MO.
In 1992, he worked briefly as a Principal Research Engineer at the Edison Welding Institute before joining the engineering faculty of the Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. From 1997 to 1998, he was a Visiting Professor in the departments of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology .
Dr. Soboyejo moved to Princeton University in 1999 as a Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
He is also the Director of the U.S./Africa Materials Institute, and the Director of the Undergraduate Research Program at The Princeton Institute of Science and Technology of Materials.
His research focuses on experimental studies of biomaterials and the mechanical behavior of materials. Current areas of interest include micromechanical machines, nanoparticles for disease detection, biomedical systems for prostheses, and cardiovascular systems, infrastructure
materials, and alternative energy systems.
9. Olumbe Bassir 
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He was a great man who lived from (1919 – 2001) and was a Nigerian scientist,  author and academic. His primary contributions to research were in the areas of aflatoxins, nutrition, and peace research.
Earliy life and education
He was born in Senegal in 1919, Olumbe Bassir was raised in the older part of the
municipality of Freetown, Fourah Bay, by his parents Abdul and Isatu Bassir. He
attended the Prince of Wales Secondary School where he passed the Senior Cambridge
examination with exemption from London matriculation.
In 1946 after a  short teaching spell at the prestigious Bo Government Secondary School he went to Yaba College where he obtained the Higher National Diploma.
He went to the United Kingdom, where he earned the Bachelor of Science degree in 1949 and PhD in 1951 from Liverpool University.



He spent most of his professional career at the University of Ibadan , where he founded the Biochemistry and Microbiology departments. He laid the foundation of what became the first medical school in West Africa. By 1958, he was already a full professor. His academic specialty was nutrition and biochemical toxicology.

He was at various times Head of those two departments, Dean of faculty and also
served as acting Vice Chancellor.

He had written at least 250 professional papers by 1972 when University of London conferred the coveted doctor of science degree (D.Sc.) on him. He had performed very successful lecture tours in the then Soviet Union , the United Kingdom, and the United States of America among others.

Olumbe Bassir was the author of several books. His 1957 book Anthology of West
African Verse  was seminal in introducing written African poetry to Western audiences. His other popular books include Handbook of Practical Biochemistry (1963) and Metabolism of Afflatoxins and other Mycotoxins (1989).

In 1968, he formed a partnership with Tecwyn Williams through the British Inter- University Council for Higher Education Overseas. The programme’s research division helped developed the Drug Metabolism and Biochemical Toxicology  research program at Ibadan and contributed in fostering interest and making interesting findings in animal nutritional habits.

After retiring from the University of Ibadan, he remained active for several years, continuing to act as editor of the West African Journal of Biology and Applied Chemistry.

He also served as chairman of the Welcome Nigeria Fund, which became the Bassir-Thomas Biomedical Foundation in the early 1990s. He also regularly organized the annual Open House Colloquium.

10. Oliver Udemmadu Ogbonnia Mobisson
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Olivier lived from (April 23, 1943 – February 18, 2010)  and was a Nigerian -born scientist, professor ,activist , and entrepreneur . He was also a founding Professor of the Anambra
State University of Technology (now the Enugu State University of Science & Technology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University and Ebonyi State University).
Early life

Mobisson was born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State , Nigeria . He grew up with his family in Umu Ezike, Edenta in Awo Idemili , the son of a palm wine tapper. As a young boy, he attended St. Matthews Primary School (now known as Pioneer Primary School) in Imo State and went on to the Christ the King College (CKC) in Onitsha.

His excellence in academics caught the attention of local US Peace Corps volunteers
who recommended that he pursue university studies in the United States or UK. He reluctantly agreed, having reservations about the role of the US and UK in colonial Africa.

 Ultimately, the Nigerian Ministry of Education granted him a fellowship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Return to Nigeria & introduction of the ASUTECH computers He decided to leave the US in 1981 when he was called upon by the late Professor Kenneth Dike to return to Nigeria and help found Africa’s first computer technology university, Anambra State University of Science & Technology , ASUTECH. At ASUTECH, he served as head of the Industrial Development Centre (IDC).
It was at IDC in 1983 that Mobisson introduced the first Black African commercially produced line of personal computers and servers, an effort described by then Head of State, Alhaji Shehu Shagari as “blazing the trail for Nigeria’s quest for technological development”.
Commissioned by Governor Jim Nwobodo ,Mobisson involved undergraduates at ASUTECH especially as employees in the development of the ASUTECH 800 and 8000 series of PCs.
Later career
While he was teaching at ASUTECH, Mobisson went on to work in Nigerian telecommunications industry with NITEL. With the assistance of ASUTECH graduates, NITEL engineers, and former President Ibrahim Babangida ‘s financial support, he constructed a communications system.
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