Mathematics in Nigerian Universities

Indigenous contemporary mathematics research activities in modern Nigeria were pioneered by Chike Obi, Adegoke Olubummo, and James Ezeilo who obtained their doctorates in mathematics from British Universities in the 1950's. Obi and Ezeilo specialized in ordinary differential equations and Olubummo in Analysis. The very high qality of the research activities of these pioneers has been a potent motivating force of many Nigerian mathematicians.

Nigeria has also been a leader in aiding in the development of Mathematics on the entire continent. The second Pan African Congress in Mathematics was held in 1986 in Jos, Nigeria. Aderemi Kuku was a two term president of the African Mathematical Union (1986-1995). Also in 1986 Grace Lele Williams founded AMUCWMA, the African Mathematical Union's Commission on Women in Mathematics in Africa.

More recently, Nigerian researchers in the area of ordinary differential equations are engaged in the investigation of a wide range of interesting questions on qualitative properties of solutions and the existence of periodic solutions of higher order equations. The results of Ezeilo's students Haroon Tejumola and Ethelbert Chukwu standout in this regard. So also are the results of Oluska Akinyele, Anthony Afuwape, and E. N. Onwuchekwa.

In addition to the qualitative study of differential equations, Nigerians are also involved in numerical analysis of solutions. The Benin school, led by the late Simeon Ola Fatunla, and the Ilorin school formed around M.A. Ibiejugba, J.A. Gbadeyan, and P. Onumanyi (now at the University of Jos) are particularly strong in this area.

Thus, Nigeria is today well recognised in the international mathematical community as a center for ordinary differential equations.

The main sachools of functional analysis in Nigeria are located at the University of Ibadan, University of Benin, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and University of Nigeria at Nsukka. The indigeonous pioneer was the late Adegoke Olubummo, who spent the entire span of his career at Ibadan.

We should note that George Okikiolu, a Nigerian Mathematician in London, has published twice as many papers as any other Black Mathematician. His daughter Katherine Okikiolu recently won two very high research awards in the U.S.


Content created by Dr. Scott W. Williams, Professor of Mathematics, The Mathematics Department of The State University of New York at Buffalo.

The link above contain a list of Nigerian Universities where Mathematics is studied as a degree programme. Today, each Nigerian University has a Department of Mathematics either existing as a single department or merged with courses like Statistics or Computer Sciences or both.