7 Famous Nigerians With More Than One Educational Qualification


Education is respected in Nigeria, and people strive to achieve academic excellence. It explains exceptional cases when individual persons achieve several educational qualifications. As a result, several distinguished professionals in various fields, including business, politics, academia, and arts, have emerged. This article presented by Naijassador looks at seven famous Nigerians who have gone ahead to achieve multiple educational qualifications.

1. Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka is a Nobel laureate in Literature and one of the foremost playwrights, poets, and essayists. Wole Soyinka did his undergraduate studies in English Literature at the University of Ibadan. He later pursued a master’s in English Literature at the University of Leeds in England and a PhD at the same institution, emphasizing John Donne’s works. Wole Soyinka has published numerous works and serves as a creative author. Consequently, Wole Soyinka’s intellect and works have reverberated across Nigerian and international literature. Soyinka’s dedication to his education and intriguing works have continued to offer insights to scholars across the globe, including Nigeria.

2. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a distinguished economist and diplomat, earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Regional Economics and Development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, she is a unique leader with authoritativeness in the specialist areas of economics, diplomacy and global governance.

With an illustrious career at the World Bank, two tenures as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and a chair at Gavi, the vaccines alliance, the WTO under her tenure is known for its commitment to fair trade, development-focused decision-making, and the reduction of equalities. Her leadership and vision in this issue make her one of the most important delegates.

3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian-born author, and one of the most prominent feminist figures of the 21st century, has earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication and Political Science at Eastern Connecticut State University. Later, she received a master’s degree in Creative Writing at Johns Hopkins University and an African Studies master’s degree at Yale University.

Developing the themes of identity, feminism, and the immigrant experience in her books, such as Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah, Adichie uses information from her own life and makes her characters live both in Nigeria and the United States. She writes well enough to have even been awarded the Man Booker Prize. The author is also publicly known for her vocal feminist views in general, and more specifically, in the TED talk The Danger of a Single Story.

4. Philip Emeagwali

Philip Emeagwali, a computer scientist and inventor, who has made important contributions to the new growth of the Internet, has finished many degrees including following Ba in Mathematics at Oregon State University, a Ma of Mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and he received a PhD in scientific computing from the University of Michigan.

In 1989, Emeagwali received the Gordon Bell Prize for solving the problem of oil reserves’ modelling with the help of processors’ networks. According to William Y. Gropp and David E. Keyes who have a PhD and the role of director at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications respectively, “his primitive mathematical methods were the first to prove parallelism in supercomputing possible and, at the same time, opened all the doors to the supercomputer industry.

5. Obiageli Ezekwesili

She is also a Nigerian national, Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former World Bank Vice President and Nigerian Minister of Industry and Education. In 1987, she graduated from accounting and finance at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Ezekwesili then received a Master of International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, followed by a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Ezekwesili was a major factor in the Bring Back Our Girls rally, which was established to rescue the women abducted from Chibok school. Ezekwesili has excellent education and lengthy employment in major foreign organizations with a track record of international cooperation influencing many individuals in Nigeria and Africa to be vociferous advocates of openness, accountability, and development economic.

6. Amina Mohammed

A Bachelor of Geography from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, Amina Mohammed continues her master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Sussex. As a British-Nigerian diplomat, Amina Mohammed is the current Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. This brilliant woman led the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a global plan to end poverty and inequality. In addition, Amina Mohammed also held the position of Minister of Environment of Nigeria and vigorously promoted climate projects in the region. Therefore, the activism of Mohammed led to the creation of sustainable development as an idea of global development orientation.

7. Dora Akunyili

After all, a notable figure from Nigeria is Dora Akunyili. Academic achievements: Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy – University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Master’s degree in Pharmacology and Ph.D. in Pharmacology – University of London. Achievements: Dora Akunyili was an exceptional, honest leader in Nigeria. Fake medications and drugs ceased to be a menace following her involvement at NAFDAC. From 2001 to 2008, she received threats and made efforts to strengthen her safety.

However, Akunyili’s courageous efforts were effective, resulting in a substantial reduction in counterfeit drug proliferation. As a result of the changes he spearheaded, Akunyili became internationally recognized. Later on, Dora served as Minister of Information. She attempted to engage in a political campaign which did not succeed. However, as of 2014, Dora Akunyili had passed away leaving behind a great legacy.


These individuals exemplify the pursuit of knowledge and academic excellence, showcasing how multiple educational qualifications can propel one to the forefront of their respective fields. Their diverse educational backgrounds have not only contributed to their personal growth but also to Nigeria’s development and global recognition. They serve as inspirations for the younger generation, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and the pursuit of excellence in education and beyond.

Written by Sarah Aboje


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