Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian universities explains why no Nigerian academic was nominated for Nobel Prize

The Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) has said that Nigerian scholars’ especially from the intellectual community were not nominated for the 2023 Nobel Prize because of poor research funding.

The Secretary-General of the committee, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, stated this in reaction to the recent announcement of the 2023 Nobel Prize winners.

Speaking at a news conference to herald the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the committee in Abuja on Friday, Ochefu explained that for Nigerians to feature in the Nobel Prize nominations, there must be a breakthrough in cutting-edge research.

“This comes back to the work that the CVCNU has been doing over the years, which is to improve the funding of the university system.

“To win a Nobel Prize is a product of sustained and rigorous research in the academic discipline; it is not a one-off thing.

“It looks surprising that the average age for a Nobel Prize winner is 50 years; it means that the person would have been doing research for at least 10 years to make a breakthrough in his area of specialization.

“We do not have enough funding for research in this country; there is a correlation between the quantum of resources available for research and the development of every country.

“And the benchmark is that at least one percent of your Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should be set aside for research and innovation; we are not even doing 0.1 percent,” he said.

Ochefu also added that the absence of facilities to do cutting-edge research over a sustained period to compete with researchers from other parts of the world was a major challenge.

The Nobel Prize is an international prize awarded annually since 1901 for achievements in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace.

Nobel Prizes have been awarded to over 800 individuals since their inception.

Norwegian author Jon Fosse won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature for his “innovative plays and prose that give voice to the unsayable.

Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian, became the first African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1986.

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