By ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri
An internationally renowned researcher and scholar, Engr. (Dr) Hilary
Ijeoma Owamah, Acting HOD Department of Civil Engineering, Delta State
University Oleh campus, has opened up the major reason African
Universities are not topping the list of world university rankings
is their inability to engage in novel researches and publish with recognized global database.
Dr Owamah made this disclosure at the second Faculty of Engineering
Seminar Series/Send-Off ceremony of eminent Engineer, Prof. P. A.
Kuale held at the 1000 Lecture Theatre in the Facaulty of Engineering,
Oleh Campus of the Delta State University.
Speaking on the topic titled, “Improving the Global Ranking of
Nigerian Universities by doing First Thing First,” he pointed out
that International University ranking is now an inescapable reality of
University education landscape in measuring the performance of
Universities all over the world and used for measurement of global
“The idea behind first thing first is to prioritize important things
first instead of urgent things so that Nigerian Universities can come
up global ranking ladder. As a matter of first thing first, African
Universities and Nigerian Universities in particular must begin to aim
for quality and reputation in their publications and begin to
de-emphasize quantity as it takes us nowhere,” Dr. Owamah opined.
Citing numerous authorities and reputable authors to drive home his point, the University Don and Acting Head of Department, Department of Civil
Engineering, Delta State University, Oleh Campus, mentioned the
outlets to include scholarly journals, books, reports, conferences,
The international award winning researcher, observed that Nigerian
Universities lack visibility and reputation because a lot of Nigerian
researchers are publishing actively in predatory journals and still
clamour to be ranked by the world as one of the 500 or 1000
“While visibility and reputation come from publishing in reputable
outlets, publishing in predatory outlets demeans and keeps a researcher
in academic darkness.
“The predatory publishers are exploitative open access publishers,
publishing articles with little or no real peer review. Doing first
thing first requires that we flee from predatory journals/publications,” Dr. Owamah stressed.
In his concluding remarks thanked immensely the amiable Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Delta State University Abraka, Prof. Victor F. Peretomode, for finding him worthy to be appointed in the first place as an academic staff of the university and for appointing him the Ag. HOD (Civil Engineering), a short while after his assumption of duty.
He extoled the leadership qualities of the VC and described him as a man
that preaches, recognises, values and practices excellence in all things.
Dr Owamah said he will continue to do his best in fulfilment of the yearnings of the VC of improving the quality of publications form Delta State University and her position in global ranking.
The Chairman of the occasion was the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics), Delsu, Prof. Anigala E.A, who was represented by the Dean of Post Graduate School Delsu, Prof. John Obodo.
Also, all the guests present showered encomium on the eminent
Engr. Prof. Kuale P.A being the pioneer Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Delsu, and former VC Bendel State University, Ekpoma.
Some of the dignitaries were; the Provost of the Oleh Campus, DELSU,
Prof. Emosairue S.O, who incidentally was the Chief Host; the Acting
Dean, Faculty of Engineering, DELSU, Engr. Prof. Asalor, J.O., the Representative of the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun, Prof. Mrs. Chiedu Owabor, the Rector Delta State Polytechnic, Oghara, Engr. Prof. Ogujor Emmanuel and many other highly respected personalities who had graced the occasion to appreciate the services of Engr. Prof. Kuale P.A to humanity and also listen to the thought provoking public lecture.
The lecture was well delivered by the Guest Lecturer in such an electrifying manner.