A former Chairman of The Punch Newspaper, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, has attributed the achievements he recorded in his career to his mathematical background, which he said has been of tremendous assistance in solving financial-related challenges, which he had to handle in various areas of his life.
Ogunshola, who stated this in Lagos yesterday during his investiture as a Fellow of the Nigerian Mathematical Society (NMS) alongside a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe; and a former Dean, Faculty of Science at the Lagos State University (LASU), Professor Michael Ajetunmbi, added that as a professional, he had been trained to apply mathematics to business.
According to his citation, while at Government College, Ibadan, where he had his secondary and higher education, Ogunshola was consistently among the top three students in his class. In the 1961 West African School Certificate Examination results, he and another student led the class in aggregate points.
As the chairman of The Punch, he was said to have introduced the rigour of “measurement” wherever it was possible to do so, and Punch was the first newspaper company to establish a statistics and research unit.
The three awardees were among the 18 meritorious mathematicians nominated for the 2016 Fellow of Nigerian Mathematical Society (FNMS) award during the society’s conference in May.
In his remarks, the President, NMS, Professor Ninuola Akinwande, said the array of mathematics scholars in this year’s list was an indicator that despite the harsh teaching and research conditions in the country, some have doggedly pursued the field of knowledge, which is dreaded by many with vigour and determination.
“The awardees are mathematicians of international standing with distinguished accomplishments. Mathematics is the driving force for meaningful scientific and technological breakthroughs and advancement and so should be given all the support needed for scholarship.”
While commending the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, a fellow of the society, for instituting professorial chairs in mathematics in four universities, he called on others to emulate him and give necessary support to the teaching, learning and research in mathematics.
Responding, Ibidapo-Obe expressed delight on being recognised in the profession he started several years ago, saying that mathematics is fundamental to all other disciplines, and enables one to have a calculative analytical mind, where everything has to be measured.
He advised the youths to embrace mathematics, which he said is not difficult. “It is probably one of the easiest things to do; something that we do every day. Cultivate the habit, it is very useful, it teaches you hard work and discipline. Mathematics is an all-life training.