Ezeogu Chinonso Apollos, NITDA’s most proficient scholar awardee 2019.
National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a body under the Ministry of Communications responsible for regulating ICT in Nigeria.
Just last year Ezeogu Chinonso Apollos emerged as the most proficient scholar of NITDA among hundreds of participants.
Ezeogu Chinonso Apollos is an ICT consultant, engineer and award winning researcher from Imo State. His greatest dream is to impact thousands of youths across Africa and the world over.
He has written series of books both in Mathematics and Physics which are of world best standards, and also mentored gold medalist both in Africa and other educational competitions across the world.
While sharing his achievements and dreams in this interview, the scholar feels much needed to be done in Nigeria’s educational sector in terms of recognition and standards.
- Tell us briefly about your educational achievement so far.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics in 2007 from Federal university of Technology Owerri. I then won a scholarship as Imo State Best candidate in NITDA exam 2011/2012 which enabled me obtain my MSc in Advanced Microelectronics Systems Engineering from University of Bristol, UK.
In 2017/2018, I also won PhD scholarship as South East Best Candidate to undertake a PhD in Computer Science with Nile University of Nigeria.
- What is your field of study and area of specialization?
Computer Science and Engineering, I specialize in Microelectronics Systems Engineering.
- What is your drive and greatest inspiration in achieving your academic dreams?
My drive is passion and love for knowledge; and greatest inspiration is to boost the image of Nigeria in the education sector and also be an inspiration and mentor to the younger generation.
- What challenges have you had to deal with, if any, in the course of your academic pursuit?
Major challenge is financing some personal ground breaking research works and publications.
Also, lack of consistent power supply results in draw back and delay in completing research works on time. In fact, I have spent over 3million naira fueling my generator to have sustainable power supply within 4yeears to enable me complete my text books in mathematics and physics.
- What is your ultimate career goal as you see it today?
My ultimate career goal is to enable as many Nigerians and foreigners to achieve their greatest dream through my mentorship, teaching, textbooks and research papers.
- As a scholar and academia what would you say about Nigeria education sector?
The government of Nigeria is not doing enough in the education sector. There is very low and poor budget for education. It does not encourage researches, infrastructural development; adequate learning facilities and management; or incentives, awareness and motivations for academic achievements of extraordinary feats by our younger generation in academics.
For instance, in 2011 and 2012, Nigeria was the first African Nation to win Bronze medal in World International Mathematics Olympiad. Ironically, those students who won didn’t get the deserved media publicity or recognition.
Whereas if it was an entertainment show like music, Big brother Naija, Beauty pageant shows, the media will broadcast it everywhere with great publicity and yet we expect our younger generation to embrace education (Law, Science, and engineering).
- How would you compare the educational standard of Nigeria and UK where you did your masters?
UK’s education is far ahead of Nigeria’s. UK leaders understand the value of education. Education is well funded, research grants and industrial development is at its peak. They are serious minded Government who care about the image of their Nation, welfare of the citizens, and economic growth. Meanwhile, our leaders are still narrow minded, selfish and primitive in leadership.
- What does being a mentor mean to you?
Mentoring others enables me to be focused always. It makes me seek for more leadership attributes that will help guide many younger ones who are looking up to me for inspiration and guide.
- If you have to choose between mentoring students in Nigeria or diaspora, which option will you pick and why?
I will choose Nigeria because that is where work needs to be done.
Nigerians need academic, economic and mental liberation from the depraved society. Even NGOs and government agencies from diaspora in the name of humanitarian services are doing their contribution and best to support and elevate Nigerians from the poor economic mess caused by our leaders’ mismanagement.
- As a mentor how would you classify Nigerian students in high institutions in terms of Intelligence, Innovation and integrity?
Nigerian students are gifted in all ramifications. The strength of evil seen today is a result of not channeling the gift to positive and economic impactful use.
The youths are hardworking, peaceful and have high endurance capacity. The current state of Governance here cannot happen in other countries, the youth would have caused much trouble, riot or even ignited war.
Yet, our youths have endured till date, accepted the hardship, and looking for ways to manage the poor economic, academic, environmental situations. It is so sad; some Nigerian leaders say that the youths are lazy.
I agree with them but with different understanding. My definition of “LAZY” in this context refers to; “Lovely Adorable Zealous Youths”.
- As a lecturer, what is the most creative thing you have done to engage your students?
Teaching them to be the BEST (Believe in yourself, Endure, Specify your goals, Time management).
- You’ve Just Received an Award from NITDA; can you tell us more about NITDA and the reason for the award?
NITDA is National Information Technology Development Agency. It is a body under the Ministry of Communications that is responsible for governing and regulation ICT in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Award I receive is the “eNigeria Digital Promotion Award” as the most proficient NITDA scholar”. I believe the committee selected me as the winner among my hundreds of colleagues worldwide based on my contribution to the society in building and helping Nigeria students achieve their dreams, my groundbreaking research works in computing, my textbooks, and individual performance in academic grade during the PhD program.
- How do you intend using this Award to influence others and how would it impact your career?
First the awareness is necessary for Nigerians to know more about the goal of the Ministry of Communications and NITDA mandates. The eNigeria event was organized to promote building sustainable digital economy through ICT.
Meanwhile, what we lack now is the recognition in the academic field just as in the entertainment industry. Nigerians tend to be indifferent when it comes to educational award compared to entertainment, and this is due to the inverted value system.
This award is the greatest national academic honour for a student and a researcher. Let me iterate once more that even winning a scholarship is a very great and difficult feat to achieve.
Thereafter among the scholars, the most proficient is nominated based on academic performance, works, impact to ICT, human capacity development and economic impacts.
Therefore, I am expected to use the award to motivate others, to create awareness of importance of education, ICT development and encourage investors to support our goals for sustainable digital growth of the economy.
- What is your advice to Nigerian students seeking for better Education abroad?
Go to school abroad if you have the opportunity then return back and build your home.
No matter where you run to abroad you are still a second class citizen. So, it’s high time we started building our own community and economic for brighter future.
- Do you have any project you are currently working on?
Yes, so many projects on queue. Just to mention a few in simple terminology:
- Building a neuromorphic computer system using nano material called memristor;
- Designing nanoprocessors which is ahead of microprocessors;
- Implementing a cryptography scheme for physical unclonable function using hybrid CMOS-Memristor circuits.
- We heard you’ve authored some books; can you enlighten us more on this?
Yes, “College Mathematic: A self-teaching guide” is 776 pages book which can be purchased exclusively for now from amazon but will be made available from 14/02/2020 to be purchased as well from other book outlets such as google play store, apple, and other online outlet worldwide.
In addition, I have written about a 900 pages physics text book called “Physics of Nature”. Although, due to the large volume, we intend to break it down and publish it in three volumes starting from June 2020. It will be available online and physical form.
Meanwhile, anyone interested in the share of the book royalty is invited to invest for more distribution of the books in physical print copies so that many people can have it. Both books are arguably world’s best in teaching students because it has been tested for years as a manuscript and have helped me produce gold medalist in Africa and world competitions.
- Which Institution, Government Agency or Private Firm are you looking at partnering with in the nearest future as regards your projects?
Any reputable institution and agency shall be welcomed
- Are you Married, Single or Searching?
Hahahahaha, this is the most difficult question.
Anyway, I am single but searching for “knowledge” and not a wife.
I am in love with knowledge, and if in the adventure and quest for knowledge, I see an understanding lady that will boost, inspire and endure with my dreams and goals towards building a great Nigeria then I can share my passion and love.
- How do you relax and spend leisure time?
Watching and playing football; hanging out with my close friends where we brain storm on ideas and how to be more productive.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
In 5years time, I shall have won more awards and also helped thousands of Nigerian youths achieve their goals.
- What is your advice to those who wish to walk your path?
My advice is that they use my panic formula:
- Never give up
- Invest Time, energy and money in your goals
- Complete every task started using Time management.
- What is your advice to the Government of Nigeria?
Redeem the negative image and economy of Nigeria by been selfless and effective leaders.
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