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Barth Nnaji talks about his life

I did my secondary education in Nigeria and completed my Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees in the USA. I COVER_barthNnaji (2)started my academic career at the University of Massachusetts, where I rose to be a full professor of mechanical and industrial engineering with specialization in computer aided design and robotics. After 13years at the University of Massachusetts as a tenured, full professor, I went to University of Pittsburgh as an endowed distinguished Professor of Engineering. It was there that I became Head of the United States National Science Foundation Center of Excellence in E-Design. This is the only US Center on the subject of designing, assembling and testing complex products computationally. It is a multi-university center with many professors and more than 100 post graduate students working at the center simultaneously from different campuses in USA. While I was at the University of Massachusetts, I was privileged to have been invited by the Nigerian government to serve in the Interim National Government as the Minister of Science and Technology. The ministry had been abolished prior to my arrival, and I had to re-start it on a more sustainable basis. I am glad to say that since I restarted the ministry while working out of a hotel room, it has never been abolished.

My first desired legacy is contribution to the attainment of a robust and thriving power sector in Nigeria. Second is a model for modern rural community development, coupled with youth empowerment and life improvements through education and entrepreneurship. Third is development of the national economy through technology.

My dream for Nigeria is that the country is able to become free of corruption and one of the top 10 nations in the world economically, and powered by technology. It should be a country where both men and women are empowered to improve themselves and develop to the limit of their capability.

Published in the Business Eye’s print version, Nov 2015 edition.

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