Professor Yakubu Aboki Ochefu (Secretary to the Committee of Vice-Chancellors)

Professor Yakubu Aboki Ochefu is an academic, university administrator and entrepreneur. He was born at the 44 Armed Forces Hospital in Kaduna on Monday the 24th of October 1960, to the family of Col. Anthony Aboki Ochefu (rtd.) of blessed memory, and Mrs Mammy Ochefu. He started primary school education at Army Children School, Dan-Tunku Road, Kaduna in 1964 and completed at St. Bernadette’s Private School Ibara, Abeokuta in Ogun State in 1971.

He equally started his secondary education at Kufena College Wusasa Zaria in 1972 and completed the same at St. Gregory’s College, Obalende Lagos in 1977. After a one year stint at the School of Basic Studies Ugbokolo, he proceeded to the University of Calabar in 1978 as the first set of Nigerian students to be admitted into Nigerian Universities through the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Examinations to study for a B.A. Honours degree in History.

He graduated in 1982 as the best student in his class and proceeded to serve the Nation at the Government Day Secondary School in Funtua, Katsina State. In 1983 he enrolled in the postgraduate programme of the Centre for West African Studies at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and graduated in 1985 with an M.A degree in Economic History and Political Economy. In the same year, he enrolled at his alma mater, Calabar, and registered as a part-time student for a PhD programme in Economic History which he earned in 1992. 

Professor Yakubu’s academic career began as an Assistant Lecturer in 1985 at the University of Calabar. He rose through the ranks and by 1992, was a Lecturer Grade One. In 1993, he joined the Benue State University Makurdi as a pioneer staff, where he helped establish the History Department. In 2003, he was promoted to the rank of Professor of Economic History.

At Benue State University, he held various positions such as Head, Department of History, Dean of Students Affairs, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Director of Consultancy Services and Director of Open and Distance Learning. From 2012 to 2017, he served as the Vice-Chancellor of Kwararafa University, Wukari, Taraba State, a privately promoted community-owned University. He was appointed Secretary-General of the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, and Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities in November 2019.

Professor Ochefu is a specialist in Economic History and Development Studies and has over 75 publications to my credit. These include sole author, joint author, edited and co-edited books, journal articles, commissioned technical papers and conference papers.

He is a Fellow and former National President of the Historical Society of Nigeria, the oldest professional academic body in the country, and a Member of Nigeria Academy of Letters. He is also a Special Fulbright Fellow, a World Innovation Summit in Education (WISE) Leadership Fellow and recipient of the 2016 World Education Congress Award for Academic Leadership in Challenging Environments. He is currently the National President, University of Calabar Alumni Association Worldwide.

He has at various times consulted for the World Bank, UNDP, DFID, and International Republican Institute on Social, economic and political issues. As an Information and Communications Consultant, he was Chair of the Benue State Information Systems Committee and National Coordinator of the “Digital Bridge Initiative” one of the largest eEducation deployments ever in this country.  He has been an IT team leader for the development of transaction portals for numerous institutions of higher learning in Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, and Uganda. He has also assisted many institutions in developing their Information Technology and Open and Distance Learning Policy documents.  As a part-time entrepreneur, he has promoted a number of businesses in Information Technology, Publishing, Renewable Energy and Waste-to-Wealth and sits on the Board of a number  companies and non-governmental organisations.

An active sportsman in his undergraduate and postgraduate days, Ochefu was a member of the University of Calabar Judo, cricket, basketball and hockey teams. He is a NUGA 1982 silver medalist in Judo, a certified Judo coach and a former Chairman, Benue Amateur Judo Association. His other sporting interests are Golf, handball, basketball, world motor rally championships, and superbike racing.

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