Doctoral Qualification Opens New Doors for Nigerian Graduate
For PhD in Human Resource Management graduate Dr Obianuju Okeke-Uzodike doing a doctoral degree had not been in her plans but experiencing the life of an academic at the side of her husband – Dean and Head of UKZN’s School of Social Sciences, Professor N Okeke-Uzodike - made her realise the qualification was the key needed to unlock her potential.
Okeke-Uzodike, who had acquired a degree in Chemical Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration in Nigeria, says doing her PhD has given her more versatility and a measure of depth in understanding personnel issues and how organisations can target and harness human skills more efficiently.
‘When I arrived in Pietermaritzburg, I was surrounded by academics and academia. Sometimes, I felt as though I was left out during discussions. My husband, being an academic, advised me to pursue a doctorate degree, which I was not keen on,’ said Okeke-Uzodike.
‘But the PhD has opened my eyes and changed my career path.’
Okeke-Uzodike’s thesis titled: “Analysis of Recruitment and Selection Practices in Federal Government Ministries in Abuja, Nigeria”, builds on the need for African states to examine and improve on the development and deployment of qualified human resources to foster and deepen development. She says in that way, they will be better able to ensure the attainability of the Millennium Development Goals as the target year gradually draws closer.
Okeke-Uzodike says what motivated her to choose the topic was the well-known fact that African states have generally struggled with the task of ensuring efficiency in the delivery of public services despite avowed commitments and various reform schemes in their public sectors.
‘Although the research focused on the public sector in Nigeria, my findings are applicable in many ways to most African countries which share similar conditions and challenges. Lessons learnt can inform corrective policy measures for African countries in dire need to achieve various national, regional and international goals for social and economic development,’ she added.
- Thandiwe Jumo