Our People

Prof. Olu Odeyemi OFR

Prof. Olu Odeyemi was born at Iloko-Ijesha in 1946. He attended Ilesha Grammar School (1959-1963) and Abeokuta Grammar School (1965-1966). He obtained B.Sc. (Soil Science, 2nd Class Upper) in 1970 at University of Ibadan, M.Sc. (Agronomy) and PhD (Microbiology) at Cornell University Ithaca, New York in 1974 and 1976 respectively. He received further professional trainings at Cambridge University, U.K; McGill University, Canada, and Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.

 Prof. Olu Odeyemi has supervised thesis research for about 500 undergraduate students and 35 postgraduate students. Among the distinguished Students mentored by Prof. Odeyemi are Prof. G.O. Babalola (Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife), Prof. A.O. Ogunseitan (University of California, USA), Prof. A.T. Abiola (International Professor of Microbiology, Canada), Prof. N. Esiobu (Florida Atlantic University, U.S.A) and Prof. Kola Oloke, (Ladoke Akintola University of Science and Technology, Ogbomoso). Prof. Odeyemi has over 70 research publications.

He is a member of over 25 professional bodies. He has attended more than 100 conferences to deliver keynote addresses and popularize science and technology. He Served as consultant to FCDA, Abuja, UNU, Tokyo, UNESCO, UNEP, FAO, SPDC, Warri. Prof. Odeyemi was first ecologist to do baseline study of all 24 rivers & streams of FCT and environmental impact assessment of SPDC’s Dodo North field, Belema field and Trans-Ramos Pipeline Project area in the Niger Delta. Prof. Odeyemi was the first scientist to suggest formation of NASENI, NTA News June 19, 1991, FERMA, Daily Sketch 4 July, 1995, NAFDAC, NTA News 9 May, 1985.  

Some of Prof. Odeyemi’s research accomplishments include the following:

  • The first scientist in the world to develop fungicides-resistant rhizobia for legume inoculation (U.S.A Patent No. 4, 094, 097)
  • The first rhizobiologist to develop Bradyrhizobium inoculant in West Africa. His inoculants have been used by the FAO, FMA and National Special Program for Food Security to boost cowpea and legume yields in Niger, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Kwara & Katsina States.
  • The first to  mechanize compost/organic fertilizer production for the SPDC, Warri. His organic fertilizer is being used by the FAO & FMA to enhance food safety and food security in all 36 states of Nigeria. The fertilizer was used in most of the 3,000 secondary schools in Osun State to boost school agric program in 2002
  • The first scientist in the world to postulate pathway of rhizobial degradation of thiram (fungicide) to yield dimethyldithiocarbamate and then dimethylamine and carbon disulfide.
  • First scientist to build and use a biogas generator (renewable/green energy) in Nigeria; the methane gas can be used for cooking, lighting and electricity generation. In early 90s, he built biogas plant for cooking at Govt. House Annex & General Hospital, Osogbo. The Chinese model biogas digester at Prof. Odeyemi’s residence is used for cooking and lighting; it can last for 70yrs
  • The first scientist in the world to demonstrate in Nigeria and in Canada the feasibility of using sunshine and seeds of Moringa oleifera for drinking water purification instead of the expensive and non-renewable alum.

In 1992, the UNDP & UNFPA commissioned Prof. Odeyemi to run workshops in Old Ondo and Old Bauchi States to diffuse this technology in order to reduce water-borne diseases (which account for 80% of all diseases-WHO) in the rural areas of Nigeria.

 As an astute administrator, Prof. Odeyemi has served as Head of Department, Vice-Dean of Faculty and Dean, Student Affairs at O.A.U, Ile-Ife. From 1993-2000, he was pioneer Rector of Osun State College of Technology, Esa-Oke. To facilitate technological development, students and staff were engaged in fabricating utility items such as plywood-made refrigerators, wheel barrows, lawn mowers, egg-incubators, etc. Prof. Odeyemi rose to become Chairman, Committee of Rectors in Nigeria.

As a practical scientist, Prof. Odeyemi estabilished an Agroforestry/Biodiversity farm on an area of land which is 2 km x 1km in size in Ilesa, Osun Satate. The farm consists of (a) Organic fertilizer factory (b) Fisheries farm (c) Palm tree plantation (d) Biogas digester. (e) Biofertilizer/ Inoculant factory (f) Drinking water treatment technology (g) Arable farm (cassava, maize, plantain, etc) (h) Agroforestry/ Biodiversity farm with about 150 different, labelled/tagged tree species. The farm has played host to visitors from China, India, Holland, Benin Republic, Ghana, Kenya, etc. and to many Nigerian students and institutions and hence, birth of the first privately owned Ecotourist Farm in Nigeria.

A list of about 40 national and international previous honours and awards attests to the impeccability of Prof. Odeyemi’s character. Some of the awards include Most valuable thesis award at Cornell with a Patented PhD thesis 1976, National Merit Award in Science and Technology (1990), Osun State Government Award for Excellence in Science and Technology (2005), O.A.U Great Achiever Award (2003), Federal Government OFR (1999). Prof. Odeyemi is a member of Nigeria’s National Think-Tank.

Olu Odeyemi is a Professor of Microbiology at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun state, Nigeria. He currently resides in Ilesa, Osun State with his wife, Lara.