Ifesinachi Nelson Ezeh, a 26-year-old Nigerian, has made history in Russia by graduating with a perfect Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 5.0 in his Master’s degree in Agronomy at Saint Petersburg State Agrarian University. He is the first African student to achieve this feat in Russia, and has earned himself a Ph.D scholarship.
Ezeh, who hails from Nsukka, Enugu State, said he was motivated by his passion for agriculture and his desire to contribute to the development of his country. He said he chose to study in Russia because of the quality of education and the opportunities for research and innovation.
“I have always loved agriculture since I was a child. I grew up in a farming community and I saw the challenges and potentials of agriculture in Nigeria. I wanted to learn more and acquire the skills and knowledge that would enable me to make a difference,” he said.
Ezeh’s Master’s thesis focused on the effect of different fertilizers on the yield and quality of spring wheat in the Leningrad region of Russia. He said he conducted several field experiments and laboratory analyses to determine the optimal fertilizer application for wheat production.
“My research was aimed at finding solutions to the problem of low wheat production in Russia and other countries. Wheat is one of the most important crops in the world, but it faces many challenges such as climate change, pests, diseases and soil degradation. I wanted to find out how different fertilizers affect the growth, development and quality of wheat, and how they can be used efficiently and sustainably,” he said.
Ezeh said he was surprised and delighted by his academic achievement, which he attributed to God’s grace, hard work and dedication. He said he faced some difficulties such as language barrier, cultural differences and harsh weather conditions, but he overcame them with the help of his supervisors, professors, friends and family.
“I am very grateful to God for giving me this opportunity and for seeing me through. I am also thankful to my parents, siblings, relatives and friends for their support and prayers. I appreciate my supervisors, Prof. Olga B. Kostina and Prof. Natalia V. Kostina, for their guidance and mentorship. They were very patient, helpful and encouraging. I also thank my professors, classmates and the staff of the university for their cooperation and assistance,” he said.
Ezeh said he plans to pursue his Ph.D in Agronomy at the same university, where he has been offered a scholarship. He said he hopes to continue his research on wheat and other crops, and to collaborate with other scientists and institutions around the world.
“I have a lot of dreams and aspirations for myself and for my country. I want to be a renowned agronomist and a professor of agriculture. I want to conduct more research that will benefit humanity and the environment. I want to share my knowledge and experience with others, especially young people who are interested in agriculture. I want to inspire them to pursue their passion and to excel in their chosen fields,” he said.
Ezeh said he is proud of his Nigerian heritage and identity, and that he always tries to represent his country well wherever he goes. He said he loves Russian culture and people, and that he has learned a lot from living and studying in Russia.
“Russia is a great country with a rich history, culture and tradition. The people are very friendly, hospitable and generous. They have a strong sense of patriotism and pride in their country. They are also very hardworking, resilient and innovative. I have learned a lot from them, especially from their scientific achievements and discoveries,” he said.
Ezeh advised other Nigerian students who wish to study abroad to be focused, determined and disciplined. He said they should also be open-minded, respectful and adaptable to new environments and situations.
“Studying abroad is a wonderful experience that can broaden your horizon and expose you to new opportunities. It can also be challenging and demanding, so you have to be prepared mentally, physically and emotionally. You have to be ready to learn new things, meet new people and face new challenges. You have to be respectful of other cultures, beliefs and values. You have to be adaptable to different weather conditions, food preferences and lifestyles. You have to be focused on your goals, determined to achieve them and disciplined in your actions,” he said.
Ezeh’s remarkable achievement has been widely celebrated by Nigerians at home and abroad, as well as by Russians and other nationals. He has received several awards, commendations and media interviews from various organizations and platforms.
He is an example of excellence, diligence and patriotism that Nigeria can be proud of.
Okoro Benjamin, a young Nigerian from Anambra state, also made history as the first Nigerian to graduate with a first-class degree in Pharmacy from Voronezh State University in Russia. He achieved a remarkable cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.65 out of 5, making him the best student in his faculty.
Benjamin’s journey to academic excellence began in Nigeria, where he graduated from Federal Government College in Anambra as a top student with 8As distinction out of the 9 subjects he sat for in his senior secondary school certificate exam. He applied to study Pharmacy at the University of Port Harcourt, but he was not admitted due to the high cut-off mark. He then took the Nigeria Federal Scholarship Board Exam, which he passed with flying colors and secured a scholarship to study Pharmacy at Voronezh State University in Russia.
Benjamin said he was delighted to study at one of the best universities in Russia, where he faced many challenges and opportunities. He said he was determined to excel in his studies and make his country proud. He also said he received a lot of support and encouragement from his lecturers, classmates and friends. Read more about Benjamin here.