HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS
The Department of Economics was established in 1958. It was a small Department offering limited numbers of courses to a small number of students. There were twenty-five students in Economics in 1958. While struggling to cope with the challenges of under-funding, explosion in student population and problem of brain-drain, the Department continues to strive to maintain a minimum level of excellence in its programs, involving a wide array of courses that are available. The tradition of excellence which the Department has established has continued to attract students into the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctoral degree programmes in Economics. The Department admitted for the first time in 1986 a set of students for the newly introduced four-year B.Sc programme. By 1987/88, the number of undergraduate students at all levels (major and subsidiary) in the Department had risen to a total of 824 students. There are about eighty students in the masters’ degree programme in Economics and thirty-seven in the M.Phil/Ph.D programmes.
With the phenomenal growth in the number of qualified student seeking admission in recent years, our facilities have been over-stretched. We now have an average of 85 students at each level of the undergraduate B.Sc programme. Our largest lecture theatre can only accommodate 250 students and hence courses are in some instances taught in two or more streams. Similarly, we have been unable to respond to the increase in demand for our graduate programmes, for reason of lack of space. On average, we are able to admit 75 students annually into the M.Sc class, 20 into the M.Phil/Ph.D class.
The academic staff strength of the Department has grown over the years, both in number and in quality. The deteriorating conditions on our campuses and the less than competitive conditions of service compared with some African Universities have taken their toll. The Department’s tradition of dedication and commitment of staff to its advancement has ensured that, despite offers from other Universities in Africa and other places, many still choose to remain to continue to contribute their quota. At present, there are a total of twenty-four academic members of staff (far below the required).
These are made up of nine professors, seven senior lecturers, eight lecturers. In addition to these, the Department from time to time utilizes the services of associate lecturers, especially in its professional programs.
Given the diversity of expertise in the Department, members of staff continue to make substantive contributions to the country and society at large, by serving not only as advisers to government, but also as members of boards, and through their excellent publications. The Department continues to strive against all odds towards sustained relevance within the context of an underdeveloped economy, yearning for self-sustaining growth and development.