By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Director-General Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Dr Folarin Gbadebo-Smith on Thursday asked the federal government to build infrastructure and increase remuneration for lecturers in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
Dr. Gbadebo-Smith made the call while delivering a public lecture organized by the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) held at the College of Medicine, UCH entitled “‘Broken Links’ in the Chain of development: Higher Education in Nigeria and Africa, a complexity theory perspective”.
The NISER DG said this became necessary in view of the need to attract and retain Nigeria’s best in higher education system, saying, as at present, the Federal Ministry of Education and National Universities Commission (NUC) on Universities in the Country has made higher education in Nigeria static and unyielding to change.
“In Nigeria, the power of the Ministry of Education and the NUC significantly affects the ability of the individual university to experiment, react or adapt to changes in demand by industry, the private sector or the professions. central control and the attempt to make all institutions conform is a constraining factor. conformity limits dynamism and allows influence of tradition and traditionalists to dominate” he said.
Dr Gbadebo- Smith however advocated for a system which allows universities to specialize in particular courses for efficient and qualitative education delivery.
According to the NISER DG, “forcing all universities to run uniform system is a major constraining factor which has made Nigeria universities rigid to change”, adding that “Higher Education is broken in Nigeria and needs proper fixing, “.
Dr Gbadebo-Smith added that Nigeria’s higher education system presently “seems inattentive to issues of context, national development, challenges of the 21st century including globalization and digitization”
The University of Ibadan CARTA Focal person, Professor Akinyinka Omigbodun in his welcome address declared that African and Nigerian governments must invest in human capacity development saying Africans must be equipped to solve Africa’s problems., saying, “CARTA is structured to fast-track the career development of the next generation of academics; build communities of fellows and mentors; reduce their isolation and provide them a nurturing environment for research”
Declaring the lecture open, Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka called for the review of the national policy on education to reflect modern-day realities.
Represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor Kayode Adebowale, the Vice Chancellor lamented that infrastructure decay and under-funding of public institutions stressing the need to evolve a sustainable funding .