Director-General Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Dr Folarin Gbadebo-Smith on Thursday tasked the federal government to build infrastructure and increase lecturers’ remuneration in order to attract and retain Nigeria’s best in higher education system.
He noted that the controlling power of 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 called for a system which allows universities to specialize in particular courses for efficient and qualitative education delivery.
He stated that forcing all universities to run uniform system is a major constraining factor which has made Nigeria universities rigid to change.
The DG of NISER stated this 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”.
While noting that Higher Education is broken in Nigeria and needs proper fixing, Dr Gbadebo-Smith noted that Nigeria’s higher education system presently “seems inattentive to issues of context, national development, challenges of the 21st century including globalization and digitization”
In his welcome address, the University of Ibadan CARTA Focal person, Professor Akinyinka Omigbodun said African and Nigerian governments must invest in human capacity development saying Africans must be equipped to solve Africa’s problems.
According to him, 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”
While declaring the lecture open, Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Idowu Olayinka who was represented by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor Kayode Adebowale called for the review of the national policy on education to reflect modern-day realities.
He lamented that infrastructure decay and under-funding of public institutions stressing the need to evolve a sustainable funding regime.