Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: '57 Percent of Varsity Lecturers Have No PHDs'

About 57 per cent of the 36,000 lecturers in 61 public universities in Nigeria which is 20,520 have no PhDs and it is crippling the quality of manpower in the system, Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Professor Mahmmod Yakubu, has said.

Yakubu, who spoke in Abuja yesterday at a meeting for heads of tertiary institutions, said after conducting the needs assessment of Nigerian universities, indi-cated a disproportionate number of students registered for undergraduate studies.

He said 85 per cent of students were enrolled for undergraduate studies, 5 per cent sub-degree, 5 per cent for postgraduate for diploma, 3 per cent for postgraduate masters and only 2 per cent PhD candidates.

The Federal Government had recently appealed to first generation universities to concentrate more on postgraduate studies to fill the dearth of quality manpower.

The University of Ilorin which now has a 60:40 per cent ratio in favour of postgraduate studies and the University of Ibadan are the only universities in compliance.

In July when the National Universities Commission (NUC) presented the benchmark minimum academic standards for Postgraduate Programmes, Education Minister Professor Ruqayyatu Rufai directed the commission to seek funding from TETfund to conduct a staff and student audit of all public universities in Nigeria to verify the number of shortfall of lecturers in the system.

The last verification exercise conducted by NUC was in 2007 where it was revealed that about 61 per cent of the 25,000 lecturers were Lecturer 1 and below with little capacity for research.

That survey also revealed that tertiary institutions have a shortfall of 61,738 academic staff especially in the areas of science and technology.

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