During an event in Abuja celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), expressed his concerns about the prevailing influence of “godfatherism” in the Nigerian university system.
Osodeke called for a return to a style of university administration reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s, where there was minimal interference from government officials.
He emphasized the need to elevate Nigerian universities to a “uni-versatility” level, transcending regional boundaries.
The ASUU chairman acknowledged the transformation of university lecturers across different generations.
He recounted how the first generation, despite having the opportunity to pursue careers in the banking sector, chose to become lecturers and were composed of individuals with first-class and second-class upper degrees.
According to Osodeke, the third generation of individuals in the university system consists of those with third-class and Higher National Diploma (HND) qualifications who gained admission through patronage, while the fourth generation is primarily driven by financial gain.
He expressed worry that as the first and second generations of lecturers retire and leave the country, the third and fourth generations, influenced by different motivations, will dominate the system.
Osodeke expressed dissatisfaction with the current recruitment process in universities, which he believes is marred by patronage and bureaucratic obstacles. He emphasized the importance of restoring a fair and transparent process for advertising positions, receiving applications, and conducting interviews for academic positions.