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Dons warn varsities on using mercenaries for accreditation

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Lagos – Two academics on Wednesday warned Nigerian universities to desist from engaging `academic’ mercenaries during accreditation of their programmes.

The academics, Prof. Muhammed Ladan and Prof. John Olorunmaiye, gave the warning in separate interviews win Lagos.

They spoke on the sidelines of a Quality Assurance Retreat, organised by the Lagos State University, Ojo.

Ladan of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaira, who is involved in the accreditation of law programmes revealed that managements of some universities were recruiting mercenaries from other institutions during accreditation.

“Many universities do not have staff mixture of Ph.D holders and above, which is the prerequisite.

“So, they go for academic mercenaries due to desperation to get accredited.

“They do not do background checks on the lecturers they are engaging for the purpose of the accreditation to confirm if the mercenaries are serving more than two or three universities,” he said.

Ladan pointed out that “the National Universities Commission (NUC) law stipulates that a lecturer is allowed to service one more university in addition to his or her primary university but must disclose this to his primary university”.

‎He described academic mercenaries as lecturers servicing more than two universities.
“Academic mercenaries are counter-productive.

“They do not do justice to the institution, their programmes, students and themselves,’’ Ladan stated.

In his own submission, Olorunmaiye from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Ilorin, warned universities “not to engage in window dressing” during accreditation.

Olorunmaye, a member of the Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria, said that window dressing included borrowing of staff and equipment from other institutions.

He advised universities to avoid engaging part-time lecturers, who shuttled between several universities during accreditations.

According to him, the practice compels the NUC to introduce post-accreditation visits, which are unscheduled to apprehend guilty institutions.

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