Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, National President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has decried the recruitment system in the universities, regretting that many people not qualified to teach had found their way into the system.
Ogunyemi made this known when he appeared on News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Forum in Abuja on Sunday.
“Some lecturers have no business in the classrooms, but they found their way in due to political interference.
“You find that some lecturers probably have no business being in the universities but you know politics has done so much damage to us that sometimes merit is sacrificed on the altar of mediocrity and political connections.
“We hope that we shall restore the credibility of the system as we have been trying to argue over the years. A key step to achieving that is for government to create the enabling environment for us to go back to the renegotiation table.
“We need to talk more so that we can come up with a new agreement package that will help us in addressing our universities shortcomings in no time,’’ he said.
He noted that such recruitment had done a lot of damage to the university system as not all people in the class are able to teach.
“Teaching is all about passion and not about preference of any sort. It is something natural.”
On why students do not have access to current publication by lecturers, Ogunyemi said that facilities for conducting cutting edge research were in a shambles.
He, however, said that lecturers were doing their best.
“Concerning the publications, Nigerian academics are still doing their best within the limit of their environment. The student population is equally a distraction from research and, without research, you cannot publish.
“ Talking about research, one must have access to current materials which is becoming increasingly difficult because our libraries are no longer stocked as regularly as it used to happen in the past.
“The laboratories are bereft of chemicals and reagents. Modern facilities for conducting cutting edge research are hardly there.
“So, when you talk of publications, our colleagues are still publishing, but, may be, you do not see as many books as we used to have in the past.
“And for those who are actually conscious of the implication of what they put into paper, nobody wants to write junk books. We have limitations which we are trying g to overcome,’’ he said.
He said that ASUU would continue to advocate for restoration, resuscitation and repositioning of the university system in order to reclaim its enviable position.