Town and gown: The weakened interface

The shocking revelation by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund that many Nigerian lecturers use the grants meant for academic research to buy properties has once again enlivened discourse on the rising corruption in the academia in Nigeria. This and a similar allegation of personnel budget inflation by some institutions including the University of Ibadan, and the reported certificate scandal rocking Mr Chima Igwe of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) by the Independent Corrupt Practice and other Related Offences Commission is the height of it.

I know this is not a popular opinion: I think Nigeria’s biggest problem now is not the politicians who are offshoots of a failed education system themselves but the academics who are emerging the perfect portraits of the rots. It is better we stop kicking the can down the road. The town and gown anywhere means the haven of knowledge and character.

Therefore, the NUC will do well to review the mechanisms for research productivity in our institutions. This is as they also set the bar for recruitment. It is not safe for academic excellence to have unacademic materials seeking refuge in the town and gown for economic means! The ICPC and other concerned bodies should be relentless in fishing the bad ones out as a deterrent effect. The university chancellors with the love of this country at heart will champion moral and academic crusade in their various enclave. We can’t afford to have the academics competing with the politicians for the prize as the architects of a failed modern Nigeria. The town and gown mustn’t be a weakened interface for national development.

Ibraheem Abdullateef

Kwara State University, Malete

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