The President said this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State yesterday, while interacting with 100 beneficiaries of the state’s scholarship programme.
Jonathan said he got the statistics from the National University Commission.
He, however added that the Federal Government had provided respite for the lecturers and that his administration had worked out a scholarship programme to encourage lecturers to get their doctorate degrees in any part of the world.
He said his administration had designed another scholarship programme for a category of people he referred to as “intelligent Nigerians”.
Jonathan told Punch: “About 60 per cent of lecturers don’t have PhDs and we reject it. We decided to come up with a programme for you; to be in the academics, you must have PhD. This means that we must work out a programme for everybody to have scholarship.
“Everybody who is in the academics must have an opportunity to go and do their doctorate degrees anywhere. In addition to that, we think that as a nation, we have very intelligent people and we must get a scholarship for these people who are very intelligent.
“We come up with a programme for intelligent Nigerians. To select this group of people, first and foremost you must make first class in the university. You don’t need to make a first class to be a lecturer. In addition to giving every lecturer an opportunity to get a PhD and lecture, we need a programme for intelligent Nigerians.
“We are trying to get a crop of Nigerians that will take us to the moon. That is what the Bayelsa State Government is doing here. We must encourage our best brains. I am quite appreciative of Dickson.”
He said prospective beneficiaries must possess first class degrees from the university adding that the special scheme was designed for specific areas of discipline such as molecular biology, genetics, economics, engineering and applied sciences.
What are your thoughts on the academic qualifications of lecturers in Nigerian Universities? With 60 percent of lecturers not having doctorate degrees, how does this affect the quality of graduates churned out from Nigerian Universities?