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60% of Lecturers in Nigerian Universities don’t have Doctorate Degrees – President Goodluck Jonathan



President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has lamented that 60 percent of lecturers in Universities across the country have no doctorate degree.

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?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. simi

    August 22, 2012 at 6:17 am

    WOW!! When it come to education Nigerians are the best and we have proven it all around the world! But when our country lowers it standards it just a disgrace! I really hope that the President would change this, because I strongly believe that the power of education can change our country!

  2. Tosin

    August 22, 2012 at 7:04 am

    I am one of them. Sorry.
    Yeah, sure, let’s up the percentages. It’s the right thing to do, I’m reasonably sure. I’m glad to be able to teach anyway, and definitely really good at my job. I know what I need 🙂
    If there was a big scholarship thingie, I might take it…hey, continuous improvement.
    I do personally eschew careerism, and the way it can drive systems in the wrong direction, e.g. publishing volumes of rubbish to get promoted in the academic system. But it’s still a useful way to motivate people, as long as we know it’s not just about the PhD (which some people can buy), or about the papers, but about a system that creates, disseminates, applies, etc. good useful knowledge. Kinda like how it’s not about Olympic medals per se, but love, international understanding, excellence, fairplay, competition, fitness, motivation etc.
    Two cents.

  3. Yeah MAO

    August 22, 2012 at 7:30 am

    What does having a Phd have to do with knowing how to teach?

    • adah

      August 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      It is the generally accepted standard around the world. A Phd shows that you are grounded in your field although that doesn’t translate to being able to pass across the knowledge gained effectively.

    • Chattyzee

      August 22, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    • Somebody

      August 22, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Having a genuine PhD means that you have done extensive research in the field in which you were awarded the degree. That means that you should have a very good knowledge of that field before you are awarded the degree. You can only teach what you know.

    • Uchenna

      February 6, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      I agree. You don’t need a Phd to be an expert in your field. A number of community colleges in the United States allow people with only a masters to teach. And I think that’s good. That’s why in Nigeria, they are called lecturers not professors. If they want to move on to professorship, they can get their doctorate. But I don’t think we should talk about the importance of a degree but instead the importance of the quality of their education whether masters or doctorate.

  4. Shima K Gyoh

    August 22, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Can President Jonathan mention any country in the world that competes with Nigeria in having governments that do not care a damn for their academic staff and get away with their being on strike for months on end?
    What is the motivation for Nigerian academic staff to get PhDs and remain in Nigeria? Does he know how many Nigerian academic are in other countries and their qualifications?

  5. MyView

    August 22, 2012 at 8:33 am

    So? he has a doctorate degree himself and he is still retarded.

  6. peaches

    August 22, 2012 at 8:36 am

    how about starting with all political leaders in Nigeria in any capacity being graduates for a start!

  7. tobi

    August 22, 2012 at 8:40 am

    GBAM!!!!! simi you nailed it

  8. [email protected]

    August 22, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Can education kill this deadly cankerworm called corruption in Nigeria? It seems the more educated we are the more sophisticated our corruption gets.

  9. laughchild

    August 22, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Mstwwwhhhhh GEJ shud address d impt tins in dis country 1st..”Ike the issue of security… Wen everyone is dead who is going to teach who… Think goodluck pls think..

  10. boniface

    August 22, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Simi cant u read well? does it look like they are lowering the standard or they have just hiked it?…plz read well befor passing comments

  11. Lolan

    August 22, 2012 at 9:26 am

    He has a PHD but acts like an illiterate. Absolute hogwash

  12. Teris

    August 22, 2012 at 10:47 am

    so he thinks that there exist intelligent nigerians. that’s quite a concept.

  13. huh?

    August 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    He that has permanent Head Damage(PHD),what has he been using it for??

  14. pynk

    August 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    He should have said the intellectual class? Aaw what the hell, i want a Phd, this lecturing route might be the way forward.

  15. abiamone

    August 22, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Our president seems to be prone to illogicality from time to time. You don’t need a PhD to be a good lecturer in your chosen field. It all depends upon the rigour of the first degree. There is no doubt that a good honours graduate from University A can be equal, if not greater than, a PhD from University B. A situation where one obtains any level of degree by reading recommended “handouts” has no academic merit at all. In the 60s and 70s Nigeria had a thriving market for all sorts of books – local and foreign – where students can choose from. Today our markets for books have died a natural death through the demand by lecturers that their students buy stuff badly lifted from the Internet at exorbitant prices. I maintain that you cannot get a good degree by reading handouts only. You need to delve into archives to follow the development of your chosen subject to become a graduate. It is good to encourage our lecturers to read more and aspire higher. It is wrong to think that obtaining a PhD is a sufficient and necessary condition to become a good lecturer.

    • Tosin

      August 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      The handouts thing was outlawed years ago. Schools are still far from perfect, but no selling of handouts in the few unis I’ve been at since 2008.

  16. konnie

    August 22, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    That is not the minimum criteria to get the job. How about doing something about the welfare of the working people of naija

    In any case having a PHD doesn’t make you a good lecturer

  17. Gabriel

    August 23, 2012 at 2:18 am

    I strongly support the PhD program but we have up to 80% of the Universities with ill equipped Library, no computers or internet for students to do research. GEJ equip the Univerties, create controls in universities, most students cheat their way through Uni. Our WAEC exams is fast loosing its credibility, watered down graduate, there is no point sponsoring a particular group of “intelligent people” a tree can’t make a forest. Better educated population, the greater our chances for change.

    • Tosin

      August 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      Yes, dishonesty remains a cultural value you find in unis. Partly because of the crap values in the society as a whole. As a teacher, I find this is an important part of my work – making a space with ground-rules like no cheating, no minor misrepresentation even, be excited about knowledge, etc. Stuff like that is not how Nigerians have been thinking since the 80s or 90s. Nigerians have often behaved like monkeys with jungle values in the past few decades. Unfortunately, the young ones pick this up…very well.

  18. molarah

    August 23, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    With the exception of Tosin (who seems to understand the terrain well enough), I don’t quite get why people feel there is no need for lecturers to earn a Phd. Yes, there are a few exceptions of those that have gained a lot of experience through collaborative research and all, but the truth of the matter is, majority of the time, a lecturer without a Phd is as good as a secondary school teacher. So stop lambasting the President, its a move in the right direction. The Bayelsa state scholarship is a laudable move, saw the newspaper article on some of the recipients that graduated from a prestigious secondary school in Ibadan: this is something we all must put pressure on our governors and representatives to replicate in our respective states. Education is not the only solution to Nigeria’s problems, but it is a MAJOR solution.

  19. Naveah

    August 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    My father in law works for a major engineering firm, what they produce there are not other companies producing the same thing; he didn’t complete his bachelor’s degree, however he has been at the firm since he was in college and guess who is teaching all the employees with their fancy Masters/PHD in engineering? My father in law. Who do the govt call upon to discuss new laws, policies, regulations and inventions in the industry? My father in law. There are many great professors who do not hold PHDs and there are many PHD holders who can’t get their knowledge across even if their lives depended on it. Mr. Jonathan has a PHD but it seems he has YET to wrap his mind around the problems in his country. His wife supposed has a Masters degree YET my five year old niece has a better command of the english language. So what does that say about degrees in Nigeria?

    I think I would rather have a president with common sense than one with a PHD who cannot act for the good of the people.

    BN Post Police…over to you LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooo

  20. Dr Numa

    August 26, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    We are a government approved Indian educational company more than 185 foreign scholars got phd from the best India university through our counseling.If help is needed we can be contacted at [email protected]

    • Soraya

      September 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

      Did you actually read the essay? Or are you one of those trying to peddle your trade to gullible Nigerians who fall for foreign acquired degrees over and over again?? No, we will not contact you guys in India for anything!

  21. Concerned Nigerian

    January 6, 2013 at 2:33 am

    I think Nigerian tertiary educational administrators should take a cue from the system of education in India. Cost of university education in India is very much affordable, even to the ordinary man, coupled with quality and availability of learning resources. For instance, the best private universities in India cost less than N600, 000. for a Ph.D degree. Then consider how much it will be for government-owned universities. India has established open and distance learning (ODL) system backed by learning management systems (LMS) and plagiarism detection services (PDS). A good number of Nigerians that are in full time employment cannot go for postgraduate studies due to the fact that there is no system for them to sail through.

    @ Soraya, I think Dr Numa has a point. Remember Nigerians such as the wealthy and government officials go to India for medication, because they are good

    Personally, I need scholarship for PhD in India. Already, I have my bachelors degree (second class upper) and masters degree (60%+) in an aspect of education. I have research interest in areas of education like Information Literacy, e-learning, and knowledge management. If I can see who will sponsor me I will be the happiest young man on earth.

  22. Concerned Nigerian

    January 6, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Dr Nura and others should contact me. My email address for contact is: [email protected]

  23. Education services

    October 14, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Actually i appreciate your attempt… thank you

  24. Bright Ugonna

    November 14, 2014 at 7:51 am

    I am currently taking a PhD degree in abroad. I have applied severally for scholarship to the federal government through the office of the ministry of education, but my effort has been unsuccessful. The president may be having a good plan for the nation but the people working with him may not be of the same vision. A lot of Nigerians have dropped out of school due to lack of money.

  25. Dr. Patrick Adeel (Ph.D.)

    May 31, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Dear Friends,
    It is to inform you all that except Africa no continent allows a Master Degree holder to teach in University as lecturer. Yes we accept that to teach is a born ability and teachers are always born teachers but to have Ph.D. is totally another thing. To teach some one at Masters level, one has to have all the Philosophical knowledge of the subject . Only teaching ability will not work.

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