Ijebu-Ode – A seasoned university teacher, Prof. Kayode Oyesiku, says the 70 years allowed for professors to retire will result to high level of redundancy in Nigerian universities.
Oyesiku, a former Vice Chancellor of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun in Ogun, made the remark in an interview in Ijebu-Ode on Monday.
According to him, at 70 years of age, there is likelihood that of most of the professors will be too old to attend to their academic responsibilities and will also find it difficult to learn new things.
“Knowledge is extremely dynamic and the older you go, the narrower it becomes. There is a certain age that a man attains and learning new things actually becomes difficult.
“Rather than placing the retirement age at 70 years, the healthy and productive professors at 65 years should be employed on a contract basis.
“The contract should be subject to renewal based on the state of the health of such a professor.
“But now the situation is whether you are healthy or not as a professor, you can only retire at the age of 70.
“For me, the level of redundancy will become extremely high.”
Besides, Oyesiku said that with the new retirement age, university management would spend large part of its resources on the failing health of most professors due to old age.
“Considering our environment, Professors above 65 years of age may just be ending in health centre more often due to old age.
“And, it is the responsibilities of the institution they work with to take care of them while the job suffers.
“In this situation, how much energy will a sick professor be able to put actually into what he/she is supposed to do?”
Oyesiku also explained that the new retirement age would also deny the younger ones the opportunity to get to the top of the ladder at the appropriate time.
“When the old professors do not retire on time, how will the new ones who can embrace new ideas and culture, be able take over?
“In this situation, it will be difficult for young ones with fresh ideas to come in because the top will still be full.
“And for this obvious reason, I do not support the new retirement age for the professors.
“Rather, the healthy and productive ones should be placed on contracts.”
Also Prof. Kayode Oyesiku, commended the Federal Government for re-naming the University of Lagos (UNILAG) after late Chief MKO Abiola.
Oyesiku, said that President Goodluck Jonathan did well to immortalise MKO Abiola.
”We have some institutions that have changed their names over time but their outputs remain absolutely relevant to the system.
”To me, it is not the name that you bear that actually matters but the character you portray. Nothing is in the name of a university other than the output and product.
”My conviction is that if Moshood Abiola University is the same as UNILAG and Moshood Abiola University is doing far better than UNILAG, it is recognised to be so.”
Oyesiku urged the students of the institution to stop protesting against the re-naming, adding that what an institution stands for is about its output not the name.
He, however, said that some people might be angry for re-naming the institution because of its identity.
The don urged them to realise that the institution is owned by the Federal Government, which might wish to change the name from time to time.
Oyesiku also noted that UNILAG would not be the first university to be renamed by the Federal Government, recalling that Bayero University was formerly called University of Kano.
He also recalled that Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, was formerly known as the University of Ife, before its change of name in May 1987.
Oyesiku, a Fellow of the Charted Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT), however, said the Federal Government would have sought the opinions of the stakeholders before renaming the institution. (NAN)
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