Why do we have high-grade intellectuals and professors in Nigeria?

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Nigerian high grade intellectuals and professors

The capacity to store information has been remarkably improved with the invention of several hard-disks, flash-drives and memory cards. These gadgets are capable of holding and transferring information in thousands of megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes within short periods. However, despite their ability to contain and transfer information, they lack the ability to properly process information for other application. But full computer systems also have processors that transform data in specific software for beautiful presentation-outputs like tables, graphics, videos and audios. Without evident productivity in the society, Nigerian high grade intellectuals and professors are reduced to wonderful memory cards without processors and software.

What is the purpose of education? Education is a process designed “to give knowledge to or develop the abilities of somebody by teaching.”[1]The goal of education is not mastery of subject matter, but of one’s person”[2] in order to relate properly with the environment (human and non-human). This is because “all education is environmental education.”[3] There are three main objects of social education: I, other human beings and resources in the environment.[4] 


Education often begins with sharing information with trainees, which is followed by demonstration and explanation of how/why the information works. The result of education comes with the chance for trainees to apply acquired information for human collaboration and productivity. The evidence of an educated society is the level of harmonious productivity deriving from the collaboration of citizens in such society. Hence, a society’s sustenance is guaranteed by the ability of citizens to collaborate and produce what they consume and also the TOOLS FOR THE PRODUCTION.[5]


In a society, human ability to retain information is likened to the memory card; environmental resources is the software; the capacity to apply information on resources for productivity is the processor; and the peaceful human collaboration and productivity in the society are the output.

Nigerian universities annually produce several high grade intellectuals and professors who are able to retain and reproduce loads of acquired information. Unfortunately, the main environmental resources upon which scientific information will be applied for productivity is confiscated and auctioned away by the militarized Nigerian government. The Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act states that:


“… all lands in which minerals have been found in Nigeria and any area covered by its territorial waters or constituency and the Exclusive Economic Zone shall, from the commencement of this Act be acquired by the Government of the Federation…”[6] “No person shall search for or exploit mineral resources in Nigeria or divert or impound any water for the purpose of mining except as provided in this Act.[7]The property in mineral resources shall pass from the Government to the person by whom the mineral resources are lawfully won, upon their recovery in accordance with this Act.”[8]


Since the mineral resources have been forcefully confiscated, Nigeria’s high grade intellectuals and professors have nothing on which to demonstrate their ‘processor’ capacity for productive output. Thus, the Nigerian criterion for educational excellence has shifted from application of knowledge for productivity to retention and retrieval of stored information. Presently, Nigerian universities produce many high grade intellectuals and professors who can memorize and reproduce hundreds of theories which they scarcely understand or apply. This attitude of memorizing information without productivity has extended to other courses for managing human resources within a society. Hence, students struggle to obtain best certificates for counting, distributing and using foreign goods and ideas, since real production is not feasible in Nigeria.

“The educational system still trains people for a life style that is unavailable and unaffordable to most Nigerians.”[9] Nigerian high grade intellectuals and professors were not taught to demand access to their resources for production. So they continue to rehearse the crammed theories as they wait for government’s ‘holy’ reversal of the restriction on resources for productivity.



As the high grade intellectuals and professors rehearse acquired theories, the ‘school-drop-outs’ get down to the dirty ventures. These ‘school-drop-outs’ go on picking and bunkering materials for their own unprofessional productivity. They eventually begin to produce fuel (albeit substandard), ‘aba’ shoes and ‘aba’ versions of other commodities needed in the society. The ‘school-drop-outs’ learn mechanic works for copying/repairing imported vehicles, machines and gadgets, while the high grade intellectuals and professors rehearse untested and unapplied theories. This system of non-application of scientific knowledge on production renders the Nigerian production sector incapacitated.

The human-behavioural-management sector for peace and collaboration in Nigeria has not felt the effect of Nigeria’s high grade intellectuals and professors. The high grade intellectuals and professors adopt/suggest theories for ending social, tribal, religious and ethnic conflicts in Nigeria. Unfortunately, Nigeria continues to sink into deeper crisis, leading to loss of lives and property.

unemployable youth created from bad policies

jobless Nigerians
Militants fighting for their resources

military in Nigeria

Nigerian representatives fighting for money-sharing-pattern
Nigerian representatives displaying intelligence

Nigeria was formed by the forceful amalgamation of different unwilling ethnic communities, who have never agreed to collaborate.[10] Using the force of the gun, these different ethnic communities have been held together in a stagnant relationship. The high grade intellectuals and professors have not been able to influence the choking social-structure under a militarized federal government. Hence, several socio-political/economic issues that are resolvable by dialogue are tackled with military confrontation like python-dance[11], crocodile-smile, etcetera.

Armed forces in Nigeria
Nigerian constitution is sustained by military force, not by reason or agreement

The barrel of a gun has never been acknowledged as a source of truth and wisdom for social organization. However, the ability to influence the gun-bearers’ minds with practical reasoning, and not regurgitation of lofty theories, determines our independence. The inclination to military response in political issues frustrates the attempt of high grade intellectuals and professors attempting to build peace using their memorized theories.


In summary, the effect of education is seen in the harmonious collaboration for productivity in the society. The present state of affairs in Nigeria is a testament of the disconnection between education and real life. The unproductivity in Nigeria despite the abundance of mineral resources, and the incessant conflict despite the abundance of religious and social schools of thought bear the same testimony. And until Nigerian educational institutions are graded according to their impact in the society, Nigerian education may remain impotent. Then, our high-grade intellectuals and professors will continue to bear the tag of memory cards without processors.


The empiricist will ask the Nigerian high grade intellectuals and professors: “What need have you solved in Nigeria with your production?” The ‘school-drop-out’ in Aba with bad English has produced more useful commodities than those reciting bookish theories and certificates. At the same time, the unseasoned and uncertified counsellors – in religion, entertainment and politics – control the minds of the people. The ultimate effect of education is measured by our contribution to the society and not the writings on our certificate.


In the end it may become more relevant to have small memory-card with big processor, than to have a large memory-card with small processor.


[1] Microsoft® Encarta® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

[2] David Orr, “What Education Must Be For” in The Learning Revolution (IC#27)

Winter 1991, Page 52 Copyright (c)1991, 1996 by Context Institute

[3] Ibid

[4] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, Are armed force personnel also humans or just heartless robots? http://restartnaija.com/2017/07/29/armed-forces-humans-or-heartless-robots/ Retrieved 18-10-2017

[5] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, YouWin: government’s MMM abi lottery, obtained on 16th August 2017. http://restartnaija.com/2017/08/16/youwin-governments-mmm-abi-lottery/

[6] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2

[7] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[8] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[9] Ogban Ogban-Iyam, Re-Inventing Nigeria through Pre-colonial Traditions In Issues in contemporary political economy of Nigeria.edited by Hassan A. Saliu. (Ilorin: T.A. Olayeri press, 1999). P73

[10] cf. Richard Dowden, Africa altered states, ordinary miracles. (New York: Public Affairs, 2010). p.445

[11] A Nigerian military exercise and assault in the south-eastern part of Nigeria as a response to call for referendum by the Indigenous People of Biafra from September 15-October 15, 2017. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/09/operation-python-dance-ii-one-week/