A Nigerian-American academic, Farooq Adamu Kperogi, says Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, was never an Associate Professor as claimed by the Registrar of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, FUTO, John Nnabuihe.
Following the appointment of Pantami as a Professor of Cybersecurity by FUTO, the registrar had claimed that Pantami was an “Associate Professor” at the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia.
Responding in an opinion piece, Kperogi said Saudi Arabia’s university system is modelled after the American system, and the minimum number of years required to be promoted to an associate professor from an assistant professor is 5 years.
“Pantami was an assistant professor for only two years.”
“Second, the registrar said the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which Pantami was a Director-General of, was “like a research institute.” That’s demonstrably false. NITDA, as its very name suggests, is a government agency, not a research institute.
“Finally, the registrar said FUTO advertised the position of professor of cybersecurity, along with other academic positions, in September 2020 and that Pantami applied for it and got it. So, Pantami applied for an academic vacancy while he was (still is) a serving minister, in violation of the terms of his current employment, which should earn him consequences if Nigeria had laws.
“And, obviously, FUTO has no standards and does not examine the claims of people who apply for its academic positions. Pantami told them he had over 160 publications, and they believed him without verification.
“He told them he was an “Associate Professor” in Saudi Arabia, and they’re too ignorant to know you can’t jump from assistant professor to associate professor in two years—with one publication in a predatory, non-peer-reviewed, garbage-in-garbage-out journal that is not indexed in any respectable scholarly database.
“Note, too, that when Pantami applied for the position of professor of cybersecurity in September 2020, he wasn’t at NITDA. Or is being minister of communication and digital economy also equivalent to being a researcher at an institute in FUTO’s guidelines and procedures for Pantamized Fraudfessorship?
“Until FUTO rescinds its fraudfessorial appointment to Pantami, let everyone who gives a thought to basic decency and standards in Nigerian universities rechristen the university as the Fraudsters’ University of Technology, Owerri.