Why are Nigerians still reading Mass Communication and Sociology?
Monday, August 8, 2005, Daily Sun

Photo: Sun News Publishing
Abuja Report Index
President Olusegun Obasanjo is eager to lead Nigeria into the league of industrialised countries in the shortest possible time. To achieve this feat, Nigerian universities, if he has his way, will stop offering such courses as mass communication and sociology and their likes.

He believes we must re-organise our curriculum so as to evolve the right kind of education. Our universities, he contends, must as of necessity re-focus by moving away from arts-based courses to science-based ones to reposition the country for the task ahead.

For avoidance of doubt, one of such courses that needs to be de-emphasised in the interest of the country's development, he said is mass communication. So also is sociology. Indeed, as far as the president is concerned graduates of mass communication and other humanities and arts are not relevant to our development.

At a function in the Presidential Villa last week in which a group of Nigerians in the diaspora led by Prof. Barth Nnaji paid him a courtesy visit, the president said it equated to 'mis-education' for anyone to offer mass communication as a course of study in the university.

The Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation was in the Villa to unfold to the president the recommendations of its three-day Abuja meeting. The members had informed the president of their resolution that the country should industrialise within the next 10 years.

"Some people came to me and they said they have two masters degrees and yet can not get a job. Then I asked what did you read and they replied mass communication, the other one is sociology. Then I told them, you are uneducated. You now have to go and be re-educated to create value for your skill," he told his guests.

President Obasanjo, however added: "I'm not against anybody who goes to the university today to study sociology and mass communication, the utilitarian value will not be as much as that of somebody who goes to the university to study computer science, it is just what the time demands."