This paper undertakes a semiotic analysis of Nigerian university lecturers and situates them as symbolic icons of socio-educational paradox and irony. It is based on interviews, secondary materials, the Internet and historical study, i.e. observation and recording of socio-educational events and attitudes of Nigerians and lecturers from the late 1980s to 2013. The paper shows that the Nigerian English coinage ‘Mr. Lecturer’ invokes several images in the minds of Nigerians: lecturers as purveyors of knowledge, habitual striking workers, sexual harassers, facilitators/manipulators of admissions, victimizers of students, makers and beneficiaries of easy money, promotions and other luxuries. The fact that these assumptions and beliefs are not always true and applicable in all cases presents lecturers as workers with mistaken identities. It is proposed that the Nigerian government at various levels, lecturers and all Nigerians should change their attitudes to university education and conditions of service, teaching and learning in Nigerian universities.
© 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston