The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has raised alarm that most departments and units in Nigeria’s public universities are short-staffed due to the resignation of lecturers in search of greener pastures.
The Union said poor and delayed salaries, unpaid allowances, poor infrastructure, lack of respect for the academic community, and the seeming dwindling hope are some of the factors responsible for the resignation of lecturers in the past few months.
The Chairman University of Ibadan Chapter of ASUU, Professor Ayo Akinwole, who stated this on Tuesday in Ibadan, added that Nigeria’s public universities are in a very pitiable conditions with stress and frustration visible in the faces of poorly-remunerated lecturers.
According to Akinwole, except the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, arrest the situation by reviewing the conditions of service in terms and salaries, allowances, and infrastructure, many good hands will continue to resign and leave the country.
The ASUU boss noted that it is unfortunate that the same government that is not funding education has a national assembly proposing to establish 32 more universities.
While noting that establishing more universities will not solve the problem, Professor Akinwole rather suggested improving the carrying capacity of existing universities to be able to admit more students.
He noted that the Union has received reports on how colleagues resign on a monthly basis because of the way lecturers are treated and poorly remunerated in Nigeria.
He noted that universities around the world are poaching more quality hands, and if not halted by the government, through intentional reviewing upward conditions of service, it will be difficult to “retain the best hands.”
The ASUU boss further revealed that government policy has made it difficult to even retain good hands because to employ and get approval from Abuja may take up to a year and by that time, the good candidate has left for greener pastures.
Indeed, he said, ” Vice Chancellors can not single handedly employ to replace staff as urgent as it is needed again. They have to contact Abuja for approval, which may take six months to a year, if not more, before they get approval. By this time, the best candidate has gone to a more serious country that respects quality. Sadly, people from higher up there from the Ministry of Education to legislators themselves want to dictate who the universities should employ. ”
Akinwole who lamented that those who know little about how a university should be run now dictate how to administer universities.