By Milcah Tanimu
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) raised concerns on Tuesday, pointing out that numerous departments and units in Nigeria’s public universities are experiencing a shortage of staff due to the mass resignations of lecturers seeking better opportunities elsewhere.
Professor Ayo Akinwole, the Chairman of the University of Ibadan Chapter of ASUU, highlighted the distressing conditions in Nigeria’s public universities, emphasizing the visible stress and frustration faced by poorly-remunerated lecturers.
Akinwole emphasized the need for urgent intervention, stating, “Except President Bola Tinubu arrests the situation by reviewing the conditions of service in terms of salaries, allowances, and infrastructure, many good hands will continue to resign and leave the country.” He criticized the government’s proposal to establish 32 more universities while neglecting the funding of existing institutions.
The chairman listed factors such as poor and delayed salaries, unpaid allowances, inadequate infrastructure, lack of respect for the academic community, and diminishing hope as contributors to the recent wave of lecturer resignations.
ASUU expressed concern about the ongoing trend of universities globally recruiting high-quality educators from Nigeria due to these unfavorable conditions. Akinwole emphasized the necessity for the government to take intentional steps to review and improve the conditions of service, stating that retaining the best hands would be challenging otherwise.
Furthermore, Akinwole shed light on the bureaucratic challenges faced by university administrators in hiring replacements promptly, as they must seek approval from Abuja, a process that can take months. This delay increases the likelihood of losing qualified candidates to countries that prioritize and respect educational quality. Akinwole criticized external interference in the hiring process, stating that authorities beyond the university level want to dictate recruitment decisions.