The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has sounded an alarm concerning the widespread resignation of lecturers from Nigeria’s universities, citing a range of issues such as poor remuneration, delayed salaries, unpaid allowances, inadequate infrastructure, and a general lack of respect for the academic community as major reasons behind this trend.
Speaking on behalf of the union, Professor Ayo Akinwole, Chairman of the University of Ibadan (UI) chapter of ASUU, voiced concerns over the dire situation prevalent in the country’s public universities.
He lamented the visible stress and frustration experienced by poorly remunerated lecturers, pointing out the detrimental impact it has on academic institutions.
Akinwole highlighted the urgent need for intervention, suggesting that unless President Bola Ahmed Tinubu addresses the grievances by revising conditions of service, salaries, allowances, and infrastructure, the exodus of talented professionals will persist, further exacerbating the staffing crisis.
Expressing disappointment in the government’s approach towards education, Akinwole criticized the proposal to establish 32 more universities.
He argued that expanding the number of universities might not effectively tackle the underlying issues and proposed enhancing the capacity of existing universities to accommodate more students.
Furthermore, he raised concerns about the cumbersome process involved in hiring new faculty members.
The bureaucratic hurdles, including the lengthy approval process from Abuja, often lead to significant delays, resulting in the loss of potential candidates who opt for opportunities in countries that prioritize academic quality and respect for educators.
Akinwole emphasized that the interference of governmental bodies in the recruitment process hampers the universities’ ability to swiftly replace departing staff with competent replacements.
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The ASUU Chairman underscored the urgency for deliberate action by the government to address these challenges.
Without prompt and substantial intervention to improve working conditions and streamline the recruitment process, retaining top-quality educators within Nigerian universities remains a formidable challenge.
The union’s plea signifies a call for immediate governmental action to salvage the deteriorating state of higher education and to stem the flight of skilled lecturers seeking more conducive work environments abroad.