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ASUU Sounds Alarm Over Escalating Crisis In Nigerian Universities

Daud Olatunji

In a stark revelation on Tuesday, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) expressed grave concerns over the increasing shortage of lecturers and deteriorating infrastructure in Nigeria’s public universities. 

The union highlighted the alarming trend of lecturers resigning in pursuit of better opportunities, exacerbating the longstanding issue of understaffing.

Professor Ayo Akinwole, the Chairman of ASUU at the University of Ibadan, painted a somber picture of the state of Nigeria’s higher education institutions. 

He emphasized that the proliferation of new universities has failed to address the ongoing admission challenges, urging the government to focus on enhancing the capacity of existing institutions.

Akinwole underscored the urgent need for President Bola Tinubu to intervene and address the dire situation by reviewing the conditions of service, including salaries, allowances, and infrastructure. 

He warned that unless proactive measures are taken, the country risks losing more skilled educators to foreign shores.

Highlighting the confluence of factors contributing to the crisis, Akinwole pointed to poor and delayed salaries, unpaid allowances, inadequate infrastructure, and a lack of respect for the academic community. 

He lamented the visible signs of stress and frustration on the faces of lecturers who are grappling with meager remuneration.

Expressing dismay over the government’s contradictory actions, Akinwole criticized the proposal to establish 32 new universities while the existing ones face a severe shortage of faculty. 

He called for a strategic review of conditions of service to stem the tide of resignations and create an environment conducive to retaining top-tier academic talent.

The ASUU chairman shed light on the bureaucratic hurdles faced by universities in hiring replacements, citing delays in obtaining approvals from Abuja. 

This bureaucratic lag, he argued, allows other countries to poach quality educators who seek better conditions abroad.

As Nigeria’s universities confront a crisis of lecturer shortages and infrastructure decay, ASUU’s plea for immediate intervention reverberates as a call to safeguard the future of higher education in the country.

 

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