By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday, alerted that resignation of lecturers in search of greener pastures popularly known as Japa is threatening Nigeria’s public universities.
Raising the alarm, the Chairman University of Ibadan Chapter of ASUU, Professor Ayo Akinwole said most departments and units in Nigeria’s public universities are now short-staffed
ASUU 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.
Prof Akinwole stressed that Nigeria’s public universities are in a very pitiable conditions with stress and frustration visible in the faces of poorly-remunerated lecturers.
The ASUU Chairman tasked President Bola Tinubu to 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.
He pointed out that it is unfortunate that the same government that is not funding education has a national assembly proposing to establish 32 more universities, and that establishing more universities will not solve the problem.
According to Professor Akinwole rather than establishing more Universities, government should improve the carrying capacity of existing universities to be able to admit more students.
The ASUU Chairman 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.”
Speaking further, he stressed 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.
” 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. “