#Education

VCs, stakeholders worry as more lecturers quit

By Saheed Ibrahim

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Despite the adjusted salary structures for lecturers in Nigerian universities, Vice-Chancellors (VCs), the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other stakeholders in the educational sector have expressed concern over the decline in the number of lecturers.

 Reports have shown that lecturers, alongside their students, have continued to leave the nation in droves.

Recall in September, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu approved the implementation of 35 per cent and 23 per cent of salary increment for staff of all federal tertiary institutions.

 However, recent media reports indicated that about 50 per cent of lecturers have resigned from various universities while more are reportedly preparing to leave. Brain drain among the lecturers was attributed to poor working condition, inadequate manpower, overload, bad economy and underfunding of the educational sector.

The VC of Ilorin, Prof. Wahab Egbewole, blamed the dearth of lecturers on the quest for greener pastures abroad, retirement, death and the employment embargo by the Federal Government.

He urged the authorities to provide the universities with an enabling environment that would discourage brain drain.

Prof. Alewo Johnson-Akubo, Vice-Chancellor of Salem University Lokoja, described the shortage of lecturers as very unfortunate.

In Yobe, Dr Muhammad Lawan, the Deputy VC Academic Yobe State University, advised the resuscitation of the culture of absorbing first-class graduates as lecturers and expansion of existing universities instead of establishing new ones.

Also speaking, Prof Olayemi Akinwumi, the VC of Federal University Lokoja (FUL), said virtually all lecturers in the country are overstretched as a result of a shortage of lecturers.

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“Each time I see what my lecturers are going through to cope with the workload, I feel for them. We used to have lecturers from other universities on sabbatical, but IPPIS (the unified payment platform) doesn’t allow that anymore.

The V-C urged proper funding of the universities and abolishing removal of universities from the IPPIS platform, adding that: “we (the universities) shouldn’t be subjected to civil service rules”.

University lecturers who bear the brunt of the exit of their colleagues are also worried about the impact of this on their workload and academic standards.

Dr Sunday Oraye, the Chairman, Federal University of Lafia said “it is common to find a lecturer teaching at all levels of a department with very poor facilities and very poor working conditions.

“During the last NEC meeting of the union held at the Kaduna State University in November, over 100 lecturers were reported to have died between August and November 2023 alone,” he said.

Dr El-Maude Gambo, the ASUU Chairman of Modibbo Adama University, called for a 30% budgetary allocation to education, while Dr Oluwagbemiga Adeleye, the Chairman of ASUU, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) and Prof. Oyesoji Aremu of the University of Ibadan advocated proper working condition, remuneration and motivation for the lecturers.

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