Japa, IPPIS Causing Lecturers Shortage in Universities, Says ASUU

Japa, IPPIS Causing Lecturers Shortage in Universities, Says ASUU

  • The rapid exit of lecturers from Nigerian Universities has begun to raise concerns about the potency of education in the country.
  • Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have blamed these exits on the poor salaries, which led most of them to travel abroad for greener pastures.
  • Some ASUU members blamed the federal government's Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) initiative.

Legit.ng journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro

Nigerian universities are grappling with a severe staff shortage as many lecturers leave for better opportunities abroad, compounded by a high rate of retirements.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) confirmed this situation, attributing the shortage to the increasing departure of lecturers from Nigeria and concerns related to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

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ASUU, IPPIS
Hundreds of public university lectures have left Nigeria for greener pastures abroad. Photo Credit: Pius Utomi Ekpei
Source: Getty Images

Various ASUU branches shared insights into the extent of the issue.

For instance, the Usmanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto reported that around 100 lecturers had departed, while the Federal University in Gusau, Zamfara, revealed a need for approximately 1,000 lecturers to fill vacancies left by those who had left.

The Federal University of Agriculture in Abeokuta, Ogun State, mentioned over 350 academic vacancies, and the University of Lagos disclosed the departure of 27 lecturers.

Similarly, the University of Uyo reported that 100 workers had travelled abroad.

ASUU highlighted approximately 500 academic vacancies at the University of Ilorin in Kwara State, with academic and non-academic staff from the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology also leaving the country.

The latter's Chairman, Dr Rotimi Olorunsola, noted a significant exodus of academic and non-academic staff.

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Japa syndrome

As quoted by Punch, Olorunsola said:

“Yes, some have japa (travelled out of the country), both the academic staff and non-academic.”

Similarly, Adekunle Ajasin University in Akungba Akoko confirmed that many workers had moved on.

The head of the media and protocol, Mr Victor Akinpelumi, said:

“It is true many workers, both academic and non-academic, have left the university, but as I am now, I can’t give a specific number. I can confirm that many workers of the university have gone."

The Chairman of ASUU at the University of Benin, Dr. Ray Chikogu, attributed the persistent staff shortage issue in UNIBEN and other universities to the long-standing employment embargo imposed by the Federal Government.

He expressed concern over the government's interference, particularly regarding university recruitment and staff promotion.

He said:

“It has been a problem for a number of years now because of the embargo on employment in federal universities and the process of recruitment of staff is a very cumbersome one. The university has to obtain permission from the head of service through the accountant-general’s office.

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“This is interference by the Federal Government on the internal affairs of the school. What should have been handled by university senates and councils has now been centralised to the point that everything has been muddled up in the university system. It is a very sad situation."

IPPIS factor

The Federal Government introduced the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) a few years ago to tackle ghost workers and multiple salary earners among civil servants.

Despite its intentions, many workers, especially in universities, are dissatisfied with IPPIS.

Critics argue that the system does not allow institutions to hire new staff, even when they face significant understaffing challenges.

At the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), the university management and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) expressed concerns about staff shortages.

ASUU Chairman Prof. Tony Odiwe criticized the treatment of academic staff and called for improved working conditions.

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He said:

“The government doesn’t care about the system, treating us as if we are slaves, terrible conditions of service, no motivation, and poor facilities.
"In addition to this, retired members are not being replaced, we are extremely overworked.”

OAU's Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olanrewaju, acknowledged a shortage of academic and non-academic staff but couldn't provide specific vacancy numbers.

Olanrewaju appealed to the Federal Government to permit the university's Vice Chancellor, Prof. Simeon Bamire, to fill existing vacancies.

In Katsina State, Umaru Musa Yar'adua University workers highlighted a shortage of academic staff.

The university reportedly relied on visiting lecturers from nearby institutions and other universities across Nigeria.

Additionally, many lecturers were handling extra courses due to insufficient academic staff.

Tuition fee: ASUU drags Tinubu over funding of universities

Meanwhile, ASUU has rejected the move by President Bola Tinubu, who led the federal government against withdrawing from funding federal universities.

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Emmanuel Osodeke, the ASUU president, said it was unconstitutional for the federal government to think of not funding the universities.

Osodeke's comment followed a hint by the minister of education, Tahir Mamman, who said the government would grant autonomy to federal universities to source funds for themselves.

Source: Legit.ng

Segun Adeyemi avatar

Segun Adeyemi (Current Affairs and Politics Editor) Segun Adeyemi is a journalist with over 9 years of experience as an active field reporter, editor, and editorial manager. He has had stints with Daily Trust newspaper, Daily Nigerian, and News Digest. He currently works as an editor for Legit.ng's current affairs and politics desk. He holds a degree in Mass Communication (Adekunle Ajasin University). He is a certified digital reporter by Reuters, AFP and the co-convener of the annual campus journalism awards. Email: segun.adeyemi@corp.legit.ng.

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