According to the National Universities Commission (NUC), universities should not be included in the Federal Government’s circular on new employment due to a shortage of lecturers.
The commission also said that there were 100,000 academic staff attending to 2.1 million students in Nigerian universities.
This was disclosed in the latest NUC bulletin, where the Deputy Executive Secretary, Administration, NUC, Mr Chris Maiyaki, was quoted saying the commission was supervising over 200 universities consisting of 48 belonging to the Federal Government; 54 states and 99 private institutions.
He said, “The entire system has about 2.1 million students and staff strength of about 170,000 non-teaching and 100,000 academic staff.
“Some of the problems facing the system include increased running cost, meagre budgetary allocations, issue of power shortages and shortages of manpower.
“There is a need for universities to be isolated from the Federal Government’s circular on embargo on new employment because of the peculiarity and distinctive nature of the universities in order for them to keep up the pace in attaining comparable standards with their counterparts globally.
“We also have incessant interference in the NUC’s functions by some professional bodies and associations, which have continued to issue needless instructions to universities.
“Other challenges in the Nigerian university system include the issue of digital response to COVID-19 lockdown.”
As a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the whole world in 2020, Maiyaki explained that universities in Nigeria had to embrace the use of technology for knowledge delivery.
He noted that the advent of Coronavirus had allowed Nigerian universities to explore the dual mode of teaching.
More institutions have developed and expanded their digital hubs to start extensive use of the online platform.
“Within the period, the NUC had been conducting some activities, which included major curriculum review, assessment of universities on their E-Learning requirements, strengthening of quality assurance mechanism as well as fortifying modern methods of data processing and retrieval,” Maiyaki added.