The National Universities Commission (NUC) has said universities should be isolated from the Federal Government’s circular on new employment owing to the shortage of lecturers.
The commission also stated that 100,000 academic staff members were attending to 2.1 million students in Nigerian universities.
The NUC disclosed this in its latest bulletin, which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja.
The Deputy Executive Secretary, Administration, NUC, Mr Chris Maiyaki, who was quoted in the bulletin, explained that 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.”
Maiyaki recounted that 2020 was an unusual year for everyone due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which ravaged the whole world, noting that Nigerian universities were forced to start embracing the use of technology in knowledge delivery.
He explained that the advent of coronavirus had enabled Nigerian universities to begin to explore the dual mode of teaching with more institutions developing and expanding their digital hub to commence 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.