Nigerian universities are facing a severe shortage of staff as thousands of lecturers leave for opportunities abroad, compounded by a high number of retirements. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) confirmed the shortage, attributing it to the surge in lecturers leaving Nigeria and concerns around the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

  • Departures and Shortages: ASUU branches from various universities revealed the extent of the issue. For example, about 100 lecturers have left Usmanu Danfodiyo University in Sokoto, while the Federal University in Gusau, Zamfara, reportedly needs about 1,000 lecturers to fill vacancies. The University of Ilorin has around 500 academic vacancies, and the University of Lagos has witnessed the departure of 27 lecturers.
  • Causes of Shortage: The reasons behind the shortage are multifaceted. The “Japa” phenomenon, where individuals seek opportunities abroad, has contributed significantly. Additionally, retirements are not being adequately replaced, and concerns related to IPPIS are impacting recruitment.
  • IPPIS Challenges: The introduction of IPPIS, designed to address ghost workers and multiple salary issues, is facing resistance, especially from university workers. Many argue that it limits the ability of institutions to employ staff, contributing to the shortage.
  • ASUU’s Perspective: ASUU leaders emphasize that inadequate funding, bureaucratic hurdles, and interference by the Federal Government are exacerbating the problem. They argue that the government’s failure to prioritize funding and restrictions on employment are stifling universities and contributing to a brain drain.
  • Impact on Universities: The shortage of academic staff is affecting the quality of education and increasing workloads on existing faculty members. The situation varies among universities, with some experiencing more significant challenges than others.
  • Calls for Government Action: ASUU leaders are calling on the government to address the issue urgently by providing adequate funding, allowing universities more autonomy, and scrapping or amending the IPPIS system.

The shortage of lecturers in Nigerian universities highlights the complex challenges facing higher education institutions, including funding issues, bureaucratic obstacles, and the impact of global opportunities on the local academic workforce.


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