ASUU attributes lecturer shortage in universities to the phenomenon of ‘Japa.’


The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) attributes the substantial shortage of staff in Nigerian universities to the ‘Japa syndrome,’ with thousands of lecturers departing the country in pursuit of better opportunities abroad.

In an interview with The Punch, ASUU highlighted the current surge in retirements at universities in Nigeria. At Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, approximately 100 lecturers have left, and the Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara, requires around 1,000 lecturers to fill the vacancies created by departures.

The union at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, reported over 350 academic vacancies, and 27 lecturers left two faculties at the University of Lagos. Additionally, about 100 workers at the University of Uyo have traveled out of the country. The University of Ilorin in Kwara State faces approximately 500 academic vacancies, and both academic and non-academic staff at Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology are leaving.

The Chairman of Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State, Dr. Rotimi Olorunsola, confirmed the departure of both academic and non-academic staff, stating, “Yes, some have ‘japa’ (traveled out of the country), both the academic staff and non-academic.”

The Head of Media and Protocol at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Mr. Victor Akinpelumi, acknowledged the departure of many workers from the institution.

ASUU Chairman at the University of Benin, Dr. Ray Chikogu, highlighted the long-standing problem of staff shortages due to the Federal Government’s employment embargo, calling it undue interference. He emphasized that the academic staff department is grossly understaffed, leading to increased workloads.

The ASUU Chairman at the Federal University of Kashere, Gombe State, Dr. Shehu El-rasheed, cited bureaucratic bottlenecks and challenges with the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) as contributing factors to the difficulty in filling vacancies.

El-Rasheed noted that senior professors are retiring without adequate replacements, and academic staff are leaving for other countries. He associated the inadequate academic staff with insufficient funding by the Federal Government, bureaucratic bottlenecks from IPPIS, poor remuneration, and harsh economic conditions.

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