A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yusuf Alli, has identified incessant strikes, weak funding among other factors as key issues killing universities in the country.
Alli, who was the keynote speaker at the 36th Convocation of the University of Ilorin, made this claim at the Convocation Lecture held on Friday at the cavernous Main Auditorium of the university campus, Ilorin.
According to Alli, one of the greatest challenges facing Nigerian universities is under-funding.
He said, “Finance is so crucial to any organisation as it continues to dominate discussions on the state of university education in Nigeria.
“The establishment and the running of tertiary institutions are capital intensive, he said.
The lawyer and philanthropist observed that contrary to UNESCO provision for a minimum of 26 per cent of every national budget to be channelled into education, the national budget 2021 falls far short of this requirement at just 5.6 per cent.
“Mind you, the above figure is for the whole of the education sector from Primary to the Universities.
“I am aware that, as we speak, many Federal Universities cannot employ a critical workforce, even in areas of dire need, especially in the academic field,” he added.
Alli also observed that there is a need to re-professionalise the unions in the universities.
According to him, the true essence of unionism is primarily to foster harmony between the management and labour so that industrial peace, efficiency and productivity are achieved.
“There has, however, been a great deviation from the true aim of unionism by the University unions.
“People are now part of unions, not to foster any smooth running of the university, but for self-aggrandizement,” the lawyer said.
Alli maintained that this factor has resulted in incessant strike actions that have affected the quality of academic activities.
“The result of this has been frequent disruptions leading to poor quality of academic work, irregular and uncertain university calendars,” he said.