Adieu to public universities in Nigeria

By: Muhammad Hashim Suleiman

Now departments in public universities cannot afford A4 papers, whiteboard markers and biros to mark examination scripts. The current government is, by its actions, telling public universities to either introduce tuition fees (they can still be called registration fees) or collapse. That’s the game; that’s why this government has stopped funding public universities and is massively giving license to private-three or four buildings universities.

Now, for the past two years, all other governmental institutions and units get paid their salaries before month end but staff of public universities are always paid for last month in the next month. I know some will come with issue of IPPIS, ask the non academic staff if they’re faring better.

Also, this government has put a drastic stop on the growth of public universities in Nigeria. If a VC wants to employ academic staff, he’ll have to lobby Abuja big boys for approval. For any one academic staff approval such a VC is able to get, it comes with strings of appointing two or more non academic staff thereby chocking the university and denying it the opportunity to hire on the most needed teaching staff.

In many departments, lab and studio consumables can only be used through imagination. Experiments are sparingly done and studio practicals are now once in a semester affair. The consumables are expensive and majority of the public universities are broke and pauperized by the government.

Probably, by next session, public universities will have to force students to start supplying papers, biros, markers, chemicals and other departmental consumables. That’s the only short time way out otherwise students of lab and studio oriented courses may go for a complete session without having practical lab and studio experience.

Nigerians should know; public universities are silently collapsing because #Aljanun_Kasuwa have set their eyes on university education as their next gold mine.

~~~ Muhammad Hashim Suleiman PhD, is a Lecturer, Department of Mass Communication, Ahmadu Bello University ABU, Zaria

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