Nigerian Lecturers rank among the best trained but worst paid globally:
From the UK to the US, Australia to China, South Africa to Ghana, Nigeria-born lecturers dominate many fields of study. “Brain drain” has been used appropriately to describe this scenario.
A good percentage of lecturers practicing in Nigeria do get mouth-watering offers to relocate abroad, but they reject such offers and remain at home out of patriotism and service to their fatherland.
It has become a norm with Nigerian university lecturers. University lecturers are at work twenty-four-seven! Due to the high demand for university admission, especially in Federal universities, many academic departments have enrolments that exceed their capacity.
Secondly, the erosion of university autonomy makes it hard to employ new lecturers to fill vacuums left by many retired professors; hence most departments are understaffed.
Thirdly, lecturers take more work home than other categories of government workers. It is in the quiet of their homes, usually at night, that most lecturers study, prepare their lectures, mark students’ scripts, and come up with solutions to the research problems they are tackling.
Foreign countries provide more funds for research in Nigeria:
Many developed nations like the US, UK, EU, Germany, Japan, China and more support research and teaching in Nigeria through research grants, sponsorship of conference attendance, equipping of laboratories and the provision of many other facilities in Nigerian universities.
The assistance of these countries are visible through their institutions. For instance, The Humboldt Foundation (Germany), Cadbury Research fellowship Scheme (UK), American Council for Learned Society (US), Carnegie Foundation, Fulbright Fellowship (US) award scores of generous post-doctoral fellowships and research grants to Nigerian academics every year
Research and publication count more for lecturers’ promotion than teaching:
Unlike the civil service, one’s number of years in service does not count much in the promotion of university lecturers. It is quite common to see a student overtake his lecturer to become a professor while the person that taught him does not rise above the position of a senior lecturer.
It is interesting to observe that lecturers are promoted for the quality of their research and the quantity of their publications than their teaching skills or the number of years in service. That is the origin of the saying: “Publish or perish!”
Consequently, it is wrong to assume that university lecturers are “free” during semester breaks, when they are not lecturing or when they are on strike. There are many more activities that occupy university lecturers than basic classroom or laboratory activities.
This is a special leave enjoyed by researchers and university lecturers; hence no one should begrudge them for it. Sabbatical leave is a global practice that permits a lecturer to visit another university every seventh year to teach and engage in research. While such a lecturer continues to draw his/her salary from the university where s/he works, the university s/he visits will also pay him or her full salary for the sabbatical year.
Payment of “double salary” to university lecturers on sabbatical leave is one of the main grouse the Nigerian lecturers union has with the Federal Government on the inclusion of lecturers on the IPPIS (Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System) platform for the payment of the monthly salary of Nigerian government workers.
University lecturers union is the only credible labor union left in the country: The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is arguably one of the few Nigerian labor unions whose leaders have not soiled their hands with bribery from the Nigerian authorities.
Nigerian lecturers’ union, more than any other labor union, has been in the forefront of wrestling fair wages for Nigerian workers from the Nigerian government.
Most “sex-for-marks” moves in Nigerian universities:
They are initiated by female students.There has been much public outcry about “sex-for-marks” in Nigerian universities. In as much as I do not subscribe to such ugly acts, the bitter truth that must be told is that many female university students do offer themselves tantalizingly to males that could assist them academically or financially, not minding the man’s age or status,.
Consequently, many “lazy” female students are taken advantage of by both academic and non-academic staff members (especially those with access to computer records) that could assist in altering academic records. The public hardly hear of such cases, and they are in the majority.