Incessant strikes, weak funding, and other problems, according to Yusuf Alli, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and keynote lecturer at the University of Ilorin’s 36th Convocation, are fundamental challenges destroying the country’s universities.
The legal icon and philanthropist made this known at the Convocation Lecture held on Friday at the cavernous Main Auditorium of the university campus, Ilorin.
Alli said, the greatest challenges that faces the Nigerian universities is that of underfunding.
“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 is capital intensive, he said.
The lawyer observed that contrary to UNESCO provision for a minimum of 26 percent of every national budget to be channeled into education, the national budget 2021 falls far short of this requirement at just 5.6 percent.
“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 critical work force, even in areas of dire need, especially in the academic,” he added.
Alli also observed that there is a need to reprofessionalize 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 into incessant strike actions that has affected 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.