Greedy Nigerian Professors And Their Fat Salaries

Greedy Nigerian Professors And Their Fat Salaries by

What we are saying is that if the Federal Government would
reduce its profligacy and cut waste, there will be enough
money to pay teachers in public universities, as well as fund
research and upgrade infrastructure in such institutions.
Hungry teachers can neither teach well nor carry out
research. And poorly-taught students can neither excel nor
propel their nation to great heights (APC Interim National
Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Daily Post, August
21, 2013)
The perennial onslaught on public education has been taken
to the next level by this administration with the statement by
Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba that
the bulk of the national budget on education is used to pay
the salaries of 10,500 Professors in the public University
system. In his interview with the Punch newspapers,
Nwajiuba averred that strike by University lecturers is a
major factor driving students abroad and to private
universities. In this piece, I provide available facts to put the
records straight with regards to the salary of lecturers; and
go further to argue as to why lecturers deserve appropriate
wages that will guarantee value commensurate with what
they give to the academic system and the society. In 2012
when the federal government carried out the needs
assessment of the Nigerian universities, it was found that
out of the 37,504 lecturers, 28,128 of them were full time
and pensionable. Since then, there has been no major
recruitment of academic staff despite the usual attrition on
account of resignations, retirement and demise.This is what
forced few academics to take up the burden of work meant
for many lecturers necessitating the issue of earned
academic allowances in the ASUU-FGN agreement of 2009.
From 2013 to 2020, government owes lecturers Billions of
naira but these lecturers have no right to complain over their
duly earned entitlements in the wisdom of the government.
The ASUU-FGN agreement of 2009 stipulated that a lecturer
I is to be paid N15,000, Senior lecturer (N20,000) and
Professor (N25,000) per annum per student for supervision.
The lecturers now described as selfish and gluttonous are
yet to be paid for several years of supervising students. An
external examiner is supposed to be paid N80,000 for a
Master dissertation and N105,000 for Doctoral examination.
The internal examiner for the same purposes ought to be
paid N45, 000 and N65, 000 respectively but these only
exists in the agreement and have not been implemented for
eleven years! In Nwajiuba’s wisdom, these are not issues to
go on strike for.
University Lecturers are over-stretched and least paid when
compared with lecturers in polytechnics and colleges of
Education despite the fact that ninety seven percent of
UTME applicants prefer University Education to Polytechnic
or Colleges of Education. In 2018, 1,558,686 of UTME
candidates chose University, 24524 (NCE) and 69712
(Polytechnic). Less than ten percent of degree pursuing
applicants chooses private varsities. In 2009, both the
Federal Government and ASUU came up with two salary
tables (I and II). Table II was called the African average
salary payable across the continent but government pleaded
that the Table I which undervalues intellectualism should be
used to pay lecturers till such a time the government is able
to raise funds to meet the African average salary. ASUU’s
altruistic disposition made the body agree to receive less
while doing more work. Unfortunately, it is now eleven years
of receipt of slave-like wage which assuredly will make
colleagues in Ugandan public varsities universities cringe!
The salaries of the selfish Nigerian lecturers by cadre are as
follows: Assistant lecturer (N118,277 -N137, 334); lecturer II
has a doctorate degree (N129, 724 – N153, 563);Lecturer I
has at least three years post-PhD experience on the job
(N160, 809 – N203, 778), Senior lecturer with at least six
years experience on the job (N222,229 –314, 159), Associate
professor (with at least nine years experience on the job:
N277, 179 – N350, 169) and a Full Professor with twelve
and more years experience on the job (N332, 833 – 416,
743). They get these after tax and other deductions. Before
deductions, a newly appointed Full Professor has N437, 499
and after deductions he is paid N332, 833 monthly. A
Professor “at the bar”, is one who has spent ten years as a
professor and that is when he/she can earn consolidated
pay of N555, 351 and following deductions their net pay
comes down to N416, 743 monthly!
In Ugandan public varsities, Assistant Lecturer earns $1,631;
Senior lecturer ($2,432), Associate Professor ($3,891) and
Professor ($4,054) per month respectively. In University of
South Africa, Junior lecturer earns (N10, 453, 326 –
N17,427,663), Lecturer (N12,547,744-N20,910,248), Senior
Lecturer(N16,272,983 – N27,891,819), Associate Professor
(N20,224,232 – N32,564,902) and Professor (N22,325,844 –
N37,209,741) per annum. Does this explain why we can
hardly attract any international scholar to our public
varsities? Mind you, the mix of international scholars and
students is among the items considered in ranking
universities internationally. Are you still wondering why South
Africa almost always occupies the top spaces in varsity
rankings in Africa? In South Africa, scholars have research
votes and funds set aside to support participation in
international conferences. For every publication in rated
journals, a lecturer in the orange country is incentivised so
also is the Department and the Faculty towhich the scholar
belongs. So no one jokes with a productive and NRF-rated
scholar in South Africa. They also pay for their scholars to
publish in high impact journals to increase citations. In
Nigeria, such funds do not exist in practice. That the
University of Ibadan, for instance, still ranks among the best
in the world is largely the outcome of the personal sweat of
committed scholars in the institution and not because there
is any special incentive system in place. Lecturers are even
sometimes forced to take loans to attend international
conferences because their institutions shockingly include it
as a condition for promotion. It thus usually feels awkward
to tell colleagues from institutions where conference funding
is provided that you as a scholar from Nigeria borrowed
money to attend a conference. Such is the character of the
parasitic Nigerian system where the knowledge economy is
relegated and personal interest is elevated. Is it not difficult
to imagine that the former Interim National Publicity
Secretary of All Progressive Congress, who is now Minister
of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who
uttered the opening excerpts of this piece is part of a
government that does not believe in what he said in 2013?
While South Africa voted 396billion Rand to education in
2020, President Buhari’s2021 budget allocated 691.07billion
to Education representing 6.7percent of the entire budget, a
gross shortfall to the UNESCO prescribed minimum of
26percent. Unlike the lie of the Minister of State for
Education that the bulk of the Education budget is used to
cater for 10,500 Professors, the 691.07billion is to cater for
28 education parastatals, 37 federal Universities, 25 federal
polytechnics, 21 federal colleges of education and 104 Unity
schools! Know your leaders and what to believe from their
statements. The government that cannot fund research also
actively frustrate funders from supporting Nigerian
researchers with their policies. Rather than releasing funds
to researchers promptly, Bursars often have to go to Abuja
for approval to withdraw. I am aware of grant funds that are
yet to be paid for a year due to the bottlenecks of Treasury
single account! Interestingly, lecturers with their poor wages
now make contributions in order to donate printing papers
to run their Departments. No functional internet, dilapidated
lecture rooms, laboratories that parade equipment of the
1980s and comatose power supply all of which hinder
delivery of qualitative teaching and research. The ruling
class know this and train their children in the global north. At
their return, they reserve jobs for them in NNPC, FIRS, and
Central Bank. For the children of the poor, they are expected
to join community policing recruitment exercise of the
Inspector General of Police where recruitment will still be
hijacked by the same political class. Whichever way, the
masses are short-changed.
Only the children of the rich and those in government can go
abroad not the children of the masses. Many of the latter
write JAMB yearly but the want of space and dilapidated
infrastructure as well as insufficient lecturers cannot make
UI for instance take more than around 3,000 instead of
about 12,000 which is the quota it has. Is it not sensible to
reckon that with improved infrastructure, space for
admission will increase and more people will get admitted?
IPPIS is a distraction and not the reason ASUU is on strike.
There are two options: support ASUU for the improved
conditions of service and revitalisation of public varsities or
support government to destroy public universities. The
choice is ours!

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