Nigerian public universities are in the state of emergency. Educational system of the institutions has failed.
The well being of the students is being destroyed. Lectures are enslaved. All has been happening as a result of lack of proper funding of the institutions.
The means of funding Nigerian public universities is directly from the federal government. Federal government serves as the primary source of Nigerian universities funds. Nigerian students pay the lowest cost of tuition fees compared to other countries. Some among the countries that pay high cost of tuition fees don’t only depend on their government to fund their institution. They create other means of funding their Universities despite the highest cost of their tuition fees.
Nigerian universities that make the federal government their primary source of funds with lowest cost of tuition fees want a standard educational system. How?
Public universities in Nigeria charge notional fees. In 2017, final year students of Education in UNILAG paid ₦15,000. In 2019, final year Law Students at of Obafemi AwolowoUniversity paid ₦30,000.Such figures pale in comparison with the cost of running universities. The Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure (CONUASS) recommends that professors earn a basic annual salary between ₦4 and ₦6 million. If professors were to be paid solely off school fees, it would take the annual school fees of at least 267 students paying ₦15,000.
Let’s look at another expense: power. A Rural Electrification Agency audit in 2017 found that 37 federal universities were using 1,068 generators . If each university used 28 100KVA generators, they could be spending over ₦3 million a month in diesel alone. It would gulp a year’s school fees of 200 students at ₦15,000.
With the above estimation, it’s obvious that; the tuition fees being paid in Nigerian universities is very low compared to the expenses in the universities. To achieve the standard educational system in Nigerian universities, collective efforts are required. The government cannot do it all.
ASUU should create another means of funding each of the universities. The means of funding the universities should include: Alumni contributions, donations from the elites, contributions from the concerned society members and so on.
If Nigerian universities should continue to make federal government their primary source of funds, such will one day result in the increase in tuition fees of the universities and make it not to be affordable for the less earners. Federal government can’t do it all. Everybody has to be involved to achieve the dreams of our universities in Nigeria.
The students are the most affected part of the party. To resume the students, ASUU and federal government should develop respect and mutual understanding for themselves towards achieving the educational system of our dreams.
Rofiyat Yusuf. Pharmacy student, ABU Zaria.