The National Universities Commission has decried the shortage of manpower in universities across the country with regards to lecturer to student ratio.
The body stated this in its latest bulletin in response to the embargo government placed on employment due to economic factors.
NUC urged government to isolate universities from the embargo on new employment owing to the shortage of lecturers.
According to the NUC, 100,000 academic staff members attend to 2.1 million students in Nigerian universities.
Deputy Executive Secretary, Administration, Chris Maiyaki, who was quoted in the bulletin, explained that the commission was supervising over 200 universities consisting of 48 belonging to the Nigerian Government; 54 states and 99 private institutions.
He said, “The entire system has about 2.1 million students and staff strength of about 170,000 non-teaching and 100,000 academic staff.
“Some of the problems facing the system include increased running cost, meagre budgetary allocations, issue of power shortages and shortages of manpower.
“There is a need for universities to be isolated from the Federal Government’s circular on an embargo on new employment because of the peculiarity and distinctive nature of the universities in order for them to keep up the pace in attaining comparable standards with their counterparts globally.
“We also have incessant interference in the NUC’s functions by some professional bodies and associations, which have continued to issue needless instructions to universities.
“Other challenges in the Nigerian university system include the issue of digital response to COVID-19 lockdown.”
Maiyaki further said that the advent of COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown had forced universities to start embracing the use of technology in knowledge delivery.
According to him, this had enabled Nigerian universities to begin to explore the dual-mode of teaching with more institutions developing and expanding their digital hub to commence extensive use of the online platform.
He added, “Within the period, the NUC had been conducting some activities, which included major curriculum review, assessment of universities on their E-Learning requirements, strengthening of quality assurance mechanism as well as fortifying modern methods of data processing and retrieval."