By, Hashim Muhammad Suleiman, PhD
An Assistant Lecturer with a take home N120 000 naira monthly would have to pay his PhD school fees, pay to accomplish his PhD studies, settle his family, pay to attend conference, pay to take care of his health and that of his family, pay to publish journal articles and book chapters and pay to conduct researches. All with his slavish salary. Many don’t even know that in our condition of service as Nigerian academics, research comes before teaching. Many don’t know that the minimum you pay to publish in a Nigerian journal is N30 000, that’s minus the amount you spend to conduct the actual research. Many don’t know that for a lecturer in Nigeria to move from one level to another, he has to spend huge percentage of his slavish salary to conduct researches and also spend another huge percentage of same salary to publish the research outcome.
Many don’t know that in all Nigerian civil service, university lecturers are the only ones that plough back their meager salary into doing what they were paid the salary for… Many don’t know that for a lecturer in Nigeria to be a Senior lecturer with a salary of below N250 000 monthly, he must have a PhD and many journal articles, conference papers, book chapters, etc… Many don’t know that by the time a university lecturer in Nigeria becomes a senior lecturer, he must have spent half of all the salary he he has earned back into his salary earning job. Many don’t know that teaching isn’t part of the yardstick of promoting Nigerian lecturers, research and publishing the research are the parameters used in promoting Nigerian academics.
Many don’t know that successive Nigerian governments, this government inclusive, have refused to review lecturers’ salary since 2009. Despite the fact that the salaries ought to have been upwardly reviewed since 2015 at most. Many don’t know that the salary of a professor in Nigerian university is below N350 000 naira a month. That’s a person with a degree, a master’s degree and a terminal PhD, whom has published widely and globally, whom has produced many PhDs, M. Scs and degree holders and must have generated humongous human capital for Nigeria. Many don’t know that the salary of a professor in Nigerian universities is below that of a first degree holder in many governmental institutions in same Nigeria.
Indeed, many don’t know that even if lecturers don’t teach, they have to conduct and publish the outcome of their research. Many don’t know that Nigerian lecturers are currently overburdened by insanely above capacity lecturer students ratio with no commissural benefits. Many don’t know that in almost all the struggle that university lecturers suffer, they suffer for the sustainance of the university system in Nigeria. Many don’t know that Nigerian governments are ready to pay lecturers huge salary but at the expense of the students. Yes, the government is ever ready to geometrically increase lecturers’ salary but students must pay tuition fees. Many don’t know that, that’s the core reason why ASUU members have to endure slavish salary for more than a decade.
Now, we should know.
ASUU members, particularly young academics are no more ready to continue living a life of abject penury because of the utopia of some ideals. Now, we should know that ASUU’s energy should be dispensed more on the welfare of its members. The number one welfare of members of ASUU should be about having a living salary. A situation where a professor earns less than a first degree holder in same system is not tenable.
My noble union, ASUU, currently enmeshed in its NEC-for-NEC meeting should know that execution of the renegotiated and wilfully signed stance is the only panacea of stoping this total, comprehensive and encompassing strike.
Culled from political digest.ng