The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says there is a alarming exodus of lecturers from the nation’s universities for greener pastures abroad.
The union attributed the development to the Federal Government’s poor treatment of its members which it said had forced many to venture into other sources of livelihood.
Speaking to newsmen on Sunday, the National President, ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, claimed that many lecturers had taken to farming and other economic activities, while a large number had left the country.
Osodeke spoke in reaction to the government’s refusal to meet some of their demands, including the payment of seven months’ backlog of salaries accrued during the strike.
The union had embarked on four strikes totalling 578 days under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The current strike by ASUU started on February 14, 2022, and entered its day 188 on Monday.
In 2017, the union went on strike for 30 days; in 2018, the lecturers shunned work for 90 days while in 2020, the public universities were shut down for 270 days.
ASUU accused the government of failing to release the revitalisation funds for universities; failure to deploy the University Transparency Accountability System for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.
ASUU had also demanded the release of earned allowances for its members; release of the whitepaper report of visitation panels to universities and renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/2009 agreement.
Speaking on the mass exile of lecturers from the university system, Osodeke stated, “So many lecturers are leaving to engage in farming and others; lecturers are tired of the treatment they’re receiving from the government and because of this, they are looking for alternatives. So many more will leave even after the strike too.
‘’I pity the country; Nigeria will be the loser for it. Instead of coming to the table; look at how they will solve the issue, rather, they believe in punishing lecturers. It’s so sad. Your lecturers went on strike, you believe they will become hungry and come back to beg. Many lecturers will also leave to venture into other areas; some are also looking at becoming self-employed.”