The Association of Nigerian University Professional Administrators (ANUPA) has highlighted insufficient funding as a significant obstacle to educational development in Nigeria.
The Association observed that the government has failed to allocate adequate provisions for education funding in the budget, as recommended by the United Nations (UN).
ANUPA pointed out that only a small percentage of the education budget is allocated to the sector. They called upon the government and stakeholders to allocate proper financing to university education in order to ensure its quality and accessibility.
These concerns were expressed by ANUPA members from the southwestern states of Nigeria during a gathering at Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU). They urged the government to allocate more resources and attention to address the alarming state of the education sector in the country.
Furthermore, the association requested the Federal Government to extend the benefits of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to private universities. They noted that since TETFund was designed to benefit Nigerian students, it would be unfair to exclude private universities from receiving these facilities.
In their joint statement signed by Dapo Adeniyi and Timothy Olaosebikan, Chairman and Secretary respectively, ANUPA also stressed the need for improved infrastructural development in all tertiary institutions.
The statement read: “University education funding. It was unanimously agreed that government and other funding stakeholders should adequately finance university education to ensure its quality and accessibility.
“The participants advocated for extending TETFund to private universities to promote equity and enable them to enhance their infrastructure and academic programmes.
“Autonomy of universities. Universities should be granted greater autonomy in carrying out their statutory functions, allowing them to make decisions that foster academic excellence and innovation.”
They also called for “regular training programmes for administrative staff, with a particular focus on information and communication technology, to enhance their skills and efficiency.”
According to ANUPA, staff motivation and conditions of service should be prioritised, stating that “to prevent the departure of talented individuals from universities, it is necessary to motivate staff and provide them with good conditions of service, including competitive salaries, benefits, and career development opportunities.”
“Infrastructural development: Governments and private university proprietors should prioritise and invest in comprehensive infrastructural development to create conducive learning and research environments.
“The participants emphasised that appointments within the university system should be based on merit and not compromised for mediocrity, ensuring that qualified individuals are selected for key positions.
“ICT should be recognized as an essential tool in university administration, and its integration should be encouraged to improve efficiency, communication, and service delivery.
“There should be a significant reduction in external interference in university administration, allowing for greater academic freedom and effective decision-making processes.”
They also called for stringent sanctions against sexual harassment, stating that “staff found guilty of sexual harassment should face severe penalties, as this behavior undermines the safety and well-being of students and the integrity of the institution.”