THE National Universities Commission (NUC) says tertiary education in Nigeria is grossly underfunded and this is affecting the quality of research and teaching in the sector.
The commission is, therefore, asking that the Federal government allocate more funds and invest in universities nationwide.
According to the NUC executive secretary, Abubakar Rasheed, the brain drain across universities was caused by the complex learning and teaching environment.
Rasheed said this at a reunion conference at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun state, on Saturday, May 13.
The NUC boss, who was represented by a professor, Shehu Ado, a consultant for the regulatory body, said the government needed to increase funding to promote quality education and other issues.
“The universities are producing graduates who lack skills for employment and creative ability. There is a need for universities to generate income to complement government efforts. The sector cannot be funded alone by the government.
“Brain drain in our university system is caused by a non-conducive learning and teaching environment and some other issues that need to be corrected,” he said.
Rasheed also said tertiary institutions should endeavour to identify other areas where they could get funds to continue their work.
“There is an urgent need to invest in university education, urging that state and private sectors should invest in the sector for national development. The university management also needs to be more prudent in spending.
“Amongst other issues affecting our tertiary education is the archaic curriculum which ought to be redesigned by injecting realities of time as the world is moving rapidly. Other issues are lack of skilled workers, and graduates with no skill and self-confidence,” he added.
Had once reported that government funding of tertiary institutions was poor, and was even worse among state-owned universities.
According to the report, state governments had continued to create universities despite failing to fund the existing ones adequately.
The indicated that the government budget was below the benchmark recommended by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for the education sector.
UNESCO specifies that governments should set aside, at least, 15–20 per cent of their total budgets for education. But governments in Nigeria do not comply with this recommendation, and most tertiary institutions have remained weakened by inadequate funding.