By Adesina Wahab
Workers in public universities in the country, especially lecturers who resumed duties few weeks ago after months of strike, are weigh down by the loss of eight months’ salaries and other welfare issues, participants at the quarterly National Universities Commission Parastatals SERVICOM Committee, NUCPSC, Meeting have observed.
The two-day meeting, which started on Wednesday, took place at the University of Lagos, UNILAG and had participants drawn from universities across the federation.
They noted that lecturers, who have eight months withheld salaries and non-academic staff, who have five months’ salaries pending, are having to contend with welfare issues that are hindering their performance one way or the other.
Presenting a paper titled “Sustaining quality service delivery in higher education and the challenge of dwindling economy,” Prof. Adamu Kabir of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, noted that quality service delivery could be hindered when the worker’s welfare is jeopardized.
“Some lecturers sold land, cars and other personal items to survive eight months of no salary, how do you get the best from them? Employee’s welfare is very critical to delivering quality services. We are faced with a situation where we have population of students increasing astronomically, while funding is decreasing.
“We know that as lecturers, our main public or client if you would say, are the students. We are ready to give our best, but some factors do affect the delivery of quality service. They include poor working environment, lack of training and career development opportunities, lack of transparency in the system among others,” he said.
While declaring the meeting open, the Vice Chancellor, UNILAG, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, said while ensuring the delivery of quality service to students and other customers, university staff should also enjoy conducive environment to work in.
She later inaugurated the UNILAG SERVICOM Vanguards. A team that is saddled with monitoring the performance of the university workers.
The Chairman, NUCPSC, Mr. Musa Ilyasu, said SERVICOM was about excellence, commitment, transparency and urged VCs to support focal officers to attend such meetings.
The UNILAG Focal Officer, Prof. Grace Otinwa, opined that the SERVICOM Unit had lived up to expectation in the university and that the relaunch of the unit’s charter would propel it to greater height.
Recognition awards were given to people who have discharged their duties creditably well and they included a former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Oluwole Familoni.