The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, has said the adoption of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, as the payment platform for university workers is unsuitable for the university system.
Oloyede, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, UNILORIN, therefore said the necessary pressure must be put on the Federal Government to jettison the payment platform.
He spoke while delivering a lecture to mark the 71st birthday of Distinguished Professor Peter Okebukola a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, which held via Zoom.
The lecture was titled “Synchronising cacophony: Interrogating some issues of concepts and perception in the Nigerian higher education topology.”
“I am not a fan of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, but they have a point here. IPPIS is unsuitable for the university system. Let me cite an instance, when I was the VC at the University of Ilorin, I went to Australia on an official assignment and there I met a Nigerian with PhD in an area of Botany where we lacked the manpower.
“I spoke with the man and convinced him of the need to work with us and he agreed. Immediately, I put a call to the Dean of the Faculty of Science and told him about the development and that was how we secured the services of the man. He is now a professor in one of the nation’s universities.
Also, we must be careful of the number of universities we are having, especially the ones being set up by government agencies and the military. We already have the Nigerian Defence Academy which trains officers for all the arms of the military. We also have the Police Academy that trains police officers, it can also help in training para-military men too.
In that regards, we don’t need more than one or two. If care is not taken, we will soon have university of road safety or university of civil defence. Adequately funding existing universities should be our focus,’ he said.
ASUU, that is currently on a four week strike, is also complaining about IPPIS and the indiscriminate establishment of universities by federal and state governments among other issues.
Oloyede who also spoke on the issue of cut off marks for candidates seeking admission into higher institutions, said he had been asked in a number of international fora whether anybody whose score falls into that category would be automatically admitted.
He explained that in some situations, candidates might score high marks in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Education, UTME, and fail to do well in post-UTME exams and screening and vice versa.
He therefore suggested that cut off marks could be replaced with minimum acceptable score.
On some of the changes needed in the education sector, he called for the establishment of the Federal Ministry of Higher Education Research and Innovation to take care of research institutes now under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
On the supervisory roles of agencies like the NUC, the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE and the National Commission for Colleges of Education, NCCE, Oloyede called for a change in the current arrangements.
He opined that the NUC could be renamed the National Research and Universities Commission that would have the responsibility of research coordination and regulatory powers.
Oloyede also noted that teachers in the country are poorly paid, adding that only proper compensation would bring out the best in them.
One of the participants, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Emeritus Prof. Ayo Banjo, said a committee should be set up to look into the suggestions by Oloyede.
He described Okebukola and Oloyede as great minds who have made indelible marks in academic circles.
The Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, LASU, Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, described Okebukola as a visionary with uncommon ability to imagine the future.
Okebukola, who said he was humbled by the encomiums poured on him, thanked Prof. Banjo and others for positive impact on his life.
The event was tagged “Global icon Prof. Peter Okebukola @71 and was moderated by Prof. Sola Akinrinade and had Professors Eyitope Ogunbodede, Mike Faborede, Abiodun Adeleye, A.O.Badejo, Elisabeth Smaranda Olarinde, Nimi Briggs among others as participants.