The Vice Chancellor Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna Professor Abdullahi Bala has blamed challenges in the IPPIS implementation on the failure of the federal government and handlers of the scheme to involve university administrators before it was launched.
Professor Bala fielding questions from journalists on the activities lined up for the pre-37th Founder’s day and 29th Convocation of the university said if the federal government had consulted widely the logjams being experienced over IPPIS implementation would have been avoided.
The Vice Chancellor told the Press Conference which took place at the university’s permanent site, Gidan-Kwano that it is regrettable the way and manner the IPPIS is being handled is rather becoming more complicated than trying to solve some challenges facing universities and other tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
“The autonomy bill of 2010 takes care of things of this nature. Nobody will be forced to enroll in IPPIS. It is a personal decision and agreed by individual schools management, some ASUU, SANU and NASU members enrolled and some decided to opt out”.
“In trying not to go against the NUC mandate that specialized universities should not lose focus on their mandate, but for the sake of ensuring that we maintain global standards, we engage some lecturers to handle some courses outside the scope of lecturer we have”.
Professor Bala said, some courses require legal professionals or lecturers in core arts or social sciences to handle but we don’t have them here to avoid going against NUC mandate and to get experts handle such courses because these categories of lecturers were not captured by the IPPIS, what do we do?
The Vice Chancellor also said, “IPPIS does not provide for professionals as contract staff but we have always engaged a number of them and still do so when the need arises including the Diaspora, because we don’t have enough lecturers to fill the gap, how do we settle them?
It is also clear that no university in Nigeria can boast of adequate teaching and non-teaching staff but depend on adhoc staff example accounting and general studies in some engineering courses with an aspect of law but the IPPIS never took some of these into considerations, he observed.
Other issues the IPPIS propagators are also hammering on including sabbaticals and visiting by university academic staff, the Vice Chancellor pointed out would have been better strengthened between the federal government and university administrators if the later were carried along.
Professor Bala also explained that most state owned and private universities largely depended on academic staff from federal universities as visiting Lecturers or Professors on sabbatical, this he pointed out is a common rule globally and Nigeria cannot be isolated from this.
It has become obvious that the IPPIS has continued to create gaps between the management of universities, NASU, ASUU, SANU and related stakeholders, this according to the Vice Chancellor would have been avoided if he and other Vice Chancellor were invited on a roundtable to discuss on a way forward before unleashing the IPPIS on them.
The Vice Chancellor who however said he is not in any way against implementation of the IPPIS called for caution in its implementations to avoid grounding of government owned Universities, Colleges of Education and Polytechnics in Nigeria.