The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said that enrolling in government's Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System will prevent higher institutions from hosting visiting scholars.
Prof Biodun Ogunyemi said this in an interview with PUNCH.
Sighting the instance of late Pius Adesanmi, who was a visiting lecturer to three African universities, Ogunyemi said, “Just three weeks ago we were at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa where scholars in the Diaspora came together to think of how best they could help revitalise higher education in Africa and a lot of case studies were presented.
“The case of our late friend, Prof Pius Adesanmi, who was until his death, the Director of African Studies in Carlton, Canada, came up for mention. He was a professor at more than three universities in Africa.
“In fact, the Director of African Studies in Legon, Ghana, recalled that Adesanmi was on their payroll as a visiting scholar and he would be visiting for at least three months and would go back and he did that for more than five years. He did the same for two other universities in South Africa.
“In Nigeria, going by IPPIS arrangement, there would be no room for that.
"Even if a scholar in the Diaspora is coming to Nigeria for one-year sabbatical bringing a lot of experience, IPPIS arrangement would not accommodate such.”
Reacting to a prior claim that universities should be excused from the system just as staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, director of IPPIS, Olufehinti Olusegun, said these agencies were revenue making entities and would be captured later on.
He said, “For the CBN, FIRS and NNPC, they are revenue agencies and they live on the cost of collection. They are revenue-generating agencies and they don’t draw from the consolidated revenue fund.
"So, it is left to the government on what to do next but it is a journey that just started.”
According to Olusegun, the scheme had captured over 937,000 federal employees including the military and saved billions of naira for the government.