By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representative, yesterday intervened in the disagreement between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities( ASUU) over the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in federal universities.
The decision was consequent upon the adoption of a motion sponsored by Abbas Tajudeen (PDP, Kogi) under matters of urgent on “the urgent need for the House to intervene in the brewing crisis between the federal government and ASUU on the implementation of IPPIS in Federal Universities.”
In adopting the motion, the House has directed its committees on finance, education and labour and productivity to intervene in the dispute, with a view to identifying the cause of the misunderstanding and resolving the issue amicably.
The committees are expected to report back to the House in two weeks for further legislative actions.
While presenting the motion, Tajudeen informed the House that ASUU has been on a war path with the federal government over the implementation of IPPIS in federal universities.
He expressed worry that ASUU has threatened to go on strike, if the government attempts to enforce the implementation of the policy in the federaI universities.
The lawmaker noted that ASUU is opposed to the policy on the grounds that apart from lacking legal backing, it is also at variance with the autonomy of the universities.
He further observed that though IPPIS, which was conceptualised in October 2006 by the Federal Government as part of its reform programme, has been effective in curbing the malaise of ghost workers, there is need to find a middle ground between the government and ASUU.
According to him “if the Federal Government refused to back down on the implementation of the IPPIS policy in the universities as demanded by ASUU, ASUU may go on another strike which may jeopardise the current peace and stability being enjoyed in our university campuses.
“Even though the IPPIS is a good policy, but just like any other policy it should be reviewed from time to time with a view to strengthening it or addressing any manifested shortcomings in its implementation.
“Whatever are the differences between the Federal Government and ASUU on the implementation of the IPPIS policy in the universities, the matter should not be allowed to degenerate to another strike in our universities.”
He argued that it was imperative for the House to wade in immediately and broker truce between the government and ASUU, so as to prevent the issue from escalating into an industrial dispute.
The legislators endorsed the motion without dissent following a question put by the speaker.