BY OBUTE JAMES
Following a motion of urgent importance by Hon. (Dr) Tajudeen Abbas the House of Representatives on Thursday decided to resolve the lingering crisis between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU over the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS.
Moving the motion, Abbas who is representing Zaria Federal Constituency of Kaduna State, said it is obvious that the IPPIS policy had been used as an effective and efficient tool to fight the malaise of ghost workers, which had defied all policies and mechanisms put in place in the public service before now to sanitise the system.
According to him, since the inception of the IPPIS policy in 2007 to date, the Federal Government had saved about N12bn by eliminating thousands of ghost workers.
He said the programme which was formally introduced in April 2007 with 18 MDAs participating, as at April 2018, 490 MDAs have been enrolled into the IPPIS with a total staff of strength of over 700, 000 employees.
Abass said, “The House is concerned that in spite of the several benefits of the IPPIS policy, the implementation of the policy has generated some controversies in some MDAs and has manifested some drawbacks which should be addressed.
“The House is worried that ASUU, in reaction to the new Federal Government directives on the implementation of IPPIS, is not only objecting to the application of the policy to the federal universities but has issued three counter directive to all its members not to comply with the directive
“The House is also worried that ASUU has threatened to go on strike if the Federal Government attempts to enforce the implementation of the policy in the federal universities on the grounds that the policy lacks legal backing and its derogates from the autonomy of the universities.
“The House is alarmed that 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.”
He said IPPS 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.
The House in its resolution decided to probe into the crisis by mandating its Committee on Finance; Education; and Labour, Employment and Productivity to intervene in the conflict with a view to identifying the cause of the conflict, reconciling the worrying parties, and report in two weeks’ time.
While the Federal Government is insisting on capturing university lecturers on the IPPIS, ASUU has directed lecturers not enroll for the scheme