IPPIS: Senate Intervenes In ASUU/FG Row


BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – Disturbed by the current dispute between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government, the Senate leadership has intervened to resolve issues surrounding implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, Responding, Lawan said the Senate leadership’s intervention is aimed at an amicable resolution of the matter to ensure the current school system is not disrupted.

Alongside some of his colleagues, Senator Lawan met with ASUU leaders at the National Assembly as the lawmakers sought better understanding of issues and bone of contention around the payroll system.

Leading the ASUU team was its President,  Biodun Ogunyemi, who presented their position, arguing that IPPIS should not be adopted within the nation’s university system as it represents a gross violation of  Universities’ autonomy.

Addressing the ASUU delegation, Senator Lawan said the Senate leadership was interested in resolving the issue amicably, adding; “For us at the National Assembly, we are always prepared to take every necessary step to intervene, to ensure that our tertiary institutions remain open and functional.

“At the end of the day, we don’t want our institutions closed because the repercussions are always much more on the students than on those who are supposed to deal with the issues.

“We are all in this together. We believe that Nigerian education sector, particularly at tertiary level, needs some serious support at this point,” he said.

Before going into a closed door session, the Senate President said the next step will be to find out from officials of the Federal Ministry of Finance their position and the way forward to avert any disruptive strike within the university system.

The Senate President expressed regrets at a situation where some agreements were reached in the past even when government was fully aware that such deals cannot be effectively implemented.

On the issue of funding, Senator Lawan said; “the truth is that, we can only do our best at this stage. We have serious financial challenges in terms of budgetary allocations.”

A statement signed by Ola Awoniyi, Special Adviser, Media to President of the Senate, quoted Senator Lawan as saying that; “It is our duty as members of the National Assembly to ensure that any revenue due to the Federal government of Nigeria is captured and remitted properly so that when we have sufficient revenue, we can fund our educational sector better.”

He however assured that the upper legislative chamber “will work hard reversing the ugly trend”, assuring that, “in the legislature, you have a partner. We will work with you and ensure that we resolve this issue without recourse to any strike or closure of our institutions.”

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