The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned that the Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)’s unpatriotic stance will prolong the ASUU strike.
The University union accused NITDA of lying that the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) failed the agency’s integrity tests.
“Ironically, NITDA, in conjunction with its parent ministry (the Ministry of Communications), is seriously sabotaging the government’s efforts at resolving the impasse,” the Bauchi zonal coordinator of ASUU, Prof. Lawan Abubakar, revealed. “This is obviously capable of prolonging the current strike, thereby bringing untold hardship on Nigerian university students and the university system.”
Addressing a press conference at the ASUU Secretariat, University of Jos, Plateau, the union criticised NITDA’s claim that UTAS failed the integrity test despite scoring 97.4 per cent and 99.3 per cent based on all the agency’s test metrics.
“One out of the seven demands the union is impressing on the Federal Government to address is the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) to replace the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) for personnel payments & management in the University System,” added the ASUU representative.
The ASUU’s zonal coordinator further mentioned that UTAS was developed to address the peculiarities of the university system the IPPIS failed to resolve.
He added that following the successful development of UTAS by ASUU, the government directed NITDA to conduct integrity tests on the software.
According to Abubakar, NITDA scored UTAS’ software 97.4 per cent and 99.3 per cent on two occasions.
The Federal Ministry of Education monitored the exercise, the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, and the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) monitored the tests, said the ASUU coordinator.
“NITDA was established to promote and encourage homegrown information technology solutions envisioned in the FGN Local Content Act of 2010,” added Abubakar. “Rather than commend ASUU for this great and patriotic feat at no cost to the government, NITDA is frantically working to suppress and oppress the homegrown solution aimed at advancing the operations of the Nigerian University system.”
ASUU called on well-meaning Nigerians and the government to NITDA and the communications ministry to be patriotic and ethical in their conduct by adhering to the reports on the UTAS integrity tests.