The rejection of University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NiTDA has worsened the strike embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The payment solution was proposed by ASUU as an alternative to the federal government’s Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
According to ASUU, the IPPIS is a foreign policy that does not improve the tertiary education system stressing that the lecturers’ job is intellectual unlike other jobs in the civil service.
Speaking at a media briefing held at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, yesterday, the coordinator of ASUU, Lagos Zone, Mr. Adelaja Odukoya stated that the federal government’s rejection of UTAS would prolong the strike.
He said the UTAS proposed by the union passed the test and quality assurance requirements, having scored 99.3 per cent.
Odukoya said the rejection of the payment solution system was an attempt to play politics with the public universities.
He described as “false and a deliberate attempt to misinform the public” the NiTDA’s statement discrediting the union’s efforts on the UTAS.
“We, however, wish to draw the attention of all concerned to the deliberate misinformation and disinformation of the public by the National Information Technology and Development Agency on the state of the integrity test and adoption of the UTAS by the government.
“The utterances of the NITDA spokesperson are capable of deliberate elongation of the ongoing strike action, suppose the government allows itself to be misinformed and misdirected through the managerial incompetence of the NITDA officers. In that case, our union considers it the peak of insensitivity to the plight of the universities, including staff, students, and indeed the country.
“Nonetheless, it is the considered opinion of our union that we owe the Nigerian people the onerous responsibility of providing the truth in discharging our patriotic duty as Nigerian Academic and the intellectual conscience of the Nigerian state.
ASUU urged Nigerians to call the director general of NiTDA, Mr. Kashifu Inuwa to order.
“We are convinced that the DG of NITDA is only out to carry out the hatchet job of a Minister whose professional fraud was challenged by our union.
“ASUU wants to inform you that the current strike action will not be suspended until the government addresses the adoption of UTAS, implement the renegotiated agreement, pay all outstanding allowances without prejudice to the donation of $1 million to Afghanistan and fulfill all other issues contained in the Memorandum of Action signed with our Union,” he added.