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ASUU accuses communications ministry of sabotaging govt’s efforts to resolve union’s demands

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Bauchi Zone has accused the Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) under the Ministry of Communications, of sabotaging the Federal Government’s efforts in resolving the rift between it and the union.

The union said that the reactions of the agency as well as the ministry to the reports on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) integrity test were unpatriotic and unethical.

Academic Staff Union of Universities embarked on warning strike on February 15, 2022, to press home its demands from the Federal Government as regards the 2020 MoA signed by both parties.

Abubakar, who expressed dissatisfaction on the role of Communications Ministry in the face-off during a briefing with journalists at the University of Jos, said: “As you are all aware, our great Union, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has been on strike since 15th February 2022.

“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 Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) for personnel payments and management in the University System, UTAS was developed to address the peculiarities of the University system which the IPPIS does not in addition to the already observed weaknesses and encumbrances experienced in the University System operations and other MDA’s.

“Following the successful development of UTAS by ASUU, the Federal Government of Nigeria directed the Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in line with its core mandate, to carry out Integrity Tests on the software.

“The Tests conducted are User Acceptance Test (UAT), and Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Tests. The summary of the first Tests conducted by NITDA scored UTAS software at 97.4%.

READ ALSO: ASUU threatens NITDA chief with certificate withdrawal over UTAS

“However, even after scoring UTAS this high, NITDA went further to contradict itself by making a fallacious statement that UTAS has failed Integrity Tests. The Union wonders how a score of 97.4% will amount to failure.

“Despite this, the Union still agreed to another Test by NITDA on 8th March, 2022 in the presence of observers from the Federal Ministry of Education/National Universities Commission (NUC), Federal Ministry of Finance/OAGF, Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.

“UTAS, which was developed as a payment platform and for personnel management in accordance with the University Laws is one of the core issues in ASUU’s current struggle. Ironically, NITDA in conjunction with its parent Ministry (The Ministry of Communications) is seriously sabotaging the Government’s efforts at resolving the impasse”, he added.

Abubakar, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians and the government to call the NITDA and the Ministry of Communications to order, warning that their actions might exacerbate the crisis.

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