The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Tuesday told the Federal Government that the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, which it developed as an alternative to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, was ready for integrity tests.
According to The National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, UTAS was demonstrated on Monday to the Minister of Education and senior management staff of the Ministry of Education, including the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Abdulrasheed Abubakar.
Ogunyemi spoke at a press conference at the Gwagwalada campus of the University of Abuja attended by almost all its national officers.
He, however, said ASUU would not suspend its ongoing strike until the Federal Government honoured its 2019 agreements.
“It is our sincere hope that government would not renege on its promise because the benefits of UTAS to the university system (both public and private) cannot be found in any other software in Nigeria today,” ASUU said.
The body lamented that five months’ salaries of their members at the University of Maiduguri and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, were still withheld by the Accountant-General of the Federation on account of non-registration on IPPIS.
The organisation also demanded that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), constitute a special visitation panel to look into the immediate and remote causes of events that led to the sacking of Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Akoka.
He said, “We had always promised that ASUU would produce a robust software solution that would be sensitive to the uniqueness of the university system in addressing personnel information and payroll system, among other things.
“ASUU had given a timeframe of 18 months to government to develop, test and deploy UTAS. In keeping with this promise, ASUU is pleased to announce that UTAS is now ready for the “integrity tests” required of it by government.
“We must, however, emphasise that UTAS is far more than just an alternative to IPPIS which does not respect the nature, structure and character of the Nigerian university system.”
Speaking on the crisis in UNILAG, ASUU said it was shocked, not because the vice chancellor (Ogundipe) was a saint, but because his removal did not follow due process.
Ogunyemi said, “ASUU fully supports UNILAG Senate’s rejection of the Wale Babalakin-led governing council’s ill-informed decision to remove the vice chancellor. We call on Mr President, as visitor to University of Lagos, to immediately constitute a special visitation panel to look into the immediate and remote causes of the events that led to the purported removal of Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe as VC of UNILAG with a view to bringing all found culpable to book.”