ASUU Strike: UTAS Scored 99.3% In 698 Tests, Says NITDA Report

A restricted report issued by the National Information Technology Development Agency as regards the University Transparency and Accountability Solution proposed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities has revealed that the UTAS scored 99.3 per cent in 698 test cases.

The report which was exclusively obtained by Sunday PUNCH in Abuja was issued by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and NITDA.

Sunday PUNCH reports that the deployment of the UTAS as a payment platform for lecturers in Nigerian universities has been one of the bones of contention as regards the ongoing strike by the union.

The PUNCH had reported in 2020 how ASUU had gone on strike following the decision of the Federal Government to enroll all university lecturers on the IPPIS platform.

ASUU had also presented UTAS as a payment platform which it said was developed to ensure smooth payment of salaries for lecturers.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, during the negotiations, had said the government would look into the deployment of the UTAS by handing it over to NITDA for assessments.

But the Federal Government has yet to adapt the UTAS.

The erstwhile ASUU president, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, in an interview with The PUNCH had stated that lecturers were being owed salaries for failing to enroll on the IPPIS platform.

Ogunyemi had also insisted that lecturers who enrolled on the platform did so out of intimidation.

In 2021, the present National President of the union, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, stated that his union would have no choice but to go on strike if the UTAS would not be accepted.

But NITDA, in a statement, claimed the platform failed critical tests.

In December 2021, The PUNCH reported how ASUU gave the government a fresh ultimatum over UTAS and other issues such as release of revitalisation fund to universities, earned allowances, conditions of services among others.

While the government paid earned allowances to lecturers, UTAS was said to still be undergoing integrity tests.

On Monday February 14, 2022, ASUU embarked on a four week total and comprehensive warning strike over UTAS and other issues.

The Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa, in an interview with State House correspondents in Abuja, stated that UTAS failed integrity test, but ASUU in a statement it released accused Inuwa of deliberately misinforming the public and had therefore invited the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, and Inuwa to a public debate over the integrity of UTAS.

UTAS failed quality assurance test – NITDA

Meanwhile, NITDA has said that the UTAS failed to fully pass certain testing and quality assurance requirements.

The agency said this in a statement issued on Saturday in response to media reports on its role in the assessment of UTAS.

In the statement, NITDA affirmed its mandate, which involves creating a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria.

Punch

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