Strike: ASUU Tackles NITDA Over UTAS

Obiajulu Joel Nwolu
ASUU
ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, yesterday, berated the National Information Technology and Development Agency, NITDA, over what it described as ‘deliberate misinformation and disinformation of the public on the integrity test conducted on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, by the agency.

The Lagos Zonal Coordinator of the Union, Mr Adelaja Odukoya, who spoke at a press conference held at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNAAB, said the utterances of the NITDA spokespersons are capable of elongating the ongoing strike.

Odukoya said its members would not return to the class until the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, is adopted and all their allowances paid.

His words: “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, NITDA, on the state of the Integrity Test and the adoption of UTAS by Federal Government.

“NITDA was directed to conduct Integrity Test on the UTAS platform before deployment by government. However, in a report of the first test sent to the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami on December 3, 2021, NITDA indicated that the UTAS platform failed some fundamental test cases, despite a summary score of 97.4% and therefore, declined issuance of Certificate of Compliance. ASUU however, disagreed with the NITDA report and wondered how 97.4% could have amounted to failure.

“Consequent upon this disagreement, it was agreed at a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment that joint re-assessment tests between the technical teams of ASUU and NITDA be conducted and these were done on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Expectedly, the assessment of all the 698 tests conducted was successful with an overall score of 99.3%. The few exceptions are five cases requiring modifications.

Read Also: No Resumption Without Meeting Our Demands, ASUU Tells FG

“However, while the re-assessment tests were ongoing, the DG, NITDA released misleading information to the public from the discredited report of the first test that UTAS failed again, leaving out the result of the jointly conducted second test of 99.3%. Our Union then wonders how and where a 99.3% test score would be adjudged as a fail.

“We are aware that the position of the NITDA DG, Inuwa Abdullahi, is not consistent with the enthusiasm of the Technical Team from the agency he superintends over and the DG is unduly politicizing the entire process to the  country, possibly in the interest of the Minister for Communication and Digital Economy.

“Their dispositions amount to passing a vote of no confidence on the Nigerian intelligentsia and our union would not allow this to fly. Good enough, we are convinced that the Technical Team from NITDA, are quite abreast of the process and the responsibilities around their certified qualifications”.

“If the government allows itself to be misinformed and misdirected through the managerial incompetence of the NITDA officers, our union considers it the peak of insensitivity to the plight of the Universities, including staff, students and indeed the country.”

ASUU argued that the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, was imposed on universities, despite its demonstrated shortcomings.

He said: “The Federal Government’s forceful migration of our members unto the platform, even when our union has demonstrated that the system does not accommodate the peculiarities of the university system should not just worry Nigerians but should equally raise the curiosity of lovers of Nigerians on the main reasons for imposing IPPIS.

“ASUU has consistently pointed out the apparent deficiencies inherent in IPPIS and the glaring superiority of our indigenously developed and home-grown UTAS as confirmed by all Government Agencies and stakeholders in the University System.”

Source: Vanguard

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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