The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said it can’t call off its ongoing strike until the Federal Government decides to conduct an integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) payment platform.
The UTAS is the payment platform created by ASUU in place of the Federal Government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
ASSU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said the union is waiting for the Federal Government to conduct an integrity test on UTAS.
Ogunyemi noted that the FG should give the clearance to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to conduct integrity test on UTAS.
“The integrity test will be handled by NITDA, it is government that will facilitate it because NITDA is a government, agency and unless you get clearance from the government that test cannot be conducted.
“We are still talking, we have given them the position of our members, we are thinking we should be able to hold a meeting this week if they have not changed plans. The meeting for Monday was postponed.
“In principal, they have accepted UTAS and told us to go for the test, and on our part, we have started the process.
“We had presented UTAS at three levels, starting with the Ministry of Education, Senate President and members of his team, officials of Ministry of Finance and Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, where all other stakeholders were present, including NITDA, all stakeholders have witnessed the presentation and the next stage of integrity test is what we are moving in to.
“If government facilitates it, it is not something that should drag for too long at all. We don’t foresee any problem with UTAS; it also depends on how early the government makes it possible for the integrity test to be conducted.”
According to Ogunyemi, ASUU was ready to resume academic activities and is waiting for the government to move things forward.
“Our members are ready to resume work as early as government is ready to play its part. I am sure you are not suggesting that our members should resume on empty stomach or the strike should be suspended without any concrete action on the side of the government.
“We don’t like to stay away from our work because we like our students, they are also our children,” he said.
ASUU is claiming that its members are still being owed by the government, a claim which the FG has denied.