ASUU/FG Loggerhead: Blame Game, Discrediting UTAS Highly Unpatriotic – ASUU

BY: Nick Nwaneri, Calabar

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU)  has described as unpatriotic and anti national efforts of the federal government to disparage the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

It said that the Nigerian government failed in its duties by refusing to subjecting IPPIS to proper integrity test just because it gave from an oracle based company abroad despite it’s deficiencies.

Addressing newsmen in Calabar the Zonal Chairperson ASUU Calabar Zone, Dr Aniekan Brown, said that the federal government was bent on discrediting UTAS stressing that IPPIS as a payment system was uncongenial with the modus operandi of the university system given the peculiarities of Nigerian  universities.

He stated that the outstanding issues in the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) versus University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) option; and the Federal Government of Nigeria’s rather unpatriotic attempt to discredit the indigenously-developed software. 

The union said “IPPIS as a payment system is uncongenial with the modus operandi of the university system given the peculiarities of universities; and generally untoward to the welfare of ASUU members.” 

“It is considered expedient to remind us here that the issues of Revitalization of Public Universities, Proliferation and Mis-governance of State Universities, Earned Academic Allowances, Non-Payment of Outstanding Salaries to some members (some for over 25 months), Release of Government’s White Paper on Reports of the Visitation Panels sent to Universities, and the conclusion to the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement renegotiation which was due in 2012, are still outstanding. 

“The attendant ills to these cases of negligence have been laid bare on a multiple note; the conclusion of which would be the decimation of public university education.”

“In spite of the fact that labour matters are on the concurrent list in Nigeria, some State Governors and Visitors to State Universities have abdicated their role of funding such universities. They now see universities as revenue generating outfits.They run such universities as appendages of their Government Houses – independent of extant laws, traditions, and conventions.”

“Subventions are either greatly reduced or in dearth. Such universities are now run without Governing Councils and the processes of leadership evolution and development are abused. Political patronage is now the order, and salaries are delayed and fractionalized. Abia and Ebonyi State Universities are here in focus.  

“Before remediation UTAS’ pass rate was 97.4%. However, after remediation, the pass rate became 99.3%. The remaining 0.7% is seriously contestable (and we challenge NITDA officials to account for it). 

“When the time came for the authentication of the Report for onward submission to the Minister for Labour and Employment, the NITDA team shied away, rather requested for a future date. That date never came. Rather, very dishonourably, it dusted up its earlier ignorance-laden Press Text and made another Press Release on Saturday, March 26, 2022 claiming that UTAS had failed the test. 

“It would then sadly be concluded that an untested imported software whose shortcomings are glaring has been adopted by the Government; but a home-grown software whose pass rate has been put at 99.3% has been adjudged a failure by Government officials. It raises a question as to if the occupants of high offices are Nigerians or aliens,” he stated.

Speaking further, he stated NITDA has has failed woefully on thier mandate which included creating framework for planing, development evaluating and regulation of information technology practices in Nigeria.

“It should be noted that the core mandate of NITDA is to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation, and regulation of Information Technology practices in Nigeria.

” Our take is that for working to sabotage the efforts of Nigerians; but accepting a foreign-developed software with its attendant inadequacies, shortcomings, and pains visited on Nigerians, the operators of NITDA and the supervising Ministry have failed woefully on their mandate. 

“This is obviously a case of neo-colonialism, and Nigerians should resist it. The afore-mentioned operatives should desist from such anti-national sentiments or the FGN should determine the continuous occupation of those offices. 
“We seek the cooperation and understanding of the good people of Nigeria, and the general public on ASUU’s stance on IPPIS and other outstanding issues bordering on the FGN/ASUU 2009 Agreement.
“Also, proprietors of State Universities should take responsibility as appropriate for the good of Public Universities in Nigeria. By so doing, it will stem the tide of industrial crisis it has plunged the public university system into,” he stated .

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