Dele Ashiru, chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter has said the ongoing strike will not be called off unless the federal government meets two key demands of the union.Ashiru disclosed to BusinessDay on Friday, that except the federal government is willing to implement the renegotiated 2009 agreement and pull out of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and begin to use the University Transparency, Accountability Solution (UTAS) payment platform the lecturers will not back down from the strike.
“To end the strike, the federal government should implement the renegotiated 2009 agreement and pull out of the IPPIS with immediate effect and use UTAS as a payment platform for lecturers,” Ashiru said.
The university don warned that the federal government should desist from misinforming Nigerians by stating that UTAS could not pass the integrity test. The federal government had earlier stated that UTAS has failed the necessary tests that should qualify it to be used as a payment platform.
Kashifu Inuwa, the director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) who spoke with media in Abuja at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting said UTAS failed the test that qualifies it for a payment platform.
“Normally, when we are reviewing that kind of system, we perform three tests.
“Firstly, when you are building a system, it is not just about the technology, you need to consider the people that will use this system and the process.
“If you do not align people, process, and technology, you will never get the result.
No matter how good the technology is, if people do not understand how to use it, they will not use it.
“If the process is different from the way the people work, also, they will not use it. So that is a process of building technology,” Inuwa said.
According to Ashiru, “They are ignorant of the development of the UTAS payment system. NITDA is not familiar with the workings of UTAS. It was designed to address integrity failure. UTAS has the faculty system and the collegiate system and both are meant to cater to the system. The NITDA is inconsistent with the result, hence the claim UTAS failed integrity test.”Ashiru explained that ASUU tech team is working with NITDA to clear every grey area as it concerns the UTAS payment platform. He reiterated that members of NITDA working committee visited the National Universities Commission (NUC), the agency that will host the platform when it is finally approved to ascertain things themselves.He, therefore, appealed to the federal government to work in a coordinated manner to avoid misleading the people.Ifeanyi Abada, the chairman of ASUU at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka insists that IPPIS is a foreign payment policy that does not fit into the Nigerian system, especially the university community being an intellectual profession; hence, he warned IPPIS will not improve the university payment system.Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS) is a computerized human resource management information system that is being implemented in ministries, departments, agencies, and local governments (MDAs and LGs) to perform various human resource functions.Abada maintains that the payment system does not suit the lecturers’ kind of job.ASUU had previously decried the use of IPPIS engineered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank as evil, stressing that the continuous use of the system had distorted the payment of the salaries of lecturers.