Universities can remain shut until right things are done, says ASUU

THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it does not mind universities remaining shut until the right things are done to guarantee the quality of learning and well-being of workers and students.

The leadership of the union at the Calabar Zone comprising nine universities in Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Abia and Ebonyi states made their position known in a statement read at a news briefing by the Zonal Chairman, Aniekan Brown.

The statement said: “It has become imperative to engage the public, through the instrumentality of the press, to illuminate ASUU’s stance on 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.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the 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.

“As a result of ASUU’s dogged resistance to the IPPIS, the Federal Government challenged it to evolve a credible alternative. ASUU accepted the challenge and on August 23, 2020, despite the COVID-19 restrictions and attendant difficulties, unveiled the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS). Sadly, the Federal Government changed the gear and opted to antagonise the software by raising artificial obstacles.”

The acceptance of UTAS was predicated on passing an integrity test. The release of the test result became predicated on a threat of an industrial action by the union. They said result upon the release was bridled with ignorance, inconsistencies, copy rights violations and political colourations, as some findings were independent of the actual. In which case, in spite of the high percentage score recorded for UTAS, it was still adjudged to have failed the said test.”

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