ASUU Explains Reason Strike Has Not Been Called Off

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has disclosed it is yet to call of the ongoing strike due to a wait on the federal government to conduct an integrity test on the Union’s owned University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS

UTAS is a payment system created by ASUU as an alternative for government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS.

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President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi in an interview revealed that the government needed to issue a clearance to the National Information Technology Development Agency to conduct an integrity test on UTAS.

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“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.”

Quizzed on whether the government has accepted UTAS, Ogunyemi said, “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.”

Continuing, “our members are ready to resume work as early as government is ready to play its part. I’m 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.

“As far as we are concerned, we don’t have issue with going back to work, but we want more sincerity on the side of government.

“We have not seen enough reasons to believe that they don’t mean what they are telling us but as soon as we see any sign to that effect. we will tell Nigerians.”

The Academic Staff Union of Universities have been at loggerheads with the federal government over renumeration issues and most recently, the disparity in adopting a payment system for the Union.

While the federal government insisted on the IPPIS as a payment platform for all civil servants, ASUU resorted to UTAS as an alternate payment channel for it’s members.

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