The Federal Government has given the joint technical committee set up to re-test the viability of the University Transparency Accountability Solutions, UTAS, developed by ASUU for payment of salary, 4 weeks to report back.
The re-test of the software was prompted by ASUU’s rejection of the results of the user-acceptance test ran by the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, which said UTAS did not pass the integrity and vulnerability tests conducted.
ASUU has always insisted that the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System, IPPIS, is not suitable for the university system, and came up with UTAS, which the government says has failed to meet the necessary requirements, a situation that has become a contentious issue between them.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who briefed President Buhari on the current status of engagement with ASUU, rebuffed the perception that the government was only playing tricks to avoid the enhancement of the remuneration of university lecturers.
Dr. Ngige assured that the government was disposed to comparing what the lecturers earn with their counterparts elsewhere, and make compensatory increment if necessary.
He said the President, after consultations with some stakeholders, including the National Inter-Religious Council, NIREC, had mandated him to find a quick solution to the strike, hence the ongoing engagement with ASUU.
He explained that the two issues yet to be properly analysed were Earned and Revitalisation Allowances, saying that a timeline has been given for the draft proposal the union has at the Ministry of Education for their conditions of service and wages to be concluded.
Dr. Ngige said when the relevant committee, headed by Chair of Pro-chancellors submits its report, it would be studied in conjunction with the National Salaries and Wages Commission to ensure that the allowances so proposed did not run counter to government’s extant fixtures.
The Minister explained that government had paid 40 billion Naira for Earned Allowances, in the same way it paid 30 billion Naira for Revitalisation, as well as the sum of 22.7 billion Naira as Earned Allowances for 2021 paid from supplementary budget.