The Academic Staff Union of Universities has explained why it is yet to call off its ongoing strike which has lingered for months.
In an interview with Punchng, the union President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said they are waiting for the government to conduct an integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, before calling off the strike.
The union had presented the payment platform in place of the federal government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System. Ogunyemi disclosed that the federal government needs to give the clearance to National Information Technology Development Agency to conduct integrity test on UTAS. According to Ogunyemi:
“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.”
On if the University Transparency and Accountability Solution has been accepted, he 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.”
Ogunyemi further affirmed that they will resume academic activities when the government plays its part. He added;
“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.”