The Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) has called a National Executive Council meeting for Sunday at its National Secretariat at the University of Abuja main campus to evaluate the response of the Federal Government to its demands.
ASUU meets over strike, says test on UTAS ongoing
The union is expected to use the NEC meeting to decide whether to declare an indefinite strike after the end of its one month warning strike declared on February 14 at the University of Lagos or no
ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke confirmed the meeting to The Nation but refused to give detail
Despite a series of meetings with the Federal Government team led by Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige, there had been no breakthrough in negotiation.
Prof Osodeke had said what the government had offered during those meetings were mere promises which ASUU members are not convinced about
The ASUU president had said there were no concrete offers from the government to convince the union from calling off the strike.
Meanwhile, ASUU has said the User Acceptance Test (UAT) and Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Test (VAPT) on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) was still on-going
In a statement by Prof Osodeke, ASUU asked the Director – General of National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa to stop making comments that are capable of jeopardising the joint on-going testing of UTAS between the NITDA Technical Team and its counterpart in our Union.
The union warned that if the DG continued to make comments on UTAS, it would have no choice but to demand that the NITDA Technical Report on UTAS and ASUU’s response be made public to shed more light on the ongoing controversies without further waste of time
The statement reads: “The one-month roll-over strike declared by our Union on the 14th February, 2022 has entered the fourth week. During this period, we have been having engagements with the government over the contending issues that necessitated the action.
“One of the contending issues is the deployment of University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) which is a robust software created by ASUU Technical group to manage personnel and payroll in the university system
“The Federal Government had referred UTAS to NITDA (National Information Technology Development Agency) to conduct User Acceptance Test (UAT) and Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Test (VAPT) prior to the final deployment. The process, which commenced on Thursday, 3rd March, 2022, is still on-goin
“This press statement is necessitated by the need for ASUU to put the records straight on the grounds already covered in our patriotic struggle to get the government to deploy UTAS as a suitable solution for salary payment in our university system.
“Of particular concern to us is the statement credited to both the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy and Director General, NITDA to the effect that UTAS has failed the integrity tes
“Let us put it on record that an integrity test was carried out by NITDA on 10th August, 2021 in NUC where relevant government agencies and all the end-users in the University system were present. At the end of the exercise, all, without exception, expressed satisfaction with UTAS as a suitable solution for salary payment in our universities. This was attested to by the report coming from NITDA then to the effect that UTAS scored 85% in User Acceptance Test (UAT
“However, in a curious twist of submission, the NITDA Technical Team, after conducting a comprehensive functionality test came out to say that out of 687 test cases, 529 cases were satisfactory, 156 cases queried, and 2 cases were cautioned. Taking this report on its face value, the percentage score is 77%. The question that arises from this is can 77% in any known fair evaluation system be categorized as failure? Suffice it to say here that some observations and questions were raised by NITDA to which UTAS technical team has to provide clarificatio
“As we speak, our engagement with NITDA over the second round of testing continues. The Union is worried that while this exercise is going on, the Minister and the DG, NITDA went to press after FEC meeting of Wednesday, 9th March, 2022, to mislead the nation that UTAS has failed the integrity tes
“We wish to draw your attention to the fact that NITDA gave a report to the fact that UTAS did well in both the integrity test and user acceptability verification. Clearly, 85% and 77% are high class grades in any known evaluation system. In their desperation to justify their false assertions, they threw up issues such as Data centre and hosting of UTAS software which are clearly outside the rubrics of ASUU’s responsibilities in the deployment of UTA
“ASUU and NITDA are still engaged in the testing process. It is pertinent to note that one of the core mandates of NITDA is to encourage local content development. Therefore, NITDA has to discharge its responsibility to ensure that this solution developed by Nigerian academics is deployed. In doing so, the principles of transparency should be adhered to by making available to the public the set of criteria or benchmark for certification of information technology application in Nigeri
“The DG, NITDA should stop making comments that are capable of jeopardising the joint on-going testing of UTAS between the NITDA Technical Team and its counterpart in our Union. However, if this behaviour continues, we will have no choice but to demand that the NITDA Technical Report on UTAS and our Union’s response be made public in order to shed more light on the ongoing controversies without further waste of time. The DG, NITDA and the Minister superintending the agency are challenged to a public discussion on any national media to put all matters to rest for the benefit of our students, union members, and the Nigerian public in general.”