By Muyiwa Adekojede

On Monday, The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) demonstrated to the federal government its proposed payment system, University Transparency and Accountability Solution(UTAS) as an alternative to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) during at the University of Abuja.

ASUU presented and illustrated the software for UTAS to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, and senior management staff of the Ministry of Education including the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abdulrasheed Abubakar.

As demonstrated the new payroll system is “a web-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application created for the overall management of university resources with due efficiency, transparency, and accountability. The proposed payment system,UTAS, will further be subjected to some integrity tests before it will finally pass a technical attribute test as indicated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

The national President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said at the University of Abuja that the UTAS “is developed to run on the concept of software as a service (SaaS), which universities will maintain sub-domains as tenants.”

Later, The ASUU president lamented on the salaries of their members still withheld by the Accountant – General of the Federation due to non -registration on IPPIS.

“Thousands of other academics across the Universities are suffering the same fate. So, while we counsel that government at both the federal and state levels must meet the Taskforce specified guidelines for reopening of educational institutions, we insist that all the arrears of the withheld salaries of our members in federal and state Universities must be paid immediately to pave for further discussion on the outstanding issues in the Memorandum of Action of February 7, 2019.” he said.

Also, Prof. Ogunyemi asserted that the ASUU will not suspend its ongoing strike until the Federal Government honors its 2019 agreements.

“It is our sincere hope that the government would not renege on its promise because the benefits of UTAS to the university system (both public and private) cannot be found in any other software in Nigeria today. Now that the union is close to meeting the government’s demand on an alternative to IPPIS, it is our sincere hope that the substantive issues in the ongoing strike action would be given the desired attention.” he added.

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