There is no end in sight to the protracted strike action embarked upon as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Nsukka zone, has accused the federal government of being intransigence and insensitive to resolve the current ASUU strike that it had foisted on the universities.
ASUU has vowed to remain adamant as long as the federal refuses to shift position on the University Transparency Accountability Solution UTAS and IPPIS, signing and implementation the renegotiated draft of 2009 agreement, Earned Academic Allowance (EAA ) accruing to its members and the State Universities.
The Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Nsukka Zone, Dr. Raphael Amakaha disclosed this while speaking to the newsmen at the Federal University , Lokoja yesterday, calling on well-meaning Nigerians to beg the federal government not to kill the educational system in the country.
Amakaha explained that it is no longer news that the ASUU had been at loggerhead with the federal government over very vital issues which are yet to be resolved, noting that despite the efforts the Union to ensure an amicable settlement with the federal government the representatives of government failed to compromise.
The Zonal Coordinator recalled that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in line with its mandate was directed by the federal government to carry out Integrity Test on the UTAS platform. He noted that NITDA in its report submitted to the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami, on the 3rd December, 2021, indicated that the UTAS platform failed some fundamental test cases. As a result, Certificate of Compliance could not be issued at that stage.
However, ASUU in its response to the issues highlighted in the report, observed that some of the test cases reported as failed were not valid on the platform, noting that ASUU agreed to work on the valid “failed” cases and resubmit the solution for‘ re-assessment..
“ In the FGN-ASUU conciliation meeting held at the Honourable Minister of Labour of Employment’s Conference Room on Tuesday, 22nd February, 2022, it was agreed that both NITDA and ASUU Technical teams work together in re-assessing the solution. It was also agreed that observers from the following Federal Public Institutions would be in attendance:
“Federal Ministry of Education/NUC, (b) Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning/Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, (c) Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and (d) National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission. This exercise was carried out between 8th and 15th March, 2022. NITDA and ASUU teams agreed on the methodology to be used in the assessment and the following test documents were adopted to guide the exercise.
According to him, ( a)UTAS Test Plan, (b) UTAS Security Test Plan, and (c) UTAS Test cases. The assessment of 698 test cases were successful, except for five (5) giving a percentage score of 99.3.
He noted that the Vulnerability Assessment Penetration Test (VAPT) was equally carried out using an automated BURP SUITE, saying that this recognised seven high risk items and were completely addressed by the ASUU technical team. “NITDA and ASUU teams agreed to reconvene on Monday 28th March, 2022 to conclude on the outstanding test cases, demonstration of the payment gateway, and implementation of some recommendations and observation by NITDA that will enhance the UTAS platform. Sadly, on Wednesday 23rd March 2022, NITDA informed ASUU that the proposed meeting of Monday 23rdMarch will no longer hold and that they have concluded their report and will forward it to take the Minister of Labour and Employment.
“But to the astonishment of ASUU on Saturday 26th March NITDA again went public with misleading information taken from the discredited report of the first test leaving out the results of the second test,” he said.
He lamented that the IPPIS is platform designed for fraud, stressing that the federal government itself had just cried out that it detected large scale from when one person is collection salaries of over 900 workers through fake employment letter, describing IPPIS as a foreign platform to take Nigerian economy away from Nigerians.