From Muawuya Bala Idris, Katsina
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) of sabotaging efforts to resolve disputes between the union and the Federal Government.
The union said NITDA’s refusal to provide a certificate of compliance on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which replaced IPPIS, was causing a delay in ending the strike embarked on by the union.
At a press conference in Katsina, ASUU zonal coordinator, Sokoto Zone, Dr. Jamilu Shehu, said the agency has failed to abide by the directive of the Federal Government to issue a certificate of compliance on UTAS, which is part of the demands by the union Shehu recalled that the Federal Government in 2020 allowed ASUU to develop software, which led to the production of UTAS, as an envisaged replacement for the described IPPIS, adding that NITDA was mandated to carry out integrity tests on UTAS.
“Regrettably, after subjecting it to multiple layers of testing and requesting that the union make some changes to address the concerns raised, NITDA indicated in its report that the UTAS software failed some fundamental test cases,” he said.
Shehu said, based on the report, UTAS scored 99.3 per cent during the test assessment, but the agency refused to issue a certificate of compliance.
He stated: “It is therefore necessary to bring to the general public’s attention the fact that NITDA has violated its basic mandate of ensuring the birth of homegrown software and is attempting, through unfathomed means, to frustrate the deployment of UTAS in our Nigerian universities.”
He further said failure to accept UTAS revealed NITDA’s lack of capacity and drive to deliver its mandate.
“It is clear that the agency’s usefulness cannot be ascertained, and ASUU calls on the federal government to scrap it with immediate effect,” he added. Shehu warned that the union would never return to work until the government addressed the deployment of UTAS.