THE Federal Government has said that for the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, to be used as an alternative platform to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, there must be a hardware backing the system.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, had opposed the introduction of IPPIS as the payment platform, claiming that it did not take care of their peculiarities and had came up with UTAS.Strike: Why FG Will Continue To Pay ASUU Through IPPIS – Ngige
But the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has said that even if the UTAS passed the integrity test, it required the hardware to protect it against hacking and other challenges that could affect its efficiency.
Speaking to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Senator said even if government accepted the payment mode for lecturers who had rejected being placed on IPPIS, ASUU has no money to procure the necessary hardware for its implementation.
The Minister said that the Federal Government did not make any budgetary provision for the procurement of the UTAS hardware and wondered if the union has the required finances for such a project.
Ngige, however, said government has already forwarded the UTAS software to the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for integrity test, saying that government will not want to discourage any Nigerian from providing homegrown solutions to issues.
Asked if government had shifted grounds on its negotiations with ASUU, the minister stated: “No, the UTAS, that is the University Transparent System which they brought is not yet ready. It is not fully ready, it is undergoing integrity test for the software. I am not computer scientist, but you must also know that you must test the hardware in the integrity test for the software.
“As we speak, ASUU has no hardware and UTAS does not have hardware backing.
“I am waiting for the NITDA full report but the preliminary report they gave me, the software integrity test will take them about six to eight weeks and thereafter, we go to the hardware. But the big issue is, who will provide the hardware?