By Muhammad Muhammad
After two months of total shut down of public universities across the country, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Friday declared that there was no clear hope in sight of when students will return to lecture rooms.
Besides, ASUU challenged the position of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), a local software produced by ASUU to replace the rejected Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Briefing journalists on Friday in Kano, ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Professor Abdulkadir Muhammad disclosed that the reopening of the universities depends on the readiness of the Federal government to meet ASUU’s conditions.
Solacebase reports that Professor Abdulkadir insisted that unless and until the government is disposed towards addressing the core contending issues of concern, ASUU is prepared to sustain its “current total, comprehensive, and roll-over strike action”, more than ever expected.
On whether the government was incapacitated to meet ASUU’s demands because of the present economic down tune, the ASUU zonal chairman rather contended that government was only playing to the gallery.
According to him, the present administration has never considered an investment in education as a major priority despite her several lavish spending on matters that are less important when compared to education.
Although the ASUU leader in the Kano zone noted that the union has complied with all the requirements in the renegotiation team recently constituted by the Federal government, he insisted that the union will not withdraw her position until the government sign and implement the new condition of service as the well as approved the deployment of UTAS.
The ASUU leader who alleged a deliberate attempt by NITDA to sabotage ASUU’s locally developed payment system, challenged NITDA to make public, the template for her integrity test conducted on UTAS.
NITDA claimed that the celebrated ASUU’s UTAS fall short of necessary potent and failed all known credibility tests, hence a certificate of compliance could not be guaranteed for usage.
In response, ASUU believed NITDA’s remark on UTAS is puzzling since the 85 percent mark scored on the software could not be considered a failure by any standard.
“The Kano zone of ASUU is of the view that the NITDA DG’s blunder has reminded all discerning Nigerians of the imperative of prioritizing character and competence in appointing public officeholders. We hope that the FG will toe the line of honour to allow the ongoing integrity test to be finalized for quick deployment of UTAS in the interest of the Nigerian public university system.
” Failure to do this will only exacerbate industrial disharmony in this critical sector of our national life. We call on all stakeholders ( students, parents, civil society organizations, religious and traditional leaders, media, and the general public) to be more vigilant and join us in the struggle to save the Nigerian university system from neo-liberal attacks, which IPPIS embodies”. Professor Abdulkadir noted.