BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
The federal government yesterday said it may consider the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), a software developed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), for payment of salaries to University teachers, as an alternative to the governments Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Consequently, the new software will be presented to the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation today Wednesday for further verification.
While addressing journalists after about two-and-half hours of closed-door meeting last night at the National Assembly complex, minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige said the alternative platform presented by ASUU was a home-grown technology, which deserves to be assessed thoroughly.
“We agreed at the meeting to give the required consideration to the UTAS alternative they came up with as a way of finding lasting solution to the lingering crisis over the implementation of IPPIS.
“We have neither jettisoned the implementation of the IPPIS nor fully accepted UTAS. The level we moved to now is to subject ASUU’s UTAS to integrity test and in doing so, it will be presented to users like the
Office of Accountant-General of the Federation on Wednesday.
“After that, it will be sent to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and from there to the office of the National Security Adviser for a second look.
“The platform is an option grown device that requires stage-by-stage consideration and from the look of things, it’s good,” Ngige said. For his part, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Tertiary
Education and TETFund, Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita (APC, Katsina North), said the interface had not ended but close to a stage of compromise by the two parties.
“The meeting brokered by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, among the various stakeholders achieved a lot today with agreement on the need to subject the UTAS alternative brought forward by ASUU for integrity test by all relevant departments of the government,” Kaita said.
The stakeholders meeting was convened by the leadership of the National Assembly in order to find a middle ground in Federal Government-ASUU impasse.