The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has tied resumption to the speedy endorsement of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) by the Federal Government.
The union claimed that the alleged non-release of N1.1 trillion revitalisation fund for over six years had rendered scholars impotent in searching for a cure for the novel coronavirus.
Coordinator, ASUU Port Harcourt zone, Uzo Onyebinama, told journalists on Thursday that following the rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the union developed UTAS as a replacement to sanitise the payroll and accounting processes.
He explained that besides other pressing issues that necessitated the ongoing strike, the lecturers would not return to the classroom until the government approves the integrity test on UTAS.
Onyebinama insisted that UTAS was far better than IPPIS “which does not respect the nature, structure and character of the Nigerian university system.”
ASUU stated that the new initiative was a web-based enterprise resource planning application deployed for the overall management of university resources in an efficient, transparent and accountable manner.
He went on: “Among other things, UTAS recognises all agreements entered into between the government and university-based trade unions; ensures simultaneous payment of employees’ salaries and third party deductions like tax, pension, union dues, cooperatives, bank loans seamlessly; and allows for centralised monitoring of staff and staff emolument across institutions by the National Universities Commission (NUC).”
The body stressed that the conceptualisation of UTAS was a “concrete attestation to the capacity of Nigerian scholars and researchers to respond to the country’s developmental challenges when tasked to provide solutions.”
ASUU said it hoped that the Federal Government “would not renege on its promise to carry out integrity test on the UTAS because the benefits of the programme to the university system cannot be found in any other software today.”