The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has announced that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is conducting another round of tests on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) .
The government agency is currently conducting its third test on the UTAS accounting software.
UTAS passed over 90% of the first and second tests, according to ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke, but NITDA concluded that the payment platform failed some tests.
“We’re going for a third test on UTAS.” We got a perfect score on the second one, as I previously stated. “The test is still going on,” he stated.
Mr. Osodeke, who spoke on Human Rights Radio in Abuja on Saturday, discussed a number of issues surrounding the ongoing strike, including why it has lasted so long.
The current strike was launched by ASUU on February 14 for a four-week period. However, the government has continued to roll it over after failing to respond to the union’s requests, and it has now been more than 140 days.
ASUU previously told PREMIUM TIMES that one of the union’s two main demands is the deployment of UTAS, which is contingent on NITDA approval. The other is a renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, which covers the lecturers’ welfare.
The release of white papers on presidential visitation panels’ reports to universities, as well as the proliferation of universities, particularly by state governments, are among ASUU’s other demands.
Nigeria ASUU strike update today and Pantami
Mr. Osodeke accused NITDA of already “showing signs of bias because the ministry is already interfering” when he spoke on Saturday.
The tests are being hampered, according to the ASUU president, because of his union’s opposition to the professorship awarded to Isa Pantami, the minister of communications and digital economy.
Mr Pantami’s ministry oversees NITDA, and ASUU has repeatedly claimed that its opposition to his professorship is preventing UTAS from receiving approval certification.
The NITDA had previously denied the allegation, claiming that the software was simply being tested.
Briggs-led committee meeting
Meanwhile, ASUU announced that it has met with the Nimi Briggs-led committee on renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, and that it is hopeful that it will not be stalled like the Munzali Jibril-led committee.
The ASUU president, who stated that the strike’s suspension is contingent on the outcome of meetings with the government, refused to elaborate on the ongoing talks.
Renegotiation with ASUU was completed by the FGN-ASUU 2009 Munzali Jibril-led renegotiation committee in May 2021, which produced a draft document. The government, on the other hand, stated that the draft’s recommendations were not feasible to implement.
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In his remarks on university autonomy, Mr. Osodeke criticized a situation in which universities must obtain permission from the head of service before they can hire.
He also criticized the use of federal character in hiring staff, arguing that the process should be based solely on merit.
“A vice chancellor cannot hire a professor without first obtaining permission from the head of the civil service, which is against all international rules.” “In comparison to a vice-chancellor, who is a head of civil service?” he asked.
“You hire a professor, and the federal character commission will come after you, alleging that you violated federal character principles,” he added. In which country do you employ a professor using federal character? You hire a professor on the basis of his or her qualifications.”
The union’s incessant industrial actions, according to ASUU, have always been motivated by the government’s insincerity.
He recalled how former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration promised to pay N220 billion per year for six years, but “failed miserably in carrying out the agreement.”
Nigeria ASUU strike update today and N50 billion
Only N50 billion of that sum has been paid since 2014, according to Mr Osodeke.
“He (Mr Jonathan) summoned us to a meeting and told us that if we have to sit for three days, we must finish the meeting first,” he explained. We met with him for 14 hours and agreed that the N1.3 trillion should be spread out over six years because the government cannot bring the money all at once. They planned to release N200 billion initially, followed by N220 billion annually for the system, which he did, but we later discovered that he took money from the TETFund without informing the public.
“However, since 2014, this government has only provided N50 billion naira for all Nigerian public universities, of which there are currently about 90.”
Mr. Osodeke also chastised the proliferation of universities, particularly by state governors who, despite their inability to fund them, continue to establish new ones.
He stated that while ASUU is not opposed to the establishment of new universities, the government should set aside funds to fund them for five to ten years before they begin to receive TETFund funding.
That is all for now on Nigeria ASUU strike Nigeria latest update today June 7, 2023. ASUU strike update today 2023 Twitter
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