The Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU), Benin zone, has vowed to continue with the ongoing strike even as some Universities plan to open the gates of it’s Citadel of learning to students.
This was made known at a press briefing by (ASSU) over it’s long standing against federal government’s Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System, (IPPIS) for Nigerian Universities to the union’s preferred University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
The zonal coordinator if ASUU, Prof. Fred I. Esumeh, made the stand of the union known in Benin while reacting to several issues bothering on universities in the country.
He said the union rejected the IPPIS as a payment platform because they recognised that it was not suitable for the university system and was not designed to accommodate the peculiarities of academic institutions.
Prof. Esumeh said ASUU has promised an alternative software that would be compatible with the university system and towards this, the federal government accepted the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, (UTAS) in principle and approved that it be developed by ASUU and its researchers as a platform for the financial administration of universities staff monthly payroll and accounting processes in federal universities.
Esumeh said the federal government also pledged that when fully developed, the UTAS would be subjected to various integrity tests in order to verify its efficacy as a software that can pass the necessary attribute tests as specified by Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency, (NIIDA)
The Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, said, to develop the UTAS and subject it to the integrity evaluation tests, ASUU has proposed a time frame of 18 months to the federal government.
The ASSU boss who stressed that the new payment scheme would help curb corruption in the academic system told journalists that the union has resolved to continue with the ongoing strike if government fails to satisfactorily address the issues in contention of revitalisation fund for public universities, arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), visitation to universities, proliferation of state universities and issues of governance and the conclusion of the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement.