The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has tackled the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for claiming its proposed payroll software failed integrity tests.

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ASUU embarked on a month warning strike on February 14 after a two-day deliberation of the union’s national executive council (NEC).

The union accused the government of reneging on the agreements it reached to suspend its last industrial action in 2020.

ASUU also argued that the warning strike followed the government’s attitude towards the renegotiation of salaries and allowances as well as the adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) payroll software.

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The union had rejected the federal government-endorsed Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), claiming it is “inconsistent”.

The government had referred UTAS to NITDA to conduct user acceptance test (UAT) and vulnerability assessment and penetration test (VAPT) prior to the final deployment in an ongoing process that commenced on March 3.

But on March 10, Kashifu Inuwa, director-general of NITDA, declared that UTAS failed the three integrity tests — user acceptance test, vulnerability test, and stress test — conducted by his agency.

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ASUU thereafter called an emergency meeting on Sunday to take a position on whether or not to declare a full-blown strike in the public universities.

Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, in a statement released after the meeting, accused NITDA of misleading the public.

He warned the DG to desist from making comments that could jeopardise the joint ongoing testing of UTAS.

The union also threatened that it would demand that the initial NITDA technical report on UTAS, where it scored 85 percent in the UAT, be made public if NITDA continues to insist that UTAS failed the integrity tests.

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ASUU insisted UTAS scored both 85 and 77 percent, which it said are “high-class grades in any known evaluation”.

“The NITDA Technical Team, after conducting a comprehensive functionality test came out to say that out of 687 test cases, 529 cases were satisfactory, 156 cases queried, and 2 cases were cautioned,” Osodeke’s statement read.

“Taking this report on its face value, the percentage score is 77%. The question that arises from this is, can 77% in any known fair evaluation system be categorised as a failure?”

“In their desperation to justify their false assertions, threw up issues such as data centre and hosting of UTAS software which are clearly outside the rubrics of ASUU’s responsibilities in the deployment of UTAS.”

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