The federal government, Thursday, said the prolonged industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has fueled the ongoing #EndSARS protest and other civil unrest across the country.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who was speaking at the resumed conciliatory meeting with the union said the government is working tirelessly to ensure the matter was resolve for students to return to school.
According to the minister, government has done the first out of the three to be done on the University Transparency and Accountability System (UTAS) platform presented by the union against the Integrated Personal and Payroll System(IPPIS) which has been the cause of the industrial action.
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Ngige said, “For the past one week, we have all been on our toes, we have been meeting and we pray that this meeting will yield some good fruits. We don’t take very great pleasure, to the fact that the children who are supposed to be in school are being recruited into the #EndSARS, #EndStrike, #EndSWAT and all the kind of situations.
“As much as possible, we will try to see how we can meet ourselves halfway, so that we can resolve this crisis to the benefits of all and the country at large.”
He disclosed that government has commenced the process of testing UTAS which ASUU members to accommodate the peculiarities of university systems, adding that all the three stages of test will be concluded within the time frame the union gave government.
According to him, “We have had the preliminary report and textrun on the UTAS, which is the University Transparency Accountability Solution. We believe that with that, we will be able to get it right.
“Let me make it clear to members of the press, we never said UTAS will replace IPPIS as some of you are reporting, No! The UTAS developed by them is for the University systems and they feel that it captures the peculiarities that are configured to accommodate all the peculiarities of the University systems especially as it affects the Professors and other teaching staff, and even the Non-Academic Staff. That is the situation.
“We, as government feel we are going to put it up for tests – three stages of test. We have done the first stage of test which is within the timeline of six months that ASUU promised. We are going to do other integrity test, Alpha test, Beta test and the one they call roll-over and other whatever test. It is the technologists that know all those tests. But this is the round we are going on now”