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ASUU strike: NITDA says IPPIS, UTAS fail integrity test as reps summon SGF, AGF, others

An official of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) and…

An official of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) and the University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System (U3PS) failed its integrity tests regarding the university payroll.

He said the agency conducted the tests between March and June.

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The official said this in Abuja yesterday during the resumed meeting of the House of Representative with the Head of Service, Folasade Yemi-Esan and other government officials over the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The NITDA official said the government directed the agency to test UTAS in October 2020, and that the platform failed the two integrity tests conducted on it. 

He said after the first test, “ASUU was asked to go back and review, which it did. “Yet, the platform did not meet NITDA’s requirements the second time.”

He said NITDA was then asked to conduct tests on UTAS, IPPIS and U3PS, all of which failed its requirements for the payroll system of universities.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila asked the official if NITDA had ever advised the government to take action on the lapses found in IPPIS which has been in operation by government since 2011.

The official said NITDA was not in a position to do that.

The speaker also enquired if NITDA queried the IPPIS platform, to which the official responded in the negative.

Deputy Speaker Wase also expressed his reservations at NITDA’s action, saying it ought to have advised government on the appropriate action to take in view of its discovery on IPPIS.

In her response, the Head of Service, Folasade Yemi-Esan, said the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy wrote her office following NITDA’s observations about IPPIS on the need to take a holistic look at the platform and that a committee was empaneled to carry out the assignment.

She also noted that IPPIS is not just a payment platform but also has a human resource component which all government agencies had been directed to activate, noting that all those directly under her purview had since complied.

Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta, said the agency advised the government to look at the possibility of increasing the salaries of the staff in the entire sector, comprising universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.

He said the government decided to increase the salaries of lecturers in the universities by a certain percentage; while professors were considered for higher percentage.

He denied knowledge of any agreement between the Federal Government and the ASUU for salary increment.

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Sylva Okolieaboh, said employees cannot dictate to their employers how they should be paid under any condition.

He therefore faulted ASUU’s insistence on UTAS.

The House invited the Minister of Labour and Productivity the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, the Accountant-General of the Federation, the Director-General of the Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and the Director-General of the Budget Office to appear before it on Thursday over ASUU strike.