ASUU: Intervene in disagreement over UTAS, CSO charges stakeholders

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In line with the ongoing industrial strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, a civil society organisation, Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative, has called on well-meaning Nigerians to intervene in the disagreement between ASUU and the Nigerian Information Technology and Development Agency over issues surrounding the University Transparency Accountability Solution.

The Punch reports that ASUU and NITDA had been engaged in a series of disagreements over the credibility of the UTAS platform.

Recall that ASUU had earlier proposed the introduction of UTAS instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System for the payment of university lecturers.

TADI, in a statement released by its Executive Director, Yomi David, said, “Our attention was drawn to a recent publication in a national daily credited to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi State Branch of the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities, as regards the development and deployment of the University Transparency Accountability Solution and the recommendation of NITDA on the said solution which led to it eventual rejection by the federal government.

“We as a Civil Society group having critically studied the concerns raised by ASUU, ATBU branch, particularly while calling on well-meaning Nigerians to intervene in the face-off and disagreements revolving around the rejection of UTAS by the federal government based on the recommendation of the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency; resolved to embark on a fact-finding mission to unravel the true mysteries surrounding these issues with the view of bringing to lime-light what really transpired.

“We wish to categorically state with all sense of patriotism, transparency, accountability and diligence that, our findings reveal a huge malicious misconception of the actual recommendations of NITDA by ASUU, ATBU branch. These misconceptions were generated with ill intention to bring NITDA and ASUU, who have enjoyed much developmental and collaborative partnership cum synergy, to a halt.
“It should be noted that quality assurance testing of any product is done to ensure the delivery of a high-quality end product and assures that the product is glitch-free before it is released. In view of this, we found out that, the agency had to carry out three out of the eight tests specified in the Software Testing and Quality Assurance Framework and Guideline. These tests are User Acceptance Test, Stress Test, and Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Test.

“In which a total of 687 test cases were generated with which 529 passed, 156 failed and two cautionary warnings were the outcome. However, this alone reveals that for a payment solution platform, which should be near 100% in default, has several loopholes of high-risk vulnerabilities and informational risks that were identified.

“We hereby call on ASUU especially the ATBU Bauchi State branch, to embrace competence, due process and best academic professionalism which adores excellence and standardization as it core values. ASUU as an organisation, which is best known to comprise of personalities of high academic excellence and standards, should be seen to embrace diligence in all facets of its actions and inactions.

“Therefore, it is our earnest appeal to ASUU and its members as a matter of national interest to go back to the drawing board to address all areas of risks and vulnerabilities which are responsible for the UTAS rejection,” the statement read.

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