ASUU strike: Meeting with Gbajabiamila deadlocked 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has after the resumed meeting with critical stakeholders in the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), rescheduled the engagement, as more issues emerge.

To appear at the fact finding meeting are Minister of Labour and productivity, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Head of Civil service of the Federation, Accountant General of the Federation, Director General, salaries, income and wages commission, Director General Budget Office among others next Thursday.

In continuation of the efforts to find solutions to the lingering strike by ASUU, alongside his deputy, Ahmed Idris Wase and other leaders of the House on Thursday met with the Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Mrs Folashade Yemi-Esan, the chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Mr. Ekpo Nta, among other government officials.

The meeting was a follow up to an earlier one the Speaker held with ASUU officials on Tuesday, where issues related to the strike were discussed. At Thursday’s meeting, NITDA told the House leadership that 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, which the agency conducted between March and JUNE this year.

A NITDA official at the meeting told the House leadership that the government directed the agency to test UTAS in October, 2020, and that the platform failed the two integrity tests conducted on it, adding that following 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.

For the third time, NITDA was then asked to conduct tests on UTAS, IPPIS and U3PS, which the official said all the three platforms failed its requirements regarding the payroll system of universities.

Not satisfied with the explanation, Speaker Gbajabiamila asked if NITDA advised the government to take action on the lapses found on IPPIS, which has been in operation by government since 2011.

But the NITDA official said they were not in a position to do that. Gbajabiamila also asked if NITDA queried IPPIS platform, to which the official responded in the negative.