Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has directed its members across Nigeria to stay away from the team sent from the Office to the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) to Universities to carry out biometric capture of academics.
ASUU said the warning was in response to available information that IPPIS officials from the OAGF would be visiting campuses as from Monday 19th, October, 2020, for biometric data capture of academics.
The Union said that engaging in such exercise will completely jeopardize the critical engagement with the Federal Government regarding the adoption of University Transparency Account System (UTAS) instead of IPPIS.
It maintained that IPPIS is a World Bank creation imposed on Nigeria, while UTAS is a creation of Nigerian scholars that would guarantee security of data, ensure autonomy of Nigerian Universities and reposition the University system for global competitiveness.
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, in a letter to zonal coordinators and all members of the union, informed them that greater progress has been made through several engagements with relevant officials of the government including the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan.
He asked for more patients from members as the make efforts to correct the perceived anomalies in the Nigerian university system.
He said: “Few days ago, UTAS was presented to the Senate President and other leaders of the National Assembly and they were impressed with it. Discussions on the withheld salaries, renegotiation of 2009 agreement, visitation to Federal Universities and proliferation of State Universities started at the meeting.
“Few days after, UTAS was also presented to the Accountant General of the Federation, Minister of Labour and Employment, and other officials, Chairman of Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFund, Executive Secretary of NUC and other stakeholders and they all applauded the innovation.”
He, however, confirmed that the first stage of testing of UTAS has been completed, remaining the technical testing which would commencing immediately.
Ogunyemi assured ASUU members that the leadership of the Union is fully aware of the hardship the non-payment of salaries by the OAGF and other forms of intimidation by overzealous Vice-Chancellors might have unleashed on them, insisting that no stone will be left unturned to redress the situation.