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Fresh ASUU strike update by Ngige after meeting with Buhari

Minister of labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige has given fresh update on ASUU strike after meeting with Buhari
Ernest Sunday

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has stated that the integrity test that is being conducted on University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAs software offered by ASUU, would take six to eight months.

ASUU has been on strike even before the lifting of the lockdown due to disagreement in a payment system offered to the union by the federal government.

The payment system offered to them initially was the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), which ASUU refused to use and insisted on using University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAs).

After meeting on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Ngige disclosed that the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was considering UTAs as an option and had been conducting an integrity test on the software.

According to Ngige, he is waiting for a full report from the test before it can be implemented. He added that another challenge the system is facing is providing the hardware which he said ASUU could not provide.

He added that the Federal Government of Nigeria did not budget for the provision of the hardware.

“I am waiting for the NITDA’s full report. The preliminary report they gave me shows the software integrity test will take them about six to eight weeks, and after that, we go to the hardware.

“But the big issue is, who will provide the hardware?

“ASUU does not have the finances to do so. Has the government budgeted for it now as we speak? So, that one is a major problem.

"But we don’t have to dissuade anybody; we don’t have to tell anybody not to carry on, we like local content development, we need our things to be homegrown. So, we are really encouraging them,” Ngige said.

The strike has kept students out of school for a long time, and many have been concerned about the disagreement that has lasted for such a long time with no concrete solution.

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