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Strike: ASUU yet to upgrade, return to its payment platform — UTAS, says FG

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The Federal Government has said it is still waiting for the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to upgrade and return to the Universities Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) payment platform.

Persecondnews reports that ASUU had on February 14, 2022, declared a month-long over some lingering issues with the federal government which include the non-acceptance of UTAS as the payment platform to replace the Integrated Personnel and Payment Information System (IPPIS).

While the federal government insisted that UTAS failed the integrity test which qualifies it to be used as a payment platform, ASUU on the other hand, accused the government of not being ready to accept its alternative platform IPPIS.

The Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr Kashifu Inuwa, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja.

Giving clarification on the position of UTAS, Inuwa said:“When we received the request to review, UTAS, you know, building complex system like UTAS that involves employees’ personal data, and also payment system, we have to subject it to do best practice tests before approving.

“Normally, when we are reviewing that kind of system, we perform three tests.

“Firstly, when you are building system, it’s not just about the technology, you need to consider the people that will use this system and the process.

“If you don’t align people, process and technology, you will never get result. No matter how good the technology is, if the people don’t understand how to use it, they won’t use it.

“lf the process is different from the way the people work, also, they won’t use it. So that is a process of building technology.

“Firstly, you need to get the business requirement. What do you want to achieve? So it’s not the technology that will come first, it is the business requirement.

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“What do you want to achieve? Then you need to identify the capabilities you need to achieve that is your business objective.

“Part of the capability is the technology you need to bring in and the people that will operate the technology before you start thinking of the technology because technology is always a tool that will help you to achieve an objective or to do your work.

” If you bring the tool before knowing what to do with it, it will be useless.

“So when they came, we said okay, fine, we will do user acceptance test, ASUU you’ve built this system, but you are not the one that will use the system.

“There are people in Bursary, and all those in finance that will use this system. So we need to do user acceptance test with them, let them come and show the system, let them see if it can help them to do the work there.”

On the UTAS integrity test, Inuwa said: “Secondly, we said we will do vulnerability test; to test the security, integrity of the system. Because if there is vulnerability, people can hack it, they can change and it involves financial transactions.

“Adding zero means a lot. So we say we need to do that. Also, we need to do stress test. You can build a system on your laptop or on a small computer, use it but when you put so many data it will crash.

“We need to do the stress test to make sure that system can do. This is on the system. Then also you need to have a data center where you need to put that system because just having a system without the data center it will not operate also.

“So we did all these three tests with them. And the system couldn’t pass. We wrote the reports and submitted it back to the Honorable Minister which he forwarded to all relevant institutions including ASUU.”

On the way forward, Inuwa said: “As we speak now, ASUU is working, trying to fix all the issues we highlighted with the system and we will review it again.”

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