The Federal Government on Wednesday blamed the inability of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to upgrade and return Universities Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS), to it, as part of the reasons stalling progress in the ongoing negotiations with ASUU.
This followed the Federal Government’s insistence that UTAS failed the integrity test which should have qualified it to be used as a payment platform.
The director-general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa disclosed this while fielding questions from State House journalists at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, debunked claims by ASUU that the government was not ready to accept the UTAS, as an alternative platform to IPPIS.
The university teachers had hinged the alleged government refusal to recognise UTAS as part of the reasons for embarking on the one-month warning strike on February 14, 2022.
Economy, Isa Pantami, minister of communications and digital while briefing journalists, said when he received a letter from the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige requesting a review of the submission and the technical ability of the software of the system, he forwarded the request to the National Information Technology Development Agency.
According to the minister, “NITDA had conducted their own analysis and sent same back to me, and I drafted a cover letter I forwarded to the minister of labour and employment and I copied the two ministers of education, minister of finance, budget and national planning, and also Office of the accountant-general of the federation and even NUC (National University Commission).
The DG of NITDA, on the directives of the minister, gave detailed clarification on the position of UTAS, adding that “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.
He disclosed that the vulnerability test, to test the security integrity of the system, proved that UTAS was vulnerable and could be hacked into.