The federal government has said that it may consider adopting the University Transparency Account System (UTAS) put forth by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), in place of IPPIS.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Tuesday while addressing journalists after meeting with the leadership of the senate and of ASUU.
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It will be recalled that the federal government in October 2019, gave a directive for all workers in its ministries, departments and agencies (MDA) to enroll on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
However, members of ASUU had refused the payment platform, citing “irregularities”, and the union thereafter embarked on a strike in March after the federal government insisted they enroll on the IPPIS platform or forgo their salaries.
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After months of strike, the union has now proposed UTAS as an alternative to IPPIS.
While speaking to journalists after the meeting, Ngige said the alternative payment platform presented by ASUU was worthy of consideration since it is homegrown.
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The minister stated emphatically that no concrete decision has been reached, and that the government has “neither jettisoned the implementation of the IPPIS nor fully accepted UTAS”. He also added that UTAS will undergo thorough assessment.
“We agreed at the meeting to give required consideration to the UTAS alternative they came up with as a way of finding lasting solution to the lingering crisis over implementation of IPPIS,” Ngige said.
“We have neither jettisoned the implementation of the IPPIS nor fully accepted UTAS.
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“The level we moved to now is to subject ASUU’s scheme to integrity test and in doing so, it will be presented to users like the office of Accountant General of the Federation on Wednesday .
“After that, it will be sent to the National Information Technology Development Agency ( NITDA) and from there to the office of the National Security Adviser for second look.
“The platform is an option grown device that requires stage by stage consideration and from the looks of things is good.”