The Benin Zone of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has opted for University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which it developed as their preferred mode of payment to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Prof. Fred Esumeh, the Zonal Coordinator said this on Tuesday during a press conference at the University of Benin (UNIBEN).
He said that UTAS would help curb corruption in the academic system.
The national body of ASUU had rejected the IPPIS which the government introduced to curb corruption and eliminate financial leakages within the Federal Government.
The Federal Government has made it compulsory for all workers on its employment to receive salaries through IPPIS.
The union said rejected it and declared a two-week warning strike over the government’s refusal to pay them because they did not join in the new payment platform.
Esumeh said the union rejected the IPPIS as a payment platform because it was not suitable for the university system and was not designed to accommodate the peculiarities of academic institutions.
“ASUU has promised alternative software that would be compatible with the university system and towards this, the Federal Government accepted the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, (UTAS) in principle.
“Government also approved that the template be developed by ASUU and its researchers as a platform for the financial administration of universities staff monthly payroll and accounting processes in federal universities,” he said.
Esumeh said the Federal Government also pledged that when fully developed, the UTAS would be subjected to various integrity tests in order to verify its efficacy as software that can pass the necessary attribute tests as specified by Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NIIDA).
He said that ASUU had proposed a time frame of 18 months to the Federal Government ASUU to develop the UTAS and subject it to the integrity evaluation tests.
Esumeh said that the union had resolved to continue with the ongoing strike if government failed to satisfactorily address the issues in contention which included revitalisation fund for public universities arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
Others are visitation to universities, proliferation of state universities and issues of governance and the conclusion of the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement.