The Federal Government has disclosed that the integrity test it is conducting on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), as proposed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) could take up to eight weeks.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige made this disclosure on Tuesday while addressing State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The minister said the face-off between the federal government and ASUU over the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Integrated System (IPPIS), might not be immediately resolved because UTAS lacks the hardware that can make it operative.
He said: “As you know, ASUU is on strike which they started since March 9, 2020 to be precise. We have held negotiation meetings. They opted out of the negotiation meetings during the COVID-19 period because they said they don’t want virtual meetings. So, we have just resumed our meeting.
“We have some grey areas to clear and we will meet sometime this week. I’m waiting for one or two reports before I communicate a date to them.
READ ALSO: Buhari Vows To Prevent Resurgence Of #EndSARS Protests
“The major report is the report from the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as per the system developed by ASUU which the government sent to them for integrity test.”
He said: “The UTAS, that is the University Transparent System which they brought is not yet ready. It is not fully ready. It is undergoing integrity test for the software. I am not a computer scientist, but you must also know that you must test the hardware in the integrity test for the software.
“As we speak, ASUU has no hardware and UTAS does not have hardware backing.
“I am waiting for the NITDA full report but the preliminary report they gave me, the software integrity test will take them about six to eight weeks and thereafter, we go to the hardware. But the big issue is, who will provide the hardware?
Ngige also disclosed that the delegation of the government is set to commence fresh negotiations with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over its lingering eighth-month old strike.