…as Reps summon Ngige, Yemi-Esan, others next week
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), yesterday told the House of Representatives’ leadership that the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) and the University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System (U3PS), all failed its integrity tests regarding the university payroll, which the agency conducted between March and June, this year.
This was disclosed at the continuation of the meeting between the House leadership and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Head of Service of the Federation (HoS), Mrs. Folashade Yemi-Esan, the chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Mr. Ekpo Nta, among other government officials. At the meeting, which lasted for several hours, a NITDA official told the House leadership that the government directed the agency to test UTAS in October 2020 and that the platform failed the two integrity tests conducted on it.
He said following the first test, ASUU was asked to go back and review, which it did. Yet, the platform did not meet NITDA’s requirements the second time. Not satisfied with the explanation, Speaker Gbajabiamila asked if NITDA advised the government to take action on the lapses found on IPPIS, which has been in operation by the government since 2011. But the NITDA official said they were not in a position to do that. Gbajabiamila also asked if NITDA queried the IPPIS platform, to which the official responded in the negative. Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase also expressed reservations at NITDA’s action, saying it ought to have advised the government on the appropriate action to take in view of its discovery of IPPIS.
However, the Head of Service, in her explanation, said the ministry of communications and digital economy wrote her office following NITDA’s observations about IPPIS on the need to take a holistic look at the platform and that a committee was empaneled to carry out the assignment.
She also noted that IPPIS is not just a payment platform but that it also has a human resource component, which all government agencies have been directed to activate, noting that all those directly under her purview have since complied. Also, the chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Mr Nta, disclosed that in view of the general agitation in the tertiary education sector, the agency advised the government to look at the possibility of increasing the salaries of the staff in the entire sector, comprising universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.