ASUU urges Buhari to investigate ‘illegal sack of UNILAG VC
Develops own software, UTAS, to curb corruption in universities
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), urged President Mohammadu Buhari to immediately constitute a special visitation panel to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the events that led to the removal Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (Unilag), Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.
ASUU National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, who disclosed this at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, said all found culpable in what it described as the illegal removal of Ogundipe should be made to give justice.
He noted that the union fully supports the UNILAG Senate’s rejection of the Dr Wale Babalakin-led Governing Council’s ill-informed decision to remove the vice-chancellor.
Ogunyemi agued the removal of Ogundipe did not follow due process, adding that the removal of a vice-chancellor is not the reserve of legal luminaries.
He said “ASUU received the news of the purposes removal of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (Unilag), Oluwatoyin Ogundipe by the Governing Council chaired by Dr. Wale Babalakin with absolute shock and total disappointment.
“In spite of Dr Babalakin’s spirited effort to defend the indefensible, it is now clear to all and sundry that there is to the story coming from the senior member of the bar.
According to him “Babalakin should be reminded that the knowledge of procedures and processes for appointments and removal of vice-chancellors is not the exclusive preserve of legal luminaries because the sources are out there in the public space.
He explained that ASUU has consistently been at the forefront of university autonomy in Nigeria.
“As we speak, university autonomy and academic freedom is one of the key items listed for renegotiation in 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement which Dr Wale Babalakin-led team has unduly dragged for three-and-half years without any concrete results.
Ogunyemi noted that the union has developed a prototype of the IPPIS, called University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which it urged the government to implement rather than the IPPIS.
“Following our engagements with the Federal Government over the issues that eventually led to the declaration of the ongoing strike action on 17th March 2020, the government declared that it “accepts in principle the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which is being developed by ASUU and its researchers for the financial administration of the University’s FG’s staff monthly payroll and accounting processes”.
“In addition, the Federal Government pledged that ”When fully developed UTAS will be subjected to various integrity tests in order to verify its efficacy to see whether this final product will pass the necessary technical attribute test as specified by NITDA.”
He said “On our part, ASUU had given a timeframe of eighteen (18) months to the government to develop, test and deploy UTAS. In keeping with this promise, ASUU is pleased to announce that UTAS is now ready for the ”integrity tests” required of it by government. Indeed, the software was unveiled by way of demonstration to the Minister and Senior Management Staff of the Ministry of Education, including the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), yesterday, 17‘h August 2020.
“We must, however, emphasise that UTAS is far more than just an alternative to IPPIS which does not respect the nature, structure and character of the Nigerian University System. It was ill-advised, ab initio, to have deployed IPPIS in the universities.
“All the distortions and disruptions being reported within the university payrolls of federal universities in the last six months or so, even by those who initially welcomed IPPIS with open arms, were predicted by ASUU. Unlike IPPIS, however, the UTAS is a web-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application deployed for the overall management of university resources in an efficient, transparent and accountable manner.
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