IPPIS, UTAS Fail Integrity Tests – NITDA
The Director of information infrastructure, Usman Abdulahi, revealed this on Thursday during a meeting between the House of Representatives leadership and a few government agencies over the current strike being carried out by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Integrated Personnel Payment and Information System (IPPIS) reportedly failed the integrity test required by the federal government, according to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Those at the meeting held at the National Assembly complex were the Head of Service, Accountant Generali of the Federation, Director General of the National Income Salaries and Wages Commission and NITDA.
After an earlier meeting on Tuesday with the ASUU leadership, the House leadership had requested a meeting. The Head of Service, the Accountant General of the Federation, the Director General of the National Income Salaries and Wages Commission, and NITDA were present at the meeting, which was held at the National Assembly complex.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila announced at the conclusion of the meeting on Tuesday that the House would deliver its findings to President Muhammadu Buhari when he returned from the United States, where he spoke to the UN General Assembly.
Adoption of the University Tertiary and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as opposed to IPPIS for the payment of lecturers’ wages is one of the requests made by ASUU.
IPPIS failed the single test it was given, according to Mr. Abdulahi, whereas UTAS failed the integrity test three times.
“In the first test, the system (UTAS) failed. The system could not meet the requirement. It was communicated to ASUU, full report was submitted directly to ASUU. The second report was submitted through the office of the Honourable Minister. ASUU went back, did the review that NITDA recommended.
“In the assessment, we did in March this year, we spent two weeks carrying out the assessment in the presence of observers. At the end of the exercise, UTAS failed the due diligence test. Of course, ASUU agreed to work on the solution and resubmit for assessment.
“Until when the Chief of Staff (Ibrahim Gambari) convened the tripartite committee when the third test was ordered. In the third round, we were asked to conduct the test on three payment systems – UTAS 2020, U3PS by SSANU and NASU, and IPPIS. The report is the outcome of the assessment we did. In this report, we have criteria. None of the solutions met NITDA criteria,” he said.
Mr. Abdulahi revealed that NITDA did not test IPPIS when it was released since the agency did not have the authority to perform integrity testing on solution platforms at the time IPPIS was implemented.
IPPIS is not only a payment platform, but also a platform for human resources, according to the Head of Service, Folashade Esan.
She said that the fact that NITDA only tested the payment component of the system and left out the human resources component was the only reason it failed the integrity test.
Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), the deputy speaker, stated that because the UTAS was created locally, whereas the IPPIS was a foreign platform, the government should prioritize and value local material.
“The universities that we have are supposed to be centre of excellence and intellectual development. If they can develop a system for us—that will save us money—at a low cost, why are we fighting? Why are we quarrelling? They are saying they are doing this thing at free cost. If you find it worthy, why are you not using it? We need to have a rethink,” he said.
The acting Accountant General of the Federation, Sylva Okolieaboh, responded to the deputy speaker’s viewpoint by asserting that the UTAS database is likely not a Nigerian creation but rather an Oracle one. He continued by saying that no university would receive access to the government’s payroll system.
“We don’t have a Nigerian database and when it comes to database, no one does it better than Oracle. I am not going to be surprised if UTAS is running on Oracle or SQS. None of them is a Nigerian product. We are all for Nigerian-made. If the argument is that UTAS is better than IPPIS, we can sit down on how to copy some things from UTAS to IPPIS.
“In the event that IPPIS is totally irredeemable, can we now take UTAS to replace IPPIS? This is totally different from ceding payroll system to any university. That ASUU is offering its system to the federal government, I am hearing that for the first time.”
Following the remarks made by all the agencies, Mr. Gbajabiamila said that an enlarged meeting with ASUU should be held the following Thursday.
“There is a need for ASUU to be here because it is becoming your words against theirs. That test result put UTAS ahead of the curve compared to the others. ASUU is saying that no one is giving them results. We will need to sit down again with ASUU present. It is good to have both sides vent.”
Representatives of ASUU, the Minister of Labour and Employment, the DG Budget Office, the Accountant General of the Federation, and the Auditor General for the Federation were all invited to the meeting on Thursday.
Others include the Head of Service, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the DG of Salaries, Income & Wages Commission, the DG of NITDA, and others.