By G9ija

The Federal Government has said it is currently examining the University Transparency Account System (UTAS) payment platform developed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as an alternative to the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Chris Ngige, announced this on Tuesday while addressing reporters after a meeting with the leadership of the Senate and ASUU in Abuja.

The meeting was at the instance of Senate President Ahmad Lawan to resolve the lingering face-off between the Federal Government and the union.

In his preliminary statement before the meeting went behind closed doors, Ngige said the government was studying the UTAS by juxtaposing it with whatever deficiencies the IPPIS is said to have.

ASUU had rejected the implementation of IPPIS when it embarked on an indefinite strike in February.

Lawan said the current impasse between ASUU and the Federal Government was an ill will that will not do any of the two parties any good.

The Senate President urged both parties to resolve their differences, adding: “It has to be a win-win situation.”

Ngige told reporters at the end of the meeting that the Federal Government was ready to test-run UTAS to determine its functionality.

Also, the leadership of the House of Representatives will today meet with officials of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resolve the current face-off between the union and the Federal Government.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, who announced this at plenary yesterday, advised the Chairman of the House Committee on Tertiary Education, his deputy and other members of the committee to attend the meeting.

He said: “This is for the leadership and the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Tertiary Education, and any member of that committee that wants to be in attendance: there will be a meeting with ASUU in my office tomorrow (today) at 1:30 p.m.”

Gbajabiamila also directed the committee to communicate the meeting to all stakeholders, including the Ministries of Education, Finance as well as Labour and Employment.

During his budget presentation before a joint session of the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari had said any government worker not captured in the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) would no longer be paid monthly salary.