UTAS saga: ASUU under fire over threat to withdraw Kashifu Inuwa’s degree

The Network of Advocates for Digital Reporting (NADIR) has expressed outrage over a planned action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) regarding the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

The union’s preferred payment platform has generated controversy and pitched ASUU against the Federal Government of Nigeria.

ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke had declared that the technology did not fail the integrity tests conducted.

Responding, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) explained why UTAS was yet to be approved.

On Friday, NADIR accused ASUU of taking the matter personal through its colleagues at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU).

The body said the chapter had commenced a process to get the degree certificate of NITDA Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa, withdrawn.

Publicity Secretary, Bello Shehu described the move as “laughable and ill-advised”, wondering why the official was being targeted “for discharging his duties”

He said ASUU should not throw caution to the wind by making “a fundamental blunder” that would portray it as a sole authority in conferring or retracting degrees.

The spokesman counseled the union to limit itself to “protecting and furthering the rights of university workers”.

“In a desperate bid to blackmail a public official into lowering the bars of his mandate and succumbing to selfish inclinations, ASUU have resorted to threats.

“We are not sure to what extent ASUU is willing to bare its fangs as a clog in the wheels of Nigeria’s progress.

“Has the union now usurped the mandate of University Senate in awarding degree certificates?

“Is there a legally recognised marriage of convenience between labour unionism and award of degree certificates in ATBU?

“Isn’t ASUU overstepping its boundaries and arrogating to itself an authority outside its jurisdiction?”

Shehu pointed out that beyond NUC regulations, each university self-regulates its academic programmes through the power vested in its senate.

“Precedents have severally shown that only the University Senate has the powers to do what ASUU is ignorantly threatening to do.”

The statement advised the lecturers to tread with caution and stop “meddlesomeness and unbecoming attitude”

NADIR added that if institutions can threaten their products for insisting on due process and get away with it, “excellence and sterling track record is endangered”.

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