By Peter Okutu

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has expressed surprise at the shocking revelations made last Friday, by the Minister for Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, that the payment platforms, which the Buhari-led administration deployed for both payments of salaries and receipt of its revenue, were never tested or certified by relevant government agencies before they were put to use.

These platforms include the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS; the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS, and the Treasury Single Account, also known as TSA.

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According to Pantami: “At the time they were deployed, the provision of NITDA Act 2006 under Section A of the Act setting the standardisation of ICT deployment in federal public institutions were not followed.

“Because of this, these three systems were not subjected to government certification and IT clearance as specified by the law.”

Speaking in Abakaliki, the ASUU branch Chairperson of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, Ogugua Egwu, stressed that it was only an irresponsible and profligate government that can engage in such an absurdity of financial recklessness.

He bemoaned the huge financial losses the present administration has incurred since it came into power in 2015 as a result of the glaring loopholes in these payment platforms.

He argued that Nigeria should have had more than enough to cater for all her domestic needs and even lend to other countries, if the numerous leakages in those platforms were not in existence.

Ogugua alleged that the government allowed the seepage to persist, thereby forcing her to run to China and other nations to borrow to sustain the economy of the country.

“And this is the same government that has been sending their self-assumed spokesmen like those in the Ministry of Labour and (un)Employment to media houses both at home and abroad, to misinform people that the government is broke!”, the ASUU Chairperson stressed.

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