A civil society, Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative, TADI, has appealed to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU to go back to the drawing board to address all areas of risks and vulnerabilities which are responsible for the rejection of its payment platform- the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
The organization made the appeal in a joint statement signed by its Executive Director, Yomi David and Director, Public Relations, Adeniran Taiwo in Abuja.
While the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said UTAS failed its integrity test, the University lecturers insisted that the platform scored more than 70 per cent on the test conducted by NITDA.
But the civil society, during a press conference addressed by Adeniran, urged the leadership of ASUU to exercise the best academic professionalism which adores excellence and standardization as its core values in the pursuit of deployment of UTAS in Universities.
“It is our earnest appeal to ASUU and its members to go back to the drawing board to address all areas of risks and vulnerabilities which are responsible for the UTAS rejection,” Adeniran said.
Reacting to a recent publication credited to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, ABTU Bauchi State branch of ASUU on the development and deployment of UTAS and the recommendation of NITDA on the said solution which led to its eventual rejection by the Federal Government, Adeniran appealed to ASUU to embrace competence and due process.
“These misconceptions were generated with ill-intention to bring NITDA and ASUU, that have enjoyed much developmental and collaborative partnership cum synergy, to a halt,” he said.
“It should be noted that NITDA has a constitutional right as the only agency with the mandates to create a framework for the planning, research, development, standardization, application, coordination, monitoring, evaluation and regulation of Information Technology practices, activities and systems in Nigeria.
“In 2016, the agency issued Software Testing and Quality Assurance Framework and Guideline and furthermore, Section 10 of the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT, 2019 provides detailed guidelines and expectations for Indigenous Software Development and Software Enabled Products and Services.
“Therefore, the rule of law and due process should not be jettisoned in the bid to get better service solutions for our university system. The testimonial of the competence of NITDA in discharging her vital constitutional role over the years speaks for itself with the level of NITDA’s commitment and professionalism exhibited in carrying out its responsibilities.
“Several other indigenous software solution patents have enjoyed the verification and certification process through these quality assurance guidelines as stipulated by NITDA.
“It should be noted that quality assurance testing of any product is done to ensure the delivery of a high-quality end product and assures that the product is glitch-free before it is released. In view of this, we found out that the agency had to carry three out of the eight tests specified in the Software Testing and Quality Assurance Framework and Guideline.
“These tests are User Acceptance Test, UAT, Stress Test; and Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Test VAPT. In which a total of 687 test cases were generated with which 529 passed, 156 failed and 2 cautionary warnings were the outcome. However, this alone reveals that for a payment solution platform which should be near 100 per cent in default has several loopholes of high-risk vulnerabilities and informational risks that were identified.”