The management of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) has refuted a claim that it threatened to withdraw the certificate of Inuwa Kashifu, Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
The purported threat was over the official’s comments on the integrity tests for the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), a payment platform developed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
ABU Director of Public Affairs, Auwalu Umar said Kashifu never attended the institution for any academic program.
The DG holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) in Bauchi, and has certifications in leadership, innovation, telecommunications, service management, networking and solutions design.
Some were obtained from Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, Oxford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
A statement by Umar noted that at no time did ABU management issue a threat to revoke the official’s degree.
“After all, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, from records available, never attended Ahmadu Bello University for any academic programme, be it undergraduate, graduate or sub-degree”, it reads.
It was discovered that the threat letter over UTAS was issued by ASUU-ATBU Branch, and signed by Ibrahim Inuwa and Muhammad Muhammad.
They said after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on March 9, 2022, Kashifu implied that UTAS failed the vulnerability test (security integrity), User Acceptance Test (UAT), stress load test, as well as hardware requirements.
Reacting, the Network of Advocates for Digital Reporting (NADIR) described ASUU’s move as “laughable and ill-advised”.
Its spokesman Bello Shehu wondered why the NITDA chief was being targeted “for discharging his duties”
“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.
“Has the union now usurped the mandate of the 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?”