The federal government inaugurated Prof. Munzali Jubrin’s renegotiation committee in December 2020. The Committee did its job and the Report was submitted in May 2021. The report was left gathering dust at the ministry of education after submission. Before then, there was the Babalakin Renegotiation committee that proposed the introduction of the tuition fee of between N350,000 to N500,000. The government only remembers Jubrin’s committee report after ASUU declared a strike in February 2022, which was about 9 months later. They checked the report and were like, no the renegotiation must be renegotiated. They technically rejected what was negotiated on their behalf and the work done by those highly respected Nigerians ended in the Dustbin.

Then, the FG inaugurated Prof. Nimi Briggs’ renegotiation committee in March 2022 to renegotiate the renegotiated report with ASUU. They got 3 months to do the job. ASUU initially resisted meeting the Briggs’ committee with a stand that the renegotiation was already concluded with the Jubrin’s committee. I remember Ngige telling NLC to call ASUU to order. The second renegotiation is concluded and the Report was submitted last month (June 2022).

Meanwhile, Ngige has been quiet but he came out today to reject what Prof. Nimi Briggs’ committee has renegotiated on the government’s behalf. He said there is no agreement yet with ASUU-FG. He said all alone with the Prof Briggs’ Committee, ASUU started fixing their salaries and allowances to the exclusion of the statutory government ministries and agencies that manage the entire annual finances of the government.

The FG doesn’t trust the committee it set up to renegotiate. Most likely, the Briggs’ committee report is also going to the dustbin. Buhari’s government must be missing Babalakin.

The government never had the intention to renegotiate with ASUU. They were just buying time with the inauguration of different renegotiation committees. When the committee was set up, just like it happened in 2020, Ngige urged ASUU to call off the strike while renegotiation continues. He asked NLC to call ASUU to order to return to class. He possibly thought ASUU is a union of dumb people. When ASUU did not pay attention to his rants, Ngige sent a memo to IPPIS to suspend the payment of the salaries of lecturers. This is the fifth month with salaries withheld. The idea is to use starvation to force the suspension of the strike. That still didn’t work. They are now trying to use emotional blackmail that is not working.

President Muhammadu Buhari

The president’s “enough is enough” speech in Daura is one of the emotional blackmails that did not work, unfortunately. And Ngige said there is no agreement with ASUU yet on a day that the strike is 5 months old and rolling out some figures to blackmail ASUU. That ain’t going to work. Mal Adamu Adamu, the education minister is quiet as usual. I was actually hoping the strike will end before the end of this month. But with the words of the president and Ngige, the Labour minister, it appears the journey is still far. The government has about 10 months to go. Let’s wait for their next line of action in an attempt to prolong the renegotiation. Possibly they will set up another committee for the 3rd renegotiation of the renegotiated report.

Dear Nigerians, especially the students, Buhari is a Muslim and Ngige is a Christian but they don’t care that university students have spent 5 months at home and still counting. As you fight over the religion of politicians, just know that irrespective of their religion, you are not their priority. They are just using you.

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