Skip to main content

Nigerian President Buhari To Reward Failure, Confer National Honours On Education, Defence, Finance Ministers, Others Amid Ongoing Lecturers' Strike, Insecurity, Poor Economy

October 2, 2022

Meanwhile, activities in public universities have been grounded for seven months due to an ongoing strike by lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). 

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is set to openly reward failure by conferring national honours on some of his appointees, including ministers. 

The President has listed 437 nominees for the 2022 National Honours Award on the occasion of the country's 62 Independence Day. 

The investiture will hold on October 11 at the State House in Abuja.

Meanwhile among those on the list are the education minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu; finance minister, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; defence minister Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihu Magashi (retd.); and Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba. 

Others include the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria's secret police, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, DG, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Alhaji Ahmed Rufai Abubakar and the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.). 

Magashi, Monguno, Baba, Abubakar are to be conferred with the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) while Zainab and Adamu are to be conferred with the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON). 

Meanwhile, activities in public universities have been grounded for seven months due to an ongoing strike by lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). 

SaharaReporters easier reported that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, ordered the lecturers to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.

It reported that the umbrella body of the lecturers in public universities had declared a warning strike on February 14, to force the Nigerian Government to implement agreements it earlier signed with the union.

The agreement stipulated how university education would be funded for better improvement. 

The strike has since rolled over and is now in its seventh month following the government's failure to implement all the agreements.

Several meetings between ASUU and the Nigerian Government have ended in a deadlock.

Consequently, the Nigerian Government went to court to challenge the strike.

The government through its counsel, James Igwe, prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit. 

The government asked the court to compel the union to call off its seven months old strike that has paralysed the academic activities in the nation’s public universities.

The court, however, granted the prayer and ordered the lecturers to go back to work but ASUU challenged the order at the Appellate Court.

Regarding security, Human Rights Watch in a report published in August 2022 said, "Despite huge budgetary allocations to the country’s security sector in recent years, the security forces remain poorly equipped, while corruption scandals continue to emerge. The security forces have also been implicated in gross human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention and extrajudicial killings, while responding to security crises across the country, and have repeatedly failed to hold officers responsible for the abuses accountable through the justice system.

 "The recent events unfolding in the capital confirms many Nigerians’ fears that the threat from Islamist insurgents and other armed groups are now national threats that have reached critical levels,” said Anietie Ewang, Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The ability of the groups to expand outside their base even to the nation’s capital means that the authorities need to greatly expand their efforts to protect people.”

"The Nigerian authorities should ensure adequate security measures are in place to keep citizens safe, pursue the attackers, and bring those responsible to account in accordance with human rights laws,” Ewang said. “Anything short of this will spur more grievances against the government, which may worsen an already tense situation and fuel additional cycles of violence.”

Terrorists on March 28 attacked a Kaduna-bound train, killing about 10 passengers and abducting scores of others, some of whom are still being held captive. 

On June 5, some terrorists stormed St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo, killing 40 congregants and injuring several others. 

Exactly a month later, some terrorists attacked Kuje Prison in Abuja, the nation's capital city, releasing many insurgents. 

The 2021 Global Peace Index published by the Institute for Peace and Economics ranked Nigeria at 146 out of 163 countries, only better than countries like Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Russia, which are typically known to have been conflict areas for a long time. 

Also, the Global Conflict Tracker hosted by the United States Council on Foreign Relations recorded that attacks by bandits across the North-West have claimed at least 5,000 lives since 2018. Since 2009, nearly 350,000 people have been killed in the North-Eastern part of the country due largely to the activities of Boko Haram Islamist insurgents. The number of displaced people in the Lake Chad Basin is about three million.  

In July, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said Nigeria’s debt service-to-revenue ratio had become the highest in the world. 

A recent World Bank report noted that the number of poor persons in Nigeria would rise to 95.1 million in 2022 from 89.0 million in 2020. 

Similarly, the unemployment rate in Nigeria is estimated to reach 33 percent in 2022. 

A July report made by a group, Dataphyte, said half of the total population of Nigerian residents would be poor by the end of 2022. 

In its report titled, “What is wrong with the Nigerian Economy in Five Charts”, Dataphyte said Nigeria’s $432 billion economy has been experiencing tough times, from inflation to growing public debt, rising unemployment and poverty.

"Poverty has continued to rise in the country. A Dataphyte report noted that the number of persons hit by poverty in the country is projected to rise to 95.1 million by this year. Almost half of Nigeria’s population of 200,000 million will be poor by the end of 2022," the report stated.