A professor of public policy and industrial relations in the Department of Public Administration, University of Abuja, Prof. Isaac N. Obasi has called on the Buhari administration to act in good faith in order to resolve the impasse between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government (FG). Acting in good faith is necessary for the emergence of a constructive dialogue that can achieve a meaningful result rather than adopting a lethargic approach that sustains the impasse.
Prof. Obasi argued that since the beginning of this current strike by ASUU, the government approach has been a wobbling one in the negotiation process. Although, the setting up of the Prof. Nimi Briggs Committee to renegotiate the 2009 FG-ASUU agreement, was a sign of commitment by the government to resolve the crisis, but her inability to leverage on the committee to achieve an outcome agreeable to the other party, was a quivering blunder, and so was the resort to the National Industrial Court. Commitment and sincerity are central in a good faith negotiation as unilateral award demonstrates lack of faith in a negotiation process.
According to Prof. Obasi, the announcement of its willingness to provide a paltry sum of N150 billion for revitalization purposes and N50 billion for Earned Allowances without making the money available NOW, but only promising to insert them in the 2023 budget, was very provocative which was the height of the demonstration of lack of good faith. For the government to have said that the money would be available in the first quarter of 2023 when the nation would be pre-occupied with the 2023 general elections, was again the height of deception and lack of sincerity, both of which clearly portrays lack of good faith in a negotiation process.
Prof. Obasi said that it is his considered opinion that the government holds the key to resolving this impasse and that the earlier it acts in good faith the better for all of us. He finally urged the Buhari administration to demonstrate a sincerity of purpose towards resolving this impasse.