ASUU Strike: Nigerian public universities, danger of “Manage It Like That”


Dr. Abdelghaffar Abdelmalik Amoka

I was having my usual end of the day reflection last night before going to bed and the state of education in Nigeria, ASUU demands and the reactions of the general public came to my mind. Then I remembered an article I read 2 years ago titled: Manage It Like That (MILT) — A Nigerian story.

The author, Editi Effiong, defined MILT as a Nigerian phrase that expresses the heart and soul of service delivery in Nigeria. It means take it as you see it. The word ‘manage’ implies this isn’t ideal, we know, but by all means make do with it, because there is no hope of a better alternative. He went further to state that MILT can be measured using MILT Index.

He defined MILT Index as a measure of average periodic exposure to MILT within a location and ranges from 0–100, where 0 = excellent and 100=terrible. There is also the MILT Acceptance Value (MAV), which is the amount of MILT a person is ready to accept.

It is so sad that the government and their officials are the major drivers of MILT. They expected you to be grateful for doing the job they were elected or hired to do. ASUU have used the last 7 years to educate the government that IPPIS cannot work for the universities and that it will further strangulate the already strangulated system. But the government officials insisted that we must MANAGE IT LIKE THAT till an alternative is ready.

We have been so terribly exposed to MILT that we have nearly 100 MILT Index and the acceptance value (MAV) is so high among the people that they wonder why ASUU is so stubborn and not ready to accept government offer and MANAGE IT LIKE THAT. They are like, you are requesting for the release for 220 billion naira as a tranche of the remaining 1.1 trillion naira public university revitalization fund and the government promised a commitment of 20 billion naira. Why don’t you just accept it and MILT (manage it like that)? You are requesting for the accumulated EAA and the government is offering 30 billion naira. Why can’t you be grateful and just accept and MILT (manage it like that) and get back to work? Government want you to enroll in IPPIS pending when UTAS is ready. They are the government and we are at their mercy. It is about how they wanted it and how we see it is not important. Why don’t you just enrol and MILT (manage it like that) and bother yourself not the consequences on the system. The MILT Index is that bad.

While we have lost our self esteem with high MAV and prepared to manage everything like that (MILT), those government guys cannot tolerate MILT.

They have zero MILT Index and zero MAV. That is the reason why they won’t tell their kids to manage Nigerian public universities like that but prefer to loot our resources to take their kids to private universities or universities abroad.

They have the money (our money) and can’t stand their kids manage that crowdy small room called hostel room. They can’t stand their kids in that crowdy lecture room. Absolute Zero Manage it like that Acceptance Value (MAV).

The danger of MILT acceptance by ASUU is this. NUT use to fight for the survival of public primary and secondary schools. They got tied, gave up and decided to MILT (manage it like that).

And now, you don’t want to patronize public schools for your kids. NMA use to fight for proper funding of the health sector. They gave up and decided to MILT (manage the hospitals like that) and rather focus on flight for improved welfare from the government. Now we have a “sick” public health care delivery system.

The selfless efforts and the sacrifices of ASUU members gave our universities a semblance of what is called university today. That made the public universities like ABU to be still good enough for students from Turkish international schools, El-Amin School Minna, New Horizon, etc.

The selfless efforts of ASUU members still made our universities to be able to produce Scholars that travel abroad for postgraduate studies and be able to cope within a short time and compete well. Some returned home with academic awards.

Should ASUU decide to MILT, public universities will crash land and private university business will boom and university education will not be affordable in Nigeria in the next few years.

Education is and remains the absolute number one priority for the country because without a quality education system and an educated workforce, we cannot succeed economically.

Nigerian leaders in reality understand that and that is why they get their kids educated abroad. But ironically, it appears they do not want the masses to have quality education.

But how will Nigeria succeed economically without quality education for all? Is it their kids that will make the country succeed? You will be doing yourself a favour by joining ASUU to fight this fight to a logical conclusion. Without quality education, this nation is doomed. We are where we are today because many of our so-called leaders had dysfunctional education.

Dr. Abdelghaffar Abdelmalik a lecturer in the department of Physics, ABU Zaria

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