On Tuesday, President Major General Muhammadu Buhari praised the late academic Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs for his efforts in finding solutions to the issues that prompted the Academic Staff Union of Universities to go on strike in 2022.
The late Emeritus Professor, according to Buhari, was a scholar who cared deeply about the continuity of the academic year in Nigerian universities.
This was addressed by Buhari who was represented by his chief of staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, during the official Briggs memorial service in Abuja.
“In his two main major areas of expertise -academic and medical, he stands out. He has brought his unparallel life abilities to the scene of academic positions.
”It will be deserving of mention his gratitude for leading the federal government team of negotiations with our academic labour unions on improving our university system in the country in 2022. He worked hard to ensure that the strike was called off and all issues resolved,” he said.
The president also praised him as a guy of humility, commitment, and consummate gentleman who had left a legacy that needed to be filled by others.
According to Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Briggs’ passing was not only startling but also sad.
Osodeke was represented by the union’s Investment Secretary, Prof. Austin Sado.
Osodeke said Briggs was a prominent leader given permission by the Federal Government to renegotiate the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement.
He thanked the dead for his unmatched commitment and faithfulness in taking on the post.
”We commend the late Briggs as he earned respect for his honest commitment to this assignment. His contribution sets him apart for honour and will forever be missed,” he said
He said that the late Briggs through his works, immortalized his name and would never be forgotten.
According to a statement by his family, Prof Briggs passed away in the early hours of Easter Monday, aged 79 years.
Until his death, the late Briggs was the 5th Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Pro-Chancellor of Federal University, Abakaliki, Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa, and Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.