Prof. Attahiru Muhammadu Jega
HLF UMARU SHEHU Life-time Award to the Most Consistent Advocate for Positive Change within the University system.
Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, Labour activist, astute academic and consummate teacher was born on 11th January 1957 in Jega, present kebbi State of Nigeria. He was educated at Bayero University College, Kano (ABU, Zaria) and North-Western University, Illinois, U.S.A, where he obtained his Masters and Doctorate Degrees Hons. in Political Science, between 1981 and 1985.
In 1979, he took up a teaching appointment at Bayero University, Kano and held the positions of Lecturer, Reader and professor of Political Science. He also served as Head of the Department of Political Science, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Management Science and Director of the Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CDRT, mambayya House) all in Bayero University, Kano.
A strict disciplinarian, Professor Jega brought a lot of decorum to campus life. He made strict rules against indecent dressing on the two campuses of Bayero University, Kano and placed campus politics under critical watch. He also introduced many courses and erected several structures including hostels and lecture halls.
Though best known as a labour activist and astute academic, his tenure as the Vice – Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, saw transformation in various facets, thereby elevating the Institution to the position of best University, according to the National Universities Commission (NUC) rating.
Perhaps the most visible of his contributions to the University system in Nigeria occurred during his tenure as the President of the Academic staff Union of Universities (ASUU). A determined opponent of the military government in the early 1990s, he had a strong sense of ethics and morality, and he exhibited exemplary leadership qualities of courage and consistency in his fight for University autonomy and academic freedom.
Among his achievements was the 1992 welfare agreement for increased salaries and improved funding for the University system. Professor Jega’s ASUU team also recommended the idea that all companies operating in the country should pay a form of education tax. That idea was bought and subsequently gave birth to the establishment of the Education Tax Fund (ETF) via a decree in 1993.
An Author of several publications. He is also a recipient of many Awards including, Fellowship Award, National Association for Research and Development, NARD; and Officer of the Federal Republic, OFR.
It is because of these achievements and his consistent advocacy that Hallmarks of Labour Foundation presents to Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega, now Chairman of INEC, the HLF Umaru Shehu Award for Nigeria’s most consistent Advocate for positive change within the University system as we invite him to join the league of worthy patriots of Hallmarks of Labour Role Model recipients.