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Tuition hike in Ondo varsities: students’ protest enters day two

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The protest embarked upon by students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko(AAUA) and Ondo State University of Science and Technology,(OSUSTECH), Okitipupa, over a hike in their tuition fees entered second day on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state government had increased tuition fees in AAUA from N26, 000 to N150, 000 and N200, 000 per session, depending on a student’s state of origin and and course of study.

Tuition fees in OSUSTEC, on the other hand was raised from between N70,000 and N120, 000 per session to between N150, 000 and N200, 000.

NAN gathered that the state government had agreed with the students late 2018 to review the tuition when the schools resume for the next academic session.

The students, who took to the streets of Akure on Wednesday, carried different placards with various inscriptions such as: “Gov. Akeredolu, We Refuse to Pay Exorbitant Fees”, “No Reduction, No Resumption”, “Akeredolu Reduce or Resign”, ” Education Must be Free” and “We Say No to N250,000.”

The protesters hindered smooth flow of traffic on the popular Oba Adesida Road, Akure, chanting ‘aluta’ songs and later turned the road to a football pitch.

Speaking with newsmen, Mr James Ogunjimi, the President of Students’Union Government (SUG) of OSUSTECH, said that the students were not happy about the increase.

Ogunjimi noted that there was no proportional government infrastructure in the state owned universities to justify the new tuition fees.

The student leader, who said that the students could not afford anything above N70,000 as tuition fees, asked the state governor to make education a right and not a privilege.

According to him, indigent students are being deprived the right to education with the new fees.

Similarly, Mr. Daniel Adesomoju, the SUG President of AAUA, said that it was not true that the students were consulted before introducing the new fees.

Adesomoju alleged that the increase was forced on the students and agreed upon by “some so-called” representatives of the students in 2018.

According to him, the students cannot stand by the agreement reached with the state government because it is fraught with faults.

Adesomoju noted that it was a bad development to the state for AAUA to had been closed for three weeks.

He said that it would be extremely difficult for parents to pay the fees when minimum wage was N18,000.

Responding to the protest, Mr Yemi Olowolabi, the state Commissioner for Information, said that the students had right to protest.

Olowolabi, however, expressed displeasure over the protest, saying that it was politically motivated.

According to him, the state government has done a downward review of the fees which agreed upon by all stakeholders, including the students.

The commissioner added that the government had instructed the schools’ managements then to allow the students to pay the fees in two instalments, “and the students did this last academic session”.

Meanwhile, a statement released by the management of AAUA, signed by Dr Opeoluwa Akinfemiwa, the school’s registrar, denied new increase of school fees in AAUA.

“Current school fees in AAUA range between N80,000 and N150,000.

“And the students are allowed to pay in two instalments, between N40,000 and N75,000 per semester,” he said.

Akinfemiwa added that the demand during the recent protest of students was for the university to allow those who had not paid their school fees to write tests and examinations, promising they would pay the fees later.

“Parents and guardians are now advised to ensure that their children and wards pay their school fees without delay, especially since they have the option of paying twice over two semesters.

“For avoidance of doubt, the schedule of school fees charged in AAUA, with effect from April 2018 range between N80,000 and N150,000 per year, depending on course or level of study.

“The above figures were negotiated with relevant stakeholders, including the students and their parents, and finalised in April last year,” he said.

According to him, it is instructive to note that almost a session has passed since then and students have paid without any issue.

“It is, therefore, surprising that some people are now coming up with issue of reduction in school fees – an issue that was negotiated, agreed upon and finalised in 2018, a period of over a year ago.

“Management is hereby urging members of the public to note that the school fees payable in Adekunle Ajasin University remain as negotiated with the students since April last year.

“All lies, insinuations, and rumours contrary to the above stated facts should be ignored and discountenanced, please,” Akinfemiwa urged.

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(Audio) CIBN scores Buhari administration high on banking regulation

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DMO raises N66.9bn at July bond auction

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, The Debt Management Office (DMO), says  the Federal Government raised N66.9 billion at its bond auction on Wednesday, as part of moves to finance the 2018 budget.

The DMO  said on its website that the bonds were auctioned  in three tenors of five, seven and 10 years.

This, it said, was to give its diverse investor base an opportunity to choose their preferred tenors.

It said investors showed a strong preference for the 10-year bond with a total subscription of N50.51 billion compared to the N40 billion that was offered.

However, N46.39 billion was allotted.

“The Federal Government bonds at the auction were allotted at 13.69 per cent for the five year, 14 per cent for the seven year and 14.2 per cent for the 10-year bond.”

According to the auction results posted on the website, DMO  stated that out of the N25 billion  offered for the five year bond,  subscriptions to the value of N12.93 billion was received, while N8.93 billion was allotted.

It also said that for the seven year paper,  N13.58 billion subscriptions were received for the N25 billion on offer. However,  N11.58 billion was allotted.

Nigeria issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit.

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FEC okays N15.7bn for Enugu-Anambra road project

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Projects

“The contract was awarded in 2012 and they were spurs off the Enugu-Onitsha Highway to six different communities, Ebenebe, Agba, Umana-Ndiagu, Nkpodu, Ekeagu and Ugwuoba.

“Because of lack of appropriate budgeting and funding all of these projects could not be completed.

“There were failures in the implementation as we inherited it; there was also the need to provide for erosion control measures and drains.

“That has led to the revision of the existing contract awarded in 2012 from N10.3 billion to 15.734billion.”

Fashola said that it was the revision to enable the contract to be completed that was presented and approved by the council.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

 

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Annan lived a great life, says Moghalu

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By Chioma Ugboma

Lagos Aug. 19, 2018 A former official of the United Nations (UN), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu on Saturday described the late Kofi Annan as a man who lived a great life.

Moghalu, a presidential aspirant of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) and former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) made this declaration in his tribute to Annan.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Annan, the 7th UN Secretary General between 1996 and 2007, died on Saturday at the age of 80.

The late Ghanaian diplomat, was a recipient of the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize and led the UN through some of its biggest reforms in order to build a stronger, more capable organization.

In a tribute sent to NAN in Lagos, Moghalu said: “In April I started my tribute to Kofi Annan on his 80th birthday with this quote: “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to go there.

“These are the powerful words from Mr Annan himself; words that have made an indelible mark on both my professional and personal lives.

“On a personal note, I have long admired his adventurous spirit, one that he encouraged in me and others, to seek divergent career paths that ultimately would make for a better employee, and a better organization.

“He himself had taken a circuitous route to his role as leader of the world’s most important body, and he left a strong mark. Long after Mr Annan left, he was spoken of fondly by staff who remembered not just his work, but his calm, intellectual personality that was a much-needed influence in the organization.

“In my tribute, I wrote that his was a “life of consequence”, not merely because he, like, Nelson Mandela, had achieved the feat of projecting a positive role model for black African excellence like few others had, but because he also sought to change the world—and did.

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MTN Nigeria denies CBN claims on illegal repatriation of $8.1b

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MTN Nigeria denies CBN claims on illegal repatriation of $8.1b

 

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By Chiazo Ogbolu

Lagos, Aug. 30, 2018

MTN Nigeria on Thursday refuted the claims by the Central Bank of Nigeria that it illegally, in collusion with four Nigerian banks repatriated $8.1billion from its Nigerian operations to offshore investors.

The CBN said the remittances between 2007 and 2015, in tranches of of 2.63 billion dollars, 1.766 billion dollars and 348 million dollars were done in flagrant violation of the rule that says it can only be done with regular ‘Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs)’ issued by the apex bank.

The CBN said MTN did the repatriation after illegally converting shareholders’ loan of $399, 594,146 to preference shares.

As part of the sanctions, four banks, Stanbic IBTC Nigeria, Citibank Nigeria and Diamond Bank Plc, were fined by the CBN.

Standard Chartered Bank would pay a fine of N2.47 billion, Stanbic IBTC, N1.88 billion, Citibank Nigeria, N1.26 billion and Diamond bank, N250 million.

“MTN Nigeria received a letter on Aug 29 from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) alleging that Certificate of Capital Important (CCIs) issued in respect of the conversion of shareholders’ loans in MTN Nigeria to preference shares in 2007 had been improperly issued.

`As a consequence they claim that historic dividends repatriated by MTN Nigeria between 2007 and 2015 amounting to $8.1 billion need to be refunded to the CBN.

“MTN Nigeria strongly refutes these allegations and claims.

“No dividends have been declared or paid by MTN Nigeria other than pursuant to CCIs issued by our bankers and with the approval of the CBN as required by law,” he said.

Aina said that the issues surrounding the CCIs had already been the subject of a thorough enquiry by the Senate of Nigeria.

He added that in September 2016 the Senate mandated the Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions to carry out a holistic investigation on compliance with the Foreign exchange (monitoring and miscellaneous) Act by MTN Nigeria & Others.

He said that in its report issued in November 2017, the findings evidenced that MTN Nigeria did not collude to contravene the foreign exchange laws and there were no negative recommendations made against MTN Nigeria.

“MTN Nigeria, as a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria, is committed to good governance and to abide by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The re-emergence of these issues is regrettable as it damages investor confidence and, by extension, inhibits the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.

“We will engage with the relevant authorities and vigorously defend our position on this matter and provide further information when available.

CBN’s spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, said the apex bank has written MTN Nigeria demanding a refund of the $8.13 billion, repatriated.

The Bank resolved to sanction the commercial banks following investigations in March 2018, which confirmed allegations of remittance of foreign exchange with irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) issued on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN Nigeria.

Edited by Fela Fashoro

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