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ASUU wants FG’s visitation panel to halt crises in Universities

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Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has called on the Federal Government to send a visitation panel to universities to douse tension and prevent further breakdown of industrial relations in campuses.

Ogunyemi told the Nigeria News Agency on Saturday that this was necessary following continued reports of intimidation and harassment of some of its members in some universities in the country.

He said that the union was worried about actions of some vice chancellors to suppress the union’s activities in campuses, saying such visitation panel would promote industrial harmony.

“Some vice chancellors are actually mismanaging their system, we have written to complain about them and when you see crisis coming from the school, for us in ASUU, it is not unexpected.

“That doesn’t augur well for good governance, and that is why we continue to prevail on the government to look into our petition against some Vice Chancellors and address the issue we raised.

“We have many of these cases coming from some of these campuses, and that is why we are calling on the government, anytime we have the opportunity to douse tension and prevent further decline or breakdown of industrial relations in these campuses,” he said.

reports that within the last few months, there have been reports of dismissal of some ASUU members in some universities, while some Vice Chancellors proscribed union’s activities.

Ogunyemi said the union was worried about the non-inclusion of the university workers’ allowances into the 2019 budget, but expressed optimism that it would be fully paid in the 2020 budget.

“As for the aspect that has to do with payment of our allowances and so on, we are still tracking them, well, they paid part of the entitlement, but we expect them to have mainstreamed the balance into the 2019 budget, that did not happen.

“We are only hoping that that the chance will not be missed in 2020, that is why we want to engage the government.’’

The president called on the government to resolve the issue of unpaid arrears of shortfall in salaries in universities that have been verified under the presidential initiative, on continuous auditing.

On the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, he urged the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, to intervene and call for a renegotiation of the agreement.

He said the issues for renegotiation are non-implementation of components of the 2017 memorandum of action, non-release of over N1 trillion arrears or revitalisation fund owed public universities from 2014 to 2018.

“As things stand, we have issues; because the negotiation has been stalled, but we are engaging with Government, hoping that the minister intervene in the matter.

“We have issues with the government team that is negotiating with us, we have written to the minister about  our complaints, hoping that in no time, he will intervene in the matter and our renegotiation will come back fully and be completed speedily,“he said.
TAK/JPE/AFA

Edited by Joseph Edeh/Felix Ajide

Metro

Nigerian, 18, emerges overall best in WASSCE

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An 18-year-old Nigerian, Peter Arotiba from Kogi State, has been awarded the National Distinction and Merit Award by the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) for emerging overall best student in the 2018 examinations.

Arotiba, who is currently studying Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ibadan, graduated from the Nigeria Air Force Secondary School, Ikeja, Lagos State.

He was recognised alongside two others at the opening of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Nigeria National Committee (NNC) of WAEC, in Abuja on Thursday.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that Arotiba had obtained distinction in all the eight subjects offered in the 2018 West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Speaking with journalists after the awards presentation, Arotiba said that achieving success was a function of so many factors, the chief of which was God’s grace and hard work.

“A lot of heroes, who have participated in building me up to whom I am today, instilled the spirit of excellence in me – my parents, my teachers and, personal hard work.

“I have natural passion for reading, so studying was not an issue to me. When you work hard and depend on God’s grace, one will never be disappointed.

“The sacrifice made to achieve this feat was high level of discipline during examinations as I let go of other programmes I enjoyed and concentrated fully.

“I study ahead by studying during the holidays. Lazying around during the holidays and playing around with friends during holidays were some of the things I refused doing,” he said.

Meanwhile, Olu Adenipekun, Head of National Office, WAEC, said the NNC was set up as the highest policy making organ of the council which ensured that policies were formulated in the best interest of the council.

Adenipekun said that the committee was also made to effect positive changes in the education sector of the country.

Also, Hajia Binta Abdulkadir, Chairman, NNC, said that the council had improved on its service delivery by taking advantage of the ICT to improve the service, including the online registration of candidates for WASSCE for school and private candidates.

Abdulkadir said that the development had enabled the country to handle its migration from paper to electronic enrollment for its examinations.

She added that the council had also perfected its electronic portal system, an online portal which provides an avenue for the verification of results.

She noted that the council would also be recognising the three best schools in the WASSCE, who would be subsequently presented with the WAEC endowment fund whose prize is worth 5,000 dollars.

“The council, over the years, has greatly improved on its service delivery to its numerous stakeholders. The Nigeria National Office, in particular, has taken advantage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve its service delivery.

“These, among others, include the online registration of candidates for both the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates and private candidates.

“This development has enabled the council in Nigeria to achieve 100 per cent migration from paper-based to electronic enrolment of candidates for its examinations.

“There is also deployment of Quick Response Code (QR-Code) on its certificates, which makes it impossible to falsify certificates issued by the Council,” she said

Similarly, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, pledged the support of the ministry to the council for the advancement of education in the country.

He, therefore, commended WAEC for its role in stemming examination malpractices while providing enabling environment for education to thrive.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Miss Oluwabukunmi Adeagbo, who is currently studying Medicine at the University of Debrecen, Hungary came second while Prince Abiamamela Obi-Obuoha, now studying Mechatronic Engineering at the Afe Babalola University, came third.

WAEC also named the three overall best schools from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the 2019 WASSCE to include Loyola Jesuit College, Louisville Girls’ Secondary School and Stella Maris College, Abuja.

Members of the council are drawn from the Federal Ministry of Education and stakeholders such as representatives of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPPS), Polytechnics, Universities, Colleges of Education, National Union of Teachers and JAMB.

Edited by Olawunmi Ashafa (NAN)

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Metro

Bureau set to conduct survey on TSA

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The Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) is set to conduct a survey on Treasury Single Account (TSA) to ascertain the awareness level of implementation constraints, successes and to come up with a policy to guide the government.

Mr. Dasuki Arabi, Director-General, BPSR, who made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, noted that one of the methodologies for the survey included one on one interviews.

According to him, another methodology for the survey are k administration of questionnaire and focus group discussions.

He said that the survey would be conducted in five states of LagosKano, Bayelsa, Enugu, and Abuja.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that President Muhammadu Buhari signed Executive Order 005 on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, for the development of local content in Science, Engineering, and Technology.

He said among the objectives of the study are to gauge the effect on citizens, businesses, and constraints in implementing Executive Order 005.

He noted that the lessons drawn from the survey would serve as a basis for further policy dialogue and brief around the implementation.

Arabi also mentioned some of the objectives of TSA as effective aggregate control over government cash balances and to ensure aggregate control of cash.f

He also said that it would ensure consolidation of government revenue through TSA facilities and cash management and as well as curtail borrowing costs.

According to him, it will also ensure the availability of funds for the execution of government policies, programs, and projects.

The Bureau Chief noted the scope of the study as targeted MDAs, businesses, and citizens.

He said an expected policy brief will be drawn and will be submitted to the Government for further policy dialogue around the implementation.

Edited by Chukwudi Ekezie (NAN)

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Metro

Anambra NULGE elects new leadership as chairman pledges workers protection

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The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Anambra chapter, on Thursday elected an 11-man State Executive Committee led by Mr Chudi Orakwe to pilot its affairs for the next four years.

Orakwe emerged winner with 37 votes ahead of his closest rival Mr Ifeanyi Nworie who garnered seven votes.

Other members of the leadership who emerged were returned unopposed as their opponents stepped.

They are Mr Victor-Mary Anuna, Vice-President; Mrs Chinyere Obiazi, Treasurer, Mr Lawrence Nwachebelu and Mr Ifeanyi Okolo, Auditors.

Others are Mr Edochie Anaekwe and Mr David Ugbagu trustees; Mrs Uzoatu Ngozi Welfare Officer, Mr Kenechi Ezeibe, Publicity Secretary; Mr Linus Onyenweife, State Young Workers Representative and Mrs Chika Onyeachu as Chairperson Women Committee.

The election which was conducted under a peaceful atmosphere was supervised by the Mr Nankpak Njomiri-led national caretaker committee of the union.

Njomiri, who was represented by Mr Benedict Utako, the National Publicity Secretary of union, said the election was in accordance with the constitution of NULGE and it derives its powers from July 11 court judgement which nullified tenure elongation.

It will be recalled that the national caretaker committee on Oct. 23 inaugurated Anambra chapter caretaker committee with the mandate to conduct election within three months.

Utako said the new executive committee were products of the struggle against tenure elongation and impunity and for the preservation the constitution of the union.

He charged them to work in the interest of workers in the state and uphold the ideals of the formation NULGE.

In his acceptance speech, Orakwe thanked the members for their boldness in standing for what was right, promising that he would not let them down.

He said he ran his campaigns on the mantra of redemption and rescue and assured that with the support of his team, he will deliver on his campaign promises.

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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Sanwo-Olu’s Adviser on Housing counsels Lagos property owners, tenants

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The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka has advised landlords and tenants in the state to always make use of registered house agents and lawyers to avoid issues in leasing and renting of properties.

Benson-Awoyinka, in a statement on Thursday in Lagos, said that such agents and lawyers should be registered with the state’s Real Estate Transaction Department (LASRETRAD) and listed on its website.

The special adviser said unless property owners or tenants use registered agents in the state, it might be difficult for the government to help in resolving disputes that might arise from transactions.

Benson-Awoyinka spoke against the background of recurrent cases of clashes between tenants and landlords.

She said that if a landlord and tenant went through a registered agent or lawyer when handling rent related issues, it would be easier to resolve issues that might arise.

The special adviser said that if disagreements arose over such properties, it would not be the business of the landlord to relate with the tenant, but that of a trained agent to handle such cases.

According to her, the tenant or the person leasing a property using a government registered agent or lawyer is safer as such agent or lawyer can easily be traced when financial disputes arise.

She said  that it would  prevent a situation where people pay money to a landlord or fake agent who eventually disappears with the rent.

“When renting out your property, you must know the kind of agreement you sign with the tenant, you don’t just give out your property because you are in need of money.

“The agent that brought that person must first be a registered agent; ensure the tenant has a guarantor.

“But, in most cases, problems arise because the landlords do not want to pay the lawyer or the registered agent to handle the matter for them.

“A registered agent or lawyer will always know what to do.

“Once the agent or lawyer takes his commission, he is committed to see to the welfare of the tenant or landlord in that property, but some landlords also want to be the agent.

“Going to a mediation centre later to settle such cases does not pay anybody, when you could do the right thing at the beginning,” Benson-Awoyinka said.

According to her, if a dispute arises on a property, the landlord or tenant just has to approach the agent and explain the situation and such agent or lawyer takes it up from there.

She said that the registered agents and lawyers knew what to do, and this would save conflicting landlords and tenants from dragging themselves before a mediation centre.

Editing by Oluwole Sogunle

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Metro

Banditry/Kidnappings: Buhari urges security agencies, communities to be more vigilant

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President Muhammadu Buhari has called on security agencies and communities under threats of banditry and kidnappings to be more vigilant, in the light of the latest incidents in Enugu, Zamfara, Adamawa, Katsina and Kaduna states.

A statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Thursday, stated that Buhari was reacting to the recent reports of heightened acts of violence and kidnappings after a period of relative calm.

The president observed that “in view of the unpredictability of the security situation, our security forces and the communities affected should be ever more alert, because these murderous and remorseless criminals will take advantage of your complacency and strike again.”

According to him, the bandits should, under no circumstance, be allowed to hold the country into ransom on account of security loopholes, which they seek to exploit to attack their victims.

”The criminals always look for loopholes in our security system in order to remain in business and active, but we shouldn’t give them the space to achieve this diabolical objective by pre-empting them,” he said.

Buhari added that “complacency is a hidden or unnoticed enemy that we shouldn’t take for granted, because doing so could weaken our strategies.”

He, however, noted that the affected communities also have the responsibility to help the security agencies with the critically important human intelligence, in order to stop the bandits.

He said: ”The bandits maintain networks of informants among the communities they attack.

” reporting these informants to the authorities, it will be by far easier to foil the bandits before they reach their intended targets.”

While commending the security agencies for their dedication and sacrifices, the president directed them to redouble their efforts and make life uncomfortable for the bandits.

“You should spare no effort in breaking the backbone of these savage mass killers, and don’t hesitate to attack them with merciless intensity until they are crushed and ultimately defeated”, he said.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Metro

FCTA expresses concern over indiscriminate dumping of construction waste in city centre

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Thursday in Abuja expressed concern over indiscriminate dumping of the construction wastes within the Capital City centre.

The Director, Department of Monitoring and Inspection of FCTA, Town Planner, Olawale Labiyi made this known during a news conference on the activities of the department from January and November  2019.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the department was established in April 2012, to ensure improved effectiveness and efficiency in service and project delivery by the FCT Secretariat, Department and Agencies (SDAs).

Labiyi said the department in the course of discharging its functions observed that construction company often dumped wastes in the wrong places within the city center.

He said that the department identified problems and nuisance in public Educational and Health Institutions, Market and Housing Estate to the relevant SDAs for amelioration.

” Among the issues monitored in the city were evacuation of domestic waste, vegetation and construction wastes, general cleanliness of the environment, social nuisance and areas prone to security risks and informal sector.

He, therefore, called on the Department of Development Control and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board to be proactive in ensuring that construction companies did not dump waste indiscriminately.

He also expressed concern over poor sanitation and increasing rate of open defection, bad road and blocked drainages in Bwari Area Council and urged the Chairman of the council to put measures in place to address the challenges.

The director, however, said with the concerted efforts of the department, the level of cleanliness in the city had improved, adding that education and health institutions have also witnessed an improve state of environmental condition.

” The sanitation state of markets neighborhood shopping centres and housing estates within the city has improved.

” Also there is a slight improvement in the sanitation condition in major settlement at the area councils,” he said.

Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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