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Lecturers should be ICT-compliant before employment — Former minister

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Former Minister for Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has stressed the need for

tertiary institution lecturers to be Information Communication Technology (ICT) compliant before being employed.

He made the call in Abakaliki on Wednesday when he paid a courtesy visit to Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba, the Vice Chancellor

of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo (AE-FUNAI), Ebonyi.

The visit was prior to the opening ceremony of the first Biennial International Engineering Conference of the Faculty of Engineering

and Technology of AE-FUNAI.

The former minister said that the country required bright minds that could adapt to the diversity of the digital age,

hence the need for ICT-compliant lecturers in institutions of learning.

He said “we need to coach young lecturers and plan workshops to train them because it is not enough that they acquire academic knowledge.

“If we must align ourselves as a country to the technology development taking place across the globe, we must start now.

“Lecturers should be ICT-compliant and competent before being employed in schools to impact in all spheres of the academic cycle.”

Nebo also said that the conference would provide possible solutions to the development of infrastructure decay in the South East region.

According to him, there is a systematic plot to keep the region’s development process aback.

He added that the region had the capacity to revive its decayed power plants to provide jobs for citizens of the region

and further contribute to the country’s revenue generation.

“We have serious problems in terms of power generation because you cannot industralise any place without power.

“The South East region needs a robust infrastructure to develop and we need to prove that we can grow without much support

from government.

“We must embrace discipline and love for each other, challenge ourselves to development,” Nebo stressed.

Represented by Prof. Sunday Elom, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Nwajiuba said that Nigeria, with an estimated

population of 200 million people, was still struggling to achieve 4,000 megawatts of electricity.

He said that indiscipline was the major bane for power failure in the country, which he hoped that the conference would

proffer solutions to address electricity problems in the country.

The vice chancellor also urged participants at the conference to ensure they came up with ideas to address building collapse

cases across the country.

Edited

 

Education

Igbinedion varsity VC lauds lecturers over online teaching

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Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, Vice-Chancellor, Igbinedion University Okada (IUO) Edo,  has commended ongoing efforts of its Lecturers to sustain teaching and learning online,  despite lockdown occasioned by  the Covid-19 pandemic.

Obajide Ilugbo, Public Relations Officer of IUO, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Benin.

The Vice-Chancellor assured parents that his administration remained committed to the continuous wellbeing and welfare of its students and their academic progress.

He expressed regret over the COVID-19 pandemic which started as a long distance story in faraway Wuhan city of China, disrupting all levels of educational institutions .

“There is no doubt that the nation-wide lockdown altered the age long traditional behavioural pattern of doing things in Nigeria. Yet Igbinedion University, Okada, has adapted rather dramatically through the adoption of modern technology,”  he said.

According to him, the institution has deployed its online Learning Management System (OLMS) through which students engage in virtual academic teachings; attending classes and taking continuous assessments from the comfort of their homes.

He noted that the university as part of its Community Social Responsibility (CSR) recently donated its mass-produced face masks and hand sanitisers to its host community – Okada Town,  through its Community Service Programme (CSP).

He advised students to stay safe and concentrate on their e-learning while looking forward to going back to campus.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

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Education

COVID-19: LASU lecturers urge Nigerians to adhere to safety precautions

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Some lecturers at the Lagos State University (LASU), have urged Nigerians to adhere to safety precautions in order to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus.

 

 

The lecturers made the call on Tuesday in Lagos at the virtual training series lecture themed, “Current Knowledge and Funding Opportunities,” organised by the university for workers.

 

 

They also urged the Federal Government to review the lockdown imposed on some states in the country with a view to lifting it as it appeared not to be curtailing the spread of the virus as expected.

 

 

Dr Adeyinka Adeniran of  Department of Community Health and Primary Health Care, LASU College of Medicine (LASUCOM), urged Nigerians to protect themselves as the virus was already spreading at community levels.

 

 

Adeniran said that 45 per cent of infected persons had no travel history which meant the coronavirus now existed in the communities.

 

 

Also speaking, Dr Bola Oyefolu, Medical Microbiologist/Virologist at LASUCOM urged Nigerians to stay safe, be responsible, and live healthy because coronavirus was real.

 

 

 

“There is a high chance of presence of the three circulating strains of the causative agent of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

 

 

“This is, going by its importation into the country through index case from Italy, being Type C, travelers from USA being Type B and some Chinese in the country tested positive being Type A.

 

 

 

“Sadly in Nigeria, the three strains of the virus are most likely circulating, which portends for the possibility of emerging new strain because of the mutating virus,” Oyefolu said.

 

 

 

Prof. Wahab Elias, Professor of Sociology and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, said that countries with high population, cultural diversity and poverty rate like Nigeria would bear greater social, political,  economic and spatial consequences of COVID -19.

 

 

“Government must review the issue of lockdown as it is clearly not achieving the desired result.

 

 

“Instead, they should consider implementing infection prevention control evidence – based measures, including social distancing, hand washing and wearing of face masks,” Elias said.

 

 

 

He urged the government to use influential private individuals to identify the vulnerable in the communities since they could help share the palliatives equally.

 

 

Elias called for more testing centres, more public awareness, and dialogue between employers and workers unions in order to mitigate the spread and impact of the pandemic on Nigerians.

 

 

 

In his opening remarks, Prof. Olarenwaju Fagbohun (SAN), Vice Chancellor of LASU urged workers to take full advantage of the virtual lectures to deepen their knowledge in different fields.

 

 

Edited By: Razak Owolabi/Obike Ukoh (NAN)

 

 

 

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Education

COVID 19: Buhari approves immediate payment of university lecturers withheld salaries

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate payment of the February and March, withheld salaries of lecturers in federal universities who have not registered in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, made this disclosure in a statement signed by his new media aide, Emmanuel Nzomiwu.

Ngige said the president also directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, and the Accountant General of the Federation to effect the payment urgently to cushion the deleterious effects of COVID 19 pandemic lockdown on lecturers and members of their family.

The Labour Minister added that all the Vice Chancellors were asked to revalidate the affected lecturers Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) and forward to the Accountant General of the Federation for the payments.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government had directed all federal tertiary institutions in the country to enroll in the IPPIS from February 2020.

 

MNA

Edited By: Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

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Judiciary

2 lecturers drag Kaduna COE to court over unpaid salaries, wrongful disengagement

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Two lecturers of the Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya, on Tuesday, dragged the school before a High Court in Kafanchan,  court over unpaid salaries and termination of their contract without due process.

Musa Markus and Yohanna Dutse are challenging the purported removal of their names from the school payroll and non payment of their salaries.

According to the claimants, they were engaged as specialised lecturer by the college on contract from 2006 to 2009.

They also alleged that their contract was renewed for another three years from 2009 to 2012 and also from 2012 to 2015 and lastly renewed from 2016 to Dec. 31, 2018.

They alleged that the college paid their salaries from 2006 to September 2017 but stopped paying for October 2017 to December 2018 without any query, notice of contract termination nor payment in lieu of notice.

They argued that they never committed any crime nor breached the terms of their employment contract to warrant such action by the school without notice and justifiable reasons.

The applicants are praying the court to order the college to pay their accrued salaries and allowances from the date of purported termination of contract of employment.

They are also praying for payment of their contract gratuity of over N8 million as well as damages to the tune of N2 million each for the physical and psychological trauma caused by the infringement of their fundamental human rights.

The matter comes up for hearing on March 12.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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General news

Recruitment of more female lecturers curb sexual harassment – Lecturer

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Dr Aisha Bawa, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto (UDUS), has recommended recruitment of more female lecturers as a panacea to sexual harassment in schools.

She specifically called for the recruitment of more female lecturers in higher institutions to reduce incidences of sexual harassment on campuses.

Aisha made the appeal in an interview with newsmen on Sunday in Sokoto.

She stressed that having more women in academia would surely reduce sex-for-marks menace and other sexual harassment plaguing the system.

She posited that academic institutions comprising  both sexes as students and teachers in equal proportion would ensure a system that would harness maximum potentialities of both sexes as well as reduce exploitation of a section.

Bawa, who is the only female lecturer in the Department of History in UDUS, lamented that the space in the university system for the female folks was yawning.

“When there are more female lecturers, the female students will feel free to discuss their issues with them than going to the male folk.

”So more representation will help the system to wipe out issues of sex-for-marks and other sexual harassment strategies,” she stated.

The lecturer noted that having more females in the system would also encourage them to work hard.

“They have been calling me our mother, the mother of the department, so they feel happy when they see me as the only female in the department, and they feel free to come to me than to go to the men because I welcome them as my children,” Bawa said.

She however acknowledged that a lot of requirements in the academic system keep the women out of it, just as she noted some cultural constraints in the lifestyle of people in northern Nigeria.

“After the first degree, some women find it very difficult to come back for Masters and the university system is a system that you need to have additional qualification for you to fit in,” she noted.

She expressed optimism that the situation would gradually improve, as at present we have between eight to nine women in the Faculty of Management Science.

”In my faculty, Arts, we are only three, but we are hoping that by the time we have more of the women folk joining the Master’s programme, they will be interested in going for a PhD.

“We are hoping that very soon with these issue of gender balance that is being promoted by the international community, in the next recruitment, we will see more of our female folk in the system,” she said.

Bawa who doubled as the Coordinator, Women Networking Forum, Sokoto, emphasised the need for women to strike a balance between family and work.

She enjoined women not to be discouraged and face the challenges.

The lecturer therefore urged parents and husbands to consider the society’s need of more females in specialties and support them accordingly.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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General news

Sexual harassment: MAUTECH Yola sacks 2 lecturers, Deputy Registrar for fraud

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approved the termination of appointments of three senior staff of the university.

“Two of the senior academic staff appointment, was terminated for their involvement in acts of victimisation and sexual harassment.

“They are Dr Yakubu Bobboi and Dr Toma Fulani Mbahi both staff of the Department of Animal Science and Range Management and were penalised for their involvement in the victimisation and sexual harassment of one Miss C. A. Bathon, a Masters student in the Department.

“While the appointment of Alhaji Mohammed Bakari-Girei, Deputy Registrar, Registry Department, was also terminated for his role in the misappropriation of the University Primary School Parent/Teacher Association’s (PTA) funds to the tune of One million, One hundred and Twenty thousand (1,120,000.00) Naira.’’

According to the information and protocol officer, the termination is with immediate effect.

He stated that misappropriation of funds, which it found, was in contravention of the condition of service for staff members of the institution.

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Donald Ugwu

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Health

Clinical lecturers withdraw services from teaching medical students

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The Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) Chapter, says its members, clinical lecturers, have withdrawn from teaching medical students.

Its President, Prof. Usang E Usang and Secretary, Dr Henry Okpa, made this known on Friday in a statement jointly signed and made available to newsmen in Lagos.

Usang and Okpa said the decision was taken at “an emergency general meeting of MDCAN, UTCH Chapter, on the circular released by the National Universities Commission (NUC)”.

According to them, the circular dated Dec. 24, 2019, addressed to Vice-Chancellors of Nigeria Universities, made PhD a requirement for career progression for clinical lecturers in Nigerian universities.

They said that the National Officers Committee (NOC) of MDCAN had issued a 21-day ultimatum to the NUC on Jan. 31 to withdraw the “obnoxious and discriminatory circular”.

The association leader said that the NUC had failed to heed to the demands of MDCAN.

“Following the expiration of the ultimatum on Feb. 24, MDCAN, UCTH met and unanimously agreed to fully comply with the directives of the NOC of MDCAN.

“This is contained in the letter of notice of withdrawal of services of clinical lecturers,” they said in the statement.

The association’s president and secretary said that the implications of this directive involves the withdrawal of services of all clinical lecturers in the University of Calabar from the followings:

“All undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of all courses domiciled in the College of Medicine.

“All undergraduate and postgraduate examinations whether as internal or external examiners for courses domiciled in the College of Medicine.

“All lecturers, tutorials, clinical teachings, practical’s or demonstration of any kind.

“Supervisions of projects of any kind, whether at the undergraduate or post-graduate levels for all courses domiciled in the College of Medicine.

“Participation in all other courses or examinations run by sister colleges, faculties or department in the University of Calabar.

“All meetings, committee work and all other activities as lecturers of the college of medicine in the university,” they stated.

According to them, all clinical services in UTCH are not affected by the ongoing action by MDCAN-UCTH.

Usang and Okpa informed the public that patient care and other clinical services in UCTH were not affected by their action, saying, “the services are going on smoothly”.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye

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Health

Mrs Akeredolu tasks lecturers, medical students on curbing breast cancer scourge

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Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu, on Friday, tasked lecturers and students of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, to make themselves readily available in the fight against breast cancer.

Mrs Akeredolu, who spoke during the 50th annual symposium, organised by the Dokita Editorial Board of the College of Medicine, said this had become necessary in order to reduce the scourge to the barest in the society.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the symposium had, as its theme, “Non Communicable Diseases in the Nigeria Society.”

She advised both the lecturers and students of the college to imbibe selfless service in curbing the spread of the scourge through awareness and sensitisation.

According to her, “we need to identify ourselves with the problem of the society, especially for the survivors who need a lot of support.

“Breast cancer is survivable and self breast examination is very important and necessary for every woman.

“This is something that has always been recommended for under- developed countries like Nigeria,” she said.

The governor’s wife, who also survived the same scourge 23 years ago, said that she was treated at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, lamenting that there was no enabling environment for cancer management in the country.

She urged government at all levels to include cancer treatment into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), saying it would help cancer patients from experiencing unnecessary financial burden.

The Chairman of the occasion and immediate past Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, described the symposium as an annual tradition of academic pursuit, which had propelled many young medical practitioners into research breakthroughs.

Adewole, who was represented by Prof. Mayowa Owolabi, said that Non-Communicable Diseases had now become everybody’s business, which remained the hidden cause of death globally.

He, therefore, urged everyone to be involved in the fight against breast cancer, noting that curbing the scourge must involve thorough participation of all stakeholders.

The Provost, College of Medicine, UI, Prof. Olapade Olaopa, said that the Dokita editorial board was aimed at addressing the health challenges confronting the society.

NAN reports that Mrs Akeredolu, who is the founder, Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), received the humanitarian services award for her contributions to nation building through her series of programmes.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Education

UNILAG, BOI train lecturers on entreprenuership in disciplines

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The University of Lagos, on Tuesday, commenced a 10-day intensive entreprenuership training for its lecturers in a bid to uncover the business components attached to their respective disciplines.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the lecturers were drawn from the various departments and faculties in the university.

They were expected to be able to transfer the knowledge acquired from the training to their students so as to nurture and equip them with skills development.

In his opening remark at the workshop, tagged: “Train-the-Trainers Capacity Building Programme”, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said that the training would serve as an intervention tool for the challenges of unemployment in Nigeria and Africa at large.

NAN also reports that the training was organised in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BOI).

According to him, the university is passionate about building the capacity of students and young faculty members who will discover and develop the creativity and entrepreneurial skills toward product development and new business ventures.

“The whole essence of the programme is to bring our teachers over to this entrepreneuship and skills development centre of the university and give them the requisite exposure in their respective areas of specialisation.

“At the end of the training, they are to take back what they have learnt to the students in their classes. Thereafter, the students can be brought here for bigger exposure.

”At the end of it all, we support the students with startup grants for those with businesses, assist in getting their businesses registered and also get mentors for them.

”The lecturers are drawn from all departments and faculties across the university.

“So far, I can say that our dream of equipping our students with skills is yielding fruit, but we are still not there yet. We want more of this kind of programme and partnerships,” Ogundipe said.

The acting Director, Entrepreneurial and Skills Development Centre, Dr Sunday Adebisi, said that the major reason for the training for the lecturers was to discover the entrepreneur components of their respective disciplines.

According to him, this will fire up the instinct in their students.

“Some people may ask why the teachers first and not the students. Well, if these teachers do not know, it can be near impossible for the students to know. So, what we are doing here today is a 10-day rigorous training for our lecturers.

”At the end of the day, there is going to be examination for them, as they are going to be certified as entreprenuer educators.

”It will now be very easy to deliver what they have learnt in their own disciplines. They will see the business components in disciplines such as Engineering, Medicine, Geography, Education, Architecture and others,” he said.

According to him, the programme will not be limited to the university, as it will be a continuous exercise.

Adebisi, an Associate Professor of Business Administration, added that other universities across the country and the African continent would also benefit from the initiative.

”Unilag is the first university to kick start this initiative and we hope that by the time it is taken to other universities in Africa, the issue of unemployment among our youths will be a thing of the past,” he said.

He, however, said that the major challenge facing entreprenuership in the country was the business environment.

” The business environment in the country is bedeviled with a lot of challenges, but the beauty of what we are doing now is the fact that the mind of government is equally activated.

”Government understands that it cannot provide all the jobs that are needed by our teeming youths. And that is why we need to build an enabling environment that will encourage youths to use their skills.

”We need to support them and provide the environment that will make this happen.

”I think government can do more by creating an ecosystem in the country that will make doing business very easy,” he stated.

Also speaking, the Representative of BOI, Mr Oluwaseun Tubi, said that the bank was committed to its partnership with the university to ensure that it met its entreprenurial incubation and innovation drive.

Tubi, the Chief Information Security Officer of the bank, also added that it was no longer a hidden fact that the challenges facing the country was enormous, adding, however, that BOI was always looking for ways out of these through collaborations.

“Most importantly, we understand that actions are required to be able to address these challenges. When we met with UNILAG, we immediately saw what they were doing and where they were tilting to and we felt the strong urge to partner with them.

”This is the first university to embark on this kind of initiative and we will be participating in it with the joy in our mind that it will become a model that can be replicated across other locations,” he stated.

Speaking earlier, Prof. Folasade Ogundola, the institution’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Development Services, stressed the need for various heads of faculties to always imbibe good leadership qualities at all times.

According to her, such good leadership must commence with them as individuals.

”For us to achieve a common goal, we must be able to lead ourselves first.

”We must be a 360 degree leader who must be able to be coaches and influencers. We must prepare everyone for leadership and respect the importance of those who work around us,” she stated.

Ogunsola, whose office oversees the Entreprenuership, Innovation, Quality Assurance and Internalisation portfolios in the university, added that a good leader must also be patient and understanding, and strive to value and build relationships.

”We must not have to be friends for us to work together,” she added.

She urged Nigerians to always think positive about Nigeria by doing something that would change the narratives of the country, both locally and internationally.

According to her, this also applies to members of the university community by way of focusing on those great achievements that have been recorded by the university and which have attracted positive influence from across the globe.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma and ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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