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Plateau State University to commission four new faculties



Vice Chancellor of Plateau State University (PLASU), Prof Yohana Izam,  says the university will commission four new faculties in addition to four existing ones.

Izam disclosed this on Thursday when he led the university’s management team on a courtesy visit to the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) headquarters in Jos.

He said the provision of the faculties was part of efforts to expand the university and ensure it provided quality and accessible education.

“We have an ambition to increase our faculties from four to eight in the next two years. This is in addition to the faculties of social sciences, arts, natural science and management studies.

“We have commenced the execution of projects for the establishment of the school of medical science which has reached advanced stage.

“The faculties of law and environmental sciences will be commissioned in a couple of months, while the faculty of agriculture would start operation before the end of next year, “he said.

He said the visit was to extend areas of partnership with ITF through its Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) to enable it to implement entrepreneurial education, a mandatory requirement for every graduate.

The vice chancellor said students of the institution had shown interest in learning skills necessary to achieve functional education which would reduce dependence on paper qualifications.

‘`We want to be a participating organisation in the NECA intervention skills programme with ITF. We have strong interest in Information Communication Technology (ICT), culinary, tailoring, welding and fabrication skills.

“We are deficient of manpower and equipment to empower our students with these skills and we believe partnership with ITF would help in addressing that, “he said.

The Director-General of ITF, Mr Joseph Ari, said the university’s request would be considered at the Fund’s policy board meeting scheduled to take place on Nov. 6.

He said 24 public and private organisations were participating in ITF’s technical development scheme with NECA to empower Nigerians with requisite skills in construction, ICT, oil and gas, transportation and other services.

He said the fund would launch its e-library and auditorium in November at its headquarters in Jos, and would complete work on its Institute of Hospitality and Tourism in Lagos in December (NAN)


Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf

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Perm Sec, pregnant wife, 2 kids burnt to death in Benue inferno–Police



The Acting Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, Mr Seker Akaa, his pregnant wife and two kids were burnt to death in a fire incident in Makurdi early hours of Monday.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Benue, DSP Sewuese Anene confirmed the inferno to the Nigeria News Agency in Makurdi.

Anene said the fire started at about 2.40 a.m at Kwarafa Quaters, Makurdi.

NAN reports that three other flats were also burnt including the resident of Evangelist Daniel Unongo, Chaplain of Benue Government House, who is also Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Samuel Ortom on Religion.

Anene said Mr Akaa, his pregnant wife, Linda, two children; Sender and Tertsegh Akaa, all occupants of Flat 1 were burnt to death during the fire disaster.

She said that the dead bodies had been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Makurdi mortuary.

The police spokesperson said the cause of the fire accident was yet to be known, saying “investigation into the matter had already commenced”.

The Deputy Governor, Mr Benson Abounu, who immediately visited the scene, expressed shock at the level of destruction and loss of human lives.

According to Abounu, it is black day for Benue and the state has lost a prized asset in Mr. Akaa.

He prayed God to give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

“We cannot undo what has happened. At the moment, government will take responsibility for their burial and assist the other families to relocate. We warn against any looting of property.” Abounu said

The Commissioner, Energy, Science Technology, Dr Godwin Oyiwona also confirmed the incident and expressed the ministry’s deepest condolences.

NAN gathered from an eyewitness, who refused to be named, that the fire started in flat 1 the residence of the late acting permanent secretary.

He said the perm sec and his family would have been saved but because of the incessant cases of armed robbery recorded within the neighborhood the neighbours thought it was armed robbers that were operating again.

“Actually the fire started at Mr Akaa’s house, we would have saved him and his family but we thought it was armed robbers that were again attacking us.

“You see armed robbers attack us here regularly. So, we have adopted ways of self-defense by providing burglary protection on the doors to prevent them from getting easy access inside, that too caused delay of getting to them on time,” it said.

The witness said fire fighters from Benue Government House, Makurdi, came to the scene on time but they had little to do to save them.

NAN reports that though the cause of the inferno remained unknown, eyewitnesses said it might have been caused by electrical fault as it razed down the entire house and extended to three other houses.

NAN further reports that the fire was still burning as of the time of filing the report.

Edited /Maureen Atuonwu

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Varsity students to hold maiden cultural festival in Nasarawa



The Students of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, are to hold the maiden edition of a cultural festival in February 2020.

The President of the Students Union Government (SUG), Mr Victor Tsaku, told the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Keffi that the festival would be tagged: “Nsuk Carnival”.

He said the event was aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence, cultural integration, tolerance, and reawakening of the cultural values considered to be going into extinction, particularly among young people.

“We expect that all registered cultural and tribal groups in the university will participate in the festival.

“The event is put together to promote peace, cultural integration and to enable young people get acquainted with their various cultural values.

“We believe that when people get to know more about other people’s culture, they will tend to appreciate it and embrace tolerance as well to enhance peaceful coexistence in our society.

“The festival will hold second week of February, 2020,” he said.

Tsaku said the students body is working with the department of History of the institution to produce a book on the history of Nasarawa State and the university, adding that the book would be presented at the festival.

He also said that the SUG would use the event to lay the foundation for its secretariat.

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Prince tasks kingmakers on choice of Oluyin successor



Prof. Tunde Falodun,  a contender for the vacant throne of Oluyin of Iyin- Ekiti has urged those involved in the kingship selection process to be circumspect and diligent about their choice for the peace and development of the town.

Falodun, a Professor of Communication Physics, Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Akure, (FUTA) gave the advice in an interview with Nigeria News Agency, at Iyin-Ekiti in Irepodun/Ifelodun local government area of Ekiti.

Oyinyosaiye Uyin Ii.

who joined his ancestors in September, after 14 years on the throne, was the pioneer Chief Judge of Ekiti state and former administrator of the National Judicial Institute, Abuja.

Falodun said that the footprints of the late monarch transcended Iyin-Ekiti as he was “a dependable adviser to various organisations and government at various levels which regularly sought his words of wisdom”.

The prince noted that it would be in the best interest of the town to chose a successor that woul sustain the trend of development laid by Ajakaiye.

e late Oluyin may have joined his ancestors, but the outstanding achievements recorded during his reign would remain watershed in the annals of history of Iyin-Ekiti and his memory will remain evergreen.”

“Oba Ajakaiye, brought a lot of progress and development to the town and lifted the stool of Oluyin to a greater height both within and outside the country”

“He was a reliable and creative leader, available at all times not only for the development of the town, but also for his subjects..

“Oba Ajakaiye’s successor, therefore, must be a bridge builder, a good listener, level headed individual with capability for right judgment, educationally and traditionally intelligent, God fearing and a down-to-earth community mobiliser.

“We cannnot afford to trivialise the process of the selection of the new Oba because a lot depends on it for the sustainable growth of the town,” he said.

He commended the Council of Chiefs, community leaders and all Iyin indigenes for their steadfastness during the period of the transition of the late Oba.

He expressed happiness with the selection of Princess Adeola as the Regent of Iyin and prayed God to grant her the wisdom to pilot the affairs of the town in her regency.

Falodun, a Prince from the lineage of Oba Agboun, Oketagidigidi Ruling House of the town said he had been selected and endorsed by his people to contest the exalted stool of Oluyin.

The don recalled he contested the thronel with the late Oba Ajakaye when it became vacant in 2004.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

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OTrike unites Jos people, says Planner



The Marketing Business Planner of OTrike (an Online Transport Service) in Jos, Mr Collins Nzeribe, says the service is uniting residents of the city through its operations.

Nzeribe said the company had been providing service to people of the area through Keke Napep operators called “Riders”.

He told Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Jos that the Riders were able to ferry passengers to places in the Jos metropolis which were perceived as “No-go-areas” by different groups, because of the religious crisis that bedeviled the city some time ago.

He said the initiative had helped in re-integrating the residents of the area who are of different faiths, as the riders did not have choice of whom to pick,from what locations and to what destinations.

He said the practice had removed fear and feeling of restriction among the people.

The planner said the riders were freely ferrying passengers to such places as Angwan Rogo and Bauchi road, Tundun Wada and Agwan Rukuba, irrespective of their religions.

He said that OTrike had also provided a platform for both riders and users to relate in a conducive environment.

He said the service was technology-driven, accessible via the OPay app – a super app that was available on Android and iOS, with features that catered for variety of lifestyle demands.

Nzeribe said people of different tribes and religious believed they could sit, discuss and relate well without fear, using the service.

He said Plateau needed unity and peace and OTrike was helping to achieve such through its own operations.

Some of the users and riders spoken to said they enjoyed the absence of restriction in their movements.

One of the riders, Usman Abubakar, said he enjoyed moving around to pick passengers unhindered, and thanked OTrike for the oppotunity.

Another, Anthony Uche, said,“before now, there was serious division as there were boundaries people could not cross into places any how” .

Uche said that he go would to as far as Bauchi road to pick people now and that was not his route before.

‘’The Opay App connects us to our users and since it is done on line, it is impossible for one to say no to some locations,” Uche said.

Mrs Ene Okoh, a passenger, said a rider who belonged to a religion different from hers could pick her in her area and take her to the destination of her choice.

Amina Ibrahim also said she liked the accessibility of the service which enabled her to freely visit all parts of the city.

Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf

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Lai Mohammed commends Nigerian actors for their creative prowess



The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Sunday commended Nigerian actors for their creative prowess in acting and inculcating morals in the public through plays.

Mohammed gave the commendation late on Sunday night after a stage play entitled: “Man Enough” at the Terra Kulture Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos

He said that the efforts of the Nigerian actors were appreciated based on their positive impact on fellow Nigerians and the creative industry.

” The talents I have seen so far in Nigerian actors and actresses render them capable to compete favourably with their colleagues in other climes.

” The play was well presented, am quite impressed with the presentation and the morals a lot of people must have benefited from today.

” This is a play that present the challenges men go through on a daily basis and solutions were proffered to managing such challenges,” he said.

The lead actor of the play, Gideon Okeke advised Nigerians to imbibe some virtues in the play in order to impart positively on people.

He said some of the virtues were: effective communication, expressing brotherly love to people around and care more for others.

According to him, an act of kindness or love expressed towards a fellow human being could go a long way in improving an individuals’ life.

He also advised that people should learn to communicate effectively while they listen more.

” People in the society react to issues differently and we are faced with different forms of challenges which could be resolved or trivialised by a neighbour’s act of love and care.

” We should learn to be our brother’s keeper and render helping hands to the needy because this could help others from being depressed, committing suicide or some other bad things,” he said.

Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Association tasks FG on stringent sanctions to curb crime



The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSACGOC) says federal government must ensure stringent sanctions to curb crime in the country.

The Association in a communique at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Ilorin on Sunday said that the rate of crime in the country remained a major threat to the national security.

The communique was signed by Mr Muhammad Yunusa the president and Ayo Olorunfemi, the Secretary General.

“The association notes with dismay the incessant act of crime and its escalation which forms major threats to Nigeria’s national security.

“Stringent sanctioning and deterrence mechanisms are suggested to control crimes where criminal opportunism and impunity prevail over and above deterrence, ” it said.

It appreciated the federal government for the closure of the land borders and called for the support of local famers and manufacturer s to boost local production and the economy.

It urged government to put in place palliatives to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians living around the border areas.

On the new minimum wage, it commended president Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Act and called for full implementation by all adding that government should try to clear unpaid federal and state staff claims.

On Communication Satellite, it noted that to fight insecurity in the country, government needed to fund the launch of NIGCOMSAT 2 and 3.

“In addition, we call on the federal government to partner NIGCOMSAT as a technology partner to drive the digital and financial inclusion policy for millions of Nigerians in the rural communities.

“There should be enforcement of local content order 003/005 in favour of NIGCOMSAT so that agencies like NTA and NNPC can patronise it instead of using foreign satelite operators,” it said.

The association further commended government on the on going reconstruction of roads and called for speedy completion to reduce sufferings and huge loss of revenue.

“Government at all level need to create economic policies that will genuinely alleviate poverty in the country,” it added.

On governance, it frowned at appointment of politicians as Chief Executive Officers of statutory corporations and government-owned companies as it seemed that they were used for political settlements rather than performance.

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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