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UI ASUU elects Akinwole as Chairman

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The congress of the Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU) University of Ibadan Chapter, has elected, unopposed, Prof Ayo Akinwole, as its new Chairman. 

Akinwole, a professor of Aquaculture Engineering and Water Resources, took over from Prof Deji Omole who had served two terms.

Also elected unopposed were Drs Femi Afolabi (Vice Chairman), Chris Omoregie (Secretary), Seun Garba (Ass. Secretary I), Kazeem Olaniyan (Ass. Secretary II)

Others are Sarah Akintola (Treasurer), Femi Akewula (Financial Secretary), Kehinde Soetan (Investment), Funke Adegoke (Welfare), Ajibade Tayo (Publicity), and Dapo Okareh (Internal Auditor).

The new executives were unveiled at the Biennial Congress of the Union held at ASUU Secretariat, Ajibode extension by the Chairman electoral Committee, Prof Akin Alada.

Alada said the elected officials satisfied all the provisions of ASUU constitution and were returned elected.

ASUU Zonal Coordinator, Dr Ade Adejumo, who inaugurated the new exco, tasked them to be ready to fight executive tyranny in Nigeria and ensure that the children of the masses were not sidelined. 

The chairman-elect, Akinwole, assured that the Union would continue to stand with the masses and fight for publicly funded education.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Wale Ojetimi

 

Education

Osinbajo, Sanwo-Olu, ASUU hail Unilag VC at 60

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu have prayed for more wisdom, strength and  favour for the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, as he clocked 60.


In a congratulatory message made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, Osinbajo thanked God for Ogundipe’s life. and prayed Him to grant the vice chancellor more grace.

Dolapo and I, congratulate you heartily on your 60th birthday anniversary.

”We bless the name of the Lord for his great favour and mercy over your life in the past years. God is truly worthy of praise.

”As we celebrate with you and your family and friends as you attain this milestone, we pray that as your days are, so shall your strength, wisdom and favour with God  be, in Jesus name,” Osinbajo prayed.

Similarly, Sanwo-Olu  congratulated the vice chancellor, saying that he  (Ogundipe)  belonged to the privileged class of ‘Nigeria’s Independence’ children.

”You were born in the same year the country emerged as an independent nation, bearing the hopes and aspirations of the African continent and the entire black race.

”By your towering and exceptional achievement as a foremost man of God, scholar, administrator and patriot, you stand tall today.

”I have followed closely your transformational strides at Unilag, which happens to be my alma mater.

‘’Under your watch, the institution entered the 2020 Times Higher Education Ranking of the best 1000 universities in the world, for the first time,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The governor said that the vice chancellor

had registered his footprints  on the sands of time, by his achievements.

“I am proud of the work you are doing,  and grateful that the Almighty God  has spared your life to see this Diamond Jubilee,” he said.

The governor prayed God to continue to grant Ogundipe grace and wisdom  to take the university to greater heights.

”On behalf of my wife, Ibijoke, and myself, I congratulate you and the entire Ogundipe family on this milestone, and wish you many more glorious years,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Also in a congratulatory message, the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) wished Ogundipe more years of experience and diligence.

”The association rejoices with the vice chancellor. We believe he is 20 years old, plus 40 years of experience. We look forward to another 40 years, when we will come back to celebrate him.

”We wish him the very best in office as he continues to pilot the affairs of the Great Akokites,” ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said.

NAN reports that Ogundipe clocked 60 years on Sunday.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Education

Return to roundtable or face consequences, FG tells striking ASUU

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige says there will be consequences if the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) refuse government’s overture to return to the negotiating table.

Ngige disclosed this on Sunday in a statement signed by his media aide, Emmanuel Nzomiwu, in Enugu.

The statement said Ngige spoke in his hometown Alor, Anambra, where he donated palliative worth N15 million to vulnerable households to cushion COVID-19 effects.

He said that the Federal Government could activate relevant labour laws to deal with the situation.
He said that the law permits the Federal Government to approach the National Arbitration Panel (NAP) and even the National Industrial Court (NIC).
The minister said that the ASUU strike was all about the disagreement on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

“Any other reason given by ASUU is an alibi. I invited ASUU for a zoom meeting in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines, but they insisted on meeting me face to face.

“We have labour laws and hierarchy of arbitration. There is the NAP and NIC. If I am tired, I can refer it there.

“So the better thing is for them to come and negotiate on firsthand basis where we are not bringing an external arbitrator,” he said.

According to him, ASUU as an employee lacks the right to dictate to the Federal Government on how to receive wages.

“The important thing is for your salaries and wages to come to you. As a workman, you receive your pay as compensation for services rendered. So, that is on the statute everywhere,” he said.

Ngige said that some of the people drawing salaries from the Federal Government coffers were ghost workers.

He said that there had been a shortfall in tax returns by the various universities over time which accumulated to over N800 billion.

He said that the Joint Tax Board (JTB) had penalised the Federal Government for nonremitance of the monies to the benefiting state governments.

The minister said that it was sad that ASUU had been uncompromising in the dispute.

“We had discussions and they said some of the agreements we had in Memorandum of Action 2019, were not implemented vigorously.

“We agreed that they will be paid N25billion for their earned academic allowances and another N25billion for revitalisation of university system.

The Federal Government paid the first tranche of N50 billion and N25 billion. Thereafter, there was the issue of National Minimum Wage and its consequential adjustment,” he said.

He said that the Federal Government spent N160 billion in the process.

Ngige said that the Federal Government could not pay ASUU the next tranche of N25 billion in October last year.

“They said there is a breach. We said we are owing. That we can pay it. So, we restructured it and agreed that the government can pay them 20 billion and another 20 billion for earned academic allowances between April 2020 and May.
“We all agreed,” Ngige said.

Edited By: Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

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ASUU UI produces 3,000 face masks for members, vulnerable groups 

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of  Ibadan (UI) chapter, has produced 3,000 pieces of face masks for its members and vulnerable groups to stem further spread of COVID-19 pandemic

The Chairman of the association, Prof. Ayo Akinwole stated this while unveiling the customised face masks at a press conference on Sunday in Ibadan.

Akinwole said the customised face masks designed and produced by the union was aimed at combating COVID-19 especially now that it has got to the community transmission phase. 

He noted that it was the second tranche of ASUU intervention on COVID-19, noting that the union had produced hand sanitiser for health workers and the press in the first tranche of the intervention.

“We put our experts together to produce what we call “ASUU UI face masks”.

“We did not contract it out and the committee was headed by an expert who is also a member of the union.

“Let’s leave the surgical masks for the healthcare workers who are frontliners, they need it in their fight against COVID-19.

“The customised face masks had two major designs and it was produced for people of different sizes for comfort. The comfort of the users is very important if they are to adhere to government rules on wearing face masks,” Akinwole said.

The chairman said the face masks were produced specifically for the members and other vulnerable groups in the society.

He added that the union produced leaflets to teach the users on how to use and reuse the face mask.

Also speaking, Dr Dapo Okareh, the Chairman, ASUUUI COVID-19 Intervention Committee, said the face mask was designed in accordance with approved international standards, adding that it is reusable. 

“We looked at all the logistics and ensured that it met the required standards. We have attached the instructions on how  it can be used.

“The ASUUUI treated cotton face mask was produced to meet International standards. The materials used are cotton, absorbent, cello filter, organ filter, liner, pearls among others.

“Our key message is that it is better to use a mask than a ventilator, hence the customised mask can be reused following this process; clean, disinfect, sterile and iron neatly.”

Kare, who is also the Internal Auditor of the union, enjoined users to routinely soak the mask in warm water, brush the surface with soft hand brush and dry the mask on relatively high heat.

NAN reports that the event which featured quality assurance testing of the face masks to ascertain its quality, was attended by officials of the union. 

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Rabiu Sani Ali (NAN)

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ASUU rejects submission of BVN as condition for payment of withheld salaries

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says it has rejected the submission of Bank Verification Number (BVN) as a condition for payment of February and March withheld salaries of lectures in the Federal Universities.

Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Federal Government on Tuesday in a statement has approved the payment of February and March withheld salaries of lecturers in universities, who were yet to enroll on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

NAN recalls that ASUU had embarked on an indefinite strike on March 23, over failure of the government to address outstanding issues raised in the FGN-ASUU 2019 Memorandum of Action and the objections of ASUU to IPPIS.

ASUU had rejected the application of force on its members to join the IPPIS in spite of its offer of a more credible alternative to IPPIS.

According to Ogunyemi, we have been told that the Federal Government has approved the payment of withheld salaries of our members for the month of February and March.

“We appreciate Mr President for doing that, however, withholding February and and March salaries was unnecessary in the first place.

“In the second place, the issue is the condition attached to it, which does not go down well with our members, which is the supply of their BVN.

“Our members are being paid in the past without asking for their BVN.

“So, we have reasons to suspect that this is an indirect way to get us back to IPPIS, which our members rejected.

“So, these are things we are going to clarify with the government whenever we are called for a meeting,” he said.

Edited By: Shittu Obassa/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

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Gombe State University ASUU distributes items to fight coronavirus

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The Gombe State University chapter of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday distributed hand sanitisers and liquid soap to the state government, communities and religious groups towards curtailing COVID-19.

Speaking during the distribution in Gombe, Mr Lawal Oladimeji, the chapter chairman, said ASUU was a union with a fundamental principle of working for humanity.

He added that the chapter thereafter found it essential to play its role in preventing the pandemic.

“Hence, the directive by the National Executive Council (NUC) for all chapters of the union to key in to the activities in spite of the fact that members of the union have been on an indefinite strike action,” Oladimeji said.

He said the branch had, with the support of medical professional colleagues, been engaged in enlightenment campaigns in the mass media apart from distributing posters.

In his message to the gathering, Mr Biodun Ogunyemi, the ASUU President, said the union had encouraged members to work with medical and paramedical teams as volunteers in the fight against COVID-19.

Ogunyemi, who was represented by Mr Mohammed Said, Chairman of Federal University Kashere ASUU chapter, said the union has pledged to demonstrate its concerns for Nigerians’ welfare and well-being.

“Our primary concern is how to reconnect education and health, which are the two clear indices of human development.

“When people say `health is wealth’, we also insist that ‘good health is a product of good education’,” he said.

Prof. Aliyu El-Nafate, the Vice-Chancellor of Gombe State University, expressed appreciation of ASUU’s efforts in contributing to the fight against coronavirus in the state and the country.

Alhaji Marafa Shamaki, who represented the Tudun Wada community and spoke on behalf of the recipients, thanked the ASUU chapter and promised that they would make effective use of the items.

Shamaki called on other unions and associations to emulate ASUU as government alone could not do the job of curbing the spread of COVID-19.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the beneficiaries included the State Task Force on COVID-19, state chapters of JNI and CAN, and the university community.

Others were the host communities of the university, namely Tudun Wada, Arawa and Mallam Inna.

Items distributed were 80 cartons of hand sanitisers, 15 cartons of liquid soap and 6,000 pieces of posters in English and Hausa languages.

(
Edited By: Razak Owolabi and Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Kyari: ASUU commiserates with Buhari

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has described the demise of Malam Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, as sad and unfortunate. The union’s National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, expressed the sadness in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

NAN reports that the Kyari died on Friday in a Lagos hospital following complications from COVID-19.
He was the highest public officer to have died from the pandemic in Nigeria.

About 541 petsons have been infected with the virus in Nigeria and 19 deaths recorded from it.
”The demise of the chief of staff is sad. It is unfortunate that he had to go that way.

”Our hearts and prayers are with the family. We also sympathise with Mr President, with whom he worked until his death.
”We shall all miss him, but more importantly, the lesson that his transition teaches us a country should not be lost: we must continue to improve our health and education sectors ,” the unionist said.

Prof. Solomon Akinboye, the immediate past Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos, said that the country had lost a key actor in the current administration.

Akinboye, a Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science of the institution, said, however that Kyari’s death was a wake up call for fortification of Nigeria’s key sectors, especially education and health.
”His death underscores the fact that COVID-19 has no respect for anybody.

”It is time we wake up to the realities on ground as they concern our health and education facilities.
” I commiserate with President Buhari and the family of the deceased. The development is sad indeed,” he said. (NAN)

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Lockdown: Board, ASUU donate food, other items to the needy in Bayelsa

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The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Seven Up Bottling Company and ASUU, Port Harcourt zone, have donated food items, drinks and sanitiser to the vulnerable in Bayelsa.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items were donated on Tuesday in Yenagoa, to the Bayelsa COVID-19 Task Force led by Gov. Douye Diri, for onward distribution to the people.

The board donated 70 kegs of 20-litre vegetable oil, 350 bags of rice, 175 carton of tomatoe paste, 35 kegs of 20-litre red oil, 70 bags of beans and 35 bags of garri.

Other items included 35 packets of Maggi seasoning, 70 small bags of salt and 35 bags of sugar, amongst others.

Presenting the items, Mr Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB, said that the donation was to cushion the effect of the lockdown in the state on the people, especially the vulnerable.

Wabote, represented by Dr Patrick Obah, Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, NCDMB, noted that the board had earlier donated two ambulances and medical supplies to the state government.

The executive secretary said that COVID-19 pandemic had presented a challenge to humanity and called for collaboration among stakeholders to tackle the menace.

“The time we are in calls for a show of solidarity with the people of the state.

“The Management of NCDMB has decided to support the Government of Bayelsa in two key areas; one is to strengthen the capacity of the health sector to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“The second is to assist the people, especially those that survive on daily pay, who have been directed to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus.

“It is not easy to ask people to stay at home without making provisions, and at a time like this we have to show solidarity with the Bayelsa government and the people,” he said.

In the same vein, Seven Up Bottling Company has donated a truckload of table water and soft drinks to the state government for distribution to the vulnerable.

Also, the Port Harcourt zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has donated 500 bottles of 100 ml of hand sanitiser as well as posters to assist the government in the fight against COVID-19.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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COVID-19: ASUU presents sensitisation materials to A’Ibom govt.

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Uyo chapter, has presented sensitisation materials to the Akwa Ibom government to enlighten the residents on COVID-19.
The ASUU Chairperson, Dr Happiness Uduk, presented the materials to the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, on Tuesday in Uyo.
Uduk said that the gesture was in response to the directive from the National President of ASUU that the union should contribute its quota towards containing the spread of the virus.
She said that the materials had been translated into Ibibio, Annang, Oro, Ekid and other dialects for people to understand the directives on the lockdown.
The chairperson said that apart from the printed materials, ASUU also presented 300 liters of hand sanitisers and more than 100 pieces of face masks.
She noted that ASUU, as a responsible organization, was doing this even though its members had not got their salaries for months now.
“Although the Federal Government has not paid us for some months now, we still have to show concern about the plight of our citizens; that was why we decided to bring in these items.
“Our national body has asked branches all over the federation to try to assist the government of the states where our universities are situated in one way or the other in these tough times.
ASUU is a very sensitive organisation; we have to identify with the plights of the masses. So, in spite of all we are passing through, we thought we should support the efforts of government in fighting the pandemic.
“What we did was try to translate the materials into our local dialects and pidgin English so that people at the grassroots can really understand what is happening world over as it affects us in Nigeria and by extension, Akwa Ibom state,” Uduk said.
In his remarks, Dr Aniekan Brown, Chairperson, Calabar zone of ASUU, comprising seven universities, lauded the Akwa Ibom government for the steps it had taken to control the spread of the virus in the state.
Brown noted that the outbreak of the pandemic had exposed the poor health facilities in the country, as attested to by the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF) recently.
Responding, Ukpong commended ASUU for supporting the state government.
The commissioner said that the state government had yet to receive support from the Federal Government in tackling the pandemic.
Ukpong said that the government had put necessary facilities in place to curb the spread of the virus in the state.
The commissioner said that the five cases that tested positive in the state were responding to treatment and awaiting reconfirmation tests.
According to him, they are held in the state isolation facility under the close watch of medical professionals.
“So far, there has been no negative health report concerning any of them (confirmed cases). None of them has so far completed the 14 days follow-up and none of them has escaped from constant observation,’’ Ukpong said.

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Health

UNICAL ASUU donates to COVID-19 task force in C/River

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Calabar branch, has donated 200 litres of alcohol based hand sanitisers to the state government.

Chairman of the Union, Dr John Edor, said the gesture was to help the state in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

Edor explained that the production of the sanitisers was solely sponsored by ASUU to support the state government proactive measures in the fight against the pandemic.

According to him, the donation was part of the union’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in reaching out to residents in the state.

“Covid-19 as a pandemic does not discriminate against any individual. We can see that the Western World is even hit harder than most African countries.

“Covid-19 is no respecter of any personality. Even ASUU members are potentials victims of the pandemic. As a union, we owe our people a CSR in everything that we do.

“As a union, we have to reach out to the populace in the little way we could, to see how we can contain the pandemic.

“This donation is in furtherance of our CSR and community service. It was solely financed by ASUU members and we are also fully involved in public campaigns for people to know the preventive measures,” he said.

He said that the union had also sponsored radio jingles to further enlighten members of the public across the state, especially those in the rural areas.

Edor commended the state government’s proactive steps in containing the spread of the virus in the state, adding that the union was happy that Cross River is Covid-19 free.

Receiving the itemss, Dr Betta Edu, the State Commissioner for Health, who also doubles as the Chairman of Covid-19 Task force in the state, commended ASUU for their kind gesture.

Edu, who lauded the Union for its magnanimity, added that thier contribution would go a long way in reaching many residents of the state.

“Your effort is immeasurable, the jingles you have produced and put on air can reach well over 1 million people daily and we as a government really appreciate the gesture.

“Your effort has added value to the fight against COVI6D-19 in the state and I want to assure that ASUU Unical branch will have its name written in gold in the roll call of the fight against Covid-19 in the state,” she said.

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