Stakeholders on Wednesday condemned the presence of strange armed men at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) council chamber during the council’s recent emergency meeting.
The stakeholders, in interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos appealed for the quick intervention of the Federal Government.
Tension has been heightened at the institution in recent time following queries issued to about eight management staff, including the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and his immediate predecessor, Prof. Rahamon Bello.
The Registrar of the institution, Mr Oladejo Azeez, issued the queries on the orders of the Pro-Chancellor, Dr Wale Babalakin.
The queries were said to have bordered on misappropriation of funds and travelling without permission, among other issues.
The development was, however, condemned by the institution’s branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and some stakeholders.
In a swift reaction, the Pro-Chancellor directed the registrar to convene an emergency two-day council meeting, inviting all concerned.
NAN reports that on the first day of the meeting held on Monday, May 13, some strange men numbering about 15, dressed in black attires, were seen at the council chamber during the meeting.
A NAN investigation revealed that due to the concern raised, the strange men were not at the council chamber on the second day of the meeting, Tuesday, May 16.
One of the university’s security officials, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the strange men were relocated to the Pro Chancellor’s lodge during the meeting.
The presence of the strange men caused a scare on campus.
Oluwabamise Olanipekun, President and Chairman, Council of Faculties, UNILAG, described the development as a distraction, saying that it has created tension and fear on campus, as well as the smooth running of the university’s academic activities.
He said that the presence of such strange armed men would no longer be tolerated by the students.
“With this kind method of leadership, we cannot go anywhere and we may not be able to meet the cardinal mandate of the university.
“Our vice chancellor is a man of peace; he has done very well in the short period of his administration.
“He has attracted so many profitable ventures into the university, both within the country and in the Diaspora, which many of the students have already benefited from, including my humble self.
“Apart from this, his humility and ever=ready attention to student matters, as well as his administrative style is something commendable.
“We will therefore not allow detractors to toil with his good works. We as students of this university love him and will always pledge our loyalty and support to his good course,” he said.
Olanipekun, a final year student of English Language, called on the Federal Government, to put modalities in place to check the activities of political appointees at the institution.
According to him, the students are not against any public officer being probed, but the manner at which such probe is carried out is what matters.
“There must be unity of purpose in any given organisation in order to make meaningful progress,” he said.
An alumnus of the institution, Mr Adebanjo Moyosore, also condemned the incident, noting that it was “a bad omen’’.
Moyosore said that the university’s image had been “dented’’ and therefore urged the Federal Government to take a decisive step to resolve the issue.
“This is unacceptable, given that the university had enjoyed unparalleled peace and mutual co-existence, in recent times.
“What has been happening in this institution which we have been guarding jealously has been dented within the public domain, courtesy of some persons who want to take laws in their hands
“Yes, any situation that appears erring should be probed but in doing so, we should also be mindful to ensure that due process is followed,” he said.
In his reaction, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), UNILAG Chapter, Dr Dele Ashiru, condemned the presence of the armed men on campus.
“This whole thing is coming to us as a surprise. That the pro-chancellor can carry out such a siege on an institution of this pedigree, leaves a lot to be desired.
“We are watching keenly to see how this whole thing plays out. We condemn this in absolute terms,” he said.
Kashim Ibrahim Fellows construct classrooms in Kaduna community
The Second Cohort of Kashim Ibrahim Fellows (KIF), has begun the construction of a two block of classrooms at Local Government Education Primary School Danhonu I, to improve the learning environment.
Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i had in August 2018 inaugurated the KIF, a one-year programme for 16 fellows from all over Nigeria to develop and nurture their leadership abilities for public service.
The school located around Millennium City, Chikun Local Government Area of the state, had 1,660 pupils and 250 adults, predominantly women undergoing adult education.
The primary school has only a block of two classrooms built by the state government and additional uncompleted single classroom being built by members of the community.
Dr Maiwuya Abubakar, one of the fellows in-charge of supervising the project, said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction on Friday in Kaduna, that the school was experiencing shortage of classrooms.
He also said that primary two, three and four were also congested in one class; primary five and six were equally stuffed in a single class, while adult education holds in the open.
He added that the school has no fence, no source of water and no toilet facility, while the roofs of the existing classrooms were leaking.
According to him, the construction of the classrooms, which would be concluded within 50 days, was part of the KIF community service to help decongest the school and improve teaching and learning.
“Education is in the heart of the current administration and we decided to contribute our quota by supporting the government to improve school’s infrastructure to ensure conducive learning environment.
Also speaking, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, described the project as a “lasting legacy” that the fellows would be remembered for by the community and the state.
“This is very touchy, very commendable and worthy of emulation. Thank you for making a difference.
“This will go a long way in supporting the state in developing the needed human capital with requisite education, skills and talent for the overall development of the state,” Balarabe said.
The Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Makarfi, equally thanked KIF for the support and urged the community members to take ownership of the projects to ensure sustainability.
Makarfi said that the state government would take necessary steps to address the challenges of the school in line with ongoing transformation of the education sector.
Sen. Uba Sani, representing Kaduna Central at the National Assembly also promised to construct and furnished additional block of two classrooms for the school.
Sani, who was represented by the Executive Director, Uba Sani Foundation, Alhaji Ibrahim Dan’Halilu, called for more support to the school to improve access to quality education in the state.
Similarly, the Caretaker Committee Chairperson of Chikun Local Government, Hajiya Hadiza Yahuza, said that provisions have been made in council’s 2020 budget to improve the infrastructure of the school.
The Head Teacher of the school, Mrs Hanatu Kadafo, thanked the Kashim Ibrahim Fellows for coming to the aid of the school and appealed for more support to provide quality teaching and improve learning outcome.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the activity was part of the KIF week-long community services to give back to the society.
The community service began with employability workshop on Monday and Tuesday that exposed 331 graduates to what was required to gain employment in the labour market and how to be self-employed.
Edited by: Yakubu Uba/Tukur Muntari.
Makinde approves N300m for Ibadan Poly for accreditation, capital projects
Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State says he has approved the sum of N200 million for The Polytechnic, Ibadan to secure accreditation for some of its courses and another N100 million for capital projects in the 2020 budget.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Makinde disclosed this at the 34th convocation ceremony of the institution on Friday in Ibadan.
The governor, who was represented by Prof. Daud Shangodoyin, the state Commissioner for Education, said that his administration appreciated quality academic culture and would not do anything to hinder its development.
“My administration is determined to salvage the education sector from its doldrums.
“The problem facing education is multifaceted, but we are prepared, more than ever before, to confront the problem and make the state a model educational state to be emulated by others in terms of quality personnel engaged in academic activities at all levels.
“The budget recently presented to the state House of Assembly has given education the highest allocation of 22 percent, hence we hope that Oyo State will bounce back as the leading educational state and fountain of knowledge setting the pace for others.
“To ensure the accreditation of all your courses, the sum of N200 million was approved and released to your institution with the hope that the money would be spent judiciously and accreditation of all listed courses secured.
“We have also approved a sum of N100 million in the 2020 budget for the execution of capital projects in the institution. All these, from the records available to me, have not happened in the institution in the last 10 years,” he said.
The governor noted that the major challenge in tertiary institutions in the country was electricity, saying this had hampered learning and researches.
He, however, said it was imperative to end the parity between university and polytechnic education in Nigeria as was done in the United Kingdom.
Shangodoyin, who spoke in his capacity as the commissioner for education, said government would do its best to take the institution to an enviable position.
“This institution should be repositioned, not to maintain a fourth position among its peers, but to be the foremost polytechnic nationally and globally, taking the lead role in technological education,” he said.
The commissioner alluded to the cordial working relationship with the unions and the staff, expressing the hope that it would translate into improved level of performance in promoting the status of the institution.
He, however, charged the graduands to think of survival strategies in view of the challenges in the labour market and come up with solution with the training and education acquired from the institution.
In his address, the institution’s Rector, Prof Kazeem Adebiyi, stated that the support received from the governor had helped in making appreciable progress.
He noted that the institution’s management had given priority to the welfare of members of staff and students and had promoted peace among students, especially in the area of unionism.
“The world has become a global village and this institution cannot afford to be left out in terms of upgrade of its teaching facilities, both human and physical, as well as the by-products of teaching, which are the students,” he said.
The rector said that all hands must be on deck to ensure quality education at the tertiary level.
He charged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the institution.
“The institution has trained you, not only to use your brains, but more importantly, your hands. Due to the nature of your training, you are job creators, not job seekers,” Adebiyi said.
In his valedictory speech, Abdulganeey Olayiwola, the overall best graduating student of the institution from the Department of Applied Chemistry, urged his colleagues to continue to work hard and pray to achieve their goals in life.
Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq
Sandamu LEA records 85 % increase in school enrollment–Official
Sandamu (Katsina state) Dec 13 2019 Sandamu Local Education Authority (LEA) in Katsina State said that it had jerked up pupils’enrollment into primary and JSS schools by 85 per cent, from the initial 65 per cent recorded in 2018.
Malam Aliyu Tukur, the council’s Education Secretary, made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Sandamu on Friday.
He said the “dramatic increase“ in enrollment cut across all the existing 55 primary schools and JSS schools in the area.
“Even the Girl-child enrollment has moved to 80 per cent from the previous 50 per cent,” he said.
Tukur attributed the development to the recently introduced home grown school feeding programme under which 7,500 pupils were registered for the free feeding programme.
He also attributed the feat to the efforts of the School Based Management Committee (SBMC), parent teachers association (PTA), traditional, religious and community leaders in the area.
The education secretary commended the state government for renovating 20 primary schools and constructing additional classrooms across the eleven existing electoral wards.
He also lauded the efforts of the state government and UNICEF for drilling 45 boreholes and construction of toilets across some of the primary and JSS schools, stressing.
“This positive initiative has seriously improved water supply in our schools.“
He said out of the 580 teachers deployed to the area, no fewer than 400 of them had been promoted to the next grade levels while 45 of them released for further studies.
According to him, the move would motivate the teachers to performed effectively.
“We also commend the National Primary Education Commission (NPEC) for constructing a six-classroom school at Keru village to increase access to education.”
Nigeria News Agency reports that Sandamu LEA had recently received delivery of 6,300 units of pupils books from the world bank under its better education for all programme called (BESDA)
Edited by: Dada Ahmed
Don tasks Nigerian graduates on human capital devt.
Prof. Ayobami Ojebode, a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, on Thursday urged Nigerian graduates to invest in themselves through human capital development and creativity for a better life.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Ojebode stated this at the 34th edition of the convocation lecture of The Polytechnic, Ibadan.
Ojebode, who spoke on the topic, ‘The Dream, Challenges and Reality of the Contemporary Nigeria for Fresh graduates,’ said graduates must be well informed and harness technology to their advantage.
He highlighted the challenges and reality of the economic situation in the country, adding that the present administration’s policy if well implemented will bring succour in the long run.
The Economic Recovery Plan of President Muhammadu Buhari administrati, on is envisioned to have the potential of leading to better economic performance under certain conditions, with emphasis on industrialisation and agricultural development.
The Economic Recovery Growth Plan may on the long run impact and protect the economy from the shocks it experiences as the prices of crude oil undulate. There is hope, but then there are also apprehensions,” he said.
Ojebode enumerated effectsn of unemployment on some of who are personality
He urged employers in the country to stop complaining about the poor quality of the Nigerian graduates but to invest in graduate training.
Employers and potential employers must come out that exploitative illusion and begin to invest in graduate training.
Expecting graduates to serve your organisation without an in-house training is like trying to reap where you did not sow.
Graduates are like hardware computers; sound and strong as a computer may be, it does not begin to run your staff salary programmes or your results computation the moment you buy it,” Ojebode said.
The don however charged graduates to fully prepare and develop themselves so that the labour market would become a true market, where people of equal status meet.
He said “We should work towards a labour market that empowers job seekers to negotiate and make choices, that is what a true market is and that is what our national labour dream should be, not just about fighting for minimum wage.”
Ojebode said graduates should maximize the use of their smartphones to create opportunities for themselves.
“To survive this reality of contemporary Nigeria, the graduate must be well informed: what do you do with your phone beyond idle chat and online gossip about politicians and popstars? What newspaper are you reading?
“Despite all I have said about our politicians, how many people here know that the Federal Government of Nigeria has a business support project reputed to be among the most transparent in recent times?
I am referring to the GEM project which has transferred millions in Grant’s to over 950 businesses. How many know of the Tony Elumelu Foundation giving out millions of naira to young people who can demonstrate creativity and serious mindedness.
“Right this week, that Foundation awarded about 1.7 million naira each to 2,100 young people as grants to start their own businesses. “And, this is just one of the several foundations in Nigeria doing such things,” Ojebode said.
(Edited by: Mufutau Ojo)
OAU to become hub of aeronautic engineering-VC
The Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, says the institution would soon become the hub of aeronautic and aerospace engineering studies in Nigeria.
Ogunbodede said this in his address at the university’s 44th Convocation held on Thursday in Ile-Ife.
He said that a departmental building was already under construction, adding that none of the federal Universities across the country currently offers a programme in the field.
According to him, OAU is taking up this challenge in order to open up an entirely new paradigm of innovation in learning and practice of aeronautics in Nigeria.
The vice-chancellor also said that the university was collaborating with interested government agencies and corporate organisations to construct an airstrip.
He said that the air strip would not only serve as a training ground for the planned aeronautic engineering programme of the university, but would also assist in ameliorating the burden of air travel in Osun.
Ogunbodede stated that OAU was also partnering with Troyka Nigeria Limited to start a unique programme in Media and Communication studies with the construction of a Media School as well as television station.
The vice-chancellor further said that OAU would soon generate its own electricity to last 24 hours a day, attributing this to the education programme of the Federal Government which was providing 8.03 Mega Watts Gas-powered turbine stand-alone electricity generating system.
Moving off the national grid would enable the university to save between N35 million and N65 million, ” he added.
Ogunbodede also said that the National Universities Commission (NUC) had conducted a general accreditation across all universities, .
He expressed confidence that the university would record 100 percent success when the outcome of the exercise was made public.
The courses involved, he said, were Law; Dentistry, Botany, Applied Arts and Home Economics.
Ogunbodede stated further that OAU was reviewing the curricular of all academic programmes which would train their graduands to be job creators and not job-seekers.
All graduates of OAU will be equipped with entrepreneurial knowledge in addition to vocational training that will allow them acquire at least one skill that would ensure survival in the era of massive unemployment.
“Such skills would include: Metal works, Wood works, Leather works, Aluminium fabrication, Paint-making, Fashion Designing, Photography, Film Production and Editing, Agribusiness, Block-making Kerbs and interlocking, Hair-Dressing, Barbing and Cosmetology and ICT,” he said.
(Edited by: Mufutau Ojo)
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