The Federal Ministry of Education has called on principals of its 104 Unity Colleges across the country to step up their leadership roles in a bid achieve an outstanding secondary education system.
The Minister of State for Education, Chief Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, made the call at the opening of the 2019 Annual General Meeting of Principals of Federal Unity Colleges on Tuesday in Lagos.
The AGM, which will end on Nov 16, has the theme: ”Education, a Tool for Curbing Corruption and Social Vices in Federal Unity Colleges”.
Nwajiuba said that education remained a subject that was highly valued all over the world for its ability to develop the human potentialities such as social and economic growth as well as development.
He said that the country was in a critical moment that could mar or launch the educational system into the desired level.
“The unity colleges, by nature of their establishment, serve as role models and pacesetters to all the states where they are situated.
“These colleges were expected to take the lead in character and academic performance but it was rather unfortunate that this seemed not to be the case in all the colleges today,”Nwajiuba said.
He decried the low rating and under-performance of the unity colleges despite the fact that they were relatively better funded in the country.
“As respective leaders of our various colleges, we all owe our county the responsibility of ensuring an educational system that delivers the socio- economic needs to the people and the country.
“The onus is on you to ensure effective implementation of the policy initiatives of the Federal Government to improve academic achievements in our Federal Unity Colleges.
“It is clear that unless we have principals that are competent and committed to translating the Federal Government’s visions for these colleges into reality by providing the right kind of leadership that will galvanise them into producing students who are ready to face the future with appropriate knowledge, creative skills, positive attitudes and social values, our efforts will not be fruitful,” he warned.
Nwajiuba charged the principals to also ensure that funds released for upgrade of facilities in the colleges were judiciously utilised for the purpose they were meant for.
He said managing resources that accrued to the colleges from all sources must also be accounted for in a transparent manner, in order to advance the welfare and wellbeing of the colleges, staff and the students.
The minister also charged the principals to step up efforts in checking indolence, truancy, incompetence ad indiscipline among their teaching and non-teaching staff.
“As principals, are you able to ensure discipline, godliness and commitment to working hard and academic excellence among your students?.
“This question and others were put before some of you in 2018, and today, we should not be asking the same questions if we are to justify your annual coming together for stock taking.
“Again, your ability to interpret the policies and curricular in use in the colleges are some of the determinants of your success in the internal and external examinations.
“The higher the quality of leadership that we offer in our colleges, the better the performance and achievement levels of our students,” he said.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echonod, described the annual general meeting as a vehicle for peer review among the principals.
He said that it was, therefore, expected that the principals would interact and learn the best practices from each other, so as to improve on their performances.
Echono, represented by an official from the ministry, Mr Samuel Ojo, said that the theme was carefully fashioned for discussions in order to mirror the overall corporate life and management of the colleges.
He urged the principals to explore the various practical ways of enhancing discipline in the colleges, as this was key to having optimum academic performance and success in life after school.
Echono appealed to the principals to join hands with President Buhari in his fight to curb corruption in the society.
“It is the desire to see a corrupt-free nation, and in particular, the 104 Federal Unity Colleges. I want to assure you of our support in every possible way to ensure an effective and efficient delivery of your core mandate,” he said.
Earlier in her address, the Chairman of Chairmen, Principals of Unity colleges, Mrs StellaMaris Omu, said the principals had put their acts together to give education its pride of place.
She said that principals of colleges should continue to synergise in order to enhance the activities and programmes of the Federal Ministry of Education to achieve its laudable objective of education for change Initiative .
Omu, however, noted that the challenges facing the colleges include disruption of college routine by unchecked Union activities.
Mrs Tokunbo Oyinloye-Yakubu The Principal, Queens College Yaba, said that the principals would continue to ensure that the colleges retained their position as the flagship colleges in all spheres.
The principal, who takes over from Omu whose tenure just ended, said that unity colleges remained a force to beat in education in the country.
Edited by Oluwole Sogunle
17 persons escape death in Anambra multiple crash
The accident occurred on the Nkpor/Umuoji stretch of the road.
Mr Pascal Anigbo, the Public Enlightenment Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) confirmed the crash to the Nigeria News Agency .
He said the vehicles included a red Mitsubishi bus with registration number JJT920ZW, a white Hummer bus without registration number and a truck marked KPE686XA.
Anigbo attributed the cause of the accident to wrongful overtaking.
He said 17 persons including 10 males and seven females were involved in the crash while seven persons were injured.
“The Mitsubishi bus did wrongful overtaking and collided with an oncoming bus and the two buses collided with a truck.
“The injured victims had been taken to Crown hospital Nkpor,” he said.
The FRSC officer also said efforts were on to recover the vehicles and valuables.
Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu
Adamawa community tasks Gov. Fintiri on road project
Binyeri community in Adamawa on Thursday urged Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri to reconstruct the failed 58-kilometres-long Mayo-Belwa Binyeri Road which had been abandoned for decades.
The community made the call in a statement in Yola by its spokesman, Mr Suleiman Mohammed-Tola.
Mohammed-Tola said that the road was first constructed in 1981 by the administration of late Gov. Abubakar Barde in the Second Republic to connect Taraba, but had suffered neglect in the last 29 years.
He said: “This road links Sebore-Tola-Binyeri totaling a distance of 39.8 kilometres km with four bridges and 12 culverts.
“However, one of the bridges and three culverts had collapsed due to floods at Dayino and Tasau villages, thereby making life unbearable to the residents, visitors and motorists plying the route.”
This record is second to Mayo Belw ,new the local government headquarters of ” Mohammed-Tola said.
While commending the Federal Government for embarking on the reconstruction of 18 kilometres Mayo Belwa- Sebore Road, the spokesman urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the early completion of the Mayo Belwa-Jada road project.
He also said Tola-Binyeri District is endowed with solid mineral deposits in commercial quantity.
“Barite, iron, mica, marble, granite, tantalite, magnesium, limestone, uranium and gypsum, among others, are being mined unconventionally at the Gambe and Pola hills.
“Our people are largely agrarian as we excel in farming and livestock,’’ Mohammed-Tola noted.
In addition, he appealed to the state government to restore electricity to Tola and Binyeri by fixing failed polls and transmission lines as well as installation of high grade transformers to improve the living standard of the people.
(Edited & Vetted By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Mufutau Ojo)
First ever Pan African Catholic Congress kicks off in Enugu
The congress has the theme “What must we do to perform the works of God”.
It is expected to propose better ways to renew and reform institutions, structures and system of the church in the continent to actualize the missionary goals set out by Pope Francis.
The President of the congress, Archbishop Charles Buckle of Ghana told newsmen in Enugu that the event was convoked by the Catholic Church in Africa.
Buckle said that the event was an initiative of the symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar which started 50 years ago in Uganda.
He said that before then, there was a major event that happened in the Catholic Church within the last 100 years, the second vertical council which took place from 1962 to 1965.
The Archbishop explained that vertical council was the highest assembly of catholic bishops which the pope was the most fundamental decisions that impacted on their faith and lives as Christians.
Buckle said: “this conference is like a synod but the highest level of it, so the council, according to historians, was the first pastoral council organised by the Catholic Church, most of the councils before the second vertical council was convoked to respond to crisis.
“During that time, we did not have a lot of catholic theologians, the few African bishops who participated then was assigned to western theologians for evangelism.
“What is happening now is that our own people are taking over the running of churches in Africa; what you see here is how churches in Africa are taking over and running the church as a continent,” he said.
Buckle said that the idea was to continue to do the work of God, to listen to the Holy Spirit, to know what the church was experiencing in today’s contest and to listen to the cries of God’s people.
The archbishop commended the Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu on its 95 years anniversary adding that before now the school was managed by missionary but now it was in the hand of one of them in the person of Rev. Fr. Albert Ikpenwa.
In his remarks, the Rector of the seminary, Rev. Fr. Albert Ikpenwa said that during the congress, they would talk on issues affecting Africans, new missionary approach and to see how they could improve and make the world a better place.
Ikpenwa commended the organisers of the conference for a job well done and for organising it on African soil.
He noted that they came to look at their present and the past, adding that those 50 years of the second memory of the church in Africa was not an easy thing.
The rector said that they would look at the resources, human intellectual, religious and spiritual lives.
He said that the call for holiness was not just for religious leaders but for ordinary people, noting that they came to bring the message of Christ to the people.
One of the participants, Dr. Susan Nedza, who is also a physician in the United States, said that she was working with the Catholic Church to provide assistance to people with drug addiction and diseases of all kind.
Nedza said she had been providing humanitarian services to people irrespective of age and gender, noting that Catholic Church was the most providers of health care services in the world.
In a vote of thanks, The Chairman Local Organising Committee, Rev. Fr. Clement Obasi said that committee commenced hosting of the programme since October 2018.
He however, commended the students of the seminary for being up and doing in ensuring that the environment was conducive for their visitors.
Edited & Vetted By: Maureen Atuonwu
Centre honours 69 students for performances in mathematical sciences Olympiad competition
The National Mathematical Centre (NMC) on Thursday honoured 69 students of both junior and senior secondary schools with various awards for their outstanding performances in the 2018/2019 Nigeria National Olympiad competition.
At the awards ceremony in Sheda, Kwali Area Council, Abuja, Prof. Stephen Onah, Director/Chief Executive of NMC, commended the awardees for their performances in the five subject areas of the competition.
Onah said that the beneficiaries should consider themselves as champions, adding that the Olympiad examination was not about how brilliant or clever someone was but about intelligence and having problem solving skills.
“So in Olympiad training, we don’t teach, we only guide them because the problem you may find even as an instructor you may not know it but a student will tell you the way to do it.
“Because once you are able to train yourself on a problem solving skill then you will see a problem and your brain will direct you on how to solve it.
He said that through the Olympiad competition over 36 students had won scholarships and studying in universities in various countries including Nigeria.
According to him, there are four stages of the competition before one qualifies for the international level and the centre has been presenting itself at the international level.
Onah appreciated the parents and principals of schools for their support in sponsoring students and teachers to this final stage of the event.
Ms Yetunde Oluwatosin, Education Specialist, UNICEF, commended the students and encouraged them to maintain the spirit of hard work in their future endeavours.
Oluwatosin also reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to training teachers to improve the learning outcome in schools and to continue supporting educational programmes of the centre.
Some of the awardees appreciated the centre for the opportunity given to them and attributed their successes to hard work and consistent practice in the subject areas.
The students were tested in I mathematics, physics, informatics, chemistry and biology with Graceland International School, Rivers, emerging overall best in mathematics.
Edited & Vetted By: Chukwudi Ekezie
Akpabio urges corporate organisations to invest more in NDDC
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, has called on critical stakeholders and multilateral organisations to invest more in Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to move the region forward.
Akpabio made the call at a meeting with directors, donor agencies, permanent secretaries and development partners in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the ministry was a focal point for coordinating and mobilising concerted domestic and international assistance in resolving key challenges in the region.
According to him, NDDC has not lived up to its responsibilities in the development of the region.
He urged the ministry to redirect focus on the people by creating job opportunities, infrastructure development and strive to move the region to the next level.
“We aim to formulate and execute plans, programmers as well as to coordinate the activities of agencies, communities, donors and relevant stakeholders in the development of the region.
” Our major challenges are low budgetary allocation, huge debt profile and current insecurity in the region.
He charged the commission to collaborate with financial agencies to move the region forward, while promising that the ministry would work with the commission to ensure development in the region.
He added that “President Muhammadu Buhari looked forward to commissioning projects in the region.”
The minister also promised to focus on issues that would reduce capital flight in the region by addressing the health and employment needs of the people.
He said some developmental projects in the region were politically motivated and not sustainable but promised to change the operations by leaving all politically motivated projects and go into legacy projects.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, explained that it was the mandate of the ministry to initiate, coordinate, manage and promote development polices and processes in the Niger Delta region.
Walson-Jack said the ministry would set the agenda of moving the region forward, chart new ways of working together and improve institutional capabilities and performance management to deliver real impact.
She added that the ministry would work to uphold excellence and good reputation of the public service as well as promote the principles of good governance.
Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Chukwudi Ekezie
PACAC collaborates NOA, stakeholders in the fight against corruptionn in Jigawa
. The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) says it has collaborated with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and other stakeholders in Jigawa in the fight against corruption.
Radda stated that the fight against corruption is a collective efforts which all relevant stakeholders must join hands to fight.
He explained that the Agency had recorded tremendous success since it was established by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016.
Ladda wondered why the issue of fighting corruption was only focused at the national level with less attention given to grassroots.
“We conducted the programme in 16 states of the federation, Jigawa is now the 17th state that we are organizing this kind of programme”
“Corruption became a cankerworm in our society capable of destroying not only the present generation but even the generation yet unborn,” he said.
Haruna commended President Buhari for the giant strides in the fight against corruption, resuscitation of the economy and entrenchment of vibrant security architecture in the country.
Fanini, who was represented by the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS), in Jigawa Local Government Service Commission (JLGSC), Alhaji Abdullahi Sa’id, pledged that the state government would engage all relevant stakeholders in the crusade against corruption.
Edited & Vetted By: Wale Ojetimi
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- Adamawa community tasks Gov. Fintiri on road project
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- Nigerian Army troops neutralise more Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists, rescue women, children in Borno
- Centre honours 69 students for performances in mathematical sciences Olympiad competition
- Akpabio urges corporate organisations to invest more in NDDC
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- PACAC collaborates NOA, stakeholders in the fight against corruptionn in Jigawa
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