ASUU Strike: The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has commenced an indefinite strike action against the governments. The union’s President, Biodun Ogunyemi, at a press briefing in its National Secretariat in Abuja on Monday, noted that the Federal Government had failed to address the issues raised by ASUU and they, therefore, will proceed on an indefinite strike action.
Okiro urges peaceful coexistence among Ex-Niger Delta agitators, Nigerians
A former Inspector- General of Police, Mr Mike Okiro has called for peaceful coexistence among members of the Ex-Niger Delta agitators and other citizens of the country.
A statement by Mr Supreme Ibitomi, Special Asssitant, Media to Okiro said he made the call when leaders of the ex-agitators visited him on Sunday in Abuja.
He advised them to be peaceful wherever they found themselves as it was the only panacea to development in a heterogenous country like Nigeria.
The former police boss thanked the group for embracing the presidential amnesty programme of the Federal Government and urged them to be law abiding.
Earlier, the leader of the ex-agitators, Mr Awe Akuke said they were indebted to Okiro for the role he played in the actualisation of the amnesty programme.
Akuke said that many of them would have been dead by now if not that they resolved to embrace the amnesty by the federal government.
The group, which comprised of leaders of phase one, two and three of the programme, expressed gratitude to Okiro, who they referred to as “Father of Amnesty”.
In a related development, Okiro has advised the leaders of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), to always carry their members along in decision making to minimize friction, rancour and suspicion.
Okiro gave the advice when leaders of the group led by the pioneer secretary and chairman of the Elders Council, Abuja chapter, visited him in Abuja.
He assured them of his support in the quest to unite and work towards an enduring peace in the Niger Delta.
Earlier, leader of the group, Mr. Braye Odiowei, Chairman of the Abuja chapter of the Elders Council, said the visit was to expressed their gratitude and invite the former police boss to their upcoming general election.
He said that the council has resolved to make Okiro its life patron in recognition of his contributions to the development of the region and the Ijaws in particular over the years.
The chairman said that Okiro has always being in the forefront in protecting the interests of the people of the region and had never disappointed them. ( NAN)
Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Felix Ajide
Why FG is investing massively in railways, seaports — Amaechi
The Federal Government’s focus on railway and seaport development is a necessity to drive the nation’s economy, according to the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.
Amaechi stated this at the virtual 15th Annual Kaleidoscope Global Business Conference hosted by the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York on Sunday.
“Many Nigerians have asked why the construction of railways.
“Eighty per cent of the cargoes we have in Nigeria are mostly imported, because the Nigerian economy is yet to generate enough production.
“However, the president is of the view that if we must produce, we must have infrastructure that enables that production, hence the focus on transportation, power and works,” he said.
The minister said although the railway project had started before the President Muhammadu Buhari, the nation’s seaports were not included in the design.
He stated that one of the first things the administration did was to rework the plan to link the rail network to seaports across the country.
“So, we started with the Apapa seaport. We are working there now and I believe by December, we should conclude the Lagos-Ibadan rail line extension into the port.
“We then added the Warri Seaport, the Calabar seaport and Tin Can Island. We are making sure that all of them include seaports,” Amaechi said.
According to him, contract for the 386km rail line from Kano to Maradi in the Republic of Niger will be awarded on Wednesday.
He added contract award for the 1,500km eastern rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri would follow on Sept. 30.
The minister highlighted other rail line projects in the country, including Abuja to Itakpe, and Itakpe to Warri, which he said had been completed
He said the Warri line would also be extended to the Warri seaport being developed by the federal government.
Amaechi also highlighted the government’s seaport digitalisation programme, which he said would be completed in 2021.
Mr Gurjit Singh, former Indian Ambassador to Germany, Indonesia and the African, described Nigeria as the giant of Africa.
Singh, who is the Chairman of the CII Task Force on Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, said the Nigerian rail sector had the potential to drive the nation’s development as was the case in India.
He urged Nigeria to take advantage of the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor initiative to access public private partnership funding for its infrastructure projects.
Organised by United States-based Kaleidoscope Business Project, the event brought together Nigerian state governors, ministers, business executives and prospective foreign investors.
The participants included Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Samuel Ortom of Benue and AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara,
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, and the Minister of State for of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Uchechukwu Ogah, also participated.
They took turns to highlight the investment opportunities that abound in their respective states and sectors in addition to the invest facilitation and security measures in place.
Welcoming the participants, the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, said the conference was part of the government’s efforts to open more windows of business opportunities in Nigeria to the world.
“With the opportunities that abound in Nigeria, this Conference aims at identifying those investors that are able, willing and committed to long term direct investment into the Nigerian economy.
“And it goes without saying that those from the Nigerian side are as desirous to meet investors in order to establish mutually beneficial relationships.
“Let me emphasise the need for us to jointly work together to enhance NIgeria economic growth and industrialization on our shared values and sound principles of mutually beneficial partnership and on a win-win business matrix,” Okoyen said.
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Schools reopening: Gov. Ganduje lauds FG’s level of preparation
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has commended the Federal Government for progress recorded and measures taken toward reopening of schools in the country.
Hassan Fage, Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, said this in a statement on Sunday in Kano.
The governor described the federal government’s policies and programmes in education as veritable tools to national development.
He said: “the progress recorded and measures taken by Buhari led administration in reopening of Schools in the country is commendable.
“I wish to acknowledge the commitment of the federal government in the education sector, particularly at this time when schools are about to be reopened,” he said.
Represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Nasiru Gawuna, Ganduje made the assertion while receiving the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who visited him in his office.
Ganduje also said the state government was committed to prioritising the education sector in view of its importance.
Hr said fumigation had been conducted with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided to the schools across the state.
“As part of compliance with the COVID-19 protocols for ensuring safety and protection of the teaching staff and the students ahead of the reopening of schools, fumigation has been conducted with PPE provided to the schools across the state.
“The state government recently released the sum of N880 million for the renovation of some schools across the State, ” he said.
The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said he was in Kano for the North West Stakeholders meeting to review the guidelines and protocols for reopening of schools.
He further said during the visit that he would also assess the facilities in the schools with a view to making them functional.
The minister also commended the efforts of the Kano government for its laudable initiatives in promoting education, which he described as worthy of emulation by other states.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide
Northern states may reopen schools before Oct. 30 – commissioners
The Commissioners of Education in the 19 Northern States, say they may reopen schools before October 30, but subject to approval of their respective state governors.
The commissioners made this known in a communique issued in Kaduna on Sunday, at the end of a two-day meeting on student exchange programme, school reopening and other matters held in Abuja.
The communique was signed by Dr Shehu Makarfi, Commissioner of Education, Kaduna State, who is also the Chairman of the northern states School Exchange Programme (SEP).
The meeting was attended by commissioners of 10 of the 19 northern states namely, Kaduna, Bauchi, Yobe, Plateau, Niger, Kogi Gombe, Taraba, Nassarawa and Plateau, while others sent their apologies.
“We have agreed to reopen schools as soon as possible, hopefully before Oct. 30, fully or in phases, but subject to the approval of our respective governors.
“Some states have already reopened fully while others opened partially since Sept. 14, so we are looking at the possibilities of reopening as soon as we get approvals.
“We therefore urge state governments, development partners, parents and relevant stakeholders to combine efforts in the provision of COVID-19 prevention facilities in schools to fast track reopening.
“The Federal Government should equally support states to meet the COVID-19 requirements for school reopening, as it did to other sectors,” they said.
They recommended the establishment of an effective communication channel between the FME and the state commissioners of education, on policy issues, development in the sector, and particularly plans on schools reopening.
The commissioners observed that most of the SEP schools were overpopulated and directed that affected states should adhere to the numbers stipulated in the guidelines establishing the programme.
According to them, decongesting the schools will ensure quality teaching and learning.
“Commissioners should intensify monitoring of SEP and other schools to improve the education delivery system in their respective states.
“States should equally invest in building the administrative capacities of principals and teachers by organising workshops and supporting school administrators and teachers to attend courses in institutes of education and public administration.
“Similarly, Information and Communication Technology should also be included in school administration to equip school principals and teachers with relevant skills to deliver quality education,” they stated.
The commissioners also resolved to engage the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in developing the needed strategies for integrating children of all almajiri schools into the formal education system.
They agreed to intensify efforts to gain the support and cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure success of the integration process.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide