The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on the Federal Government to pay arrears of withheld salaries of its members to pave way for further discussions on the outstanding issues of 2019 Memorandum of Action.
The President of the association, Mr Biodun Ogunyemi, made the call at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, thousands of other academics across the universities are suffering the same fate which is not in the interest of the educational sector in the country.
“We counsel that the government at both the Federal and state levels to meet the Taskforce specified guidelines for re-opening of educational institutions.
“We insist that all the arrears of the withheld salaries of our members in the Federal and state universities must be paid immediately to pave way for further discussions on outstanding issues of 2019 memorandum of Action.
“As we have continually stated in recent weeks, our demands in the ongoing strike action pre-dated the COVID-19 pandemic or even the resurgence of government’s insistence on migration of lectures to IPPIS platform.
“However, we view the Federal Government’s failure to acknowledge the trajectories which brought our universities to their knees and deprived them of capacity to respond to national challenges,” he said
The union leader also called for more funding for the health sector to avert the challenges workers go through, especially as the world battled with the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also condemned the removal of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) by the governing council chaired by Dr Wale Babalakin, saying that due process was not followed.
“We are shocked not because we regard Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogunndipe as a saint but for the fact that all available evidence indicates that he was not taken through the due process.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Babalakin should be reminded that the knowledge of procedures and process for appointment and removal of Vice-Chancellors is not the exclusive preserve of Legal Luminaries,” he said.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)https://nnn.ng/asuu-urges-fg-to-pay-arrears-of-salaries-of-members/
Survival Fund: FG releases registration schedule as portal opens Monday
As the portal for the registration of prospective beneficiaries for the Survival Fund opens on Monday, the Federal Government has released the timetable for categories of businesses to register.
A statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the Project Delivery Office stated that the portal which opens at 10 PM, will have educational institutions as the first category of beneficiaries to register.
“Nigerians interested in the Payroll Support scheme are to note that the site for registration will be open from 10 pm Monday September 21, 2020.
“In order to ensure seamless registration process, the Project Delivery Office (PDO) has designed a registration schedule.
“Registration for Payroll Support will start with educational institutions on Monday and will be followed with businesses in the hospitality industry on Friday September 25 beginning from 12 A.M.
“The portal will also be open to other category of small businesses from 12 A.M., on Monday September 28, 2020,” the statement said.
The office therefore advised those interested in benefiting from the fund to take note of the schedule and also log on to http://www.survivalfund.ng to register for the payroll support initiative.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the survival fund is a conditional grant to support vulnerable Micro and Small enterprises in meeting their payroll obligations and safeguard jobs in MSMEs from the shock of the COVID– 19 pandemic.
The scheme is estimated to save at least 1.3 million jobs across the country, while targeting an average of 35,000 individuals per state.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Edo 2020: NCFront commends security on neutrality, wants more from INEC on logistics
The National Consultative Front (NCFront) on Sunday commended stakeholders for peaceful and credible Edo gubernatorial election, applauding the security for its neutrality and professionalism.
The group disclosed this in its “Major Assessment and Verdict on Edo Governorship Election”, it issued.
It was jointly issued by Comrade Isa Aremu, Dr Tanko Yunusa, Prince Chris Azor, Mr Georgina Dakpokpo, Ayaba Olubunmi and Mr Ejiro Ofoye on behalf of NCFront Elections Monitoring Team.
The nonpartisan group, which commended the security for visible neutrality and professionalism in preventing thuggery and attempted malpractice in some polling units, advised the officers not to rest on their oars.
According to the group, more are still expected from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on logistics and in the conduct of some political parties and their agents.
The group said that party agents were expected to be more adherent to subsisting electoral ethics and rules, which forbade voters’ inducement, vote buying, thuggery and violence during elections, ballot snatching and stuffing.
It said that the political parties should always exercise respect for the Peace Accord their parties and candidates signed before elections.
“NCFront wishes to call on the INEC, as the main elections management body in Nigeria to always ensure that improved elections logistics are henceforth put in place and deployed on time.
“INEC must urgently employ latest technology required to make elections transparent and credible in Nigeria so that elections are not ruined by violence and ultimately decided by the Courts instead of the electorate.
“However, the Police, being the lead security agency, would still need to do more to assure the Nigerian electorate, especially, through improved conduct of its personnel that they can reliably stand on the part of the law in maintaining peace and order during elections.
“This must be done instead of their regular recourse to intimidation of eligible voters, which has always occasioned recline of voters on election day and electoral manipulation in another instance,” it said.
The group, however, commended INEC for being above board in its conduct during the poll.
The NCFront also commended the Edo people for the relative peace witnessed during the poll and credibility of the electoral process, inspite of the violent build up.
The group while congratulating the winner of the election called on Gov. Godwin Obaseki to be magnanimous in victory by extending the hands of fellowship to all his fellow contestants in building a united and stable government and state.
NAN reports that NCFront, a nonpartisan pan-Nigerian conscience group, deployed 600 cadres of observers/monitors, in conjuction with its INEC accredited partners, in the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo for monitoring of the governorship elections.
The group commended INEC for giving priority to Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs), and other vulnerable groups especially the elderly during the electioneering process.
It, however, added that some of the polling units were not accessible to some categories of PLWDs.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu
Youths should be drivers of innovation, creativity for a better Nigeria- Ex-VC Bell University
Prof. Isaac Adeyemi, the former Vice Chancellor, Bells University of Technology, Ogun, has charged Nigerian youths to harnessy their knowledge via the internet to be drivers of innovation and creativity for a better Nigeria.
“The youths are the most vulnerable to the post COVID-19 events, including the educational system.
“To position themselves for a successful career, the youths being exposed to technology should take the initiative to see to it that they use the knowledge for innovation and creativity.
‘’That will develop the economy of the country because each country is trying to design means of survival to float,” Adeyemi said.
The former VC said through collaboration with local or international agencies or organisations, some of which are online, youth can leverage and adapt knowledge to suit local situations.
“This can translate into national or state activities that can grow the economy of Nigeria and put it in the global stage.
Also speaking at the event, Prof. Seyi Osunade, Associate Professor, Computer Science department, University of Ibadan, said based on what was happening right now with the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, government and education stakeholders should do more of advocacy.
“That is creating an awareness for the youths on what the pandemic is, that it is real and people still need to take precautions.
“Though the number of infected people are dropping, people still need to take precautions and as schools are preparing to resume, people should work towards maintaining the safety protocols and adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
“Our curriculum should focus more on practical skills and expressions, that is they should teach things that our students can do here to provide local solutions to our challenges.
“Things they can develop into products, because if we can adapt the knowledge we have into a working solution it will go a long way for us.
“Technical and vocational education should be encouraged more even in our normal school curriculum,” Osunade said.
The Pioneer of SSII, Mrs Omokehinde Deji-Akinpelu said the organisation was focused on community service.
She said that the initiative started formally in 2014 with mentoring of undergraduate students at Lead City University.
Deji-Akinpelu stated that the vision of the organization was to raise purpose driven young men and women who would become world renowned in conduct, character and competence.
“We are set out to impart them with positive values and right attitude to life that will enable them become accountable and responsible adults
“You will agree with me that part of what we are facing today with our political leaders in Nigeria is lack of right mentoring.
“Some of these youths are taking wrong steps and decisions because they lack right and proper mentoring, we need to address this for a better Nigeria.”
Deji-Akinpelu further stated that youths would rather model their lives after celebrities and people they don’t even have direct access to and that had its disadvantages.
Two of the participants who spoke to NAN, Oluwatobi Oduola and Ayomide Olukorede said their passion to influence teenagers and mentor them towards greatness fueled their participation.
They identified lack of sense of direction and career choice as major challenges teenagers are faced with and the need to help as many youths to succeed in life despite all odds.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni
CSR: Dangote Cement commits N4bn to projects in Ogun host communities
Dangote Cement Plc, says it has committed over N4 billion into various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects in its 14 host communities in Yewa land in Ogun.
The company made this known in a statement signed by the Media and Community Relations Manager of Dangote Industries Limited, Mr Francis Awowole-Browne, on Sunday.
“Since the inception of Dangote Cement in Ibese, in the last eight years of creation in Ogun, we have focused on construction and repairs of roads, building of blocks of classrooms, construction and repairs of healthcare facilities.
“We have also provided boreholes, some electricity transformers, among others,” he said.
The company itemised the projects as 40 classrooms, three health centres, 22 boreholes, three transformers totalling N4.1bn
Among various ongoing projects were 18 classrooms, four roads, one borehole, one health center and five transformers estimated at N278m.
Mr Azad Nawabuddin, Dangote Cement Company Plant Director, said the company was willing to spend much more because it owed its continuous operations to the peaceful conduct of the communities.
Nawabuddin said the company was irrevocably committed to the training which was part of its Host Community Youths Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Programme.
He said the management of the company believed that “education is power” and this was responsible for the company’s consistent investment in the training of the youths to ensure self-reliance.
“Education is power, skill is power, and Dangote cement places a premium on education and skills acquisition; that is why we are encouraging our people to be educated,” he said.
According to the statement, the company also inaugurated the 2020 Acutherapy training for youths in the area.
He explained that the acutherapy training would last for two months and urged the beneficiaries to make the most of the training and its offers as a means of livelihood to serve as an alternate means of income.
He stated that 635 youths from the communities in various institutions across the country had benefitted from the company’s annual scholarship award while 20 youths had been sent to Dangote Academy, Obajana for various trainings.
He added that Dangote Industries had begun rice outgrower programme in Ibese to improve youth employment, create wealth and support the government in its fight against food insecurity and deficits in balance of trade.
While assuring of the company’s commitment to continuous provision of necessary corporate social projects, he urged the people to continue to provide the enabling peaceful atmosphere so that both the company and the people could cohabit in tranquility.
In his remarks, Dr Oluwadare Kehinde, Ogun State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, commended the company for living up to its billing in the provision of social service to the people.
He said the state was particularly delighted about the Dangote Industries’ efforts to create shared value among all residents of the country, irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliations.
“We need to commend Alhaji Aliko Dangote for all these economic interventions.
“It is crystal clear that government can not do it alone, hence, we need partnership for good governance,” the commissioner said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi