Education

ASUU urges NUC to investigate alleged frauds in some universities

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Sokoto Zone, has called on the National Universities Commission (NUC), to investigate alleged frauds by Vice Chancellors (VCs) of some universities across the country.


The ASUU Coordinator of the zone, Malam Jamilu Shehu, in a statement in Katsina on Friday, said that vice chancellors of some universities were defrauding unsuspecting students and parents.

The zone comprises Usumanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; Umaru Musa Yaradua University Katsina; and Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero.

Others are Federal University, Dutsin-ma, Katsina State; Federal University, Gusau; and Federal University, Birnin Kebbi.

ASUU said that some VCs were deceiving and defrauding unsuspecting students and parents by pretending to have kept the academic session running, despite the closure of universities by the Federal Government due to Coronavirus.

“We know of some universities where students were mandated to pay for academic gowns in order to participate in online matriculation and graduation ceremonies.

“There were also reports of some VCs involving surrogates and relatives as supervisors of the candidates writting examinations during the lockdown.

“We salute the courage and resoluteness of many VCs who have stood their grounds in preserving the quality of education.

“We however, call on the NUC to investigate these issues with a view to saving the university education from decay,’’ he said.

The union also decried the recent relocation of Federal University Dutsin-ma Katsina from its permanent site to the former take-off campus, due to the insecurity in the North-West.

“It is also embarrassing that two universities in the zone established 10 years ago namely, Federal University, Gusau, and Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, have been operating without Establishment Acts.

“We therefore call on the Federal Government to take urgent and necessary steps to remedy the situation,”  Shehu said.

Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/asuu-urges-nuc-to-investigate-alleged-frauds-in-some-universities/

Judiciary

Coalition commends Buhari for signing Police Bill 2020 into law

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The Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates (COPA), a Human Rights, pro- democracy and good governance group has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law the Nigeria Police Act, 2020.


The coalition in a statement by its convener Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi on Wednesday in Abuja applauded the president saying the signing was timeous.

It would be recalled that President Buhari on Sept. 17 signed the police bill into law to enhance professionalism in their administration and regulation in the country.

The new law among other things provides for a more effective and well organised police force driven by the principles of transparency and accountability in its operations and management of its resources.

It also enables and establishes an appropriate funding framework for the Police in line with what is obtainable in other Federal Government key institutions to ensure appropriate funding for all Police formations.

Olajengbesi said that the police were at the heart of a seamless functioning of any political entity given its strategic role in the maintenance of law and order and as such must be preserved.

He noted that inadequate funding, lack of manpower, poor training and expertise in the police had continually been felt by Nigerians who had to bear the brunt of abuse of human rights, and so on.

“It remains puzzling that an agency as strategic as such has been allowed to labour for too long under the limitations of an anachronistic legislation that among other things did not reflect the reality of evolution over the years.

“We therefore commend all civil society organisations and individuals who have tirelessly sustained the clamour for a review of the enabling law governing the Nigeria Police.

“We particularly commend Mr Segun Awosanya, (Segalink) for his selfless role in advocating for the reforms which have so prominently featured in the new law,” he added.

He also commended the 9th National Assembly for midwifing a forward thinking legislation, while calling on the leadership of the Nigeria Police to ensure that the law yielded the desired result.

“We urge the Inspector-General of Police to set proper tone for this “new beginning” by ensuring that utmost compliance and application is given to the law.”

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/coalition-commends-buhari-for-signing-police-bill-2020-into-law/
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General news

Zamfara seeks whereabouts of N37bn refund on executed FG projects

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Zamfara Government says it has alerted security agencies to track the whereabouts of over N37 billion refunds on Federal Government projects executed by the state.


Alhaji Rabiu Garba, the state Commissioner of Finance, announced this while addressing journalists in Gusau on Tuesday.

Garba alleged that the immediate past administration led by former governor, Abdulaziz Yari might have misappropriated the money.

The commissioner said the amount was initially quoted at over N47 billion as the funds used by the former administration in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 14 federal roads in the state.

“We understood that the cost of the verified projects at the Federal Ministry of Works stood at over N37 billion.

“But when we asked for refunds of the said amount, it was confirmed by both the Federal Ministry of Works and the Debt Management Office that the amount had been paid fully.

“On further investigation, we gathered that the money was collected by the Director-General of Nigerian Governors’ Forum and one lady who also worked in the same place on instructions from former Zamfara government.

“We wonder how people who are not indigenes of the state nor have they ever worked for the state should collect such a colossal amount on behalf of the government and people of Zamfara,’’ the commissioner said.

He assured that the present administration under Gov. Bello Matawalle will do everything possible to recover the money “so that we can use it in the development of the state’’.

But reacting in an interview with the News agency of Nigeria on Wednesday, the former Commissioner of Finance in the Yari led government, Alhaji Muktar Idris exonerated the administration from any wrongdoing.

Idris said that the immediate past administration constructed the roads at the cost of over N60 billion and claimed the same amount from the Federal Government.

“But a federal government verification committee only approved N37.4 billion refunds which was on completed projects.

“Due to dearth of funds to repay such projects to about 23 states, which stood at over N500 billion, it was agreed at the governors’ forum that the states would collect the refunds in two tranches via promissory notes that would mature in three years.

“The states were to receive 40 per cent in the first instalment, in which Zamfara’s due amount stood at N14.9 billion.

“All the affected state governors also agreed that the director-general of the Governors’ Forum should collect for them.

“I still have the documents with me where we put over N10 billion as discounted from N14.9 billion into our joint account because we needed the money.

“So, we discounted and collected the amount through the Debt Management Office, Idris told NAN.

He explained further that the second promissory note was for N22 billion which was also discounted to a little over N17 billion.

“All the money had been deposited into the state government’s accounts.

“Zamfara people are free to check and verify these facts,’’ he said.

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/zamfara-seeks-whereabouts-of-n37bn-refund-on-executed-fg-projects/
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General news

Ex-governor Yari administration diverted N10.8bn for university project – Commissioner 

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The Zamfara Government has accused the administration of former governor Abdulaziz Yari of diverting N10.8 billion set aside for the state university project.


The State Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Rabiu Garba, made the accusation at a press conference in Gusau on Tuesday.

However, former commissioner of finance under Yari’s administration, Alhaji dismissed the allegation as politically motivated.

Garba said “based on the records available to us, the past administration in the state had diverted the sum of N10.8 billion from the N37 billion refunded to the state by the federal government for the construction of 14 federal roads.

“We learned that in May 2019, N10.8 billion was transferred to the University’s Projects Account by the past administration in the name of construction of State University.

“The amount was transferred in two tranches, that is N5 billion each, and subsequently N850 million was also transferred to same account on 9th May 2019.

“But instead that the amount transferred to be used for the said project, the money was diverted to other issues that have nothing to do with the university project”, he explained.

Garba dismissed claims that the present administration led by Governor Bello Matawalle is not interested in the completion of the university located in Talata-Mafara.

According to him, those making the claim were not aware that part of the fund for the project was diverted by the past administration.

On whether the state government would continue with the project, Garba said that only the State Executive Council can decide on that.

Reacting, the former Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Mukhtar Idris denied the allegation.

Idris said the past administration had initiated a Special Account for the State University Project.

He said that projects were executed at the site of the university with part of the money, while a balance was left in the project account.

“Out of the money claimed by the current commissioner of finance, Rabiu Garba about N4 billion was left in the account and they are part of the money inherited by the present administration.

“Let the present administration explain the multibillion naira capital projects executed in the university, Talata-Mafara before going to the media for unclarified claims,” he added.

Idris urged the commissioner to always verify issues before going public.

/ MZA

Edited By: Benson Iziama/Maharazu Ahmed
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/ex-governor-yari-administration-diverted-n10-8bn-for-university-project-commissioner/
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General news

AbdulRazaq updates Buhari on Kwara flood disaster, seeks FG support  

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has updated President Muhammadu Buhari on the havoc wreaked by flood in the state, saying over 15,000 people had been displaced as a result of the disaster.


Speaking to State House correspondents on his mission to the Villa, on Tuesday in Abuja, the governor said he met with the president to request for Federal Government assistance for the victims of the disaster.

He, therefore, urged the federal government to come to the aid of the displaced persons, saying property and farm products worth about N10billion had been damaged or destroyed as a result of the disaster.

The governor expressed the hope that the assistance if granted would help to ameliorate the sufferings of the people of state, who are victims of flood disasters this year.

“I came to see the president, among other things, to discuss ecological and developmental issues.

“Over the weekend, we had huge rainstorm that destroyed about 5,000 houses in the State capital. We had huge flooding in Kwara North and the bank of River Niger.

“There are a lot of internally displaced people in the State capital. The State needs assistance to abate the crisis.

“We have about 5,000 houses and thousands of hectares of farmland that are under water. Close to about 10,000 to 15,000 people are already displaced so far. So, it’s straining the State’s economy.

The governor, however, expressed the hope that the state would witness bumper harvest this farming season in spite of the reported flood in the state.

He said: “Luckily for us, we did two cycles of rice farming in the affected areas. We are hoping to do three cycles. Yes, there is huge impact.

“We are expecting bumper harvest this season, especially with the federal government’s intervention in the agricultural sector.”

Edited By: Felix Ajide
Source: NAN

 

https://nnn.ng/abdulrazaq-updates-buhari-on-kwara-flood-disaster-seeks-fg-support/
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