General news

IPPIS: FG directs vasity bursars to compile list of problems

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The Federal Government has directed bursars of universities to compile list of problems associated with payment of salaries through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).


Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, made this known while addressing newsmen on Sunday in Abuja.

The minister also spoke on the notice of strike issued by the non teaching staff in universities and allegation of payment of half salaries to staff by the IPPIS office.

Ngige said federal government was in touch with bursars of universities to compile all the problems associated with the payment of salaries through the IPPIS platform so that they could be addressed.

“We are on top of the situation, we have received their letter. Their letter borders on shortcomings of the IPPIS system and I have spoken with the Finance Minister and the Accountant General of the Federation.

“They said that they are in touch with the university bursars to correct certain peculiarities and send back to them to treat.

“However, it’s important to point out that one of the shortcomings which the universy workers pointed out is that the IPPIS is over taxing them.

“They also said that the IPPIS skipped some of their people who have taken leave of absence. These are matters that can be easily adjusted.

“The IPPIS office informed me that immediately the lockdown is over, the bursars are to come up, but before then that they should by e-system try to give them additional information on some of those shortcomings and that they will try as much as possible to correct them.

“We have equally gone out to the unions and asked them that we want to meet with them and the IPPIS; so we are trying to see if we can arrange a special pass so that their leaders could come up here and we would have the meeting,” he said.

Ngige said since zoom meeting would not be able to correct some of the problems, government had decided to have a physical meeting as soon as possible.

He said that his office was planning to apply for special pass from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 for a physical meeting with the unions to thrash out all the contentious issues.

Ngige said his ministry had received the strike notice from the non teaching staff unions in the universities and was making efforts to meet with the leaderships of the unions.

It would be recalled that the Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU), has  threatened to embark on strike over problems associated with the payment of salary through the IPPIS platform.

The non teaching staff has also issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to correct all the problems associated the IPPIS and the release of their Earned Allowances before the easing of the lockdown, otherwise its members will not resume duty when schools resume.

Mr Samson Ugwoke, Chairman of JAC and President of SSANU, in a telephone interview, said that non teaching staff of universities have been passing through hardship since they enrolled into the IPPIS platform.

Ugwoke noted that in the past four months, members have not received full salaries, while deductions made for the servicing of bank loans which members took have not been remitted to the banks and cooperative societies.

“Since the inception of the IPPIS contrary to what the platform is supposed to be, what we were told and what we believed before we accepted the platform.

“SSANU members and the non teaching staff in the universities have not received complete salaries.

“From January 2020 till date, we have not received full salaries and since that time till now, no pay slip has been released by IPPIS to the universities. So all that our members have received as net pay is what IPPIS wants to give us.

“It’s that worse because if you have your pay slip, you will know what are the deductions made from your salary.

“Up till now, the other deductions that are meant for our members and their welfare are being withheld by the IPPIS and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

“They deducted tax and paid to the Federal Government, they deducted welfare money, they deducted cooperative society funds, deducted loans and withheld it since that time, ” he said.

He said that the implication was that salaries have not been paid in full since the inception of the IPPIS.

He said that some members were indebted to cooperative societies, banks, among others, by agreement reached with the organisations, the repayments are made monthly.

He added that the accumulating interest are compounding the problem on our members.

Ugwoke noted that other issues affecting the non teaching staff include the earned allowances, payment of benefits, pension of retired members, retirement age, among others.

“We have written to the Minister of Labour and Employment, we are yet to get a reply even though they are talking about calling us for a meeting.

“But we insist, you do not need to call a meeting to pay us full salary or release pay slips. We have made it clear to the minister that they should do the needful.

“We have also made it very clear that if all these things are not addressed, any time the universities are going to reopen after the lockdown, we are going to embark on total strike.

“We have written to notify them that we will commence a 14-day warning strike in the first instance and thereafter it will be total and indefinite,” he said.

Edited By: Saidu Adamu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/ippis-fg-directs-vasity-bursars-to-compile-list-of-problems/

Economy

Survival Fund: FG releases registration schedule as portal opens Monday

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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
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/survival-fund-fg-releases-registration-schedule-as-portal-opens-monday/
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Politics

Edo 2020: NCFront commends security on neutrality, wants more from INEC on logistics

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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.

NCFront said that it also observed a widespread lack of adherence to INEC’s guidelines on COVID-19 protocols.

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
Source: NAN

 

https://nnn.ng/edo-2020-ncfront-commends-security-on-neutrality-wants-more-from-inec-on-logistics/
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General news

Youths should be drivers of innovation, creativity for a better Nigeria- Ex-VC Bell University 

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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.


Adeyemi gave the charge at the Mentoring and Capacity Building Summit of Shining Star Initiative International (SSII), an NGO, in Ibadan on Sunday.

According to him, the outbreak of COVID-19 is a game changer; it has changed everything and as such one should think of post COVID-19 activities and actions that will enable one to stay afloat.

“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
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/youths-should-be-drivers-of-innovation-creativity-for-a-better-nigeria-ex-vc-bell-university/
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COVID-19

Schools resumption: Lalong urges parents to teach children COVID-19 safety protocols

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Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has urged parents in the state to teach their children the safety protocols against COVID-19, preparatory to resumption of schools targeted for end of October.


Lalong had in a broadcast to the people of the state said schools would resume October ending, but was not definite on the date.

He made the call on Sunday at a send off Church mass for the outgoing Prior Provincial of the Catholic Church Order of St. Augustine in Nigeria, Rev. Fr. John Abubakar, at the St. Monica’s Parish Rantya, Jos.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that St Augustinians in the Catholic Church were accredited with parish and pastoral work, scientific study, teaching and missions, among others.

The governor said he made the call because children easily emulated what parents did, more than instructions given to them elsewhere.

Besides, he said, children were most vulnerable to the disease and must be protected, first by the parents.

“I appeal to parents to comply with COVID-19 protocols for the children to emulate, they are most vulnerable because they move around more than us.

“It  is the toughest decision we will make to allow innocent children to return to school, ” he said.

Lalong explained that Plateau was now an epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic resulting from the large number of people tested daily in its three testing centres.

“In the 36 states, we are the third in terms of testing capacity and recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for doing well.

“We test 500 people to 700 people daily, we want everyone to know their health status for appropriate action,” he said.

He commended the outgoing Prior Provincial for his diligence in service during his tenure for eight years and prayed for God’s blessings on him.

“In addition to establishing a new secondary school here, he told me he was lobbying for the establishment of an Augustinian University in Plateau,” he said.

The governor expressed optimism that the university would be a reality even in his absence, because of the foundation he had laid for the process.

He thanked the Prior Provincial for his contributions to the Catholic Church and Plateau, expressing the desire that his successor would consolidate on his achievements for greater successes.

Delivering the homily titled: ` God’s Unmerited Love’, Abubakar urged the congregation to focus on their gifts and talents and desist from comparing their lives with other people.

“We should seize opportunity to be impactful with our talents and gifts and stop the mistake of comparing yourselves with others. How God chooses to operate is up to him,”he said.

He said people were appreciated when they left an office because of the value they have added to lives.

Abubakar appreciated the Plateau Government and people of the state for the love they showered on him during his stay, saying their cooperation made his work easy while urging them to extend such gesture to his successor.

Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye and Abdullahi Yusuf
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/schools-resumption-lalong-urges-parents-to-teach-children-covid-19-safety-protocols/
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