UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has released today an updated return advisory for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), reiterating its call for a ban on forced returns, including of asylum-seekers who have had their claims rejected, to the eastern provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri.
UNHCR also calls on States to grant refugees access to their territory and treat them in accordance with the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, and the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
UNHCR is concerned about a rise in attacks on civilians, including those residing in sites for displaced people in the east of the country.
In one such heinous attack on the Plaine Savo camp in Ituri Province in February 2022, a non-state armed group killed at least 62 people and injured more than 40 others.
Since February, attacks like this one have resulted in over 1,000 deaths of people sheltering in displacement sites or attempting to return to their homes.
Since the beginning of 2022, UNHCR has recorded more than 50,000 violations against the rights of the civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced people.
Escalating armed conflict is further exacerbating the situation.
Since 20 October, 188,000 people have been newly displaced by fighting between the M23 rebel group and the Congolese Army. Even before the latest spike in displacement, an estimated 5.6 million Congolese were internally displaced.
Another 1 million have found refuge in 22 countries in Africa, making it one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.
The vast majority, 4.9 million, were internally displaced by conflict across North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri while nearly 700,000 have been displaced due to extreme weather.
Humanitarian needs continue to rise and humanitarian access is significantly constrained while humanitarian programmes are severely underfunded.
UNHCR has received just 43 per cent of the funds needed this year with less than 6 weeks before the end of 2022.
States have a legal and moral responsibility to allow those fleeing ongoing conflict to seek safety, be accorded asylum in line with the 1969 OAU Convention, and as applicable, under the 1951 Refugee Convention, and not to forcibly return refugees.
UNHCR’s advisory against forced returns to the DRC’s provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri remains in effect until conditions improve enough to allow for safe and dignified returns.
Assessing Nigeria’s foreign policy evolution since independence Assessing Nigeria’s foreign policy evolution since independencePresident Muhammad Buhari By Mark Longyen, News Agency of Nigeria Analysts are of the view that since gaining political independence from Britain on Oct. 1, 1960, Nigeria’s foreign policy has evolved under different past administrations with notable consistency of Africa as its centerpiece.
They note that, since independence, Nigeria’s foreign policy has been conducted by successive governments in a manner that demonstrated varying distinctive priorities and style within a broad conceptual framework, without a marked departure at any point from its Afro-centric focus.
Many are of the view that the nation’s foreign policy implementation, its decision making and direction have, by and large, been deliberately anchored, formulated, tailored, and predicated by its policy architects on the basis of the nation’s overall national interest and Africa centeredness.
The predominant preoccupation of Nigeria’s foreign policy in the immediate two post-independence decades, for instance, they say, was African solidarity, the decolonisation of all African countries that were still under colonial rule, and the war against Apartheid in South Africa, among others.
In all of these, Nigeria clearly demonstrated exemplary leadership in Africa and its status as the Giant of Africa, by using multiple platforms of multilateral organisations, of which she is a member to pursue her foreign policy aims, goals and objectives – with astonishing results.
While the Afrocentric focus forms the inner core of the nation’s foreign policy, experts are of consensus view that Nigeria’s membership and involvement in global organisations constitutes the outer core of the nation’s foreign policy focus.
To this end, they say, Nigeria played an active role in the formation in 1963 of the defunct Organisation of African Unity, OAU, now Africa Union (AU) and also in the formation of the sub-regional economic bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975, which has its permanent headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
They also note that the outer core focus of Nigeria’s foreign policy has over the past 62 years ensured that she pursued her national interests through her active involvement in the affairs of international organisations or playing key roles in their affairs.
Similarly, upon becoming an independent nation-state, Nigeria joined the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the United Nations (UN), and its multiple agencies globally, where she played, and is still playing key roles in their activities.
Nigeria has continued to pursue such foreign policy interests through her membership of, and participation in, global organisations like the UN, the Commonwealth, the defunct OAU (now AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with tremendous successes.
A Fawole, a foreign policy analyst and professor of International Relations, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, while reinforcing the Afrocentric stance of Nigeria’s foreign policy, said that no significant change had taken place to warrant any school of thought that there has been a shift from Afrocentricism.
According to him, 62 years since independence, the conduct of Nigeria’s foreign policy has been in such a manner that it continues to play a leading and stabilising role on the continent of Africa.
“All in all, Nigeria’s Afrocentric bend remains.
“President Buhari was made the continent’s anti-corruption leader because of the reputation he had sustained over the decades.
“But what needs to be understood is that virtually all the issues that stood Nigeria out in the past, that is, opposition to apartheid, decolonisation, African unity, etc.
, have all been settled and now replaced with new ones.
“Overall, I think domestic circumstances like pervasive insecurity, separatist agitations, weakening economic capacity, collapsing naira, official corruption have combined to vitiate a dynamic foreign policy,” he said.
Prof Fawole, however, noted that Nigeria’s recent showing at the African Union was less than stellar as it lost a high-profile election to the most pivotal organ of the AU by putting forward the wrong candidate, although it was later able to regain composure.
Corroborating Fawole’s view, Associate Prof. Efem Ubi, Director of Research, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, (NIIA) noted that since independence to date, Nigeria has continued to focus on its Africa-centered foreign policy.
According to him, when Buhari came to power over seven years ago, he set out to once again take Nigeria’s leading position in Africa.
He said that this was done with some form of successes, even though minimal, especially in the efforts towards stemming the scourge of terrorism and other forms of insecurity in Nigeria.
He said, “This is showcased in the role that Nigeria under Buhari and other ECOWAS member states played in upholding with sacrosanct, democracy in Africa to resolve The Gambia’s election crisis, the coup crisis in Mali and other places, etc.
“President Buhari immediately on assumption of office visited different nations ranging from Nigeria’s immediate neighbors, the West African sub-region,and the continent at large, to harness international concerted efforts towards mitigating the challenges of terrorism.
“Buhari started well by getting the affected neighbouring countries, Niger Republic, Cameroon and Chad to put more efforts through the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to tackle the problem and his approach initially yielded fruits.
” The NIIA Director of Research described Nigeria’s foreign policy under the current dispensation as a tripartite foreign, policy posture, which revolves around three thematic issues; namely, the fight against corruption, insecurity, and economic development.
He argued that Nigeria under the current administration has exceedingly upheld Nigeria’s foreign policy tenets, irrespective of the odds, adding that Buhari did not after all inherit a rosy and healthy nation in 2015. On his part, Dr Salami Olawale of the Department of History and Diplomatic Studies, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, however, sees economic diplomacy, which was popularised by the Babangida military regime in 1988 as the major lynchpin of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Olawale noted that, in spite of the lofty intentions of economic diplomacy under the Babangida administration, the global response to Nigeria’s economic diplomacy was not as enthusiastic as the Nigerian government had envisaged.
He attributed the shortcomings of the administration’s economic diplomacy to the inconsistent and incoherent domestic policies, lack of infrastructural facilities and insincerity in government circles, leading to massive corruption in high places.
“In the face of these problems, the attitude of foreign investors was not surprising, as various global investors had to re-design their strategies in the face of rampaging globalisation.
“The ‘new’ economic diplomacy was also expected to encourage Nigerian business groups to shop for partners and then invest more both at home and abroad, but this was not to be, as they preferred, just like their friends in governments, to own property in choice areas of western countries.
“Even the state sponsored attempt, through the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation (NNPC), to shop around the world for petroleum-related investment outlets, did not produce significant results,” he said.
Olawale, therefore, concluded that the failure of the Nigerian state in all ramifications and the conspiracy and hostility of the international environment, combined to frustrate the lofty ideas contained in Babangida’s economic diplomacy.
He, however, said that for the Nigerian state to fully realise its great potentials for the benefit of the people, the managers of the country should have a change of attitude and put ‘Nigeria first’ in all respects.
“The government at all levels and individuals should be fully involved in the fight against corruption, which has become a malignant tumour in the medulla of an average Nigerian.
“At the level of the economy, the government should encourage the industrial class and not the merchant class, to produce more goods at home, as it is on their shoulders that the realisation of government’s international economic objectives rest.
“It is in search of relevance in the international environment and in the continuation of the actualisation of its Afrocentric policy, that Nigeria, leading other West African states, ventured into the Liberian crisis, to build peace and restore democratic governance,” he added.
Although it was in June 1988 that economic diplomacy was officially adopted as a major plank of Nigeria’s foreign policy, Nigeria’s contemporary foreign policy under the Buhari administration also adopted it 30 years after.
Since 1960, successive Nigerian governments have demonstrated an appreciation of the linkage between the country’s foreign policy and economic circumstances, hence, in the first 25 years after independence, that is, from 1960 to 1985, there were overlapping patterns or strands of strategies that emerged in the history of Nigeria’s economic diplomacy In officially adopting economic diplomacy as a major plank in its foreign policy initiatives, the Buhari administration unveiled the National Economic Diplomacy Initiative (NEDI) in 2018, which underscores the continuity and consistency in Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Ubi is of the view that the economic diplomacy initiative of the Buhari administration emerged in response to the inherited daunting domestic socio- economic challenges before the country.
He said NEDI was also designed to leverage on Nigeria’s bilateral and multilateral trade engagements with other countries to accelerate domestic growth and development.
It was also informed by the need to realise the lofty targets of regional economic integration as embellished in the ideals of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, AFCFTA.
Nigeria’s signing of AFCFTA, which is projected to become the world’s second largest free trade area is a remarkable stride in Nigeria’s contemporary foreign policy’s economic diplomacy.
AFCFTA provides opportunities to exploit new frontiers and reach larger markets with Nigerian exports of manufactured goods and services.
The cornerstone of AFCFTA is the promotion of industrialization, sustained growth and development in Africa.
It is projected to boost intra-African trade, stimulate investment and innovation, foster structural transformation, and improve food security.
AFCFTA is also projected to enhance economic growth and export diversification, and rationalise the overlapping trade regimes of the main regional economic communities.
Nigeria has also signed a number of bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding with some African and non-African countries aimed at strengthening its relations with them and driving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the country.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, summed up Nigeria’s contemporary foreign policy when he spoke with journalists on the sidelines of the just concluded 77th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. According to the minister, Nigeria is now highly respected and appreciated by the international community due to the repositioning of the country “as a bastion of democracy” by President Buhari in the past seven years.
“We have been able to gain respect for Nigeria and secure Nigeria’s place as an important partner and player at the multilateral level.
“In seven years, President Buhari has showcased Nigeria as a champion of good governance and an important partner in the African sub-region and beyond.
“We have been praised for the role we played in ensuring that democracy survived in The Gambia as well as in pushing for peace in the West African sub-region.
“We have been successful in areas, such as getting through resolutions of the UN on illicit financial flows, which we could not achieve for many years,” the minister said.
“We have been seen as a champion for nuclear disarmament and a nuclear-free world because we were very active in those areas.
“During this period, we have been at the forefront of actions to push for global justice and peace, advocating justice for the oppressed in the world.
“The centrepiece of the event for us was the national statement by the president, which was very well received,” he said.
Onyeama explained that President Buhari touched on sensitive national, regional and global issues when he addressed the UN General Assembly.
He disclosed that the country’s delegation had a good mix of bilateral meetings with other countries, as well as engaged with the private sector.
Analysts are, therefore, of the view that Nigeria’s foreign policy as conducted by successive administrations since independence in 1960, has been consistently dominated by an enduring Afrocentric focus, as well as the benefits of economic diplomacy to achieve the country’s overall national interest’s aims, goals and objectives.
(NANFeatures) If used please credit the News Agency of Nigeria
The Federal College of Education (FCE)(Technical), Akoka, has described Mr. Kunle Filani, a former provost of the Institution, as a great artist and scholar.Dr Wahab Azeez, Provost, FCT (Technical), said this during a Virtual Art Exhibition dedicated to the 65th birthday and retirement of Filani, held at the College on Thursday in Lagos.Azeez said, “Dr Filani whom we are celebrating today can be best described as a great artist, teacher of all teachers, and an administrator of note.“FCE Technical, Akoka is not just hosting this event, but partnering with lots of other organisers who are also identifying with Dr. Filani to give him his well-deserved honour.At the event, Mr Babasehinde Ademuleya of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife delivered a lecture titled ‘Kunle Filani: The man, his heart and his Arts.Ademuleya said that the person of Filani is known to possess two opposing characteristics; restlessness and patience.He said that Filani’s ability to marry the two elements had been of great advantage to his art and views.According to him, both elements have been so perfected in him that they have become very essential bases for almost everything he does.“Consciously or unconsciously, the two elements discussed above as well as the gígún and níwòn attributes form the psychological base for Filani’s commitment to the arts,” he said.“One may wonder how a restless person could as well be patient.Filani’s restlessness does not connote what the Yoruba would call ai ni’farabale or ai’nisuuru – lack of patience but rather that of ‘inquisitiveness’.“His restlessness is borne out of his thirst for knowledge and the eagerness in disseminating knowledge acquired’.“While his restlessness rules his mind fuelling his inquisitiveness and imaginations, he allows patience to rule his soft heart which informed his habit of picking and developing an idea to a surreal level,” he added.Ademuleya added that those were the concepts that informed Filani’s philosophy of life and could be felt in his art, his administrative style and even in his writings.The lecturer said that Filani’s contribution to the art profession in general, particularly its education, theory, criticism and practice could not be over-emphasised.He said that Filani had played a prominent role in its development.He disclosed that Filani is the Founding president of Culture and Creative art Foundation (CCAF), a non- governmental and non-profit making organisation which seeks to sensitise the world on the richness and diversity of African culture.According to him, the group, which organises conferences, lectures, seminars workshops, exhibitions and other activities on creative art and culture also celebrates well-deserving artists and art scholars.“He is also a fellow of Pan-African Circle of Artists (PACA) a group concerned with the task of engineering an indigenous voice for the propagation of African art.“Filani has equally played prominent roles in the running of the Society of Nigerian Artists and other art related societies from time to time,” he added.Expressing delight at the event, Filani, also a former provost of FCE, Abeokuta, said he was overwhelmed by the presence and outpour of love from individuals, groups, friends and alumni in spite of no invitation.While applauding Azeez and the management of FCE (Technical), Akoka, he said, “Words cannot be enough to express my joy today, the affection of mankind towards me on my attainment of 65th birthday is wonderful, thank you all for this respected honour.Also speaking, a former Dean of Arts, YABATECH, Mr. Kunle Adeyemi lauded the celebrant for his commitment to study and professionalism.Adeyemi, however, decried the poor enrolment of students in the Arts and called for a deliberate effort to redress the situation.He said that the country stands to benefit immensely in the study and promotion of the nation’s arts, cultural values and tourism.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Filani was also conferred with a full honorary professionalism award by African American University (AAU), Republic of Benin on his 65th birthday anniversary.NAN also reports that Mr. Ben Ezeohagwu, the Vice Chancellor of AAU, Mrs. Victoria Filani, mother of the celebrant, management of FCE, Abeokuta, OAU alumni, and other dignitaries graced the occasion which doubled as the Art Exhibition of FCE (Technical).The event featured 11-year-old Oluwasemilore Olayemi, a young saxophonist, who thrilled the celebrant and guests.Morenikeji Joshua, a seven-year-old Primary 2 budding artist who made a pencil image artwork of Filani also presented it to him as a birthday gift.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) has set up a sustainable peace team to resolve the lingering impasse between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The former Secretary General of CVCNU, Prof. Michael Faborode, and the Co-coordinator of the team, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday, through ‘The Sustainable Peace Team Working Paper’.
He said that the desire of the team was not to allow the current deadlock in the ASUU strike negotiations to take hold, as the toll of the strike on all stakeholders and the nation had been colossal.
According to him, to arrive at the final list, no serving vice chancellor or pro-chancellor is included and membership was based on record of service as recorded by the CVCNU.
He said that the team comprised of Prof. Jibril Aminu, former Vice Chancellor, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID); Emeritus Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, former Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI); Prof. Ekanem Braide, President, Academy of Science; and Dr Nkechi Nwagogu, former Pro-Chancellor, University of Calabar (UNICAL).
Other members of the team are Prof. Joe Ahaneku, former Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK); Prof. Fatima Mukhtar, former Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Dutse; and Prof. Akpan Ekpo, former Vice Chancellor of University of Uyo (UNIUYO).
Also in the team are Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, Secretary General, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), and Prof. Michael Faborode, former Secretary General, CVCNU and former Vice Chancellor, OAU.
“We should not fold our hands and watch our ‘house’ collapse on us as elders.
So, we should speak or act now.
“We do not have any other industry other than the university system.
“Whatever can be done to bring all the actors to reason and broker peace using the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee recommendations as the fulcrum, will be worth the effort.
“A lot had been done already and such patriotic efforts should not be wasted nor despised,” he said.
Faborode said that the “Peace Team of Elders” would operate under the auspices of the .
According to him, both the Federal Government and ASUU are being reached to accept the intervention of the independent team of elders.
“The Team will liaise with the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee to understand the basis of the elements of their proposals, and check with both the federal government and ASUU to identify the areas of concern and objection.
“Afterwards the team will brainstorm on how to mitigate the thorny areas and work with all the parties to bring the imbroglio to an amicable end in the interest of all concerned and the nation.
“The meetings and consultations will be mainly online by Zoom and perhaps finally face-to-face to safe costs once we make progress.
This is however subject to review as we proceed,” he explained.
Faborode said that the team had itemised some preliminary considerations that could shape parties understanding and way forward.
He said that this was because the deadlock in the crisis seemed to be getting more disturbing with the federal government maintaining a strong stance of “no-work, no-pay” and ordering ASUU to go back to work.
He said this had also made ASUU to firmly prolong the strike to become indefinite as both sides were unwilling to proceed with further negotiation or discussions.
“How do we engage with the Nimi Briggs committee?
I am personally in touch with the chairman, and he feels the outstanding issues are not insurmountable.
“These include federal government raising its offer of salary increase from 23% to may be 50% that will ensure a Professor receives up to N800,000 monthly as opposed to the negotiated N1.2 million.
“Also, the review of the decision on salaries during strike to a mid-position, not 0% nor 100% as ASUU wants.
How can we further this admonition to both sides?
“Fundamentally, the following facts should be noted: the subsisting condition of Nigerian higher education is unacceptable and inconsistent with the economic development roles envisaged for them.
“Things have been allowed to deteriorate for too long, This, must be halted by all as we embark on an integrated revitalisation agenda in the education sector, in the interest of our economic development,” Faborode said.
He, therefore, called on the National Assembly to play its role in providing a sustainable solution of raising for the effective running of the universities.
The Management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun has announced the 2022 admission screening exercise for UTME and Direct Entry candidates.
This is contained in a statement by the Registrar and Secretary to Council of the institution, Mrs Margaret Omosule, on Monday, in Ile-Ife.Omosule said the opportunity was for only the candidates who made OAU their first choice in the 2022 UTME, scored 200 and above, and those who applied for Direct Entry (DE).
She adding that registration for the 2022 Post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (PUTME) screening exercise would begin from Thursday, Sept. 8 to Saturday, Oct. 15.According to her, candidates are required to visit “admissions.
ng”; Log on to the site with their Registration Number as Username and their Surname as Password.
The Registrar explained further that the candidates should fill the biodata form and click continue; obtain a Remita Retrieval Reference (RRR) from this site only, and use it to make payment online or at any commercial bank.
Omosule stated further that once payment was accepted, the system would log out and they could now login again, adding that the screening exercise would be done online.
“Applicants that provide false information, or upload incorrect credentials will automatically be disqualified.
“Candidates are required to check their screening schedule on the OAU Porter from Oct. 12.“Candidates will also be required to participate in the Post-UTME screening on their allotted dates and time from Oct. 17 to 22 ,” She said.
Omosule urged applicants to note that the screening fee of N2,000.00 only and all enquires should be forwarded to admissions@oauife.
ng or enquiry@oauife.
Deputy Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Antonio Pedro [AB1] signs the main contract for the renovation of the Africa Hall Project to improve its structural and technological facilities, to ensure that it meets international standards and conference facilities.
The renovation project will also see the creation of a visitor center and permanent exhibition to make Africa Hall one of Addis Ababa's top destinations and highlight its important role in modern African history and culture.
As part of the preservation and restoration of the historical and cultural values rooted in its architecture.
"This renovation project is part of a broader campaign by the United Nations to modernize its facilities to improve technological endowment, update functionality and ensure uniformity in safety and security standards," says the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Commission Economy for Africa (ECA), Antonio Pedro.
The Africa Hall Renovation Project will last 22 months and includes the complete renovation of the building, its fixtures, a new security building and visitor parking.
The ECA has established an office dedicated to managing the implementation of the project, which has an independent Advisory Board, a Stakeholders Committee and oversight from United Nations Headquarters.
The management is based on a participatory approach, seeking a broad and continuous consultation that involves both professionals and representative institutions of civil society.
Voluntary contributions from private, public and other stakeholders to improve and enrich the project are also welcome.
Donations can be in cash, such as that provided by the Government of Mali, or in kind, such as land donated by the host Government, a commemorative book promised by Italy, or documents or souvenirs related to Pan-Africanism.
The initial purpose of the building was to create a premier venue for African art and culture.
Throughout its life, “Africa Hall became a famous venue for Pan-African and African Renaissance events.
It is the birthplace of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which is now the African Union (AU), and whose founding Charter was signed in the Hall in 1963”, says the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Secretary ECA Executive Vera Songwe, reflecting on the importance of Africa Hall. This moment that has been immortalized by a 150 square meter stained glass work of art located in the lobby of the Hall, depicting the founding fathers of the OAU.
Since its inception more than fifty years ago, Africa Hall has been a living symbol of African history, unity and culture.
It also represents one of the most outstanding examples of African architectural heritage.
The Hall, which is the first of a collection of twenty buildings that make up the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) complex, was conceived and donated by the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, in the early 1960s.
one of the most outstanding examples of African architectural heritage.
The new Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Adebayo Bamire, says all efforts will be geared towards leveraging the gains of past years to transform the institution into a world-class citadel.
Bamire, the 12th Vice-Chancellor of the university made the pledged during his inauguration at the Oduduwa Hall of OAU, on Tuesday, in Ile-Ife.
He expressed gratitude to the Almighty God for giving him the opportunity of becoming the 12th substantive vice-chancellor of the institution.
The V-C thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, the University Governing Council and the entire OAU community for the privilege given to him to serve.
The don assured that he would continue to deploy relevant and technology-driven learning tools to improve the quality of education and produce graduates that have relevant skillsets for the 21st Century.
“I will make full use of committee system to run an all-inclusive data-driven administration that will foster participation by all through an open-door policy.
“I will also strengthen the Town-Gown relations for the benefit of all and to achieve these, I will work closely with government, the private sector, international agencies and organisations and all other stakeholders.”
Earlier, the Pro-Chancellor of the institution and Chairman of Governing Council, Owelle Oscar Udoji commended the out-gone Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede for his transparency and accountability during his tenure.
Udoji eulogised Ogunbodede for his numerous achievements in terms of infrastructure, research, ICT, capacity building, welfare of staff and students of the institution.
He solicited maximum support from staff, students and the entire OAU community for the success of the new vice-chancellor, saying “a tree cannot make a forest”.
The pro-chancellor admonished the new vice-chancellor to build on the legacy left behind by his predecessors to take the institution to the Promise Land.
In his valedictory address, the out-gone Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, appreciated God for sustaining him to complete his tenure despite challenges that confronted him while in office.
Ogunbodede also applauded the cooperation he enjoyed from the staff, students, unions and the entire Ife community during his tenure as the vice-chancellor.
He also commended the efforts of the university council, saying it could not be underrated.
He said that the council did a lot to reposition the university to the enviable position it occupied till date.
Ogunbodede assured that he was leaving the institution stronger than he met it in terms of peace, tranquility, harmony and conducive atmosphere presently enjoyed by all and sundry.
He appealed to the staff, students and stakeholders of the university to cooperate with the new vice-chancellor for more advancement.
In her welcome address, the Registrar of the university and Secretary to the council, Mrs Margaret Omosule welcomed all to the historic event.
Omosule appreciated God for the life of the out-gone vice-chancellor, for the achievements recorded so far and urged the new vice-chancellor to emulate him.
Dignitaries who attended the event included the Vice-Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Prof. Kayode Adebowale; the Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University, Prof. Clement Adeboye.
Also in attendance were some royal fathers, Provost of Colleges, principal officers of the university, Faculty Deans, Heads of Departments, union leaders and students among others.
President, Ife Development Board (IDB), Mr Lawrence Awowoyin, has appealed to youths of the ancient city, to suspend their planned protest scheduled for Tuesday.
A group, Ife Youths Organisation, had threatened to protest against the inauguration of Prof. Adebayo Bamire, as the 12th Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, scheduled for Tuesday, June 7.
The announcement of Bamire as the Vice Chancellor-elect had sparked off protest by some indigenes, who accused the institution’s management of manipulating the selection process against a candidate backed by the Ife community.
Awowoyin in a statement on Monday, called on all youth organisations in Ile-Ife to allow peace to reign by suspending any form of protest.
Awowoyin, however, commended the youths for heeding to the intervention of the board, which led to the suspension of the previous protest against the Bamire’s appointment.
According to him, “for giving peace a chance, the youths had shown clearly that the protest was not meant to bring down the high reputation of OAU, but to ensure that things are done rightly.”
He commended Ife youths and other stakeholders for coming out to be counted in the defence of Ile-Ife, especially in ensuring that the indigenes were not deprived of their rights and entitlements under any guise.
Awowoyin said that maintaining peaceful coexistence would allow transparency, devoid of prejudice in any form, adding that this would sustain the good reputation of the “citadel of learning and character molding.”
“Let us be assured that the focus of the struggle is to get things done rightly in OAU, transcending appointment of Prof. Bamire.
“Therefore, efforts to correct areas of marginalisation, manipulation and injustice shall continue even after the inauguration of the VC,” he stated.
While welcoming invited personalities to the inauguration of the 12th substantive vice-chancellor of the university, Awowoyin assured them of a peaceful environment before, during and after the ceremony.
“There are ongoing meetings and consultations to get all issues relating to the symbolic relationship of Ife community and OAU resolved holistically,” he added.
The new Statistician-General (S-G) of the Federation, Prince Semiu Adeniran, says the bureau will expand its scope to produce data on migration, Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) and security.
Adeniran made this commitment while taking the Oath of Office and Secrecy ceremony at the NBS headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said this had become necessary for the bureau’s data to be relevant to the times and reflect the current situation in the country.
Adeniran said expanding the scope of its data would ensure that the NBS was delivering on its mandate of producing “relevant and adequate” information for policy decision making.
He added that it would also mean that the bureau was contributing its quota of solutions to the challenges being faced by the country.
“As the role of national statistics offices across the world expands in the modern-day data ecosystem, we will focus on building our capacity to produce further insight and knowledge base.
” We will also expand the scope of our statistical product to reflect the recent development in the macro and socio-development space.
“In this light, in the coming months, we will begin the process of producing statistics on new areas such as migration, IDPs and data on security.
” All these are issues currently on the front burner of the political sphere and prominent in the hearts of citizens and policymakers, hence we need to play our role as the authoritative source of official data in this regard.
Adeniran noted that the late S-G’s tenure, though brief, was impactful as he committed to consolidating his achievement.
He said the late S-G’s legacy was synonymous with hard work, compassion, dedication, and development for his fellow man regardless of race, tribe and creed.
” We will go forward together in line with the three-point agenda set by Dr S.B
Harry, namely general administration and human resources management, infrastructure development and sound technical operations.
“I will seek to consolidate on the achievement he recorded. The current structure of the office will be maintained and where possible improved on as the need arises. ”
He said efforts would be made to ensure the bureau delivered on its mandate.
“Hence our initial focus will be on strengthening our technical operations by enhancing staff capacity to accurately produce, disseminate and interpret statistics to inform policy design in Nigeria.”
Adeniran said the capacity enhancement would be done through organised training and courses both locally and internationally, on the job learning and in-house coaching by knowledgeable staff of the office.
He added that where necessary, external experts will be contacted to provide support to the staff of the bureau.
According to him, this is aimed at closing existing technical gaps already identified across the departments.
“This will also expand existing capacity to ensure that as a system, we are able to cope adequately with the ever increasing demand for data. ”
Adeniran said that efforts would be made to improve the general orientation and philosophy of staff members through change managerial courses and orientation programmes offered by the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria and other renowned institutions.
The new S-G said that the bureau would accelerate its ongoing work with the World Bank in revising its methodology for producing Labour Force Statistics in Nigeria.
” This is very important as it will ensure that we move to a system where we generate, on a sustainable basis, adequate quarterly statistics on the labour market in Nigeria, to inform the government on their job creation efforts.”
He said in the coming weeks, the bureau would begin the process of rebasing the Consumer Price Index and the reweighting of the consumption basket.
“As we all know, the rebasing of the Gross Domestic Estimates is also one that has been talked about in recent times.
“With the ongoing National Agriculture Sample Census, which is intended to serve as a major input to the process, we will ensure that both NASC and all other surveys and administrative data collection efforts were completed successfully in preparation for the rebasing sometime next year. ”
On infrastructure development, Adeniran said the office had in no small measure experienced a huge transformation and facelift over the last eight months.
He gave assurance that this development would be sustained and maintained over the coming years to ensure a conducive working environment for staff members to perform their duties.
The S-G also assured that the welfare and conditions of service for staff members would be made paramount.
“Therefore, I will work tirelessly, using all available resources I can muster and all the contacts within my network to make this happen in the near future.
“Our staff will be proud of their office and will become the envy of staff of other public agencies we look up to today.”
He pledged to continue to work with the bureau’s partners, both locally and internationally, including line ministries, departments and agencies of government.
The S-G called on all staff members and management to work collectively for the progress of the bureau.
“I commit to be fair and justiciable in my dealings with you, doing what I know in my innermost is best for the progress of the office.
” I also urge you all to extend the same to your staff and subordinates, ensuring that they are also carried along in the process so that they feel valued and become committed to working in the office. ”
Mr Godwin Ameh, Director, Corporate Planning and Statistical Coordination, NBS, in his response, assured that staff members and management would give the new S-G their support to carry out his duties effectively.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the S-G was sworn in by His Worship Olubunmi Achegbulu, who charged him to carry out his duties with fairness and justice.
President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of Adeniran as the S-G of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the NBS on May 20.
Adeniran’s appointment follows the demise of the former Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Simon Harry, on April 13.
Until his appointment, Adeniran was the Director of Demographic and Household Statistics at the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Adeniran who was born in Oyo State, has for the past 30 years been a professional statistician of repute.
He attended the Polytechnic Ibadan and proceeded to OAU and Oxford University in the UK.
Adeniran has served on no fewer than 10 presidential committees. (www.
An Ile-Ife Magistrates’ Court in Osun, on Wednesday, remanded a 25-year-old man, Ajibade Kayode, over alleged burglary and stealing of phones at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife.
The defendant, who was not legally represented, pleaded guilty to the four-count charge of burglary, breaking and entering, stealing and illegal possession preferred against him.
The Magistrate, A.I. Oyebadejo, consequently ordered the remand of the defendant in Ile-Ife Correctional Centre and adjourned the case till June 6, for presentation of facts by the prosecutor.
Earlier, the Prosecutor, Insp Sunday Osanyintuyi, had told the court that the defendant committed the offence on May 24, 2020 at about 2:45 a.m. at OAU, Ile-Ife.
Osanyintuyi said that the defendant broke into the institution’s Physics Oven White House office, with the intent to commit felony.
He said that the defendant stole one Red Tecno phone, valued at N82,000, belonging to one Adigun Tobiloba.
The prosecutor stated that the defendant also stole a green-coloured Infinix S4 phone, valued at N45,000, belonging to one Mamah Amechi.
He added that a Hot 5 white-colured phone, valued at N50,000 was also found in possession of the defendant, which he could not satisfactorily explain how he got.
According to Osanyintuyi, the offences contravene Sections 383, 390, and 413 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Osun, 2002.