Some stakeholders in the education sector have continued to deep express worry over the lingering crisis between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). They said that the face-off had crippled the livelihood of the people around the universities. The stakeholders, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday, called for immediate resolutions so that students would return to their classrooms. An educationist, Mr Olaniyi Olawade said the effect of the strike had brought untold hardship on the youths, business owners and had affected the economy of residence where institutions were located. Olawade said that many students had lost focus and were getting involved in so many criminal activities capable of shortchanging their destinies. According to him, many who earn a living from businesses around the school communities cannot do anything again and have resorted to living unproductive lives. “The effects of ASUU strike on the youth of this nation is quite enormous. It has adverse effect on their present and future endeavours as it makes them unproductive and lazy. “The strike has done more harm in wasting the precious time of the students and making the youths to become unscrupulous and to lose hope in this country,” he said. Olawade said that the four months strike had grounded the productive academic sector and other aspects of the economy of the nation. “Also, those that are not in the academics but earn their daily bread by selling stuff to the students and academic communities are not finding things easy this period. “We are pleading with the government and the academics to sheath their sword and allow peace to reign so that this matter can be resolved once and for all as the students are the most affected by the crisis,” he added. A civil servant and a mother of three, Mrs Damilola Bankole said that the strike had drawn back the academic progress of students as compared with their colleagues from other climes. Bankole called on the government to wade into the situation by attending to the needs of these universities lecturers, while looking for alternative preventive methods to avoid such crisis in the future. “One of the major effect of ASUU strike on Nigerian universities is the fact that it’s going to draw us back. The academic calendar has been drawn backward and for it to pick up again, it will take a lot of time. “Apart from this, it is also going to have a great effect on the smooth transition from secondary school to higher institutions. “This is because some students have just concluded writing their WAEC and JAMB examinations and have applied to these universities but as it stands, nothing can be done as they have to be in the queue. “And when there is a queue in the education system of a country, it leads to crimes and other moral decadence in the society because a child who waits for more than necessary will be involved in unscrupulous acts,” she said. Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Bayelsa, Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take charge and speed up the process of resolving the ongoing trade dispute with ASUU and other unions. Edoumiekumo is also the Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU). He said that a drastic action must be taken to stem the haemorrhage that the system was currently witnessing for the sake of the Nigerian children. ” I have said that the president should speed up the whole process, take over everything and take a concrete decision and that is even now, so that our students who are at home will be back on campuses. “So, we are calling on Mr President to speed up action, so that we call off the strike, and the students can come back to campus,” he said. A political analyst, Mr. Rotimi Lawrence said that the lingering strike should be addressed as it had caused not only a national embarrassment but a monumental loss of human capital to the country. Lawrence said that if nothing was done to address industrial disputes in the tertiary institutions, it would continue to affect the global rating of the public ivory tower. Miss Favour Rotimi, a student of Federal University, Oye Ekiti, said that many students were frustrated as a result of the strike and wanted an immediate solution so that they could return to their schools. Rotimi said that the effect of the strike was enormous as some female students were now involved in the act of prostituting, while some had been impregnated. ” We have been at home for the last four months. Many of us tried to get menial jobs to do but we can’t get them when even graduates are still hunting for jobs. “I will not blame any students who have decided to look for money through other means. What I think the government can do is facilitate this dialogue with the lecturers so that we can all have our peace as a nation. ” Yes, it is true that the lecturers are demanding their welfare and the welfare of the university system as a whole. “This is not too big for them to ask. We don’t take education seriously as a country and this will continue to affect us even on the global scene,” Rotimi said. NewsSourceCredit: NAN
Mrs Chinyere Ezeofor, the wife of the Bishop of Aguata Anglican Diocese has urged Nigerians especially women to work toward developing the country.
Ezeofor, also the President of Aguata Diocesan Women’s Ministry, said this in an address at the 17th Aguata Anglican Diocesan Women Conference at St. James Anglican Church Aguluezechukwu in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra on Saturday.
She said that lack of quality leadership was the major problem facing the nation, saying that the problem has its root in the family.
Ezeofor said that if Nigerians could make God the focal point of their lives, beginning with the family, the problem of poor leadership in the country would be a thing of the past.
“The family is key in the quest for social re-engineering in the country, if parents especially mothers could closely monitor the activities of their children and ensure they do the right things, the country will be okay,” she said.
Ezeofor who reviewed the activities of women in the Diocese in the past one year, stressed the need for families to conduct daily prayers and regularly admonish the children on the need for moral rectitude.
She expressed worry over security challenges in the country and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike and called on government to expedite action in addressing the problems.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that over 1,000 participants drawn from Anglican Dioceses across the South-East attended the 2022 Aguata Women Conference with the theme “Divine Principles of Transformation To Leadership.
In his remarks, Rt. Rev’d. Samuel Ezeofor, Anglican Bishop of Aguata Diocese, commended the womenfolk for their roles in the church and society.
Speaking with NAN at the sidelines of the conference, the bishop called for more action in the fight against corruption and urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the 2023 general election was credible, free and fair.
Mrs Mather Ibezim, wife of the Archbishop, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger, advised the participants to ensure they go with a copy of the address of Mrs Ezeofor.
“The key message contend in the 78-page address is that as mothers we must always take full charge of our homes, teach our children the word of God, teach them to pray and to say no to evils,” she said.
Mrs Nigozi-Ginaonyeyiaga Ike, chairperson 2022 Aguata Women Conference Planning committee, said the event was a yearly activity of the church which provided a platform for mothers to assess their roles in the church and the society.
“The home is the fulcrum upon which every societal problem revolve, it is the source of every leadership training and that is the reason why the book of Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up the child the way he should go when he is young and when he grows old he will not depart from it,” she said.
The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) has backed decentralised policing system for proper grassroots security to stem the tide of insecurity in the country.
ICSAN President, Mr Gbenga Owokalade, made the assertion at the institute’s news conference on Thursday in Lagos.
Owokalade who described the nation’s insecurity challenges as overwhelming said that state owned policing system would adequately manage the country’s entire geographical locations and tackle the rising insecurity.
He urged the Federal Government to create templates that would make it easier for states to manage their own policing systems.
“Nigeria is matured enough to have state policing and we should be bold enough to allow states have their own security apparatus if we say we are a federal structure which allows to replicate structures at all levels.
“What we need to do is to put in place governance structures and institutions that would keep the people working for these places in check.
“This is very important to ensure that a repeat of the Owo massacre does not happen and to allow the night life economy which is dying because of insecurity to be revitalised,” he said.
Owokalade urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government to speedily resolve their issues to address the negative impact of the ongoing strike action on the unengaged youthful population and the education sector.
“You are breeding a youth force that is not adequately engaged and may join the negative narrative we already have on ground.
“There is a need to look at the future of the Nigerian child as both parties must make sacrifices to allow this issue end for the sake of our children and the sake of the nation,” he said.
He also appealed to Nigerians not to pick leaders based on tribal or religious sentiments, but subject leaders to the highest level of analysis and scrutiny for a better nation come 2023.
“Poverty, bad economy, insecurity and the rest know nothing about factors such as religion and ethnicity.
“All leaders must be subjected to the previous antecedents from past positions and must showcase the capacity to give us a future for the new Nigeria that the country deserves.
“The narrative must be about the competencies of the person and not tribe or religion to enable the country take its rightful place in the comity of nations,” he said.
Owokalade also tasked government to continue to strive in creating a more business-friendly and sustainable operating environment to address the increasing cost of production, encourage more foreign exchange inflows and create more disposable income.
He said that his one year in office had engendered a rise in the institute’s profile, bringing new stakeholders on board and led to its holding its annual public lecture for the first time in Abuja.
Owokalade pledged the commitment of his administration to grow the memenership of the institute, enhance capacity development of members and maintain its position as the foremost governance institute in the country.
“We are partnering with various institutions to ensure that we have Masters of corporate governance at many of these places and we have signed various Memorandum of Understanding to ensure that we change our name from the present name to Chartered Governance Institute of Nigeria in line with the newest narrative globally.
“We would continue to preach the corporate governance language all over the nation to address many of these challenges that Nigeria is facing at every strata of government.
Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene, a chieftain of apex Igbo social cultural organisation, the Ohaneze Ndigbo, has commended the Federal Government for appointing a substantive registrar for the Federal Polytechnic Okoh, Anambra.
Okeke-Ogene, the National Vice President of the Ohaneze Ndigbo told newsmen on Monday in Awka that the federal government’s action had put to rest the internal wrangling in the school.
He also hailed the Chairman, Governing Council of the polytechnic, Alhaji Kale Kawu for ensuring transparency in the process that led to the emergency of Mr Anthony Umeozor as the new registrar.
“This appointment has ended series of internal wrangling which has adversely affected the Okoh poly in recent months and I’m personally thankful to the federal government,” he said.
Okeke-Ogene, a native of Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra, urged the management to work as a team to promote serenity in the Institution.
“As natives, we benefit more when there is peace in the school rather than in a crisis situation,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr Ben Obiora, the Secretary of the school’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) described the new registrar as thorough breed administrator and a hardworking man who has served the school in various capacities.
Mr Emma Okolie, the Chairman of the polytechnic’s Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) advised him to bring his wealth of experience to the growth and development of teaching, learning and research in the institution.
The President General of Okoh Peoples Union (OPU), Mr Amaechi Okoli who added his voice, said the community was happy with the transparent manner in which the registrar was selected.
He said that the new leadership of the Governing Council had proven that there was no room for compromising standards.
Traders and business centres operators at the University of Abuja have decried low patronage attendant on the on-going strike by the Academic Staff Union Universities (ASUU).
The strike, already in its fourth month has seen to the absence of students, the major patrons, from the university community.
Mr Abdulazeez Lawal, a business centre owner said the presence of students in the school premises strengthened his business and their absence a disadvantage.
“I knew very well how this business thrives in university communities; that is one of the major reasons why I came here. I used to make much more money than my colleagues operating the same business elsewhere.
“My business is no more doing well as before. Right now I am struggling with it,’’ he said
Lawal, who also sells stationeries, said it had been double jeopardy because it was students who were buying such stuffs.
“I used to sell about 60 per cent of my goods in a month before, but since the ASUU strike began, I have been struggling to sell 30 per cent of my stock,’’ he added.
Another business centre operator, Mr Emmanuel Onyema, corroborated Lawal’s position and said the strike had deleterious effects on his business also.
“The strike is affecting parents and students just as it is affecting business people. The presence of students in this area was an advantage to our businesses.
“Most times I open my shop from morning till night and end up not getting any money at all.
“If students were around, I get N10,000 and above daily,’’ he said.
Onyema said most of his patrons now are residents who were not buying much.’
He appealed to government to address the situation seriously as the strike was affecting the economy negatively.
“My appeal to the Federal Government is that, whatsoever has been the issue should be resolved for students to return to school.
“Since the ASUU strike started, I have been managing and I pray that the government will resolve the issue soon,’’ he said.
Mr Adam Salaudeen, a barber said he had been trying to cope with life as the number of his clients had depleted.
“This is my second shop. I close shops early these days as academic sessions had been halted and students are away from campus.
“When academic sessions were in full swing, I used to have clients from dawn to dusk,’’ he said.
Food vendors shared the same experience.
“This is the only business I do and the only place I have to operate, but as students are not here, I find it difficult to cook much food as I used to cook before.
“I am discouraged as I do not have any other business. I pray the issue is resolved soon,’’ Mrs Sandra Eze said.
The Old Peers of Owerri Development Initiative, a non-governmental organisation based in Abuja, Saturday awarded WAEC scholarships to 35 indigent students from seven schools in the Owerri Municipal Council of Imo.
The award is the second edition following the maiden project in 2021.
Presenting the scholarships in Owerri, the Interim National President of the organisation, Dr Nina Nwulu, urged the beneficiaries to show determination in succeeding in life.
“Under no circumstance should you joke with your education or indulge in drugs.
“The mentality that education is a scam should be jettisoned because in Nigeria, your certificate counts,” she said.
Nwulu, who described education as the “hallmark to every development,” urged the Federal Government to do the needful in resolving its impasse with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“The issue is not about salary but about the government putting in place all the infrastructure that would make reading and learning conducive for students.
“We want our students to be exposed to every facility needed to learn properly; the lecturers are equally going through hell in terms of their packages.
“If politicians taught by teachers can be comfortable, why not the teachers,” Nwulu, a senior lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), asked.
The Coordinator of the organisation, Mr Jasper Opara, said the body aimed to assist the beneficiaries fulfill their academic pursuit.
According to him, if the students miss it at this stage of their major examination, they can lose it from there.
Opara, who explained that 25 students were sponsored in 2021, expressed delight that most of them performed excellently in the WAEC examinations.
He explained that the organisation, with different chapters in seven states and some countries, was made up of people from different tribes, who grew up and schooled in Owerri.
Also, the Secretary of the organisation, Mrs Olaedo Ike-Godson, said the body was passionate about helping government and doing charitable work, literacy, health programs, economic empowerment and sanitation.
One of the beneficiaries, Franklin Igwe from Emmanuel College, commended the organisation for the gesture.
“It will spur me to focus more on education so that when I grow up, I will be able to sponsor those around me,” another beneficiary, Miss Precious Onyemuche, said. (
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N50 billion for rehabilitation of roads in Taraba and Yobe States as well as the construction of injection substations to boost power supply in Gwarinpa area of the Federal Capital Territory.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that N48.4 billion of the amount was approved for roads in Taraba and Yobe while the remaining N1.6 billion was meant for the FCT electrification project.
The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, revealed this to State House Correspondents at the end of the council’s meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday.
Giving the breakdown of the N48.4 billion, the minister said N29.8 billion was approved as revised cost for the rehabilitation of Yola-Hong-Mubi road and N18 billion was approved for the Yobe State Government as refunds for the construction of federal government roads in the state.
He said: “The Minister of the FCT brought his memo seeking for approval for the upward review of the contract for the construction of two 15 MVA injection substations at Life Camp Gwarinpa, in Abuja.
“In 2015, council approved the contract to supply 1533 MVA injection substations to improve power supply in Gwarinpa, but regrettably for more than two years the contractors could not access the site due to ownership tussle of the land.
“By the time they later had access, prices went up, dollar appreciated and they came back in 2018 and are coming again today saying that given the population of Gwarinpa now, they need not two but actually three injection substations there and that contract was approved today for the sum of N1,640,406,426.26.”
Also fielding questions from the correspondents, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, dismissed the insinuation that the Federal Government was planning to introduce different salary payment platforms for the trade unions in tertiary institutions.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had insisted on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) it created, claiming that the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) was short changing them.
The federal government had in March said UTAS failed three integrity tests.
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions (NASU) had also recommended Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) as their own payment platform.
Ngige, however, said: “No employee or worker can dictate to his employer how he or she will be paid.’’
He assured that efforts were on towards resolving the ongoing faceoff between the government and ASUU as well as other university based unions over payment platforms.
He said contrary to insinuations that the government was not engaging with ASUU, there had been series of meetings between all parties with the next one coming up on Thursday.
Association of Women Orientation for Sustainable Development in Nigeria (AWON) has called on governments at all levels and other stakeholders to jointly address the employment and security challenges currently confronting the country.
AWON, a women coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), made the call at a news conference on the challenges facing Nigeria, on Tuesday in Ibadan.
AWON’s President, Mrs Grace Oluwatoyin, said that the federal, state and local governments must rise up to the issue of unemployment and security challenges in the country as well as the suffering of the masses.
According to her, it is increasingly difficult for many citizens to feed themselves, adding that this needs to be given serious attention.
She called on all stakeholders to work in collaboration with government in tackling the issue of insecurity in the country and create jobs in order to reduce unemployment, stressing that government alone cannot do it.
Also speaking, a member of AWON, Dr Olabisi Awosanya called on citizens to shun corruption to pave way for a better Nigeria.
He described corruption as a cancer destroying the nation’s economy and affecting its image negatively in the comity of nations.
“We must all be positive role models, while government and citizens must shun corruption for the good of the country.
“Parents must counsel their children on negative effects of social vices, such as internet fraud, among others, for them to channel their talents to things that will be beneficial to the country for a better society,” she said.
Awosanya called on government to invest in technology in order to fortify the borders and tackle the current insecurity in the country.
In her contributions, another member of the association, Mrs Bola Thompson, called on Nigerians to unite and tolerate one another, irrespective of ethnic or religious beliefs.
In her remarks, Alhaja Faozat Alabi, also of AWON, advised government to address infrastructure challenges in the education sector, saying that there could not be effective learning without good infrastructure.
Alabi, who noted that the country was blessed with brilliant students, however, expressed the regret that the infrastructure that could aid effective learning were not available.
She called on the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) to work together to end the lingering strike in the universities.
In their contributions, Dr Olusade Taiwo and Mr Adepoju Alabi, called on Nigerians to invest in agriculture and security for the development of the country.
Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, the Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has said the ongoing national strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was unnecessary.
Oloyede said this on Friday in Ilorin during the flag-off and presention of equipment, facilitated by JAMB, at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH).
He urged the leadership of the ASUU to call off the ongoing industrial action by the university lecturers in the country.
The registrar, who was the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, noted that the protracted and incessant strikes by unions in the nation’s tertiary institutions was capable of causing irreparable damage, on not just the students, but also the nation.
Oloyede, therefore, urged both the government and the unions to find ways of putting an end to the “unnecessary strike”.
The registrar added that the intervention of JAMB in the area of healthcare delivery was to support the government’s efforts aimed at addressing the huge medical infrastructural gap in the country
“JAMB will continue to prune down its expenses through prudent management, adoption of relevant cost-saving technology, and other efficiency-strategies.
“This is to free up resources to support major stakeholders such as the tertiary health and educational institutions in order to uplift the health and educational institutions,” he said.
The Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Ekpoma branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has dragged the state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, Edo Government and the Attorney General of the state to court over last week’s ban on union activities in the state-owned tertiary institutions.
The union filed an originating summon in Suit No 402022 before the Benin Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
The Chairman and Assistant Secretary of the union, Dr Cyril Oziegbe Onogbosele and Dr William Odion, asked the court to determine whether the government and other defendants had the power under section 40 of the Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and the Trade Unions Act, to suspend or prohibit trade union activities in the institution.
They said in the event that the parts of the constitution did not give such powers to the defendants, the court should declare the defendants’ order on the ban of ASUU activities in the institution as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and same is ultra vires of the powers of the defendants.
They also want an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, employees agents from interfering with or intermeddling in the claimants’ exercise of their fundamental right to engage in trade union activities at AAU.
The claimants further sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents privies from taking any form of disciplinary action against them on account of their trade union activities at the institution.
The state government had, following a protest by students of AAU over the lingering nationwide strike by ASUU, suspended all union activities across state-owned institutions of higher learning.
The government listed unions affected by the ban to include ASUU, Non Academic Staff of Universities (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, and all allied unions operating across state-owned tertiary institutions.
No date has, however, been fixed for hearing.