A university student, Soohemba Aker, has prayed a Federal High Court, Abuja for an order of interlocutory injunction suspending the activities of Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
Aker, a final year Law student of Benue State University, Markudi, also sought same order suspending the operation of Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), including payment of the monthly allocation funds to 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 10th respondents pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that RMAFC is responsible for advising federal and state governments on fiscal efficiency and methods by which their revenue can be increased and determines remuneration packages of political office holders.
NAN also reports that FAAC ensures that resources are distributed among the beneficiaries of the Federation Account in accordance with constitutional provisions and uphold the interpretations by the Supreme Court on areas requiring such clarification.
The Senate President, House of Representatives Speaker and Governor of Abia (also sued in his own official capacity and in representative capacity for all the other governors of the 36 states of the federation) are 3rd to 5th respondents respectively.
The Attorney-General of Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, the Attorney General of Abia (also sued in representative capacity for all the other Attorney Generals of the 36 states of the federation); the Vice Chancellor(VC) of the University of Abuja (also sued in representative capacity for all the other vice chancellors and the members of the Senate of both federal and state universities currently participating in the ongoing ASUU Strike) are 8th to 10th respondents respectively.
The student, in a fundamental rights enforcement suit marked: 16842022 and filed by her lawyer, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, SAN, had, in addition, sued the Federal Government, Registered Trustees of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as 1st and 2nd respondents.
She also sued RMAFC, FAAC and Umar Faruk (President, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS) as 6th, 7th and 11th respondents respectively.
The applicant, who said she is currently affected by the ongoing strike, filed the action for herself on behalf of all students of public tertiary institutions currently affected by the nationwide ASUU strike.
The case was filed pursuant to Sections 46(1), (2) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution and Article 17(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Chapter A9 (Charter 10 LFN 1990) No. 2 of 1983.In the application, Aker prayed the court for an order stopping the payment of salaries, allowances and other benefits of all political office holders at the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, including the chief of staff to the president, all Senate and House of Representatives members.
She also urged the court to stop salaries and allowances of all ministers, permanent secretaries, head of parastatals and extra-ministerial bodies, all VCs of striking universities, as well as the salaries and allowances of members of Senate of said striking universities, salaries and allowances of all members of ASUU pending the hearing and final determination of the motion on notice.
She equally sought an order of mandamus compelling the defendants including members of Senate of the striking universities to return to the 1st respondent (FG) their monthly salaries, allowances and other benefits received individually or collectively from the day the industrial action of the 2nd respondent (ASUU) commenced till date, pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.
In a supporting affidavit deposed to, Aker averred that the strike has continue to affect her adversely as her plans of graduating this academic year 2022 and to apply for admissions into the Nigerian Law School had been thwarted.
She said that her tuition fees paid for the academic year will go in vain as the academic year is almost lost if nothing is done.
She stated further that her dreams of becoming a law graduate and a future lawyer are at the verge of collapsing as her sponsor had made it clear that this year was the last year to sponsor her in school, among others.
The matter is yet to be assigned to a judge.
Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem (GIFSEP), an NGO, on Friday called on community leaders and relevant stakeholders in Nasarawa State to support climate change activists towards mitigating impacts of climate change.
Mr Joseph Ibrahim, Project officer for GIFSEP for the African Activists for Climate Justice (AACJ) Project, made the call at the end of the two-day training of 45 community activists on development of climate risk register and adaptation planning in Lafia.
Ibrahim said that the call for support from leaders, youths and women groups from communities became necessary to enable the activists receive maximum cooperation from them towards developing efficient risk register and adaptation planning.
“The essence of this training is to enable activists to get back to their own communities to help in developing community climate risk register and risk mitigation strategies to cope with some of the climate impacts.
“Risk register is simply a tool to help communities to keep track of climate change impacts, and we hope that subsequently the communities will be able to use it to plan better to avoid disasters arising from climate change,” he said.
According to Ibrahim, the training is a continuation of AACJ Project in Nasarawa State, which is being implemented by GIFSEP and with support from Oxfam.
Ibrahim said that the objective of the training was simply to equip 45 selected community activists with necessary knowledge to be able to identify and develop the climate register and adaptation strategies to minimise disaster occurrences.
Also speaking, David Michael, the team leader for GIFSEP, said that the training became necessary to enable the communities to build adaptation plan so as to adapt to the changing climate in the state Michael said that climate change register highlighted climate risks that had the highest likelihood and potential to have significant impact on local communities resulting in wide scale disruption.
“The community risk register is a disaster reduction tool which helps communities to prepare for some of the climate impacts within the communities and come up with strategies on how to cope with some of these impacts.
“The good thing about this process is that the community is at the centre of it, mitigation strategies are within their ability, and the ones they cannot do, development partners and government can come in to assist,” he said.
He further said that the training was part of the awareness creation as well as a way of empowering the communities on how to adapt to changes within their environments.
“So, we are supporting communities here and hoping that others can take a cue, if you look at the effect of changing weather this year alone, the flood has killed so many persons in some states.
“And of course Nasarawa being an agrarian state, and taking into consideration the impacts of climate change on farmers and their livelihoods, income and food security, hence this training,” he said.
Dr Johnson Orfega, a participant and lecturer in the department of Geography, Benue State University, Makurdi, described the training as an interesting, adding that issues of climate change affected every sphere of life.
“There is a need to understand how to adopt mitigation strategies, what we have learnt will be passed on to the communities to help them prepare, in terms of adaptive capacity to respond to climate change risk,” he said.
In her presentation, Dr Elizabeth Jeiyol, Executive Director, Gender and Environmental Risks Reduction Initiative, called on communities and Nasarawa State Government to take steps to mitigate climate change effects.
Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) on Thursday trained 45 community activists in Benue on the development of community climate risk register.
Mr David Michael-Terungwa, Team Leader for GIFSEP, gave the figure at the two-day training in Lafia.
He said that the training became necessary to enable communities to build adaptation plan to climate change.
According to him, the essence of the training is to enable activists get back to their communities and help in developing community climate risk register and risk mitigation strategies.
According to Michael-Terungwa, climate change register highlights climate risks that have the highest likelihood and potential to have significant impact on local communities.
“The community risk register is a disaster reduction tool which helps communities to prepare for some of the climate change impacts within the communities and come up with strategies on how to cope with some of these impacts.
“The good thing about this process is that the community is at the centre of it.
“Mitigation strategies are within their ability; the ones they cannot do, development partners and government can come in to assist,’’ he said.
He said that the training was part of awareness creation on climate change impacts as well as a way of empowering communities on how to adapt to climate changes within their environments.
“We are supporting communities here, and hoping that others can take a cue,’’ he said.
Mr Joseph Ibrahim, Project Officer for GIFSEP for the African Activists for Climate Justice (AACJ) Project, said that the training was in continuation of AACJ Project being implemented by GIFSEP with support from Oxfam.
The project officer said the objective of the workshop was to train 45 community activists to identify and develop climate registers in their communities to minimise disaster occurrences.
“We hope that subsequently the community will be able to use the tool to plan better to avoid disasters arising from climate change,’’ he said.
Dr Johnson Orfega, a lecturer at the Department of Geography, Benue State University, Makurdi, who is also a participant, praised the trainers.
He said that climate change affected every sphere of life “There is need to understand it to adapt mitigation strategies.
“What we have learnt will be passed to communities to help them to prepare in terms of adaptive capacity to respond to climate change risks,’’ he said.
In her presentation, Dr Elizabeth Jeiyol, Executive Director, Gender and Environmental Risks Reduction Initiative, called on communities and Benue Government to take steps to mitigate climate change effects.
The Forum (PSF) of the Benue State University Makurdi, has appealed to its ASUU members to pull out of the national body of ASUU to enable them to catch up with accumulated academic calendar years.
This appeal is contained in a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr Tser Vanger, on Saturday in Makurdi.
It quoted the PSF’s chairperson, Mrs Keziah Agundo, who expressed concern about the unutilised academic calendar months, explained that the “pull out” would enable them catch up with acculated workload.
She said the 2020, 2021 undergraduate programmes had yet to be matriculated while the 2022 Unified Matriculation Tertiary Examinations (UMTE) admissions were ongoing.
According to the statement, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Joseph Iorapuu, calls for the resumption of academic activities in the school.
He explained that most of the grievances of the teachers bordered on funding.
The statement also indicated that the meeting was attended by top management of the university, including the BSU branch chairman of ASUU, Dr Victor Tarnongo, who promised to present the demands of PSF to the appropriate authorities.
Some students have appealed to Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resolve their differences, as they suggest Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to fund the university system.
The students, who recounted losses caused by the six months strike by ASSU, continued to express serious concern about the situation, saying the long stay at home had inflicted permanent injury on them and damage to the education system.
They made the appeal in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday.
Ms Philemon Kojo, a clinical student in the University of Abuja (UniAbuja), said that ASUU strike had become regular occurrence for many years for public university with prolonged academic years as the obvious effect.
Kojo suggested that for the issue to be resolved, ASUU and the education ministry should engage global monetary agencies to access funding or better still, the education sector should be privatised for proper management.
“The education sector should research into solutions that can lead us from a customer economy to productive economy, for example, vaccine and drug production, electronics and even energy generation.
” According to her, universities should begin to seek for grants from both privates sector, and international grants to assist in funding these universities.
“The ASUU strike has been tormenting me mentally and emotionally, especially as I see my counterparts in private institutions graduating and progressing with their lives.
“As a clinical year student, all my past efforts in clinical postings are thrown away because I have to repeat them on resumption.
“Imagine four months posting done prior to a six-month strike after which I have to repeat that same posting.
It’s mentally depressing.
“Do I have to speak on the financial implications such as hostel rents wasted, traveling, foodstuffs thrown away and last but not the least, the time that can never be gotten back, especially in Nigeria where there are age limits to getting jobs.
“This is my 7th year in the university, for a six- year course but I’m just starting 500 level,” she said.
” Another student of UNIABUJA, Mr Nwachukwu Cletus said there was need for good leadership “when the head is good every other part of the body will be alright, government should appoint leaders who will prioritise education and are well knowledgeable on how educational system should be managed.
Cletus also suggested that there should be optimal maximisation of production for universities as they must begin to look inward to maximise every factor of production at their disposal to contribute to their purse.
“Many universities have abundance and unutilised land which could be used for agricultural purposes, schools can go into food production like bread, snacks and sachet water which will contribute to their economy.
“Every nation doing well today invested heavily in their educational sector and any nation with good future is seen in how much they prioritise their educational system,’’ Cletus.
Mr Joseph Baker, a 300 level Biology Education student of UNIABUJA said the effect of the strike was overwhelming as it had delayed his anticipated plans.
Baker also suggested that government should consider PPP arrangement to fund education.
According to him, government alone cannot fund education; it has to seek the support of other bodies and international funding.
He, therefore, said that ASUU and the Federal Government should come to a sincere understanding and compromise for the sake of the future of the students and the country in general.
Baker, while calling on ASUU to reconsider its position, appealed to the Federal Government to pay ASUU an encouraging salary to maximise the impact of the education system for a better Nigeria.
On the strike, he said: “it has been delaying our educational lives, thereby, prolonging the accurate duration we are supposed to spend in our education.
“Most of our mates in private universities have gone farther than us who attend Federal universities just because of the ongoing strike.
“Also because of the prolonged sitting at home with our parents, sincerely most of us have been having one issue or the other with them.
“Some of us pick offense when being corrected by our parents due to frustration,” Baker said.
A 400 Level Linguistic student of Benue State University, Miss Eneh Edoh said that the strike had done more harm than good to students.
According to her, the strike has prolonged my stay in school.
I should be a graduate by now thinking of serving and getting a job for myself.
“As a result of this strike, I am at home, an adage says, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
Many young people have ventured into illicit acts, stealing, internet fraud and all sorts because of the idleness the strike has caused.
’’ “Our house rents have expired and some will soon expire.
The more we stay at home the more our brains are redundant.
“Some of us have planned our lives but the strike is taking us back.
Something has to be done, the plans we have for our lives are at stake,” she said.
Another 400 Level student, Ms Ann Oriba, while speaking on the impact of the strike on education and students, said it had affected them both ways negativity.
“Our educational calendar has been extended beyond its curriculum.
Also, with a break in learning, it has made studying much harder for me.
’’ Meanwhile, National Association of Nigerian students (NANS), has reacted on the comment by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu that ASUU should be held liable for students wasted time The National President of NANS, Mr Sunday Asefon argued that ASUU was neither the proprietor of tertiary institutions nor the beneficiary of the exorbitant fees we pay across tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement cr