Labour leaders restate warning on Nigeria’s unemployment crisis
By Chinyere Bassey
Lagos, Feb. 8, 2019 (NNN) Labour leaders have again warned government to take urgent steps to tackle the unemployment problem in Nigeria.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) in Lagos on Friday, the labour chieftains said that increasing unemployment had forced highly educated Nigerians to settle for jobs far lower than their qualifications.
They described the situation as a time-bomb that could result to crisis in the polity.
Data released recently by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that 237,000 graduates, 2,004 of whom hold PhD and Master’s Degree qualifications were currently employed as private security guards.
The Secretary-General of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Mr Alade Lawal, warned that government should stop paying lip-service to job creation.
According to Lawal, creation of massive infrastructure will provide an opportunity for the private sector to provide more employment opportunities to give graduates their dream jobs.
”Government should construct roads, build new rails and hospitals which can impact positively on employment creation.”
Lawal said that government at all levels should tackle their inherent bureaucracies, including removing of ghost workers and reducing wastages.
Mr Musa Lawal-Ozigi, Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) said that it was regrettable that thousands of graduates were produced annually from various universities with no jobs for them.
”In the past five years no new company has sprung up in the country yet we graduate thousands of people from different fields and build new universities.
”We are calling for explosion. No one is safe if nothing is done to create employment opportunities,” the TUC scribe said.
He advised Nigerians to use the opportunity of the upcoming elections to vote wisely and elect leaders, who would meet their leadership expectations. (NNN)
Edited by Silas Nwoha
Beneficiaries of N-Power, Trader Moni in Kwara declare support for Buhari’s re-election
By Bushrah Yusuf-Badmus
Ilorin, Feb 8, 2019 (NNN) Beneficiaries of President Muhammadu Buhari’s various intervention programmes in Kwara state have declared their support for his re-election and all APC’s candidates in the state.
They declared their support for the president on Friday at a rally organised by ‘Speak up Nigeria’, a pro-Buhari civic group that is harvesting people’s opinion of the administration.
Speaking one after the other, the beneficiaries said the Buhari administration had brought succour to millions of down trodden masses in the rural areas.
Alhaja Risikat Agbeyangi, a pepper seller and beneficiary of Trader Moni at the popular Ipata market, hailed Buhari for bringing governance directly to the poor.
“We thank the president for his support to us; it was timely and met our personal and business needs, some of us expanded our business with it.
“We have resolved to declare our support for Buhari and his supporters in Kwara state against all odds,” she added.
Kabir Balogun, a beneficiary of N-Power Health, said the programme was a great boost for public health at the grassroots as masses now have direct access to tips on basic health issues.
A beneficiary of the N-Teach and resident of Magaji Ngeri of Ilorin West, Jimba Yahya, thanked Buhari for the employment opportunity.
“I want to advice Nigerian youths to vote Buhari and Pastor Yemi Osinbajo who saw us as productive elements in the nation and not just instruments of political violence.
“I am grateful for the employment opportunity they gave me and my fellow Nigerian Youths,” he said.
Omowunmi Akinsefunmi, a resident of Basin road in Ilorin, said the N-Power scheme offered her internship opportunity to train as a technician.
“I appeal to Nigerian youths to see voting Buhari again as opportunity to a better Nigeria as we cannot afford going back to the bad old days,” she added.
Malam Aliyu Dansokoto, a pepper seller also in Ipata Market and beneficiary of Market Moni also commended the president for bringing succour to his life.
“The N10,000 given to us by the President Buhari-led Federal Government aided our business and we found things easy during his tenure.
“I am appealing to Nigerians to vote Buhari again for a better Nigeria,” he said.
Kwara State public relations spokesman of N-Power beneficiaries, Salman Habeeb Olesin, said the Buhari administration had brought succour to millions of unemployed youths in the country.
“President Buhari has employed over 500,000 youths through the N-Power programme.
“I am a trained teacher, lying idle before Buhari came, but he gave me the opportunity of practicing and making a living out of what I know and have passion for, teaching.
“I want PMB to continue beyond 2019,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that besides the 500,000 youths in the graduate N-Power scheme, no fewer than 50,000 others are in the non-graduate component learning various skills.(NNN)
Edited by Donald Ugwu
By Amen Gajira
Minna, Jan. 25, 2019 (NNN) Seventy two students of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, would graduate with first class degrees at the institution’s 28th convocation ceremony scheduled for Feb. 1.
The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdullahi Bala, made the disclosure at a news conference in Minna on Friday.
He said 941 of the graduands are in the second class upper category, 1,905 second class lower; 707 third class and 46 pass degrees.
Bala said that 3,671 students would receive first degrees, while 506 would be awarded master degrees.
According to him, 58 others will be given doctorate degrees while 208 will be awarded with post-graduate diplomas.
‘‘A closer look at the figures reveals that the total number of awardees for undergraduate degrees is up by about 20 per cent compared to last year.
‘‘In addition, the numbers of Ph.D and master degrees as well as post-graduate diplomas have all recorded significant increases above those of last year.
‘‘These trends are consistent with the upward trajectory being recorded by the university,’’ he added.
The vice-chancellor noted that a recent survey of employers of labour had shown FUT Minna graduates to be among the most preferred by employers of labour.
He said that the employability index of the university’s graduates stood at 60.61 per cent.
‘‘The university is doing very well in its core areas of teaching, research and community service.
‘‘It has continued to maintain a trajectory of progress and advancement and it is, therefore, not surprising that FUT Minna remains the best specialised university in Nigeria.
‘‘All of the successes being recorded by the university are the results of deliberate and conscientious efforts by staff and students of the university,’’ he said.
The vice chancellor re-affirmed the university’s resolve to maintain a competitive edge in research and development. (NNN)
Edited by Mustapha Lamidi/Ismail Abdulaziz
By Olanrewaju Akojede
Lagos, Jan. 25, 2019 (NNN) Crawford University on Friday formally admitted 350 students during its 14th matriculation held on its campus at the Faith City in Igbesa, Ogun.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that the Faith-based institution owned by the Apostolic Faith Church West and Central Africa (WECA) was established 13 years ago.
The Vice-Chancellor (V-C) of the institution, Prof. Rotimi Ajayi, in his address to the matriculants in the institution’s multipurpose hall congratulated them for their formal acceptance into the institution.
He reminded them of the burden of expectations resting on their shoulders from their parents, their communities, and the nation at large.
“Let me first congratulate you for choosing rightly, and coming to the institution, is the first step. This is because here, you will be nurtured in the right way of learning; I mean the basic training.
“Our country, at present, no doubt is in dire need of through-bred graduates in learning and in moral to help checkmate the moral decadence in the society and this is what this institution stands for.
“Here in this institution is where you have the academic at the best level with sound tutelage in godliness to balance your life in readiness for the future challenges.
“The country is expecting you to acquire skills and knowledge with which you will be able to contribute your quota to the task of nation-building.
“Also, to probably find some answers to one or several of the challenges bedevilling our political, social and economic spaces,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that the institution admitted no fewer than 355 students made up of 100 students in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences.
The College of Business and Social Sciences has 145 students, 100 students are for the School of Part-Time Studies, and 10 students are for the School of Post Graduate Studies. (NNN)
Edited by Yahaya Isah/Peter Dadap
Parents, teachers advocate teaching of STEM subjects in indigenous languages
By Tolu Aiyegbusi
Abuja, Jan. 29, 2019(NNN) Some parents, teachers and students on Tuesday advocated that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects be taught in schools across the country in indigenous language.
The parents, teachers and students made the advocacy in separate inteerviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) in Abuja.
They all agreed that teaching STEM subjects in Nigeria’s indigenous languages was a way of encouraging better understanding of science subjects.
An Educational consultant, Mr. Hassan Toyin, said the idea of teaching science subjects in indigenous language was good and would be best practised in villages to achieve good results.
Toyin said the best way to teach the science subjects in the cities in a Nigerian dialect would be to use the pidgin language so as to get maximum results.
“Although, teaching STEM subjects is going to be a little bit difficult because Nigeria has about 500 different languages.
“Furthermore, a typical Nigerian class is made up of a mixture of students from different parts of the nation but if pidgin is used to teach these science subjects, it will go a long way to improve students’ understanding.
“ Teaching science subjects in other languages is a very good idea but it will work best among the locals where one language is spoken and predominant,” the consultant said.
In the same view, a civil servant and parent of two teenagers, Mr. John Black, said teaching STEM subjects in indigenous language was not a bad idea.
According to Black, “to make STEM subjects widely accepted and understood in Nigeria, language mediums that are easily understood by the students have to be employed.
“ So the use of our local languages can be adopted. It is not a bad idea at all.’’
Another parent, Hafsat Birnin, said teaching sciences in Nigeria’s local languages would help rekindle the dwindling interest of students in STEM subjects.
She said that most students in the cities might find it difficult at first, but it would help them understand the language, mathematics and other science subjects better.
“ Although it may not work in the urban setting, if applied where it will work, why not? It has worked in other countries and if it is tried here, it will surely work but it may only take time.
“Teaching STEM subjects in indigenous languages will truly boost the interest of these students.
“ Let research be conducted and trials carried out in schools first, I believe the roadblocks will be surmounted,’’ Birnin said.
Glory Modeva, a former Senior Secondary School Student at Unity College, Tarka Local Government, Benue State, said if she was taught science subjects in Tiv, she would be widely exposed in the sciences.
Modeva, who recently relocated to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said while she was in the village she enjoyed being taught in TIV language as she had deeper understanding of the subjects being taught.
“English is not our language in Nigeria; I am also learning it as a language. I was not born with it so I don’t mind being taught science subjects especially mathematics in TIV language.
“Before I relocated to the city, my Maths teacher usually taught us with a mixture of TIV and pidgin English, and this helped us in getting good grades.
Ibironke Babatunde, a graduate of Microbiology who teaches biology at Elite Stars Secondary School, Bhazin, Abuja, said it would be a welcome idea for STEM subjects to be taught in indigenous languages.
“I have been teaching for the past 16 years and I usually illustrate some of my topics in local dialects such as pidgin or a bit of the three major Nigerian languages.
“I have a good understanding of Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo.
“Teaching my students in the best way they can understand helps them to remember and assimilate faster.
“Understanding the subjects doesn’t mean they can’t also learn and speak good English.It is just a way of integrating the sciences among students,’’ Babatunde said. (NNN)
Edited by Oluyinka Fadare/Ejike Obeta
Enugu, Jan.26, 2019, (NNN) Godfrey Okoye University in Enugu State on Saturday matriculated 600 undergraduates and post graduates cutting across different disciplines for the 2018/2019 academic session.
Speaking at the 10th matriculation held in the university, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Christian Anieke said that 500 undergraduates and 100 post graduate students were enrolled in the academic session.
Anieke described the matriculation as a beautiful milestone recorded by the university because it occurred at a period the university was celebrating its 10th year anniversary.
He said that the institution currently had 3,000 students and 660 staff, 45 undergraduate courses in five different faculties and 15 Postgraduate courses.
The vice chancellor said the matriculants should count themselves lucky to be students of the university because it hadbeen dubbed the `pride of the East’.
“Godfrey Okoye University is the fastest growing private University in the East that has attracted international recognition and international scholarships.
“In this year alone, we have attracted 70 scholarships from U.W. Linsi-Stiftung, Switzerland and we have given them to successful students.
“Godfrey Okoye University has never derailed in its mandate of intervening and improving the failing Nigerian education Sector.
“Today, Godfrey Okoye University has the best Postgraduate school and Law Faculty in Nigeria with approvals from Nigerian University Commission(NUC) and the Council of Legal Education,” he said.
Anieke noted that about 70 per cent of its graduate had become part of the most employable graduates.
“Godfrey Okoye University is noted for discipline and good manners committed to eradicating ignorance, academic thuggery, and quackery to the barest minimum”.
The VC, therefore, encouraged parents to as a matter of duty monitor the academic performance of their wards as part of measures to guard against being thrown out of the school for poor academic performance.
One of the matriculants and a beneficiary of the school’s scholarship, Miss Patience Okara said she was happy to witness the official proclamation of her studentship.
Okara, a Postgraduate student, Faculty of Education, said the academic set up of the school was a replica of what was obtainable in developed countries having been to another school for her undergraduate studies.
In addition, another matriculant, Emeka Nwoba, a Law student said he was delighted to have gained admission to the school because of the reputation the school now enjoyed globally as far as Australia.
Nwoba said that academic activities had been top-notch and there existed a cordial relationship between students and management. (NNN)
Edited by Maureen Atuonwu
By Itohan Abara-Laserian
Lagos, Feb. 4, 2019 (2019) A U.K.-base record label, R-I Records, on Monday said it was set to infuse Afrobeat music with rap for global acceptance and promotion of genre.
Mz J4zzie, a female rapper and co-founder of the label, made the assertion during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) in Lagos.
Twenty-four-year-old MZ J4zzie, born Jasmine Ilori to Nigerian parents, said that rap kind of music was not gaining the popularity it deserves, hence, the decision to combine it Afrobeat.
“Although there are developments within the music industry in Nigeria as artists like Davido and Wizkid are really out there creating history both locally and internationally.
“I will say, however, that I do not believe that Nigeria has accepted rap fully but I think that it is rising and will soon be accepted.
“That is why we have joined Afrobeat singing and U.K. rapping (Afro-Rap) to penetrate both the Nigerian and U.K. music markets and globally.
“I am currently working with a 19-year-old Nigerian Afrobeat rising star `Rapture Bada’ and I believe the world will love what we offer and that will make R-I Records different,” Mz J4zzie told NNN on telephone.
The rapper, who is also a Law graduate, said that Nigeria was currently taking over the African music industry and will therefore, contribute greatly to the economy of the country.
According to her, Afrobeat is a sound accepted by all and brings people together to promote peace and harmony.
She revealed that the reason why there were not many female rappers in the scene was because the industry was majorly male dominated.
“Female rappers are rarely accepted sometimes because of the simple fact they are females and this industry is male dominated.
“But there is a slow rise of female rappers both internationally and in Nigeria and I know that there will be many more to come.
“That is why I am working double hard to ensure that I present a platform that will make more females showcase their talent,” she said.
NNN reports that R-I Records was launched in January and aims to birth the genre of Afro-Rap (a mix of Afrobeat and U.K. rapping). R-I Records was co-founded by Mz J4zzie and her mother Patience Molokwu.
NNN also reports that Mz J4zzie, who ventured into professional rap music a year and half ago, had worked with big acts like Not3s, Ms Banks and Tiwa Savage.
She had had over 250,000 total views on youtube for some of her hits like Baby Oh, Shutdown and the new collaboration with Rapture titled “Sho Ready’. (NNN)
(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)
Parents in Enugu hail ASUU over suspension of strikeStrikeBy Maureen OjinakaEnugu, Feb. 9, 2019 (NNN) A cross-section of Enugu parents have expressed happiness over the suspension of the three months strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).Some parents, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu, on Saturday, expressed joy that their children would be resuming school after months of uncertainty about their future.Mr Ikonye Egbuna, a civil servant, said his joy knew no bounds when he heard the news that the strike had been suspended by the leadership of ASUU.According to Egbuna, his two children that are in the university are tired of staying at home with nothing tangible to do.Another parent, Mrs Evelyn Ezeaba, a businesswoman, said that she was happy over the development because her son had been worried over the delay in calling off the strike so he could resume school.“Infact, I thank God because now my son can resume studies and I can have peace of mind that he would not fall into the wrong hands because of idleness,’’ Ezeaba said.Mrs Ekwy Onuigbo, a widow, commended ASUU for the wise decision it took to call off the strike, adding that it had not been easy with many parents who were struggling to make ends meet.Onuigbo said parents expected timely completions of their children’s studies so they could graduate and find work to lessen the burden on the parents.She said he incessant strikes by lecturers in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions had become worrisome because it was adversely affecting the future of children who were being denied the opportunity to be at par with their counterparts globally.Mr Romanus Umeohia, another parent called on the Federal Government not to fail in its promises to ASUU in order to forestall any misunderstandings that could lead to disruption of academic activities.Some students who also spoke to NNN expressed joy at the decision by ASUU.NNN reports that ASSU had on Thursday announced its decision to call off the protracted strike which paralysed activities in Nigerian universities. (NNN)
A former BBNaija housemate, Nina Onyenobi started the New Year with an excitement of featuring in a Nollywood Movie, `Olaedo.’She took to her Instagram handle @nina_ivy to announce this to her fans with pictures from behind the scenes of the soon to be released movie.“Good morning Fam, I am Currently On The Movie Set of #OLAEDO with Veteran Actors @Yemiblag and @okpokomaureen.’’The movie was produced by Ebere Ohakwe and directed by Iyke Odife.Barely two hours after the 2018 BBNaija reality TV show ended, the 23 years old graduate of English and Literary Studies, Imo State University (IMSU), landed her first endorsement deal with Flawless By Mimi.She contested in the IMSU Most Beautiful Face but narrowly lost the crown to the winner, Sandra Joseph.Her being featured in the movie `Olaedo’ is an open door for the last daughter in the family of five to boost her personality as a designer, model and actress.
L-R: PROF. COSMAS NWOKEAFOR, DEAN OF GRADUATE SCHOOL, BOWIE UNIVERSITY, STATE OF MARYLAND; OBA DAVID OLUSOLA OLATUNDE, THE ONIKUN OF IKUN-EKITI, HIS WIFE, OLORI OMOTAYO OLATUNDE; AND MEMBERS OF IKUN-EKITI COMMUNITY IN THE U.S. DURING A COURTESY ON THE ADMINISTRATORS OF BOWIE UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP FOR IKUN-EKITI STUDENTS
New York, Aug. 28, 2017 Nigerians studying at the Bowie State University, State of Maryland, U.S., are exceptionally good students, some officials of the university, have said.
The officials told the correspondent of the Nigeria News Agency that about 1,000 Nigerian students -100 international and 900 residents were studying at the university.
Prof. Cosmas Nwokeafor, the Dean of Graduate School of the university told NAN that Nigerians students were outstanding both in academics and in character.
“We have a very large number of Nigerian students here at Bowie State University; most of our Nigerian students are majoring in Computer Science and Organisational Communications and many other programmes.
“And Nigerians have actually performed very well and I can tell you because I’ve been in this university for 25 years.
“When you look at the list of performance, our students have been stellar students in all facets of our graduate programmes as well as the undergraduate too.
“In most areas, many of our students have completed their degree programmes here both the undergraduate and graduate, and have advanced in other major professional fields out there.
“Their character, my goodness, if I would speak about their character based on the ones that work very close with me, you can see the difference.
“When you meet Nigerian students, you can tell they are well-mannered, very humble, respectful and mindful of their business, which is of course their education.
“Among all, there might be one or two that do not actually portray what we expect of them but a majority has actually demonstrated excellence and that represents Nigeria very well.”
Nwokeafor said that many Nigerians who had completed their programmes in the university were medical doctors.
“Some are professional nursing practitioners and educators are out there are doing very well. A lot of our students on the undergraduate level that come from Nigeria are really doing so well.”
Robert Batten Senior Director, International Programmes at the university also spoke highly of Nigerian students in the 150-year-old university.
Batten said: “The first thing I know is about their work ethic; they are tirelessly committed to excellence.
“When they are hired for on-campus jobs, they show up early, they stay late, they ask for additional job duties; the employers on campus love these Nigerian students.”
He said that he had never had a problem with any of his Nigerian students as far as following the rules and regulations of their F-1 students’ visas was concerned.
“We also have a huge number of Nigerian students who either have permanent residence here in the United States or they have gotten their citizenship.
“But they may have been born in Nigeria or their parents were born in Nigeria and they (students) were born here as little children but raised as Nigerians.
“We have 1,000 of the total 5,600 we have here, the 100 being on students’ visa and the other 900 being permanent residents or citizens of the U.S.
“So I’m one of the individuals that call out names at graduation. So we get the list about two weeks ahead of time so we can start practicing the names.
“We don’t want to mispronounce anyone’s name as we say it over the microphone. Some of the names are a little bit challenging for us U.S. folk, so we practice.”
Mrs Amina Ayodeji-Ogundiran, a Human Resource Development Master student at the university, said “we are very family-oriented; we know ourselves here on campus irrespective of being in different departments.”
Ayodeji-Ogundiran, who is President of the Graduate Students Association and served on the Graduate Board at the university, said they were the second largest population after the Saudi Arabian students.
“As far as performance is concerned, I have not had to worry even in my leadership of the International Students Association for Nigerian students.
“In my department for example, we have a very good number of Nigerian students who are on 4.0 (CGPA) and who are doing very well academically; I’ve not seen any situation that has been overbore.
“And talking about the way they conduct themselves morally, we’ve not had any issue about a Nigerian student do something bad or not conducting himself or herself well.
“So I will say that it’s really been a good experience even as I’ve served them on that association and on the Graduate Board,” she said.
Edited by: Grace Yussuf