Some academics have said that capital market offered unique opportunities to sustainably fund universities in the country.
They said this at a one-day webinar symposium on “Sustainable Funding for Universities in Nigeria’’, which was organised by the Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria (ACMAN) on Friday.
The title of the symposium is “Any Capital Market Solution to University Funding in Nigeria’’.
Dr Suleyman Ndanusa, the former Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said the country’s higher education sub-sector had grown from one University College in 1948 to 217 universities as at August.
He said that universities in the country could only accommodate between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of the 1.5 to 1.7 million candidates who sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Ndanusa said that funding challenges for universities would further exacerbate due to the huge deficit in the national budget.
He said that creative sources of funding and new value propositions for the traditional sources of funding would be the solution for universities.
Ndanusa said that funding priorities for universities should revolve around research, teaching and entrepreneurship, saying that the capital market offered unique and flexible channels of achieving that.
“Universities can raise straight project tight bonds for students’ accommodation, new infrastructure can be funded through impact bonds.
“Alumni bonds, projects can be packaged to attract alumni investments.
“Instead of waiting for alumni members to give free money for projects, you can entice members with a bond they can invest and get returns but at the same time, creating resources for the university to do projects.
“Public Private Partnership (PPP) can also be adopted in universities,’’ he said.
Prof. Muhammad Malnoma, the former Vice-Chancellor of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, said that the government could utilise the capital market to fund public universities.
Also speaking, Prof Magnus Kpakol, former Chief Economist in the country, said the government could partner with universities on some national projects involving research and designs.
Kpakol said the partnership would make universities to get funds that would help in their operations and activities.
Mr Oluwole Adeosun, the President, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, stressed the need for the political will to enable universities to explore opportunities in the market.
Prof. Tanko Mohammed, former Vice-Chancellor, Kaduna State University, said there was also the need to restructure the university system to bring results.
Mohammed said the restructuring of the system would help universities to utilise funds channeled to the system from the capital market.
Prof. Solomon Adebola, Vice-Chancellor of the Adeleke University, Osun State, said that universities could float bonds after negotiations with the SEC to raise large amounts.
Adebola said that such funds must be utilised judiciously for expansion of programmes in the universities’ system.
“Universities can issue bonds to be used to generate funds over a long period of time,’’ he said.
Mr Dayo Obisan, the Executive Commissioner, Operations of SEC, said the market had different instruments that universities could take advantage of.
According to him, some instruments can be securitised to provide long term capital to find solution to universities’ funding problem.
“I am of a strong belief that the capital market has access to such capital and can help Nigeria to unlock it,’’ he said.
Prof. Uche Uwaleke, the ACMAN President, said the communique from the symposium would be sent to relevant agencies including SEC with a view to implementing the resolutions.
Uwaleke said that public universities in the country whether federal or state-owned, were challenged by funding.
He said the aim of the symposium by ACMAN was to have a conversation around sustainable means of sourcing long term funds for developing universities in the country.
The president said the capital market was potentially positioned to offer the funds.
“This is the major reason for incessant strikes by university workers in Nigeria as annual government subventions to universities are hardly adequate.
“The situation is made worse by the low internally revenue generating efforts of most public universities.
Some experts have advised Nigerians to embrace the nation’s diversity to build a peaceful and harmonious country.
The experts said in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Kaduna, that Nigerians should also embrace dialogue to settle their differences.
The experts spoke shortly after a programme marking the 2022 International Day of Peace.
Dr Saleh Momale, Executive Vice-Chairman, Kaduna State Peace Commission, said stereotypes and fears must be broken to engender peace in the country.
He said the commission had guided communities to build bridges of understanding, thereby, significantly improving the peace in Kaduna state.
“Although many of the stereotypes and fears of the unknown still persist, but people are now embracing the use of non violence as means to address all issues of concerns.
“Happily we are seeing more interactions between disputing communities.
“We do hope that in the coming years, strong culture and value of peace will be enshrined in our young people to such an extent that violence as a means of resolving dispute will no longer be witnessed in the society,” Momale said.
The executive chairman said Nigerians should also utilise Early Warning and Early Response platform to report threats to peace and security in their localities.
Also, Imam Nurain Ashafa, Co-Executive Director Interfaith Mediation Centre, said people should embrace the culture of diversity and inclusiveness and shun divisions based on culture, religion or ethnic differences.
He said Nigerians must also learn to become global citizens by knowing how to relate with people from different works of life.
Similarly, Rev. James Wuye, Co-Executive Director of the Centre, said all stakeholders must continuously work towards addressing issues of diversity and peace building.
“If we can enhance and encourage unity and working in diversity, we will have a better country,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to live in peace, irrespective of differences, and practice and cultivate the attitude of peace and inclusiveness to enhance national unity.
Another expert, Mr Emmanuel Shall, Senior Programme Officer, Mercy Corps, said it was important for stakeholders to work together to bridge existing gaps militating against peaceful coexistence.
He said Mercy Corps will continue to support communities in the area of sustainable peace building.
Prof. Hauwa’u Evelyn-Yusuf, the Director of Kaduna State University Centre for Gender Studies, advocated for equal opportunity for women to contribute to peace building.
She said the involvement of women in peace building was necessary to ending misunderstandings between communities.
Ibrahima Yakubu, a Peace Journalism expert, advised private media owners to recruit only professionals journalists, as some of the crisis in the country were created by the unprofessional actions of some media organisations.
“As a professional journalist, there is need to change the narrative by giving adequate and correct message for peace and development in the land and spiking any information that can cause instability,” he said.
Yakubu added that it was imperative to employ professional journalists to counter fake news on the social media.
The Kaduna State University on Monday announced the promotion of three academic staff to the rank of professors.
This is contained in a statement on Monday in Kaduna, by Mr Adamu Bargo, Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the institution.
Bargo said that the promotion was approved by the University’s Governing Council with effect from Oct. 1, 2021, based on the recommendations of external assessors.
Those promoted were Dr Ayodele Joseph as Professor of Mass Communication and Dr Sani Bello, Professor of Journalism and Media Studies.
Dr Funke Ayokunnumi was also promoted to the rank of Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology.
“The University Management wishes to congratulate the promoted academics.
“It is hoped that in reciprocation, this will motivate the promoted academic staff to work harder and be more productive in the discharge of their duties,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the university had earlier in August announced the promotion of six academic staff to professors and seven others to associate professors.
Some Religious clerics in the ECOWAS sub-region have identified dialogue and the establishment of an interfaith body in member states as crucial to strengthening religious tolerance in the sub-region.
The clerics made this known at the ongoing delocalised meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament’s joint Committee of Education, Science and on on Telecommunications and Information Technology in Praia, Caper Verde.
These, they noted, could also be viable solutions to addressing religious extremism and conflicts in some member countries in the sub-region.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the meeting holding from Sept. 13 to Sept. 18 has the theme, “Religious tolerance and harmony: Essential factors for development, peace, and stability in the ECOWAS region”.
Prof. Usman Mohammed, a professor of International Relations at Kaduna State University, in a paper presentation spoke of the need for a collaborated efforts of the government, parliamentarians, and non-governmental organisations to ensure religious tolerance.
Using Ghana as a case study, Mohammed said the country had, for many decades, demonstrated the possibility of harmonious inter-religious co-existence through individual and communal efforts.
“Ghana remains a rare model and evident justification that religious tolerance and harmony is a possibility and is capable of ensuring peace and stimulating development through decent and formable inter-faith dialogue.
“This is because religious devotees in Ghana are more than those who claimed not to belong to any religion.
“Such initiative to ensure peace and societal harmony can either be communal or individualistic.
“Right from the past to the present, there have been deliberate and conscious individual and collaborative efforts to ensure and enhance religious tolerance, harmony, and calmness in Ghana,” Mohammed said.
While appreciating the Nigerian government in its drive to find lasting solution to security challenges in the country, Mohammed emphasised the need for the government to redouble their efforts in engaging religious groups for dialogue.
Mohammed also urged Parliamentarians, to engaged their constituencies in regular dialogue on peaceful co-existence.
Imam Cisse Djiguiba, Spokesman for the Superior Council of Imams, Cote d’Ivoire, also urged member states to set up interfaith regional peace organisation to help in addressing religious extremism and conflicts in the sub-region.
According to Djiguiba, the establishment of regional interfaith organisations in member countries will help train religious leaders on their responsibility of promoting peace and harmony in the sub-region.
This is as the spokesman blamed religious crisis and intolerance in the West African sub-region on clerics who take religion as business.
He also noted the proliferation of religious leaders has helped produce bad eggs who are propagating wrong messages and thereby causing frictions among the citizens.
“The sub-region needs “to create a regional peace organisation with the support of ECOWAS to train religious leaders.
“Since there are many religious leaders but very few true religious leaders.
“Because some think that religion is a profession while being an imam is justification.
“We know that there are schools to train priests and Imams, and so religion should not be business.
“People who take religion as business are at the root of all the crisis that we’re facing in our sub-region and so we should train Imams and priests using the media in order to sensitise our people against religious extremism in places of worship,” Djiguiba said.
The spokesman, who noted that the difference between the two major religions groups in the sub-region is 10 per cent, urged the ECOWAS leaders to see how they could foster greater unity with the 90 per cent similarities among the two major religions.
He also spoke of how his country has been able to overcome challenges that would ordinarily have snowballed into religious crises.
He noted that with the help of the inter-faith group, “many walls have been broken in Cote d’Ivoire and the people are getting to understand each other”.
An Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centre jointly built and equipped by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and Kaduna State University (KASU) was inaugurated at the school’s campus on Thursday.
The centre, provided by the duo through 50 per cent equity funding each, has four lecture halls of 120-seat capacity each.
Head of NAICOM’s Kaduna Zonal Office, Alhaji Ahmed Abubakar, who represented the National Commissioner for Insurance, Mr Thomas Sunday, said the project was part of NAICOM’s corporate social responsibility.
He added that the support was also part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the university to promote the development of education in the state and in the country.
“NAICOM is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the effective administration, supervision, regulation, and control of insurance business in Nigeria.
“It is also mandated to protect insurance policy holders, beneficiaries and third parties to insurance contracts.
“The commission is also contributing to educational programmes for the development of the country,’’ he said.
In his remarks, acting vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Abdullahi Ashafa, commended NAICOM for the support and expressed optimism of a stronger partnership between KASU and the Commission.
Ashafa said that the facility, which would increase access to ICT facilities in the university, would be put to good use, particularly in the area of training and conduct of computer-based examinations.
“The management of the university is looking forward to more collaboration with NAICOM in increasing the frontiers of knowledge in the area of ICT and other skills areas that would solve societal problems,’’ he said.
Ashafa added that the university was working toward introducing a post-graduate programme in insurance to deepen collaboration with the Commission.
Stakeholders in Northwest are demanding the stipulation of a binding legal time-frame within which entitlements of retired civil servants must be paid by the relevant authorities.
Making the proposal in their contributions to a survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria , they observed that the long period of between one and two years it often took the authorities to settle gratuities, was inhuman.
The stakeholders, mostly serving and retired civil servants, lamented that the unwarranted delay in the payment of entitlements had resulted in untold hardship to retirees, and in many cases, even death.
They also lamented that under the current Federal Pension Scheme, a major factor contributing to the delay, was the late receipt of Federal share of the allocation, a development they described as avoidable.
They therefore advocated that the Pension Reform law be reviewed to set a time-frame for payment, and a provision enclosed to criminalise the violation of the payment period, arguing that hitches being experienced were mainly due to acts of dereliction of duty on the part of some implementors.
Others advocated the complete scrapping of the current pension scheme and a reversion to the old arrangement, should measures aimed at averting the delayed payment fail to address the challenge.
In Kaduna, respondents described as extremely pathetic, the delay in payment of retirees’ entitlements and pension in the country.
They said it was sad that people put in their productive years into service, only to go hungry immediately they retired.
Malam Abdu Magaji, who retired from Kaduna State local government service about 15 years ago, told NAN that it took about seven months before he received his gratuity.
Magaji, who is the Deputy Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Soba Local Government Area, said that his pension was initially N14,000 a month, but was increased to N30,000 in line with the national minimum wage.
He added that sometimes it took 12 months before his pension was paid, saying that he relied solely on his pension.
Hauwau Evelyn-Yusuf, a Professor of Criminology and Gender Studies, Kaduna State University, said that some retirees died without being paid their entitlements.
Evelyn-Yusuf, who is also the Director, Centre for Gender Studies in the university, urged government at all levels to make necessary preparations to pay workers their benefits the moment they retired.
“You need to see how some people that were hitherto living very well while working, but could not feed their family the moment they retire.
“Government officials and pension administrators need to remember that they may be working and earning salaries today, but a time shall come when they will also retire and become pensioners,” she said.
Also, a legal practitioner, Mrs Rebecca Sako-John, urged government and the pension administrators to be humane and always consider the plight of retirees.
Sako-John stressed that most retirees did not save anything before retirement because the salary was barely enough to get through a month.
“The little amount that is being deducted every month from their salaries and kept for them, should be made available almost immediately they retire.
“The break between when their salary stops and when they should receive their benefits, should not exceed three months.
“Inflation has already made the money so meagre that they can barely survive on it, but no matter how little the money is, it should be given to them immediately, to cushion their suffering,” she said.
On her part, Prof. Salamatu Isah, Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Pension Bureau, said that the state government was up to date in remittances to Pension Fund Administrators under the State Contributory Pension Scheme.
She said that the state government had in August, approved the sum of N860 million for the payment of gratuity and death benefits to retirees and families of deceased.
“The payment is both for state and local government retirees under the Defined Benefit Scheme,” she said.
Also contributing to the survey, Chairman, Kano State Chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Kabir Ado, called for immediate payment of entitlement of civil servants upon retirement.
He explained that Kano State Government was operating a different contributory pension scheme from that of the Federal Government.
According to him, payment of entitlements in the state had been timely and hitch-free, until recently when payments of outstanding gratuity, death benefits and pension arrears became an issue due to non-remittance of the 17 per cent contributions by some ministries and parastatals.
“The Kano State Government and the Pension Fund Trustees should do everything possible to ensure that pensioners continue to smile by paying their entitlements immediately they retire from service,” he emphasised.
On his part, the Public Relations Officer, Kano State Pension Board, Alhaji Umar Kurmawa, called on the relevant authority to conduct screening of retirees on time whenever the need arose, to enable early settlement of entitlements.
Malam Shehu Abdullahi, a civil servant in Kano, who spoke to NAN, said the current situation of delayed payment of entitlement of pensioners after retirement, needed to be addressed.
“It is worrisome that most pensioners find themselves in a situation of unbearable hardship, which in some cases, lead to their death.
“Government need to sit up and make retirement a thing of joy and rest of mind, not a thing of sadness,” he said.
Some retirees in Kano who spoke to NAN said they had been waiting for years without getting their entitlements.
Fatima Musa, a civil servant who retired two years ago, said she had not been paid her gratuity.
“I am a widow; I have been waiting for two years to get my entitlement and purchase a house, as well as investing the remaining amount; I am appealing to the state government to please come to our aid and pay our money; we are really suffering”, she said.
Malam Saminu Isa, a retired Federal civil servant in Kano, also appealed to the appropriate authorities to settle entitlement of civil servants immediately they retired from service.
“I spent over a year before my gratuity and pension was paid; I had to venture into another work to cater for my family,” he said.
In Zamfara, stakeholders also appealed to governments at all levels to ensure immediate payment of benefits of civil servants as soon as they disengaged from service.
A cross section of retirees who spoke to NAN urged policy implementors to ensure compliance to the Pension Reform Act of 2014 as amended.
Comrade Ibrahim Kanoma, former State Secretary of the NLC in the state said after spending years in service, retirees should be given their entitlements immediately, for them to invest and continue taking care of their families.
He also suggested that delay in payment of gratuities of retirees be criminalised.
“Many retirees are suffering due to delay in payment of their entitlements, some of them get frustrated, resulting in their untimely death.
“As I am speaking to you now,I know a retiree who retired from service since 2015 and has not been paid his benefits till date.
“We are appealing to government at all levels to review their policy on payment of pension and gratuities to safeguard the lives of senior citizens of this country,” Kanoma said.
Also speaking to NAN, a retired Permanent Secretary, Shehu Isma’il, lamented the poor condition of retired civil servants.
“Majority of workers depend on their retirement benefits to build houses; some use the money to set up businesses and take care of their families”, he said.
A retired teacher, Zainab Abba, urged political office holders to respect and comply with 2014 Pension Reform Act, as amended.
“Both I and my late husband retired from the state civil service since 2016, but as I am talking to you now, none of us has been paid his or her entitlements”, she said.
Meanwhile, some Federal civil servants in Katsina State have called on government to revert to the old pension system to end the suffering faced by retirees in accessing their benefits under the present scheme.
One of them, Malam Adamu Abdullahi, said the suffering faced by retirees in accessing their benefits under the present scheme, was becoming too unbearable.
“The recent proposed payment of 75 per cent of lump-sum to retirees by the National Assembly would have reduced the tension of pensioners.
“But since it is yet to become reality, I think its better for the Federal Government to scrap the present pension scheme and return to the old system so that pensioners can access their benefit immediately they retire”, he said.
Also, Alhaji Bello Abubakar, another Federal civil servant, said the issue of returning to the old system should be considered by both the Federal Government and National Assembly.
He said that civil servants encountered financial challenges when they retired from service, because the arrangement under the present pension scheme deprived them of something tangible as pension upon retirement.
In Sokoto State, however, Secretary of Nigerian Union of Pensioners in the state, Alhaji Muhammadu Nasiru, said no pensioner was being owed a dime.
Nasiru told NAN that the state government tried to ensure that pensioners were paid their entitlements immediately they retired.
He said that the matters bordering on gratuity were handled through a different channel, saying a certain amount had been agreed with the state government to be released for payment of gratuities.
Speaking also, the state Chairman of NLC in the State, Mr Aminu Umar, also commended the state government for giving priority to welfare of workers and retirees in the state.
Former Commissioner of Finance in Sokoto state, Alhaji Abdussamad Dasuki, also said that to the best of his knowledge, there was no pension and salary arrears in owed to workers and retirees in the state.
Dasuki explained that payment of gratuity was being implemented based on a schedule of ‘first to retire’ arrangement.
But a pensioner in the state, Malam Adamu Muhammad, said he started receiving pension some months after retirement and urged authorities to readjust the payment to be seamless.
Muhammad lamented that some workers started to benefit earlier than others, citing an example with retirees from Local Government service whose payments were often delayed.
Some stakeholders have continued to react to the pulling out of some state universities from the ongoing indefinite strike by ASUU, saying they pulled out due to threats from their employers.
They made this known in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.
It would be recalled that some state universities such as the Kaduna State University, (KASU), Ekiti State University (EKSU) and the Nasarawa State University, Keffi have pulled out of the ongoing indefinite strike actions by ASUU.
While other state universities refused to join the nationwide strike, they include Osun, Rivers, Delta, Borno, Anambra, Kwara, Akwa Ibom states and the three universities owned by Lagos State.
Dr Oluremi Oni, a lecturer in the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) said that the pulling out by state universities from the strike would not in any way affect the structure of the union.
Oni, who blamed ASUU for bringing state universities into the issues affecting federal universities, said their pulling out was actually proper.
According to her, no matter how many state universities that pulled out of the struggle, this will not affect our collective desire to protect the country’s educational system.
“Government has shown that they don’t like ASUU; when a similar thing happened last year, ASUU gave the government the presentation and they picked the one they could honour and threw it back at ASUU and ASUU was okay with them at that time.
“So it was because of government’s inability to implement the agreement last year that made ASUU to go back to strike.
“Government did not implement what it promised us and now they are expanding the problem and the public does not even know what the problem is and everybody is blaming ASUU,” she said.
Oni expressed concern over the action of government’s intention to extend the meeting with the union till June 2023, saying that this showed lack of commitment to education.
On the ‘no work, no pay’ stands by the government on ASUU, she blamed the government on this approach, saying that the union took the decision on behalf of the generality of Nigerian children to have quality education not minding the fact that their children were also affected.
“The government has forgotten that ASUU members also have children in these universities and so members are also losing.
’’ The Secretary, Workers and Youths Solidarity Network (WYSN), Mr Damilola Owot called on the leadership of ASUU to re-emphasise the benefits of the strike to state workers with a view to giving them reasons to maintain the tempo and not to relax.
According to him, ASUU should pay special attention to specific needs of the state universities too and incorporate them into their future demands.
“We extend our solidarity to the members of the ASUU who are currently on strike.
“The decision of some state universities to pull out of ASUU could largely be linked to threats from their respective employers – state governments.
“The demands are clear and vivid; honour agreements, pay salary arrears and adopt UTAS.
“We believe that both the State and Federal workers stand to benefit from the concessions,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator, Congress of University Academics (CONUA), Dr Niyi Sunmonu insisted that the liberalisation of academic unions was the only way out to end incessant strikes in universities.
Sunmonu said the liberalisation would engender cross-fertilisation of ideas, nurture healthy competition and protect the interests of all stakeholders hence there would be no need for strike.
“Freedom of association is enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“And as long as that provision still exists in the constitution, Nigerian citizens are freeborn and they can operate under it to freely associate.
“We hope that the freedom of association will continue to help the advancement of learning in our universities,” he said.
Also, the former National President, National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Mr Sunday Asefon had previously called on state-owned universities to opt out of the action.
Asefon said that ASUU had lost the support of Nigerian students given the unpatriotic disposition displayed by them in extending their strike indefinitely.
Asefon said students would no longer support the union’s call for intervention, while accusing the body of being self-serving.
“We have taken the time to review the decision of ASUU to declare an indefinite strike after the ongoing six-month strike.
“We consider the decision as not only unpatriotic, unnecessary but wicked and definitely not in the interest of our nation or the tertiary education system in Nigeria.
“We call on state governments to forthwith liaise with Vice-Chancellors of state institutions to announce the resumption of academic activities and grant the vice-chancellors authority to enforce the resumption.
“State universities should never have joined the strike in the first place,” he said.
Kaduna State University (KASU) said ASUU’s alleged description of the university staff as “quacks” was enough reason for its academic staff to pull out of the Union.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that the National President of ASUU, Prof. Victor Osodeke, on Aug. 26, was reported to have referred to some state-owned varsities in Nigeria, including KASU as quacks.
A statement signed by KASU PRO, Adamu Bargo for the Acting Vice Chancellor in Kaduna, described the statement as “irresponsible, unguarded, misleading and derogatory”.
He said resuming academic activities, as their good conscience in KASU dictated, would never have been a reason for the institution to be insulted and stereotyped.
Bargo explained ‘quack’ as meaning a person who dishonestly claimed to have knowledge and skill in some field with little or no foundation.
He noted that for the benefit of hindsight, KASU as a new generation University and the second most-sought state-owned University and the fastest growing in Nigeria, was established 18 years ago with eminent scholars like Prof. Idris Abdulkadir and Prof. Abubakar Rasheed as the pioneer Council members.
“The made sure appointments of qualified lecturers were never compromised and the foundation, ethical determination to sustain same remained the basic principle of engaging academic and non-academic staff,” he said.
Bargo said that KASU was recognised by NUC as a standard University and had some of the best brains competing favourably with their counterparts around the globe.
“The world number four best polymer chemist is in KASU and our lecturers have attracted grants both locally and internationally and are highly rated.
“KASU graduates are rated among the best in the world and enjoying scholarships from different parts of the country and the globe.
“KASU has members in ASUU, and it is unfortunate if the union’s President is saying that they are quacks, while enjoying monthly check-off fees from their salaries.
“Does this not give good reason for every reasonable academic staff in the University to pull off from the Union for this labeling and stereotyping?
” Bargo expressed discontent, saying that the highest stage of irresponsibility was insulting fellow colleagues in the academia.
He noted that leadership in the academia way about mutual respect and mentoring while also living by good example.
He asked why the ASUU President failed mentioning Ambrose Alli University as quack where he came from, which had also pulled out from the strike long before KASU management decided to resume academic activities, in spite of the strike.
Bargo restated the claims ASUU went on strike to be rejecting IPPIS for UTAS, noting that KASU had nothing to do with how other employees were paid in a country where education is in the concurrent list.
He said release of funds to revitalise the infrastructure of the universities, which was also a reason for ASUU strike, was being determined by the economy and income of government and not by any strike.
“Also, release of the White Paper on Visitation Panels, has nothing to do with state universities and KASU should not stunt its progress in a protracted strike that is becoming unreasonably insensitive.
“When ASUU in KASU joined the strike in 2019 and government paid the 40 per cent salary for work done for the month, ASUU National did virtually nothing positive beyond ranting for the outstanding 60 per cent which had not been paid till date,” Bargo said.
He called on academic staff on strike in KASU to reason and be more concerned with their university and people than the attitude of their leaders that labeled them as quacks.
The continuous increase in kerosene and cooking gas prices will lead to increased difficulty in meeting basic food and other essential commodities needed by Nigerians.
Prof. Aminu Usman, an Economics lecturer at the Kaduna State University, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
He was reacting to the recent price of household kerosene and Liquified Petroleum Gas (cooking gas) released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday.
According to the NBS report, on a year-on-year basis, the average retail price per litre of kerosene rose by 98.76 per cent from N397.34 in July 2021 to N789.75 in July 2022. The report said on a month-on-month basis, there was a 3.68 per cent increase in the product in July 2022 at N789.75 compared to N761.69 recorded in June 2022. Similarly, the NBS said the price of refilling a 5kg of cooking gas increased on a year-on-year basis by 105.35 per cent from N2,141.59 in July 2021 to N4,397.68 in July 2022. While on a month-on-month basis it increased by 4.25 per cent from N4,218.38 recorded in June 2022 to N4,397.68 in July 2022. Usman said the rise in the price of the commodities was expected given the upward movement of commodity prices in both Nigeria and international economies.
According to him, it further confirms the inflation figures earlier released by NBS indicating a continuous increase in the country’s inflation rate.
” Recall that the bulk of the price increases came through food inflation which was also influenced by the cost of energy used in the food processing for both manufacturers and households.
” NAN recalls that Nigeria’s headline inflation rate increased to 19.64 per cent on a year-on-year basis in July according to the NBS.
He said that diesel, kerosine and cooking gas supply and prices had been deregulated and, therefore, not subject to subsidy of any kind from the government.
The economist, therefore, said that the prices of these products reflected the actual market prices, especially as it relates to the international crude and refined petroleum products prices.
“Our case is made worse by our inability to refine these products locally and therefore we have to import, which puts much pressure on the value of our local currency as compared with other currencies.
” Therefore, the implication of this is that food will now consume almost all earnings of the common man for life sustainability leaving other basic necessities unattended.
” The inability of the common man to consume other essentials of life means a further contraction of the economy.
” Usman said this would thereby slow down expansion in production and job creation which further compounds the already bad situation for the common man.
According to him, the country and by implication the common man will have to contend with the instability and spiralling price of these commodities.
“This is pending the time we get our acts together with regards to petroleum products refining and or the resolution of the international crises that pushed crude prices up.
2023: NGO urges Nigerians to vote rightly 2023: NGO urges NigerMrs Gladys Ashemuke, Founder of GLAD To Lead Foundation, an Non-Government Organisation has urged Nigerians to take responsibility if they want the country of their dream to become a reality.
Ashemuke, the national Coordinator of the foundation, made the call during a Non-Partisan National Summit in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event tagged:” Doing it Right for the Right Results’ was organised by GLAD foundation in conjunction with PDP Vote Right Ambassadors (PVRA).
“If the Nigeria of our dreams must come to reality, our perception about leadership, government and dividends of democracy must change.
”Until we begin to take responsibility for doing things right, we will never get it right as a people.
“I want to remind everyone here that you are now an ambassador of doing things right.
The Nigeria of our dream is achievable.
”Now talking about the Nigeria of our dreams, we all talk about not having dividends of democracy, but I beg to ask: How many of you do the right thing during elections?
When you sell your vote, you don’t have any moral obligation to question them when they are in power.
“Your Permanent Voters card is your voice, your power and your right.
But I tell you, your right becomes your rights only when you do the right thing.
”Your right becomes your rights when you vote for the right candidate, your right becomes your rights when you think about the future of your children,” she said.
She said PVRA has the structure to sensitise Nigerians across board to do the right thing, adding that the organization has members in 28 states of the country.
“I am glad to lead the PDP Vote Right Ambassadors (PVRA).
We are prepared to guide the electorate in the 2023 election by sensitising them to do the right thing.
Because if we don’t have the right people in the policy making space, we will never get it right.
“We have our structures from national to the unit level.
We have been doing a lot of sensitization in the market places, mechanic workshops, motor parks and other public places.
”I did one here in Abuja at the motor park.
I told them not to be sentimental when it comes to voting.
But to vote for the right candidates from the right political party.
According to Ashemuke, all citizens of Nigeria must not allow themselves to be instrument of destruction during the forthcoming elections by being partisan councious and being sentimental.
“Everyone has to do the right thing and avoid partisan mindset in order to achieve the Nigeria we dream of, we must vote on facts not sentiments.
“Our PVC is our power and right, it determines our future and that of our children so we have to make the right choices by picking the right candidate irrespective of party.
“This is not just for the politicians it is for everyone no matter where you find yourself, it is an habit we must cultivate.
“We must stay away from bribe in order to do the right thing and let our conscience be our currency that we spend wisely”.
Ashemuke also added that the foundation and PDP support group will keep sensitizing the citizens on the need to vote right and wisely.
“We’ve been sensitizing people in markets, parks among others on the need to vote the right candidate and avoid voting out of sentiments,” she said.
Dr Babangida Aliyu, former Governor of Niger State in his remarks also said that the summit is indeed important because we have to learn how to get it right.
“We have to teach people how to do the right thing without forcing them to do it which is not the best approach.
“Many people come to vote out of curiosity without knowing the details of things involved and some even come to sell instead of vote because they not been enlightened.
“So we must learn how to be foot people and go into rural communities that cars cannot enter to sensitize them not in a sentimental way thereby allowing them to vote according to their choices.
” Aliyu said.
Furthermore Hajiya Rabi Saulawa, President of Jam Iyar Matan Arewa in her keynote address appealed to the men to avoid gender sensitivity by allowing women in leadership positions.
According to her, granting gender rights to be voted for is part of doing the right thing.
“We advocate for women to be given more chance to participate in politics and as women we have to be united and let go of differences, “Irrespective of party, we should support each other in order to do it right for the right results.
” Saulawa said.
In his remarks, PDP Kaduna State Chairman, Mr Felix Hyat commended Ashemuke for putting together such initiative to sensitise people on election and voting without asking for any support from the party.
“Some PDP support group have come to us saying that they want money in order to support us but this foundation and support group have never asked us, “Because according to her, she believe that this is part of doing the right thing for the right results.
” He said.
Hyat also noted that the messages passed today from the summit are very crucial for the growth of Nigeria seeing the situation on ground.
He also reiterated that as party chairman they’ve been discussing among themselves on what to do in every State so that they will get it right as the theme suggest.
“Politics is localised, so every State is planning programs that is suitable for them because what is done in Sokoto may not work in Lagos or Rivers, “So we have to localize it and take into consideration our cultural backgrounds.
” Hyat said.
In his address, the chairman of the occasion Gov. DouyeDiri of Bayelsa said:” the right thing is for Nigerians to do what is right in order to achieve our desire for a better Nigeria of our dreams”.
Also in a lecture delivered at the occasion by Prof. Hauwa E.
Yusuf of Kaduna State University entitled: The Role of the Civil Society Groups in Governance, she observes that the Nigeria weak political landscape characterized by many anomalies constitutes serious impediment to doing things right in the country.