Prof. Afis Oladosu, Lecturer, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, on Sunday described those calling for Nigeria’s disintegration as power-thirsty and impostors.
Oladosu spoke at the 11th Annual Symposium of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) (B-Zone) in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that theme of the Symposium was: “The Nation’s Destiny”.
According to him, majority of those agitating for Nigeria’s disintegration are insincere and do not have interest of the country at heart.
Oladosu, who was the Guest Speaker, admitted that there were some challenges confronting Nigeria as a country.
“But, clamouring for breakup of the country is not the solution to the challenges,” he said.
Oladosu called on Nigerians, especially the Muslims, not to allow themselves to be used to destabilise the peace of the country.
He said that they should rather vote right for credible leaders in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
“It appears as if each time our country is postured to achieve greatness, certain forces emerge, not only to imperil it, but also threatened to render its future asunder.
“The 2023 general elections is around the corner, we desire credible elections that will be trustworthy, dependable and satisfactory,” Oladosu said.
Also, Dr Muiz Banire (SAN), a Guest Lecturer, said Nigeria needs peace at this point in time, adding that no country could grow in a state of anarchy.
Banire said that electorate needed to be enlightened, because many do not know why they need to vote for right candidates and follow their conscience rather than money.
“Voting for right candidates will help the country to get to its desired destination and address the ethno-religious agitation as well as the imperative of inclusiveness.
“What is responsible for all these agitations is inequality and injustice; people are not getting the desired benefits based on incident of tribes, religion, among others,” he said.
Banire called on Nigerians to do the right thing during the forthcoming general elections.
Also, the MSSN B-Zone President, Qaasim Odedeji, on his parts, said the programme 11 years ago as an avenue to gather eminent personalities from academia, business, industry, politics and government to discuss current national issues and make useful recommendations.
Odedeji said that the topic was carefully chosen and came at the right time, especially with the forthcoming general elections.
He, then called on all Nigerians, especially the Muslims, to fully participate in the 2023 general elections and vote for people of good character and with fear of Allah to ensure good governance.
Odedeji further called on stakeholders, politicians and their supporters to play the game of politics by the rule and focus their campaigns on issues, adding that leadership entailed trust and responsibility.
Addressing newsmen after the event, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), a guest, said restructuring of Nigeria was long overdue.
Fagbemi said that the restructuring must be done in a manner that would meet the yearnings and aspirations of all and sundry.
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to engage in further consultations with relevant stakeholders towards ending the protracted strike by members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The president stated this when he met with the Chairman and select members of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities on Friday in Abuja.
He said that without necessarily going back on what was already established policy, “I will make further consultations, and I’ll get back to you.
” The Pro-Chancellors were led to the meeting by Prof. Nimi Briggs.
Briggs said they came to meet with Buhari in his capacity “as President and Commander-in-Chief, as father of the nation, and as Visitor to the Federal universities.
” He added that despite the pall cast by more than seven months of industrial action, “the future of university system in the country is good”.
He cited as example the recent listing of the University of Ibadan among the first 1,000 universities in the world, a development occurring for the first time.
Briggs commended the Federal Government for concessions already made to the striking lecturers, including the offer to raise salaries by 23.5 per cent across board, and 35% for Professors.
He, however, asked for “further inching up of the salary, in view of the economic situation of the country.
” The Pro-Chancellors also asked for a reconsideration of the No-Work, No-Pay stance of government.
They promised that lecturers would make up for time lost as soon as an amicable situation was reached, and schools reopened.
Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah, said all the concessions made by Federal Government were to ensure that “the industrial action comes to an end, but ASUU has remained adamant.
Panelists at the Disinformation in Elections 2022 dialogue want increased political literacy, re-orientation of the populace and more political participation to help curb information disorder during elections.
The panel discussion focused on “Disinformation in Elections 2022” in Abuja.
Their discussion centred on “Information Disorder in Election:Role of the Media,Political Parties and National Institute for Policy and Strategy Studies (NIPSS)”.
Ms Ngozi Alaegbu, from Arise News TV warned that media houses should beware of being used as tools to drive propaganda and information that distort the process.
Alaegbu also said, ”false information not only discourages the electorate, but aggravate the rising cases of insecurity.
“The media are reflections of the general society and apart from setting agenda,we need to set better standards for ourselves, with enhanced political education.
” Dr Theophilus Abba, from Daily Trust, was of the opinion that the media cannot ignore false information, rather should deploy tools to fact-check.
Abba said, ”we need more media literacy for newsrooms to track any piece of information.
“Going into 2023 elections, we need to guard against false information, as well as check press releases by political parties and politicians.
“Journalists should not accept all that comes to them.
” Mrs Ebere Agozie, Head,Fact-Checking Desk of the News Agency of Nigeria ,said media organisations should be allowed to operate freely without external influences.
Agozie further said that carriers of false information should be tracked, re-orientation of the populace and possibly extend the training on how to check information to the informal sector.
Prof. Sola Adeyanju,Head,Public Affairs Department,NIPSS, said the media could serve as a tool to disrupt election process and to preserve it as well.
Adeyanju urged the media to uphold the values of decent information dissemination during the election periods and always.
Prof. AbdulGaniy Raji, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering,University of Ibadan, sought for more political literacy.
The dialogue was organised by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development(CJID) and funded by the National Endowment Fund (NEF).
The event was part of CJID’s effort,through its Media in National Elections (MiNE) and fact-checking (DUBAWA) projects to ensure the provision of accurate information to Nigerians before,during and after the 2023 elections.
Worried by deplorable conditions of public primary schools and poor remuneration of primary school teachers across the South-West zone, stakeholders in the education sector have called on the three tiers of government to address it.
In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Ibadan, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Osogbo, Abeokuta and Ilorin, they called for urgent measures by the governments to ensure improved performance.
The respondents were of the view that primary school education, which they described as the very foundation across the world, should not be handled with reckless abandonment.
In Ibadan, Prof. Adams Onuka, a retired Professor of Education Evaluation, University of Ibadan, described the conditions of public primary schools nationwide as unconducive for effective learning.
“The facilities are just not there.
When the existing ones become obsolete or dilapidated, they are not replaced; buildings are not maintained,” Onuka said.
He said that the situation in the rural areas was, however, worse.
According to him, some schools have no roofs, some have no walls and in some cases, pupils are learning under the trees.
“Schools in rural areas are hardly adequately staffed.
The amenities are not attractive, so teachers don’t even live there.
“They use their meagre salaries, which are sometimes not regularly paid, to shuttle, for which reason, they don’t go regularly to the rural schools,” he said.
Onuka, however, did not see the private primary schools, especially in the rural areas, as anything better, saying, “There is nothing to write home about them”.
He identified the challenges of educational institutions from primary to the tertiary to include: lack of facilities, understaffing and poor remuneration, both in the public and some private schools.
“The situation in the nation’s education sector needs declaration of a state of emergency, if we are to get things right and shortly.
“May God help us to get our priority right, so that we can give the sector its rightful place and our nation can then move forward,” Onuka said.
Also, a Director in Oyo State Ministry of Education, Mrs Bolaji Adeoti, said the present administration, since its inception over three years ago, had completed many projects in the primary education.
According to Adeoti, the projects, which are majorly infrastructure development, include construction and renovation of several blocks of classroom.
She said the projects had improved the learning atmosphere of thousands of pupils in the public primary schools.
On the remunerations of primary school teachers, the officer said that government was doing all it could to improve welfare of the teachers.
He said that 129 teachers, wrongly dismissed by the immediate past administration, had been reinstated by Gov. Seyi Makinde-led administration.
“This is another way of catering for the welfare of the teachers, as thousands of family dependents, who have been subjected to untold economic hardship, due to layoff of their breadwinners, will now have a new lease of life.
“In addition to this, recently, a total of 9,227 primary school teachers on Grade Level 13 to 15 were presented with letters of promotion.
“This gesture, by the present administration, was to boost the morale of teachers in the public primary schools, whose promotions have been pending for years under the immediate past administration.
“All these and other efforts are being carried out by Makinde’s administration to improve the welfare of primary school teachers.
“It is also to reduce the deplorable condition of public primary school buildings to zero,” he said.
Also, Mr Moses Solanke, the Convener, CVG-AFRICA, a nonprofit organisation with interest in child education development, said: “How much a nation values its children is determined by value of the nation’s primary education.
“You cannot claim to value your children when you keep denying them quality primary education; for this is the bedrock of, not just the child, but also of the nation.
“Standard education is beyond the provision of tables and chairs or of buildings, as government is widely making us to believe.
“All of these are important, but much more is the provision of human resources – the teachers and non-teaching staff, who are, in a sense, all teachers.
“Education should also be considered beyond academics, as scoring high academic grades may not always mean that a child has been educated.
“The child’s extracurricular experience and other soft skills translate to a complete and healthy education that can make the child become relevant anywhere in the world,” he said.
Solanke, however, called for the involvement of individuals, old students, religious organisations and other stakeholders in the development of education, saying that government had shown enough signs of lack of interest.
In Akure, Mr Opeyemi Aje, a parent, said that little could be achieved in the primary school system where teachers were not adequately remunerated and attended to.
“You can hardly expect good things from teachers who are not well compensated; they cannot put in their best as expected.
“I don’t blame them, because they too have their responsibilities,” he said.
Aje explained that though, public primary schools in the state have good building structures, the academic and behavioural teaching being meted out to pupils were not satisfactory.
According to him, pupils in the private primary schools perform better than pupils in the public primary schools in the external examinations.
He, therefore, advised the government to do the necessary things that would motivate teachers for the outstanding performance of the pupils.
“There is no magic anywhere.
Government should do the needful that will ensure that teachers are motivated,” he said.
In her response, Mrs Kehinde Aruleba, a Teacher, described the state of public primary schools in Ondo State as improving, when compared to what it used to be in the past.
Aruleba said the immediate past administration in the state came up with transformational policies in the primary school system that made the public primary schools pride of the state.
She added that the current administration was able to spend resources on developing the infrastructure of primary schools, making the primary school system attractive.
According to her, the mode of recruitment of teachers into the system should, however, be on merit and not by influence or any other inclination.
Aruleba urged the state government to invest heavily in proper and constant training of teachers, so as to make them attain international standards.
She also asked the government to pay teachers promptly with lots of incentives, urging the state public primary schools to focus more on the quality of teaching.
Also, Mr Mathias Fafeyiwa, a retired Headmaster at Methodist Primary School, Okitipupa, said that government was no longer according premium to qualitative education in general.
According to Fafeyiwa, the government is not conforming with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) expected budgetary allocation to education, which should be at least between 15 and 20 per cent of the total national budget.
“Yearly allocations to education in the budgets are nothing to write home about; this is why public primary education has been in shambles and deplorable conditions,” he said.
Fafeyiwa said that the government’s negligence of primary school education was rubbing off on primary school teachers.
“The teachers are not getting the best attention as well, which is militating against giving their best in the discharge of their duties,” he said.
Fafeyiwa pointed out that the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) was created by the government to oversee primary education in the country.
“But unfortunately, the board is not doing enough to salvage the situation.
“Primary education is the bedrock of education anywhere in the world, because it forms the basis of education for any child, before furthering at the secondary and tertiary institutions.
“The inability of Nigerian Government to give proper attention to education in the budget have eroded the standard of primary education; this is responsible for the deplorable state of primary schools in the country.
“Recently, the Federal Government signed the establishment of several universities into law without, even minding how to give facelifts to the ones on ground.
To me, this is a case of misplacement of priorities.
“I am surprised by the way some government functionaries handle education in Nigeria.
“Meanwhile, a whole lot of them benefitted from free education immediately after our independence.
“The basics of education remain the primary school and governments need to rise up to their responsibilities by going back to the old ways, where education, especially primary education, was made compulsory for everyone.
“Government must also deal with corruption, which have been a draining pipe for the government functionaries to siphon money meant to develop education.
“Any nation that jokes with education, especially primary education, may not likely survive, because knowledge with information is power and liberation,” Fafeyiwa said.
In Ado-Ekiti, Mr Michael Babajide, called for urgent decisive measures, aimed at returning the lost glory of primary education, through projects that would make the school environment learning-friendly.
He also called for the enhancement of remuneration of teachers.
In his contributions, a retired teacher, Kayode Boluwaji, said it was unfortunate that in spite of years of intervention in schools’ infrastructure development by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in many states, officials do not apply the funds appropriately.
A parent, Mrs Temilola Olugbenga, said that the negative development was gradually making teaching profession unattractive to the young ones across the country.
Mr Bode Afolayan, a serving primary school teacher, said the inadequate welfare and remuneration had led to the Exodus of good hands in the teaching profession to other means of livelihood.
Afolayan said that teachers in the primary segment of the nation’s education sector were worst hit in terms of poor working conditions, delayed promotions, training and retraining.
“Our voices are least heard by those concerned with our welfare and wellbeing.
“Generally, teachers are, of course, amongst the most maltreated workers in the country; the situation is more than worrisome in the primary segment.
“This is the reason most of the best hands in the profession retraced their steps to find greener pastures elsewhere,” he said.
Also, Elder Mathew Abegunde, a retired Principal, said that advent of private Nursery and Primary School system made the public school system a second fiddle, thus suffering from neglect.
“The poor working condition of teachers and the bad state of infrastructure in many public primary schools had made many parents to prefer the private schools and this is dangerous for the sector.
“These parents are of the belief that they will get the desired quality education in addition to better welfare and good environment they want for their children and wards from teachers in the private schools.
“It’s a well-known fact that the poor working conditions in many public schools have created redundancy and poor morale among teachers and pupils.
“Unfortunately, this has continually affected pupils’ performances,” Abegunde said.
Also, Mrs Christy Aduloju, a School Proprietor, described the primary sector of the nation’s education as the bedrock and foundation, which should not be toyed with.
“If we miss it at the primary level, it will be very difficult to get it right at other top levels of education,” Aduloju said.
Expressing disappointment at the deplorable level of public primary schools in the country, she said that stakeholders, especially the National Assembly, should urgently rescue the situation through proper legislation.
In her remarks, the Headmaster-General in Ekiti, Mrs Olawumi Omonijo, said her office was not unaware of the challenges in the primary school, saying efforts had always been to address the noticeable areas.
Omonijo said she had never relented since assuming office in February to ensure that the welfare and wellbeing of teachers were adequately taken care of.
The headmaster-general said that as part of her monitoring and supervision roles, she had been going round schools in the state to have a first hand assessment of the situation on ground.
She said that Gov. Kayode Fayemi-led administration would continue to add value and impact positively on the standard of education, just as it had always done.
However, Alhaji Kabir Adekomi, the Osun Chairman, National Union of Teachers (NUT), said that though, many variables were responsible for the deplorable conditions of public primary schools, government neglect was the major.
Adekomi said it was sad to see that public primary schools, built by the old Western region government, under its educational system, had been neglected by successive governments.
“Primary schools had been in existence before other tiers of education came into being and it is disheartening that most of the classrooms built long ago by past governments are still being used today in their bad conditions.
“Government played lukewarm attitude toward renovating the old classrooms or building new ones; that is why most of the classrooms are not conducive for learning.
“The government act as if the public primary schools are for the commoners, children of the poor and illiterate parents.
“So, over the years, they have refused to upgrade the classrooms to international standards.
“Government has also failed to upgrade the learning processes and equip the schools with modern facilities like computers and e-libraries, especially schools in the rural areas.
“Most of the primary schools in rural areas are seriously neglected and most of their classrooms have become dilapidated, broken down and now being used as hideouts by criminals.
“Primary school teachers are not given adequate training, which is needed for them to upgrade their knowledge and compete favourably with their counterparts in other parts of the world.
“The way to improve on primary education is for government to improve the welfare of teachers and equally monitor activities in the schools.
“Government should not look down on primary school education, because it is the foundation of education in the country,” he said.
However, an Abeokuta-based education Consultant, Mr Peter Akinlabi, noted that primary school teachers were poorly remunerated, pointing out that the situation cut across public and private primary schools.
Akinlabi added that the working environment, as well as the conditions of service for the teachers, were not motivating.
“Many of the classrooms are not conducive for teaching, while many allowances that workers in other professions enjoy are not applicable to them.
“Often times, teachers are not motivated and cannot give their best, because they are not inspired,” he said.
Akinlabi attributed the situation to poor funding of the education system, adding that governments at various levels had continued to pay lip service to education.
A parent, Mrs Fauziyah Adebiyi, said that for a very long time, most primary schools in Ogun built in 1980s, had been in shambles.
Adebiyi said she had to withdraw her daughter, who was in Primary Three from a public school in Ijebu-Igbo, because she was not comfortable with the quality and standard of education at the public school.
She called for recruitment of more teachers, training of the existing ones and provision of adequate infrastructure at the schools in order to reposition them for optimal performance.
“There are still many schools in the state with leaking roofs and in some cases without roofs.
“Some don’t have enough sitting facilities and pupils are made to sit on the floor while learning,” Adebiyi said.
She, however, commended Gov. Dapo Abiodun’s efforts at providing infrastructure in a number of primary schools in the state.
“He has restructured some of the dilapidated schools and provided the needed facilities,” Adebiyi said.
Also, Mr Samson Oyelere, the NUT Secretary in Ogun, said that the education sector, particularly the primary school had continued to improve since the inception of the Abiodun-led administration.
Oyelere explained that with the support of the governor, the state primary school education had been transformed from “analogue to digital”.
He, however, said that there were still more to be done, particularly in the area of recruitment of teachers, adding the ratio of pupils to teachers needed to be improved.
The NUT Secretary appealed to the government to fulfil promises made before its assumption of office and ensure recruitment of more teachers.
According to him, the government has not done badly in the provision of infrastructure at the schools.
He said: “We only appeal that between now and the resumption date, the promises made should be fulfilled and they should look at how they can employ more teachers.
“More efforts should also be geared toward the provision of teaching and learning materials in our schools.
Teaching and learning require adequate teaching aids.
“Teachers’ incentives should be looked into.
Salary deductions should be released on time, promotion should be released on time, leave allowance should be paid to time, while rural allowance should be favourably considered.
” Commenting, Mr Azeez Adeyemi, the Special Assistant to the State Governor on Students’ Matters, described primary schools as pivotal to the development of the state.
According to him, it offers basic education in the state, while representing foundational and preparatory education for everyone.
Adeyemi said that the state governor had continued to deliver the dividends of democracy to Ogun people through quality education.
“Out of the numerous interventions by this current administration, the yellow roof innovation, across public primary schools in all local governments, has attracted so much commendations from all and sundry.
“Renovation and complete construction of primary school buildings across the length and breadth of the state has ensured a very serene and comfortable environment, which effectively facilitates teaching and learning for our pupils,” he said.
Adeyemi said the government had scrapped all education levies at all levels of education, adding that it had brought a great succour to parents and guaranteed optimum affordability of primary education.
“The state government conducts a Unified Education Scheme.
This approach has been reported to be the best for effective teaching-learning process.
“The teacher will cover up schemes of work, while the pupils will be at par in terms of competition with pupils from other regions,” he said.
Also Prof. Medinat Salman of the Department of Science Education, University of Ilorin, called for funding of all levels of education.
Salman said that no nation or educational system could rise above her teachers’ quality.
She explained that the role of teachers at all levels of education was emphasised in the National Policy on Education.
The educationist underscored the need for teachers’ effectiveness in the teaching and learning process.
“It is the teacher’s competence, ability, resourcefulness and ingenuity, through effective utilisation of appropriate language, methodology and availability instructional materials that could bring out the best from the learners, in terms of academic achievement,” she said.
The don advocated better remuneration for teachers for effective discharge of teaching as well as better infrastructure for schools at all levels.
Citing example of teaching Mathematics, the educationist said that the poor performance of the subject could be traced to the poor foundation at the primary school level.
Salman called for the training and retraining of teachers at all levels.
According to her, there is need to shift from teacher-centred method of teaching to problem-solving instructional strategies, especially in subjects such as Mathematics.
“I have carried out research and have deduced the fact that the mode of instructions, especially at both primary and secondary levels of education, remains overwhelmingly teacher-centred.
“This is with greater emphasis on the use of the lecture mode of instruction and the use of textbooks rather than engaging students in critical thinking, across subject areas and in applying the knowledge acquired to solving real life problems,” she said.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) University of Ibadan chapter has advised parents against releasing their wards for the purported resumption at its Distance Learning Unit. This is contained in a statement on Wednesday in Ibadan by Prof. Ayoola Akinwole, the institution’s ASUU Chairman.
Akinwole also said that academic staff of the institution were on total strike as directed by the national leadership of the union.
He added that members of the union in the institution would not be available for both physical and virtual teaching.
He stressed that the academic staff of the institution were solidly prosecuting the strike which was aimed at getting the best resources for training, teaching, research and better welfare for her members from the federal government.
He therefore advised parents and the public to keep their wards at home, expressing optimism that the on-going strike would soon yield results for an effective public university education.
“The attention of the leadership of ASUU-UI has been drawn to mischievous news in circulation with insinuation that UI has pulled out of the on-going ASUU strike due to the management of the university’s Distance Learning Centre announcing resumption of academic activities.
“This is to inform the general public that the on-going ASUU strike is still fully in force in the University of Ibadan.
“Members of the ASUU, university of Ibadan branch are on the comprehensive, total and indefinite strike of our Union in conformity with the directive of the National Executive Council (NEC) of our union.
“As such, members of ASUU-UI branch will not be available for teaching (both physical and virtual), examination exercises, and attendance of statutory meetings of any kind until the National Executive Council (NEC) of our Union directs otherwise.
“ASUU-UI members remain resolute in the quest to rescue the Nigerian public university system,” Akinwole said.
The Vice- Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, said on Tuesday that available statistics pointed to an urgent need for repositioning of universities.
She spoke at the opening ceremony of the Fourth Research and Development Fair, organised by LASU in Lagos.
The theme of the fair was: “Repositioning The Nigerian University System For Global Relevance and Competitiveness In Learning, Research, Innovation And Technological Transfer”.
Olatunji-Bello said that the theme of the research fair was apt in face of the not-too- impressive showing of Nigerian Universities in recent global rankings.
“According to National Universities Commission (NUC) , there are 200 Universities in Nigeria, out of which more than 79 are privately owned, 43 are Federal owned and 48 are state owned.
“In the 2022 webmetrics ranking, there is no single Nigerian University in top 1000 in the world, while the highest ranked is the University of Ibadan at 1207. “The centre for World University ranking in its 2022 report could not rank any Nigerian University in the first 1000, the highest ranked sits at 1172,” she said.
The vice-chancellor said that in a bid to address this, LASU had, in last few years, intensified its effort in research and innovation.
This, she said, culminated in the creation of the Directorate of Research Management and Innovation.
“The Senate of this university is instituting a five million naira research grant for cutting- edge multidisciplinary researches in the University.
“The directorate is also responsible for reviewing research proposals and ensuring that our academics comply with current ethical consideration.
“We want research to maintain its paramount position in LASU, as it is expected in every world class institution of higher learning,” she said.
At the event, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, pledged to build and equip a modern 750-seater lecture theatre for the University.
Orelope-Adefulire said this while delivering her keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the event.
She said that the donation of the lecture theatre was to identify with the ongoing developmental strides in LASU.
“I am always willing and ready to give assistance to the university, both at personal and official levels,” she said.
The presidential aide said there was a need to prioritise inclusive and quality education for all, leaving no one behind.
“My office remains deeply committed to sustaining key partnerships on education to advance the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
“We are looking forward to seeing the innovative pathways for the education sector that will emerge from this innovation fair,” Orelope-Adefulire said.
She said that qualitative and inclusive education was a crucial tool for achieving sustainable livelihood and economic prosperity for families and societies.
“However, it requires strategic investments through the creation of relevant educational programmes; capacity building for academia; and provision of modern technology to improve access to learning that will improve research.
” Investment in research for universities is crucial, however, as Nigeria was grappling to recover from the 2016 economic recession, the recovery was impacted by the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is imperative to reduce these barriers if we truly want to reposition the university in Nigeria,” she said.
Orelope-Adefulire said that achieving this required collaborative efforts in a whole of society approach, to enhance innovation and development, among others, in all educational sectors in Nigeria.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says its members remained resolute to get what public universities need from the Federal Government to survive and compete globally.
Prof. Ayo Akinwole, the Chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan chapter, made the assertions on Monday in Ibadan.
Akinwole said that lecturers in public universities in Nigeria have been using their bloods to run public universities and sustaining it.
“Lecturers retain Nigerian public universities with their blood, but is it right for Nigerians to say they should die on the job?
I am saying they are owing us over eight years verified earned academic allowances.
“Is it only ASUU that is on strike?
Some sectors (research institutes) of the nation have been on strike for 13 months and the government has been paying their salaries.
“Is it an offence to become lecturers in Nigerian universities?
What led to the strike?
It is the non-responsiveness of the government that led to the strike,” he said.
According to him, the union will not sacrifice its members’ welfare.
It will resist any effort to turn intellectuals to slaves.
He said that the union had given 14-month strike notice to the Federal Government before commencing the strike in 2022. Akinwole said, even the effort of the Nigerian Inter-religious council in 2021 yielded no results before the union was forced to declare the strike on Feb. 14. “We waited for 14 months from December 2020 to February 2022 before declaring this strike.
“I am saying 14 months’ notice, 14 months engagements and Nigeria Inter-religious council intervened in 2021 when we would have declared the strike.
“We gave them one month with no result.
Heroes are gone before they are appreciated, but our union will not die.
We will not die.
We are going to be alive to see this struggle through,” he said.
Akinwole said that the N1.1 trillion for revitalisation of universities was not for lecturers in the public universities.
He explained that the amount was arrived at by the Federal Government through its NEEDS Assessment report on the level of decay in Nigerian public universities.
Akinwole, however, thanked ASUU members for sacrificing and remaining resolute to reposition the nation’s public university education.
He said that only strikes have forced the government to spend money on its universities in the last 25 years.
“If ASUU does not go on this struggle, there will be no university for new people to attend.
“In the last 25 years, the Federal Government would not have spent money on its universities, if ASUU had not gone on strike.
“I am also a parent and my children are at home with me.
Most lecturers have to spend their money on their students’ projects for some students to graduate.
“I could give you numbers of some of my students who can tell you how much I have had to support their projects,” the chairman said.
By NJ Ayuk, CEO of the African Chamber of Energy.
When Nigeria's Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) was enacted in August 2021, I spoke about the positive changes the law would bring about in terms of increased transparency and productivity in the energy sector.
Now, we are seeing signs that the PIA is, in fact, bearing fruit.
The state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) recently became NNPC Limited, a commercial company, as mandated by the PIA.
Instead of operating like a government entity, with all the bureaucracy and inefficiencies that comes with it, the company's focus has shifted to productivity and profit.
The company appears to be moving in that direction.
Earlier this summer, NNPC Ltd. successfully renegotiated production sharing contracts (PSCs) with several oil majors and an indigenous company after almost 30 years of disputes.
The PSCs involve five deepwater blocks believed to be capable of producing up to 10 billion barrels of oil over a 20-year period.
Investments had stalled as a result of ongoing disagreements over revenue and taxes.
But after lengthy negotiations, NNPC and the companies were able to minimize the tax and revenue ambiguities that had existed in previous contracts and move forward amicably with the oil companies, which include Nigerian company South Atlantic Petroleum, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Equinox , Shell, and China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec).
This is a significant achievement with the potential to revitalize Nigeria's exploration and production, fostering energy security and stimulating economic growth as a result.
Some have argued that the transformation of NNPC will be in name only, particularly as it will remain owned by the Nigerian government.
But renegotiating those CPs is a promising sign that their existence as a commercial operation will not be business as usual.
While there are no guarantees that news about the company will always be positive going forward, I am cautiously optimistic.
We could be witnessing a new era in Nigeria: a strong national oil company, free from the influence of politics, could be the change that finally turns Nigeria's vast oil resources from a broken promise to a real agent of good.
for common people.
A less than ideal story When NNPC was founded in 1977, the main function of the state-owned and controlled corporation was to oversee Nigeria's oil industry.
Beyond that, it was intended to develop the country's upstream and downstream industries.
Unfortunately, NNPC has yet to help Nigeria reap all the benefits that a thriving oil industry should bring.
It has not achieved energy security for Nigeria, nor has it maximized Nigeria's oil and gas revenues.
The company has struggled for years with mismanagement, lack of profits and multiple allegations of corruption.
Nigeria's oil refining capacity also suffered under NNPC supervision.
Between 2015 and 2020, the country's three state-owned refineries operated with an average capacity utilization of just 7.87%, according to the Nigerian newspaper The Whistler.
As a result, Nigeria imports 90-95% of its refined oil products for domestic use, despite being the sixth largest oil producer in the world with 36.9 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.
And while each of the refineries is currently being rehabilitated, which is good news, none are operational at this time.
NNPC has also failed to address energy poverty: About half of Nigeria's population lacks reliable electricity.
The country has ample natural gas reserves, 202 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of proven untapped reserves, which should have been used to help meet domestic needs and generate electricity on a larger scale.
But instead, flaring has been far more prevalent than gas monetization and gas-to-power programs.
Nigeria was able to cut burning in half between the late 1970s and early 2000s, but subsequent efforts to reduce burning have failed.
And while the NNPC cannot solve these problems without the support of other government entities and oil and gas companies, it does have at least some responsibility to better utilize the country's natural gas.
It is safe to say that transforming NNPC into a transparent, efficient and profitable company is a difficult task.
But I really think it's not necessarily impossible.
NNPC, The Sequel As a commercial company, NNPC Ltd. is intended to operate with minimal government funding or control.
The company will be governed by the corporate laws of Nigeria under the Companies and Allied Affairs Act (CAMA).
NNPC Ltd. is now required to declare dividends to shareholders and dedicate 20% of its profits to growing its business.
Additionally, the company is now required to make annual financial disclosures.
That last requirement alone is a big deal.
In 2020, NNPC published its audited financial accounts for the first time in 43 years, but until now there was no reason to trust that it would continue to make that information available.
On the other hand, there are some reasons for concern.
As I mentioned, NNPC Ltd. is still wholly owned by the Nigerian government, which means avoiding government influence could be a challenge.
In addition, pursuant to the PIA, employees of the former NNPC have been automatically transferred to the new company without background checks.
That leaves the door open for old practices and inefficiencies to remain entrenched.
In addition, the PIA requires the President of Nigeria to appoint a board of NNPC Ltd., which will include "six (6) non-executive members with at least 15 years of related post-qualification experience in oil or any other relevant sector of the economy , one from each geopolitical zone."
As my firm, Centurion Law Group, has written, this approach politicizes the appointment of these individuals rather than ensuring appointments based on merit.
So will the NNPC act together?
I don't know.
We certainly have more reason to believe it will than we have so far, and I am encouraged by recent statements from NNPC Ltd. Managing Director Mele Kyari about the company's plans to expand Nigeria's natural gas reserves, address burning and creating more opportunities for Nigeria's growing young adult population.Furthermore, I am encouraged by the success of the company's PSC renegotiations.I agree with what the pr recently said Professor of Energy Economics Adeola Adenikinju of the University of Ibadan to the non-profit Nigerian news agency, the International Center for Investigative Reporting.
“What plagued the former NNPC was government interference and ethical considerations in the organization's operations, appointments and performance,” Adenikinju said.
“What I hope the new NNPC Limited will do is remove government control, which has made the government see NNPC as a source of revenue.
“Hopefully, if the government followed the PIA guidelines, it would be able to commercialize the NNPC and operate as it should, and help Nigerians benefit from commercialization,” she said.
Ultimately, helping Nigerians prosper is exactly what NNPC Ltd. can and should do.
I will be hosting NNPC Ltd. and its leadership at the African Energy Week in Cape Town, South Africa, and lobbying other African National Oil Companies to follow suit.
We must be honest in understanding the challenges facing NNPC Ltd. There is a lot of pressure on it to cut costs and keep margins high while meeting obligations to its shareholders.
I hope the company takes this opportunity to do so.
Africa is watching to see how this works.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday rejoiced with Prof. Godini Darah on the conferment of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) on him by Michael and Cecilia Ibru University, Agbara-Otor, Delta.
The conferment holds on Tuesday, Sept. 6 in recognition of Darah’s contributions to advancement of knowledge within and outside Nigeria.
Darah also has the honour to deliver the keynote address at the 4th Convocation of the university and 6th Michael Ibru Memorial Lecture on Tuesday.
In a congratulatory message issued by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina in Abuja, the president joined family, friends and professional associates to felicitate with the respected scholar.
He joined the academia to celebrate with “the folklorist, journalist and administrator whose lectures, writings and publications of many years continue to enlighten and motivate’’, Adesina stated.
He added that Buhari noted Darah’s revolutionary approach to folklore and to oral literature, and his ingenious treatment of national and international issues.
He noted also that Darah simplified complex cultural, socio-economic and political issues, and puts them into relatable contexts making him a highly sought-after scholar.
President Buhari wished Darah the best in future endeavours.
Darah had taught variously at the University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Northeastern University, Boston, U.
S.A., Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, University of Africa, Toru-Orua and Delta State University, Abraka.
He was also at a time, Chairman, Editorial Board of The Guardian Newspapers.
The South African Chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the party’s Vice-Presidential Candidate, Sen. Kashim Shettima, as a patriotic Nigerian.
The chapter celebrated Shettima, the immediate past governor of Borno, who turned 56 on Sept. 2. The Chairman of the chapter, Mr Bola Babarinde, in a congratulatory message on Saturday in Lagos, said Shettima had impacted positively on the lives of Nigerians.
Babarinde noted that the former governor had recorded feats in both private and public impressive careers that had contributed immensely to socieconomic and political developments of the country.
“We, as members of APC South Africa Chapter and also active member of APC Diaspora Leaders Forum associate with this patriotic Nigerian and great man.
“We wish him more years in excellent health to steer affairs of our great nation with his Principal, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“Your next birthday will be as Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; we will all be alive to celebrate with you in Aguda House,” Babarinde said.
He said that Shettima as the senator representing Borno Central, had also distinguished himself in the legislative chamber.
He noted that Shettima at 25, had completed his Masters at University of Ibadan in same Agricultural Economics course like his undergraduate degree in University of Maiduguri.
Babarinde recalled that Shettima lectured for two years before becoming a banker and at the age of 41 exited banking as a top executive in Zenith Bank and was appointed as Commissioner for Finance in Borno at same age.
He noted that Shettima was elected as governor of Borno at 45 and Senator at 53, while becoming APC vice-presidential candidate at 56. “Birthdays are special dates set aside to celebrate life and the milestones achieved, it is also necessary to celebrate to remind ourselves that as we are advance in life.
“We should not waste time to give our best to the society and avoid procrastination on any good deed on our minds,” he said.
He prayed for God to continue to bless and grant the Shettima long life and wisdom to serve Nigeria better.