The Lagos State Government said it has no intention of implementing the improved Teachers Salary Structure (TSS) this year.
The statement which was disclosed to newsmen in Lagos by the Special Adviser to the Governor in Education, Elijah Odewale, came on the heels of the strike embarked by public school teachers in Lagos State.
Elijah said the government will not do anything in line with the teachers’ agitation until the 2010 budget is passed.
He said it is wrong in the first place for public school teachers to embark on strike without finishing negotiation with the state.
It would be recalled that the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), and other states embarked on an indefinite strike to press for the implementation of the new Teachers’ Salary Structure (TSS).
Chinese investors have made commitments to establish industries that will commence operations in Ogun State by the end of this year.
To this end no fewer than 57 of them have signed a pact with the state government to set up their firms at the state-owned industrial park along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The investments are a fallout of the state Governor Otunba Gbenga Daniel recent tour to some Chinese cities, during which a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the companies and their partners were endorsed by the governor as part of the new economic focus for the state.
Some of the cities visited include Taiwan, Sumjian, Chang, Shanghai and Zhejiang.
In July, a 70-man delegation from the Province of Zhejiang visited the state and had indicated interest to invest in Ogun.
Some of the proposed firms will be involved in the production of goods and services, oil and gas and construction, and also assist in the development of roads, power, agriculture, textile and timber.
Another visit by Daniel to Hangmin Group, a village like cooperative cluster of business and industries with multi-million dollar annual turnover with interest in textile, agriculture and real estate development, has also facilitated an investment of another set of companies.
The state government also offered free land to companies that accepted to come into the state with the governor saying that the industrial park will be partnered after trade mart, which is regarded as the largest global commodities market in the world with 129,600 shops.
To prepare ground for the expected economic turn around of the state, the government has also embarked on provision of other infrastructure, among them is the Olokola free trade zone and the cargo airport projects.
Three industrial unions in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State, have appealed to former President Olusegun Obasanjo to intervene in the ongoing dispute between Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government.
The unions are the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), The National Associationof Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU).
In a letter joint issued by the Chairman of SSANU, Mr Alfa Gimba, NAAT Mr Jerry Bale and NASU, Mallam Abdullahi Sham in Zaria, the union called on the former president to mediate in the ongoing dispute in the university system. “Baba, you will recall that in April 2006 your administration empowered the negotiation team headed by Deacon Gamaliel Owosode as chairman. The union have been negotiating for the past three years, but no result, hence the need for your quick intervention to save the university system from collapse, the letter said.
It described as contentious the 65 year retirement age and the issue of staff welfare, adding that while an agreement had been reached on salary increase, the government opted for arbitrary awards.
It will be recalled that workers in the university system have been on strike over improved working conditions.
The government has agreed to pay a 40 percent salary increase to university lecturers and 20 percent to other workers in the system but the unions have rejected the offer.
Kwara State Commissioner For Information and Communications, Mr Ben Diutoye has commended the Governor Dr Bukola Saraki for taking the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to greater height and introduced a breath of fresh air into the hitherto moribund forum.
Saraki is Chairman of NGF an association established to encourage fair competition and peer-review among the governors. The organisation has since the tenure of the governor adopted some refreshingly new and exciting features, including the establishment of a functional secretariat and more pro-active programmes.
“We have a better organised NGF now which is active with a visible secretariat. The secretariat has professional hands that advise and give support to the forum. NGF has been used to promote greater relationship between the federal and states governments. There is therefore a better inter-governmental relationship, just as the U.S. Governors Association often give technical support to members,” Diutoye said.
On the succession plan for the governor who would complete his two terms in May 2011, Diutoye said Saraki had delivered good governance to Kwara people and wishes the people would be included to supporting some one who would continue the governor’s legacies.
The State Security Service (SSS), has foiled an alleged plot by three university undergraduates to kidnap the Minister of Education, Dr Sam Egwu and his labour and productivity counterpart, Adetukumbo Kayode.
The suspects are said to be undergraduates at the University of Abuja, while a fourth suspect is described as dubious businessman.
Parading the suspects the SSS spokesperson, Meriline Okah said the suspects were planning to use the ongoing strike by university lecturers as an excuse to carry out the plot.
She also said, in the alleged plot the Minister of Education and his labour and productivity counterpart would have paid N300 million ransome and the Minister of Education made to sign the controversial agreement to end the ASUU strike.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), hinted that it has concluded plans to train 154,800 emergency volunteers across the federation. Besides it said it has approached Universities in the country to include Masters Degree on Emergency Management in their courses.
The North Central Zonal Co-ordinator spoke at a press briefing, marking the Agency’s 10th anniversary, in Jos.
According to Mr. Alhassan D. Aliyu, North Central Zonal Co-ordinator at least 200 emergency volunteers will be trained in each of the 774 local councils in the federation. Represented by the Assistant Zonal Co-ordinator, Alhaji Mohammed Abdulsalam, the zonal coordinator explained that three Universities among the number approached have accepted to introduce Disaster Management Studies.
According to him, many Universities in developed countries were running the course that attention has been focused on risk reduction.
stated that the Agency will in future extend training programmes to primary schools to teach pupils on safety measures.
He told his audience that disaster response activities were not solely the work of experts and emergency “responders”, but also government disaster management organisations, local volunteer organisations, business organisations and citizens. He emphasised that they have active roles to play in disaster management, while lamenting the poor level of disaster awareness among Nigerians.
He pointed out that the zone witnessed about 15 major disasters between January to September 2009, listing them to include those of Niger state flood and River Asa flood disaster, Kwara State, adding that 6,800 were displaced. While two persons were killed.
Consequently, the NEMA chieftain urged stakeholders to cooperate with the Agency to reduce disasters to minimum in the country.
Disturbed by the shortage of buses to convey women only as required by the sharia legal system, Zamfara State government has awarded a contract worth N100m for the procurement of 200 new buses, which would be used by women as means of transportation within and outside the state.
Making this known in Gusau, while fielding questions from newsmen, the state commissioner for Religious Affairs, Malam Tukur Sani Jangebe, said the measure is aimed at preventing women from mixing with men or climbing okada to various locations in the state.
He said government is totally committed to the implementation of the sharia legal code across the state.
Jangebe said the contract was given to a local firm in order to ensure that the vehicles were delivered in good time and based on contract specification.
He said the buses reduce the hardships by women travellers and commuters who “do not feel men while on transit.”
The commissioner said when fully functional, the women-only transport system will ensure that Muslim women who violate the system are arraigned before any of the sharia court in the state.
He said the law banning women from using okada as passed by the State House Assembly has not been repealed. He therefore asked security operatives to Hsbah board in order to ensure that offenders are apprehended.
Jangebe further disclosed that the state government has also awarded contract worth N500 million for the construction of a befitting permanent headquarters of the Religious Affairs Ministry and the state Pilgrim Welfare Agency.
Nigerians have been advised to shun selfishness and sentiments in order to realise the “noble” objectives of the 1999 constitution, Senator Abubakar Halilu Girei has advised.
Girei, who gave the advise in Yola at the weekend, while reacting to calls for a regional constitution by a newly formed group, “change Nigeria”, headed by retired generals, said the 1999 constitution was been made to look inadequate because, the Nigerian politicians have not adopted the right attitude and spirit envisaged by the drafters of the document.
He said the perception that the 1999 constitution was deficient was actually a reflection of the indiscipline in the society, as the constitution has not been fully put to test for a reasonable period of time, for any group to term it unworkable.
Girei, who is currently Monitor General of Course 35, Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPSS) Kuru, Plateau State, said it was condemnable for some retired generals to group themselves into an organisation, called “Change Nigeria”, stressing that the group’s statement was inciting and should be condemned.
He said the sovereign National Conference and other true federalism sloganeering was not only a sabotage, but potent danger to national security of the country, as such statements were capable of encouraging intransigent militants, who were now on the verge of negotiating a peaceful end to Niger Delta crisis with the federal government.
Girei said Nigerian political leaders should eschew the differences that were capable of drawing the country back to the era of regional and ethnic empires as most Nigerians wee resolved and marching towards being one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.
Of 1,561 Candidates, 880 Graduate From Law School-DG
The Nigerian Law School says out of the 1, 561 candidates who sat for the December examination, 880 passed.
The Director-General of the School, Prof. Isa Ciroma, SAN, made this known yesterday in Abuja, while presenting the new wigs to the Body of Benchers at the 2020 Call to the Bar ceremony.
“Four others were from previous Bar examination,’’ he said, adding that the new wigs had met all the required and set conditions by the Council of Legal Education.
“I am happy to affirm that they all have exhibited good manners and decorum during their training.
“They have also been groomed in the best ethics and ethos of our noble profession.
“The screening committee of our distinguished body carefully perused the records of each of the aspirants and found them worthy to be presented for the Call to the Nigerian Bar.’’
Ciroma said that the school had begun a special remedial course for students from the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
“The programme began on June 28, at the Nigerian Law School Headquarters, Bwari, Abuja. We thank all distinguished members of the Body of Benchers, for their support,’’ he said.
The Chairman, Body of Benchers, Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, congratulated the new wigs and charged them to adhere to the provision of rules regarding the profession at all times.
“As a lawyer, you are an officer of the court and accordingly, you are not to do any act or conduct yourselves in a manner that will obstruct or adversely affect the course of justice.
“The practice of Law is not a right but a privilege. It is a privilege that can be lost should you fail to live up to the requisite professional standards imposed upon you by virtue of your entry into the community of lawyers.
“You must, therefore, strictly adhere to the provisions of the Rules of the Professional Conduct and maintain best practices at all times.’’
He stressed that the Body of Benchers Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee was always determined to discipline any lawyer found wanting or breaching set rules of the profession.
Rhodes-Vivour said that the committee had been carrying out its mandate “in a just and fair manner’’ without giving any room for compromise or ill-will.
He said that between January and July, the committee disbarred six lawyers and suspended some for between two and four years, while one lawyer was admonished during the period.
Rhodes-Vivour advised the graduates to continue to update their knowledge on both statute and case law in order to attain more understanding on especially, international jurisdictions.
In 2020, the Council of Legal Education said that out of a total of 2,515 students who participated in the examinations, 1,864 passed the Bar Final Examinations conducted in January.
The director-general who described the performance as outstanding, said that among the 1, 864 students who were successful, only five made First Class while 632 others failed the examinations.
“Candidates graded in First Class are five, Second Class Upper 77, Second Class Lower are 633, those who got pass marks are 1,067 and those with Conditional Pass are 82.
“632 candidates failed the examination, 17 were absent and 2 results are withheld.”
Chiroma further explained that only 0.2 per cent made First Class, 3.06 per cent made Second Class Upper, 25.17 per cent made Second Class Lower and 42.42 per cent passed.
He said other performances include a 3.26 per cent for those with conditional pass, 25.12 per cent failed the examinations, 0.7 per cent were absent and 0.8 per cent results are being withheld.
NGO Trains 300 Returning Migrants On Business Development
Web of Heart Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation, says it has trained and empowered more than 300 returning migrants, youths and internally displaced persons on job creation.
Its Executive Director, Mrs Bose Aggrey, made the declaration yesterday in Lagos at the graduation of its “Create and Start Module’’ trainees.
The graduating trainees were awarded certificates and given grants facilitated by some investors and soft loans from banks after six months of training to identify and analyse business ideas and opportunities.
“We taught them how to articulate their business ideas into plans; introduced them to investors and equally assisted them to get bank loans.
“It is an opportunity for the participants to put themselves together either to get employed or to become employers,’’ she said.
“We introduced investors to the participants when they were pitching and some of them are already getting grants.
“We are working with two banks so they can provide soft loans at low interest rates for the participants,’’ she added.
In his remarks, Mr Peik Bruhns, Team Leader of the firm of consultants that conducted the training, said the company had reached out to train 5,000 Nigerians on Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises in six months
He said this was done in collaboration with nine organisations, including Web of Heart Foundation.
“I will like to stress the importance of working with returnee migrants because Web of Heart Foundation focuses on assisting them to reintegrate into society.
Zamfara Police Refute Kidnap Of 60 Passengers Rumour
The Zamfara State Police Command has refuted a story that 60 passengers travelling along Sokoto – Gusau road on Sunday, July 25, were kidnapped by bandits.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mohammed Shehu, in a statement, yesterday, said the story was inaccurate and a calculated attempt by some mischief makers to create fear and apprehension into the minds of the general public, especially the commuters.
“The attention of Zamfara State Police Command has been drawn to a story trending on social and conventional media that armed bandits blocked Sokoto – Gusau Road, and abducted 60 people travelling from Sokoto to Abuja.”
The statement said, “For the avoidance of doubt and purpose of clarity, the command was informed that a large number of armed bandits blocked a Toyota bus vehicle, belonging to the Sokoto State Mass Transit and abducted 11 passengers who were travelling from Sokoto – Abuja along Sokoto – the accurate report of the incident. On Sunday, July 25, 2021, Gusau Road in Bakura LGA.”
According to the statement, the Police Tactical operatives attached to Operation Restore Peace were alerted, and they quickly mobilized to the location and dislodged the hoodlums who blocked many vehicles for abduction, adding that the road was instantly cleared for motorists and other road users and reinforced more police operatives to improve the security and safety of the commuters.
The statement noted that in the course of mopping up the scene, a Toyota bus vehicle belonging to Sokoto State Mass Transit was sighted empty and it was revealed that 11 passengers, including the driver were abducted and taken to the bush before the arrival of the police.
It said the operatives further embarked on search and rescue operation in the surrounding bush with a view to rescuing the kidnapped victims, stressing that two persons who were left far behind with other hoodlums were abandoned by their captors for fear of being neutralised by the Police operatives, the remaining nine victims were taken to the forest.
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