The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has said that government would continue its negotiations with ASUU to fulfill their demands except that of exemption from Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Adamu, who disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council meeting last Wednesday, admitted that government had not fulfilled its own part of the agreements with the university lecturers.
He acknowledged that ASUU had late last year issued a one-week strike notice leading to a meeting where agreements were reached but noted that the Association did not follow due process for the current strike.
“The issues we agreed on, there are eight of them.
“Already, let’s say there was the issue of negotiation which is the only one they agreed that government has done what it promised because we set up the negotiation team and the negotiation is already ongoing.
“There is the issue of their earned allowances and I think that because of some miscommunication what was promised could not be done but I am assuring ASUU and the nation that this is going to be done.
“There is the issue of registration for the Nigerian Universities’ Pension Commission.
“I think in that one, there are few issues that they need to sort out with the Nigerian Pension Commission and I believe that there will be no problem there.
“The other is the issue of their staff school which I think the court has given them the verdict to go ahead with it.
“They have requested that they should be allowed off TSA and I think government will not do this.
“But there are some peculiar funds in the universities, like endowments, which are money kept and out of interests they generate prizes and so on are given.
“Government will exempt that one,’’ Adamu said.
Adamu stated that he expected that government and the striking lecturers would reach trusted agreements on the demands.
Explaining further on the TSA, he said that because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does not give interest on it, that was why endowments was exempted but other payments could be made into it.
He said that ASUU had been paid N30 billion of the allowances requested but because they were unable to render account of its disbursement it was stopped.
“The figures that I know, they have been paid N30 billion and the problem actually arose because they were not able to account for this N30 billion.
“And we said we will only give them the balance if they are able to account and the balance is N23 billion,’’ he said
The minister noted that the total demand was N53 billion, adding that government had the money to pay.
The minister re-affirmed his belief that ASSUU “is composed of patriotic people, very responsible’’, noting that it was one of the fruits of their struggle that led to the creation of the TETFUND.
He noted that without TETFUND today the university system could have collapsed, adding that he was not supporting ASUU but what was good.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed who also briefed on the memoranda submitted by the minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, said that council approved contract for the rehabilitation of Ajaokuta-Itakpe rail line.
He said that it involved track laying, permanent way works and ancillary facilities area and completion of 12 railway stations in favour of Messr CCECC Nig Ltd in the sum of $122.62 million.
He said the amount was inclusive of all taxes at the prevailing CBN exchange rate of one dollar to N305 with a completion period of 15 months.
According to him, Ajaokuta to Warri track is in good condition and when the new contract is completed, access to the seaport is achieved for the evacuation of goods.
Mohammed added that Amaechi also submitted a memo for the interim phase arrangement for the concession of the Nigeria’s narrow gauge railway system which was approved.
He said that the approval was to issue a letter of comfort to General Electric so that by October 2017 there would be full utilisation of Lagos–Kano and Port Harcourt-Calabar–Maiduguri line.
He said it was part of the efforts to rehabilitate the 30,000 km narrow guage line and make it ready for haulage of goods and services.
According to him, from October there will be new 17 wagons to move at least a million tonnes of goods from the roads.
Mohammed added that council also approved the variation cost for the construction of one 150 MVA 330/133 KVA transformer at Birnin Kebbi and the reinforcement of a sub-station in Kumbutso, Kano for the transmission company of Nigeria.
Eradiri Faults NDDC Leadership Structure Wants Agric As Top Priority
The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youths, Udens Eradiri, has faulted the leadership structure of the commission, saying it has not helped the cause of the Niger Delta in the last 25 years.
Describing the leadership structure of the NDDC as faulty, he said that the faulty leadership structure was the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for a forensic audit in the commission.
Eradiri who is the former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)
disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents, last Friday, shortly on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, from Abuja.
He said the outcome of the forensic audit would be used to do a wholistic reorganisation of the organogram of the commission.
According to him, the wholistic review of the organogram of the NDDC will help in putting the leadership structure in order, and enable things to function properly.
“The leadership structure of NDDC in the past years had been faulty, and that was why the President said there should be forensic audit, which would be used to do a wholistic review of the organogram of NDDC, so that it can function properly.
“The new board is coming soon, but the whole process will pass through the National Assembly to be cleared”, Eradiri said.
On the achievement of the present NDDC management, the special adviser said that the Effiong Akwa led administration had recorded some landmark achievements compared to the last 25 years.
He said that the present interim management within two years completed and commissioned the headquarters of the NDDC, which had been left for over 25 years.
He also said that the completion of the East-West road project had intensified under the present management, adding that NDDC has also supported states on sanitation through donation of trucks.
Eradiri, however, admitted that the present interim management had not taken a firm stand on agricultural development even though it has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“I believe that the only tool to use and get ourselves out of the quagmire we find ourselves is agriculture, and I think that the NDDC can design its own scheme on how to grow agriculture as a deliberate policy.
“This will bring change that will grow the region’s economy. We must talk about agricultural processing, and we can put palm oil into sachet, and even students can be buying them,” he said.
By: Corlins Walter
Nigeria Lost N851bn To Oil Theft, Sabotage – NEITI
Nigeria lost N851.84bn ($2.78bn) to oil theft and pipeline sabotage in 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.
NEITI said this in its latest oil and gas industry audit report.
NEITI stated that it arrived at the estimate after using an average price of $65.61 per barrel and an average exchange rate of N306.42/$ .
It, however, noted that there was a significant reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year, where 53.28 million barrels were lost.
Losses such as these are recorded by companies whose crude volumes are carried through pipelines easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report also stated that some oil terminals recorded no production. These included Aja operated by Bayelsa Oil, whose license was revoked by the government.
Others were Asaramatoru and Oyo managed by Prime and Allied/CAMAC who were reportedly inactive for the year.
Nigeria earned a total of N10.49tn ($34.22bn) from crude oil and gas sales. This was a marginal 4.88 per cent increase from 2018 revenues of N9.99tn ($32.63bn).
The total crude oil production recorded was 735.24 million barrels, a 4.87per cent increase from 701.10 million barrels reported in 2018.
A total of N2.145tn ($7.011bn) was the domestic sales proceeds in 2019 from 107.24 million barrels of crude oil. This was 0.36 per cent lower than the domestic crude sales of 107.63 million barrels in 2018.
Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies
Some residents in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State have urged the newly sworn-in council chairmen in the state to come up with good agricultural and developmental policies that will transform the grassroots.
They also urged the council boss to take pragmatic steps and actions towards tackling security challenges to encourage business activities thrive in their domains.
Some of the residents who spoke with The Tide at the weekend, noted that the local government administration in the state had not faired well in terms of real development in recent times, and urged the new council helmsmen to change the narratives.
A resident of Emohua Local Government Area, Mr Charles Amadi, noted that no real development had taken place in the area, lamenting the dearth of companies and small scale industries in the area.
He, therefore, called on the new chairman, Dr. Chidi Lyoid, not to solely depend on the monthly allocation, but to go all out to attract small scale companies to the area so as to create employment opportunities as well as generate revenue for the council.
He also urged the new chairman to invest in agriculture, especially farming and fishing.
On his part, Mr Ebenezer Otamiri who lives in Etche, urged the Etche council boss, Obinna Ayanwu, to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first tenure, especially by building more markets for the people, as well as initiate good agricultural policy to drive the economy of the area.
He also urged the council boss to tackle the issue of electricity and security in the area, saying electricity and security are key to the development of the area.
In his own charge, Mr Mene Geoffrey Dekaa who hails from Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state, called on his new council chairman, Bariere Thomas, to show capacity and competence in the area of security.
He noted that the issue of security has left native imprint in the development of the area, saying many investors have left Bori, the headquarters of the council, for other places.
“Because of security challenges, many people have left Bori to build houses and invest in Nonwa- Tai, and Eleme.
“Areas like Kono-Boweeh communities are no go areas, as people there can hardly sleep. So if the chairman can work with government recognised traditional rulers and security agents, security issues will be tackled, and people’s confidence will be restored, and business activities will move on”, he said.
By: Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies
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