Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, has directed the management of Delta State University (DELSU), to ensure that all its promoted staff earned salaries commensurate with their new positions.
Muoboghare gave the directive in a statement signed by Mr Dennis Medi, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the ministry and made available to newsmen on Saturday in Asaba.
The commissioner spoke when the leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities ( SSANU), DELSU chapter, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Asaba.
He said the idea of promoting staff without backing it up with salaries commensurate with the new ranks was not proper.
The commissioner noted that the practice resulted in arrears of payments that accrued to such positions accumulating for a very long time.
He said that promotions should be carried out as at when due, stressing that prolonged delay caused unnecessary problems for both the establishment and the beneficiaries.
Muoboghare however reminded the SSANU leadership that in ideal situations, promotions were subject to availability of vacancies unlike what obtained currently where staff got promoted to positions whether they existed or not.
He admonished the unionists to seriously engage the university management on discussions in order to find meaningful solution to the issue of stagnation of the non teaching staff.
He noted that the state university was well funded when compared to other state universities across the country.
According to Muoboghare, the university’s monthly subvention was enough to run the institution without any problem.
Mr Monday Izu, Chairman, SANNU, implored the commissioner to use his good offices to ensure that the state government constituted a visitation panel to evaluate the university administration every four or five years as done in federal universities.
Herdsmen, Farmers Clashes: Okowa Challenges FG To Tell Nigerians Truth
Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged the Federal Government to disclose to Nigerians the steps it had taken so far to stem the trend of clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country.
He decried the frequent loss of lives from herdsmen attacks on defenceless farmers and other Nigerians, and insisted that the Federal Government must curb the menace through stringent measures.
Okowa revealed that his administration was doing its best to check the havoc being wrecked by Fulani herdsmen on famers through interface with critical stakeholders but expressed regret that his efforts had been restrained by his limited control of security apparatus.
The Governor, who made the call during an Annual Lecture Series organised by Onu Ika Nigeria at Abavo, Ika South Local Government Area of the state, expressed sadness that Nigerians have been kept in the dark over the menace for too long.
“The Federal Government has to tell Nigerians the steps it had taken to stem the ugly trend”, Governor Okowa insisted.
On irregular migration of youths seeking greener pastures in foreign countries and increasing child-trafficking cases, he charged parents and caregivers to live up to their responsibility by openly condemning the act and restrain their children from embarking on such dangerous journeys.
Okowa condemned the situation where parents mounted undue pressure on their children and wards to embark on journeys to Europe through the desert, saying that the lives of many promising Nigerians had been lost in the process.
Earlier, the Head, Collective Leadership, Onu Ika Nigeria, Mr Daniel Usifor, had said in an address that “for three consecutive years, Onu Ika has consistently forewarned of the devastating influx of these deadly Fulani herdsmen in our communities.
“We even saw them as foot soldiers on reconnaissance mission waiting for trigger action or orders to act; we also cautioned that there is an undeclared war in Nigeria.”
He urged the government to take actions to check the menace of the herdsmen and thanked the governor for his administration’s commitment to the development of the state.
Albert Ograka, Asaba
Vaccination Against Meningitis Begins In Rivers, Today
The Federal Government’s programme introducing Meningitis vaccine into the existing immunisation programme begins today in Rivers State.
Declaring the programme open in a parley with the media at the weekend in Port Harcourt, the Permanent Secretary of the Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board (RSPHCMB), Dr Agiriye Monima Harry, said the actual commencement of the targeted category of children will commence today in all primary health care facilities in the state.
Dr Harry, who was represented at the occasion by the Director, Community Health Services of the board, Dr Isaac Opurum, used the opportunity to call on parents to take their children within the age of 9-15 months to the nearest health facilities to be vaccinated against “meningitis A”
“The meningitis A vaccine, popularly call “Men A” is safe and free. It is very important because our children have the right to live”, he said.
Throwing more light on the vaccine, the state immunisation officer of the RSPHCMB, Dr Inwon Joseph Urang, said the vaccine was introduced because of the need to protect children against the causes of meningitis due to the wide spread nature of the organism causing the disease.
“This he said, is because Nigeria is among the countries regarded as meningitis belt,” which are prone to the disease.
He explained that although Rivers State is not among the identified 25 states that are prone to the ailment in the country, there are inherent factors that has necessitated the state’s involvement in the vaccination against meningitis.
“Rivers State is not among the 25 prone states, but due to global warming and the fact that there are no restriction of movement of people from the meningitis-prone states into the state, there is the need to vaccinate the identified category of children within the state,” Dr Urang said.
Body Wants NGOs To Build Capacity Of Community Groups
The Executive Director, Fostering Achievement for Community Empowerment (FACE), Mr Inatimi Odio, has called on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the Niger Delta region to build capacity for community groups to strengthen their advocacy skills.
Odio, who spoke to The Tide recently in Port Harcourt, during a one day stakeholders’ Advocacy Capacity Building on the Ogoni Cleanup, stated that the programme aims at ensuring stakeholders are able to air their concerns and challenges on the Ogoni Clean up process so that those concerned can be responded to in a positive way.
He stressed that wrong approach to lobbying and advocating was responsible for lack of good result, noting that advocacy is a process and not a spring race, but maranthon, hence different strategies must be employed in order to make advocacy successful. According to him, “the practice of lobbying and advocating ought to be done in a more structured manner that will produce maximum result expected by those concerned.”
Odio emphasised that other NGOs were really not building the advocacy capacity of community groups, but rather advocate on behalf of communities, thereby playing down on the people’s power that they would have utilised to engage different stakeholders to achieve their objectives.
“Many times NGOs advocate on behalf of communities, thereby disempowering them.
“So my message to other CSOs, NGOs is that capacity should be built among stakeholders in different communities so that they can engage actively in the process.
“This way, both the communities, CSOs, and NGOs can collaborate with government agencies including the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to ensure that the clean -up exercise process is effectively implemented,” Odio said.
The FACE Executive Director noted that the training will build stakeholders, capacity on advocacy strategies that will guide the communities to engage the other stakeholders involved in the clean-up to ensure it is fast-tracked and effectively done.
Speaking also, a member of the Coalition of Civil Society on Environmental Sustainability (CISOC), Mr Sunny Zorvah stated that investigation shows that impacted communities do not have capacity in terms of asking for what they want, and do not understand the issues surrounding the Ogoni Cleanup. Zorvah stressed that the event is aimed at building the capacity of these communities to enable them advocate peacefully so it does not stop the exercise, but to pass the message on to HYPREP.
He noted that HYPREP benefits the more if these communities are calm, hence the need for them to operate an open policy that would clear every doubt, adding that the people of the community need to undestand that there is a window open for them to ventilate their opinions and challenges to make proper use of it in ensur
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