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Nigerian PHD Students In UK Cry Out Over Unpaid Allowances

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Some Nigerians, under the aegis of Ph.D Students in the United Kingdom (UK) Universities, have cried out to the Federal Government over the alleged refusal of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) to pay their allowances.
The students claimed that some of them had turned to beggars to survive in a foreign land due to non-payment of their 6-month allowances.
In a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari, a copy of which was made available to PRNigeria in Abuja on Saturday, the students said all their complaints to the current leadership of PTDF led by Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau have landed on deaf ears.
They said that firms involved in accommodating and feeding them have threatened to take them to court, a development that may greatly dent the image of the country if the threats are carried out.
The PhD students noted that their “letter of admission from all our universities stated that the PhD programme will last for four years with additional one-year extension and the award letter given to each of the PhD students by the PTDF indicated that the scholarship covers accommodation, feeding and utilities for the period of thirty-six months with twelve months extension period due to the nature of the programme”.
The students further disclosed that the majority of them that started the programme in 2016 were not able to finish the programme within three years because PhD programme is a step by step process.
According to them, “If the examiners are satisfied with the report and the progress, they will allow the student to continue and if they are not satisfied the student will not continue with the research. The third-year is mostly used for designing data collection instruments, data collection, data analysis while the fourth year is generally for the writing of the thesis.
“With this step by step process it is almost impossible for many of the students to finish such a programme in three years without any challenge. There are unforeseen circumstances that can arise like a change of supervisor, lack of access to the data required for the research, health issues and shortage of resources because most of the time our allowances were paid three months late which distract us from our studies because we cannot study with an empty stomach”.
The students also noted that several letters written as individuals, a group and their universities’ supervisors to the Executive Secretary requesting for the payment of allowances to cover the one-year extension period since November 2018 have fallen on deaf ears.
They lamented that the development has led many of them passing through difficulties whereby they cannot buy food, pay their rents, electricity, water and gas bills.
The students urged Buhari to set up an inquiry to investigate the veracity of their claims as part of efforts to bring the Executive Secretary to order and close the communication gap between them and the management of PTDF.
Calls, text messages, including email sent to the Head of Media and External Affairs of PTDF were not replied as at press time.

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NBTE Tasks Polytechnics On Expired Programmes Accreditation

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The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has urged Polytechnics to fast track the process of accreditation for their expired programmes.
The Acting Zonal Director of the NBTE in the North Central Zone, Dr Musa Koko, made the call during a familiarisation visit to the Kogi Polytechnic, Lokoja.
Koko assured polytechnics of the NBTE’s support to ensure quality assurance at all times.
He said that the team was at the institution to strengthen partnership aimed at activating the National Skills Qualifications programmes which will further raise the standard of the Polytechnic and produce more qualified professionals in vocational and technical areas.
He said the NBTE established zonal offices across the country with the aim of enhancing quality service delivery to the closest reach of all stakeholders.
Responding, Dr Salisu Ogbo Usman, Rector of the Polytechnic, commended the NBTE for decentralising the activities of the Board for enhanced efficiency.
The rector who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Kehinde Lamidi, said the decentralisation was a demonstration of dynamic administrative prowess aimed at enhancing effective service delivery.
Usman said the Polytechnic was committed to quality service delivery to students, adding that the institution would soon be visiting NBTE for the completion of its accreditation processes.
He noted that the State Government under Gov. Yahaya Bello and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) had been playing huge roles in improving infrastructural development and aesthetic touch in the institution.
The Rector promised the Zonal Office of the Polytechnic’s readiness to comply with its directives and solicited it’s to make Technical Education more attractive to students in view of its vintage position in the nation’s development quest.

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MBBS Degree: RSU Increases Admission Quota To 100

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Sequel to the approval of the award of degree in Medicine and Surgery in the Rivers State University (RSU), hopes have again been rekindled for candidates seeking for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree with the increase of admission quota from 50 to 100.
This followed the approval by the accreditation visit of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria on the institution’s MBBS programme alongside the accreditation by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Speaking at a press briefing in PortHarcourt, at the weekend, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Nlerum Okogbule said the increase in the admission quota was feasible due largely to the huge infrastructural facilities and personnel engagement facilitated by the Rivers State Government ably led by Governor Nyesom Wike.
Okogbule described the increase in admission quota as a rare feat for a new medical college and commended the state governor for the gestures in raising the college to its feet.
According to him,16 out of the 23 programmes presented  to the NUC for the accreditation exercise in April this year received full accreditation with the remaining seven having interim accreditation status.
“I am happy to inform you that based on the accreditation visit of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria on our programme between 30th and 31st March, 2021, our college of Medical Science has been given approval for the training of medical students for the MBBS Programme”, Okogbule said.
The Vice Chancellor also said “the council also approved the increase of our admission quota from 50 to 100. This is a rare feat for a new medical college and it is in recognition of the enormous infrastructural facilities and personnel engagement done by the Rivers State Government under the able leadership of governor Nyesom Wike”.
Okogbule further revealed that no programme from the University was denied accreditation, adding that it scored 72.7 percent in the exercise.

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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Monarch Charges Students On Hard Work

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Students of higher institutions in Rivers State have been enjoined to work hard to be good citizens of their communities, state and the nation at large.
They have also been advised to shun all social vices inimical to the norms of the society as leaders of tomorrow.
The Amanyanabo of ancient Ele Kingdom in Ogu/Bolo Local Government Area, King Felix Tamunoseipiriala Okuru Apina VII gave the advice while addressing executives of Law Students Association of Nigeria, Rivers State University Chapter and Wakirike Students Union (WASU), Kenpoly, Bori in Khana Local Government Area during a courtesy visit to him at his palace to intimate him of their forthcoming end of year activities.
King Tamunoseipiriala who expressed delight with the law students said they should not be misled but focus on their chosen career, stressing that he has love for the Law profession.
He further enjoined them to always be proud of their studies so as to come out in flying colours, assuring that with qualifications, they would surely get employment despite the economic hardship in the country.
He charged them to utilise the God-given opportunities in their lives by making their parents proud for better tomorrow and also stressed the importance of education as the bedrock of any development, assuring them of his assistance to their forthcoming celebrations in their various schools.
The monarch also appealed to parents to strive in training their children and wards to become better citizens and prayed God to guide, protect, and give them wisdom and knowledge to achieve their heart desires.
Earlier, a former lawmaker of Ogu/Bolo Legislative Assembly, Hon Fiberesima Minaseichinbo and an elder in the Kingdom, Ibiye Nemieboka thanked them for their visit to the education-friendly King and philanthropist, and charged them to be good ambassadors of their parents and society by ensuring that they graduate with their mates by being consistent in their studies without allowing the schools to pass through them and wished them God’s protection.
Earlier in her speech, the chairperson of Law Students Association of Nigeria, Rivers State University Chapter, Faith Praise Ogbutara extolled the good works and philanthropic gestures of the King in his Kingdom and Rivers State in general by giving the youths a sense of belonging, adding that he is a King of high esteem that has passion for students.
The President disclosed that they are in the palace to officially invite him to their Cultural Day slated for October 16,2021 as the Royal Father of the day, pointing out that the ceremony was geared towards promoting the cultural heritage of the area.
Also, the President of WASU, Rivpoly Chapter, Comrade Victor Tamunotonye commended the monarch for the prevailing peace and development in the ancient Kingdom since he ascended the throne and prayed God to continue to give him good health, protection and wisdom to pilot the affairs of the Kingdom.
Tamunotonye thanked him for his benevolence to the students and also invited him to grace their forthcoming Students Day slated for September 25, 2021.

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