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SSANU, NASU Protest Sharing Formula Of FG’s N30bn To Varsities

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The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), and the Non-Academic Staff of Nigerian Universities (NASU), in the University of Calabar, yesterday, held joint a protest to reject the proposed sharing formula of N30billion given to the universities by the Federal Government.

The protest, which was under the aegis of Joint Action Congress (JAC) of the union saw the workers marching round the University’s Main Campus with placards with various inscription baring their anger on the Federal Government on what they termed ‘cheating’ of non-academic staff of universities.

Addressing the workers, the Deputy National President of SSANU, Dr Leku Andor, said the Federal Government was being insincere in implementing simple agreement signed with non-academic staff unions.

“We entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Government, which was represented by Minister of State for Education; Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC); and the Accountant General of the Federation; and they told us that the N30billion being released is for Earned Allowances for all university workers, but today, we are shocked to hear of 75 per cent for academic staff and 25 per cent for non-academic staff, and that arrangement is totally unacceptable to us”.

Andor said the non-academic staff had earlier sent a memo to the Federal Government demanding for N120billion for its members and the government informed them that there was a forensic audit of university staff in place to ascertain what each staff would get from the money to be disbursed but nothing has come out of the audit till date.

“They assured us that the money was meant for all the four unions in Nigerian universities, but today, government is adopting a divide and rule approach but nobody can divide us that is the reason we have gathered here to carry out this protest”.

He stated that the Integrated and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), which was embraced by non-academic staff has short-changed them severely and the workers are now rejecting it.

“The IPPIS, which non-academic staff embraced with assurances from government gave has today become a source of pain to us. Today, our staff are being paid amputated salaries, half-payments and all sorts of things are going on so we say no more IPPIS. We have tried IPPIS and we have found out it is not marriage material”.

The branch Chairman of SSANU, Comrade Joseph Omini, said the protest would go on for three days continuously, and thereafter, a decision will be taken to embark on industrial action if the government does not respond.

“We are protesting over the non-renegotiation of 2009, MoU, the non-payment of gratuity to retirees who are our members, taking over of non-academic staff job by academic staff and if nothing is done we shall embark on full strike soon”.

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Education

NGO Engages Traditional Rulers On Girl-Child Education In Zamfara

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The Keeping Girls in School (KGIS) project, under a Non-Governmenal Organisation, Girls-Child Concerns, says it is collaborating with traditional and religious leaders to sensitise communities in Zamfara on the impact of Girl-Child Education.
The KGIS National Team Leader, Hajiya  Fatida Sada, stated this while addressing  newsmen in Gusau on Saturday.
Sada said the NGO would also engage women and youth groups in the campaign that aims to increase girls enrollment and retention in school in the State.
She said that the project, being funded by the Children Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), would build capacities to the selected groups who would in turn engage in campaign to encourage enrollment of girls in schools.
According to her, the main work of the project is to build capacity and provide funding to the selected groups to sensitise their communities on the impact of girl-child education.
“In Nigeria, five States of Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Yobe and Borno were selected to implement the project for a period of one and half years.
“In Zamfara, we selected two LGAs of Anka and Bakura for the pilot project.
“We have conducted advocacy training with traditional and religious leaders at community level.
“We also conducted meeting with women and youth groups from the two LGAs on the same objective.
“We are expecting these groups to cascade what they have learned from the training to people at grassroots through sensitisation and creation of awareness.
“We paid advocacy visit to Emirs of Anka and Bakura, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad and Muhammad-Bello Sani, respectively.
“We had fruitful discussions with the royal fathers; they encourage us and assured us of their maximum support and cooperation,” Sada said.
The team leader appealed to stakeholders, especially parents and guardians, to support advocacy groups to promote future of the girl-child and women in the society.

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Education

Reps Oppose School Resumption, Propose Three-Month Postponement

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The House of Representatives has faulted the Federal Government for giving schools the go-ahead to resume today despite the increasing cases of COVID-19.
The House said government officials did not consult the relevant committees of the National Assembly, contrary to their claim that all relevant stakeholders were consulted before arriving at the January 18, 2021 resumption date.
It, therefore, demanded postponement of resumption for three months, where necessary safety measures weren’t put in place and compliance with protocols low.
Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, disclosed these in a telephone interview with our correspondent Saturday.
“They did not consult us; at least in my committee, nobody from the ministry spoke to me. I have been in Abuja. And I am not sure that they spoke to any of my members. They just don’t see us as part of the critical stakeholders,” he said.
Ihonvbere, in a statement titled School Resumption: Are we truly prepared? issued in Abuja, Saturday opposed the Monday resumption date.

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Varsity Offers Scholarship To Student Over Integrity

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The Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), has offered a four-year comprehensive sholarship to a student with the display of unparalleled integrity.
Alongside the scholarship, the university also gave an award of Certificate of Honour and Cash sum of N200,000 to the student.
The student, master Victor Ugochukwu Ami, a year one student of the Department of political science of the Institution was said to have picked up a Android Smart phone and returned it to the owner when he had no phone himself.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the award ceremony at the university’s Auditorium, main campus, Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele, said the act of Victor Ugochukwu Ami was worth celebrating as a proof to the world that despite the degrading state of moral and social standards in the society, there are still good and well-behaved students who would not sell their conscience, not even for a smart phone.
Ndimele said, “we are here for our students. We love them and especially for those who have displayed simple integrity, we will reward them and that is what we have done. Victor Ugochukwu Ami picked up a smart phone and returned it to the owner when he had no phone himself. Very important. It is something we are happy about and it’s worth celebrating”.
Ndimele continued, “we gave him a four-year comprehensive scholarship to look after his fees and other levies. Also, a small amount of money for his upkeep while in school. We also gave him a Certificate of Honour that wherever he goes in the world, he goes with it and showcase himself. He is the male student of the University for 2019/2020 academic session and so we call him the Student Man of the Year”.
Earlier, the Head of Department, Political Science, IAUE, Prof Bennett Ozioma, explained that the department was not as bad as viewed except that it was outspoken and did not tolerate intimidation, maintaining that it breeds and turnout good, moral standing students as well.
While noting that Victor Ugochukwu Ami was not the first student to pick a misplaced smart phone,  Ozioma said the act of returning the phone was a show of the nobility of the department in the comity of departments across universities.
The Political Science HOD charged the student to keep the flag flying and pledged the department’s commitment to follow and nurture him in order not to be led astray.
Ozioma further lauded the Vice Chancellor for the honour given to the department.

 

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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