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Lagos

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).

Ogun

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.

Kaduna

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

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.

Abuja

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.

Jos

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.

Zamfara

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.

Adamawa

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.

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NPC Warns Against Interfering With Pre Test Exercise

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The National Population Commission, NPC, in Kwara State has cautioned stakeholders to refrain from undue interference in the second pre-test census exercise in the state.
The second pre-test census exercise is part of the preparations for the main census exercise billed to take place in May 2022.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training of supervisors and enumerators for the exercise in Ilorin yesterday, the NPC Federal Commissioner for the state, Malam Abdulrazaq Gidado, also charged stakeholders to allow field functionaries to carry out their duties professionally for a good outcome.
The Federal Commissioner appealed to state and local governments concerned, traditional institutions, and communities to support the commission in carrying out the second pre-test census exercise by allowing unfettered access to facilities and places to be enumerated.
He said the pre-test exercise will be carried out in four local government areas of the state, namely, Kaiama, Ilorin South, Offa and Oke-Ero.
The Federal Commissioner explained that pre-test census exercise is usually conducted before the actual census and primarily aimed at testing the census methodology, questionnaires, data collection methods, and manual for fieldwork among others.
He assured Nigerians that all necessary steps have been taken to ensure that the commission’s field functionaries are properly kitted and trained to observe all Covid-19 protocols throughout the period of the exercise as prescribed by the Presidential Steering Committee, PSC, on Covid-19.

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Man Jailed 15 Years For Stealing 16 Phones, Other Items In Adamawa

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A man in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for breaking into houses and stealing 16 phones and other items.
Abdulazeez Adamu, 22, from Nasarawo, Jimeta, was found guilty by Chief Magistrate Court 1, Jimeta, which established that he, along with two cohorts now at large, committed the offence at Bekaji, another residential community within the Jimeta axis of Yola.
The court established that Abdulazeez and the others, while armed with weapons, stole a TV set, an HP laptop, and 16 handsets valued at N734, 000 from a number of residents in their houses, namely Rebeccah Samuel, Rhoda Chiroma, Wedelo Pwamboki, Walia Hamman and Mary Zaro, all residents of Bekaji who jointly reported the thefts to the police on 11th November 2021.
The accused was said to have run out of luck during one of the operations with his cohorts in Karewa extension when they hit a security guard with a cutlass and injured him.
The guard, Muhammad Umar, raised alarm which attracted the occupants and his colleague who was on duty in a neighbouring house and who rushed to the scene, but by which time the convict and his accomplices had fled.
He was later trailed and arrested by vigilantes who were mobilised for the purpose.
During the trial, the prosecutor, Seargent Galeon Nimrod of the Karewa Police Division, called Umar as a witness.
The witness narrated his encounter with Abdulazeez who, under cross-examination, said the witness told the truth.
Consequently, Adamu was jailed for 15 years with the option of N150,000 fine for the offence of theft in a dwelling house and was sentenced to six months in prison without an option of fine for being in possession of dangerous weapons.
He is also to pay N500,000 as a compensation fee.
Reading out the verdict, Chief Magistrate Abdullahi Mohammed Digil said, “This court has sentenced you, Abdulazeez Adamu, to 15 years or you pay an alternative fine of N150, 000, for theft and also sentenced you to six months imprisonment for being in possession of dangerous weapons without an option of fine.”

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JAMB Tasks Tertiary Institutions On CAPS

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has warned against offering of admissions to applicants by higher institutions outside the Central Admission Processing System (CAPS).
JAMB said apart from distorting the statistics of enrollment into the nation’s tertiary institutions which it noted is required for national planning and development strategies, the conduct is also “a violation of ministerial directive on education policy.”
The JAMB registrar, Is-haq Oloyede, who said this on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, noted that in spite of the constant warning against such conduct, Nigerian tertiary institutions offered a total of 706,189 ‘illegal’ admissions across universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and monotechnics between 2017 and 2020.
According to Oloyede, a total of 114 degree-awarding institutions including universities and colleges of education that are affiliated with them conducted 67,795 ‘illegal’ admissions within the period.
He added that a total of 137 National Diploma (ND) certificates awarding institutions such as polytechnics and school of health technologies offered a total of 142,818 ‘illegal’ admissions within the three-year period, while 37 institutions that are categorised as monotechnics offered 5,678 ‘illegal’ admissions.
The JAMB registrar said; “In 2017, the Board introduced the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) as a flowchart to ensure quality control, transparency and credibility of admissions. Among other reasons, it was also meant to completely eliminate human interference, which invariably led to abuse, in the processing of admissions into the nation’s tertiary institutions. The system allows institutions to only admit candidates that meet the requirements as prescribed by individual institutional proprietors and academic Boards/ Senates. The process entails: initiation of the admission of a candidate by the institutional admissions officer after having confirmed the satisfaction of the set criteria; recommendation of the candidate by the head of the institution; approval of the admission by JAMB; acceptance of the admission by the candidate; and printing of the admission letter by the candidate.
“All these are done without hassles or encumbrances. Any process outside this scheme is illegitimate and it renders the admission process null, void and ultra vires. It is rather disappointing that some institutions continue to defy this decision of the National Policy Meeting, ably chaired by the Honourable Minister of Education, that CAPS is the only platform for processing admissions to the tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”
According Mr Oloyede’s presentation, the top five universities with the highest number of ‘illegal’ admissions offered within the period are the Universities of Jos, Plateau State with 7,600 cases; Benue State University, Makurdi with 6,161 cases; Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State, with 5,669 cases; Kwara State University, Malete with 4,281 cases and Novena University, Delta State with 3,432 cases.
Among the ND certificate awarding institutions, the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, topped the chart with a total of 45,471 cases within three years, and it is closely followed by Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State, with 37,828 cases and Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, with 30,856 cases within the same period.
Others are the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State and the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, Nasarawa State with 24,335 and 24,335 respectively.
Oloyede said apart from distorting the national statistics, candidates admitted through the irregular admission processes are made to go through difficult times in their efforts to climb the next rung of either their career or academic ladders.
“Sadly, this practice by our institutions has damaged the image of the country as statistics provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and similar agencies are rendered inaccurate by as high as 900 per cent in some cases. This distorts the statistics of the number of students in our tertiary institutions. JAMB is then made to supply radically different figures of entrants for the same year. In addition, misplaced pressure is annually mounted on JAMB to condone (or regularise) such illegal and improper admissions made three or four years earlier by the heads of institutions who in almost all the cases are not the incumbent ones.
“Another absurdity is that the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for tertiary education which JAMB provides for the Federal Ministry of Education is fed into the global databank of tertiary institutions and Nigeria continues to publish a low GER record which is far from the reality on ground. Also, one of the unsavoury effects of the undisclosed admissions by tertiary institutions is that it makes planning difficult. As we all know, failure to plan is planning to fail and we cannot overemphasise the importance of proper planning.”
According to Oloyede, beneficiaries of such ‘illegal’ admissions upon graduation are made “victims of deprivations.”
“When the graduates of the illegitimate process need JAMB admission letters to pursue post-graduation endeavours like housemanship, scholarship, enrolment into the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), among others, they realise that they are out of sync. Some candidates had been forced in the past to seek Direct Entry into other universities after graduation just because their degrees were not recognised as a result of lack of admission letters at critical stages. The physical, psychological and mental strain on such candidates is better imagined than experienced. This could have been avoided if everyone played the game according to the rules,” Mr Oloyede added.
The JAMB registrar also expressed disappointment over what he described as massive fraud in the conduct of the two A Level entrance examinations in the country- Joint Universities Preliminary Examinations Board (JUPEB) and the Interim Joint Matriculation Board Examination (IJMBE).
“It is quite disappointing that some of our colleagues were arrested while conniving with various examination syndicates to compromise the noble objectives of these two examinations. The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) conducted a sting operation the result of which is monumentally embarrassing,” he said.
As a way of finding a lasting solution to the challenge, JAMB said it has already proposed to the education minister, Adamu Adamu, the desire to establish both A-Level task team and A-Level Qualification Verification Databank, which he noted will serve as repository for verified A-level qualifications in the country.
Meanwhile, the examination body said it has approved the introduction of two more subjects in its examination to be added to the existing 23 subjects for possible combinations by candidates.
The addition of the two subjects- Computer Studies and Physical and Health Education, will “enhance the career prospects of students transiting to tertiary institutions.”
Oloyede said the subjects will be available for candidates taking the UTME examination in 2022.
JAMB said as part of efforts towards curbing some identified “unethical practices” by operators of the accredited computer based testing (CBT) centres, it has resolved to embed the centres’ approved N700 charges for registration purposes in its application form fees.
“These centres are allowed to collect only Seven Hundred Naira (N700.00) as registration charges but they use the opportunity to engage in conduct unbecoming, including extortion, during the exercise. In order to put a stop to such extortion, we propose to make UTME registration henceforth cashless. In other words, JAMB will now be collecting the approved N700.00 registration fee on behalf of the CBT Centres along with its UTME registration fees and then remit what is due to each registration centre to its bank account on a weekly basis or any time frame acceptable to the centre owners. This intervention will block all loopholes through which hapless candidates are extorted by unscrupulous service providers,” the JAMB registrar said.

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