Team leader of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council, NERDC, Prof. Fred Onyeoziri, has identified two ingredients critical to the successful implementation of the new nine – years basic education curriculum of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) as designed by the council.
According to him, to ensure fun the scheme is beneficial to the pupils as envisioned, the nation must phase out grade II teachers from the nine-year basic education programme and separate junior secondary schools from the senior ones. Onyeoziri spoke recently in Damaturu at the North – East advocacy forum at the NERDC.
He said that the new curriculum for the primary six and junior secondary schools was designed by the council to ensure equal access to ‘functional and qualitative” education, with a view to developing the pupils’ educational, entrepreneurial and moral potentials for a better society. The new scheme kicked off nationwide last month.
“The new curriculum cannot be instilled in the pupils without qualified and trained teachers.
The minimum teaching requirement at the primary and junior secondary schools is the National Certificate of Education (NCE) and not Grade II Teachers certificate as obtainable in some states in the North,” Onyeoziri said.
The Action Congress (AC) yesterday condemned the plan by federal legislators to surreptitiously grant themselves and their state counterparts the kind of immunity from arrest and prosecution now being enjoyed by the President, Vice President and the governors of the 36 states.
In a statement issued in Abuja last Monday by its National Publicity secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said the bill which, according to media reports, has scaled second reading in the House, could create a new set of untouchables if passed into law.
The party, therefore, asked all Nigerians to “rise against this selfish move by a few elected officials, who are now lording themselves over those who elected them into office, and who believe they should be above the laws of the land”.
It said if the ill-advised move is aimed at curbing the excesses of the security agencies, as claimed by some of its supporters, it shows that the lawmakers are nothing but a bunch of selfish people, since all they are seeking to do is to protect themselves alone, not those who elected them into office.
AC said innocent Nigerians are being illegally arrested or knocked down daily by trigger-happy security agents, but those who were supposed to be the representatives of the same people are taking to a flight of fantasy by seeking to create a new law to protect themselves only, instead of protecting those who elected them.
The Kano State Chapter of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has given Governor Ibrahim Shetarau the privilege to pick his successor in the 2011 election.
The Party’s Secretary, Alhaji Rabiu Bako, Monday told reporters in Kano that the decision was taken at the stakeholders meeting held at the government House. He said as a stakeholder in the party and an incumbent, it was natural that Shekarau should be given the privilege to name his successor.
Bako added that the meeting directed all members of the party interested in the governorship ticket to suspend their campaigns forthwith.
The stakeholder’s forum, the secretary said, urged Shekarau to vie for the presidential ticket in 2011.
He said the party would soon begin to campaign for Shekarahu’s candidacy for the presidency.
The Secretary said the meeting had directed the state executive council members, headed by Alhaji Sani Itotoro, to remain in office beyond 2010 in recognition of their achievements, especially in ensuring the party’s successes in past elections.
The election by the Federation of Oyo State Students’ Union (FOSSU) of an executive to pilot its affairs for the next one year has turned into a farce.
At the end of polling, an ex-student was declared president.
The election held at the Ogulola Township hall Oja Igbo Ogbomoso.
Olafemi Taiwo Okunlola, an ex-student of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, was declared president, another student, Saamon Aborisade, who has been justicated from Ladokc Akintola University Ogbomoso was also elected into the executive.
Prior to the election day, intense screening and ratifications were carried out. At the end, sensitive positions like those of President and Secretary-general had only one candidate standing. Many students who spoke to The Tide accused the state government of interfering in their affairs and imposing candidates on them.
Others who were so ‘selected” included Shuaib Alojialapa (Vice President), Ezekiel Ayansiji (Assistant Secretary-General), Idowu Okedara (Auditor), Ahmed Muili (Welfare Director), Opeyemi Amuda Opeyemi (Social Director II) and Mose bolatan Adeyemo ( Social Director I). Samson Aborisade Samson emerged the Senate President.
Prior to the election, violence had ensued between Olafeni’s supporters and those of Tunde Saka, another presidential aspirant and student of Obafemi Awolowo university, Ile-Ife.
In the free-for-all, some students were injured. Mobile Policemen were present throughtout. Equally present was the out-going President of the body, Bashir Alade.
Meanwhile, many students have called for the cancellation of the election on the basis of the many irregularties that characterised it.
The Federation of Ogbomosho students’ Union (FOGSU), one of the five zones that makeup FOSSU, in a letter signed by Tope Olawuyi, Sarafedeen Abdulazzez and Adekunle Oluseyi, urged its member to dissociate themselves from the election which is described as “a selection and imposition of rusticated, ex-and ghost students of the state students unionism.
The letter accused Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of imposing his likes on students through his special Adviser on Youth, Mr. Ismail Akindele.
Students also asked that all those who purchased forms to run and were disqualified on “flimsy” excuses should be refunded their money. They accused the electoral committee of exploiting their mates by selling the forms for between N5,000 and N7,500.
The students, who accused Akindele of “excessive interference in student unionism in the state since 2007”, also called for the man’s removal as special Adviser on youth, so that he would not “impose leaders on us anymore.
They further rejected the imposition and called for a fresh, free and fair election.
The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Mr. David Adulugha, has identified lack of competitive products in the international market the bane of the non-oil export sector.
Besides, he noted that inadequate infrastructure has contributed to the cost of doing business in the country.
Speaking at a one-day workshop on Administration of Export Finance and Incentives in Nigeria, Adulugba said the preference of Nigeria’s financial instructions for funding import activities to the detriment of export further compounded the problem of an average Nigerian exporter.
The workshop organised by Akure Zonal office of NEPC was held in Ado-Ekiti where the NEPC boss disclosed that the federal government had introduced a package of incentives to encourage Nigerian exporters.
This is to increase the volume of their exports, broaden export product and market coverage as well as diversify the production base of the economy.
He said incentive schemes were also aimed at increasing foreign exchange earning capacity of non-oil export sector and address the major problems of supply; demand and price competitiveness of Nigerian products in the world market.
In his opening remark, Ekiti State Governor Segun Oni said the workshop came at a time when the present administration is exerting effort to transform the economy of the state in the area of enterprise.
According to him, 97 select graduates are under-going a three – month intensive course in entrepreneurship to nurture future entrepreneurs who would transform the economic landscape of the state.
In a communiqué issued after the workshop, participants urged the federal government to reduce the number of security check points along the ECOWAS regional trading routes.
They also pleaded with exporters to keep record of transactions to reduce delay in processing their Export Expansion Grant (EEG) claims, while appealing to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to strengthen its monitoring mechanism to reduce incidence of non-declaration and repatriation of Actual Export Proceeds (AEP).
The Akure Zonal manager of NEPC, Mr. A.L. Ako said the programme was packaged as part of efforts to create export awareness and capacity building of exporters and members of the state committees on export promotion in Zonal office covering Ondo, Edo, Delta, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi and Osun States.
The Kogi State government has partnered Salem University, a private university to train 300 youths in the state.
Flagging off the entrepreneurial training at one of the lecture theatres of Salem, the governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris said apart from shouldering their tuition fees, the government would also provide credit facilities to each participant to cushion their business at the end of the training.
He said youth empowerment is one of the state’s politicies aimed at reducing unemployment.
He assured the youths that his administration would continue to accord importance to their well being.
The 300 youths were selected from the 21 local government areas of the state for the three month training.
He therefore directed all the local government chairmen to accommodate participants from their respective local government area for the duration of their training in Lokoja.
Also speaking on the occasion, the special Assistant to the Governor on Youth empowerment, Mr. Friday Abdul Sanni said the state government has spent over N50 million monthly on youths in the state.
The vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Paul Omojo Omaji, said the participants would get certificates at the end of the training.
Omaji, who pointed out that no amount of money spent by any government on youths is too much, said empowering youths in any society would reduce social vices such as thuggery, robbery, kidnapping, among other crimes.
He assured the state government that the university would train the youths and make them global leaders.
Plateau State Governor Jonah Jang has said that the government would establish a cancer-screening centre in each of the three senatorial districts.
He said this became necessary to check the disease, especially in women.
Jang spoke at the Government House, Jos, while hosting a medical team from the African Centre for Cancer Care, a non-government organisation (NGO) based in Houston, United States.
A statement by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, James Monnok, said Jang promised that the government would begin retraining of surgeons to deal with cancer cases.
The statement added that the government had accepted to pay the medical bills of parents with the disease and send serious cases for advanced treatments aboard.
The team leader, Dr. Eucharia Iwuanyanwu, said the organisation was set up in 2005 to provide basic health education and other statutory responsibilities to cancer patients.
He, however, noted that when the organisation discovered that cancer related cases, especially cervical cancer in women were rampant, the organisation decided to proffer solution through awareness, screening and treatment.
About 700 patients had been screened in the state and those with the disease would soon be treated.
Traditional and religious leaders in Kaima local government Area of Kwara State have been urged to support government’s effort to eradicate polio.
Governor Bukola Saraki spoke on Tuesday at Kaima General Hospital.
He stressed that the vaccine being administered against polio did not have any negative effect on children.
The governor noted that Kaima Local Government Area is prone to wild polio virus (WPV) invasion from neighbouring states.
He said; “This facility provides routine immunization services to children from 0 to 5 years of age.
“All nursing mothers are urged to avail themselves of this opportunity to ensure that all children under 5 are immunised.
“This is in addition to the adhoc immunisation; that is periodically conducted by the state government with the assistance of the federal ministry of health, national and international partners.
“Therefore, the importance attached to health care services is portrayed in many strategies adopted to improve the health care indices of the state.
“Such stategiees include primary healthcare, disease control, immunisation, provision of essential drugs, HIV/AIDS control, capacity building, upgrading of infrastructure in many primary, secondary and tertiary health centres.
These hospitals are supplied with modern medical and accessibility to health care service by the rural dwellers is being strengthened by the scale up of community health insurance scheme which is now fully functional in Kwara North and Kwara Central, respectively.
The governor said it costs government a huge amount of money to upgrade the Kaima General Hospital.
He stated that the government spent N78 million to procure medical equipement, furniture, ambulance, fencing and civil works of the hospital.
Agriculture: NDE Earmarks N4.2m For Unemployed Youths
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has concluded plans to disburse N4.2 million loan to 42 unemployed youths in Adamawa State to boost agriculture production in the State.
The NDE Director-General, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, made this known at the orientation course for beneficiaries of agricultural empowerment scheme in Yola on Wednesday.
Fikpo, represented by the NDE Coordinator in Adamawa State, Malam Ibrahim Jimada, said each beneficiary would access N100,000 as start up capital.
He said the beneficiaries were trained under the Department of Rural Empowerment scheme (REP) on sustainable agricultural development.
“They were trained on Agricultural Enhancement Scheme, Sustainable Agricultural Development Scheme, Community-Based Agricultural Empowerment and Graduation Agricultural Empowerment scheme,” he said.
The NDE boss advised beneficiaries to take advantage of the training to earn a living.
Head of Department, REP, Mr Edam Duke, commended NDE for the programme and urged the beneficiaries to be committed as they would appreciate the gesture at the end.
“Those who are serious will soon be self-employed and employers of labour. The Federal Government is committed to creating employment opportunities for youths,’’ he said.
In her remarks, Head of Department, REP scheme in Adamawa State, Zainab Audu, said farming was a lucrative business and urged beneficiaries to pay attention to the orientation for successful implementation in the field.
“With this skills you will become millionaires and employers of labour within a short time if you put it into practice,” Audu said.
She called on the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of their respective communities by ensuring peace and unity for sustainable development.
Also, Miss Deborah Gisilanbe, who spoke on behalf of the participants thanked the Federal Government and NDE for the training and gave assurance that they would utilise the opportunity toward achieving the objectives of the programme.
UNICEF Commends Niger On Penta3 Vaccination Coverage
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commended Niger State Government for its progress in the administration of Pentavalent (Penta3) vaccine for children in the State.
Chief of Office, UNICEF, Kaduna, Mr Donald Burgess, gave the commendation at the sensitisation of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2021.
It is organised by the Niger State Planning Commission in collaboration with UNICEF.
The Tide’s source reports that MICS 2021 report shows that more than 40 per cent of residents of Niger were practicing open defecation.
Burgess, who spoke through the Health Specialist, UNICEF, Kaduna Field Office, Mr Idris Baba, said Niger did well as the Penta3 vaccination rose from 20 per cent in 2016 to 39.4 per cent in 2021.
He said maternal and child mortality had reduced considerably and was far below the national average child mortality at 18 per cent per 1,000 life birth while that of the national was at 42 per cent.
Burgess added that the neo-natal mortality in the state was 20 per cent per 1,000 life birth while that of the nation was at 34 per cent.
He, however, urged the State Government to put more effort in the enrollment of out of school children especially the girl-child education which had drastically declined in the state.
He noted that educating the girl-child would help reduce maternal and child health issues as more women would be educated on their rights.
Earlier, Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State, expressed concerns that the State was lacking on enrollment of out-of-school children, especially the girl-child education as well as on practices of open defecation among residents.
Bello, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to come up with policies and programmes to achieve better results, pledging government’s full support.
Niger State Commissioner and Deputy Chairman of Ministry for Planning Commission, Alhaji Abubakar Zakari, in his address, said the event was to brief Government on data regarding the situation of women and children in the state.
According to him, data is key to planning and policy development.
Gov Inaugurates Skill Acquisition Centre In Enugu
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has inaugurated a Skills Acquisition Centre, Rancsfard Fashion and Skill Academy, in the State.
The centre, which provides a veritable platform for participants, especially the youths, to acquire skills in fashion and design, makeup artistry, baking and pastry production, photography and ICT, is located in Trans-Ekulu, Enugu.
Governor Ugwuanyi, who inspected the academy shortly after the inauguration, expressed delight at the facilities in it, and the initiative, lauding the proprietor.
Welcoming Governor Ugwuanyi and other dignitaries to the academy, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lady Princess Akunna Ubosi, disclosed that her decision to establish the facility was borne out of her burning desire to create a platform where individuals, especially youths, can easily acquire lifelong entrepreneurial skills that will reduce the high rate of unemployment in the society and also ensure a productive future for young ones.
Lady Ubosi, who is the wife of the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, added that she was also inspired by Governor Ugwuanyi’s “enormous strides in building capacity amongst our youths through various skill acquisition programmes anchored by the Enugu SMEs Centre.”
She informed the Governor that Rancsfard Fashion and Skill Academy is positioned and available to partner the State Government in building capacity among the people.
“The academy is willing to train verified indigent students free of charge”, she said.
She continued that, “The academy incorporates a bakery and clothing production factory through which our finished products are sold to the general public; and we are proud to note that our products are made in Enugu State to international standards.
“The world is currently in a knowledge-based economy in which ‘knowledge’ is the only meaningful factor of production.
“Therefore, creating a learning society will not be possible without building a platform where this knowledge can be transferred from one person to another”.
By: Canice Amadi, Enugu
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