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THE STATES

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Bauchi

 

Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State has reiterated the resolve of his administration to ensure security of lives and property of citizens in the state irrespective of religion, tribe or political differences.

He stated this in a goodwill Easter message to the people of the state, a copy of which was made available to The Tides source.

Yuguda said that the State Government would use all legitimate means to ensure that the state continued to remain peaceful, “where no one is molested or harassed’’.

“This administration will ensure prevalence of security, nurture our democracy to maturity and revamp our ailing economy,’’ the governor said.

He asked the people of the state to de-emphasise religion, ethnicity or political differences in their relationship with one another.

“God the Almighty has in His wisdom, created us and made us to live together in one place with all our differences. “We should learn to live together, tolerate and love one another.”

 

Benue

 

Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue has filed a law suit against an Abuja-based business man, Mr Manasseh Joshua and three others for alleged conspiracy and libel against him.

The Tides’s source reports that the five count charge was filed at Makurdi High Court 1 by a Makurdi-based attorney, Jibrin Okutekpa, on behalf of the governor.

In the suit, the governor alleged criminal conspiracy and agreement which resulted in the printing and publication of defamatory materials against him in a magazine entitled, “Power Steering”.

The defendants, Manasseh Joshua, Tom Whia, Eddy Ochigbo and Dan Ekah, according to the writ of summons, caused to be published in November, 2009, injurious falsehood against the person of Governor Suswam.

It further averred that the libelous publication against the governor. contravened section 96 of the Penal code and was punishable under Section 97(1)and 2 of the document.

The applicant is therefore seeking a motion ex-parte application to prefer a charge pursuant to section185(b) of the Criminal procedure code rules 2 and 3.

The alleged offending document was allegedly circulated and sold in Benue.

 

FCT

 

The Federal Government has been urged to separate water sector from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Participants at a 5-day advocacy workshop for civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sectors made the call in a communiqué issued on Friday in Abuja at the end of the workshop.

The communiqué, signed by Mr Muhammad Ibn-Ahmad of Centre for Peace Projects & Development and Mr Omoniyi Omojugbagbe of MEDIA NETWORK, also called on the government to appoint a technocrat as minister for the Ministry of Water Resources and provide more funding for the sector.

They called for the involvement of CSOs in budget planning and a mechanism to ensure adequate monitoring and implementation of budgets in the sector.

The statement also advised CSOs in the WASH sector to be strategic in their policy advocacy as well as budget analysis and tracking.

 

Kaduna

 

The Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Mr Mohammed Barkindo, has described as “very remarkable’’ the just completed turn around maintenance (TAM) of the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC).

Speaking shortly after a tour of the facility recently, Barkindo said the refinery, which produces about 1.5 million litres of petrol daily, though not at full capacity, would be able to supply the product to most of the states in the northern part of the country.

“I saw a remarkable TAM of this plant after a very extensive tour of the facility.

“The refinery has re-streamed and there is a flare up there indicating that the distilling processes are on.

“I have been receiving tremendous reports from this plant in spite of your challenges.

“The management and corporate headquarters are happy with what you are doing here,’’ Barkindo said.

The Tide’s source reports that the GMD, who had earlier met with the management of the KRPC, also met with staff of NNPC locations in the Kaduna zone as well as launched the corporation’s transformation agenda.

 

Kano

 

Property worth about N1.776 billion was destroyed in the recent fire outbreak in Kantin Kwari Textiles Market in Kano.

The Chairman of the committee set up to investigate the disaster, Dr.Ibrahim Garba, told newsmen in Kano on Thursday that about N122 million would be spent on the renovation of some buildings including a mosque.

 Garba said the details were contained in the interim report of the committee submitted to the state government.

He said a total of 1,216 persons were affected by the disaster, out of which 861 lost their property to the fire while 355 retrieved their goods intact.

The Chairman said the figures were arrived at after a thorough screening of the traders’ claims by the committee assisisted by the traders’ union.

According to him, about N200 million has so far been collected as donations from some state governments and individuals with the highest donation of N100 million from a Kano businessman, Alhaji Aminu Dantata.

 

Katsina

 

In a bid to promote self reliance and reduce poverty in the rural areas, Musawa Local Government in Katsina State organised skill acquisition programme for 70 housewives.

Speaking at the opening of the training on Thursday, wife of the  chairman, Hajia Binta Lawal, said that it was meant to empower housewives with skills to uplift their economic status.

Lawal said that participants were drawn from all the political wards in the area, adding that the beneficiaries were expected to train other women at their various localities.

She expressed the council’s commitment to assisting women and encouraging them to concentrate on the various businesses that would contribute to their families’ upkeep.

Speaking, the Facilitator, Hajia Jummai Garba, noted that the economic empowerment skills would reduce poverty and encouraged women to assist their families considering the economic condition of rural families.

 

Lagos

 

The Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Thursday faulted a suit by a lawyer, Mr Jiti Ogunye, challenging the state’s 2009 Magistrate Law.

 Ogunye in February filed the suit challenging the validity of the law which became operational on Jan. 16

Briefing newsmen at a news conference in Lagos, the Chairman of the branch, Mr Chijioke Okoli, said any grey areas in the law could be amended without litigation.

“Any law made by man can be subjected to amendment; if there are some grey areas in the law, I think that it can still be handled instead of going straight into litigation,

“What cannot be amended is only the Holy Bible; but a law by man can be amended at any stage,’’ he argued. 

Okoli said the NBA also faulted a ruling of the Lagos High Court directing that the state’s Magistrate’s Courts should revert to the 2003 Magistrate Law pending the determination of the suit.

 

Ogun

 

The Ogun government has established  early childhood education centres in 75 percent of public schools in the 20 local government areas.  

Mr Sina Adejobi, the Chairman of Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) made the disclosure to The Tide’s source recently  in Abeokuta.

He said that  the state government would  focus more on early childhood education, under the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).

“We have so far established early primary classes in 75 per- cent of public schools in all the 20 local government areas,” he said.

On the School Feeding Programme, the chairman, however, said that the state was not implementing that at the moment, but that plans were on to do so.

 

Osun

 

Osun State Youth Empowerment Board (OSYEB) has distributed equipment to 90 youths, with a view to empowering them to become self-employed. 

Dr Adeniyi Ayeni, Chairman of the board, who presided over the distribution in Osogbo, said that gainful self-employment was a useful antidote to anti-social activities.

He said that the beneficiaries included those who recently underwent vocational training organised by the board and had attained competence in the trades they were trained for.

Ayeni congratulated the beneficiaries for enjoying the dividends of democracy and urged them to make judicious use of the equipment. 

He also advised them to promptly establish their businesses in order to justify the state government’s investment in the project.

 

Sokoto

 

Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State on Friday inaugurated a 30- member committee for the hosting of the 24th edition of the National Quránic Recitation competition.

The competition would hold in the state from May 15.

The committee has the Speaker of Sokoto State House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Salame, as its chairman.

A statement, signed by Abubakar Muhammad, Special Adviser on Press Affairs to the Governor, quoted Wamakko as expressing the government’s commitment to ensuring the success of the event.

The governor also promised to support the committee to succeed in its assignment and expressed confidence that members of the committee would handle the assignment well.

Wamakko appealed to wealthy individuals in the state to contribute to the successful hosting of the competition to avoid a situation where the committee would go “outside looking for donations”.

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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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