The National Assembly, yesterday, promised to look into the allegations of corruption in the Nigerian universities in order to sanitise the system.
This is as non-teaching staff in the universities under the umbrella of Joint Action Committee (JAC) accused the university administrations of indulging in corrupt practices while the government appears not to be disturbed with the ugly situation despite the Federal Government’s anti-corruption fight.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has accused the Federal Government of always breaching agreements it freely entered into with workers.
JAC comprising the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Educational Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), staged a protest at the Ministry of Education and the National Assembly over the alleged decay in the universities.
Security operatives had a hectic day at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, when they tried to stop the protesting university non-teaching staff to have access to the Ministry of Education where they had gone to register their protest with the Minister, Malam Adamu Adamu.
The protesting workers had to use all their strength to force the gate that was locked with heavy presence of the policemen to open for the workers led by the National President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and the Chairman of JAC, Comrade Samson Ugwoke to gain access to the ministry.
Infuriated by the development, the workers chanted anti Adamu songs and even called for his resignation.
At the National Assembly, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki represented by Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim from Yobe East, assured the protesting workers that the National Assembly would look into their grievances, especially the allegation of corruption in the universities.
“I also want to assure that every worker will get its allowances. All the demands that you have made will be tabled before the House.”
Also speaking, Senator Sani Shehu, assured the non academic teaching staff that in the name of the struggle and in the name of the Nigerian people that he will peruse their demand to logical conclusion.”
Presenting their grievances, the Chairman of JAC and National President of SSANU, Comrade Samson Ugwoke said, “We need to let the National Assembly know why we are sad. We need to let them know and sensitize them on the injustices that are going on in the university system.
“We need to let them know the plight of the Nigerian universities, and also workers in the system. We want them to come in and investigate the universities and find out why our graduates are not employable. We are not pleased with the state of affairs and strongly believe that with your intervention, all matters that led to the current industrial action of the Joint Action Committee unions shall be addressed.
“We also deem it imperative to humbly draw the attention of His Excellency to the ongoing strike embarked upon by the non-teaching staff unions based on our demands for the full proper implementation of our 2009 agreement. We have also had several meetings with the Federal Government.
“The specific issues are: One, the reinstatement of our members in the university staff schools, who were removed from the budget of the universities based on obnoxious budget call circular from National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission in gross contravention of the 2009 agreement with Federal Government which also the National Industrial Court has ruled in our favour.
“Two, the issue of payment of Earned Allowances where a sum of N23billion released by government in September, 2017, was skewed in favour of a sister union by some government officers thereby leaving 11 percent of the said amount to the non teaching staff.
“Three, the issue of shortfalls in salary payment where our members have been receiving fractions of their salaries for upward of a year now.
Four, the issue of career progression for Technologists to CONTISS 14 and 15, in line with the agreement reached with NAAT.
Akeredolu will be remembered for truth, justice – Aiyedatiwa
Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State on Wednesday said the late former Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, would be remembered for his good deeds, especially standing for truth and justice.
Aiyedatiwa stated this during a special court session held in honour of the late former governor at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.
He explained that the former governor used his knowledge, ebullience and capacities to defend the human peaceful existence.
Aiyedatiwa added that the deceased deeds during his life time were greatly impactful.
According to him, the deceased was after justice and rule of law.
Aiyedatiwa said that late Akeredolu was always not pleased when justice was not served.
He described the honour bestowed on the late governor as a well deserved because his life evolved around the legal profession.
“He was an achiever with success stories. He stood firm and was committed to truth and justice,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said that late Akeredolu remained celebrated in death more than being alive considering a reference to his achievements and attainment in life.
Odusola said that the late governor was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the state with ingenious courage that had become a national model.
He stated that it was more-worthy that the late governor did not interfere with judicial activities, even when it did not favour his desires.
According to him, late Akeredolu was a man that lived with his words.
“In my last encounter with him at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“He also spoke about judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made,” he said.
The CJ said that late Akeredolu was an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus, a man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.
He stated that late Akeredolu would continue to be a good reference point in humanity.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, described the late governor as a man with keen passion to help humanity and secure peace.
Maikyau added that the deceased was a person of humility known for truth and justice, and asked the deceased family to take solace in the good deeds of the late governor.
Dignitaries present include Gov. Abdulrasak Abdulrahman of Kwara; Ondo State Deputy Gov, Olayide Adelami; Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; and APC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.
Others are human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Ambassador Sola Iji, Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly; and former Inspector of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.
Gunmen Kill Police Inspector In Rivers
The Rivers State Police Command said an Inspector was killed by gunmen who ambushed and attacked its men on a stop and search duty at the Eliozu Flyover in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday night.
The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday.
Iringe-Koko said the gunmen who were spotted in a carton-colored Sienna bus with fully tinted glasses drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, near Port Harcourt where they launched the offensive which claimed the officer’s life.
She, however, said the team rose to the occasion and returned fire and neutralised one of the miscreants who wore masks, but that other gang members escaped by the whisker.
The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened to announce a heinous incident that occurred on 21st February 2024, involving an attack on policemen attached to Operation Sting of the Rivers State Police Command.
“At approximately 2145hrs, while conducting routine stop-and-search at Eliozu flyover, the officers were ambushed by unidentified hoodlums operating in a carton-colored Sienna bus, with fully tinted glasses.
“The registration number of the vehicle remains unknown at this time.
“The assailants drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, and opened fire on the police team, resulting in the tragic loss of one Inspector who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty.
“Undeterred, the police team responded with bravery, engaging the attackers and managing to neutralise one of them with a mask on his face, while the others managed to escape, potentially sustaining gunshot wounds.
“The command has launched a thorough investigation into this despicable act and has already identified the group responsible.
“Rest assured, we will relentlessly pursue these criminals and bring them to justice. No amount of intimidation will hinder our officers’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens.”
While noting that such acts of aggression against security forces detrimentally impact the safety and security of our entire society, she stressed that the command remains resolute in its duty to maintain peace and protect the well-being of the populace.
“The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, reiterates unequivocally that those who perpetrate violence against policemen or any citizen will face the full weight of the law.
“We urge all law-abiding citizens to continue with their daily activities without panic, as we are determined to uphold our mandate of preserving lives and property in the face of such challenges.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the fallen inspector, and we assure them that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Our resolve to serve and protect remains unwavering as we stand together against those who seek to disrupt the peace and harmony of our society”, she said.
Recall that last year, a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, was ambushed and killed by a cult gang.
Since the death of the cop, the command has been on his trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were gunned down previously.
However, on Monday, Grace Iringe-Koko, said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cult kingpin was killed in a recent joint security raid in the Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.
Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.46% In Q4 2023 -NBS
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.46 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed.
In its ‘Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q4, 2023),’ released yesterday, the NBS said the growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent
It added that the service industry was responsible for the growth in the quarter.
Both the IMF and World Bank expected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2023.
The report read, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“This growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent.
“The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 was driven mainly by the Services sector, which recorded a growth of 3.98 per cent and contributed 56.55 per cent to the aggregate GDP.”
In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10 per cent, from the growth of 2.05 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth of the industry sector was 3.86 per cent, an improvement from -0.94 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 per cent in 2023 relative to 3.10 per cent in 2022,” the report added.
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