Connect with us

News

Be Comforted In Your Father’s Legacies, Wike Tells A’Ibom Gov

Published

on

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has charged his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Udom Emmanuel, to be comforted by the enduring legacies of his father, late Elder Emmanuel Nkanang.
The Rivers State governor had joined political leaders and statesmen from across Nigeria for the burial of the father of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, Elder Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang, at Awa-Imma in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, last Saturday.
In a condolence message to the Akwa Ibom State governor at the funeral, Wike said: “May you be comforted by his enduring legacies as we pray to God to give you and your relatives the fortitude to bear the great loss as well as grant the soul of your departed father a peaceful repose.”
Wike said that with the death of late Elder Emmanuel Nkanang, the nation has lost a great asset.
He said: “In the death of your father, the nation has lost a great man of peace, wisdom and kindness, whose exemplary life and achievements will leave lasting impressions for generations. We will also miss him”.
The governor added: “Although we are all helpless before the will of the Almighty when death comes knocking at the door, the death of a parent, no matter the age, always leaves a painful and everlasting void.
“On behalf of my wife, the Government and the good people of Rivers State, I convey our heartfelt condolences to you and the people of Akwa Ibom State as a whole over this great loss, and also to let you know that we grief with you and have you in our prayers at this difficult time”.
The burial had in attendance Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, another former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, former Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, governors of Adamawa, Ahmadu Fintiri; Bauchi, Senator Bala Muhammed; Cross River, Prof Benedict Ayade; Delta, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa; Bayelsa, Senator Douye Diri.
Others are governors of Oyo State, Engr Oluwaseyi Makinde; Sokoto, Hon Aminu Tambuwal; Ekiti, Dr Kayode Fayemi; and the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
The rest include, former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former governors of Cross River, Donald Duke; Akwa Ibom, Victor Attach; Benue, Gabriel Suswan; past and present members of the national and state Houses of Assemblies as well as religious and traditional rulers from across Nigeria.
The Tide reports that Elder Gabriel Emmanuel Nkanang lived till 90 years before his passing on December 1, 2019.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

NEITI Declares Natural Resources Mismanagement As Human Rights Violation

Published

on

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), have agreed to work together to expand civic space in the petroleum and solid minerals industries, with NEITI insisting that mismanagement of natural resources is a human rights violation.
This, the agencies said, would enable civil society groups and the media to hold companies operating in the sector and the government accountable for Nigeria’s natural resources.
Speaking during a visit to the NHRC, yesterday, in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, said NEITI considers the mismanagement of oil, gas and minerals resources as violation of human rights.
Orji, who was accompanied on the visit by leaders of civil society groups working in the sector, explained that this “is manifested in term of environmental pollution, climate injustice, violation of host communities’ rights, denial from participation in natural resources management, inequality, revenue and social infrastructures, and in some cases, intimidation and harassment of civil society actors engaging with governance in the sector”.
He noted that NEITI was concerned “about these fundamental human rights issues that usually occur when natural resources are mismanaged and abused. Therefore, the struggle and agitation by civil society actors and media for prudent management of natural resources and protection of civic space in the extractive sector is a natural response by citizens to these abuses”.
He, therefore, called for a memorandum of understanding between NEITI and NHRC to guide further engagements between the two agencies.
In his response, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu, expressed the readiness of the commission to work with NEITI to protect the rights of those affected by the operations of oil and gas companies, and miners across the country.
Ojukwu, who commended NEITI for doing a “marvellous work”, noted that progressive nations “are built on openness and transparency.
“So, this is another step, which I think if we work it out, and it goes smoothly, it will strengthen the work we are doing. So, we are happy to do this. I look forward to the technical committee that can work out the MoU that we can use to operationalise this”, he added.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

NANS Passes Vote Of Confidence On PenCom DG

Published

on

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has passed a vote of confidence on the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), Aisha Dahir-Umar.
Speaking at a press conference, the NANS Senate President, Attah Felix Nnalue, admitted that the union’s recent Freedom of Information (FOI) letter on the alleged annual expenditure of N14billion on personnel costs was not only misleading but wasn’t backed by any fact.
The union had threatened to stage daily mass protests against PenCom should the pension regulator fail to furnish it with the details demanded in the FOI.
Nnalue, however, said that after carefully reviewing its allegations against PenCom, NANS found that there was a “marked difference between staff cost and staff salary” with the former consisting of training allowances, staff exit benefit scheme, and employers’ pension contribution “as opposed to salaries that are fixed and eared monthly”.
He blamed the misconception on the “lack of inattentiveness that played out at the National Assembly” when the lawmakers recently invited officials of PenCom to seek clarification on issues as part of their oversight functions.
Nnalue said the union regretted that since the events that transpired at the National Assembly few weeks ago, both the traditional and social media, either out of mischief or lack of understanding of the issue, have been misrepresenting facts with the intention to portray Dahir-Umar in bad light.
The NANS senate president who described the PenCom boss as a pacesetter, said it “carried out an independent findings and came to the conclusion that the allegation of wasteful spending is in many parts misleading, untrue, unverified, therefore, should be ignored.”
He further called on relevant stakeholders to focus on steps taken by the “Dahir Umar-led PenCom to safeguard contributors’ funds rather than on inanity.
“It is imperative to state that at the inception of the PenCom over 18 years ago, the commission has operated, especially under the present DG, an employee compensation policy that favourably compares to comparator government bodies in the financial services sector, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“Furthermore, the NANS is aware that the Presidential Committee on the Consolidation of Emoluments in the Public Sector headed by the late Chief Ernest Shonekan, former Head of the Interim National Government, made a number of recommendations which guided the PenCom Board in its compensation review exercises. One of the recommendations is that the pay structure of self-funded agencies should be benchmarked with their private sector comparators so as to ensure relativity in such agencies and attract and retain high-calibre professionals.”
Speaking on Dahir-Umar’s giant strides as PenCom CEO, Nnalue said she supervised the growth of the pension assets from N6.42trillion in 2017 to N14.3trillion as at July, 2022.
“She introduced the Multi-Fund Structure of investment of pension fund assets to address the investment appetite and preference of contributors as well as their age profile.
“Dahir-Umar also approved a structured reduction of fees on Net Asset Value of pension fund assets.
“The PenCom boss introduced the Micro Pension Plan for the participation of informal sector workers in the Contributory Pension Scheme. The Micro Pension Plan was formally launched by Mr. President on March 28, 2019.
“She developed the Enhanced Contributor Registration System (ECRS) to clean and enhance the integrity of the pension industry database.
“She introduced the RSA Transfer Window to enable contributors change their PFAs at least once in a year.
“She instituted a periodic Pension Enhancement programme every three years, where the retirees’ monthly pensions are enhanced based on the performance of their RSAs.
“Dahir-Umar also automated the Annual Enrolment Exercise for FGN retirees to remove the inconvenience of the physical process of the exercise.
“Recently, she issued the Guidelines for Access to a Percentage of RSA balance towards payment of Equity Contribution for residential mortgage.
“She has strengthened the minimum capital base of PFAs from N1billion to N5billion for better service delivery to contributors.
“She facilitated the payment of outstanding accrued pension rights of FGN retirees, which drastically shortened the waiting period for accessing their retirement benefits,” the NANS leader noted.
The students therefore, insisted that they would not allow themselves “to be swayed by a malicious narrative against a tested and patriotic woman that has dedicated her life to the service of our dear nation.
“We are against corruption and we are committed to advocating and promoting good governance at all levels, as such we will never support corrupt elements in government. But where there is a clear misinformation about happenings, we owe ourselves and the society a duty to get to the bottom of the matter in order to get the facts and set the records straight.
“It is due to some of the reasons enumerated above that NANS as a body of all Nigerian students decided to pass a vote of confidence on the leadership of the Director General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), Mrs Aisha Dahir Umar, for her exemplary leadership and track record of performance.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Dons Seek Autonomy For Varsities In Nigeria, Others

Published

on

Some professors in the education sector have called for “true university autonomy” as one of the solutions to tackle the challenges facing higher education in Nigeria and other African countries.
According to a statement, yesterday, the experts made this known during an international symposium organised by the Okebukola Science Foundation in partnership with the National Universities Commission (NUC).
According to the statement, the experts agreed that African higher education was confronted with a host of grand challenges that must be tackled to ensure the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Agenda 2063.
“Over 160 higher education experts from 14 countries attended the virtual event organised by the Okebukola Science Foundation in partnership with the NUC Strategy Advisory Committee, the Africa Progress Group, the Office of the Association of African Universities’ Ambassador for West Africa, National Open University of Nigeria and the Virtual Institute for Capacity Building in Higher Education.
“Lead speakers at the symposium on the themed, “Grand Challenges Facing University Education in Africa: Taming the Dragon: were Professor Peter Okebukola (moderator); Professor Gibril Jaw, Executive Secretary, National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority of The Gambia; Professor Juma Shabani, Chairman, National Commission for Higher Education of Burundi; Professor Dr. Youhansen Eid, President, National Authority for Quality Assurance in Education of Egypt; Professor Emeritus Nimi Briggs, Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities; Professor Elizabeth Sarange Abenga, Director of Pan African University Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences in Cameroon; Professor Olusola Oyewole, Secretary General, Association of African Universities and an Australian”, the statement partly reads.
Speaking further in the statement, it was noted that the experts identified 12 great challenges affecting quality delivery of university education in Africa.
“These are the absence of true university autonomy; depreciating quality of higher education teachers; research capacity deficit; use of outdated teaching method and slow adoption of Information and Communications Technology for delivering quality university education; capacity deficit of quality assurance agencies.
“Infrastructural/facilities inadequacies; management inefficiencies; poor quality of entrants into higher education from the secondary level; curriculum irrelevance- academic programmes not aligned to labour market needs; weak regional integration and language barriers; absence of an African Credit Transfer Scheme – hindering comparability of certificates and diplomas, mobility; and poor welfare scheme leading to low morale and low motivation of university staff.
“Significant attention was paid in the discussions to proffer solutions to these challenges. The speakers and participants agreed that the solutions rest with all stakeholders and not shifting the burden to the government alone. They agreed that parents, students, teachers and other staff in the university, university managers, regulatory agencies, the private sector, the media, development partners, community leaders, religious leaders, political elites and actors, indeed all beneficiaries of the products of the university system have roles to play in taming the dragon of the challenges.
“Specifically, the participants called for the granting of true autonomy to universities which is driven by the universities being less dependent on government for funding; strengthening teaching and research capacity of academic staff through the implementation of intensive and sustained training programmes like those offered by the VICBHE; improved resourcing of facilities for teaching and research to ensure that African universities shift from being glorified secondary schools to matching their counterparts in the developed world; improving the relevance of the curriculum (curriculum re-engineering) to enable it produce nationally and regionally-relevant and globally competitive graduates; improving the delivery of basic education so that entrants into universities are of better quality; political commitment to regional integration for south-south collaboration; development of an African Credit Transfer Scheme speedy establishment of the Pan African Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency and improvement in the welfare of university staff.”
The professors further stressed that there should be an increase in the sources of financial inflow into universities and that these should include the payment of tuition fees that were adjusted to the course of studies with bursaries and scholarships for indigent students.
“Furthermore, they urged that universities should be more proactive in exploring other avenues of securing funds that are open to higher educational institutions – grants, endowments, consultancies, research – and should reduce their over-dependence on government funding.
“Additionally, governments should hold universities to account to source for aspects of their funding requirements. Governments should allow university managements and governing councils to be totally responsible for the running of the affairs of universities, including hiring and firing of staff and the payment of differential salaries, where necessary, within clearly stipulated government guidelines.
“Public universities should be allowed to deploy their resources by themselves and as they deem fit to establish facilities for teaching, learning, research and innovation within their areas of interest, competence and specialisation.
“Lastly, participants were in agreement on the need to tighten the recruitment process, especially for the teaching staff so as to hire only bright and committed staff who should be appropriately remunerated to retain such staff and avoid brain drain”.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending