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SSANIP Gives FG 21 Days To Address IPPIS Challenges

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The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP), yesterday, gave the Federal Government 21 days to address all the problems associated with the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), if not the union would review its stance on IPPIS.
SSANIP also commended the government’s decision to re-open schools across the federation, having facilitated modalities toward safety protocol arrangements at the institution level.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the union’s emergency meeting at the Labour House, Abuja and signed by SSANIP President, Comrade Phillip Ogunsipe, yesterday.
According to the communiqué, “The council-in-session observed that there has been disjointed implementation of salary in the Polytechnic since Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) commenced the payment of salaries for staff since February, 2020.
“Some of the lingering issues associated with IPPIS include non-release of new Minimum Wage arrears, inconsistencies in the release of third party deductions, non-payment of Covid-19 hazard allowance for health workers, high draconian tax regime on consolidated salary, delay in the release of 2018 and 2019 promotion arrears, among others.
“Against this backdrop, the council wishes to call on the relevant agencies of government to expedite actions toward resolving these highlighted challenges.
“Equally, the council wishes to frankly state that failure of the IPPIS to address these highlighted challenges within 21 days from the date of this communiqué would leave the union with no option than to review its stance on IPPIS.”
On re-opening of schools, it said, “The council-in-session commends the efforts of the government at all levels, particularly the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 and curve Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) towards flattening Covid-19 in the country.
“Equally, the council wishes to appreciate the wisdom and decision of the government to re-open schools across the federation, having facilitated modalities toward safety protocol arrangements at the institution level.”
SSANIP lamented on the worsening insecurity in the country and called on the Federal Government to urgently address the issue of security of life and property and also the general decay in the entire road network across the country.
The council for the umpteenth time expressed its displeasure at the way and manner the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has handled the Scheme of Service so far, and condemned the decision of the board to review the same scheme of service without due consultation with relevant stakeholders.
It said, “On the strength of this, the council resolved that an attempt to foist a Scheme of Service document on SSANIP without our input is unacceptable, and therefore, would be an invitation to an atmosphere of industrial disharmony.
“The council wish to specifically and frankly state that the failure of NBTE to address this issue within 21 days from the date of this communique would leave the union with no other option than to declare industrial dispute.”
It further observed that since the expiration of the tenure of the last Governing Councils for the Federal Polytechnics in May, 2020, the Institutions have continued to function without the Governing Boards.
It said, “In the understanding of the council, Governing Board occupies a very strategic position in the running of the polytechnic system. Therefore, the delay in the reconstitution of the Governing Councils is a challenge to the smooth running of the polytechnics.
“In view of the above, the council wishes to call on the Federal Government to expedite action on the re-constitution of Governing Councils for the Federal Polytechnics.”
SSANIP noted with dismay the alleged nonchalant attitude of the government to continue with the renegotiation of the 2010 agreement which it said was long overdue.
It also frowned at the alleged inadequacy and delay in the release of over-head costs to Federal Polytechnics by the Federal Government, even as it observed that the short-coming has the potential of impairing the day-to-day running of these institutions.
Consequently, “The council, therefore, wishes to impress it upon the relevant agencies of the government to ensure that the running costs are adequate and promptly released to these institutions.”
According to the communiqué, “The council-in-session expressed worry at the plethora of challenges faced by the state-owned polytechnics and similar institutions across the country.”

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Tai APC Collapses As Hundreds Return To PDP …Say They Were Blinded By Fake Promises

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Over 500 former members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Tai Local Government Area have returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The returnees led by the first PDP Chairman of the area, Hon Peter Gwezia, announced their return to the PDP, last Saturday, during the GDI’s sensitisation programme for the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) at the Council Secretariat, Saakpenwa.
Speaking on behalf of the rest of the returnees while renouncing membership of the APC, Hon Peter Gwezia, said he and other APC members decided to leave the party due to failure of leadership.
While promising to work for the success of the PDP in the 2023 election, Gwezia said the APC lacked ideas, and was like a vehicle without engine, could not take them to their desired destination, hence their decision to leave the party.
In his remarks, Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon Chukwuemeka Aaron, who received the returnees on behalf of the Chairman, PDP Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor, assured them of equal treatment, saying there are no new members in the party.
“I want to welcome you all and to say that in PDP and GDI where you are today, no person is new. We all have equal status, we all have equal rights. Some of the people that were with you there doing the jamboree that came back today, they are commissioners; they have gone to the National Assembly, become chairmen of councils.
“So, having seen what our leader, Chief Nyesom Wike has done in Rivers State, and in Tai, and what your chairman of council is doing in Tai, they have come back to take their rightful position. We want to thank all of you, and to say that the party chairman and the chairman of council will integrate you into the activities of GDI”.
Also speaking, GDI President-General, Chief Bright Amaewhule, said the performance of the present administration in the state was enough testimony for any Rivers son or daughter to reckon that PDP was the only party which had their interest at heart.
Amaewhule said that of the candidates lined up for the governorship seat in the state, only the PDP Governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, was competent and qualified to give the state good governance from day one.
He, therefore, challenged eligible voters who have not collected their PVCs to do so as soon as possible, and prepare to cast their votes for the right party which was a master of good governance and quality projects’ delivery in the state come 2023.
The returnees, alongside GDI members from the 10 wards of Tai, including youths, women and students groups, later engaged in a wild gyration, turning the entire arena into dance frenzy.
The event also featured solidarity speeches from stakeholders among them former and current National and State Assembly members, former and serving council chairmen, former commissioners, party stalwarts, and captains of industry, among others.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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MOSOP Tasks SPDC On Fresh Oil Spill

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Factional President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, has called on Shell Petroleum Development Company (Shell) Joint Venture (JV), the oil and gas multinational company, to take full responsibility and appropriate action to curb a fresh oil spill in Bodo Community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Nsuke, who noted that the spill was first noticed in the community early last week, blamed Shell for the spill and urged the Dutch multinational to alleviate its impact on the community, curtail its spread and commence proper remediation and compensation in accordance with global best practices.
The MOSOP leader noted that the oil spills from the Trans Niger Pipeline operated by the Shell JV, suddenly erupted within the residential area of the community, alleging that it must have been caused by equipment failure.
He observed that although the cause of the spills, which was occurring 11years after the release of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports, was yet to be ascertained, the spills have affected residential areas and community dwellers have been asked by the MOSOP to evacuate the area, to avoid causality in case of a fire.
“This massive spill is occurring 11 years after the UNEP released a damning report exposing Shell’s devastation of the Ogoni environment.
“We have communicated with community leaders to cooperate with investigations and ensure that every detail about this spill is communicated to our secretariat as soon as possible”, he said.On his part, Executive Director, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, said, “the cause of the crude oil spill which occurred inside the community where people live is not yet known at this time.”

By: Tonye Nria-Dappa

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Nigeria’s Freedom Of Expression Attracting Global Attention, Buhari Claims

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Sunday, said it was instructive that Nigeria was attracting positive international attention as a country that promoted media freedom and freedom of expression.
He said this was premised on the government’s understanding of the important roles that information literacy and media education played in sustainable development.
According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said this while pledging his “full support” for three major international events scheduled to hold in Nigeria in October and November 2022.
They include: the 2022 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Global Media, Information Literacy Week in Abuja, in October, the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry in Lagos, as well as the second Global Association of Literary Festivals Conference, Abeokuta, in November.
In the statement titled ‘President Buhari pledges support as Nigeria hosts major cultural, tourism and literary events,’ he said the global events were opportunities to showcase the nation’s rich heritage in culture, arts, tourism and entertainment as well as advancements on media freedom.
Earlier, the Minister of Information ad Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that hosting the 2022 UNESCO Global Media, Information Literacy Week, would help to address the rising spate of fake news, misinformation and hate speech.
Expressing his delight to welcome international visitors to Nigeria, Buhari urged citizens to leverage the events to exhibit the values “that make us a unique, friendly and peace-loving people.”
The statement read in part, “Welcoming the decision by the UNESCO’s World Tourism Organisation and the Global Association of Literary Festivals to grant Nigeria the right to host these separate historic events, the President assures all relevant stakeholders and participants of the warmth and hospitality of the people of Nigeria.
“On the MIL Week, Buhari notes that it is instructive that Nigeria is attracting positive international attention as a country that promotes media freedom and freedom of expression, recognising the important roles information literacy and media education play in sustainable development.
“On the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry, the President says the rapid growth of Nigeria’s film, fashion, music, and the Information and Communications Technology sector, and the increase in international appeal and acceptance would continue to spur government to devote more resources to the sector.”
Among other initiatives, Buhari noted that the Creative Industry Financing Initiative, established by his administration and managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, had provided single-digit financing to many young Nigerians in the fields of fashion, film, music and information technology.
He noted that the $100 million re-development of the National Theatre, Lagos, into a world-class creative park is also ongoing, following the handover of the facility to the CBN and the Bankers Committee.
The President, therefore, expressed confidence that the literary world would find many good things to celebrate about Nigeria when they meet in the historic city of Abeokuta, homeland and birthplace of one of Nigeria’s finest literary icons and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.

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