Minister Hails NEPZA Over Special Zones In Universities
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo has commended Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) for designating willing universities as Special Economic Zones (SEZ)
This is contained in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by Dr Martins Odeh, Head of Corporate Communications, NEPZA.
Odeh said that the minister made the commendation when he received the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah in his office on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister said the initiative would reconfigure the country’s academic environment to match with global trends and competitiveness.
He said Nigeria’s industrialisation process could become more productive, when the country is able to coordinate its universities to operate as profitable industries through the free zone scheme.
“The Managing-Director of NEPZA has given a brief background of what this is all about and let me assure you that it is something that the Federal Government will be interested in.
“It is indeed a unique idea to be able to make the academic institutions have the freedom to break away from the over-dependence on government for funding.
“Once this initiative gains popularity, universities across the country will become centers of not only human capital development but of wealth creation.
“I am delighted with the strong partnership the University of Abuja has created with NEPZA and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) to pull this project through.
“You have to move fast so that we can get all things sorted out as quickly as possible. I will, however, like to assure you that you have my 100 per cent support.’’ the minister said.
On his part, Na’Allah said that the visit was a follow up to a preliminary technical session held with NEPZA recently.
The Vice Chancellor said that both parties worked assiduously in ensuring that the project was realised on time.
Na’Allah said that designating the university as a special economic zone would put an end to incessant strikes.
According to him, it will also transfer enormous wealth into the hands of all members of the university community.
He further said the university was endowed with a number of solid minerals at commercial quantities.
The Vice Chancellor said that opening the campus space for external investments via the free zone concept would be a landmark achievement.
“We want the university to become the richest institution in Nigeria.
“We will open the space for tourism, estate, mining, agriculture, car production plants, dairy farms, light rail services among others.
“Our proximity to the city and the airport makes movement seamless. This is our thinking; this is our project,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Kayode, former President of ACCI and Head of the Technical Committee, expressed delight to be part of the project.
He said that ACCI sourced sufficient investors and international financial bodies that had bought into the project.
“We are expected to reconfigure the way the country’s universities are run using the University of Abuja as a pilot scheme.
“We have been to some of the great universities around the world and seen that those institutions have direct influence in the development of their host cities,’’ Kayode said.
Adesugba said that NEPZA was on the verge of showing how the university and chains of industries could jointly be operated within same location to enhance the country’s industrialisation process.
The Tide’s source reports that NEPZA and Ekiti Government are working on the process of establishing “Knowledge and Technology Special Economic Zone’’ in Ado Ekiti.
Adesugba said that NEPZA also received an application from Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti (ABUA) for a similar project.
JAMB Decries Use Of Fake Results For Admission
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has decried the high level of forgery of A Level certificates used for the registration.
JAMB Registrar, Professor Is-haq Oloyede, who raised the alarm, recalled that the Board had commenced the 2023 Direct Entry registration on Monday, 20th February but immediately suspended it following the discovery of the plethora of devices and machinations to circumvent and compromise the standard of A ‘level qualifications required from DE candidates.
He disclosed that out of 148 candidates verified by Bayero University Kano (BUK), only 6 were found to be genuine.
“By implication 142 of the results were forged. Oloyede said. Bayero University, Kano (BUK) has also consistently brought to the fore the high rate of forgery of A’Level qualifications for DE.
“It was discovered that in previous years, some candidates used unacceptable and forged A’ level certificates/ qualifications to register for Direct Entry and eventually got admitted. For example out of 148 candidates verified by BUK, only 6 were found to be genuine. By implication 142 of the results were forged.
“The Board, concerned stakeholders and institutions are working assiduously to detect such and the ones already found are being dealt with according to the provisions of the law.
“In order to further checkmate the anomaly and to also prevent recurrence of such irregularity, the Board has decided that the 2023 DE registrations will not only be restricted to JAMB (Professional Test Centres (PTCs) but will also be done under strict supervision,” Oloyode said.
“The Board has provided additional guidelines to all DE registration outlets (JAMB-owned centres), Officers of the Board and candidates on the 2023 Direct Entry registration exercise:
“At the point of registration, all candidates must fill in Registration/Matriculation Number of the previous school attended where the qualification was obtained; Subject(s) of qualification; Awarding Institution; Institution actually attended”, he said.
‘Nigerians Have Lost Confidence, Trust In INEC’
As post-election crisis gathers momentum, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria’s 2023 general elections has declared that Nigerians have lost confidence and trust in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) owing to lack of transparency and operational failures.
The EU EOM Chief Observer, Barry Andrews, made the assertion at a Media Briefing to present the Mission’s second preliminary reports, in Abuja, Monday.
Andrews noted that although Nigerians had great appetite for democracy and keen to engage in various civic activities, their expectations were dashed.
According to him, the apathy recorded at the governorship and states House of Assembly elections conducted last Saturday was a clear consequence of failures by political elites and “unfortunately, INEC.”
Andrews said: “Obstruction and organised violence limited the free expression of the will of the voters, despite efforts by civil society to promote democratic standards.
“Throughout the Mission, we saw that Nigerians have a great appetite for democracy and are keen to engage in various civic activities. However, in many parts of the country, their expectations were not met.
“Many were disappointed and we witnessed voter apathy that is in part, a clear consequence of failures by political elites, and unfortunately, also by INEC.
“Positively, INEC introduced some corrective measures ahead of Saturday’s polls, allowing a timely delivery of sensitive materials and improved use of election technologies, yet, the institution continued to lack transparency.”
The Mission also observed that voting started early with INEC ad-hoc officials present and ready to serve voters, but the exercise was unfortunately, disrupted by “multiple incidents of thuggery and intimidation of voters, polling officials, observers, and journalists”.
The Mission noted that Lagos, Kano, and other States in the Southern, Northern and Central parts of the country were mostly affected, adding that the election was equally characterised by casualties, fatalities, as well as vote-buying, which according to the observers, further detracted from an appropriate conduct of elections.
“EU EOM observers also saw misuse of administrative resources, including through various financial and in-kind inducements to voters, giving an undue advantage to the party in power.
“Furthermore, the protracted deadlines for candidacy disputes created uncertainty for voters and electoral contestants alike, while clear underrepresentation of women as candidates demonstrated a stark lack of internal party policies to support constitutionally prescribed inclusion
‘Youths To Benefit From Climate Change Innovation Hub’
The Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Sani Tambuwal, has expressed optimism that the recently established National Climate Change Innovation Hub would help in harnessing the potential among Nigerian youths towards addressing climate issues.
The CNA stated this during the commemoration of the 2023 Commonwealth Day with the theme ‘Forging A Sustainable And Peaceful Common Future’ held at the instance of National Assembly management, in Abuja, Monday.
Represented by the Deputy Clerk, National Assembly (DCNA), Barrister Kamoru Ogunlana, Tambuwal observed that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and other climate issues in the world if not properly managed, would posed great danger to world peace and a sustainable future.
He assured that Federal Government had put measures in place to address some issues on climate change through the establishment of youth climate change hub to harness their ideas and include them in decision-making process as well as develop long-term vision for zero gas emissions.
In her presentation, Mrs. Rabi Audu stressed the need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders towards forging a sustainable and peaceful environment.
Audu also urged the youths to engage in activities and programmes that would promoter innovations and inclusivity for all.
According to her, governments and parliaments have to increase opportunities for schools across the Commonwealth countries, adopt higher education partnerships and development programmes that would lead to economic growth, social inclusion and environmental conservation.
While noting that the establishment of more programmes like the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) would aid the attainment of these, Audu further stressed the need for Commonwealth member countries to establish technical and vocational education that would help in gainfully equipping the youths with skills to further tackle high rate of youth unemployment.
Some of the students who participated in the programme tasked parliaments across Commonwealth member States on the need to hold their governments to account particularly on the areas of public spending, international crisis, investment sustainability and promotion of the benefits of inclusive and diverse representation in truly open societies.
Ict/Telecom4 days ago
STI Can Fight Poverty, Economic Development Challenges – Expert
Rivers4 days ago
MOSIEND Hails Sim Over Victory
Politics4 days ago
Zamara Gov’ship: INEC Declares PDP’s Dauda Lawal Winner
Politics4 days ago
Abia Gov’ship Election Result: Social Media Report Fake, Says INEC
Business4 days ago
Nigeria Urged To Grow VAT Revenue
Nation4 days ago
NPC Engages 17,000 Personnel For Headcount In Osun
News4 days ago
CBN Raises Interest Rate To 18%
News5 days ago
TPP Africa Set To Honour Sanwo-Olu, 13 Others