ASUU rejected planned N1m undergraduate school fees, says Osodeke

The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Emmanuel Osodeke, has revealed how the union, during its last negotiations, rejected Federal Government’s plan to increase school fees of all university students to N1m.

He said government’s plan was to open an education bank and give each student a loan of N1m annually at five per cent interest rate to sponsor themselves in school and then pay back when they graduate and start working.

Osodeke stated this while answering questions from participants at a one-day ‘state of the nation summit’ organised for ASUU members by the Bauchi zone of the union.

He said, “At the last negotiation, the first thing they told us was that we should negotiate for our allowances and salaries but we said no, let’s discuss funding first. When we know how much you’re going to pay, then we can negotiate salary. Reluctantly, they went on.

“Then, they raised another issue which was why we delayed for four years, that students must pay N1m as school fees every year; the government said 70 per cent will be paid to the university while the student keeps 30 per cent.

“We asked them where and how the students would source the money and they told us not to worry. They said they would open an education bank and the students would go there and take the N1m every year.

“And by the time you are graduating, you would have been owing N5m or N6m. If it takes you 20 years to get a job, that five per cent interest on that loan would be building.

“We said we will never allow that, and that was why we went on strike and we delayed in calling off the strike.

“If we had accepted that students pay N1m as school fees, they would have increased our pay easily and who would the public and the students blame? It is ASUU.”

Osodeke said that if they had accepted the offer, people would have accused them of fighting for their personal interests and not the collective good of Nigerians.Pu

Source: Punch Newspaper

Anambra Poll: APGA candidate sacked by court for Soludo joins APC

A former candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance for the November 6 Anambra Governorship Election, Chukwuma Umeoji, has defected to the All Progressives Congress, a week to the poll.

Umeoji, who is the current member of the House of Representatives representing Aguata Federal Constituency in Anambra State, was recently sacked by a Court decision after his name had been listed by the Independent National Electoral Commission as APGA’s candidate.

The court then ordered INEC to replace Umeoji with Professor Charles Soludo, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, as the validly elected candidate of APGA for next Saturday’s governorship election.

Umeoji defected to the APC along with two House of Assembly members and thousands of party supporters.

This is contained in a statement on Saturday by the factional APGA National Publicity Secretary, Ikechukwu Chukwunyere, made available to our correspondent, in Abuja.

It was titled, ‘Umeoji, two state lawmakers dumps APGA for APC, declares Support for Andy Uba.’

The Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC, Governor Mai Mala Buni, the statement added, had received Umeoji with excitement.

It explained that Buni described Umeoji as the game-changer for the election and declared that with the development, APC would win the election.

Part of the statement read, “With this development, APGA has lost its simple majority in the House of Assembly and has become a minority party in the state while APC has become the majority party in the State House of Assembly.

“This is clearly not the best of times for the All Progressives Grand Alliance as the November 6 Anambra State governorship election draws nearer.

“The gale of defection that has so far hit the ruling party in the state in the build-up to the election is clearly an indication that APGA has lost its political grip on the state and hence may lose the forthcoming election.

“The latest defection that hit APGA like a thunderbolt is that of the party’s former governorship candidate in the election who is also a top-ranking legislator representing Aguata (Anambra) Federal Constituency, Hon. Chukwuma Umeoji.

“APGA’s loss in the person of Hon. Umeoji is a political gain for the All Progressives Congress.

“The highly elated Yobe State Governor and Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Mai Mala Buni, personally received Umeoji to the party on Friday and promised him equal opportunities with other leading members of the ruling party.

“Buni told Umeoji that APC will stand for you and your supporters, and protect your political interests at all times.

“You will enjoy every privilege enjoyed by every member of the party.

“Last-minute efforts made by the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, and the party’s governorship candidate, Charles Soludo, to stop Umeoji from leaving the party failed.

“Umeoji’s defection is not the only one unsettling APGA in Anambra State. The party has also lost its majority position in the state House of Assembly with two other state lawmakers dumping the party.

“The defection of the Njikoka and Awka South lawmakers, coming after the recent mass defection of APGA lawmakers, had made the party lose its leadership role in the state legislature.

“This is also after the state Deputy Governor, Nkem Okeke, has defected from APGA to APC.

“All signs are already pointing to the fact that APGA has lost out in the state and the forthcoming election may be the last straw that will break the camel’s back.”

Source: Punch Newspaper

Nigeria’s eNaira goes live after official launch by Buhari

Nigeria’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the eNaira, has gone live after an official launching by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

The launch took place at the State House in Abuja. An earlier plan to unveil the digital currency on October 1 was shelved.

Nigeria is one of only a few countries in the world to develop an official digital currency.

The eNaira was developed by fintech company Bitt, which is also behind the creation of CBDC in some East Caribbean countries.

At the launch Monday, the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, said 500 million eNaira ($1.21 million) has already been minted.

The CBDC’s digital currency app and its merchant wallet are now live and available for download.

The two apps, eNaira speed wallet and eNaira merchant wallet, are now available on Google playstore and Apple store.

A notice on the enaira website gives details into how the currency and the wallet will work.

“Get Ready With Your Accurate BVN Data For Your Hitch-Free Enrolment,” it says.

“To sign-up on the eNaira speed wallet, you would be required to input the following details exactly as captured during your BVN enrollment.

“First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, State of Origin, and Email.

“Your Banks are waiting to assist you in validating and updating your BVN details to ensure seamless enrolment to the eNaira Platform,” it says.

The central bank has also published the regulatory guidelines of the currency on its website.

“The guideline seeks to provide simplicity in the operation of eNaira, encourage general acceptability and use, promote low cost of transactions, drive financial inclusion while minimizing inherent risks of disintermediation of any negative impact on the financial system,” it says.

Source: Premium Times

Rivers to punish distributors of unhygienic drinking water

The Rivers State Government has warned that any distributor found engaging in acts capable of compromising the quality of drinking water being served to the public would be punished.

The state Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Dr Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja, made the warning while speaking at the 2021 Global Hand Washing Day and the launching of a campaign against exposure of bottled and sachet water to sunlight in Port Harcourt.

Gogo-Jaja specifically warned against exposure of sachet and bottled water to sunlight, saying it may cause cancer, leukaemia and it is capable of damaging other body tissues.

He urged distributors to ensure that their trucks were always covered to protect the water from sunlight.

“Some of us may not understand that when you expose water that is contained in sachet and bottle or plastic bottle, the heat may be injurious. What is used in the production of sachet and plastic water is called polymas,” he stated, adding that from polymas there are component chemicals that make up the sachet and the plastic bottle.

The commissioner said, “Water does not expire but the container does expire. So when you expose that plastic or sachet to sunlight, its speeds up the expiration of that content. So, when you drink contaminated water it contributes to stunted growth, dull brains and other defects. The Rivers State Government insists that any drinking water served in this state must be of quality and we have our standards.”

Gogo-Jaja stressed the need for regular washing of hands especially because the COVID-19 pandemic was still in existence.

“This is to emphasise the importance of handwashing. If you ask, as Africans, handwashing has been our tradition. To wash off germs from our hands, we need to use soap and water. And it has been established that washing our hands with soap and water protects us; to a reasonable extent about 40 per cent against diseases.

He continued, “All of us would also know that during the pandemic that washing of hands with water and soap contributed a lot in the fight against COVID-19.

“We have fought against COVID-19. The world is moving forward. This year’s theme, ‘Our future is in our hands’, is to remind us that to move forward, we must imbibe and inculcate in our children the attitude of washing our hands with soap and water.”

Source: punch

COVID-19 Deaths At Lowest In 1 Year- WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the death toll from Coronavirus (COVID-19) is now at its lowest level in almost a year.

WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said at a news conference on Wednesday in Geneva that vaccine inequality had persisted in spite of decline in COVID-19 deaths.

Ghebreyesus reported that the death toll from COVID-19 was still an unacceptably high, noting that almost 50,000 deaths a week and the real number was certainly higher.

He said, “Deaths are declining in every region except Europe, where several countries are facing fresh waves of cases and deaths.  And of course, deaths are highest in the countries and populations with the least access to vaccines.”

Ghebreyesus again called for greater support for developing countries to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.

He appealed for global cooperation saying “countries that continue to roll out boosters now are effectively preventing other countries from vaccinating their most at-risk populations.”

As of Wednesday, there were more than 238 million COVID-19 cases worldwide and more than 4.8 million deaths.

WHO had previously pushed governments to vaccinate 10 per cent of their populations by the end of September, a target which 56 nations missed, most of them in Africa.

The director-general said even more countries were at risk of missing the 40 per cent target to be achieved by the end of the year.

“Three countries – Burundi, Eritrea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – have yet to start vaccinations.

“About half of the remaining countries are constrained by supply. They have a vaccination programme underway, but don’t have enough supply to accelerate enough to reach the target,” he said.

Ghebreyesus urged countries and companies that control global vaccine supply to prioritise distribution to the COVAX solidarity initiative and the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT).

Meanwhile, he said that WHO and partners were working with other countries such as those affected by fragility or conflict to strengthen technical and logistical capacity for vaccine rollout.

“With aggressive and ambitious action, most of these countries can still reach the 40 per cent target by the end of this year, or be on a clear pathway to reaching it,” he said.

He also addressed the escalating crisis in northern Ethiopia, where a nearly year-long war in the Tigray region has left up to seven million people in urgent need for food and other assistance.

He said the conflict had spilled over into neighbouring Afar and Amhara, further increasing needs and complicating response efforts.

Aid is not reaching the area “at anywhere close to the levels needed”, he said, and communications, electricity, other basis services remain cut off.

WHO and partners are calling for unfettered access to the affected regions, as the lives of millions of people are at stake, Ghebreyesus told journalists.

He said, “People with chronic illnesses are dying due to lack of both food and medicine. Nearly 200,000 children have gone without critical vaccinations.

“When people do not have enough food, they are more susceptible to deadly diseases, as well as the threat of starvation, and that’s what we’re now seeing in Tigray.” (NAN)

Zamfara assembly suspends two members for supporting banditry

Zamfara State House of Assembly has on Monday suspended two of its members for their alleged involvement in aiding and abetting banditry in the state.

According to a press release signed by the Director General Press Affairs of the House, Malan Mustafa Jafaru Kaura, the suspended members are Honourable Yusuf Muhammad Anka representing Anka consultancy and Honourable Ibrahim T. Tukur Bakura representing Bakura constituency.

The statement said, “They have been suspended from the state House of Assembly for three months pending the conclusion of investigations on the allegation leveled against them.

“They are to appear before the House Committee on ethics and privileges in conjuction with security agencies that are assigned by law to investigate them.

“These are part of the resolutions reached just now in the night on Monday at the House plenary presided over by the Speaker, Hon Nasiru Mu’azu Magarya under matters of urgent public importance”.”

During the debate, a member representing Maru North constituency, Hon Yusuf Alhassan Kanoma drew the attention of his colleagues that there was a burning issue in the House of serious allegations leveled against the two members.

Kanoma, therefore, said that “the House should not fold its arms and allow this gross official misconduct by the two members.”

Hon Kanoma further alleged that during the kidnap saga of the father of the Speaker, late Alhaji Mu’azu Abubakar Magarya, Yusuf Muhammad Anka and Ibrahim T Tukur Bakura were said to have been jubilating over the issue .

He also alleged that the two members were allegedly brain behind the killing of late Hon Muhammad G. Ahmed, a former member representing Shinkafi constituency in the state House of Assembly through connivance with the bandits by telephone conversation that led to his killing.

While calling on the security agencies to fully track all their telephone lines and listened to all their conversations, Hon Kanoma also called on his colleagues to as a matter of urgency suspend them from all House activities for an initial period of three months pending the conclusion of investigations on the two erring House members .

Also contributing, a member representing Birnin Magaji constituency, Hon Nura Dahiru Sabon birnin Dan Ali concurred with his colleague and strongly back Hon Kanoma on the issue saying that his efforts of mediating and negotiating with notorious bandit Bello Turji on so many occasions to secure the release of late Alhaji Mu’azu Magarya should not go in veinm pointing out that detractors of peace in the state should face the full wrath of the law.

In his ruling on the matter, Speaker Nasiru Mu’azu Magarya graciously approved the request of the House by outright suspension of the two members for the initial period of three months .

Speaker Magarya also directed chairman House Committee on ethics and privileges, Hon Kabiru Hashimu Dansadau to fully investigate these members and report its findings back to the plenary in the next three months.

While expressing dismay over their alleged involvement in banditry activities, the Speaker also stripped them of their chairmanship of the House standing committees by assigning Hon Yusuf Alhassan Kanoma to oversee works and transport committee chaired by Yusuf Muhammad Anka.

He also directed Hon Nasiru Atiku Gora to take charge of humanitarian and social development committee formally headed by Ibrahim T. Tukur Bakura.

Gunmen kill baptist pastor, one other in Kaduna

Gunmen have reportedly killed a Baptist pastor and one other on Monday evening in Lisuru Gida, Ikulu Chiefdom, Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

A resident who pleaded anonymity confirmed the incident to The PUNCH yesterday, saying the gunmen opened fire at the duo on their way home from their farms around 6pm.

The source described the suspects as Fulani herdsmen, adding that the community has been under threat.

“The Fulani have turned our farms into grazing fields and we have been living under security threats.

“Neighbouring communities have always always been suspicious of the local Fulani who we see as our neighbour,” the source said.

He said normalcy has returned to the community while calling on the government to redouble its effort in ensuring that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are apprehended.

Meanwhile, effort to get across to the state police spokesperson, Mohammed Jalige to comment on the incident prove abortive as of the time of filing this report.

Source: punch

FG begins implementation of new retirement age for teachers

The Federal Government says it has began the pilot implementation of new retirement age for teachers.

President muhammadu Buhari had earlier approved 65 years or 40 years of service for teacher’s retirement age.

Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday, while marking the 2021 World Teachers Day.

The 2021 edition of the celebration has the theme: “Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buhari at the 2020 World Teachers Day Celebration approved incentives for teachers.

Buhari said that the ministry had also commenced education officers’ guidelines to ensure seamless implementation.

He said that this had been negotiated and an outstanding salaries of affected teachers would soon be paid before December.

“The 2020 World Teachers Day in Nigeria was phenomenal as all that is needed to invigorate and revitalise the teaching profession was packaged and the minister of education was mandated to implement it accordingly.

“I am not going to recount the entire components for implementation; however, the Federal Ministry of Education has commenced the pilot implementation of the increase in retirement age to 65 or 40 years of service for teachers.

“I know that for teachers to effectively be at the heart of education recovery, there is need for continuous re-tooling.

“Teachers and all those connected with teaching and learning will henceforth undergo annual training on modern techniques of teaching and learning.

“This will include digital literacy trainings in pedagogy, Information and Communication Technology and others, he said.

He said that education parastatals and other non-governmental organisations would partner with the government to achieve this feat.

He, therefore, promised collaboration with the defence ministry to ensure the protection of children in schools across the country.

The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the pronouncement of Buhari at the 2020 celebration was a huge milestone to guide the repositioning and revitalisation of the profession.

Adamu, represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Sonny Echono said that in an effort fast track the implementation, the ministry constituted a national implementation committee, which submitted resolutions for implementation.

“The ministry will liaise with the 36 states ministry of education, including the FCT Education Board, to identify respective course of study required by each state and the award of N150, 000 is proposed for undergraduates and N100,000 only to NCE students

“Beneficiaries must attend public institutions only and sign a bond to serve their state for five years on graduation.

“The fund will be sourced from UBEC, TETFund and managed by the Federal Scholarship Board and sponsorship to at least one refresher training per annum,” he said.

Adamu called on Nigerian teachers to continue to support the government to shape the future of the education sector and the country at large.

The event witnessed the presentation of President’s Teachers and Schools Excellence Award to outstanding teachers and schools across the country.

The awards are classified into different categories such as the 2021 best teachers in public, private schools, best public and private schools and best school administration.

Among the awardees are Mrs Bridget Nwabueze, as best teacher in public schools, Mr Samuel Ogunleye as the best teacher in private school and the best public schools is Bolade Junior Grammer School, Oshodi .

Also, the best private school in the country goes to Greater Tomorrow International College, Arigidi, Ondo State, while the best school administrator is Mr Nuhu Musa from the Federal Capital Territory.

The event also witnessed parade from teachers in the 36 states of the federation including the FCT, with FCT teachers winning the award.

Source: The Sun

Stomach Politics Is Not Good—Wike Tells FFK

Rivers State Governor Mr Nyesom Wike has lambasted Nigeria’s former Aviation Minister Mr Femi Fani Kayode for defecting to the All Progressives Congress, APC, describing his action as “stomach politics.”

Mr Wike who was speaking with BBC Pidgin said; “stomach politics is not good, nothing is better than one’s integrity.”

Mr Wike added that “What has FFK help PDP achieve”, arguing that the former minister was immaterial during his stay in the PDP.

The Governor questions Mr Kayode’s integrity saying, that the former minister should build his own integrity rather than carrying his father’s credentials.

“If Nigerians are respecting my father when he was alive, that was my father, what about me”, he queried, suggesting that FFK’s portrayal of his father’s integrity does not apply to his character.

Mr Wike also turned to his interviewee to ask some rhetorical questions.

“If your father was a chief justice of Nigeria that is well respected, and you are now smoking Igboh, or you are smoking Indian hemp, what has your father’s credentials got to do with your Igboh or Indian hemp? Tell me. So we should be respecting you because your father is a former CJ? What is that?

“For you to earn respect, you must also live a life that shows that you are a daughter to the former CJ of Nigeria that was respected if at all he was respected”, Wike added.

Wike added that “If your father had money, what about you? Do you have the money?

The governor also questioned FFK repeated matrimonial failures, saying  “you claim any family background only to be seen pursuing one wife today, tomorrow two wives, the other day three wives—these are the kinds of people you say have good background”, he asked.

Source: Wikki times

Nigeria@61: Zulum joins Muslims in Borno Special Juma’at Prayers For Peace

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno state has led the Shehu of Borno, represented by the Waziri of Borno, and top government officials to a special juma’at prayers where Muslim faithfuls offered prayers for full return of peace in the state and other parts of the country.

Borno State had on Friday held a special Juma’at service at the Maiduguri Central  Mosque, to commemorate Nigeria’s 61st Independence Day Anniversary.

The Chief Imam of Borno, Imam Laisu Ibrahim Ahmed, led the Juma’at prayers amidst high turn out of worshippers.

Addressing the worshippers, Zulum said; “I believe that we are better together, because our strength lies in our diversity. Yes, we have a lot of challenges but we should know that Nigeria’s pride and greatness all lies in our diversity. Therefore, I call on all Nigerians to shun violence, set aside sentiments and nepotism so that Nigeria shall thrive”.

“Despite the challenges we are facing, Nigeria still remains strong. We shall continue to grow stronger, we shall continue to promote peace and unity”, Zulum said.

The Governor also expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his support and commitment towards restoring peace and normalcy in the northeast.

He equally commended the tireless efforts and commitments exhibited by the military, other security operatives, CJTF and other volunteers in the fight against terrorism.

Zulum reiterated that government will do everything humanly possible to continually support security establishments and volunteers towards surpassing gains being recorded in Borno’s peace building efforts.

Source: Africa Prime News