ASUP kicks as FG allegedly appoints 5 ‘unqualified rectors’ in new polytechnics

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has accused the Federal Government of appointing five unqualified persons as rectors in newly established federal polytechnics, in violation of the subsisting Act.

The ASUP National President, Mr Anderson Ezeibe, who stated this at the 100th National Executive Council meeting of the union in Auchi, on Wednesday, said that the Federal Government violated the Federal polytechnics Amendment Act, 2019, in the appointment of the rectors.

According to him, the law allowed for only people within the cadre of Chief Lecturer, with a minimum of five years experience to be appointed.

Recently, the Federal Government announced the establishment of six new federal polytechnics in Cross River, Oyo, Plateau, Benue and Borno States.

“Five out of the six rectors that were appointed into these newly established polytechnics did not possess the requisite qualifications,” he said, adding that the union had already gone to court to challenge the appointments.

“We have an order of court for substituted service, we also have an order to join the five persons appointed illegally,” he said.

Speaking further, the ASUP president urged the Edo state government to pay the five months salary arrears owed staff of the State Polytechnic.

In his speech, the Deputy Governor, Mr Philips Shaibu said the state government was aware of the lingering labour issues at the state polytechnic and that adequate steps were being taken to address the issues.

Represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Jimoh Ijegbai, the deputy governor commended the union for its cooperation and patience with the government in the face of the crisis.

Mustapha Zubair, Rector, Auchi Polytechnic, expressed worry over the low ratings of polytechnics in the country, noting that the Polytechnic Act had well-established criteria which, those in charge of the sector should endeavour to uphold.
The rector urged ASUP to always adopt dialogue in seeking redress, saying, “dialogue is the best tool in making agitations”.

“The just concluded strike by the union has yielded positive results, N15 billion has been released for the development of polytechnics in Nigeria,” he said. 

Earlier, Mr Lawani Jimoh, Chairman, Auchi Polytechnic chapter of ASUP, said that industrial harmony was gradually being built between the union and the polytechnic’s management.

“We are looking forward to the implementation of CONTISS 15 migration for the lower cadre officers in August.
“We (also) expect management to reciprocate by paying the promotion arrears of staff promoted in 2016,” he said.


​ITF pays N1.9bn as SIWES supervisory, student allowances, says DG

The Industrial Training Fund ITF has paid a total sum of N1.9 billion as students and supervisory allowance under the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme SIWES and as well developed a website dedicated to SiWES to reduce the person to person contact.

The Director-General of ITF Sir, Joseph Ari who disclosed this during the visit of the House of Representatives Committee on Industry to the organisation said in line with the Act establishing ITF, the Fund has reimbursed contributing employers up to fifty per cent of the statutory annual training contributions remitted by them if the Fund’s Governing Council is satisfied that training programmes of the employer were in accordance with the Fund’s Reimbursement Scheme.

He further disclosed that the Fund during the year under review, paid a total of Five Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety-Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty One Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-Five Naira to 401 companies as reimbursement for the year 2019.

“To ensure that we do not rest on our oars, the ITF unveiled the 2nd Phase of its Reviewed Vision: Strategies for Mandate Actualisation. The Plan, which is targeted at rectifying the lapses that were observed in the implementation of the first phase, build on the achievements thereof, and directly address emergent challenges of the Fund’s stakeholders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will serve as our operational road map in coming years with a 9-Point Strategic Plan.”

The Director-General also disclosed that arrangements have been concluded for the implementation of more skills intervention programmes amongst several other activities earmarked for implementation this year.

According to him, Programmes earmarked for implementation are the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), the Construction Skills Empowerment Programme (CONSEP), the Skills Training and Empowerment Programme for the Physically Challenged (STEPP-C), the Passion to Profession Programme (P2PP), and the Agri-Preneurship Training Programme (ATP).

He narrated that the programmes will equip and empower about 12,000 Nigerians between three and six months in the following trades and vocations: Web design and programming, Advance Computer networking, Mobile app development, Iron bending, Masonry, Crop production, Aquaculture, Poultry, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration, Plumbing, GSM repairs and Ladies’ wig cap making.

Sir Ari who said ITF is in the process of amending its Act called on members of the National Assembly to support and hansten the process in order to develop the national economy.

He added that the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) that is managed by the ITF but funded by the Federal Government and has been instrumental to the development of human capital in Nigeria and currently assailed by numerous challenges.

He, therefore, appealed to the National Assembly to ensure adequate appropriations for the Scheme because of the establishment of new tertiary institutions, accreditation of new disciplines and the exponential rise of participating students.

In his response the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Industry Hon. Enitan Dolapo Badru commended ITF for its giant stride and contributions to the economy and its quest to empower the youths as a strategy to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.

Hon Badru said the National Assembly will cooperate with the Fund toward ensuring that the Act establishing the agency is reviewed to further promote efficiency and to spur it for greater heights and productivity.


​FG upgrading polytechnics to universities is misplaced priority, says ASUP President

The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Anderson Ezeibe has faulted the Federal Government’s position to upgrade some polytechnics to universities, saying such a plan particularly at this period is a misplaced priority.
He also said the establishment of new polytechnics by the government or granting of license to private operators for new ones is equally unnecessary at this time as the proliferation of polytechnics in the country according to him won’t translate to an automatic increment of access to polytechnic education by young Nigerians.

He said what is required and should be the priority of government at this time is to give deserved attention to the existing public polytechnics by adequately funding them and also providing them with requisite infrastructure and taking good care of the personnel.

Ezeibe gave this position in an exclusive interview with Nigerian Tribune, on Monday.

According to him, we the polytechnic lecturers are not carried away by the government upgrading one polytechnic or the other to university.

He said this was because that is not the major issue to the lecturers as far as polytechnic education is concerned in the country particularly at this time.

The main issue, he explained, is for government to look after the existing schools either polytechnics or universities or even primary or secondary schools.

He said it is obvious that the existing public schools across levels are not only suffering neglect but also dying and wonder why the need for new ones.

“So, let the government changes if it likes the name or status of one school to another many time, the problems will remain the same if proper attention is not given to such school,” he stressed.

While also asking the government to create enabling environment for private polytechnics to thrive and also plays their supervisory roles on them, Mr Ezeibe pointed out that there is nothing wrong if polytechnics are also allowed to award bachelor and master of technology degrees like the various universities of technology are doing.

He said after all the Act establishing polytechnics in the country makes provision for them to produce high-level manpower just as it is being produced by the universities, hence, the need to allow them to award degrees alongside OND and HND.

He said what would remain is for such polytechnics to use the federal universities of technology curriculum to train students for such programmes and also meet up with other requisite conditions.

Ezeibe however, noted that ASUP members had already returned to classrooms for academic activities following the suspension of their 65 days of industrial action.

He said they are ready to cope with academic works as may be stipulated by their respective managements.

Source: Tribuneonline

​JAMB to conduct second UTME this year 

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) may conduct a second 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination for candidates with genuine registration challenges.

The Registrar of the board, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, made the disclosure on Wednesday in Lagos while monitoring profiling of candidates with 2021 UTME registration challenges.

“So far, we have just 17, 758 candidates with challenges that had been profiled, nationwide.

“At the end of the entire exercise, we may have to conduct another examination for those with genuine cases after the main UTME slated for June 19 to July 3,” the JAMB official said.

He reiterated the board’s commitment to ensuring that every Nigerian child desirous of tertiary education would be given an equal opportunity.

“Since I came here this morning and interacted with candidates, I have discovered that most of them are largely unserious and are basically the cause of most of their challenges.

“We keep hearing flimsy excuses such as my lesson teacher used his phone to generate the profile code, our tutorial centre helped us to register and I was not in town.

“Other reasons advanced are: I used my mother’s NIN to generate my profile code, my mummy did the registration for me,” he said.

According to the registrar, some candidates were honest enough to say they did not have money to procure UTME forms.

 “We have also seen cases where rather than send their NIN to 55019, candidates sent it to 55012, while others sent the same command with post-paid phones rather than pre-paid,” he said.

Over 500,000 candidates had claimed they were unable to register for the examination within the given time frame – before May 15. JAMB later extended the registration to May 29.

The candidates cited inability to generate a profile code and difficulty in obtaining the National Identification Number (NIN).

JAMB had insisted that no candidate would be allowed to sit for the examination without providing the NIN.

Following the challenges, the board allowed a two-week window for the affected people to lodge their complaints at its offices or registration centres and get help.

Addressing journalists later, Mr Oloyede called on state ministries of education to regulate activities of tutorial centres as a strategy to save the education sector from collapse.

Mr Oloyede said that activities of some tutorial centres remained a hindrance to efforts at sanitising the country’s education system.

According to him, tutorial centres are a haven for examination malpractice.

The JAMB registrar said some tutorial centres held the system to ransom with ungodly activities.

He said that many operators of the centres were school dropouts operating from dilapidated, abandoned and uncompleted structures.

He regretted that some parents were patronising them with delight.

“These people are just introducing these candidates to how to beat the system, how to make sure that they get questions, particularly fake questions, because they cannot get JAMB questions,” he said.

The registrar said that parents must learn to allow their children and wards to go through the normal process of learning for them to be psychologically mature for tertiary education.

“Another major challenge threatening the system is that of intruding parents,” the JAMB official said.

“They are intruders, who will not allow these children to think rightly and do things on their own but want to hurriedly push them into primary, secondary and tertiary schools at very tender ages.

“That is why many of them are prone and exposed to so many mistakes.

“In order to show the nation that the problem of registration is not what a section of the media is painting it to be, we came up with this initiative of asking all candidates with genuine excuses to visit our offices nationwide,” he said.

The registrar said through the process JAMB discovered that some candidates went as far as using their bank verification numbers in a bid to get their profile codes rather than the NIN.

​Zulum Approves N100m Take Off Grant for Recently Approved Federal Polytechnic, Monguno  

… Academic Activities to Begin October 
Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, has approved the release of N100m to assist in the take off of Federal Polytechnic, Monguno, which was recently approved by the Federal Government. 

Zulum made the announcement on Thursday when he received the rector of the polytechnic, Professor Garba Mohammed Ngala at the Government House, Maiduguri.  

Zulum explained that of the N100m, he has already released the sum of N50m to Borno Ministry of Higher Education for rehabilitation works at a proposed temporary site of the polytechnic, provided by the state government earlier, while he is releasing additional N50m to the polytechnic management to supplement commencement of their operations.  

The Governor said his administration was committed to complimenting the efforts of the federal government in ensuring that all necessary requirements are met for the Polytechnic to function.  
Earlier, the rector, Prof. Garba, revealed that the Polytechnic plans to start enrollment of students by October, 2021.  

He equally reiterated the commitment of the polytechnic’s management towards the success of the tertiary institution for the development of Borno State. 

Prof. Garba was accompanied by the register of the polytechnic, Adamu Alh. Usman, the Bursar, Mohammed Ali Abadam and the Liberian, Bukar Ali Wasaram. 

It would be recalled that Governor Zulum had, in January, 2021, led a delegation of national assembly members to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, in Abuja to convey the state’s gratitude soon after President Buhari gave approval for Borno to have a federal polytechnic as it is in most of the 36 states which have federal universities, polytechnics and colleges.  

Borno State had since its creation in 1976, been without a federal polytechnic and a federal college of education despite even when states created in later years, have been with both federal institutions. 

Governor Zulum, since 2019, deployed intense lobbying and networking with federal education stakeholders towards ensuring Borno gets federal polytechnic and college of education to add to the federal government owned University of Maiduguri.

 Covid-19 killed 30 ASUU members, says president

President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, on Friday, said COVID-19 killed 30 of his members.

Ogunyemi stated this while delivering his valedictory speech at the 21 National Delegates conference of the union held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.

He said, “In line with the provisions of our Constitution, we are here to review our activities in the last three years with a view to charting a new course at this critical juncture of our national life.

“As a point of departure, we must place on record that COVID-19 did not spare our campuses. Many of our infected members had had to combat the COVID attack with resources from colleagues and other people of goodwill because their salaries and emoluments, as well as the union’s check-off deductions, were withheld by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation over the rejection of the discredited Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.

“Our other comrades suffered the same fate in the hands of overzealous State University Vice-Chancellors and Visitors. As a matter of fact, we lost at least 30.

“In the last three years, ASUU has enjoyed tremendous goodwill from quarters too numerous to mention.
Ogunyemi’s successor is expected to emerge on Sunday at the Awka conference.

The conference’s lecture titled, “State Terrorism and Nigeria’s Development,” which was delivered by Prof Akin Oyebode of Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, summed that Nigeria was at a crossroad “caught in the vortex of variable contradictions, hopelessness and self-doubt.

The Vice UNIZIK Vice-Chancellor, Prof Charles Esimone, described ASUU as the sole and conscience of the Nigerian University system.

Source: The punch

​ASUP STRIKE: We’ve met all ASUP’s demands – FG, as Students storm Abuja

By Victor Habila

Some sect of students from Polytechnics across Nigeria grounded activities at the Federal Ministry of Education, demanding an immediate end to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic Staff (ASUP).

The aggrieved students lay siege at the Federal Ministry of Education, to protest the about seven weeks strike, lamenting that they were the most marginalised set of students in the country, who were still at home despite having wasted a whole academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Leading the protest, Mr Sunday Asuku, the President of National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS), urged the Federal Government and ASUP to reach a compromise or risk a nationwide protest by the students.

He said: “We were home all through last year, we have wasted a whole year of our lives, there is nobody to compensate us for the year wasted and now we are on strike. How long are we going to continue like this? Our university counterparts are in class, we are the most marginalised set of students in the country.

“We can no longer keep quiet, silence is no longer golden, all we want is immediate reopening of our classes.”

Asuku further warned that should government fail to meet the demands of their lecturers and schools remain closed by next Monday, they would proceed to shut down the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.

“ASUP demanded 15 items from the Federal Government but was only able to get two which to us is not commendable. As a student body, we are interested in the government paying the lecturers their minimum wage which is accrued to two years.

“Other MDAs have received theirs since Nov 2019, why holding our lecturers to ransom. If you can give them this, then we have the right to hold them accountable for not teaching.

“We want the government to call ASUP back to a round table and give them what belongs to them else by Monday, we will grind the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.”

Addressing the protesting students, Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, insisted that the Federal has met all demands of the union.

“Every one of us is pained by what is going on in the polytechnic sector of our education, many of us spoke with ASUP at the time of their warning strike that we are not running an Adhoc government. Nothing ends today, even if I die today, Nigeria will continue and there is nothing that will stop Nigeria.

“When ASUP wanted to start this strike, we wrote them and said everything that ASUP requested for has been agreed upon, we do not have one area of disagreement.

“On the 23rd of May, we communicated to ASUP and we have given them a catalogue of everything that they said we should do that we have complied with.”

Source: Guardian

Children’s Day: Kaduna Gov’s wife advocates quality education

By Victor Habila, Kaduna

Kaduna state Governor’s wife, Hajiya Ummi Ahmad El-rufai has called on public and private partnership towards the promotion of quality education in the state.

She said Kaduna state government is on a quest to continue to partner individuals and groups with a view to guaranteeing human capacity development through massive investment in children education.

Hajiya Ummi stated this today while celebrating this year’s children day at LGEA Primary school maraban-jos in Igabi local government area of Kaduna state.

The wife of the Kaduna state Governor who took time to interact with pupils of the public primary school also expressed delight over massive investment been carried out by a philanthropist, ALH ADAMU Attah for the benefit of children of the poor.

Speaking earlier, the donor of the public primary school at maraban-jos and owner of the fifth chukker, ALH ADAMU Attah said he embarked on the project with a view to giving back to the society in line with his organization corporate social responsibility.

ALH ADAMU Attah explained that in the last ten years, maraban – JOS with a density population had no structures to accommodate pupils of nursery and primary school a situation that motivated him to partner UNICEF and other corporate organization and individuals towards the construction of one hundred and twenty blocks of class rooms in the area.

According to him,at present sixty blocks of class rooms have been constructed which is accommodating twelve thousand pupils of nursery and primary levels.

ALH ADAMU Attah further expressed his determination to continue to partner the Kaduna state government towards uplifting the standard of education, especially among children of the poor and the less privileged.
In a remarks, the village Head of maraban-jos, ALH Ibrahim Sidi described ADAMU Attah as a true Nigerian whose love for societal development must be encouraged and emulated by other wealthy individuals.

According to the village head,the children of the poor in maraban-jos can now read,write and speak English through the invaluable contributions of ALH ADAMU Attah.

Zulum Returns from Vacation Prioritizes Security, Teachers, Health Workers Recruitment

Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum has resumed work after 21 days vacation, during which he transmitted power to his deputy, Umar Usman kadafur to act as Governor.

Zulum arrived Maiduguri on Wednesday afternoon.

Addressing thousands top government officials, party leaders and supporters, the governor assured that his administration’s top priority will remain the restoration of peace in the state to enable the revival of mass livelihoods through agricultural and other businesses.

Our correspondent reported that Governor Zulum embarked on a vacation from April 29 to Wednesday May 19, 20121.

Zulum had before his departure, written to Borno State Assembly, requesting that his Deputy, Kadafur be given full constitutional powers to take decisions without recourse to him (Zulum), to which the assembly granted.

Zulum’s request was in compliance with provisions of section 190 (1) of the constitution, his letter to the assembly had noted.

… Hints on teachers, health workers recruitment

Zulum while interacting with journalists also revealed that in the next two years of his tenure, government will focus on the recruitment of more teachers and health workers to address demands of the increasing population in the state.

The Governor said, the recruitment is to provide effective service delivery in the healthcare sector and education.

​Strike: FG, ASUP to meet Wednesday, Thursday

The Federal Government has invited the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, for meetings on Wednesday and Thursday this week to find a solution to the ongoing strike by the union.

According to notices of meeting sent to the national leadership of ASUP by the Federal Ministry of Education and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, sighted by our correspondent, the first meeting will be with the Minister of State, Education, Chief Chukwuemeka Nwajuiba, on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the ASUP team will meet with the Labour Minister, Dr Chris Ngige.

Commenting on the development, the National President of ASUP, Mr Anderson Ezeibe, expressed the hope that the meetings would be fruitful.

“We have been formally invited for meetings by the government teams. Our demands are clear and we hope the meetings would be fruitful. They have constituted Governing Councils for federal polytechnics and that is okay by us.

” We want things done appropriately and legitimately too. The absence of Governing Councils has made some Rectors to become authoritarian and dictators. Also, they must resolve the issue of appointing unqualified persons as Rectors. The regulation is clear about who can be appointed a rector.

“The poor funding and criminal neglect of the polytechnic sector should be redressed. Nigeria cannot do without the products of the polytechincs for our technical and technological needs,” he said.

Recall that members of the union have been on strike since last week Tuesday after the ultimatum they gave the government to address some issues and demands lapsed.