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FG Complains Lack Of Resources To Meet ASUU’s Demand At Once

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FG Complains Lack Of Resources To Meet ASUU’s Demand At Once
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FG Complains Lack Of Resources To Meet ASUU’s Demand At Once

The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, on Monday, said resources were not enough to meet all the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities at once.

This is as the minister faulted claims of the union that the Federal Government was blackmailing it.

The PUNCH had reported that ASUU had given the Federal Government a three-week ultimatum on November 15, 2021 to honour the agreement it signed with the union, which led to the suspension of the strike by university lecturers in December 2020.

Some of the demands are the payment of earned allowances, payment of revitalisation funds to universities, creation of visitation panels and implementation of the University Transparency Accountability Solution instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System for the payment of workers in the ivory towers, among others.

The minister told one of our correspondents on Monday that the Federal Government did not have enough resources to meet all the union’s demands at once.

He said, “We cannot possibly be blackmailing them; we tried to explain to them that we will fulfil the agreements when we have the resources. Agreements have been signed and they are meant to be fulfilled.

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“But we do not have all the resources to meet all the demands at once. The thing is that we all are working together – ASUU and the Federal Government. The goal is to produce graduates, who will serve Nigeria, and to make sure that the academic calendar is running smoothly.

FG Complains Lack Of Resources To Meet ASUU’s Demand At Once

“So, the government will always pay its dues; you do not have to go on strike to drive home your points. They need to know that it is not the government versus ASUU. It is about doing what is right. Let us use the resources as they come. There are lots of sectors that need attention.

“All we are saying is that once there are resources, we will meet your needs; all you have to do is to keep the academic calendar running. So, please, where is the blackmail?”

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However, ASUU said it would not go on strike yet even though the government had failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2009 agreement and the subsequent Memorandum of Understanding and Memorandum of Action between it and the Federal Government.

This was the outcome of the meeting of the ASUU National Executive Council in Abuja to review the implementation of the Memorandum of Action of December 23, 2020.

The National President, ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, said in an interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday, “It is certain, we are not going on strike. ASUU is not going on strike; every other information will be in our press release.”

A statement made available to The PUNCH on Monday titled, ‘Enough of the blackmail’, and signed by Osodeke said the NEC resolved to review the situation at a later date.

The statement read in part, “NEC concluded that the government has failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement and subsequent MoU and MoA. However, considering the ongoing intervention and consultation efforts, NEC resolved to review the situation at a later date with a view to deciding on the next line of action.

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“NEC was worried by the spirited efforts of government agents to reduce the demands of ASUU to a regime of intermittent payment of watered-down revitalisation fund and release of distorted and grossly devalued earned academic allowances.

“NEC condemns in strong terms the surreptitious moves to pooh-pooh our demands on the review of the NUC’s Act to curb the proliferation of universities by state governments, which are not funding the existing ones; adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solutions with concurrent discontinuance of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System and distortion in salary payment; release of accumulated promotion arrears; and the review and signing of the draft document on the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement.

“ASUU shall not relent in demanding improvement in the welfare and conditions of service of our members.”

It added that ASUU would resist any attempt to blackmail the union and derail their patriotic struggle for a productive university system by official propaganda founded on tokenism and crumb-sharing.

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Education

Nasarawa University Students Kidnapped Close To Campus

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Nasarawa University Students Kidnapped Close To Campus
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Nasarawa University Students Kidnapped Close To Campus

Some students of Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, have been kidnapped around their campus.

According to sources, the students were abducted at the university community in Maraba.

The Public Relation Officer of the institution, Mr. Abubakar Ibrahim, confirmed the incident, explaining that four students were abducted.

He said the gunmen stormed the university community at about 11:30 pm on Thursday and whisked the students to an undisclosed location.

“The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Shehu Abdul Rahman, on behalf of the management of the institution, expressed his profound outrage at the unfortunate development and condemned it in strong terms and demand for the immediate release of those kidnapped.”

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The Vice-Chancellor was quoted as saying kidnapping of students constitutes one of the most serious threats to education in Nasarawa State, in particular, and Nigeria in general.

Nasarawa University Students Kidnapped Close To Campus

While expressing his deep sympathy to the families of the abducted students, he assured them that serious efforts were being taken to ensure quick rescue of the victims.

“The vice-chancellor, who has since visited the area where the students were kidnapped, visited the Nasarawa Police command where he formally notified the commissioner of Police about the abduction of the students,” the statement added.

Prof. Rahman reportedly urged students to pay more attention to security-related matters and appealed to them to remain calm and go about their normal activities.

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He hinted that additional measures have been put in place to guarantee adequate safety of lives and property within and outside the University.

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Education

Nigeria Baptist Convention Paid Bandits N250m To Release Abducted Bethel Student

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Nigeria Baptist Convention Paid Bandits N250m To Release Abducted Bethel Student
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Nigeria Baptist Convention Paid Bandits N250m To Release Abducted Bethel Student

The Nigeria Baptist Convention has revealed it spent the sum of N250million to secure the release of students kidnapped from Bethel Baptist College, Kaduna, by terrorists in 2021.

According to Tribune, President of Nigeria Baptist Convention, Rev Dr Israel Akanji, disclosed this in Gombe on Friday during the 2022 International General Workers Conference for the North-East held at the First Baptist Church, Gombe.

Gunmen had in the early hours of Monday, 5th July, 2021, stormed the school owned by the church in Damishi, Kaduna and abducted 121 students of the school.

Akanji also scored the fight against insecurity by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration as below par considering the number of innocent lives of Nigerians that have been lost through various acts of banditry and insurgency.

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He said, “Initially we didn’t want to spend money, we didn’t believe in spending any money, that was how we began. I even said this openly that we will not spend money but I am also saying it openly now that we have had to spend money, we were forced to spend money.

“When our children spent one month and did not come and these bandits were telling us that they will start killing our children one by one, then we had to weigh between our money being in our pockets and our children dying or our children been released to us and we losing our money so, preferred to lose the money since the government will not help us we had to resort to self-help, that was what happened and we had to spend so much money.

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“There is no doubt in our minds, there is no one that convinces many of us that this administration has done enough on security. We are not saying that they have done nothing, they have been saying that they are doing their best but we are saying that their best is below the belt, far below our expectations.

“Whoever is going to be the next president of Nigeria must be ready to confront the insecurity in our land. For as long as some people are free to be carrying guns and be killing people while others are arrested for carrying the same thing, then there is a problem of injustice in the land.

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“Arrest is discriminatory, you can see clearly in Nigeria, you don’t need to be told that someone like me will still be hiding and not saying the truth, it is a shame on the entire nation. At this level, we must say the truth to ourselves, the insecurity of this nation has been propelled by the high level of impunity.”

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Education

JAMB Registration Will Be Delayed Over NIN, Others

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JAMB Registration Will Be Delayed Over NIN, Others
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JAMB Registration Will Be Delayed Over NIN, Others

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, on Monday, stated that pre-examination activities, including registration for the 2022 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination would start late due to forces beyond its control.

The board also defended its decision to enforce the National Identity Number requirement in the registration process.

The spokesman for the board, Dr Fabian Benjamin, made the clarifications in an interview with The PUNCH in Abuja.

“Most of the board’s pre-examination activities, including the 2022 UTME registration, are starting late owing to some circumstances beyond our control. We are, however, ready to do all that is necessary not only to meet up with the schedule, but also to make the 2022 UTME registration and examination the best so far,” he said.

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JAMB Registration Will Be Delayed Over NIN, Others

The board stated in its weekly bulletin published on Monday that its decision to implement the NIN was a game-changer in the fight against impersonation.

Benjamin said, “The introduction of the NIN in UTME registration in 2021 by the board was a game-changer in the fight against impersonation and other examination infractions. It is to be noted that the decision to adopt the NIN was a very difficult one given the various challenges and opposition from many quarters to the policy.

“However, the board, seeing the many benefits associated with the deployment of the NIN, took the unpopular but beneficial decision, knowing that any departure from the norm would, more often than not, be met with initial opposition and rejection, and was, therefore, understandably undeterred in its chosen course of action.”

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