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Vice Chancellor, Students Locked Out As ASUU, NASU Members Protest In Lagos University

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) have locked the main entrance of the Lagos State University () over the payment of the minimum wage.

The free flow of vehicular movement was hindered by the protesting members who gathered as early as 7:00 am and prevented both students and lecturers from gaining entrance.

Those locked out of the school include the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Olanrewaju Fagboun.

All attempt by the Vice-Chancellor to dialogue with NLC, ASUU, NASU members was not successful, as they insist that no one will be allowed into the university premises until their demands are met by the state government.

They claimed that an increment in their salaries was promised by the Lagos State government more than a year ago and the promise was yet to be fulfilled.

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu two weeks earlier announced that tertiary institutions in the state will be reopened today,  September 14, 2020, after been shut for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Education

NDDC: Cairo Ojougboh leads scholarship verification team to UK

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A team of the Niger Delta Development Commission led by Cairo Ojougboh in the UK to verify and pay all outstanding foreign scholarship claims.

The commission says it decided to verify the scholarship awards because of obvious discrepancies.

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has promised to pay all outstanding fees due to its scholarship beneficiaries studying abroad.

The agency’s Executive Director, Projects, Cairo Ojougboh, told representatives of the scholars during a meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 that all outstanding foreign scholarship claims will be verified and paid within the next few weeks.

Dozens of scholars had initially protested at the Nigerian High Commission in London early in August 2020 over the failure of the NDDC to pay their fees spanning months and years.

The protests prompted President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the agency, dogged by corruption probes, to pay the students.

197 scholarship beneficiaries of the 2019 batch were paid weeks later, according to the agency’s spokesperson, Charles Odili, who also said payment for 94 scholarship beneficiaries of the 2018 batch was ongoing.

However, over two weeks after his announcement, scholars of the 2018 batch returned to the High Commission in London on September 16 to accuse the agency of failing to pay their fees.

Odili, days before the protest, accused the scholars of being frauds hired by powerful individuals who are part of systemic corruption uncovered by the NDDC’s interim management committee.

He said the $900,000 paid by the NDDC as obligation to its scholars in 2018 has suspiciously risen to $5.99 million recently, with an additional demand for $3 million.

He said the agency was being blackmailed and intimidated to make payments without verification of scholars on its payroll.

In a statement released on Monday, Odili said a new verification exercise will involve the registration of all scholars on a new portal which is custom built for the agency, and the confirmation of scholars’ claims with their universities of study.

During Monday’s meeting with the scholars’ representatives, Ojougboh, according to Odili’s statement, said there are obvious discrepancies that must be eliminated.

The NDDC, for most of this year, has been dogged by controversies over the misappropriation of billions of naira.

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Education

NUC instructs universities on resumption procedures

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National Universities Commission (NUC) has ordered schools to conclude arrangements for reopening.

This followed federal government’s approval for resumption.

NUC directed Vice Chancellors to ensure that resumption plans are in sync with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines.

The memo was signed by Chris Maiyaki, a Director in NUC Executive Secretary’s office.

NUC told universities to expect visits for inspection of staff officers, lecture theatres, laboratories, libraries, accommodation, healthcare facilities, among others.

Universities must under no circumstances, violate the full cycle of the semester system, consistent with the NUC approved Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS),” the letter warned.

Schools are to also ensure strict compliance with other extant NUC quality assurance standards and guidelines.

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