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WE’LL POSITION UNIVERSITIES TO PRODUCE QUALITY GRADUATES – PRESIDENT BUHARI

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President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja said Federal Government will give more attention to improving personnel and infrastructure of universities to produce quality graduates, assuring that education will, henceforth, be a top priority in development goals of the country.

President Buhari, who received leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) led by Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi at the State House, said effective and efficient operations of universities will go a long way in improving the economy, especially with focus on science and technology.

The President urged members of ASUU to assist the Federal Government in realising the target of improved education and credible certificates by complying with ongoing verification and validation of human resources in the universities, which will guarantee optimum output.

“The future of the country depends on quality education and our certificates must be credible to inspire confidence,’’ he said.

President Buhari said constitutional provisions should be carefully studied and adhered to for more harmonious relationships, and standards that will promote efficiency.

The President directed the Ministry of Education to put in more effort in ensuring that Nigerian universities are properly funded, with adequate infrastructure and staffing.

In her remarks at the meeting, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said out of the 137,016 academic and non-academic staff members of the universities, 96,090 have been enrolled in the Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), urging ASUU to encourage the remaining 40,926 members to comply with the process.

She said a desk has been opened in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for registration of university staff, assuring that peculiarities of the tertiary institutions will be accommodated.

The Minister pointed out that many anomalies were discovered in the university structures that have contributed to the increased cost burden, which include staff working and earning pay in more than one university, contract staff on payroll of the government, tax reductions on PAYEE and multiple employments.

Ahmed said some universities had rushed to recruit more staff before the IPPIS registration commenced, which was then detected.

“While it is clear that ASUU has peculiarities, it should be recognised and rightly accommodated, and the allowances will be made, and not leaving the university out of IPPIS because of the peculiarities,’’ she added.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, urged ASUU to comply with IPPIS in national interest as his office was already in the process of streamlining all issues of human resources in government.

In his remarks, the President of ASUU, Prof. Ogunyemi said the educational sector needed more Federal Government attention, noting that implementation of agreements over the years will go a long way in improving the quality of education in the universities.

Prof. Ogunyemi said:

“Nigerian universities can make meaningful contributions to addressing the challenges of the country (economy, security and corruption) if given the opportunities. Appropriate funding level, competitive conditions of service, university autonomy and academic freedom are critical to creating such an atmosphere.

“With adequate and effective education, particularly university education, Nigerians will be less susceptible to manipulation, our economy will grow and problems of insecurity and corruption will be drastically reduced,’’ he said.

The ASUU President said Nigeria could learn from countries like China, Malaysia and Singapore that have encouraged universities to drive their educational development through tripartite linkages of government, industries and universities called Triple Helix Principle.

On IPPIS and university operations, Prof. Ogunyemi said the Federal Government’s Visitor initiative to the universities, at least once in five years, was the best guarantee for monitoring accountability processes that include internal and external audit processes.

The ASUU President said the IPPIS will be a “disruptive intrusion’’, adding: “IPPIS violates the laws of the federation, violates university statutes, and violates agreements between the Federal Government and ASUU.’’

“The Government should welcome ASUU’s ongoing innovation of a robust system of human resource management and compensation, called the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, which will address peculiarities of universities and end inappropriate recruitments.’’

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu and Labour and Employment , Dr Chris Ngige, assured that the Federal Government was committed to improving the educational sector, promising to work closely with ASUU.

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Photos: Family, friends, associates celebrate Sam Sam Jaja at 70

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Social distancing and isolation as a result of the outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic have almost stifled celebrations, a vital part of what makes us human, but it has not been all doom and gloom.
Observing the prevailing health rules and guidelines, family, friends, and political associates of Dr. Sam Sam Jaja have been in a festive mood since Sunday, celebrating a man they describe with a thousand kind words.


As an accomplished public servant, the Balolo of Opobo Kingdom and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress who turned 70 on Monday, August 3 continues to live footprints on the sands of time as he has served humanity in several capacities including as National Chairman, National Referee Association(NRA), Deputy National Chairman, People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He is currently the Board Chairman, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital
The celebration which happened at different parts of the country was flagged off in Port Harcourt with a Thanks Giving Church Service at New Covenant Anglican Church, Nzimiro Street, Port Harcourt even with the absence of the celebrant who is unavoidably outside of the state.
Former Chairman of Andoni local government area, Orom Nte thanked the Vicar in charge, Venerable Ifeanyi Amagboso for the prayers of the church which has kept Dr. Sam Sam Jaja to this ripe age of 70. He said the family, friends, and political associates of the celebrated statesman look forward to returning to the church to celebrate his 100th birthday.


On his part, Dave Okumgba, the South-South Zonal Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC said information about the event was managed to avoid a crowd, adding that the Opobo Chief has demonstrated again and again that he is a godly man.
Former Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Leyii Kwanee eulogized the septuagenarian. “He is an asset to Rivers people and that is why we have come to celebrate him”, he said. “He is a decent man. He is a man of integrity.”

Cutting the cake


The Chief Medical Director of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Professor Henry Ugboma told FR News on the Port Harcourt home of the celebrant where a quiet reception was organized in his honor that “Sam Sam Jaja means so much to me.” Scientifically, the year 70 is a year to remember.” “He is a father to all who come around him. We pray for more years so that he can continue empowering more people.”


Describing Dr Sam Sam Jaja as “a man in a million”, Madam Sussan Minimah an astute businesswoman and community leader told pressmen at the event that the excitements and fanfare everywhere marking his 70th birthday despite him not being available in person is a testimony of his unique and loveable personality. “Dr Sam Sam Jaja is a man who loves the rich, the poor and the downtrodden”, she said.

Madam Susan Minimah speaking to the press

Evangelist Chris Jaja who is the President General of Opobo Youth Federation said Dr Sam Sam Jaja is the only person with the title ‘Balolo’ in the entire Opobo kingdom. He said, “all youths of Opobo across the country are celebrating him because of his love and respect for young people.”

Evangelist Chris Jaja


On her part, the Acting Women leader of the APC in Rivers State, Beatrice Dappa said she has known no regrets since known Dr. Jaja. “I call him my bishop because of his love for God.” “I am where I am because of him. I pray that God will continue to keep him safe and may he never lack.”
For Fidelis Inyie Jaja, Dr Sam Sam Jaja’s youthful look at 70 is a reflection of the grace of God upon him. “He is a kindhearted man that is willing to embrace every soul that comes around him.” He helped to change me from Mr to Honourable, he has stabilized my life.”

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SPONSORED: CALL FOR SMALL GRANT APPLICATION

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Women United for Economic Empowerment (WUEE) is a non-governmental organization with a mission to promote women/children rights, human development to the rural/urban poor women, youth, children and other vulnerable groups. WUEE in partnership with United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) announces a Call for small grant application for interested and eligible CSOs/CBOs in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, on STRENGTHENING GOOD GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES AT THE LOCAL LEVEL IN NIGERIA

Purpose for Fund

The project seeks to increase the capacities of 20 civil CSOs/CBOs and Local Government Chairmen in order to help them fulfill their roles and responsibilities more effectively in a democratic system. It is meant to strengthen good governance and democratic processes at the local level in Nigeria and to increase citizen participation. The project shall be conducted in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. Trained representatives of selected CSOs and CBOs shall in conjunction with local stakeholders organize civic education programs for Twenty Thousand (20,000) local citizens in their local communities (1,000 per CSO/CBO), in order to promote citizens’ understanding and participation in the democratic processes.

MINIMUM ELIGIBILITY

Applicants must:

  • Be Not-for-profit organizations.
  • Have expertise in governance programming.
  • Have presence in the Local Government/community in which the program will be conducted.
  • Be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
  • Have a track record of working with indigenous women, youth, persons with disabilities (PWD).
  • Be willing to comply with all technical and financial requirements for participation in the program, including reporting and documentation of project activities, communication strategy and capacity development opportunities.
  • Be willing to participate in assessments, trainings, workshops, meetings and other activities considered important for achieving project goal.

SUBMISSION INFORMATION:

Interested organizations shall submit 4 hard copies of grant proposal including Certificate of registration with CAC to Women United for Economic Empowerment Office located at No. 70 Nwaniba Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State and soft copy via Email: wuee2002@yahoo.com or wuee2002@gmail.com. Applications must be received not later than Thursday, 13th August, 2020 at 16.00 hrs.  No late application will be accepted

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