Indications are strong that two presidential candidates for next year’s election have arranged to sell federal universities through Public Private Partnership when they come to power.
The two presidential candidates are behind the scheme, are also planning students loan; a development that would enslave for life the students that would apply for such.
The President of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, made these known in a meeting on Thursday in Makurdi, the capital of Benue state.
Although he declined to disclose the identity of the two presidential candidates, he said they have plans of privatizing the universities and initiating students loan.
He disclosed that the presidential candidates will soon come out with the agenda to privatise federal universities through Public Private Partnership, PPP, or settle for the option of students loan with five percent interest after they have been sworn in.
According to him, “If you don’t know, they are planning to sell the universities (federal universities) through Public Private Partnership.
“This is being planned by two presidential candidates and the other plan is to initiate students loan at five percent interest.”
Speaking against Nigerian universities partaking student loan programmes, the ASUU president said, “In Nigeria where you have graduates that can not get job for several years and by the time you spend 30 years the loan will run to N40 million.”
Apparently sad at the development, the ASUU president stated that focus would be on the universities over alleged financially recklessness. “After we are done with federal government, we will come back to the management of funds in our universities, because some of the universities have problem of poor management of funds.
“As University, we don’t know how money is spent, how many of the universities have budget. The federal government, National Assembly have their budget but this is not so in some universities. We are going to fight that soon”, Osodeke said.
Uniform Not Licence Against Criminal Prosecution, NYSC Ag. DG Warns Corps Members
Authorities of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) have urged corps members against actions and omissions that are capable of tarnishing the image of the scheme, warning that the national uniform of service does not confer on them the immunity against criminal prosecution.
The NYSC, through the Acting Director General of the NYSC, Mrs Christy Uba, told Corps members after reviewing a colourful parade marking the successful end of 2022 Batch C, Stream I Orientation Course at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Boro Town, Bayelsa State, that they should not believe that they are above the law and cannot be prosecuted.
The Acting Director General of the NYSC, Mrs Christy Uba, represented by the State Coordinator, Mr Muhammed Adamu Jiya, described Corps members as Patriots on national assignment and are expected to live an exemplary life style that will show they are truly qualified in character and learning.
According to the him, students, teenagers and youths are watching carefully to copy from the graduate youths in the Service Corps, “They are to avoid actions and omissions that are capable of tarnishing the image of the scheme.”
“Particularly, the corps members were enjoined to avoid keeping late nights and shun cultism, drug abuse, prostitution, kidnapping and armed robbery. Do not think that as Corps Members you are above the Law and cannot be prosecuted. The national uniform you are wearing does not confer on you any unique advantage nor immune you from criminal prosecution.”
“Therefore, resist any temptation that will get you involved in any nefarious act that may bring the name of your family, Alma Mata, NYSC and the nation at large into disrepute.” The Acting DG warned.
He also enjoined the Corps members deployed to Bayelsa state for the mandatory one year national service to live exemplary life style during and after the programme.
As the 2023 General Election draws near, the Corps Members were admonished to be non partisan as they have a critical role to play in the electoral process.
He also cautioned those who will be posted in riverine areas to avoid travelling on any form of water without a life jacket as it a serious offense in the Service Corps, ” shun unnecessary, unwarranted and unapproved journeys and adventures.”
“My dear Corps Members, you will be posted out to your various places of primary assignment. You are expected to quickly report and settle down for national assignment. Be diligent, humble, obedient, respectful and hardworking.”
” Appreciate and respect the culture, language and traditions of your host communities. I also encourage you to initiate, execute and commission viable projects that will positively impact on your host communities”
He also restated that both the State Government and the NYSC have an effective reward system for Corps Members who have distinguished themselves during the service year.
He appealed to Corps Employers in the state not to reject without genuine reason but assist them to to settle down by providing them with accommodation and other welfare packages.
The Acting Director General also used the opportunity to thank the Executive Governor of the State, Sen. Douye Diri for his sustained interest in the welfare and security of Corps Members as well as the approval for the construction of walk ways and additional two hostels which when completed will increase the number of Corps Personnel posted to the state and ease accommodation challenge at the Orientation Camp.
The NYSC Boss acknowledged the peaceful nature of the host community and commended the Camp Officials for the synergy, cooperation and teamwork, ” the various collaborating agencies that released their personnel for the national duty were commended for the unprecedented support to the scheme”.
Half-pay: Nasarawa varsity lecturers protest, seek Ngige’s sacking
Following the crisis between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government of Nigeria, members of ASUU at the Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa state, Friday, staged a peaceful protest in the school premises and called for the immediate sack of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
The ASUU FuLafia members earlier held a one-hour congress where the decision was reached to embark on the protest.
Speaking during the demonstration, Chairman of ASUU in the institution, Adam Abdullahi, said they decided to organise the peaceful protest to demand for Ngige’s sack because they were paid half-salaries for the month of October.
He lamented the minister’s refusal to pay them their eight months outstanding salaries since the union embarked on strike in the month of February.
Abdullahi warned that if the current crisis between the FG and the national body of the union is not urgently resolved, it could cause a bleak future for the Nigerian youths.
He said, “The reason for this protest is to tell the Federal Government to sack the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, for his handling of the ASUU strike and the effect of that strike on the Nigerian educational system. The protest is also to tell the FG to pay us our withheld salaries.
“The Minister of Education has also failed. They paid us pro-rata and we are not casual workers. Pro-rata is the casualisation of the University workforce, and we are saying No to this.
“The government should listen to our (ASUU) demands and grant our request. The demands that we put on the table before the strike are still on, none of them have been met.
“Anytime it was due for the government to pay, instead of paying, they create an emergency and we are saying No to this. So because of all these, academic activities in the institution will be grounded for today and we may continue if nothing is done about our demands.”
Our correspondent reports that the ASUU FuLafia members carried placards with several inscriptions which include; ‘Buhari Sack Ngige Now’, ‘Adamu Adamu Has Failed’, ‘No To Pro-Rata Salary’, ‘Pay Attention To Education’, ‘Pay Withheld Salaries’, among others.
One of the students of the University who spoke on behalf of the others, Muhammed Musa, expressed great concerns on the lingering crisis between the FG and ASUU, and appealed that the issues should be resolved as soon as possible in order for them to continue their studies without any hitches.
FG reintroduces history subject in basic schools
*Begins training of 3,700 history teachers
By Francesca Iwambe
The Federal Government has announced formal re-introduction of History as a stand alone subject in basic education system in Nigeria thirteen years after it was abolished.
Naijablitznews.com, reports this is coming 13 years after the subject was eliminated across tertiary learning institutions in the country.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu made the disclosure during the the flag-off ceremony of the re-introduction of teaching of History and training of History teachers at basic education level, in Abuja, on Thursday.
The minister also disclosed that no fewer than 3,700 History teachers have also been shortlisted for the first round of training for enhanced teaching of the subject.
Adamu who was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Opiah, described the earlier moves that culminated in the expunge of the subject in basic schools as monumental mistake which the country is already reaping the negative effects.
He said: “History used to be one of the foundational subjects taught in classrooms, but for some inexplicable reasons, some things happened, and as a result, history was subsequently expunged from the list of subject combination in our schools.
“This single act, no doubt, relegated and eroded the knowledge and information that learners could have been exposed to. It was a monumental mistake and we have already started seeing its negative consequences.
“The loss created by the absence of this subject has led to a fall in moral values, erosion of civic values, and disconnect from the past. More worrisone was the neglect of the teaching of this subject at basic and post-basic levels of education which invariably eroded the knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria as a country.”
The Minister added that the training and retraining of teachers in order to enhance their capacity development that would lead to the mastery of the subject will be a focus of the re-introduction.
He said: “Teachers will be provided with the requisite skills needed to teach the subject, the technique, methodology which will eventually give the subject a didactic outlook that will arouse the interest of the children to listen with rapt attention and remove the initial barriers that may have inhibited learning.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Hamid Bobboyi, in his remarks, explained that the 3,700 History teachers selected from the 36 states of the federation and FCT would participate in the training.
He explained that the selection was done on pro-rata (proportional) basis, 100 teachers each from a state and FCT, stressing that the training would equip them with the necessary skills to teach the subject, especially with the modification of the subject content.
Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, in his goodwill message, said that Nigeria, as a country, is still evolving and striving to achieve nationhood, adding that the rich history of the country’s diverse constituents should be explored and exploited to serve as an effective tool for nation building.
He appealed to traditional rulers as custodians of the nation’s rich culture, traditions and values, and indeed, all Nigerians to support the bold step taken by the government and given effect by UBEC, to return the teaching of history as a subject at basic education level.
“We owe it a duty to encourage research for the documentation of the history of our people and should be forthcoming in granting access to historical records in our custody,” he said.
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