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Save public universities from total collapse, ASUU begs Tinubu

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Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to sign and implement the renegotiated 2009 ASUU – FGN agreement in line with the Collective Bargaining Principles as enshrined in the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention.

ASUU said that should the  President heed to the appeal and act accordingly, it would save the nation’s public universities from total collapse.

The union added that it would also ensure that lecturers were not goaded into another round of avoidable strike by their conditions of service.

The Coordinator of the Lagos zone of ASUU, Prof. Adelaja Odukoya made the appeal yesterday while addressing the press at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) Ago Iwoye, Ogun State.

In attendance at the conference were the 7 branch Chairmen – Prof. Kayode Adebayo (University of Lagos), Dr. Isaac Oyewunmi(Lagos State University, Ojo), Dr. Akolade Lapite (Lagos State University of Education), Dr. Tayo Okulaja(Lagos State University of Technology), Dr. Gbenga Akinleye(Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Dr. Wale Ositoye(Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun) and Dr. Wasiu Olooto (OOU).

Also in attendance were the immediate past branch chairmen of the ASUU – Dr. Joel Okewale (OOU), Dr. Dele Ashiru(UNILAG) and Dr. Olusiji Sowande, former zonal coordinator.

Prof. Odukoya said the union was seeking an interface with the President on how to resolve all issues plaguing the public universities in Nigeria.

He noted that by not signing and implementing the renegotiated 2009 ASUU-FGN since 2021 after it was concluded and which both government and ASUU committed massive resources to at the time, the government had tasked the ASUU’s patience beyond bearable limit.

He urged the Tinubu-led Federal Government to without further delay, set in motion machineries for the quick signing and implementation of the agreement to avoid another round of industrial crises in the nation’s public universities.

He identified other issues requiring urgent attention of the Tinubu’s administration as poor funding and proliferation of state and federal universities, non – release of monthly subventions, irregular payment of staff salaries, decayed and dilapidated infrastructures, non-payment/release of check-off and other third party deductions etc.

The Lagos zone coordinator lamented that visitors of federal and state universities have turned establishment of universities to constituency projects.

He said, “For the umpteenth time, our Union again call the attention of the public to the insincere proliferation and mushrooming of universities by both the Federal Government and Visitors to State Universities. The most disturbing aspect of this anomaly is that while most Governments, at Federal and State levels have not been adequately funding existing universities (inadequate subventions; non-release of monthly subventions; irregular payment of staff salaries, decayed and dilapidated infrastructures, non-payment/release of check-off and other third party deductions etc.), Visitors of Federal and State universities have turned establishment of universities to constituency projects.

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Tinubu’s Minister Disobeys President’s Order, Fails to Confirm Appointment As Directed

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, has allegedly failed to implement President Bola Tinubu’s directive to appoint Nicholas Agbo-Ella as Nigeria’s OPEC Governor.

Recall that in a May 6 directive, President Tinubu instructed Lokpobiri to submit Agbo-Ella’s name to replace Gabriel Aduda, who was redeployed to the Ministry of Women Affairs.

President Tinubu in his memo to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and copied to Mr Lokpobiri said that Mr Lokpobiri should “take immediate steps to notify OPEC of the change of Permanent Secretary and replace Ambassador Gabriel T. Aduda’s name with Ambassador Nicholas Agbo-Ella as the Governor nominated by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, being the current Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum.”

The minister was directed to ensure the “replacement is confirmed by the conference scheduled for 1 June 2024.”

Mr Aduda is a brother to former FCT Senator Philip Aduda who is reportedly an ally of Nyesom Wike.

 

According to sources within the administration, Mr. Lokpobiri has failed to submit Mr. Agbo-Ella’s name to the OPEC Board of Governors as of June 1, despite the president’s directive.

The reason behind Mr. Lokpobiri’s inaction is unclear, and it remains a mystery why Mr. Aduda, who has been reassigned to the Ministry of Women Affairs, continues to serve as OPEC governor.

 

Checks show that Mr Aduda is still listed as Nigeria’s Governor on the OPEC website.

Sources close to the ministry revealed that Mr. Aduda, despite his transfer from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, was recently photographed receiving the OPEC Secretary General, Haitham Al Ghais, in Nigeria. Additionally, a photograph dated June 2, 2024, shows Mr. Lokpobiri and Mr. Aduda attending an OPEC meeting virtually.

This is also not Mr. Aduda’s first controversial involvement. In May 2014, it was widely reported how he entered the federal civil service despite failing exams at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

After resigning due to poor performance, he was surprisingly appointed Director of the Economic Research and Policy Management Department at the Federal Ministry of Finance just six months later. He has since served in various ministries, including Foreign Affairs, Petroleum Resources, and now Women’s Affairs.

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Senators new timetable now 11am to 3pm for Plenary

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The Senate has amended its rule book to start holding Plenary from 11am to 3pm.

The Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, had raised two motions at the commencement of plenary.

One of motions was an amendment to the standing rules which proposed that the Senate shifts the timing of its sittings on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 11am, and close by 3pm like their counterpart in the House of Representatives.

The Senate Leader also moved his second motion on Standing Committee’s Amendment of order 96 to create the Senate Committee on Reparation and repatriation.

However, the second motion was stepped down as senators opted to debate on the issue of sitting time.

While lending his voice to the issue, Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio had indicated that the most urgent motion was to align the time of resumption with what obtains in the House of Representatives.

He suggested that the motion should be separated and that the first one to be taken should be the time of sitting.

However, the Immediate past President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan while making his contribution, disagreed with Akpabio.

Lawan said, “I don’t know the basis at the moment for which we want to shift our sitting from 10 to 11 and end at 3pm, for me, we have more energy, our eyes are clearer in the morning and one hour into the day, probably we would have lost some energy.

“If we work between 10am and 2pm, if we sit in the plenary between 10am and 2pm, our committees would do better. If we don’t have any reason except we have to synchronize with the House, I think we need to look at it again.

“However, if we have other reasons that we must change, that is fine. If it is just to synchronize with the House may have their reasons for sitting at 11 and close by 3pm but here I don’t see the reasons.”

Responding Akpabio threw it back at Lawan that the idea of the Senate sitting by 11am started during his time as the President of the 9th Senate especially during the period of the COVID-19.

But Lawan reacted by saying it was as a result of the COVID-19 that the time was tinkered from 10am to 11am adding that they had to cut down on the number of days for plenary.

Akpabio then reacted that, “Our rules said 10am but we came to meet the tradition of 11am, the only thing that we changed was to add additional day because during that COVID-19 period we were sitting twice a week.

“I said no, since there is no more COVID we should sit three times in a week and we maintained what we saw, 11am but now we are.saying that we have not been able to justify the 11am sitting unless it reflects same on our rules.

“The Idea of 3pm in my view is not correct because it does not mean you must sit till 3pm, it simply means if we don’t have musc to do we can close at 1pm or 2pm to enable our colleagues to go for committee sittings and other matters related to the proceedings of the Senate such as clearances and all that.

“The only aspect of it is to legalise it so that people don’t have the impression that we are sitting at 11am while the rule says 10am”.

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Sad! Lagos Marwa operator takes own life over tricycle seizure

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A yet-to-be-identified tricyclist has died by suicide after efforts to reportedly retrieve his seized tricycle from some government agents proved abortive in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the tricyclist was heading to a destination in the state when the officials intercepted him for an offence.

Following the interception, the officers reportedly seized the tricycle and took it to their office located close to the Jubilee Estate, along the Ikorodu-Sagamu Expressway.

Efforts by the tricycle operator to retrieve his tricycle from the officials were said to have been futile.

Our correspondent learnt that perplexed by the development, the tricyclist, in an apparent effort to protest the seizure of his tricycle, went to a tree at the front of the fence of the compound where the offices of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, and Vehicle Inspection Officers are situated, close to the Jubilee Estate, along the Ikorodu-Sagamu Expressway, and hanged himself.

An eyewitness, Prince Excel of Aiyekooto Reporters, in a video posted on WhatsApp, described the case as unfortunate, noting that the man killed himself on Thursday morning.

He said, “This is early Thursday morning, July 11, 2024, an unfortunate situation just happened right now. A man just committed suicide on the major road at the Jubilee Estate infront of the LASTMA gate on the Sagamu Road. This is quite unfortunate.”

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