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ASUU Says 46 Members Lost Their Lives To Economic Hardship



The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Abuja zone, has disclosed the death of some of its members due to economic hardship alongside poor remuneration of academics and unfavourable working conditions.

The 1st zonal coordinator, ASUU, Abuja zone, Salahu Muhammed made this known while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Monday.

Muhammad said no fewer than 46 academics lost their lives in universities under the Abuja zone.

They are the University of Abuja, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State University, Nasarawa, and the Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai.

He said that the union recently lost an eminent Professor of Fisheries, Johnson Oyero, of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, due to inability to afford quality medical facilities.

“In the last decade, more Nigerian academics are leaving the country in droves in search of greener pastures, thereby overworking the patriotic ones that remain in the system whose level of patriotism is dwindling daily due to poor remuneration and working conditions.

“It is also worthy of note that the union has lost several members during the period under review due to herculean working conditions, psychological and emotional stress, and diseases related to these conditions.

“For instance, universities in the Abuja zone have lost 46 members,” Muhammed said.

He decried the payment to their members, of amputated two-month salaries by the Federal Government out of the seven-and-a-half month withheld salaries.

Also, the 2nd ASUU Abuja Zonal Coordinator, Mr Salahu Lawal, said the salaries were withheld when the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari invoked a ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy on members of the union that embarked on a strike that lasted eight months in 2022.

Lawal said despite the order by President Tinubu for the release and payment of their withheld salaries, some members have reportedly received an amputated two-month salary of the seven-and-a-half-month withheld salaries, while many were yet to get anything.

“This is far below the expectation of the union and further weakens the morale of our members and the union’s trust in government promises.

“We use this medium to call on all that are involved in this inglorious act to do the needful with regards to lecturers’ withheld salaries as there is nothing more to prove,” he said.

Lawal also lamented the inability of the government to implement the exemption of Federal Universities from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) as approved by the federal Executive Council in December 2023.

‘’In December 2023, the Minister of Education after a FEC meeting told the world that tertiary institutions are now exempted from the IPPIS an imposition on federal universities by the immediate past Buhari-led government.

“It is worrisome that two months after that pronouncement, the directive has not been implemented rather there was a funny narration on the salaries paid in January stating ‘’New IPPIS’’.

“This is lack of political will to carry out a directive from the president or even FEC by some elements who are beneficiaries of the dubious payment platform,’’ Lawal stated.

He further called on the Federal Government to sign and implement the Professor Nimi Briggs committee renegotiation agreement.

The ASUU Zonal Coordinator called for the immediate implementation of salary awards of 25 percent and 35 percent and payment of its arrears from January 2023 to date

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Lion Kills OAU Zoo Attendant 



…Lion killed instantly 

Mr Olawuyi Olarewaju, a veterinary technologist with Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun,  has been killed by a Lion.

It was learnt that Olarewaju, who had been in charge of the OAU Zoological Garden for over a decade, was attacked by a nine -year-old male lion on Monday.

He was said to have been attacked while feeding the lion at the zoological garden of the university.

Confirming the incident, Mr Biodun Olarewaju, the OAU Public Relations Officer, said the management of the university had been thrown into mourning following the incident.

Olarewaju, in a statement in Ile-Ife, said that other members of staff of the university, who were at the scene of the incident did everything within their powers to rescue the deceased but the wild cat had already caused severe fatalities.

He said that saddened by the tragic event, the aggressive lion had been euthanized.

“On hearing the sad news, the management team, led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Adebayo Bamire, abruptly ended an on-going meeting for an on-the-spot assessment.

“The vice chancellor was informed on arrival by the Acting Director of the University Health and Medical Centre, Dr Tirimisiyu Olatunji, that all first aid and medical efforts to save the life of the victim failed.

“The deceased has been taking care of the lions since they were born on campus about nine years ago but tragically, the male lion killed the man who had been feeding them.

“The university management has sent a delegation to the widow and children of the deceased,    imploring them to take solace in God who gives life and also has the power to take life,” he said.

Olarewaju said that the management had ordered a comprehensive investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident.

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SIFAX Chairman, Afolabi Agrees To Deliver LAUTECH Convocation Lecture In April



…Following the University’s Special Visit and Invitation

The Chairman of SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi has agreed to deliver the Convocation lecture at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology LAUTECH, Ogbomosho, come April 2024.

This was a sequel to an invitation by the management of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho led by its Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Rasak Olatunde Rom Kalilu, following a courtesy visit to the revered SIFAX Group Chairman, recently. 

*L-R: Professor Temisan Ebijuwa, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology; Chike Ogeah, Managing Director, Mac-Folly Hospitality, a subsidiary of SIFAX Group owners of Lagos Marriott Hotel; Professor Rasak Olatunde Kalilu, Acting Vice Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho; Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group and Wunmi Eniola-Jegede, Executive Director, Business Development and Strategic Planning during the formal visit of the LAUTECH management team to invite Afolabi to give the University’s convocation lecture in April 2024 held at the Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja.

The SIFAX Group Chairman, in the course of the visit, was adequately briefed on happenings in the University.

ALSO READ: SIFAX Chairman Lauds Gerar University On Infrastructure, Donates Bus

The LAUTECH has been at the forefront of Nigerian universities actively promoting transportation logistics and maritime studies.

*R-L: Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group; Professor Rasak Olatunde Kalilu, Acting Vice Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho; Professor Temisan Ebijuwa, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and another staff of the university during the formal visit of the LAUTECH management team to invite Afolabi to give the University’s convocation lecture in April 2024 held at the Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, 

Consequently, the Maritime First learnt that the Convocation lecture would provide a unique opportunity for the renowned business mogul, not only to further expose the lucky audience, to the unfolding opportunities in the various industries where he presently towers like a colossus; but also to impact them with the tools and motivation needed for a successful exploration of the nation’s Blue Economy.

ALSO READ: SIFAX: Ajayi Crowther University Honours Taiwo Afolabi With a Doctorate Degree

* L-R: Professor Rasak Olatunde Kalilu, Acting Vice Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho and Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group in a discussion during the formal visit of the LAUTECH management team to invite Afolabi to give the University’s convocation lecture in April 2024 held at the Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, today.

 The University’s next convocation is scheduled for April 2024.

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Blue Economy: Unilorin Signs MoU With Switzerland



…As NCRIB pledges support to Marine, Blue Economy Ministry

Prof. Wahab Egbewole, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin), has pledged to partner with relevant bodies to promote the Blue Economy study and the utilisation of its potential in the university.

The blue economy is a term in economics relating to the exploitation, preservation, and regeneration of the marine environment.

Egbewole made the commitment on Tuesday in Ilorin while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Blue Economy with Premium Blue Economy Innovation and Investments Limited and the Porrima Foundation, Gryon, Switzerland.

He expressed his readiness to transform Unilorin into a hub for Blue Economy training in Nigeria to contribute its quota to the emerging field.

He hinted at the possibility of partnering with universities outside Nigeria for research exchange as well as the exchange of staff and students.

Egbewole added that this global perspective aligns with Unilorin’s commitment to providing a comprehensive and enriching educational experience for its community.

“The joint initiative between the University of Ilorin and its international partners signifies a crucial step towards advancing research, innovation, and practical applications in the realm of Blue Economy,” he said.

The vice chancellor stated that this would position the institution as a catalyst for sustainable economic development in Nigeria.

“Blue Economy is something that is emerging, but we want to be part of it and we believe there is no harm in exploring and exploiting.

“We believe it is our resolve that this is something that is doable, and we are ready to give it all that it takes, especially since it does not require us to put any money on the table,” he said.

Egbewole explained that Unilorin would leverage its expertise, generating ideas that could be translated into tangible economic gains.

Chief Tajudeen Karim, who spoke on behalf of Premium Blue Economy Innovation and Investments Ltd, and the Porrima Foundation, said the MoU has heralded a transformative partnership aimed at propelling Unilorin into the forefront of the growing Blue Economy sector.

He acknowledged the commendable efforts of the Federal Government in establishing the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

According to him, this signals a crucial awakening to the vast potential within the marine and emerging Blue Economy sector.

He said that the partnership would involve training of students from Unilorin, both locally and internationally, engaging in tangible economic activities, such as utilising resources like sugarcane, manures, and animal waste.

Karim added that in few weeks, the collaboration would extend beyond academic activities to encompass the business aspect of the initiative.

He expressed the hope that Unilorin would establish a dedicated department whose focus would be marine and Blue Economy. 

In another development, the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) has expressed its commitment to adding value to the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

Mr Babatunde Oguntade, President, NCRIB, gave the assurance when he led a delegation of the council on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola.

A statement made available to newsmen in Lagos stated this.

Oguntade said that the council would contribute to the ministry, through required advisory services in insurance and risk management when engaged.

According to him, this is part of the strategic collaboration initiatives of the current leadership of the NCRIB.

The NCRIB’s president lauded Oyeyola for his past support to the council while imploring him to use his strategic position to further strengthen the relationship of insurance brokers with the government.

Oguntade said: “The knowledge of the government about the roles of insurance was still low.

“It takes the commitment of astute members and professionals like the minister and others in top executive positions in government to redress the trend.

In his remark, Oyetola appreciated the brokers for visiting.

He affirmed remaining a proud member of the NCRIB and by extension, the insurance family, being one of the pioneer graduates of insurance from the University of Lagos.

The minister assured the council of greater support and promotion of the roles of brokers amongst his contemporaries in government.

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