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ASUU Strike: NLC threatens to embark on one-day nationwide protest

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ASUU ”Conditionally” Calls Off 8-Month Old Strike

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), says it will embark on a one-day nationwide protest to compel the Federal Government to find immediate resolutions to contending issues with education sector unions.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba said this during the opening of the Congress’ Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Thursday in Abuja.

Wabba expressed sadness over the continued closure of the country’s tertiary institutions due to unresolved labour disputes between the Federal Government and unions in education.

The newsmen report that while the Federal Government continues to work on the demands of the unions, academic activities across all public universities, polytechnics, and colleges of Education have been suspended.

The unions are demanding to fund the revitalization fund, earned allowances, implementation of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) scheme, as well as promotion arrears.

Other demands are; the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FG Agreement, and the resolution of inconsistency in the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), among others.

Wabba said: “You will recall that the last decision we took, we even went to the extent of writing to President Muhammadu Buhari, we gave a 21-day notice for them to converge a very high-powered meeting.

“We demanded that the meeting should be chaired either by the Secretary of Government of the Federation (SGF), or the Chief of Staff to the President, for this issue to be resolved once and for all.

“That meeting was called, but from the reports that I have been receiving from all the unions in the education sector, progress has not been made.

“The timeline of three weeks that was given to the committees for all reports to be turned in, and for government to be able to take a concrete decision, has not been met.”

The NLC president, however, alleged that there was reluctance by the Federal Government in addressing the issues.

“Therefore, the Central Working Committee has decided that there will be a one-day national protest.

“This is to call the attention of the government to resolve the issues immediately.

Troops clear IPOB/ESN camps in Anambra, Enugu, recover weapons

“We have also asked all our affiliates by the next one week to issue statements,” he said.

He said the decision to embark on the one-day national protest was imperative as children of the poor had continued to remain at home.

He also said that CWC had observed that there was an increase in social vices, which could be traced to the fact that youths had been at home for months.

Wabba also condemned the lingering scarcity of fuel and the long queues across the country.

According to him, it is pathetic that Nigeria has not availed itself of the rich endowment of oil resources by continuing to depend on imported petroleum products for local consumption.

Wabba said that the situation has brought about dire consequences on productivity, economy and well-being of the citizens.

“For instance, diesel is now selling at more than N800 per litre.

It is unfortunate that Nigeria, despite being a major oil-producing country, has continued to fail to refine its own crude oil.

“The result of this is the net total of 100 per cent importation of refined petroleum products into Nigeria.

“The consequence is the heavy hemorrhage of our national coffers, especially given our current challenges, which has also brought about the long queues in almost all the filling stations,’’ he said.

He also noted that the situation had affected the purchasing power of many Nigerians, bringing hardships, while many businesses had been brought to a halt due to dependence on expensive alternative power sources such as generators.

Wabba therefore, said the only way out of the challenges was to end discussions on whether there was subsidy or not and refine petroleum products for domestic use.

He also condemned the recent sack of more than 3,000 teachers by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.

 

Education

Lion Kills OAU Zoo Attendant 

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…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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Education

ASUU Says 46 Members Lost Their Lives To Economic Hardship

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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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Education

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

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…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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