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FG plans N15 billion revitalisation fund for its polytechnics



FG plans N15 billion revitalisation fund for its polytechnics
FG plans N15 billion revitalisation fund for its polytechnics

Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu

The Federal Government plans to release N15b for the revitalisation of facilities in its polytechnics.

Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr David Gender, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday at a retreat for Chairmen of Governing Councils and Principal Officers of Federal Polytechnics.

He spoke as a representative of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.

Gender told the retreat that the government was also planning to review the scheme of service of polytechnic staff as well as resolve the issue of Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS-­15) migration.

The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) developed CONTISS-15 in 2009.

It refers to the movement of staff from one salary grade level to the next salary grade level provided they meet all necessary requirements.

Some of the mandatory requirements include that staff must have been employed before August 2009.

According to Gender, the Federal Government is effectively engaging staff unions of polytechnics on their demands geared toward the improvement in the quality of research, teaching and learning.

“The Federal Government is committed to rapid development of our education sector with particular emphasis on technical and vocational education and training.

“This is achievable through the improvement of tertiary education funding majorly by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, the CBN, and the Niger Delta Development Commission, among others.

“Unfortunately, efforts of the government are hampered by persistent corruption in the sector.

“One of the strategies the ministry is adopting in addressing the issues and challenges in the polytechnics sector is the encouragement and support of periodic fund raising initiatives,’’ he said.

Gender told the retreat that initiatives included the launching of endowment funds, patents, consultancy and commercialisation of research.

He said the provision in the National Policy on Education where not less than 70 per cent of admissions into polytechnics shall be in technology-based courses was of great significance.

He charged the councils and managements to comply strictly with the policy as the ministry would continue to monitor the level of compliance.

Gender called for the support of participants to collectively face the numerous challenges for the positive development of the education sector, national development and global competitiveness.

In a remark, Executive Secretary of the NBTE, Prof. Idris Bugaje, noted that the technical and vocational education and training sector was under siege and it was important to save and turn the fortune of the sector around.

Bugaje bemoaned the upgrading of polytechnics to universities saying this would only lead to the degrading of polytechnics.

“The university is swallowing the polytechnics.

Polytechnics and universities are parallel; we are not feeders.

“Colleges of Education feed the university system.

If you convert them to universities, you are upgrading them, but if you convert a polytechnic to a university, you are degrading it and this will not help the economy.

“We must stop this crave of converting polytechnics to universities.

I advocate a reverse of conversion of universities that are not doing well into polytechnics,’’ he stressed.

In his remarks, Chairman Committee of Chairmen of Governing Councils, Mr Waziri Bulama, said that the polytechnics needed the right leading role in skills development.

Bulama said the committee had come together to resolve the crisis between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics.

He added that the committee was working with the NBTE and the Ministry of Education to promote policy that would ensure the sector received the needed attention.

The retreat has: “Improving Polytechnic Administration: The Role of Governing Councils and Management’’ as its theme.

It was organised by the NBTE in collaboration with the Committee of Federal Polytechnic Rectors.



Smouldering: ASUU Urges FG To Honour Agreements, Memoranda



Smouldering: ASUU Urges FG To Honour Agreements, Memoranda

…ASUU urges FG to honour agreements, memoranda

The Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU), Kano zone, has called on the Federal Government to address all the outstanding issues in the agreements and memoranda they signed with the union to ensure industrial harmony in Nigeria.

The call was made by the Zonal Coordinator, Mr Abdulqadir Muhammad, during a news briefing at the end of a zonal meeting comprising the seven universities in the zone on Thursday in Kano.

He explained that the issues include renegotiation of the Federal Government – ASUU 2009 agreement and funding for the revitalization of public universities for global reckoning, and respect for university autonomy, among others.

According to him, the non-signing of the draft renegotiated agreement has led to widespread discontent and declining morale among their members, resulting in brain drain

“Therefore, ASUU Kano zone calls on the President Bola Tinubu-led administration to respect the provisions of the International Labour Organization(ILO) convention, to which Nigeria is a signatory.”

He also called for the release of funds for the payment of salary arrears, Earned Academic Allowances (EAA)  and withheld salary.

On university autonomy, the union called on the Kano State Government to immediately reinstate the arbitrarily dissolved governing council of the two state-owned universities.

ASUU Kano zone further called on the state governments to take a queue from the presidential directive resulting from court ruling to exempt tertiary institutions from IPPIS and stop illegal enrollment of their members into related platforms.

On the state of the nation, ASUU expressed worry over recurring insecurity, poverty, unemployment, rising cost of living, livelihood displacement, and heightened destitution in the country.

They also called on the government to urgently review the Nigeria University Commission, (NUC) Act to check the proliferation of universities in the country without adequate provision for funding.

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Afolabi Foundation To Award 2000 Scholarship In 2024, Donates Furniture To Abia School



Afolabi Foundation To Award 2000 Scholarship In 2024, Donates Furniture To Abia School

The Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation (AAAF), the philanthropic arm of SIFAX Group, has set a target of awarding a scholarship to 2,000 indigent students nationwide in 2024.

Foluke Ademokun, Executive Coordinator, AAAF, while speaking on the activities of the non-governmental organisation in the first quarter of this year, noted that the driving force behind this initiative was to support indigent parents and tackle the menace of out-of-school children.

She said: “We are focused on helping the government reduce the number of out-of-school children, so in our way, we have provided a platform where we source and pay for school fees of indigent students across Nigeria so they can access quality education, despite the financial circumstance of their parents or guardians and we have been doing this since the inception of the Foundation about 15 years ago. Thousands of underprivileged children have benefitted from the Foundation.

“In the first quarter of 2024, we have paid for over 237 students in Lagos and Zaria and we are optimistic that before the end of the year, we should reach more than 2,000 students. The Foundation also plans to equip the students with in-demand skills, promote life-long learning opportunities, and reduce inequalities in access to quality education.”

Ademokun further said the foundation also extended support to Umunna Comprehensive Secondary School, Umuosu in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State with the donation of 3-in-1 desks and seats to foster a good learning environment that would impact the student’s overall learning experience and success.

 “When we visited the school and we saw that the environment was not conducive for learning especially the tables and desks used by the students, we knew that an intervention was necessary to make the school attractive for the students, this was why we initiated this donation of new desks and seats. We believe that the students will be motivated and better engaged with the new desks and seats”, she noted.

Other projects executed by the Foundation and SIFAX Group in the first quarter of the year, according to Ademokun, include the provision of daily meals for indigents in Zaria, donation of foodstuffs to over 1,000 Lagos residents, free medical outreaches in Lagos and Ogun states, digital training for market women in Lagos, distribution of energy-efficient stoves to women in Abia state, and start-up grants to women in Zaria, Kaduna state. 

While commenting on the various projects, Basil Agboarumi, Executive Director, Corporate and Governmental Affairs, SIFAX Group noted that the Group was committed to investing in the underprivileged Nigerians through its various intervention projects aimed at improving their quality of life.

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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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