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FUTA students barricade Akure-Ilesa Highway over lingering ASUU Strike

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Students of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Ondo State, on Monday barricaded the Akure-Ilesa Highway, protesting the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The action of the students forced many motorists and travellers to be stranded.

Also read: ASUU strike has worsened drug abuse – Gov. Obaseki

The protesters blocked the highway at the main entrance of the Institution, chanting different solidarity songs and displaying placards with various inscriptions such as: “End ASUU Strike”, “Save our future”, and “Stop Toying with our Future.”

Speaking with newsmen, Mr Abiodun Ibiyemi, the President of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the university, said:” We can no longer bear the brunt of the feud between ASUU and the Federal Government.

”We call for a well-established resolution for the benefit of the students.

”Our future is being challenged by constant and lingering strike”,

The newsmen report that the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Sunday Asefon, on May 10 condemned the strike extension and declared a nationwide protest.

Asefon made this known following the ASUU’s announcement that it has extended its strike for 12 more weeks.

”Having exhausted all windows of constructive engagement with the government.

I, on behalf of the national leadership of NANS, therefore, declare National Action from May 10.

”The national action tagged “Operation Test Run” shall be held in all the 36 states of the federation.

Federal roads across the 36 states shall be occupied for a minimum of three hours.

Newsmen also report that on Feb. 15, ASUU began a four-week rollover strike following the Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands.

The National President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, said the decision was taken after the union’s National Executive Committee meeting.

Osodeke said since the last meeting the union had with the Federal Government in December 2021, it had not received any formal invitation from the government.

ASUU extended the action by another two months to afford the government more time to address all of its demands.

ASUU also accused the government of displaying an indifferent attitude toward its demands.

Osodeke, in a statement to announce the extension of the rollover strike, noted that the national executive council of the union “was disappointed that Government did not treat the matters involved with utmost urgency they deserved during the four-week period as expected of a reasonable, responsive, and well-meaning administration”.

He said NEC concluded that the government had failed to satisfactorily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the four-week roll-over strike period and resolved that the strike be rolled over for another eight weeks.

The statement read in part: “The meeting was called to review developments since the Union declared a four weeks total and comprehensive roll-over strike action at the end of its NEC meeting at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos on Feb. 12 to Feb. 13.

sodeke said the strike continues over the government’s failure to “satisfactorily” implement the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with the Union in December 2020 on funding for revitalisation of public universities (both Federal and state), renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ ASUU Agreement and the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

Other demands of the union as listed by ASUU include Earned Academic Allowances, State Universities, promotion arrears, withheld salaries, and non-remittance of third-party deductions.

Education

Smouldering: ASUU Urges FG To Honour Agreements, Memoranda

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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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Education

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

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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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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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