UPDATED: Nigerian Govt To Review Resumption Date For Schools, Says Education Minister

A file photo of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.

 

The Nigerian government says it is currently reviewing the January 18 resumption date for schools across the country, following the rise in COVID-19 cases.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, stated this on Monday at the resumed briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

On his part, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, spoke about the ongoing enrolment exercise being conducted by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC).

He noted that only the President has the power to issue any order to alter the subsisting one regarding the National Identity Number (NIN) registration.

Mamora’s comment was in reaction to his earlier comment where he suggested that the NIN registration may be suspended due to the increased breach in COVID-19 guidelines at the NIMC offices.

For the PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani aliyu, the security agencies will continue to enforce compliance with the non-pharmaceutical interventions within states.

He explained that in spite of a ‘no lockdown policy’, the PTF would review the existing protocols including a review of the curfew hours.

Aliyu added that a permit to travel would be enforced, particularly for travellers from the United Kingdom and South Africa.

Before the task force members took turns to give their updates, the PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, gave the opening remarks.

He outlined the factors that led to the increased figures of coronavirus recorded in the country since November 2020.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), revealed that increased local and international travels were among the major factors.

He listed the others to include increased business and religious activities, reopening of schools without strict compliance with COIVID-19 safety measures.

According to the PTF chairman, no state in Nigeria is immune to the pandemic even if reports are not coming out of such states.

He urged the people to stay away from activities that can expose them to the virus as the nation’s tally crossed 100,000.

Strike: FG Inaugurates Renegotiation Team Over 2009 Agreement With ASUU, Others

File photo: Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu

 

As part of efforts to find a lasting solution to the lingering industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Federal Government has inaugurated a committee to renegotiate the agreements it had with university-based unions in 1999.

Inaugurating the team on Wednesday in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, and the action of the Federal Government is as a result of controversies that have trailed the terms of the agreements by both parties.

Adamu explained that the Federal Government team is expected to take another look at the 2009 agreements reached with the university-based unions and work with each union towards making far-reaching recommendations that would reposition the Nigerian university system.

“The Federal Government team is expected to take another look at the 2009 agreements reached with the University-based unions and work with each union towards making far-reaching recommendations that would reposition the Nigerian university system,” he said.

“It has also become necessary and urgent that all hands must now be on deck to restore the confidence reposed in university education by students, parents, and the general public.”

The government’s team, which is categorised into substantive members, advisers, and observers, is led by Professor emeritus Munzali Jibril.

Other members of the team include Nihinola Akanbi, Professor Nimi Briggs, Architect Lawrence Ngbale, Professor Femi Odekunle, Senator Nkechi Nworgu, Professor Shehu Abdullahi and Senator Mamman Magoro.

FG To Investigate Alleged Diversion Of N2.67bn Meant To Feed Students

File photo: Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu

 

The Federal Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has ordered a full-scale investigation into the alleged diversion of funds meant for a school feeding programme into individual accounts.

Ministry spokesman Ben Bem Goong revealed this in a statement on Tuesday.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) had earlier reported that the sum of N2.67 billion released to the 104 Unity Colleges during the COVID-19 lockdown for meal subsidies found its way into individual accounts.

“In response to queries issued by the Federal Ministry of Education, the Principals explained that payments on meal subsidies to Unity Colleges on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, (GIFMIS) platform is designed to accommodate individual officers of those colleges who are officially recognized to receive such payments and disburse same to food vendors,” the Education Ministry statement said.

“This followed difficulties encountered by farmers, local food vendors and market women who do not have Tax Identification Numbers (TIN), PENCOM and other requirements to access the payment platform.

“The Principals also explained that payments made during the lockdown period had to do with debts owed food vendors even before COVID 19, some of which are still pending, adding that these debts arose from irregular and inadequate budgetary allocations and releases over the years.

“The investigation is to establish the veracity of the claims to ensure that there is no diversion of public funds or misappropriation of same.

“To this end, the Ministry in line with the Ministers directive is to collaborate effectively with officials of the ICPC to unearth the facts as well as find a lasting solution to the payment system for meal subsidies that will ensure accountability and transparency.”

FG Orders Reopening Of Unity Schools

File photo: Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu

 

 

The Federal Government has ordered unity schools in the country,  earlier closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to reopen on October 12th, 2020. 

Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, announced the reopening of the learning centres on Friday in Abuja, during a news conference and explained that the decision was reached after due consultations with stakeholders and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

The Minister explained that with the level of preparations put in place to test and the flattening of the infection curve, the government has come to the conclusion that it is now safe to allow the reopening of schools.

According to him, schools across the country, are, however at liberty to fix resumption dates and ensure that there are adequate safety measures while doing so.

Mr Adamu equally warned that schools who fail to adhere to outlined COVID-19 safety protocols, risk closure if there is an outbreak from such learning facilities.

Immediate Closure

As part of measures to contain the spread of the pandemic in the country, the Federal Ministry of Education on March 19, 2020, ordered the immediate closure of tertiary institutions, secondary as well as primary schools nationwide.

We have directed all higher institutions to close this weekend. Unity Schools that have completed their exams are to close immediately,” the ministry said.  “Others are to hurry and close the latest on 26th March.”

An NCDC graphic showing the nation's COVID-19 statistics as of October 1, 2020.
An NCDC graphic showing the nation’s COVID-19 statistics as of October 1, 2020.

No Complacency

As the Federal Government continues to ease a lockdown imposed at the onset of the virus  – the country is recording lower COVID-19 cases in recent months –  several state governments have announced dates for the reopening of the learning centres.

Despite the declining infection rate in the country – with total cases pegged at  59,001 as of Thursday, October 1, 2020 – the Nigerian government is calling for caution, stressing that the battle against the pandemic is not yet over.

“We will continue to work with communities, we will continue to work with the government and the private sector but it is really important that people protect themselves,” the National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu said in a Channels Television’s special Independence Day programme on Thursday, warning that “COVID has not gone away; we should not be complacent.”

 

 

UNILAG Crisis: Visitation Panel Submits Report To FG

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu

 

The Special Visitation Panel set up by the Federal Government to investigate the management crisis rocking the University of Lagos has submitted the report of its findings.

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, received the report on behalf of the Federal Government in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the recommendations of the panel will be thoroughly scrutinized with the aim of full implementation.

READ ALSO: UNILAG Crisis: Visitation Panel Concludes Investigation

Shortly before presenting the report to the minister, the Chairman of the panel, Professor Tukur Sa’ad expressed optimism that the report of the panel will bring an end to the crisis that has festered in the university over the last one year.

READ ALSO: FG Inaugurates Presidential Panel For UNILAG

This comes three weeks after the Federal Government inaugurated the panel to resolve the lingering crisis facing the institution.

While setting up the panel on August 26, Adamu warned members against interfering in the activities of the university management.

He encouraged the stakeholders in the university to fully cooperate with the panel and to allow it to work unhindered.

“Councils are to lay down policies while managements are to implement them, but over the past one year, the ministry has been inundated with complaints and correspondences from the management and the governing council of the University of Lagos as well as the National Assembly, on the lingering governance issues in the institution, including allegations of financial infractions and breach of responsibilities,” he said.

The panel was set up to investigate the crisis rocking the university, following the earlier removal of its Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, by its Governing Council led by Mr Wale Babalakin, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

 

FG Inaugurates Presidential Panel For UNILAG

'Call Off This Strike', Education Minister Begs ASUU
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, speaks to reporters in Abuja on November 5, 2018.

 

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has inaugurated the Presidential Visitation Panel for the University of Lagos.

The committee which will be chaired by Prof. Tukur Sa’ad is expected to unravel the circumstances that led to the removal of the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe by its governing board, led by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Dr. Wale Babalakin.

Other members of the panel include Barrister Victor Onuohar, Professor Ikenna Onyido, Professor Ekanem Braids, Professor Adamu Usman, Jimoh Bankole and Barrister Grace Ekanem.

Speaking during the inauguration of the committee in Abuja, the Minister assured that the Federal Government will not interfere in the findings of the panel.

The inauguration comes a few days after Senate members of the University of Lagos on Monday elected Professor Folasade Ogunsola as the acting Vice-Chancellor of the school.

Two Deputy Vice-Chancellors, one from Development Services and the other from Management Services, vied for the position.

Out of the 167 senate members who voted at the exercise, 135 voted for DVC Development Services while DVC Management Services got 31 votes, one voided vote was recorded.

The Senate Emergency Committee Chairman, Professor Chioma Agomo who spoke to Channels Television after the election said due process was followed in electing the new acting VC as directed by the Federal Government.

Professor Ogunsola until her election, was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Development Services.

Federal Government had earlier ordered that the University’s Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Wale Babalakin, and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, recuse themselves from official duties, pending the outcome of the panel.

The Federal Government gave the directive last Friday in a press statement signed by the Federal Ministry of Education spokesman, Ben Goong.

It states, “Government also directs the Senate of the University of Lagos to immediately convene to nominate an acting Vice-Chancellor from amongst its members for confirmation by the Governing Council,” the statement added.

Babalakin’s Governing Council had, on August 12, sacked Ogundipe as Vice-Chancellor over alleged financial misappropriation and misconduct.

No Unity School Will Participate In Scheduled WAEC Exams – Adamu Adamu

'Call Off This Strike', Education Minister Begs ASUU
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.

 

The Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu has just announced that no Unity Schools will participate in the scheduled WAEC exams.

Mr Adamu stated this after the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.

He said that none of the schools under his ministry will resume until schools are considered safe.

The Minister urged the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the state governments to reconsider their decision to open for exams.

Coronavirus: FG Orders Closure Of All Tertiary Institutions, Secondary And Primary Schools

'Call Off This Strike', Education Minister Begs ASUU
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, speaks to reporters in Abuja on November 5, 2018.

 

The Federal Ministry of Education has ordered immediate closure of tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools nationwide following the outbreak of Coronavirus in the country and as part of measures to contain the spread.

This was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono.

According to a communique on Thursday, Mr Echono who gave the order on behalf of the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, also noted that all 104 Unity Schools in the country should close on or before the 26th of March, 2020 as a proactive step aimed at preventing the spread of the dreaded Corona virus.

READ ALSO: CAN Declares National Prayers Over Coronavirus

The Minister asked all the Principals of the Unity Colleges to fast track the on-going second term examinations and close shop until further notice.

“We have directed all higher institutions to close this weekend. Unity Schools that have completed their exams are to close immediately.

“Others are to hurry and close the latest on 26th March,” the statement partly read.

In the meantime, the Minister said the management of all the Unity Colleges should immediately activate the necessary emergency procedures and processes such as the provision of alcohol based sanitizers, and hand washing facilities among others, adding that students should strictly adhere to the principles and best practices of good hygiene.

Adamu Adamu also directed the Principals to immediately report any suspicious case to the nearest health authorities, emphasizing that nothing should be taken for granted at this delicate time of the global pandemic.

Minister Of State For Education Seeks Medical Aid Abroad

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu has called for prayers for the Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwukah who is currently in the United States for medical aid.

Adamu said this in Abuja, on Tuesday at a press briefing to mark the 2017 World Teachers’ Day.

This is coming less than six weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari returned from a medical trip to the United Kingdom.

READ ALSO: FG Announces Plan To Resuscitate Education Bank Scheme

Although the ailment for which Anwukah is hospitalised was not disclosed, Adamu urged those at the event to rise for a prayer for his speedy recovery.

Immediately after the introduction of key officials at the briefing, Adamu said, “Please permit me to ask us to say a minute prayer for the Minister of State who is away in the U.S to receive medical treatment for an illness,”

Adamu said Mr Anwukah needed prayers from Nigerians especially stakeholders in the education sector.

FG Announces Plan To Resuscitate Education Bank Scheme

Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu.

Nigerian students who have challenges in financing their education will have reasons to heave a sigh of relief as the Federal Government has announced plans to support students.

The Federal Government has announced plans to resuscitate the Education Bank scheme to enable such students access funds for their education.

The Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu said this in Abuja at a news conference to mark the 2017 World Teachers Day.

READ ALSO: El-Rufai Seeks More Investment In Girl Child Education

Adamu said the decision to resuscitate the Education Bank Scheme was necessary to reward good behavior and contribution to nation building.

“The is an avenue to appreciate the immense contribution of teachers to nation building. This will take care of state, public, basic, and secondary education.

“It is aimed at rewarding good behavior and contributions made to nation building. Priorities will be given to deserving teachers and school administrators,” he said.

The Minister of Education said the education bank is important as it supports both students and teachers.

“Having an education bank is one of the ways not just for teachers but especially for students so that students from less well to do families will be supported for their education.”

We Didn’t Fulfil Promises Made To ASUU, Education Minister Admits

Nigeria, Education, Adamu Adamu,, Minister Explains Ten Pillars Of Nigerian Education Reform
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu

The Minister of Education Adamu Adamu has admitted that the Federal Government failed to fulfil some of the promises made to the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

Adamu said this while speaking with State House Correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council Meeting today, two days after ASUU declared an indefinite nationwide strike effectively grounding activities in most universities across the country.

In embarking on the strike, ASUU accused the government of failing to fully implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU Agreement and the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), among other things.

The minister, who described the ongoing strike as sad, did not defend the government against the allegation.

“I must confess that government has not fulfilled its part of the bargain. Though we are unhappy that ASUU went on this strike without following due process and giving us good notice, we realised that we promised something and we didn’t fulfil it,” he said.

Although Adamu regrets the failure of the government to fulfil the promises made to ASUU, he is hopeful that an agreement can be reached with the union later today when he meets their leaders.

“I hope I will be meeting them later today or tomorrow and I am sure we will be able to reach some agreement so that the strike will be called off as soon as possible,” he said.

“I am sure you are aware of the issues we agreed on. There is the issue of renegotiation which is the only one they agreed government has done what it promised because we set up the renegotiation team and negotiation is already ongoing.”

He explained that the government failed to resolve the issue of Earned Allowances because of some miscommunications but gave assurances to “ASUU and the whole nation” that the matter would be resolved.

Speaking further, the minister said, “There is the issue of registration for Nigerian Universities Pension Commission. I think on that one, there are a few issues that need to be sorted out with the Nigerian Pension Commission. I believe there will be no problem with that.

“On the issue of their staff school, I think the court has given them verdict to go ahead with it. They have requested that they should be allowed to stay off TSA and I think the government will not do this.”

FEC Plans Retreat To Address Problems In Education Sector

Nigeria, Education, Adamu Adamu,, Minister Explains Ten Pillars Of Nigerian Education Reform
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu

The Federal Government has disclosed plans to hold a retreat for what it has described as a crisis in Nigeria’s education sector.

Briefing journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu said the council rejected a blue print presented by the ministry and instead called for a retreat to be held in two weeks time to resolve the said crisis.

The Education Minister also used the opportunity to clear the air on the raging controversy surrounding the alleged removal of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) as a subject in the secondary school curriculum.

He stated that carriers of such news are only trying to create tension in the country and as such, should desist forthwith.