[UPDATED] Communication Minister, Adebayo Shittu Screened Out Of APC Gov Primaries Over NYSC Certificate

Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has declined to clear the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, for its governorship primaries.

Shittu, who is interested in becoming the party’s governorship candidate in Oyo State, was screened out of the primary for not having a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate.

The National Working Committee of the party took the decision based on the report of the party’s Governorship Aspirants Screening Committee, the APC said in a statement.

Also, the Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan, was screened out of the primary. Alhassan had been the party’s governorship candidate in Taraba State during the 2015 general elections.

No reason was given for the decision not to clear her.

The Women Affairs Minister had, however, generated controversy in 2017 when a video of her visit to a former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who was then in the APC went viral.

She later told the BBC Hausa Services that even if President Muhammadu Buhari seeks a second term, she would still support Abubakar.

Others who were not cleared for the APC governorship candidates are Osiobe Eric Okotie (Delta), Ejikeme Ugwu (Enugu), Ibrahim Mohammed Mera (Kebbi), Danladi Envulu-Anza Halilu (Nasarawa), and Abubakar Mamma Jiya Maaji (Niger).

Apart from Shittu, no reason has been given for the decision not to clear some aspirants.

See the full list of aspirants for the APC governorship primary and the decision of the APC NWC on them below:

 

SOUTH SOUTH

Akwa Ibom State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.H.E. Obong Nsima EkereCleared
2.Sen. John Akpan Udoedeghe, PhdCleared
3.Dan Abia, Esq.Cleared
4.Dr. Edet Okon EfretuiCleared

Delta State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Prof. Pat UtomiCleared
2.Dr. (Hon). Cairo OjugboCleared
3.Rt. (Hon.) Victor Ochei, Esq.Cleared
4.Chief Great Ovdje OgboruCleared
5.Chief Osiobe Eric OkotieNot Cleared

Cross River State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Pastor Usani Uguru UsaniCleared
2.Sen. John Owan EnohCleared
3.High Chief Edem DukeCleared
4.John Upan OdeyCleared
5.Prof. Nyong EyoCleared

Rivers State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Tonye ColeCleared
2.Sen. Magnus Ngei AbeCleared
3.Dumo Lulu BriggsCleared
4.Dr. Dawari GeorgeCleared

SOUTH EAST

Abia State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Dr. Uche Ogah, OONCleared
2.High Chief Ikechi EmenikeCleared
3.H.E. Comrade Chris AkomasCleared
4.Rt. Hon. Martins Azubuike, Esq.Cleared
5.Barr. Friday Nwosu, Esq.Cleared
6.Prince Amb. Okey EmuchayCleared
7.Prince Paul IkonneCleared

Ebonyi State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Sen. Sunny OgbuojiCleared
2.Arc. Dr. Edward NkweaguCleared
3.Sen. Emmanuel AgbotiCleared
4.Obasi Ogbonnaya ObasiCleared
5.Hon. Kelechi ChimaCleared
6.Engr. Paul OkorieCleared
7.Comrade ChristainCleared
8.Chief Austine Igwe EdezeCleared
9.Prof. Benard OdohCleared

Enugu State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Sen. Ayogu EzeCleared
2.Barr. Ifeanyi Nwaoga, Esq.Cleared
3.Akubue AugustineCleared
4.Ben EcheCleared
5.Barr. George Ogara, Esq.Cleared
6.Barr. Ejikeme Ugwu, EsqNot Cleared

Imo State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Sen. Hope UzodinmaCleared
2.Hon. Uche NwosuCleared
3.H.E. Prince Eze MadumereCleared
4.Sir Jude EjioguCleared
5.Barr. Chima AnozieCleared
6.Dr. Chris Emenike NlemohaCleared
7.Sir Eche George EzennaCleared
8.Chukwudi Celestine OloloCleared
9.Air Commodore Peter GbujieCleared

SOUTH WEST

Lagos State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.H.E. Akinwunmi AmbodeCleared
2.Dr. Kadir Obafemi HamzatCleared
3.Jide Sanya-OluCleared

Oyo State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Niyi Akintola, SANCleared
2.H.E. Christopher Alao AkalaCleared
3.Joseph Olasunkanmi TegbeCleared
4.Dr. Olusola Ayandele, PhDCleared
5.Dr. Owolabi BabalolaCleared
6.Dr. Azeez Popoola AdeduntunCleared
7.Adebayo Adekola AdelabuCleared
8.Hon. Barr. Adebayo Shittu, EsqNot Cleared (No NYSC Certificate)

Ogun State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Jimi LawalCleared
2.Dapo AbiodunCleared
3.Hon. Bimbo AshiruCleared
4.H.E. Sen. Adegbenga KakaCleared
5.Hon. Kunle AkinladeCleared
6.Abayomi Semako Koroto HunyeCleared

NORTH WEST

Jigawa State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.H.E. Alh. Abubakar BadaruCleared
2.Alh. Hashim UbaleCleared

Katsina State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.H.E. Rt.Hon. Aminu MasariCleared
2.Abubakar Ismaila IsaCleared
3.Garba Sani DankaniCleared

Kebbi State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.H.E. Alh. Atiku BaguduCleared
2.Ibrahim Mohammed Mera, OONNot Cleared

Sokoto State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Abbakar Abdullahi GumbiCleared
2.Hon. Farouk Malami YaboCleared
3.Ahmed AliyuCleared
4.Sen. Abubakar Umar GadaCleared

Zamfara State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Dauda LawalCleared
2.Mukhtar Idris ShehuCleared
3.Brig. Gen. Mansur AliCleared
4.H.E. Hon. Ustaz Ibrahim Mohammed WakalaCleared
5.Sen. Kabiru MarafaCleared
6.H.E. Mahmuda Aliyu ShinkafiCleared
7.Hon. Aminu Sani JajiCleared
8.Engr. Abubakar MagajiCleared
9.Mohammed Sagir HamiduCleared

NORTH CENTRAL

Benue State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Dr. Hon. Emmanuel JimeCleared
2.Titus T. ZamCleared
3.Akange AuduCleared
4.Arc. Aema AchadoCleared
5.Benjamin Tilley AdanyiCleared
6.Micheal Iordye, mniCleared

Nasarawa State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Sule AuduCleared
2.H.E. Silas AgaraCleared
3.Hon Aliyu WadadaCleared
4.Zakari IddeCleared
5.Hassan M. Liman, SANCleared
6.Mohammed Musa MaikayaCleared
7.Arc. Shehu TukurCleared
8.Dauda Shuaibu KigbuCleared
9.Dr. James AngbazoCleared
10.Hon. Jafar Mohammed Ibrahim Cleared
11.Danladi Envulu-Anza HaliluNot Cleared

Niger State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.H.E. Alh. Sani BelloCleared
2.Abubakar Mamma Jiya MaajiNot Cleared

Plateau State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.H.E. Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong, Esq.Cleared

NORTH EAST

Adamawa State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.H.E. Sen. Mohammed JibrillaCleared
2.Nuhu RibaduCleared
3.Mahmood Halilu AhmedCleared

Bauchi State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.H.E. Mohammed Abdullahi AbubakarCleared
2.Dr. Ali PateCleared
3.Captain Bala JibrinCleared
4.Dr. Yakubu LameCleared

Borno State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Kashim ImamCleared
2.Prof. Babagana UmaruCleared
3.Gambo LawanCleared
4.Mustapha Baba ShehuCleared
5.Hon. Umaru KumaliaCleared
6.Muhammad Aba LimaCleared
7..Barr. Kaka Shehu Lawan, Esq.Cleared
8.H.E. Adamu DibalCleared
9.Mustapha FannarambeCleared
10.Mohammed JafaruCleared
11.Sen. Baba Kaka Bashir GarbaCleared
12.QS Mohammed MakintaCleared
13.Hon. Babagana TijjaniCleared
14.Adamu Alhaji LawanCleared
15.Mai SherrifCleared
16.Hon. Abba JatoCleared
17.Attom Magira TomCleared
18.Umar AlkaliCleared
19.H.E. Baba Ahmed JiddaCleared
20.Idris Mamman GatumbwaCleared
21.Sen. Abubakar KyariCleared

Gombe State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Mohammed Jibrin BardeCleared
2.Hon. Ibrahim Dasuki JaloCleared
3.Mohammadu Inuwa YahayaCleared
4.Kamisu Ahmed MailanCleared
5.Umaru KwairangaCleared
6.Abubakar Muazu HassanCleared
7.Umar Farouk MusaCleared
8.Sen. Idris Audu UmarCleared
9.Aliyu Haidar AbubakarCleared

Taraba State

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.H.E. Sani Abubakar DanladiCleared
2.Sen. Joel Danlami IkenyaCleared
3.Garba Umar-UTCCleared
4.Prof. Mohammed Sanni YahayaCleared
5.Comrade Bobboi Bala KaigamaCleared
6..Aliyu Omar, MONCleared
7.Chief Ezekiel AfunkuyoCleared
8.Chief David Sabo KenteCleared
9.Mohammed Tumba IbrahimCleared
10.Barr. Kabiru Umaru, Esq.Cleared
11.Aliyu Omar, MONCleared
12.Sen. Hajia Aisha AlhassanNot Cleared

Yobe

S/NNAMEDECISION
1.Hon. Mai Mala BuniCleared
2.Umar Ali KromchiCleared
3.Hon. Sidi YakubuCleared
4.Ali KolomiCleared
5.Ibrahim Mohammed BomaiWithdrew

 

 

Minister Of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, Defends Decision To Skip NYSC

The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, has defended his decision to skip the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

Shittu explained that although he did not submit himself for youth service, he has not broken any law.

He said as a Minister, he has performed ‘higher service’ to the country.

The Minister said this on Friday in Abuja, at the screening exercise conducted by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in preparation for the party primaries where he is hoping to pick up the APC ticket to run for the seat of Oyo State governor.

Shittu said despite not having an NYSC certificate he has performed higher service to the country and therefore he is qualified to contest and win elections.

Shittu’s reaction follows a report by an online news organisation, Premium Times, that the minister skipped the compulsory programme despite graduating from the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU) at age 25.

Premium Times has earlier reported that after months of discreet checks at the NYSC headquarters, it was discovered that the communications minister did not present himself for service after graduation and is yet to do so till date.

He also admitted that he did not serve but claimed he thought his first political post after graduation could suffice as national service.

The report that Shittu did not do the mandatory NYSC is coming barely a week after Kemi Adeosun resigned because the NYSC exemption certificate she presented was fake.

Adebayo Shittu Doesn’t Have What It Takes To Be Governor – Ajimobi

Ajimobi Condoles With Olubadan On Wife’s Death
Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi (File)

 

Governor Abiola Ajimobi has said he will not support the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, in his bid to succeed him as governor of Oyo State.

The governor said this during an exclusive interview with the Channels Television’s programme, Roadmap 2019, which aired on Monday night.

Although the governor and the minister, who has since declared his intention to run for governor of the state in 2019, are members of the All Progressives Congress, the governor doesn’t consider him qualified for the role.

Asked if he would support Mr Shittu, Governor Ajimobi replied in the negative.

“He doesn’t have what it takes to be a governor,” the governor said. “I have been a governor now for seven years. I know the qualities of someone who should be a governor; he doesn’t have it. His temperament cannot be that of a governor.”

As far as Governor Ajimobi is concerned, governors must be reserved and should have proven themselves in their field of expertise, something he believes he achieved before going into politics.

“I was an oil and gas man. I rose to the peak of my career as a managing director,” he said, stressing that he did not work for just any company but rose through the ranks to become MD of a subsidiary of Shell Petroleum.

“Not only in Nigeria but outside Nigeria. I was chief executive of Shell (Petroleum) companies outside Nigeria,” he added.

Despite ruling out the governorship credentials of Mr Shittu, the governor insists he has nothing against the minister. He also believes the communication minister is free to go ahead and contest in the elections.

As far as Governor Ajimobi is concerned, he is only stating what he believes to be the facts.

“If you behave unconventionally and I say you behave unconventionally, is that derogatory? I have nothing against him, to be honest. I just like people to have decorum, I like people with style,” he said.

The Oyo governor who was in office when President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Mr Shittu to his cabinet in 2015, distanced himself from the appointment.

When asked if he believes Mr Shittu would have been appointed minister if he truly lacked the qualities the governor claims he lacked, Governor Ajimobi said the APC in Oyo was against the appointment.

“The party didn’t support the nomination,” he said.

Both have engaged in a war of words in recent months with the 2019 elections six months away.

Mr Shittu who went into politics early in life and was elected into the Oyo State House of Assembly at the age 26 in 1983, has accused Governor Ajimobi of being desperate to stop him from becoming governor.

In May, after the ward congresses of the APC, the minister was quoted as saying, “He (the governor) thinks that I am too principled, firm, unbendable and uncompromising when it comes to the issues of morality. It is he who is desperate to stop me, not me being desperate to become governor.”

Ultimately, the governor believes it would be up to the people of Oyo State to decide who would govern them should the minister become a governorship candidate after party primaries.

As things stand, Governor Ajimobi believes there are “many people” who are better qualified to become governor of the state.

Minister Wears Buhari’s Campaign Cap At FEC Meeting

Minister Wears Buhari’s Campaign Cap At FEC Meeting
Mr Adebayo Shittu (middle)

 

Minister of Communications, Mr Adebayo Shittu, attended the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday wearing a cap campaigning for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election in 2019.

The meeting, which was chaired by the President, held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Blasts Buhari, Warns Him Against Seeking Re-election

Amid series of endorsements from leaders and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), President Buhari is yet to declare his intention of seeking re-election when his tenure ends next year.

Mr Shittu, however, was spotted at the Council meeting on a suit, with a blue shirt and a blue cap which has the APC logo and the inscription, “Continuity ’19: Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo” on it.

The FEC meeting held one day after former President Olusegun Obasanjo criticised President Buhari’s government and warned him against seeking re-election.

Obasanjo, Nigeria’s President between 1999 and 2007, gave the warning on Tuesday in a 13-page statement titled, “The Way Out: A Clarion Call for Coalition for Nigeria Movement”.

He observed that the present administration has performed far below expectation and asked President Buhari to honourably join the league of the nation’s former leaders.

The former President warned the nation’s first citizen not joke with the patience of Nigerians but should in a dignified way dismount from the horse (seat of power).

“President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the sideline for the good of the country.

“His place in history is already assured; without impaired health and strain of age, running the affairs of Nigeria is a 25/7 affair, not 24/7,” Obasanjo had said.

FG To Build ICT University

FG To Build ICT UniversityThe Federal Government is planning to build a specialised university that will address the existing knowledge gap in its Information and Communication Technology sector.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Adebayo Shittu, disclosed this to reporters on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Shittu explained that if established, the institution would reduce the number of foreigners who currently manage critical parts of the nation’s ICT sector.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Sonny Echono, was also hopeful that the specialised institution would enable Nigerians to take full charge of the sector.

On his part, the immediate past Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Okonji, said the university would help Nigeria improve in the area of research and development.

The ICT University if established will be first of its kind in Nigeria and Africa as there is currently no university on the continent that is fully dedicated to ICT.

There are however ICT institutions in other parts of the world such as the University of Information Technology in India, I.T. University of Gutenberg in Sweden, and the Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications in China.

Some experts have described the ICT sector as the fastest growing sector of Nigeria’s economy.

While the sector has continued to grow since the privatisation exercise, the Ministry of Communications decries the knowledge gap that continues to widen in the sector.

Senator Says NCC Did Not Consult Key Stakeholders

Senator Says NCC Did Not Consult Key StakeholdersThe Chairman Senate Committee, On Media Public Affairs, Aliyu sabi- Abdullahi, says that the Nigerian Communications Committee (NCC), did not consult key stake holders on the initial tariff hike plan, which was set to take off from December 1, 2016.

The announcement by the network providers had elicited various reactions from Nigerians and the Senate, who felt the tariff hike would be an added burden, especially with the current economic situation.

The Senate had on Wednesday, described the move as insensitive and raised a motion ordering the NCC to stop it.

Shortly after, the committee announced that it had suspended the plan.

Abdullahi believes that “although it is the responsibility of the NCC as a regulator to regulate the sector, “the law itself does not say you just wake up and do something blanket.

“There are rooms in all of this, for robust consultation and I think the laws are very clear, so when they claim they want to do something, and they’ve consulted, in most instances you have to ask, who did they consult?, he questioned.

In this case, “you can see the minister even denying that he had no fore-knowledge of it, let alone the national assembly; we were not consulted”.

Earlier the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, had said: “I was not part of the decision, I heard it like all Nigerians heard it- I am still going to investigate from NCC to know the rationale”.

The senator however explained that such burning issues would always get the attention of the senate.

According to him, the matter was not debated for too long because everybody uses data and the senators understood the implication of the tariff hike.

“If you look at the data usage, it is a very robust participation and with about 143 active telephone lines, you can imagine the rate at which people are using this data to pass information.

He then re-iterated the senate’s commitment to the welfare of citizens saying:

“The 8th senate is very very alive to its responsibility of being responsive and sensitive to the yearnings of Nigerians.

“The primary purpose of governance is the security and welfare of the citizens and so where this is threatened in any form, I think it is the duty of the National Assembly to rise up to it and see what can be done.

Mr Abdullahi then called on various institutions to discharge their duties efficiently and in accordance with laid down rules and regulations.

“Institutions are to be strengthened, they are created for a purpose but in creating these institutions, the law setting them up has made certain provisions very clear.

“It is now left for them to follow the rules of engagement with their stakeholders.

Stating the instance of the electricity tariff hike, he said the level of consultation was equally not robust.

“We want to urge all regulators, we want the investors to have confidence in your independence and autonomy to discharge your duty.

“But in discharging your duty, you are not discharging it in a vacuum, you are discharging it in an environment where there are stakeholders and that is why these stakeholders are identified in your enabling loss and the various provisions guarding your operations.

Furthermore, he stressed that they should “give the due respect and right, that the various stakeholders deserve so that when we have a consensus, a convergence, we will understand exactly what we are up to, and everybody would be in agreement.

“Under that guise, you will see things working smoothly,” the senator said.

FG Launches Digital Training For Nigerian Youths

Yemi Osinbajo, Google Training for Nigerian YouthsVice President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed optimism that Nigeria can overtake India in the market for technology and innovation talent.

The Nigerian Vice President made the statement on Tuesday during a flag-off ceremony of Google digital training for youth empowerment in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Empowering Nigerian Youths

He said the administration would continue to explore creative ways at empowering Nigerian youths.

“This would mean that we would be building more local capacity to build, assemble hardware and to write innovative programmes.

“We will also be focusing on technology for media and entertainment,” he said.

While the empowerment initiative launched is targeting 400,000 Nigerian youths at a start, Professor Osinbajo said the government was determined to give every opportunity to younger generation to ensure they excel with the use of modern technology.

He hinted that a special initiative on innovative technology and start-ups, as well as presentation of prospective participants had already been done in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

To achieve this, the Vice President stated that there were many opportunities, as practically anything could be learned online today.

He added that there were also important opportunities for those in the performing and film arts, which go beyond actual performing to effective management of their talents, programmes and projects.

On her part, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefilure, said that the programme was part of the government’s Sustainable Development Goals’ commitment.

She explained that it would be replicated in every state to lift Nigerian youths from poverty.

Other top government officials at the event – the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung and Minister of Labour,  Chris Ngige – harped on the importance of the training to youth development.

They promised to key into the move for positive development of the youths.

The theme of the event was “Diversifying the Nigerian Economy: Enabling Youth through Digital Skills Training”.

Okowa Commissions Delta State E-Government Academy

Okowa, Delta State, Knowledge-Based Development, revenue generationThe Delta State government has advocated a paradigm shift from dependence on revenue from oil to revenue from knowledge-based development.

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, dropped the hint at the public presentation of the Delta State Innovation Hub (DS-HUB) and commissioning of Innovation Hall of Fame and the E-Government Academy in Asaba the State capital.

An elated Governor Okowa commended ICT experts for their interest in partnering with his administration to develop an innovation hub and create job opportunities.

“Delta State Innovation Hub – from Oil to Knowledge-based Development is important in our state because, innovation is critical for long-term economic growth and sustainable development in both developed and the developing world.

“In moving away from oil to a knowledge-based development, there is a comprehensive economic development blueprint and strategy to build technologically based skill capacities, support and empower entrepreneurs, generate new employment model for our youth, create wealth and reduce poverty,” the Governor said.

Guests who spoke at the occasion lauded the state government’s initiative in diversifying its economy through ICT, pledging to support the initiative and provide the platform for the growth of ICT in the state.

He specifically, called for sponsorship to enable the state establish a Delta State Innovation Development Fund – IDF; encourage all youths to acquire computer skills and encourage e-governance and digital literacy skills in the civil service and other institutions.

The Director-General of DS-HUB, Mr Chris Uwaje, performed Induction of Pioneer members into the Technology Innovation Hall of Fame, which included Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

The Innovation hub aligns with Governor Okowa’s SMART agenda and the DG reiterates, “DS-HUB is a unique knowledge factory with an enabling environment specially designed for originating innovation, building inno-passion, developing creativity and promoting information sharing for building functional new knowledge for the delivery of all-inclusive technology solutions and support services.”

Communications Minister, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, was accompanied by leading names in Information Communication Technology (ICT) world to Asaba for the programme.

They included Leo Stan Ekeh of Zenox Computers, Ms Funke Opeke of Mainone, Prof. Pat Utomi, and Prof. Sola Aderounmu.

Minister Laments Poor Funding Of ICT Sector

Adebayo Shittu, CommunicationThe Minster of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has identified poor funding as a major challenge preventing the rapid development of the information and communication sector.


Mr Shittu made the observation on Wednesday at the Lower Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He lamented that the information and communication sector’s allocation is less than one per cent of the national budget.

The Minister noted that the sector has the capacity to create millions of jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in Nigeria.

Mr Shittu was speaking in the House of Representatives, as part of the sectoral debate on the diversification of the Nigerian economy.

FG To Provide Conducive Learning Environment For Universities

universitiesThe Federal Government of Nigeria says it will provide a conducive learning environment and a level playing ground for all Nigerian tertiary institutions.

It believes that the move will develop‎ and produce graduates that can compete with their counterparts across the world.

Speaking at a Capacity and Sustainability Training Forum for Heads of African Centres of Excellence in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Education, Mr Adamu Adamu, pledged the government’s support for the 10 African Centres of Excellence in Nigeria to enable them attain world class standard.

Mr Adamu appealed to the private sector to team up with the Federal Government to turn around the fortunes of Nigerian universities particularly in the area of research.

The World Bank representative and Task Team Leader of African Centres of Excellence for Nigerian universities, Andreas Blom, urged officials of the centres to look inward for the sustainability of the project while the Secretary General of the Committee of Vice Chancellors, Professor Michael Faborode, urged Nigerian universities to grow beyond depending on the World Bank for funding support.

The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Okojie, expressed confidence about the capacity of the project to address Africa’s developmental challenges.

The objective of the ace initiative is to promote regional specialisation among participating universities within areas that address particular regional and national development challenges.

On his part, the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, lamented the loss of about 78 billion Naira yearly to the activities of cyber criminals who offer online study opportunities to Nigerians.

The Centres of Excellence in Nigeria are: the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Bayero University, Kano, Benue State University, Markurdi, Redeemers University, Ede and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Others are: University of Benin, University of Jos, University of Port Harcourt, University of Ibadan and African University of Science and Technology.

 

Presidency Should Include Portfolios Of Ministerial Nominees – Ikenga

Ugochukwu IkengaThe President of National Youth Council on Wednesday said the Presidency henceforth should begin sending the list of ministerial nominees with their portfolios to the House of Representatives.

Mr Ugochukwu Ikenga, who made the statement on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said that “I love what the Senate did yesterday. Adebayo Shittu was asked a lot of questions and he gave detailed answers to the questions asked”.

Giving his impression about the development of the senate screening so far, Mr Ikenga said that the process is turning ‘ridiculous’ because things that can be dealt with decisively are being prolonged.

” I understand that it is written in the constitution that the screening will take 21 working days and if at the end of the 21 working days, a nominee isn’t screened, he would automatically become a minister which could be part of the reasons why the senate screen 10 people per day”.

He alleged that the screening delay of former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, is political.

” I think his screening is political because the issue of white paper, indigent issue are issues at a particular time, showed the foundation of Nigerian democracy.

“Unless a person is convicted by a competent court of law, it amounts to nothing.

“My blame will therefore, not be on the Senate but on the Ethics Committee. What is holding the committee from tendering reports on the floor of the House on what they found out from investigations on their petition against Amaechi”, he questioned.

Mr Ikenga, nonetheless, opined that the sustainability of what will happen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) is dependent on the judgment of the Court of Appeal which is about to be delivered.

He further gave suggestions on what could have happened if the trial had resumed on Wednesday.

“If the Appeal Court had delivered its judgment, it would have helped in settling the issues as the trial resumes today (October 21).

“If the trial resumes today and there is a judgment  had been written and kept somewhere, it implies that by time the session at the  CCT had ended, the judgment of the Appeal Court would definitely make the exercise invalid if otherwise, but if they had allowed the judgment be delivered, it could have helped the people at the CCT.

“Since there is a pending judgment at the Court of Appeal, what the tribunal is expected to do by the principle of law, is to step down its proceedings because the judgment of the Appeal Court would go a long way in giving foundation for the trial”, he maintained.

Mr Ikenga, however, highlighted some issues facing the tribunal which Nigerians should take cognizance of.

” The Nigerian constitutions talks about the composition of the CCT which constitutes a Chairman and two members, but I am being informed that the tribunal is composed of two members; the Chairman, Danladi Umar and one other member.

“If the tribunal is composed of two people, then in law, it is not properly constituted because it requires three”, he stressed.

Shittu, Khadija Ibrahim Screened By Senate

SenateThe ministerial nominees from Oyo and Yobe states, Mr Adebayo Shittu and Mrs Khadija Abba Ibrahim, have been screened by the Senate and asked to take a bow and leave.

Shittu took a bow and left after he had answered several questions from the senators, ranging from religion to politics, activism and governance.

Shittu addressed the perception that he was a religious extremist by stating that he has never been indicted by any panel of inquiry for religious intolerance as he is not a fanatic or a religious extremist.

He revealed that his secretary for many years is a Christian and wife of a Pastor with whom he has had a cordial working relationship.

Adebayo Shittu, who has served as a legislator, commissioner and Attorney-General in Oyo State, noted that his personality did not hamper his past political successes.

While affirming his commitment to seeing Nigerians live a moral life, he was of the view that religion should be made compulsory in educational institutions.

Answering questions on the possibility of being put in charge of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Shittu said that he would ensure that grassroots sports is developed to the maximum as this remained the best way to develop the sector.

Mrs Abba Ibrahim’s screening, however, took less time as she was asked to take a bow and leave after a dramatic exchange of banters among the senators, one of whom is the nominee’s husband, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim.