Atiku Approves 26% Salary Raise To Cushion Recession

Atiku, pay raise, recession, American University NigeriaFounder of American University of Nigeria (AUN), Atiku Abubakar, has approved a staff pay raise of up to 26%, amounting to 91 million Naira, aimed at cushioning the impact of the current economic recession.

President of the institution, Ms Margee Ensignthis revealed this at the institution’s 12th year anniversary celebration.

Addressing the gathering, she urged the institution’s workforce to continue to re-dedicate themselves to hard work in reciprocating the kind gesture.

The event brought together AUN school children from the academy as well as the University students, staff and friends of the institution, to equally honour Mr Abubakar, who recently turned 70.

Also on hand to add color to the occasion, were friends, associates and well-wishers of the celebrant, who was Nigeria’s vice president between 1999 and 2007.

Ensign, said the occasion is a reflection of the founding principles of the institution, which is generally believed to be the first development university in Africa.

She told the gathering that “Just as the prices go up, our prices go up too for the same thing that you are purchasing.

“We are a developing university and that means first and foremost, we take care of people here who have been working so hard for the university.

“Of course we could not do this without the support of the AUN board and especially our founder,” Ms Ensign emphasized.

The institution founded on the principles of excellence, integrity and service according to her, has evoked series of community projects which are contributing enormously to the development of the host community.

She stated that the school had also introduced several programs that have helped in peace initiatives within the troubled area, as well as assist the out-of-school children displaced by the Boko Haram insurgence.

The Executive Director of the school, Mrs Nkem Uzowulu said “the institution has to honour him because he is our founder that is if you know the history of this school”.

“He founded this school as it was formally known as ABTI academy and then later it became American University of Nigeria.

“So he is our father, he is our founder, but most importantly he is our role model, he inspires us and I wish that his dreams will come true and by God’s grace they will,” Mrs Nkem prayed.

The celebrant, Mr Abubakar, said he had earlier directed that anyone willing to sponsor a congratulatory message for his 70th birthday, should channel the money towards the improvement of the lives of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the north east.

“This historic event is a surprise to me and I want to thank the AUN community, both the students of the University and the academy for organizing the events.

“Particularly the children who have come here to demonstrate their learning capabilities, and their teachers for doing a great job by impacting qualitative knowledge to the school children”. Atiku stated

The events also featured series of activities as friends and well wishes of the institution converged in Yola the Adamawa state capital, to take stock of how it has fared since its existence.

Activities lined up for the celebration included the commissioning of the faculty of law edifice, which signified the take-off of the course in the institution as well as a book exhibition expected to re-equip the central library in Genye town which was burnt by the Boko Haram militants.

Others included: an arts exhibition, showcasing historic handwork of students and the ‘WizKids’ program, designed to inspire children in local secondary schools.

It also aimed at building foundational knowledge and mastery of science, technology, engineering and mathematics as an extracurricular activity.

The founder also met with the Emerging Leader Academy (ELA), a group which seeks to broaden the leadership skills of the students who are future leaders.

#Confab: Structure Of Government Should Be First On Agenda – Abugu

Professor Joseph AbuguA Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Professor Joseph Abugu, on Monday said that the first agenda that should be discussed at the on-going National Conference should be the structure of government.

Mr Abugu made the call while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

Despite the complaints that have been made about the National Conference, Abugu stated that the platform was a welcome development which became important as a result of the level of discontentment on the part of the people.

While expressing his expectation that the Conference would address all issues, he noted that the structure of government should be first on the agenda.

“The first thing that must be addressed is the structure of the government of this country” as what the country is currently operating on “is defective in certain fundamental respects.”

Alluding to what the founding fathers of the nation had subscribed to as the best, Abugu said “a government with some centre and regional representations, assemblies was the best thing for the country.”

He adjudged the 1963 constitution as the best which was interrupted by the military, followed by a diversion into a unitary system of government. “That has continued, even into the third republic and the fourth republic. The structure is still unitary.”

“We call ourselves a Federal System of government but what we are actually practicing is a Unitary System of government.”

“In 1963, the exclusive legislative list had only about 46 items; in 1999, we had 66” he argued, decrying the increase of the items in the democratic structure compared to the number of items during the military regime which used the Unitary command structure.

Abugu expressed his dissatisfaction with a democratic system of government with a centre that has waxed stronger than that obtainable in the military regime.

He maintained that “it is a good thing that this conference has come to bear. It has been a subject of national discourse even under the Obasanjo administration and the issue was whether we should have a National Conference and whether it should be sovereign.”

Beyond this, Abugu stated that there was a greater need for the units, “whether states or ethnic nationalities” to discuss the Nigerian nation as a result of the discontent in the entire country.

The lecturer disregarded the arguments that the National Conference should have been constituted based on ethnic nationalities, insisting that all the constituent units have been assembled, and “whether you call them ethnic nationalities, whether you call them States or Local Governments, some form of representation has to be devised.”

He further stated that “however imperfect it is, the National Conference has been constituted”.

On the different issues recorded in the first week of convening the Conference, Abugu said “it is expected” as the whole essence was to bring all grievances to the table, hence “in the process of doing that, issues of the sitting order, the procedure, items on the agenda have to be discussed.”

“I haven’t seen anything unexpected in these few days,” he maintained.