FG Directs Federal Universities To Re-Open

The Federal Government has directed vice-chancellors of all Federal universities currently on strike to immediately re-open for academic and allied activities as directed by their pro-chancellors.

Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike gave the directive and also asked the vice-chancellors to ensure that staff who resume for work are provided with the enabling environment to carry out academic activities.

He added that any staff who failed to resume on or before December 4, 2013 automatically ceases to be a staff of the institution and that vice-chancellors are allowed to advertise vacancies for their positions in their institution.

Mr Wike further said that the Federal Government has come to the conclusion that the continued industrial action is an attempt by the Academic Staff Union of Universities to sabotage all efforts to address the issues, despite the commitment of government.

As a responsible government it cannot allow the continuous closure of public institutions as this poses danger to the education system and the future of Nigerian youths.

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has been directed to ensure compliance of the directives by the various institutions.

Akpabio Heads NEC’s Committee To Halt Oil Theft

The National Economic Council (NEC) chaired by Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, has moved to address the issue of oil theft in the country by setting up a committee headed by the Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Godswill Akpabio to arrest the anomaly that is estimated to cost the country $7billion annually.

Rising from its meeting in the Presidential Villa on Thursday, the council berated the loss of over 400,000 barrels per day production.

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, Delta state Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan said the committee set up by NEC is set to meet with oil majors and the Joint Task Force (JTF) to work out modalities for the effective repair of the Nembe and Trans Niger pipelines which are currently shut down due to leakages.

State’s Foreign Loans

Chairman of NEC’s ad-hoc committee on the 2012/2013 federal/state governments borrowing plans, the Governor of Gombe state, Ibrahim Dankwabo, gave an update on efforts at facilitating and co-ordinating easy access to the international development funds cleared by National Assembly for interested states.

The council was also presented with a memorandum on how to address the issue of grazing reserves by the Governor of Adamawa state, Murtala Nyako, in which he underscored the need for the nation to pay more attention to food security as a means of boosting national production and the wellbeing of the people.

In presenting an  update on the status of the Almajiri education programme, Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, stated that 80 schools have already been built nationwide as part of the effort to address the problem of the high number of out of school children.

The council commended the progress recorded in the programme and recommended the take-off of academic programmes in the completed schools by the next academic calendar in September, 2013.

Rivers Crisis Is About Positioning For 2015 – Wike

The Minister of State for Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has explained that the political crisis rocking Rivers state is all about positioning ahead for the forthcoming elections in 2015 in the state.

Mr Wike made this admission with Modele Sharafa-Yusuf on Channels TV’s View From The Top, where he added that the crisis is further aggravated by the press who he claims are profiting from it.

He however hinted that change is very difficult to accept referring to the controversy over the new leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as ordered by a federal High Court in Abuja.

The Minister also inferred that he is good terms to the Governor of Rivers state.

When asked if he is being used by the President against the Governor of Rivers state, the Minister replied that it is insulting to make such a claim.

On why he is the most controversial Rivers state politician in Abuja, he likened the political rivalry in the oil rich state to football rivalry between Messi and Ronaldo.

He stated that the crisis has nothing to do with him and that the media is just using his name to sell their paper.

He also affirmed his support for the Felix Obuah led PDP in Rivers state.

Nigeria’s Education Minister Blames State Governors For Students’ Failure

The federal government has absolved itself of any blame for the poor performance of students in general examinations, claiming it is the state governors that are not doing enough.

The Minister of Education, Ruquayattu Rufai, absolved the federal government during the presentations of the ministry’s scorecards of in Abuja, where she shifted the blame to state governments who she accused of not doing enough to address the falling standard of education.

According to her, one of the steps taken by the present administration to address the annual falling standard is the establishment of Almajiri schools in the northern part of the country.

The Minister of state for Education, Nyesom Wike, said 80 out of the 125 Almajiri schools promised by the federal government have been completed.

The Ministers at this forum insisted that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is fulfilling its role in reforming the education sector.

They however call on state governments to support the federal government to achieve more results.

Jonathan gives Ministers two weeks to vet Ribadu’s report

In a bid to fulfill his pledge that recommendations made by the controversial Ribadu Report would be looked into, President Goodluck Jonathan has set up white paper committees to prepare Draft White Papers on the reports of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force and two other reports on the nation’s oil sector.

The others are reports presented by the National Refineries Special Task Force and the Governance and Controls Special Task Force.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Dr Reuben Abati on Thursday announced the appointment of the latest committee to probe the nation’s oil sector.

According to Dr Abati, “the committees are to study the reports, review the issues raised and prepare Draft White Papers for the consideration of the Federal Executive Council within two weeks.”

The white paper committee on the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force report-now known as Ribadu report-will be chaired by the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, with the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, Minister of State for FCT, Chief Jumoke Akinjide, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed as members.

It will be recalled that President Jonathan, after the rancour between members of the committee during their submission of the report, gave the assurance that despite the rancour , his administration will look into the report and prosecute any one alleged of misappropriation in the nation’s oil sector.

The Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and a member of his team, Steve Oronsaye traded words at the presentation of the committee’s report to the President with the latter alleging that the report was flawed with unconfirmed figures.

The white paper committee on the report of the Governance and Controls Special Task Force will be chaired by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama  Pepple.

Other members of the committee are Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mallam Bukar Tijani.

The white paper committee on the report of the National Refineries Special Task Force has Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Mohammed Sada as chairman, and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Pate and Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyeson Wike as members.

According to the statement, the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will provide a secretariat for the committees.

The statement further adds that the President has made the move “in furtherance of his declared commitment to doing all within his powers to ensure greater accountability, probity and transparency in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.”