Resident Doctors Embark On Warning Strike

Resident Doctors Embark On Warning StrikeThe National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has announced a seven-day warning strike to press home their demands for improved welfare and infrastructure in the health sector.

The National President of the association, Mr Ugochukwu Onyebueze made the announcement at a press conference in Abuja, directing all members of the association to down tools with immediate effect.

According to him, the federal government has also failed to implement the agreement it reached on residency training policy last year.

Oyo, Osun LAUTECH Feud Shows Inability To Fund Institution – Professor Ojerinde

LAUTECH,The present feud between the governments of Oyo and Osun States over funding of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, has been identified as an indication that government could no longer fund the university.

A former Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde, made the assertion during the 11th Annual lecture of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Alumni Association held at Atlantis Event Centre, Osogbo, the capital of Osun State.

Speaking on the topic, “Public University Funding in a Dwelling Economy”, Professor Ojerinde charged the governors of Osun and Oyo States to find lasting solution to the lingering crisis that has been impeding the academic activities of the institution for the past few months.

LAUTECH is an institution jointly owned and funded by the governments of Osun and Oyo states, since its creation, but the institution has been facing series of challenges occasioned by the inability of each of the state governments to contribute its own subvention to the university.

In his lecture, Professor Ojerinde called on related agencies and individuals in education sector to look into the LAUTECH matter, just as he urged the Alumni to awake to the realities and think of a way to rescue the situation.

“The alumni should be opened to see fund creation means to run the university”, he said.

Professor Ojerinde, who bemoaned the meager funding emanating from the governments to the tertiary institutions, noted that the only institution that enjoyed enormous funding from the government was military and paramilitary institutions.

He urged the Tertiary Education Trust Fund to extend the financial support being given to the state and government owned tertiary institutions to the private universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, saying the fund is being generated from the taxes and levies being paid by everybody.

Ojerinde advocated that private tertiary institutions should have the right to benefit from funds generated by TETFUND.

According to Ojerinde “If TETFUND is responsible for funding tertiary institutions, why is there segregation against private institutions? The money accrued by TETFUND are generated from taxation levies paid by private sectors.

“Then I don’t know why private people’s money shouldn’t be used to fund private people’s university.

“The private universities are suffering because they can’t break even due to lack of enough students,” he explained.

He encouraged tertiary institutions to invest in agriculture and all other possible avenues to generate funds.

Speaking on the disparity between the polytechnics and the university, the ex-JAMB registrar explained that technical education in Nigeria would never improve as long as the people continue to classify some tertiary institution graduates as second class and others as first class.

He stated that there should not be disparity between the polytechnic and university graduates, saying they should all be treated equally.

In his address, the National President, Alumni Association, LAUTECH, Mr Babajide Bewaji, lamented the crisis witnessed by the school for the past five months.

Bewaji said: “It is very sad that we find ourselves in this situation. The students have been sitting at home for the five months. But the alumni have made its recommendations to the school concerning the issue. The alumni are looking into funding the school.

“The school has made us, and we should give back to it”.

Lawmakers Probe Aviation Sector

house-of-representiatives-committee-on-aviationMembers of the House of Representatives on Tuesday held a public hearing on the challenges facing Nigeria’s aviation sector.

Officials of the government and stakeholders in the aviation sector were at the hearing.

Issues that had been whipped up by a plan to concession four international airports’ terminals were discussed.

The Federal Government says the planned concession of the four airports’ terminals is aimed at repositioning the aviation sector, generating more revenue and enhancing service delivery.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, gave the government’s position while addressing the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation on the need to rescue the airline industry from collapse.

He says the present economic situation has led to the downturn in the aviation sector.

One of the ways the government hopes to address some of the challenges in the sector is to focus on some airports, he told the lawmakers.

Representatives of airport staff unions, led by the National President, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association, Benjamin Okewu, however, opposed the proposed concession.

Mr Okewu expressed fears that the airports the government was planning to concession were the viable ones.

house-of-representatives-probe-aviation-sector
Officials of the government and stakeholders at the hearing

The public hearing followed a motion passed by the House on the need to rescue the airline industry from imminent collapse.

The Chairman of the House Committee, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, outlined some of the challenges that are of concern to the House to include the suspension of operations by local  airlines, increasing termination of operations by international airlines and the licencing requirements and capacity of local airlines.

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yussuff Lasun, believes the sector is too economically viable to be ignored.

“This sector also supports 159,000 jobs in Nigeria,” he stressed.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Lanre Lasisi reports that the debate will continue over the next few days.

FG Will Not Lay Off Workers Due To Airports Concession – Sirika

planeNigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has declared that the Federal Government would not sit and allow people lose their jobs or kill businesses in the aviation industry all in the name of concessioning the airports.

This is just as he appealed to the unions not to use the concession agreement between Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) and the Federal Government to judge the planned concession of four major airports.

The Federal Government plans to concession airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano for effective service delivery, good turnover and management.

Sirika’s declaration is coming on the heels of the fears by the workers through the aviation unions that their members in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that they could lose their jobs if the Federal Government goes ahead to concession the four major airports.

He spoke in Lagos at the weekend when he met with two aviation unions – Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(FAAN) represented by its National President, Comrade Benjamin Okewu and the National Union Air Transport Employees(NUATE) represented by its former General Secretary, Comrade Abdulkareem Motajo.

Discussions at that meeting focused on the concession of airports which the unions had opposed.

“Contrary to beliefs that workers would be laid off when these airports are concessioned, there would be more activities.

“The Federal Government will not sit down and watch people who voted for change to lose their jobs or kill businesses instead of creating,” he stated, stressing that the aim of the concession is not to sell its assets.

Senator Sirika reiterated that he had brought out 26 things which he hoped to achieve during his tenure as the minister, highlighting that some of them are concession of airports, establishing a leasing company and setting up private sector driven MRO and national carrier.

He said that the position of the government in the planned concession was that the airports would be better than those in Singapore and Britain.

“In concessioning these airports, the government would carry aviation unions along and make the process transparent.”

According to Sirika, “concession will be done transparently and will never be in camera and everybody will be carried along”.

To further prove that the proposed concession will be transparent, the minister disclosed that a Project Delivery Team had been constituted, urging the unions to send representative to be in the team.

FAAN, he pointed out, would continue to own the airport, stressing that the concession is just for a period of time.

“I will always tell you the truth. Except I don’t understand the truth. That is why I have the unions here to tell me the truth,” he added.

Nigerian Students Protest Against Sack Of 13 VCs

Nigerian Students, NANSThe National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) is calling for the reinstatement of the 13 Vice Chancellors sacked by the federal government this year.

The protesting students who stormed the office of the Minister of Education in Abuja said that the sack was politically motivated and unjust.

The students, who were led by their National President, Tijani Usman, are calling for the resignation of the Minister.

Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okojie, who addressed the protesting students, appealed to them to articulate their demands as he would facilitate a meeting with the Minister.

Kwara Governor Tasks Professionals On Best Practice

KwaraThe Kwara State Governor has called for constant review of qualification, experience and standard among professionals to correspond with best practices in the world.

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed made the call while receiving the National President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Sir Anthony Uzo, who paid him a visit at the Government House in Ilorin.

He emphasised that refresher programmes remained a veritable platform to keep professionals updated on professional standard to ensure they stood shoulder high against their colleagues globally.

According to the Governor, many socioeconomic problems bedevilling the country are not unconnected with the way accounting record is being kept particularly in the public service.

He promised that accountants in Kwara State public service would be exposed to professional training to update their knowledge and keep them abreast of new issues in the technology driven world.

Governor Ahmed commended ANAN for its initiative in keeping its members well-informed of developments in accounting world through constant educative programmes.

Medical Health Workers Visit IDP Camp In Edo

idp by the Boko haram sectGood spirited Nigerians have been visiting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp run by the International Christian Centre for Missions in Uhogua, Edo State, to show their love and solidarity with the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east who are taking refuge at the camp.

The latest of these visits is by the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, led by its National President, Mr Joel Josiah, who on behalf of the union donated food items and cash sums to the displaced persons and also called on other well meaning Nigerians to follow suit.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), had recently signed an agreement with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, in order to reduce the hardship facing the IDPs and protect their fundamental rights.

Also, the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaign group has urged the government to render more help to the displaced persons.

There are 27 IDPs camps in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) alone, housing over 16,000 displaced persons and some others in the north-eastern part of the oil-rich nation.

The increasing number was triggered by the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group in the north-east region.

The group has carried out series of attacks on communities in the north-east, forcing people to flee their homes for safety.

Amosun Commends NMA For Suspending Strike

NMAThe Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has commended the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), over the decision to suspend its over one month Medical Doctors’ nationwide strike in the overall interest of the generality of the citizenry.

Speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Olufunmilayo Wakama, Amosun noted that the decision could not have come at a better time when the nation was battling to curb the spread of the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which he noted was fast becoming an epidemic.

He said “People should always find amicable ways of resolving crisis. I want to commend the leadership of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), for having found a way round the issues that led to the industrial action in the first place”.

“I am happy that the strike has been suspended at this very crucial time, when the guidance and expertise of our medical personnel are most crucial in containing the Ebola Virus.”

Amosun also commended the efforts of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), National President, Dr. Kayode Obembe, the Senate President, David Mark, as well as others who were able to prevail on the concerned parties for the favorable outcome.

He also expressed the hope that stakeholders would be able to find a final resolution to the dispute while negotiations continue.

‘Quit Playing Politics And Go Back To Class’, Maku Tells ASUU

The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku has charged striking lecturers of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to quit playing politics and go back to the classroom.

Speaking at the monthly press conference on government activities and programmes, Maku said the strike action has lasted too long and is now pulling down the education sector which the lecturers are claiming to want to save from collapse.

He challenged ASUU to re-open the schools if they are truly interested in the development of the sector saying government has done their best and cannot ground other sectors of the economy and face education alone.

The lingering ASUU strike which is inching close to its fourth month now has rendered Nigerian university students idle, and with no obvious end to the strike, as neither FG nor ASUU is ready to shift grounds, thereby crippling the education sector of the country.

Our Pilots Are Recognised Internationally – Aviation Union Leader

In reaction to Thursday’s plane crash, the National President, Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, Balami David, has discouraged stakeholders from guessing the cause of the accident and has absolved the pilot and engineer of any fault.

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, he said the pilot, identified as Yakubu, was a senior experienced captain. “I don’t think any of our members would go ahead to fly an aircraft that they know will crash”. He added that “our pilots are well trained. They are certified by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and also recognised by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation).

He also defended the engineer, believed to be Saroh Elaiye, who had certified the plane worthy to fly, saying that no person would go ahead to board a flight which he knows is in bad shape.

Speaking about what may have cause the plane to crash barely two minutes after takeoff, he said that the cause of accident cannot be ascertained or guessed yet.

“As a professional in the aviation sector, I don’t think this is time to be assuming or be guessing.”

There are so many factors that can lead to this but nobody can tell for now, he said, adding that the group has no choice but to trust the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

The group leader disclosed that they are in touch with AIB as they are also concerned citizens.

“Our job is nothing but to fly and to maintain the aircraft” whether there are passengers, cargo on board or not.

He spoke about the group’s confidence in the AIB’s investigation saying “we are very confident in the current AIB and we are very sure that something good will come up very soon,” he said.

Mr David addressed fears about Nigeria’s airspace during the interview and said “naturally, people ought to be worried” adding that members of the group are also worried.

He affirmed that the emergency response to the crash was good and called for sober reflection for both the group and the nation.

He called on AIB and relevant authorities to ensure that the needful is done