House wades into NUC’s suspension of seven universities licences

 An attempt by the House of Representatives Committee on Petitions to wade into the controversial suspension of licences of seven private universities by the National Universities Commission (NUC) today hit a brick wall.

The NUC had applied the big stick on seven private universities with the suspension of their licences for violating its guidelines on provision of facilities and academic programmes.

Despite several unanswered questions, the house committee told the petitioner, Lead City Univesity, that the public hearing would be postponed till tomorrow.

Several days after the national universities commission suspended the licences of seven private universities; the house committee on petitions has waded into the dispute between the universities commission and lead city university in Ibadan, Oyo state.

Chairman of House Committee on Petitions, Representative Uzo Azubuike, reminded the parties that the suspension of the universities, whose students are in various levels of their academic pursuits, may end up truncating their entire life ambitions.

Representative of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Akanbode Agbaoye, however declined to make any presentation insisting that they had not been served with any petition.

According to the NUC, the licenses were suspended because of the institutions’ non-compliance with NUC- regulations guiding the operations of universities, but the petitioner, claimed they were being victimized by the NUC.

With the refusal of the commission to defend the allegation the committee chairman adjourned the proceedings.



Oyo state gets new logo

The Oyo state Governor, Mr Abiola Ajimobi has unveiled a new official logo for the state.

Unveiling the logo at the executive chambers of the Governor’s office in Ibadan, the state capital, Mr Ajimobi said the new logo represents the new identity of the state and epitomises the transformation agenda of government.

Explaining the symbols on the new, Governor Ajimobi stated that they represent the uniqueness and rich cultural heritage of the state

The new logo consists of images of the famous Cocoa House (Nigeria’s first skyscraper), University of Ibadan (Nigeria’s premier university), talking drum, beaded gourd, stars and green field with food crops and fruits, that are cultivated in the state. They include bananas, cocoa, pineapples and many others.

The logo has a caption at the base of the badge: OYO STATE: THE PACESETTER.

With the launch of its own logo, Oyo state has now joined other South West states under the rule of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in having their own logo and identity in line with the party’s gospel of true federalism.


Meanwhile, for the first time in Oyo state, the government has established an agency to regulate outdoor advertising in the state.

The newly established Oyo state Signage and Advertisement Agency (OYSA), is set not only to boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) but to provide bill boards that are environmental friendly.

The agency is empowered to remove all existing filthy and embarrassing bill boards constructed via unregulated practise over years.

Extensive deliberations are on-going across the Oyo state to create the necessary template for transforming the state and also fast track development with valid inputs from the grassroots, business, professional, traditional and religious communities.

Meanwhile the first stakeholders’ forum on signage ended in Ibadan but not without extensive deliberations on the future of the state in outdoor advertising.

The Director General of the agency, Mr. Yinka Adepoju admonished stakeholders to adhere strictly to advertising practise code.

He said anyone willing to do outdoor business in the state must register afresh with the agency.

The DG also allayed fears of double taxation promising that the agency will be fair in his dealings with everyone.

He also warned all bill board owners to tidy up as the period of grace and waiting game is over.


PHCN cable electrocutes pregnant woman and 6 others in Oyo

Tragedy struck in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital on Monday, when six people including a pregnant woman, were electrocuted to death after an electric cable, belonging to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), fell from an electric pole.

The unfortunate incident occurred in the Apata market of the ancient city when the live high tension power supply cable suddenly fell on traders at the busy Agbekoja section of the market.

However, a one-year-old boy survived the incident and he is said to be receiving treatment at a hospital.

Eye witness accounts identified the deceased pregnant woman simply as Tawa, adding that her mother who was also standing beside her was also a victim of the electrocution.

Complaints have however been made to PHCN about the congestion of the poles, and that the incident was not the first.

Many other traders at the spot sustained injuries and were immediately rushed to nearby hospitals for medical attention.

Speaking with journalists over the electrocution, the Chairman, Ibadan South West Local Government Community Development Council, Alhaji Lasisi Bamidele Popoola lamented that this is the third time this year that the PHCN wire at Apata has been cutting off and falling, explaining that one person was killed in a similar circumstance in the area sometime last year.

Meanwhile, the Apata Market has been temporarily closed down to enable the PHCN management effect thorough repairs to the disconnected high tension wire.

Authorities of the Ibadan South West Local Government Council have also declared a three-day mourning for the electrocuted victims.

Communal clash in Bodija Market claims one

One person was shot dead while an Inspector with the Nigerian Police Force was reportedly stabbed, severally on the head in a clash at the famous Bodija market in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.

The vibrant Bodija Market before the violence.

The clash which has left the market deserted, had the market police station, a number of stores and at least 10 cars destroyed set ablaze.

The Commissioner of Police in Oyo state police, Mr Tambari Mohammed, who confirmed the incident, said five people including the man who led the arson have been arrested.

According to the Commissioner, the incident started on Thursday night when two members of the Hausa community engaged in a scuffle over a woman, adding that  one of them was stabbed in the scuffle. “The suspect was said to have ran away while on Thursday morning he was arrested.”

The commissioner said some members of the community, who were armed with dangerous weapons and charms, came to the station on Friday morning and insisted that the suspect should be released to them.

He said that their request was turned down by the policemen on duty, who suggested that the suspect be left for interrogation.

“It was at point that one of the Hausa men brought out his sword to stab one of the policemen in the hand.

“The second policeman on duty, in self defence, shot and killed one of them.

“This action was said to have drawn the ire of members of the Hausa community in the area as they attacked the policemen and burnt the police station and set some of the shops ablaze,” Muhammed said.

Meanwhile, the Oyo state government has closed down the Bodija market till further notice.

Ajimobi fires 3000 workers for forgery

The Oyo State Government on Sunday sacked 3,000 workers over certificate forgery and age falsification.

According to  a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Festus Adedayo, “the sacked workers include workers without letters of appointment and those having disciplinary cases.”

Explaining why it embarked on the sack, the state government said the exercise was imperative to save the integrity of the service.

The statement read in part, “The state government will not continue to abet the service of workers who forged their certificates, ages or who violated their rules of engagement to stay a day longer in the workforce. It is like a cancer which, if not promptly checked, can eat up the whole of the system.”

Meanwhile, Ajimobi will on Monday swore in 11 permanent secretaries recently promoted in the civil service.



Update on Ibadan accident: 7 confirmed dead in autocrash

7 of the pupils that were badly injured in a school bus fire accident that occurred on Wednesday in Oyo state, have passed away.

The Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the University College Hospital, UCH, where the pupils are been treated, Dr. Biodun Otegbayo, says the other children are in a critical condition, while the school (Divine Wisdom Group of Schools), has been closed down temporarily by the proprietress, Mrs Oke Ejemuta, to mourn the deceased and allow parents gain psychological balance.

The Oyo State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Godwin Ogagaoghene, who confirmed the death toll, criticised the kind of buses being used by private schools.

According to him, school buses should have two exit doors which makes entry and exit easy for school children. He added that vehicle owners should always have fire extinguishers in their vehicles, because if the school bus had one, the situation would have been prevented.

The Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who also confirmed the death toll after a visit to the hospital, ordered the immediate release of N6m to buy of all the equipment needed to treat the children

Our previous report

15 pupils between the ages of 5 and 11, of Divine Wisdom Group of Schools,  Lagelu Local Government Area, Oyo State were  badly injured on Wednesday when a school bus conveying  them to school suddenly caught fire.

The bus driver, Mr. Serif Oyedele, who had his hand and leg burnt, stated that the mishap occurred when the engine of the bus (Ford) suddenly stopped working after picking up the pupils from the bus stop.  “As a mechanic, I checked the engine to rectify the problem… After I checked and discovered that the bus had battery problem, I told some of the older ones among the children to assist me in pushing it but while pushing they told me that fuel was dripping from underneath the vehicle. As I tried to open the engine, fire just started. That was how the whole bus got burnt.”

Those pushing it escaped unhurt, while the others were trapped in the bus. “It was when I was trying to rescue the children that I also got burnt in the hand and leg but I was able to rescue  six of them, including my five-year-old child who sat beside me in front of the bus.” he said.

All the pupils were later carried in a commercial cab and motorcycles to the Accident and Emergency Unit of the University College Hospital, (UCH), Ibadan for proper medical attention.

The Proprietress of the school, Mrs. Oke Ejemuta, who was said to have ordered the closure of the school, said “…We thank God…that they are all responding to treatment. It is the arrow of the devil. You can confirm from the parents, we bought the school bus (a J5 bus) last year, so it is a new vehicle. We hired the service of a driver-mechanic so that he can deploy his experience anytime there is need for it. We want to implore the parents to be calm.”


FEC awards N1.2 billion contract to address flooding in Kwara

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has awarded contract for the channelization of the Asa River and its tributaries in Ilorin Kwara state to the tune of N1.2 billion with a completion period of twelve months.

Briefing state house correspondents after the meeting on Wednesday, the Minister of environment, Alhaji Hadiza Meilafia said that the contract is to check the perennial problem of flooding of Ilorin town caused by the river and the attendant destruction of lives and property.

The council which was presided over by the Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, also expressed concern over the on-going abuse along the Ogunpa River in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.

The cabinet warned that people should not build along the channels and also instructed the Ministry of the Environment to stop what is happening along the Ogunpa channels.

The FEC also approved the recommendations of the white paper on transiting from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting in Nigeria.

According to the recommendation, the government is to licence a minimum of two and maximum of three broadcasting signals distributors at the first instance.

The Minister of Communication technology, Omobolaji Johnson noted that the nation is “well on its way to joining the rest of the world in digital technology using Nigeria’s radio frequency much more that what has been obtainable in the past.”

The meeting further approved the recommendations from the 17th Nigerian economic summit and noted that the president will continue to identify with the summit which has served as a major source through which foreign direct investors can be attracted into the country.

We don’t want the new minimum wage table – Oyo state workers

Industrial activities took a stand still on Tuesday in Oyo State, following the indefinite strike action embarked upon by civil servants in the state to protest against the new salary scale presented to the leadership of the labour unions on Monday.

The workers insisted that the N19,987 minimum wage table presented by Governor Abiola Ajimobi represented no significant difference with the old table. The workers also demanded the implementation of the new federal tax regime to save them from excessive taxes.

The Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Bashir Olanrewaju, and his Joint Negotiating Council counterpart, Nurudeen Arowolo, said “The government must give the workers in the state a living wage and not poverty wage. The strike that was declared is indefinite as the governor is not ready to bow to pressure by meeting the demand of workers.”

However, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Bosun Oladele, who described the workers’ action as unfortunate, said the state government expected them to reciprocate government’s gesture.

Ajimobi to meet striking workers on Monday

The Oyo state governor Abiola Ajimobi has scheduled a meeting with all the union leaders of striking workers on Monday 26th March to address the lingering minimum wage crisis that has crippled the state for over two weeks.

Making the disclosure in Ibadan, the special adviser to the governor on media, Dr. Festus Adedayo explained in a statement, that the meeting was agreed on by Mr Ajimobi and the labour leaders to address all errors in the wage table which led to the protest by workers.

The statement noted that the governor has admitted, there are errors in the computation of the salary table, and urged the workers to seek rectification of the errors instead of taking to the streets.

Meanwhile the chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) Comrade Nurudeen Arowolo who has confirmed the scheduled, stated that “apart from correcting the discrepancy in the table, they are demanding that real percentage increase must be in line with the federal table.”

The acting coordinator appointed by workers, Comrade Abiodun Fasasi said it was disheartening that the labour leaders &the state government kept the workers in abeyance since July 2011. He stressed that the salary scale released by the state government on Thursday 15th march with the sum of N13,000.30k adopted as minimum wage, was unacceptable.

Comrade Arowolo also warned that negotiations have been put on hold until the distortions in the table are addressed by government. He said “labour leaders are demanding a home grown table to actually reflect the peculiarity of Oyo state with a real percentage increase in line with federal government table.”

Oyo State governor urges Bi-Courtney group to pick up pace on Lagos-Ibadan expressway

The Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi has charged the contractor tasked with the upgrad and expansion on the dilapidated Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to speed up the pace and resume work on the road in earnest.

Oyo State governor urges Bi-Courtney group to pick up pace on Lagos-Ibadan expressway

Gov. Ajimobi gave the charge in his office in Ibadan during a visit with the chairman and management team of Bi-Courtney Constructions Company.

Bi-Courtney heads have attributed the delay in the start of the project to various factors, citing the weather as a major delay factor and also said they had wanted to ensure that the new designs and engineering of the road takes into consideration the changes that come with population increases and development in the area.

Ajimobi assured the Bi-Courtney heads of his full cooperation, adding that an active private partnership initiative would be arranged between the state government and the company in relevant areas.

The Oyo state governor said the number of productive lives lost to the many accidents that have happened on the road makes it imperative for urgen but calculated measure to set things right once and for all.