Saraki Harps On Needed Investment In Nigeria’s Human Resources

Saraki Canvasses Review of Procurement Laws To Cushion RecessionNigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has called for greater investments in human resources, which he described as the greatest assets of the country regardless of the nation’s abundant mineral and material resources.

At a night of recognition and dinner in honour of 72 graduates of Kwara origin who bagged first class in their studies, tagged, ‘Kwara Class of Honours’, Dr Saraki said human resources in Nigeria had not received sufficient investments and encouragement.

Future Of Nigeria

The former Kwara State governor commended the beneficiaries for their determination, commitment, patience and academic exploits.

He reiterated that the youths were the future of Nigeria and urged Nigerian students to aim for excellence and be good ambassadors of their alma mater after graduation.

“We have a lot of resources. You talk about oil, solid minerals and others, but we spend less time on human resources which is the most important.

“What you have in front of us is worth more than many barrels of oils and worth more than many carats of gold,” the Senate president observed.

The 73 firstclass beneficiaries graduated from public and private universities across Nigeria which included, University of Lagos, University of Ilorin, University of Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ahmadu Bello University, Federal University, Minna, Kwara State University, Covenant University, Bowen University and Afe Babalola University.

 

Professor Says Gender Inquality Contributes To Slow Economic Growth

Professor Says Gender Inquality Contributes To Slow Economic GrowthA Professor of Counselor Education, Irene Durosaro, has identified non-recognition of intellect and capabilities of women, as one of the factors responsible for non-growth of Nigeria’s economy.

She stated this during her inaugural lecture at the University of Ilorin, Kwara state.

Mrs Durosaro lamented what she called factors responsible for subordinate status of women in the country which according to her, includes religion, cultural norms and practices, gender role socialisation and marriage institution, while calling for change of attitude in these regard.

The Professor also called on government at all levels to establish guidance and counseling centres in order to achieve positive attitudinal change and promote the development of women and men at equal levels.

“The practice of patriarch in Nigeria is perpetrated by several factors that lower the status of women.

“Although several efforts have been made to advance the rights of women, they continue to be denied, face discrimination and oppression from their male counterparts.

“In some parts of the world, females are able to free themselves if they are of high status, wealthy or educated.

“However in Nigeria, the subordination of women occur in different dimensions to educated or uneducated, rich or poor urban or rural.

“There are no barriers that protect such women from the barbaric acts. – Men and women need to collaborate in order to achieve economic development in the world,” she said.

“In the light of my presentation, I hereby recommend that federal, state and local governments should ensure they establish guidance and counselling centres at all levels of education.

“Adequate attention should be given to gender sensitive counselling in order to achieve positive attitudinal change and promote the development of men and women at an equal level,” Durosaro stressed.

Court Orders UNILORIN To Pay KWIRS 900m Naira Tax Arrears

UNILORIN, Court, Tax, KWISA court has ordered the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) to pay an outstanding tax liability of 970 million Naira to the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS).

The presiding judge, Justice Bayo Yusuf, gave the ruling at the Kwara State High Court situated in Ilorin, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

Justice Yusuf said that the application for stay of execution by the applicant (UNILORIN) on the judgment earlier given in favour of the claimant (KWIRS) was not valid, as it was subsequently dismissed by the court.

In his ruling, he ordered that the university, being the judgment debtor, pay a sum of 100 million Naira on or before May 31, 2016, and 50 million Naira monthly until the 970 million Naira is liquidated accordingly.

He added that interest accrued on the liabilities should be paid as well.

“This judgment is seen as a major victory for the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service and the beginning of recovery of all outstanding liabilities owed the Kwara State Government,” a statement by the state government’s spokesman read.

The Chairman of KWIRS, Dr. Muritala Awodun, expressed delight at the judgement and stated that the service, through its legal and enforcement department and in collaboration with the judiciary and law enforcement agencies would ensure that all revenues due to the state were recovered and paid into government coffers.

He advised corporate bodies and individuals with outstanding liabilities to comply immediately to save them from embarrassment.

The Kwara State government had recently reformed the state system and tasked the new agency, KWIRS, with a monthly target of five billion Naira.

Unilorin Partners U.S. Firm To Build N600bn Solar Power Plant

Unilorin, Solar PowerThe University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) has signed a memorandum of agreements with a United States of America based firm for the production and installation of 500 megawatts solar powered plant.

The solar powered plant to be located inside the campus is part of effort to curb the incessant power outages in some parts of the country especially Lagos and Kano states.

Addressing journalists after the signing of the agreements, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulganiyy Ambali, explained that the public private partnership with the firm will cost the company 600 billion naira.

The General Manager of Arrow Capital, Brian Travis, noted that the project when completed by October 2016 would serve both Lagos and Kano states as the megawatts would be sold to them in accordance with the permission of the federal government.

NLNG Constructs Engineering Laboratories In ABU

NLNGThe Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas limited (NLNG) has constructed multi-million Naira engineering laboratories at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

At the commissioning of the multi-user laboratories, the Managing Director (MD) of NLNG, Mr Babs Omotowa, said the project, which cost 340 million Naira, was part of the company’s contribution to complement the various efforts of the government in stimulating the growth of research and science education in Nigeria.

Mr Omotowa also explained that the laboratory, which was equipped with the state of the art facility, would provide the staff and students of the university easy access to world class facilities that would, among other benefits, enhance their academic performance and improve their skills.

The building has six different laboratories – Materials Characterisation Laboratory, Soil Testing Laboratory, Materials Testing Laboratory, Mechatronics Laboratory, ICT Laboratory and Environmental Laboratory.

The project, which is part of NLNG’s University Support Programme, is driven by the company’s desire to develop engineering education in Nigeria.

The MD also disclosed that the company would spend 340 million Naira on the construction of modern engineering laboratories, equipped with cutting-edge technology, in five other universities.

University of Ibadan, University of Ilorin, University of Port-Harcourt, University of Maiduguri and University of Nigeria, Nsukka are the benefiting universities.

He explained that the universities were selected based on rankings by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and their long standing contributions to the development of local capacity in Nigeria.

The Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ibrahim Garba, told the gathering that the commissioning of the multi-user laboratories was the first of its kind, since the inception of the institution.

He noted that the facility would avail students and lecturers of the institution the opportunity to conduct their research in the field of engineering technology.

He also called on other corporate organisations to emulate NLNG.

The Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka, while commending the management of NLNG for the laudable initiative, that the administration of President Buhari was committed to giving the education sector face-lift.

NUC Says Not Involved In Stoppage of University Staff Schools Funding

NUCThe National Universities Commission (NUC) has distanced itself from the stoppage of funding of staff schools established by federal government agencies.

The NUC says the decision to stop funding of staff schools is a directive from the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission which was only communicated to all federal universities by the National Universities Commission.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Director of Information and Public Relations of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Mr Ibrahim Yakasai, said that staff schools are established as private enterprises which can only be funded from the Internally Generated Revenue of the affected universities.

Mr Yakasai advised the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) to stop misleading the general public on the true position of the matter of funding of staff schools established by federal government agencies.

He noted that some of these agencies have transferred the burden of their wage bill to the federal government.

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) had threatened to paralyse activities at the universities to protest the alleged plan by the Federal Government to lay off teachers teaching in staff schools owned by its universities.

The Chairman of SSANU in Unilorin, Adeleke Alfanla, made this threat at a protest held at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.

The protesters, joined by some teachers at the University of Ilorin Staff School, stated that an agreement had been signed with the government six years ago for the total funding of the schools to be from the university’s budget. They wondered how a statement would now be issued categorising them as ghost workers.

The SSANU Chairman, Adeleke Alfanla, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter to guard against a collapse of the education sector, warning that federal universities will be grounded if the decision is not changed.

SSANU Protests Plan To Sack University Primary School Teachers

SSANUThe plan by the Federal Government to lay off teachers teaching in primary schools owned by its universities has been generating reactions as the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has threatened to paralyse activities at the universities, if the decision is not reversed.

The Chairman of SSANU in Unilorin, Adeleke Alfanla, made this threat at a protest held at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.

The South-West branch of SSANU wondered why agencies like the military are allowed to operate primary and secondary schools from their budget while the universities would not be allowed.

They called for the resignation of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Okoje, for being part of the plot to sack the teachers.

University of Ilorin Primary School is one of the 24 schools being operated by Federal Universities across the country and the school’s teachers joined in the protest around the university premises to express their anger.

They stated that an agreement had been signed with the government six years ago for the total funding of the schools to be from the university’s budget. They wondered how a circular will now be issued categorising them as ghost workers.

The SSANU Chairman, Adeleke Alfanla, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter to guard against collapse of the education sector, warning that federal universities will be grounded if the decision is not changed.

Exxon Mobil Donates Equipment To Six Nigerian Universities

exxonOil giant, Exxon Mobil has donated equipment worth 50 million naira to six tertiary institutions in the country through its Universities Partnership Programme (UPP).

The donated items includes: analytical equipments, digital cameras, mosquitoes nets for field trips and the sum of 5.777 million naira to each of the universities.

The beneficiaries includes; Akwa Ibom State University, Anambra State University, University of Jos and Federal University of Technology, Akure. Others are University of Ilorin and Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta.

According to the General Manager, Operations (Technical) of Exxon, Mr Micheal Udoh, the company has since the inception of the program in 2007, provided support worth over one billion naira.

”Since we started the University Partnering Programme in 2007, we have donated vehicles, Geo-sciences equipment to 14 universities, to facilitate Geological fieldwork training and analysis for students.

He said the program is aimed at ensuring that Nigeria stands on equal competitive footing with the best universities in the world in the study of Geo-sciences.

”We commenced this partnership Eight years ago in the area of Geo-sciences education in our collective and determined quest to help advance the quality of education in Nigeria to internationally competitive levels.

“To date, we have committed over N900m to the UPP and our long term goal is to ensure that every public university in Nigeria offering Geo-sciences benefits from the programme.

Commending the company, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Julius Okojie, asked other companies to emulate the good examples of the company, as the government cannot adequately fund education on its own.

The gesture by the company also received the support and commendation of players in the Geo-sciences sector, such as the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Ministry of Education.

The beneficiaries also promised to ensure that the equipments are properly used and maintained.

Nigerian Schools Rank Low Among Africa’s Top 50 Universities

UniversitiesPersistent crises in Nigeria’s institutions of higher learning may have affected the country’s position in the recent rankings of Africa’s top universities.

An online rating of Africa’s top 50 universities on 2015 University Web Rankings Africa, shows the highest ranking Nigerian university to be University of Lagos in 20th place.

Others are the Obafemi Awolowo University of Ile-ife in 23rd position, University of Ibadan in 38th, University of Ilorin 41st and Covenant University in 43rd place.

The list is dominated by universities from South Africa and Egypt.

The South Africans led the list with the top five universities while Egypt followed from 6th to ninth.

University of Dar es Salaam Tanzania in tenth breaks the sequence while South Africa and Egypt’s dominance continues from 11 to 15th.

Morocco’s Universite Mohammed V – Agdal is 16th while West African neighbours Burkina Faso and Kenya also place higher than Nigeria in 18th and 19th place respectively.

Nigeria’s universities calender has often been disrupted by frequent industrial actions.

Major stakeholders also accuse government of starving the institutions of funds resulting in the declining.

Below is the list of top 100 universities in Africa (2015).

1 University of Cape: Town South Africa
2 University of Pretoria: South Africa
3 Universiteit Stellenbosch: South Africa
4 University of the Witwatersrand: South Africa
5 University of South Africa: South Africa
6 The American University in Cairo: Egypt
7 Cairo University: Egypt
8 Mansoura University: Egypt
9 Alexandria University: Egypt
10 University of Dar es Salaam: Tanzania
11 University of KwaZulu-Natal: South Africa
12 Rhodes University: South Africa
13 Ain Shams University: Egypt
14 Assiut University: Egypt
15 University of the Western Cape: South Africa
16 Université Mohammed V – Agdal: Morocco
17 University of Johannesburg: South Africa
18 Université de Ouagadougou: Burkina Faso
19 University of Nairobi: Kenya
20 University of Lagos: Nigeria
21 Makerere University: Uganda
22 Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University: South Africa
23 Obafemi Awolowo University: Nigeria
24 University of Ghana: Ghana
25 Universidade Eduardo Mondlane: Mozambique
26 Misurata University: Libya
27 The German University in Cairo: Egypt
28 North-West University: South Africa
29 Benha University: Egypt
30 Zagazig University: Egypt
31 Université de la Reunion: Reunion
32 University of Botswana: Botswana
33 Al Akhawayn University: Morocco
34 University of Namibia: Namibia
35 Université Abou Bekr Belkaid Tlemcen: Algeria
36 Université Cheikh Anta Diop: Senegal
37 University of Khartoum: Sudan
38 University of Ibadan: Nigeria
39 Helwan University: Egypt
40 Sudan University of Science and Technology: Sudan
41 University of Ilorin: Nigeria
42 Université Mentouri de Constantine: Algeria
43 Covenant University: Nigeria
44 Université Mouloud Maameri de Tizi Ouzou: Algeria
45 University of Swaziland: Swaziland
46 Université de Batna: Algeria
47 Université d’Alger: Algeria
48 University of Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe
49 Université Mohammed V – Souissi: Morocco
50 South Valley University: Egypt
51 Tanta University: Egypt
52 Moi University: Kenya
53 Université Kasdi Merbah de Ouargla: Algeria
54 Université Abdelmalek Essadi: Morocco
55 Minoufiya University: Egypt
56 Université Cadi Ayyad: Morocco
57 Federal University of Technology, Minna: Nigeria
58 Minia University: Egypt
59 University of Zambia: Zambia
60 Université d’Oran: Algeria
61 Addis Ababa University: Ethiopia
62 Université Djillali Liabes: Algeria
63 Université Abdelhamid Ibn Badis Mostaganem: Algeria
64 Al-Azhar University: Egypt
65 Kenyatta University: Kenya
66 Université Hassan II – Casablanca: Morocco
67 Suez Canal University: Egypt
68 Kafr el-Sheikh University: Egypt
69 Universiteit van die Vrystaat: South Africa
70 Cape Peninsula University of Technology: South Africa
71 Université M’hamed Bouguerra de Boumerdes: Algeria
72 Université Ibn Tofail: Morocco
73 Université Hassan II Mohammedia – Casablanca: Morocco
74 University of Nigeria: Nigeria
75 Université d’Antananarivo: Madagascar
76 University of Malawi: Malawi
77 Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology: Ghana
78 Universidade de Cabo Verde: Cape Verde
79 Polytechnic of Namibia: Namibia
80 Tshwane University of Technology: South Africa
81 University of Benin: Nigeria
82 Université des Sciences et de la Technologie Houari Boumediène: Algeria
83 Mbarara University of Science & Technology: Uganda
84 Strathmore University: Kenya
85 University of Port Harcourt: Nigeria
86 Ahmadu Bello University: Nigeria
87 Al Jabal Al Gharbi University: Libya
88 University of Agriculture, Abeokuta: Nigeria
89 Université Mohamed Khider de Biskra: Algeria
90 University of Shendi: Sudan
91 University of Mauritius: Mauritius
92 Durban University of Technology: South Africa
93 Université de Tunis El Manar: Tunisia
94 Université de la Manouba: Tunisia
95 Landmark University: Nigeria
96 Fayoum University: Egypt
97 Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology: Kenya
98 Vaal University of Technology: South Africa
99 Université Ferhat Abbas Sétif: Algeria
100 Université Hassiba Ben Bouali de Chlef: Algeria

Fayemi Mourns Ekiti Music Legend Elemure

ElemureEkiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has expressed his condolence on the death of popular musician, Elemure Ogunyemi.

Ogunyemi died in the early hours of Thursday in his residence at Ekute area of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital at the age of 71.

The Governor, in a statement, said that he received the news of the death of Ogunyemi with shock on a day the state was celebrating the transition of another illustrious son and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Jacob Ade-Ajayi.

According to the Governor, the death of the music star, who positively projected the image of the state and was the first musician of Ekiti genre to acquire a global recognition, is a great loss to the state.

Fayemi described the death of Ogunyemi as a great loss to Ekiti people whose dialect and culture the deceased promoted through his music all over the world.

He added that Elemure mentored other musicians who have promoted the Ekiti dialect and popularized the Ekiti music genre.Elemure

Fayemi pointed out that Elemure’s music brought joy to music enthusiasts and lifted the spirits of many through his philosophical sayings and wisecracks.

The Governor described Elemure Ogunyemi as a music legend, cultural ambassador, entertainer and great artiste of immense talent.

Fayemi noted that Ogunyemi’s giant strides in his chosen profession made him to receive honours from far and wide including a honorary doctorate degree from the University of Ilorin and the prestigious traditional title of the Elejoka of Isaba-Ekiti.

He promised the readiness of his administration to immortalize the deceased as a mark of honour for being a worthy Ekiti ambassador in his lifetime.

The Governor said that the people of Ekiti State and music lovers all over the world are mourning the passage of Elemure.

He urged the family and associates of the deceased to take heart and be consoled by his positive contributions to the development of the state.

Nigeria’s Economy Will Continue To Grow Despite Security Challenges – Finance Minister

ngoziThe Minister of Finance and coordinating Minister for Economy, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has assured that the federal government will ensure the constant growth of the economy despite the challenges of insurgency in certain parts of the country.

The minister in an interview after the flag- off of an Oil Plantation at the University of Ilorin noted that the abduction of over two hundred girls in Chibok is a global concern which all world leaders are ready to support the country.

She added that the government will be more resolved to improve on the economy and not be dampened by the insecurity challenges especially now that the country’s economy is the best in the continent.

2015 Election: Stakeholders Advocate Financial Autonomy For INEC

INEC-Chairman-Professor-Attahiru-Jega-360x270In order to have a credible and crisis free general election in 2015, various stakeholders have called for a financially autonomous Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to correct the lapses of previous elections.

Various stakeholders made the call at a public lecture titled ‘Challenges of Fraud –Free Elections Under a Democratic Dispensation,’ which was organised by Mustapha Foundation in Ilorin.

A former lecturer of University of Ilorin, Professor Sheu Jimoh, who was the keynote speaker, set the tone for the lecture after he painted a gloomy picture of how difficult it was to organise a credible election in Nigeria, citing several impediments and challenges.

He noted that after almost a hundred years of electoral practices and over fifty years of independence; the country had not evolved an enduring democratic culture.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, who was the chairman of the occasion advised politicians to play the game by the rules and that the security operatives should ensure that people are free to cast their votes without intimidation.

He however lamented that lack of funds for the umpire to conduct election could mar the process. He stressed that if INEC delineates polling booths properly, allow enough time for proper registration of voters and ensure that campaigns are done according to laid down rules, the country could boast of having credible elections.

In his address, the INEC Chairman dwelt on the electoral processes in the country and blamed military incursion as part of the reasons behind unstable democracy in the country.

He noted that various reforms have been introduced since he came on board as the helmsman of INEC, especially in restoring credibility to the electoral process since 2011 elections.

The INEC boss also noted that politicians have a lot of roles to play as it relates to enlightening their agents who usually are not educated on the electoral laws, thereby engaging in acts that could slow down the election process through litigation that could be avoided.

Jega also restated the commitment and readiness of the body to surpass its earlier records, but urged politicians in the country to follow the rules and avoid contravening the Electoral Act.

Retired Justice Mustapha Akanbi and Former President of the Court Of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami also added their voices on the way forward in achieving credible elections in the country.