Kastina state earmarks N1.5bn for agric faculty take-off of state university

 

 

 

Katsina state government has earmarked N1.5 billion for the take-off of Faculty of Agriculture at Layin Minista in Umaru Musa Yar’adua University (UMYU).

Malam Bishir Ruwan-Godiya, the Special Adviser to Gov. Bello Masari on Higher Education, disclosed this during an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Katsina.

Ruwan-Godiya said that the amount would cover the construction of lecture theatres, offices, agricultural laboratories, fishery and agronomy departments, among others.

“Already the architectural design of the Faculty has been compiled and handed over to the State Ministry of Works and Housing for ratification by the State Tenders Board for contractual arrangement.

“Other projects to be executed at the Faculty’s site in Layin Minista include; fencing of the area and provision of other infrastructures.

“Plans were underway between the Department of Higher Education and Umaru Musa Yar’adua University to design a master plan for the commencement of academic session in the Faculty.

“The Department has begun consultations to employ professors on agriculture and other staff for the commencement of academic activities in the Faculty,’’ 

Ruwan-Godiya gave the assurance that in the next academic session, the university would admit new intakes of the faculty to begin academic activities.

He said that to ensure the full-take off of the faculty, the governor directed the procurement of two tractors to be used at the faculty’s demonstration farm.

The Special Adviser revealed that already the two acquired tractors had been presented to the Management of the University.

The Faculty of Agriculture was transferred to the Southern part of the state because it has fertile land and 80 per cent of the people in the area are farmers.

The faculty was established to boost food production and guarantee food security in the state and the country at large.

NYSC DG reveals date for 2018 Batch B orientation course, reads riot act to state coordinators

DG reveals date for 2018 Batch B orientation course, reads riot act to state coordinatorsPublished on July 19, 2018 By Chijioke Jannah

The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Director-General, Brigadier Suleiman Kazaure, has warned state coordinators against acting in ways that are at variance with the core values of the scheme.

Kazaure gave the warning on Wednesday at a pre-orientation meeting of the NYSC Management with State Coordinators and Camp Commandants in Abuja.

He disclosed that the 2018 Batch ‘B’ Stream I Orientation course will commence on Tuesday 24th July, 2018.

The Director-General, who said details regarding the conduct of the stream II edition of the Orientation Course would be released in due course urged the Coordinators to communicate policy issues discussed at the meeting to camp officials for effective conduct of the programme.

He expressed delight at the level of success recorded during the 2018 Batch ‘A’ Orientation Course, adding: “I was impressed with what I saw in some states, especially with regards to the implementation of the skills acquisition programme, feeding of Corps Members, camp sanitation as well as the quality of accommodation’’.

‘‘Notwithstanding the successes recorded, the states faced some challenges which I expect this gathering to discuss with a view to charting ways forward’’, the Director General added.

He further said, ‘‘It is necessary that you take note of the current issues and policies of the Scheme so as to align your operations with the Management’s areas of focus, and to ensure uniformity of programme implementation in orientation camps nationwide’’.

The Director-General said State Coordinators, who make giant strides towards the successful execution of the Orientation course, would be rewarded, while those found to be operating at variance with the Scheme’s core values would be sanctioned.

Kazaure directed the Coordinators to pay adequate attention to issues of security and general welfare of Corps Members, adding that they must ensure strict compliance with the Management’s directives on healthcare, feeding, accommodation and Camp sanitation, amongst others.

He also urged them to step up efforts at sensitizing state Governments and other stakeholders on their statutory responsibilities to NYSC, especially in the provision and upgrading of camp facilities.

Earlier in a welcome address, the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Mrs. Victoria Okakwu said the meeting was convened to enable the Scheme strategize and put in place fool-proof mechanism for successful and more effective conduct of the 2018 Batch ‘B’ Orientation course.

Lagos candidates yet to get WASSCE results two weeks after release

Lagos candidates yet to get WASSCE results two weeks after releasePublished on July 19, 2018 By Ifreke Inyang

Students of Lagos State public schools are yet to access their results, two weeks after the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) released results of the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

A source from the Lagos State Ministry of Education, who pleaded anonymity, told The Nation that the non-release of the result, may not be unconnected to the non-completion of the payment of the examination fees by the Lagos State government.

The Lagos State government pays the WASSCE fees for SS3 pupils of its public schools

“Some public school students have not seen their results because the process to pay the money was incomplete. But they are working on it,” the source said.

However, the Head of Public Affairs, WAEC, Demianus Ojijeogu, insisted the result had been released.

“It has been released. The result is online already. You can quote me,” he said.

Alleged sex scandal case before disciplinary committee — LASU

The Lagos State University on Tuesday said it had issued a query to an Associate Professor in its Department of Economics over the alleged sexual assault of a student , and the case was already before a Joint Action Disciplinary Committee.
Mr Adekoya Martins, the University ’ s spokesman told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the management of the institution had zero tolerance for such act .
NAN reports that an Associate Professor of Economics in the Lagos State University was allegedly caught two weeks ago sexually assaulting an unidentified female undergraduate of his department .
Martins said the case, already before the disciplinary committee , would thereafter be forwarded to the University Senate for consideration .

Meanwhile , the University Registrar , Mr Olayinka Amuni, had told NAN in an earlier interview that the sanction for such act once established would be dismissal.
“ Once we are able to establish that a staff engages in an illegal relationship with any student , the person is dismissed from the system because it is the height of academic irresponsibility.
“ We are an institution guided by rules and regulations , and once we have an official report or an allegation of someone indulging in sexual harassment , the first thing we do is to issue query to the person.
“ The query is to get information from the person whether indeed that really happened or not .
“ We would examine whatever response you give with the evidences before us and if the evidences are not genuine , we won ’ t push further .
“ But if we can find element of truth in what is before us , the matter is sent to disciplinary committee and the sanction for such activities is dismissal, ” he said .
Amuni said the university management had continued to encourage its students to confide in them and report any form of harassment from their lecturers or non -academic staff .
NAN reports that the alleged incident in LASU is coming soon after the Governing Council of Obafemi Awolowo University ( OAU ) , Ile – Ife , dismissed one of its lecturers, Prof . Richard Akindele , who was allegedly involved in a sex – for – marks scandal

Future of higher education belongs to private varsities — NUC

The National Universities Commission has called on private universities in Nigeria to sustain efforts towards achieving the vision to become institutions with globally competitive standards for which they were established.
The Executive Secretary of the NUC , Prof . Abubakar Rasheed , made the call while delivering the 14 th convocation lecture of the Benson Idahosa University , Benin City, Edo State .
Rasheed described the establishment of private universities in Nigeria as a reflection of the need to close the gaps created by the challenges facing government – owned tertiary institutions across the country.
He listed some of the problems to include access, resulting in the emergence of degree mills and satellite campuses ; preponderance of social vices , instability of academic calendar , indiscipline of staff and infrastructural decay .
The NUC executive secretary , who was represented by the commission ’ s Director of Accreditation , Dr . Noel Salihu , said , “ In some cases , available facilities are not properly maintained and , therefore , left in a state of disrepair .
“ Though funds from the government may be insufficient to sustain adequate provision of facilities and infrastructure , some of the universities pay lip services to institutionalising maintenance culture in the system . The private universities are not expected to have similar challenges as some operating in the country have state -of- the – art infrastructure and equipment , making them attractive for learning in contemporary times . ”
Rasheed disclosed that no fewer than 75 private universities had been established with Act No . 9 of 1993 , which repealed the Private Universities ( Abolition and Prohibition ) Act of 1984 and allowed individuals, organisations , corporate bodies as well as local governments to establish and run private universities , upon meeting laid down guidelines and , subsequently, obtaining the approval of government .
Speaking on the theme , ‘ Higher Education in Nigeria : The Private Universities Perspective’ , he noted that with the advantages they had over their government – owned counterparts , the future of university education in Nigeria belongs to private universities .
He, however , advised the managers of such universities to shun acts capable of compromising the quality of programmes run by the institutions.
“ Areas where there are loopholes , in relation to quality , must be plugged . Excellence in every facet of the operations of the private universities must be the watchword of the proprietors and the regulatory agencies.
“ It might be argued that the provision of university education is a different ball game from those of the primary and secondary levels as it is more capital intensive and the financial profit derivable is usually not immediate , ” he added .

WAEC: Pidgin, shorthand causes of mass failure in English

The Public Relations Officer of the West African Examination Council in Ghana, Agnes Teye Cudjoe, said the 2018 WASSCE Chief Examiner’s Report attributed the massive failure in English to the use of Pidgin language and short-hand by students.
According to WAEC, 193,882 candidates, representing 61.67% out of the total number who sat for the exams failed to obtain a pass mark to enable them to secure admissions into the university, reports Adomonline.
Provisional results released by WAEC indicated that 99,402 which represents (31%) obtained D7-E8 in the English Language, 94,607 which represents (30.09%) obtained D7-E8 in Mathematics, and 109,069 which represents (34.72%) also obtained D7-E8 in Integrated Science.
68,002, representing 21.61%, obtained F9 in English Language; 99,275 (31.58%), obtained F9 in Mathematics; and 46,367, representing 14.76%, had F9 in Integrated Science.
Speaking to Ekourba Gyasi on Atinka AM Drive Monday, Agnes Teye Cudjoe explained that although 2017 WASSCE saw an increase in the passes in Science compared to 2018, there was a total drop in passes in English and Maths.
She added that the 2018 Chief Examiners Report informed WAEC of a lack of vocabulary in the scripts of most of the candidates.
The 2018 Chief Examiners Report has recommended extensive reading for the students to help students build their vocabulary.
“You would agree with me that these days, our candidates hardly read, everybody is busy doing WhatsApp and all that. If students spend more time reading very good books, textbooks, Literature and English books they will improve and have command of the English Language.
According to Madam Teye Cudjoe, the report also urged teachers to give students more exercises on spelling drills, comprehension and summary to help students improve their Vocabulary.
“With respect to Mathematics, the 2018 Chief Examiners report revealed that the major challenge for the candidates was as a result of their inability to translate story problems into mathematical statements. The report also discovered that the candidates failed to answer questions on trigonometry and geometry”, she added.

How Adeosun, FG ignored Nigerians week after certificate forgery scandal

Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance, has refused to comment on the allegation that she skipped the one-year mandatory national youth service but instead she forged an exemption certificate.

Also, the federal government has kept silent on the matter – one week after the story broke.

The ICIR contacted Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, to find out why the President has chosen to remain silent on such weighty allegation against a high profile cabinet member.

“Go and ask the minister if you have any question, please,” Adesina said on the phone after cautioning the reporter that he should not have mentioned ‘scandal’ because according to him, it is a subjective word.

Adesina’s colleague, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to Buhari, has not replied a text message by the ICIR and several dials of his phone number did not go through.

Yinka Akintunde, Special Adviser to Adeosun on Media, neither answered the phone calls nor replied the text message.

After the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, refused to comment on the allegation of certificate forgery against Adeosun and passed the buck to the National Youth Service Corps
“The government has spoken. NYSC is part of government and I have nothing to add to what the NYSC has said,” Mohammed said.
Meanwhile, the NYSC said that Adeosun applied for an exemption certificate but refused to say when the application was made and whether it was granted.

“Our attention has been drawn to the issue of the alleged forgery of an NYSC Exemption Certificate by the Honorable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun,” Adeyemi Adenike, NYSC’s Director of Press and Public Relations, said in a statement on Monday.

“Checking our records, Mrs. Adeosun did apply for an Exemption Certificate. We shall investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question.”

Since Monday, the NYSC has not released the outcome of the investigation.

Itse Sagay, Professor of law and Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC) said Adeosun did not have any question to answer, at least for now, over the allegation of forgery against her.

Sagay insisted that it was only when the NYSC had spoken on the matter that Adeosun could be asked to defend herself if necessary.

“But, I think the onus should be on the NYSC since she applied and got a certificate. If that is not contradicted, they should just leave her alone but if it is contradicted, then there would be an issue to consider,” Sagay said.

Itse Sagay
Itse Sagay
“So, as far as I am concerned, there is nothing against her right now. Yes, the NYSC should come clean since they have all the records. Let them come out with what they have so that the lady would be able to defend herself if necessary.”

FOOLPROOF INVESTIGATION
Premium Times broke the story on July 7, stating that Adeosun graduated at the age of 22 and was not entitled to an exemption from the mandatory one-year national service.

She, however, fraudulently procured an exemption certificate, purportedly signed by Yusuf Bomoi, a former Director General of the NYSC.

While Bomoi left the NYSC in January 2009, Adeosun’s certificate was dated September 2009, and therefore could not have been signed by him.

Maharazu Tsiga, former NYSC DG, who took over from Bomoi, said Adeosun’s certificate could not have been issued by the NYSC.

Forgery is a criminal offence in Nigeria, punishable under section 467 of the Criminal Code Act, which states thus: “Any person who forges any document, writing, or seal, is guilty of an offence which, unless otherwise stated, is a felony, and he is liable, if no other punishment is provided, to imprisonment for three years.”

Dapo Olorunyomi, the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of the Premium Times, had challenged Adeosun to go to court if she considers the allegation false.

Dapo Olorunyomi
Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher/Chief Executive Officer of Premium Times
“Adeosun forged her exemption certificate. The story is real. We did a water-tight investigation that took us three months before we came out with the story. We encourage her to go to court if she will like to prove us wrong,” he said.

Olorunyomi reaffirmed the allegation against Adeosun on Thursday when he delivered a speech at the 9th Annual Lecture organised by the Mass Communication Department of the University in memory of Doyin Mahmoud, the Pioneer Head of the department who died in 2009.

UNEASY SILENT
The silence by both Adeosun and the federal government over the forgery scandal appear disdainful and contemptuous of Nigerians who have been asking for either denial or admittance of guilt.

Several Nigerians have called for the resignation of Adeosun and also urged the government to prosecute her.

Nigeria’s main opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), called for the immediate sack, arrest, and arraignment of Adeosun for criminal forgery of her NYSC certificate.

“The world can now see how the Buhari Presidency has been concealing sharp practices under it,” Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of PDP said in a statement shortly after the story broke.

“We can now see why there is humongous corruption under President Buhari’s watch and why Mr. President has refused to take any concrete steps to check the sleazes in his administrations,” he said.

Farooq Kperogi, the US-based Nigerian lecturer and public affairs analyst, said the silence over Adeosun’s scandal had exposed the hypocrisy of Buhari administration in the much-talked-about fight against corruption.

“The moral outrage over Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun’s obviously forged National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exemption certificate, which the Nigerian presidency has chosen to strategically ignore in hopes that it will peter out, dramatizes, in more ways than one, the spuriousness of President Muhammadu Buhari’s self-serving claims to embodying ‘integrity,’” Kperogi wrote.

Olusegun Adeniyi , Chairman of the Editorial Board of ThisDay Newspapers and former Presidential Spokesman for the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, said that what most people find rather disturbing about the Buhari administration is its selective approach to morality.

“Unfortunately, when a government allows its friends and allies to make justifications for their wrongdoings, bend rules to suit predetermined ends and excuse egregious unethical behaviour from those who ordinarily should be held to the highest standards, any claim to fighting corruption is but a big joke,” Adeniyi wrote.

He said, “If the Finance Minister of a country could forge a certificate, as being alleged, what else would she not forge?”

Other Nigerians have also wondered why Adeosun has ignored the allegation while still keeping her job as the finance minister.

African development relies on education and literacy

 

 

Key to a successful education, literacy remains one of sub-Saharan Africa’s top public priorities, now more than ever. Thanks to the progress achieved in recent years, book publishing is gaining more and more traction in African economies and cultures.

To underestimate the role of books, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, would be to disregard the many issues surrounding this commonplace yet valuable item. Literacy not only allows children and adults to develop their imagination, but also facilitates learning in other areas of the educational system. By extension, literacy plays a role in expanding education, in training youth, in reducing inequality, and ultimately, in developing a nation.

These aspects sit at the heart of the Children of Africa Foundation, which I created in 1998 and preside over to this day. The foundation has worked tirelessly for 20 years to promote literacy and reading among our children. Today more than ever, amidst a rapidly growing population, it is crucial that we rely on books and all they offer to craft a better future. Towards this end, our ivorian and international partners provide an essential and valuable service. On May 2nd of this year, at the Embassy of the United States in Côte d’Ivoire, I received 1,500 books destined to expand the Foundation’s Bibliobus collection. Several months earlier, the village of Smallburgh in Great Britain presented the Foundation with a new bus as part of a humanitarian project, baptized “Smallburgh 2 Abidjan”. This new, very typically English bus is a great attraction for young and old alike, and a unique library resource centre for introducing our youth to the English language. I look forward to the benefits it will provide, as the english language has become an essential part of the professional world in this day and age.

The Foundation’s Bibliobuses, today numbering nine, will serve to advance both reading and computer literacy even further throughout the Ivory Coast. To this end, we can also count on the support of players in the publishing industry, who came together for an international conference in Abidjan on January 25th of this year. This unprecedented event was held for the purpose of identifying solutions to promote a love of literacy among students, improve the quality of books, and ensure their availability to students.

In this way, going forward, the African publishing industry will be able to adapt to the different languages, cultures, and educational tools used throughout the continent. I commend the initiative of this gathering put together by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Over twenty African countries were in attendance to rethink the role books can play in order to support education.

Quality education, a profitable investment

Education through reading is a challenge I’ve personally adopted. According to the most recent report by the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) on sub-Saharan education, the number of students facing severe difficulties has significantly decreased over the last ten years in French-speaking African countries. From 1999 to 2016, the rate of literacy among 15-24-year-olds has actually increased from 67.6% to 75.5%, and that of adults from 54% to 60%. But there is much work still to be done for the majority of students to achieve a mastery of the basic reading and math skills crucial to pursuing a quality education.

Make no mistake; education has positive impacts on health, employment, social involvement and well being. The return on investment of higher literacy rates can also be seen in the social and economic development of countries through technical progress and innovation, corporate investment, health and safety, trust in public policies and institutions, and civil engagement. Numerous studies have shown that improved education goes hand-in-hand with economic growth.

But the impact literacy rates can have on economic growth relies more on a quality education than on the number of years spent receiving it. Guaranteeing the development of students’ basic skills is one of the indisputable benefits of literacy, key to a successful education and starting life on the right foot. The Children of Africa Foundation endeavours to make this ambition possible through its educational programs. The more our children read, the more they will benefit from their studies, enabling them to become economically, socially and culturally well-rounded adults. And with them, in the long run, so will society at large.