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Ortom applauded as Benue is chosen for global school debate

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Following the sterling performance of Benue State at the recent Independence Inter-SUBEB Debate Competion held in Akwa, Anambra State, the state has been nominated to represent Nigeria at the International Debate Championship in Singapore this year.

A letter sent to Governor Samuel Ortom by the National Coordinator, President’s School Debate Nigeria, PSDN, Mr Dare Oritu, stated that Benue has been chosen to represent the country at the International Debate Championship as a result of the standard of its participation at the national debate which was a clear evidence of the quality of education currently run by the Ortom administration.

The letter further expressed optimism that the Benue State team at the Global Debate Tournament in Singapore titled ‘OLDHAM CUP’ will be worthy representatives of the country.

“We are confident that your State would do Nigeria proud at the 2019 OLDHAM CUP in Singapore”, it stated.

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Reacting to the nomination of the state to the global debate competition, the Chairman, Benue State Universal Basic Education, Dr Philip Tachin, attributed the development to the attention Governor Samuel Ortom has given to education.

He said the priority Governor Ortom has placed on primary education which has led to the upgrade of school facilities in most parts of the state including provision of new furniture, is the reason for the current standard of teaching and learning.

Dr Tachin assured Benue people that the state’s representatives at the International Debate Championship in Singapore would not disappoint them.

It will be recalled that a few weeks ago, Benue State school pulpils put up a brilliant performance during the Inter-SUBEB Debate Competion in Akwa, Anambra State where they emerged as runners up.

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Breaking: ASUU rejects Federal Government’s offers as strike continues

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), presently on a nationwide strike, has rejected the offers made to it early this week by the Nigerian government.

This was made known by the President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, who revealed that upon reviewing the offers made by the government, members of the union across various campuses and zones rejected it.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had stated that the labour dispute with the university teachers was on the verge of being resolved after the seventh meeting with the leadership of ASUU on Tuesday.

However, in a report by PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday, the President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, disregarded the claim of Chris Ngige and stated that they had rejected the offer.

Mr. Ogunyemi, who described government’s offer on the outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion as tokenism, said members are insisting that government should release at least a tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.

ALSO READ>  Breaking: ASUU rejects Federal Government’s offers as strike continues

He added that on earned allowances, government’s proposal should not be lesser than the total amount released “the last time.

Mr Ogunyemi said; “Our members have rejected tokenism with respect to outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion. They are insisting that government should release at least one tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.

“On earned academic allowances, our members said government’s proposed amount out of the verified balance should not be less than the total amount released last time, while evidence of mainstreaming the allowances into the 2019 budget should be shown. Also, timeline should be attached to payment of the balance of the arrears.

“The revitalization fund and earned academic allowances are the two critical areas on which our members feel strongly about. They expect necessary adjustments on the part of government before they can reconsider their decision on the ongoing strike action.”

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ASUU explains why strike has not been suspended after its 7th meeting with government

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After its seventh meeting with government, ASUU has explained why strike, which is over two months is still ongoing.

In the middle: ASUU President, Dr. Biodun Ogunyemi at the Union’s meeting on Saturday, August 12, 2017. In the middle: ASUU President, Dr. Biodun Ogunyemi at the Union’s meeting on Saturday, August 12, 2017.
Following the meeting between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Federal Government on Monday, January 7, 2019, ASUU president, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi has explained why the strike has not been suspended.

Ogunyemi while speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, said the union is yet to conclude consultations with its members on the possible agreement presented by the Federal Government at the meeting.

Asked when the strike which is over two months now would be called off, the union president said “Our members said they want to see evidence of satisfactory implementation of all they have proposed before the strike can be called off.”

Recall that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige on Monday after the meeting said that the Federal Government has released N15.4 billion for the payment of the salary shortfalls, which according to him is one of the major demands of the union.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige
“On the issue of salaries in tertiary institutions, especially in universities, the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant- General provided evidence that as of Dec. 31, 2018, the Federal Government had remitted N15.4 billion.

“Also on the issue of Earned Allowances in the universities system, they also showed us evidence that Mr President has approved the N20 billion to be used to offset the outstanding arrears of the 2009 and 2012 audit verified earnings, in the university system,” he said.

ASUU initially denies reaching agreement with government

Barely two days after the FG-ASUU meeting, ASUU president said the union is yet to reach any agreement with government over the ongoing strike.

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The union leader in an interview with Tribune said the negotiations between both parties were still inconclusive.

He added that the team that represented ASUU at the meeting has no final on whether the strike should be suspended after the meeting or not.

Ogunyemi also explained that what is on ground now between the government and the lecturers is not an agreement but a proposal which the union insisted must be written down to show the government’s plans of action.

Danielson Bamidele Akpan: NANS president. Danielson Bamidele Akpan: NANS president. Danielson Bamidele Akpan: NANS president.
NANS accuses ASUU of being selfish

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged ASUU to suspend the lingering strike since the union has supposedly reached an agreement with the government.

In a statement signed by NANS president, Comrade Bamidele Akpan and sent to Pulse on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, the student body accused the lecturers of not pursuing the interest of Nigerian students.

The statement reads in part:

‘’We urge our members and the general public to know that ASUU do not pursue our collective interest as they claim and desist from subscribing to blackmail and propaganda on the leadership of NANS. Now that both Federal Government and ASUU have resumed negotiation and concessional approval made by the FG, the general public should prevail on ASUU to go back to the classroom in the interest of the country.

‘’No amount of blackmail and propaganda by ASUU and some hardliners will make me lose focus as President of NANS. You must have seen the name dropping and castigation on main stream and social media. I shall continue to discharge my duties in the best interest of Nigerian students. In the next few days there must be visible result which will get our members back to classroom.

ASUU declared an indefinite nationwide strike on Sunday, November 4, 2018 at its NEC meeting held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure.

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YABATECH Converted to University, See Details

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YABATECH Converted to University – Following the decision during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, the long awaited transition of Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) has been approved to be converted to a University.

This development came timely when the Minister of education, Mallam Adamu Adamu declared end to the discrepancy between the holders of Higher National Diploma, and Bachelor degrees as well as conversion of the nation’s two most prominent Polytechnics, Yaba College of Technology and Kaduna Polytechnic to City University of Technology respectively.

The Federal House of Representatives committee on Tertiary Education and Services led by its Chairman, Hon. Aminu Suleiman while on an oversight visit to the College for the 2018 finance of the institution said the visit is also in line with the transition of Yabatch to a City University.

ALSO READ>  YABATECH Converted to University, See Details

While paperwork on the conversion is ongoing at the Federal level, the Rector of Yabatech, Engr. Obafemi Omokungbe lamented on the shortage of personnels in the institution stressing that “recruitment has been crippled due to budget constraints and approval by the federal government.

Engr. Obafemi also added that there is need for physical development of the premier institution to meet global standards.

“The college has introduced new accredited programmes which has called for physical expansion; Epe campus being our focus. Epe campus is an extension of Yaba College of Technology with low physical development”, he stressed.

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