The Federal Government has faulted claims by the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU) Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi that the government had failed to deliver on the timelines on offers made to the union.
ASUU was quoted to have said that University teachers cannot return to classes on “ empty stomach.”
But the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who dismissed the claims by ASUU, said that while it was true that some of the offers made to ASUU have timelines, the same timelines have faithfully been complied with.
A statement from the Minister’s media office said, “For instance, the Federal Government promised to constitute a Negotiation Committee for the 2009 Agreement and has fulfilled it with the last week’s inauguration of the committee that has Prof. Muzali as chairman.
“ The N40b Earned Academic Allowances/ Earned Allowances have also been processed just as the N30b revitalization Fund, bringing it to a total of N70b.
“ Likewise, the Visitation Panels for the Universities have been approved by the President but the panel cannot perform its responsibilities until the shut universities are re-opened.
“The gazetting is also being rounded off at the Office of Attorney General of the Federation while the Ministry of Education is ready to inaugurate the various visitation panels.
“Similarly, Government agreed to pay salaries, allowances of Earned Academic Allowances/ Earned Allowances with a hybrid platform that is not hundred percent IPPIS as requested by ASUU while UTAS is undergoing usability and integrity test at National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as demanded by ASUU.
“I, therefore, state without equivocation that every offer with a timeline has been faithfully fulfilled as promised by the government .”
The Minister noted that it is false and discomforting for ASUU to wrongly inform the general public that the Federal Government agreed to pay all withheld salaries before it will resume work.
“The truth of the matter is that a ‘Gentleman Agreement’ was reached at the last meeting in which ASUU agreed to call off the strike before December 9, 2020, and the Minister, in turn, agreed that once the strike is called off, he would get a presidential waiver for ASSU to be paid the remainder of their salaries on or before December 9, 2020 .”
Part of the proposal ASUU took back on November 27, 2020, reads, “ the Hon Minister of Labour and Employment informed that he had consulted with the Hon Minister of Education on getting a waiver on the issue of No Work, No Pay as stipulated in Sec. 43 of the Trade Dispute Act, Cap T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria( LFN )2004, but a reservation has been made concerning this request because of the ongoing strike by ASUU. The HML&E, therefore, agreed to work on this to be actualized before Wednesday, December 9, 2020.
“ For the avoidance of doubt and for clarity, it should be stated that ASUU began warning strike on March 9, 2020, and went into full-blown industrial action on the 23rd of the same month over IPPIS payment platform.
“With the lockdown at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Minister got special presidential approval to demonstrate good faith to ASUU members that government is not on a vengeful mission or out to starve ASUU to death as some of them are claiming.
“They were subsequently paid for two months of February and March after which it was extended to April, May, and June, months they were on strike on compassionate ground, bringing it to five months.
“This was done because of the Covid-19 pandemic and its deleterious effects on incomes of all workers and their families as government reasoned that ASUU members also have families.
“The Minister later invited ASUU to a virtual conciliatory meeting which they turned down. He further requested them to show good faith over the five months salaries the government made to them by returning to the classroom and start virtual and online teaching as being done by private universities, while the government sorts out the rest of their requests, they also refused.
“ It is therefore unbelievable that ASUU President claimed that government agreed to pay outright, the entire money of the period of the strike to them, even for staying at home and refusing to do either virtual teaching or research.
“ I wish to emphasize further that the outstanding salaries to ASUU are for the month of July, August, September, and October as no federal public servant has been paid for November 2020.
“Hence, it is baseless for ASUU to claim it cannot go back to school on an empty stomach while the government has on compassionate grounds, paid five months salaries out of the nine months they have been on strike.
“ASUU is fully aware of the principle of No Work, No Pay of the Sec. 43 of the Trade Disputes Act under which many unions like National Association of Residents Doctors( NARD) in 2017 and Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) in 2018 among others have lost salaries as a result of the strike.
“ It is consequently important to inform Nigerians, especially parents that Federal Government is asking ASUU to go back to work and when they do, the Ministers of Labour, Finance, and Education will put up a memo to deal with the outstanding four months of salaries.
“Asking the government to pay these four months before it goes back to work, means ASUU is placing itself above the law of the land and no government will encourage, it as it is a recipe for chaos in the labour milieu.
“ Finally, the Federal Government will continue to engage ASUU in the spirit of social dialogue which the Ministry of Labour and Employment has been encouraging based on the ILO Principle on decent work.”
Use SIWES To Be Self-reliant, FULafia V-C Advises Students
The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Lafia (FULafia), Professor Shehu Abdul Rahman, has admonished students embarking on the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) to see the scheme as an opportunity to become self-reliant.
Abdul Rahman advised them to, therefore, acquire skills that would help them in their future endeavours.
Abdul Rahman spoke at the 7th Edition of the Annual SIWES Orientation Programme for 2019/2020 batch.
The vice-chancellor, represented by the Head of Department of Economics, FULafia, Dr. Ilemona Adofu, appealed to all the students to adopt learning attitude with a view to making the scheme beneficial to themselves.
The vice-chancellor said that the scheme was an essential part of students academic programme which exposed them to demands and challenges of the work place, advising them to be diligent in their work so as “to become self-reliant when they graduate.”
While commending the SIWES Directorate for organising the programme, he enjoined the students to be good ambassadors of the University wherever they may go.
In his address, the Area Manager, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Nasarawa State Area Office, Engr. Garba Hassan, advised the students to be disciplined while expanding their horizons in learning.
Hassan commended the efforts of the University’s management in adequately preparing the students for the scheme, he encouraged the students to imbibe to show dedication, loyalty, punctuality and honesty during and after the programme.
Engr. Hassan told the students that the ITF would make their SIWES experience worthwhile.
Earlier in his address, the Director of SIWES, FULafia, Dr. Amos Idzi Ambo, said that the scheme was expected to help students bridge the gap between theory and practice, noting that “experience is lacking among youths today and SIWES is the only stimulant that can correct and propel national development in Nigeria”.
Amos charged the students to be good ambassadors of FULafia during the SIWES exercise.
Present at the event were the ITF Head of Training, Mr. Ismail Akanbi, Mrs. Offiongita E. Nkang of SIWES Directorate, FULafia, other staff of the University and students.
JAMB: How To Register For 2021 UTME
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Saturday announced the commencement of registration of candidates for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) to tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
The decision came barely 48 hours after it had stopped the exercise over technical challenges of the National Identification Number (NIN).
But a terse statement issued by the spokesperson for JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said registration for the examination had now commenced in full swing as all the issues had been resolved.
How To Apply For The 2021 UTME:
1. VALID, FUNCTIONAL E-MAIL, PHONE NUMBER
It is important to get a valid and functional e-mail account. You also need an active phone number. This is because you will need this for registration and to send and receive information from JAMB.
Your e-mail is also a form of identity for you.
To Get Jamb Profile Code for E-Pin purchase simply
type NIN, leave a space & then type your NIN & send it to 55019.
To get Jamb Profile code for 2021 UTME & Direct Entry Registration, type NIN, leave a space & then type your NIN & send it to 55019.
A confirmation code of 10 characters will be received by the candidate on the same telephone number which will be used to procure the E-Pin.
In simple language, Type NIN, leave a space & type your NIN and send it to 55019 to get your Jamb Profile code at the rate of N50. Make sure you have enough airtime (at least N100) and confirm that your SIM Card can send and receive messages.
2. NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER
JAMB will be making use of the National Identification Number for registration this year. Being a compulsory requirement, you will need it for your enrollment.
3. VISIT JAMB WEBSITE
After having your email address and NIN ready, you can proceed to the JAMB website.
When you get there, create a JAMB profile, preferably before purchasing the form.
4. CHECK JAMB iBass
After creating a profile, it is recommended that you check JAMB iBass to be sure of your eligibility to take this year’s examination. The information is provided on the official website of the exam body.
5. JAMB e-pin
After your eligibility has been confirmed, then you can proceed to purchase your 2021 JAMB e-pin for registration from banks, online (using ATM card) or other accredited outlets.
6. CBT CENTRE
Then, proceed to any accredited computer-based test centre with your personal details and your profile code.
FULafia To Commence Pharmaceutical Sciences – V-C
Arrangements have been concluded by the Federal University of Lafia (FULafia) to establish the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences.
The faculty, when established and start to churn out pharmacists, would complement the growing needs for effective drugs and pharmacists in the country.
The Vice Chancellor of FULafia, Professor Shehu Abdul Rahman, stated so when the executive members of Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN), led by its President, Pharmacist Okpalaeke Nwora, visited to congratulate him on his recent appointment as the third vice-chancellor of FULafia.
Abdul Rahman, who was delighted by the visit, said that he was happy to meet with the PCN officials to workout modalities for the successful take-off of the pharmaceutical programme in FULafia.
The vice-chancellor told the PCN members that the Senate of the University had since approved the commencement of faculty of pharmaceutical sciences, pointing out that their input from the Pharmacists was considered crucial “so that we can start well.”
The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria is a federal government agency, established by Act 91 of 1992, known as Cap P17 of 2004, Laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The council is responsible for the regulation of the practice of pharmacy in all aspects and ramifications.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation, Pharmacist Okpalaeke Nwora, said that Nigeria, with more than 200 people, had only 22 accredited pharmacy schools, pointing out that “eight are in the North, the majority are in the South, and only two are in the North-central, with one in Jos and the other in Ilorin.”
He said that since the inception of pharmacy practice in Nigeria in 1927, the country was only able to licensed 27,000 pharmacists.
Currently, Nwora said that “we have only 60 indigenous pharmacists practicing in Nasarawa State.”
He said that the World Health Organisation’s index and recommended standard for pharmacy per patient ratio is 12 pharmacists to every 10 thousand patients, lamenting that Nasarawa State had less than two pharmacists to 10 thousand patients.
He pointed out that the commencement of pharmacy education in FULafia would benefit both the institution (PCN) and the state at large and bridge the manpower gap in the region.
Nwora prayed to God to enable Prof. Abdul Rahman to establish the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences in the University “so that his name will be echoed for many generations to come.
On his part, the Honourable Commissioner of Health, Nasarawa State, Hon. Pharm. Ahmed Baba Yahaya, assured the vice-chancellor of the Nasarawa state government’s support, noting that the government has already donated an edifice to house the FULafia Teaching Hospital, Lafia, as part of the preparation for commencement of operations of the college of medicine.
Other members of the PCN delegation who were at the event included Prof. Yakubu Ngwai; Dr. Jacob James, the Director Pharmaceutical Services, Nasarawa State Ministry of Health; Dr. Denis Kudu Ega, Chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria; Dr. Danjuma Baba, Pharm. Emmanuel Anga; Pharm. Joshua Ghali, the Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Hospitals Management Board, Nasarawa State; Pharm. Christopher Ishaleku; Pharm. Augustine Luka; Pharm. Emmanuel Yona; Pharm. Mohammed Okonu; Pharm. Nuria Abene and Pharm. Hassana Mansur.