Categories
Education

Students to undertake drug test before admission -UniAbuja

The Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’allah has disclosed that students who intend to study in the university must undertake and present a drug test before admission.

Na’allah, who made this known at the 27th Pre- Convocation briefing in Abuja on Wednesday said the institution is working with NDLEA to help students involved in drug abuse and to rehabilitate them.

He said drug status of students is important in order to help students to be free from drugs.

Though he said the students would not be sent out from school if involved in drug abuse, but rather be rehabilitated in collaboration with the NDLEA.

The vice chancellor also disclosed that 7,128 undergraduate students would be graduating at the school’s convocation slated for Saturday, on Oct. 7.

He listed those that would be graduating to also include 100 PhDs, 326 academic Masters and 346 Professional Masters.

He said 40 students would be graduating with First Class , 474 with Second Class Upper, 944 Second Class Lower, 174 with 3rd Class and One Pass degree.

He, however, said the university had banned Pass degree going forward.

He added that the university would also confer Honorary Doctorate Degree of Letters on Prof. Toyin Falola of the University of Texas, Houston for his role in the development and growth of the institution and other African universities at large.

The vice chancellor also explained that the institution would be introducing Russia Language as part of the general courses that students must pass before graduating.

This, he said is to make new knowledge available to students.

“The university has developed into a global university with the offering of different languages, which include Japanese, French, Portuguese among others.

“Efforts are though being made to bring in full some of the foreign languages as degrees programmes but the varsity has made it a compulsory in General Studies that every student must study and pass a foreign language before graduation.

“We are going to offer Russia language in addition to the foreign languages we offer. Students are made to offer and pass one of these foreign languages,”he said.

While noting the efforts made by the university to achieve its mandates, he said it has embarked on fund raising for alumni, philanthropists and also identifying foundations that would help in sponsoring researches, trainings and others.

He also disclosed the National Universities Commission (NUC) had approved 26 new academic programmes for the university.

According to him the university will now offer some of the new courses starting from 2023/2024 academic session.

The courses include Nursing, Communication and Media Studies, Pharmacy, Tourism and hospitality, Agricultural engineering ,among others.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
Education

Schools support 109 learners with N70m scholarships

The Africa Community School (ACS) and the Africa International College (AIC), in a bid to giving back to the society have impacted no fewer than 109 learners with scholarships gulping about N70 million.

The Executive Secretary of the schools, Mrs Caroline Yakubu disclosed this at a news conference to herald their 20th Anniversary Celebration in Abuja on Wednesday.

Yakubu said the schools also collaborated with some public schools in the locality by supporting them with materials to help learners.

”The items include furniture, books and other learning materials. Besides, the folks and indigenes that reside around our locations have been employed within their appropriate skills.

“More importantly, God has helped us to positively impact the educational pursuit of many learners that have passed through our schools.

“In Africa Community School (ACS), over 109 students have benefited from our internal scholarship and support schemes totaling nearly N70 million and still counting.

“At the other end, in Africa International College (AIC), we have reached out to over 92 students totaling about N90 million. For the two schools, God has enabled us to support the training of more than 200 learners with over N160 million spent on them.

“These are verifiable persons and figures. These were students who, through no fault of theirs, lost one or both parents, while they were with us or children from proven economically disadvantaged families,” she said.

Yakubu said that the school had made it a policy that once a child is admitted into the schools and he/she loses any or both parents, that child must not be withdrawn on the account of inability to pay school fees.

The executive secretary noted that the funds were all internally generated with some support from a few former parents and individuals.

She, therefore, called for support from the government to assist private educational sector to thrive in the business of bringing values out of Nigerian students through creation of an enabling environment.

She said that many times, the private sector provides social amenities to grow their businesses and still contends with multiple taxes from the government.

“The place and role of private schools in our educational system cannot be over emphasised. During the military era, they tried to nationalise many private schools, including mission schools. How did it end?

“Unquantifiable losses were the experiences and we are still paying heavily for the errors.

”In the FCT alone, there are over 2,400 private schools and about 830 public schools. Again, imagine with me, an FCT where there are no privately run schools. What would be the implications all round?,” she added.

In the same vein, the Chairman of the School Board, Mr Nda Yakubu, pleaded with the government to look into the multiplicity of taxes that are not regulated.

He said that if not checked , the cost would be transferred to parents through hike in fees.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
Education

Schools support 109 learners with N70m scholarships

The Africa Community School (ACS) and the Africa International College (AIC), in a bid to giving back to the society have impacted no fewer than 109 learners with scholarships gulping about N70 million.

The Executive Secretary of the schools, Mrs Caroline Yakubu disclosed this at a news conference to herald their 20th Anniversary Celebration in Abuja on Wednesday.

Yakubu said the schools also collaborated with some public schools in the locality by supporting them with materials to help learners.

”The items include furniture, books and other learning materials. Besides, the folks and indigenes that reside around our locations have been employed within their appropriate skills.

“More importantly, God has helped us to positively impact the educational pursuit of many learners that have passed through our schools.

“In Africa Community School (ACS), over 109 students have benefited from our internal scholarship and support schemes totaling nearly N70 million and still counting.

“At the other end, in Africa International College (AIC), we have reached out to over 92 students totaling about N90 million. For the two schools, God has enabled us to support the training of more than 200 learners with over N160 million spent on them.

“These are verifiable persons and figures. These were students who, through no fault of theirs, lost one or both parents, while they were with us or children from proven economically disadvantaged families,” she said.

Yakubu said that the school had made it a policy that once a child is admitted into the schools and he/she loses any or both parents, that child must not be withdrawn on the account of inability to pay school fees.

The executive secretary noted that the funds were all internally generated with some support from a few former parents and individuals.

She, therefore, called for support from the government to assist private educational sector to thrive in the business of bringing values out of Nigerian students through creation of an enabling environment.

She said that many times, the private sector provides social amenities to grow their businesses and still contends with multiple taxes from the government.

“The place and role of private schools in our educational system cannot be over emphasised. During the military era, they tried to nationalise many private schools, including mission schools. How did it end?

“Unquantifiable losses were the experiences and we are still paying heavily for the errors.

”In the FCT alone, there are over 2,400 private schools and about 830 public schools. Again, imagine with me, an FCT where there are no privately run schools. What would be the implications all round?,” she added.

In the same vein, the Chairman of the School Board, Mr Nda Yakubu, pleaded with the government to look into the multiplicity of taxes that are not regulated.

He said that if not checked , the cost would be transferred to parents through hike in fees.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
General

Group advocates women inclusion in peace building process

Some activists have advocated the inclusion of women in the peace-building process and national cohesion.

They made the call at a symposium titled “The Role of Women in Peace Building as Mediators and in Reconciliation”.

The symposium was organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation, One Percent International Management and Advocacy Initiative” to mark the 2023 International Day of Peace.

The Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, Stephanie Nnadi, said the event was planned to give women a chance to discuss and reflect on topics that would enable them participate actively as mediators.

“In a world marked by unprecedented challenges and conflicts.

”Today is significant to us as we know that all over the world, dialogue will be on the way forward and how to deal with the challenges confronting us as a nation and as global citizens,” she said.

The UN Ambassador of Peace, Adaora Onyechere called for immediate action to put an end to what she termed “atrocities” committed against women in African countries.

Onyechere, also a broadcast journalist, said: “This day is also in remembrance of Leah Shiabu’s, the over 6,000 persons killed in Cameroon crisis from 2006 till date.

”Half of those numbers are women and the over 2.6 million persons displaced in Sierra Leone.

“Over 70 per cent women and children and with over 1.9 million displaced persons in Nigeria, the burden bearers mostly women and children.

”According to UNHCR’s estimations, over 117.2 million people will be forcibly displaced or stateless by end of .2023.,” she said.

Onyechere said women had always been the burden bearers of terrorism, displacement, community clashes, banditry and wars.

She said it’s has become empirical to be deliberate about mainstreaming women in the process of peace thereby leading to national cohesion.

The Executive Director, International Society of Media in Public Health, Moji Makanjuola, urged women never to refrain from playing their roles in peace building.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
General

Tinubu’s appointment of Muri-Okunola as Principal Secretary well-deserved – UK firm

The United Kingdom based leadership development organisation, TEXEM UK has described the appointment of Mr Hakeem Muri- Okunola, the Principal Secretary to President Tinubu as well deserved.

According to a statement on TEXEM’s website signed by Caroline Lucas, Director, Special Projects, Muri- Okunola is an alumnus of TEXEM having participated in its programme.

The programme was titled “Developing Efficient and Effective Leaders for Success in an era of slow growth and low-performance,” and was held on June 19 to June 20, 2019.

Lucas said that in the ever-evolving landscape of Nigerian politics and public administration, it is with great pleasure and optimism that TEXEM congratulates Muri- Okunola.

“This is a remarkable testament to the unwavering commitment and exemplary service that Mr Muri-Okunola has consistently demonstrated throughout his illustrious career.

“Mr Muri-Okunola’s journey to this prestigious position has been one marked by dedication, competence, and a deep-rooted commitment to public service.

“His educational background, which includes a first degree in law from Lagos State University and a Master’s degree in International Business Law from Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, laid the foundation for a career that would see him rise to the highest echelons of the public service,” she said.

Lucas said that one of the most impressive facets of Muri- Okunola’s career is his extensive experience, spanning over 25 years, in the fields of law and public administration.

She said his early career saw him as an Associate Solicitor at Adepetun, Caxton-Martins and Agbor, a testament to his legal prowess.

However, Lucas asserted that it was in the realm of public service that Muri- Okunola truly made his mark.

“Notably, Mr. Muri-Okunola served as the Personal Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu during his tenure as the Governor of Lagos State.

“This position placed him at the heart of governance and gave him firsthand experience in the complexities of public administration.

“His contributions during this period undoubtedly contributed to the successes achieved by the Lagos State government,” she said.

Lucas said that subsequently, Muri- Okunola went on to become the Head of Civil Service of Lagos State, where he further showcased his remarkable administrative skills.

She said his tenure was marked by a commitment to excellence and a focus on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the civil service, which plays a vital role in delivering essential services to the people of Lagos State.

“Now, as he steps into the role of Principal Confidential Secretary to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Hakeem Muri- Okunola brings with him a wealth of experience and an astute understanding of the inner workings of government.

“His appointment is not only a personal achievement but also a testament to the belief that the best leaders are those who have honed their skills through years of dedicated service.

“Mr Muri-Okunola is not just a seasoned public administrator but also the first son of the respected late jurist, Justice Muritala Okunola,” Lucas said.

She said that he carries the legacy of his father’s commitment to justice and the rule of law, adding that Nigerians can expect that he will continue to uphold these values in his new role.

TEXEM’s founder, Dr Alim Abubakre also praised the appointment of Muri- Okunola by the president.

“At TEXEM UK, an organisation committed to developing efficient and effective leaders for success in an era of volatility and constant change, we take immense pride in acknowledging Hakeem Muri -Okunola’s achievements.

“His journey from our programme, “Developing Efficient and Effective Leaders for Success in an era of slow growth and low-performance,” held on June 19-20, 2019, is a testament to the impact of leadership development initiatives.

“Hakeem Muri -Okunola’s appointment as the Principal Confidential Secretary to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a well-deserved recognition of his outstanding contributions to public service,” Abubakre said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
General

FG signs MoU with 12 pharmaceutical firms on drugs security

The Federal Government on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with 12 pharmaceutical companies as part of its efforts to guarantee medicine security.

Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the Director-General, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), made this known in Abuja on Wednesday during the signing of MOU with NHIA Medicines Supply Initiative (NMSI).

Sambo said the initiative was geared towards the strengthening of local pharmaceutical manufacturers, which would ultimately guarantee medicine security.

“I inaugurated the NMS committee on February 19, 2020. The committee submitted its report in June 2020.

“I adopted branding of NHIA medicines and other health products as the way to go in order to eradicate out-of-stock syndrome as well as ensuring the quality of its medicines.

“ It also recommended the setting up of an implementation Committee to bring the initiative to fruition,’’ he said.

Sambo said that the initiative of branding NHIA medicines and other health products was to facilitate the supply of affordable, acceptable, accessible, available and quality medicines and other health products.

According to him, the initiative is to enhance the production of high-quality medicines that will inspire the confidence of users.

“In order to bring this initiative to fruition on August 18th, 2020, I inaugurated the medicines supply implementation Committee. The Committee had its inaugural meeting on September, 22, 2020,’’ he said.

Sambo said that seven States was selected which are Delta, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Niger, Osun and Sokoto states and the FCT for the pilot phase of implementation of this initiative.

He said that a total of 44 submissions were received from pharmaceutical companies and destination management organisation (DMO).

“The submissions were scrutinised and synthesised by the selection committee and 20 companies and eight DMOS were selected to provide services for the initiative.

“ Negotiations were held with the selected Pharmaceutical Companies and DMOS. After the negotiations, agreement was reached with 12 Pharmaceutical Companies and 8 DMOS.

“The 12 pharmaceutical companies will be branding 33 products for the health insurance ecosystem in the first phase,’’ he said.

Sambo said the date activity was expected the production of these products at least in the next one month.

Also speaking, Mr Suresh Nair, Marketing Manager of Sam Pharmaceutical LTD said that the company would give the government all the necessary support and also provided quality drugs.

Nair said that the initiative was very important as they would ensure the accessibly of drugs in the country.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
General

Turkey promises to partner NAF, transfer defence technology

The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Hidayet Bayraktar, has expressed the readiness of Turkey to deepen the existing defence collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) through transfer of defence technology.

Bayraktar said this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Headquarters NAF, on Wednesday in Abuja.

This is contained in a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, in Abuja.

The Ambassador said that Turkey had, over the years, collaborated with the NAF and would not relent in ensuring that the partnership was taken to a much higher level.

He also assured that his country would not only sell defence products to the NAF but would be happy to assist the NAF develop its capacity to manufacture and maintain some of the products.

Bayraktar promised to ensure the delivery of TK-1 helicopters to the NAF as scheduled as well as ensuring their sustenance through an effective maintenance strategy with the NAF.

Responding, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, thanked the Ambassador for his assurances and noted that the NAF would leverage on the opportunities presented to improve its Research and Development (RandD) drive.

Abubakar added that the offer of technology transfer aptly aligned with one of the key enablers of his Command Philosophy, which prioritised RandD leveraging cutting-edge technology as well as lessons learnt.

He said that the support of the Turkish Government was key to sustaining the ongoing country insurgency operations in Nigeria and implored the ambassador to use his office to help fast-track the delivery of the six TK-1 helicopters to Nigeria.

The CAS emphasised the painstaking resolve of the NAF to capitalise on the prospects presented by key partners to develop and enhance NAF’s capability to effectively secure the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

Highlight of the visit include the symbolic laying of wreath by the Ambassador at the NAF Memorial Arcade in honour NAF personnel who paid the ultimate price in the defence of Nigeria.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
General

COAS announces speedy take-off of army battalion in Taraba

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja on Wednesday assured of a speedy take-off of the newly-established 114 Battalion in Wukari, Taraba to tackle insecurity in the state.

Lagbaja gave the assurance in Abuja when he received visiting Gov. Agbu Kefas of Taraba at the Army headquarters.

He said the move was part of efforts to enhance the operation and activities of the 6 Brigade of the army and expand the frontiers of peace and stability in the state.

The COAS also promised to ensure provision of more combat enablers for the 6 Brigade and the garrison to enhance their operations and activities.

“I will ensure the quick take-off of 114 Battalion in Taraba such that we have more troops on ground.

“The units and formations will be working with the state government, especially in applying non-kinetic measures that have already been adopted by the governor.

“We will ensure that we have peace in Taraba.

“The battalion designated in the order of battle, is currently established and conducting operations in the Northeast, in Borno.

“Looking beyond that, we will ensure the take-off of the rear unit of the 114 battalion in Taraba.

“So, as we get the next set of recruits from depot, we will muster some force and bring them to Taraba to facilitate the take-off of the rear unit of the battalion,” he said.

Lagbaja commended the governor for his readiness to provide more support for the 6 Brigade to ensure the reign of peace and stability in Taraba.

He said Army headquarters would work to ensure that whatever support was provided worked optimally for the overall peace of the state.

According to him, Taraba can be a springboard to facilitate peace and security in the entire northeast of Nigeria.

“I pledge the readiness, willingness and availability of the army to work with the state to further entrench peace and stability in Taraba and from there move to other parts of the Northeast,’’ he said.

Earlier, Gov. Kefas said his visit was to further solicit the support and collaboration of the army to address insecurity in Taraba. He commended the efforts of the army in stabilising the state so far.

Kefas noted that the security challenges confronting Taraba were unique considering its location as it shares borders with Adamawa, Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Gombe and Bauchi states.

He said the intention of the government was to prioritise and dominate the vast ungoverned spaces within its borders to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its citizens.

The governor pledged the readiness of the government to provide more support for the army, considering the limited presence of the Navy and the Air Force in Taraba.

Kefas added that Taraba was also willing to assist in the take-off of the new battalion with the provision of land and infrastructure.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
General

Military Court fixes date for judgment in multi-billion naira case against General

The Nigerian Army Special Court Martial sitting in Abuja, has fixed Oct. 10 for judgment in a case of stealing, forgery, misappropriation and conspiracy brought against a Major General.

The accused, Maj.-Gen. Umaru Muhammed, was the erstwhile Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian Army Properties Limited (NAPL).

He is facing an 18-count charge brought against him by the Nigerian Army.

The President of the Court, Maj.-Gen. James Myam, said on Wednesday that in the course of the trial, the accused had pleaded not guilty and presented two witnesses.

He said that the prosecution on the other hand called 24 witnesses.

He stated that count one of the charge was brought under section 383(1) of the Criminal Code Act Cap c38 law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, punishable under section 390 (7) of the Act.

Myam added that the charge was also brought pursuant to section 114 of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 2004.

He said that the court found the defendant guilty of stealing 1.04 million U.S. dollars between May 7, 2019, and June 24, 2021, while serving as GMD of NAPL.

The court president added that the accused was found guilty of instructing one Maj. Usman and one other, now at large, to collect money from ship owners in dollars.

Myam however said Muhammed was not found guilty on count 7, which borders on criminal conspiracy to forge a document in connivance with one Yusuf Abdulahi.

He was however found guilty of forgery as related to count 8 and 9, of stealing $430, 800, the president of the court said.

The court also found the general guilty of conspiracy to forge document, and selling the company’s property while no longer serving at NAPL for N200 million.

It also found him guilty of dishonestly taking N74 million from the company’s account on Aug. 22, 2019.

On counts 14 15, 16, and 18, which bordered on criminal misappropriation, the court said the accused could not account for N2.5 billion belonging to the company.

On count 17, in which the general was accused of withdrawing N750 million from the company’s account, the court held that the prosecution failed to prove their allegation beyond reasonable doubt.

The president said the court will deliver judgment on the matter, on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
Politics

Ijaw, Bayelsa elders back Diri’s re-election bid

Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa’s second term bid has received the backing of prominent Ijaw leaders of thought, including the Bayelsa Elders Council among others.

The leaders spoke at an interactive session organised by a socio-political group, Friends of Douye Diri (FSDD), at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall in Yenagoa on Wednesday.

The Pioneer President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Chief Joshua Fumudoh, said Diri is a product of the Ijaw struggle who had seen it all and translated his passion for the Ijaw nation into development and transformation of the only homogeneous Ijaw state.

Fumudoh asserted that there is a clear difference between those who fought the Ijaw cause and others whose ambition is for personal gains.

He stressed that the state now witnesses politics without bitterness because the true Ijaw man accommodates all irrespective of political differences.

Wife of former River governor, Ethel Diete-Spiff, commended the governor for breaking boundaries in executing landmark projects, particularly the Nembe-Brass road and urged him not to relent.

Also, a member of the Bayelsa Creation/Founding Fathers Forum, Prof. Ayebaemi Spiff, who commended the governor for his impactful developmental strides also poured her motherly blessings on Diri.

She prayed that the Nembe-Brass road is completed in due time so she could drive on it before she dies.

Chairman of the occasion and leader of the Bayelsa Elders Council, retired Rear Adm. Gboribiogha John-Jonah, described the Nov. 11 date of the Bayelsa governorship election as a symbolic day for victory.

John-Jonah, who is the immediate past deputy of the state, traced the date, 11:11, back to 1918 when the peace accord between Germany and the Allied Forces was signed, and called it the armistice day.

He said with the coming together of the founding fathers of Bayelsa and past leaders of the INC in support of Diri’s second term bid, victory was assured.

He noted that as elders and leaders of the Ijaw nation, they would not fold their arms and allow cultists, deceivers and pretenders to take over the state, adding that Bayelsa had made tremendous progress under Diri and was not ready to go back to the dark days.

John-Jonah, who described the governor as his brother and friend, said Diri is the agent of change that has taken the state out of darkness.

In his response, Gov. Diri thanked the leaders, elders and founding fathers of the Ijaw nation for honouring him with their endorsement, stating that they had been his pillar of support since he assumed office and that without them; he would not have achieved much.

Diri said he had always enjoyed the company of the Bayelsa Elders Council and the Founding Fathers Forum, attending their meetings from time to time to seek counsel and stressed that this had helped shape his decision to do more for the people.

He said, “This group (FSDD), to my mind, has the fathers, mothers, leaders and elders of the Ijaw nation. If you look at the array of personalities here, most of them had served the Ijaw nation in the old Rivers and were even in the battle for the creation of Rivers. So they have seen it all.

“The symbolic statements by those who have spoken, you will agree with me that they did not just speak from their human perspective. So, I like to thank you my fathers, mothers, elders and leaders.

“Without you, we could not have recorded the little we have achieved within these three years and still counting. You have been a pillar of support in several ways,” he said.

The governor agreed with the speakers that the state could not change a winning team as all the gains of his administration would be neglected by the opposition due to their anti-people agenda.

He averred that having traversed the length and breadth of Ijawland, his primary objective is to write his name in gold before leaving the office after eight years.

In his welcome address, President of the Friends of Sen. Douye Diri, Bodi Arerebo, said the mission of the group is to promote the goals of the Diri administration and that of the Ijaw nation.

Arerebo said having carried out an overall assessment of the administration, he discovered that relative peace, political tolerance, passionate development and non-existence of political thuggery and violence are his hallmark and that these necessitated the group’s endorsement of the governor for a second term.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Categories
Politics

INEC to transmit Bayelsa guber poll results manually

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it plans to transmit results of the Nov.11 Bayelsa governorship election manually.

The state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Mr Obo Effanga, stated this in Yenagoa on Wednesday, during an interactive section with religious leaders and faith based organisations.

Effanga said that INEC was ready to conduct free, fair and credible election and only voters accredited by BVAS would be allowed to vote.

“Immediately you are given the ballot paper you can start voting.

“We are in the fourth week of collection of PVCs and it will end on Oct. 11. Those who have not collected their cards should go to INEC office in their local government areas,” he said.

Effanga urged the stakeholders to advise their candidates to be peaceful.

“Religious leaders should take the message to their congregation and politicians who are also Church members,’’ he said.

He said that 16 political parties had fielded candidates for the election.

Rev. Joseph Belema, one of the religious leaders commended INEC, stressing that free, fair and credible election was a way forward for electing good leaders.

He called on the candidates not to see election as a do or die affair, adding that only one person would be elected.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria