The Federal Government has resolved to take necessary actions to avert the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from embarking on strike, the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige has assured.
ASUU issued a three-week ultimatum Monday, Nov. 15, to the federal government to implement the earlier agreement reached with the union.
Emmanuel Osodeke, the ASUU national president, said: “We are giving the federal government a three-week ultimatum. If after three weeks they don’t meet our demands, we will be going on strike.”
However, speaking on Channels Television on Tuesday, Nov. 16, Ngige said funds were available for universities and the strike will not happen.
He said: “The strike will not happen. For one, I know that the funds to pay are there and the ministry of education has assured me that by tomorrow, they will emanate letters to make sure that the disbursement reaches the accounts of the various universities.
“We are not paying the unions directly, so it will get to the universities’ accounts.”
Ngige also said the country’s standard of education is falling and that the government alone cannot fund the sector.
He said: “The state of education here is not anything for anyone to cheer about. The standard has fallen. I agree, but education can’t be funded by the government alone.
“I know that because I schooled here in Nigeria. I did my primary education here, secondary school education here, university here in Nsukka, Enugu.
“I did my postgraduate outside the country but I can tell you very simply that in other climes, education is not only done by the government.
“In my university days, we had people who were on what they called indigent loans. If your parents can’t pay school fees, then you are called an indigent student and you get a loan —repayable loan from the loan board.
“Then you have those who are on bursary — 50-50. You also pay back something. You have people who are on scholarship.
“I enjoyed the federal government scholarship and I left it to go into my east central state scholarship which was bigger in quantum of money and was even paying for books for us.
“So, you could then see that we didn’t leave education only for the government. People were paying and they were paying a fee you can call appropriate fee at that time.”
No president will say there won’t be banditry next year — Lai Mohammed
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that no president will say banditry will next year.
Lai Mohammed said this while responding to a question on whether the current security challenges would end before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.
Responding to the question at a press conference on Wednesday December 15, Lai Mohammed said;
“Nobody, I’m not sure any president will say by next year there will be no banditry. It is just like saying by next year, there will be no thief.
“But what is important is that they should judge us by our achievement. We’ve not thrown our hands in the air. There was a time they asked us to hire mercenaries, but our soldiers are doing their best in these circumstances.”
Buhari jets out Turkey for summit
President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday leave Abuja for Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey.
According to the organisers, the theme of the Summit is ‘‘Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity’’ and the agenda includes reviewing the cooperation between African countries and Turkey since the last Summit in 2014.
This was disclosed in a statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, on Thursday morning.
The third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit is coming on the heels of President Erdogan’s recent State visit to Nigeria during which several agreements in the fields of energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons were signed to expand existing bilateral ties.
The Turkish leader had during the visit to Nigeria, affirmed his commitment to immediately expand the volume of trade between the two countries to 5 billion dollars and the Nigerian delegation will seize the opportunity of the gathering in Istanbul to enhance cooperation with other partners for more trade and investment opportunities in the country.
It is expected that the Summit would provide guidelines and direction for cooperation with African countries for the next five years.
President Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by his wife, Aisha Buhari; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd); FCT, Mohammed Bello; Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar; Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd); and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
The President is expected back in Abuja on Sunday, December 19.
2023 presidency: I’m not going to turn it down – Tinubu
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he will not turn down the calls of those asking him to contest for president in 2023.
Tinubu stated this after a meeting with leaders of the Northern Alliance Committee in Abuja on Tuesday.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the former Governor of Lagos said he would, however, make consultations before officially announcing a decision on the matter.
“I’m not going to turn them down but I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly to tell Nigerians.
“But the president is still in office. I don’t want to distract him from all the challenges that he might face today.
“So, don’t muddle the political water. Consult, make our programme known to the people later,” Tinubu said.
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