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ASUU Strike: We’ve Adopted Voluntary Conciliation, Ngige Gives Fresh Update

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Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, has revealed that voluntary conciliation was adopted to ensure a quick resolution of the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Ngige disclosed this on Tuesday at a three-day capacity-building workshop on International Labour Standards and Dispute Resolution in Nigeria in Abuja.

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The workshop is organised by the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Ngige said that voluntary conciliation was adopted instead of arbitration so as not to delay the resolution process with the striking lecturers.

The minister said, “I could have transmitted the matter to the IAP or the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).

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“But I used my discretion to weigh the situation to know if it would cause more delay in the resolution of the dispute in a court process.”

READ ALSO: Strike: ASUU Gives Update

Ngige, however, recalled that ASUU had embarked on strike on February 14 and voluntary conciliation started on February 22 and, subsequently, on March 1.

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He said, “The two outstanding issues were the conditions of service, which according to the 2009 Agreement, would be reviewed every four years.

“The last review was in 2013 and we started the review in 2018 under Wale Babalakin as the chairman of the renegotiation committee. We couldn’t conclude because Babalakin left.

“A new committee headed by Munzali came. Munzali finished his work and put in his report at the Federal Ministry of Education.”

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Ngige noted that all the committees, including the previous Onosode committee, were all internal committees of the Ministry of Education.

He said, “Once the committees finish, their products are sent up.

“The major issue here is salary and wage review. That’s where they are before ASUU embarked on strike.

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“If a party wants us to transmit a matter back to them to have a second look, you assist them. That’s what you call voluntary conciliation.

“It’s voluntary because if I apprehend and bring all the parties to the negotiation table and a party requests that I should take the matter to NICN, I’ll do so.”

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Education

78,000 Nigerians In Ghanian Universities Pay With Dollars – CUAB VC, Gbajabiamila

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The Vice Chancellor of Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State (CUAB), Prof. Ibrahim Gbajabiamila, has expressed worry that over 78,000 Nigerians schooling in Ghana and pay school fees in dollars.

With this, Gbajabimiala expressed concern that Nigerian parents are spending more on education in other countries than the five percent, which he said was allocated in the yearly budget to education.

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The Professor said this at an event on Wednesday.

The don, who was worried about the dwindling standard of education in Nigeria, said the problem facing the nation’s education sector was lack of funding.

According to him, average countries are doing well in education because they earmark enough money for the sector.

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“The standard of education used to be high and I think our issue is that our standards are dropping as illustrated by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) results and other comparative data.

“We are not spending enough on education. Average countries are doing well. For example, Ghana is spending 25%, while we were previously spending 9% and now in 2022 it has dropped down to 5%. That’s why it is difficult for the children to excel, and of course, we still have the issue of the ASUU strike, which meant that since February, the children have been roaming about the street. Of course, losing school time, as we have done, has made us not competitive.

“Education is not a luxury, it’s a human right and our children have that right as an oil-producing nation to have quality education. Unfortunately, we should not rely on only the private sector to provide it. It is the public sector that has that right. But those that don’t have our oil wealth are doing better in that sector,” Gbajabiamila told newsmen.

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READ ALSO: PDP Crisis: Party Leadership, Wike In standoff — Source

Stating the solution to the nation’s poor education standard, the Vice Chancellor said: “The way out is to spend more money on education. Those of us who are old enough would remember that Nigeria was a hub for West Africa in education. We have over a hundred universities, but some of you would remember the ‘Ghana-must-go’. We now have over 78,000 Nigerian students in Ghana alone, and Nigerian parents are paying in dollars. What that means is that the Nigerian parents are spending more on education than Nigeria’s budget in Ghana alone; not to talk of South Africa, Malaysia, USA, and so on.

“So, we are developing other people’s education sector, and the way out is for us to do the needful and spend what is required to meet the standard. What is required to meet the international standard is that, if you can show me a public secondary or primary school with running water, electricity and internet. Those are the three most important elements of modern education.

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“It is very difficult for our children to compete in the WAEC exams in science, when we don’t have quality science laboratories. That was not the case many years ago. In 1958, the University College Hospital, Ibadan, was one of the top 10 hospitals in the Commonwealth, but those are historical now.”

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WAEC Releases 2022 WASSCE Results

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The West African Examinations Council has released the results of the 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examination for school candidates.

Speaking on Monday at WAEC office, Yaba, the Head of Nigeria Office, WAEC, Mr Patrick Areghan, said, “The results are being uploaded on the results website. Candidates who sat the examination and who have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Council can access their results on the Council’s results website within the next twelve hours.

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“Copies of the Result Listing will be sent to schools shortly. I need not restate the fact that the results of candidates who are sponsored by states indebted to the Council will not be released now until they pay up. We appeal to them to do so to enable the affected schools/candidates access their results.”

READ ALSO: WAEC Returns May-June Timetable, Fixes New Date For WASSCE

He added that some schools failed to upload their students’ Continuous Assessment Scores Capturing System at the stipulated time and many failed to meet registration deadlines, to the extent that some schools ended up not presenting their students for the examination.

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Yet, some who registered their students off-line failed to upload their entries! This showed unacceptable level of nonchalance. Again, others failed to meet deadlines due to criminal ‘shopping’ for candidates. By the time they realised it, the window had closed,” he said.

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NANS Blows Hot, Demands Substantive Rector For Fed. Poly, Offa

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The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has frowned at the continuous delay in the pronouncement of a substantive Rector for Federal

Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State, just as the student body demanded the immediate appointment of a Rector before the institution goes into a total collapse.

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NANS also frowned at the inability of the school management to release the results of graduands of 2020 and 2021, lamenting that this has denied the concerned students the compulsory one year service to their father’s land.

INFO DAILY reports that tenure of the former Rector, Dr. Abdullateet Olatunji, expired on the 11 of January, 2022, and since then the federal institution has been managed by a Rector in acting capacity, contravening the Act that established Polytechnic which requires that a Rector cannot act beyond six months.

A statement signed by NANS President, Comrade SUNDAY Asefon, which was addressed to the Minister of Education; the Governing Council of the institution and other necessary stakeholders demanded to know reason behind the continuous delay in the pronouncement of a substantive Rector for the about 30-year-old federal institution.

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In the statement which was made available to INFO DAILY on Monday, 8, August, the NANS President lamented that the “precarious effect of lacuna in the position of the Polytechnic Rector is causing more harm than good both academically and issues related to the welfare and well being of the entire students and the Polytechnic community in general.”

The statement reads in part: “The inability of the School Management to release the result of F18 and F19 graduates over 9months ago, perilous state of Student’s hostel and classrooms, inconsequential policies among other obnoxious happenings in the Polytechnic can not be unconnected to the lack of a Pronounced Leader who can take responsibility and be responsible.

READ ALSO: Why We Won’t Beg ASUU Over Strike, Parents Reply Keyamo

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“Without further vituperation, NANS and the generality of Students of The Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State DEMANDS FOR IMMEDIATE Pronouncement of A SUBSTANTIVE RECTOR without prejudice to the statutory criteria and existing formal process. Unfortunately, our teaming peace-loving Students in the Polytechnic can no longer afford to be a victim of circumstances!

“We call on all the concerned stakeholders to come to the rescue of the imminent collapse of the Polytechnic occasioned by the continuous VACCUM in the position of the Rector and Chief Executive Officer of the Polytechnic.”

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