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Unilag to screen new intakes for drug abuse

By News Desk,

The University of Lagos is to screen its newly-admitted students for hard drugs, an official said on Wednesday in Lagos.

The university’s Principal Assistant Registrar, Communication Unit, Taiwo Oloyede, warned  that the university would not hesitate to withdraw admission of  new students who would test positive to hard drugs.

According to her, the screening  is  to ensure a drug-free academic community as well as promote peaceful co-existence.

She said that all newly-admitted students would undergo the screening  before registration.

“This test is compulsory and will be administered on new students before they are allowed to go ahead with registration.

“Admission of any newly-admitted students who test positive to drug use shall be withdrawn.

“Our students must be seen to be good products not only of the institution, but the larger society.

“We want to ensure that we get students who will be willing to maintain peace, show leadership qualities and be law-abiding,” she said.

Oloyede said that preparations for registration of new students admitted on merit had been concluded.

According to her, the registration  will begin on Oct. 22 and end on  Nov. 9.

The official said that the institution would admit no fewer than 6,000 students into its undergraduate programmes for the 2018/2019 academic year.

She said that 36,218 candidates, who applied for admission in the university, scored 200 and above in the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

According to her, of the figure, 30,201 sat for the university’s post UTME test.

She said that commencement of academic activities for the session had been tentatively fixed for Nov.19

Shittu sues APC over NYSC certificate

By News Desk,

Minister of Communications,  Adebayo Shittu has sued the All Progressives Congress(APC)  for disqualifying him as a governorship aspirant in Oyo state on account of not presenting  the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme discharge certificate.

He claimed  it was wrong for APC to disqualify him from the governorship primary election  for not presenting the certificate.

He asked the court to declare  that the submission/presentation of NYSC Discharge Certificate to APC is not part of the requirements for him to participate in the primary election for Nomination of Governorship candidate of the party in Oyo State for the 2019 General Election.

He insisted that he went through the screening and security checks and was certified fit and qualified to be appointed as a minister.

He said participation in NYSC Scheme is not a condition precedent to be satisfied before he was appointed a minister.

He faulted the NYSC for not mobilising him for the scheme.

In the writ by his counsel, Mr. A.U. Mustapha( SAN), the embattled minister asked the court to determine five issues. They are:

*”whether by the provision of Section 2(1) of the National Youth Service Corps Decree No. 24 of 1973 and/or any other provision of the Decree being the law in force as at 1978 when the Plaintiff graduated at the University of Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) he was under any legal obligation to have warranted the plaintiff’s participation in the National Youth Service Corps in the absence of a call-up instrument duly served on the Plaintiff by the National Youth Service Corps.

*”whether, by the combined reading of Sections 176-183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria [as Amended] and Article 20(iii) & (iv) of the Constitution of the All Progressive Congress; it is a condition that the gubernatorial aspirant of the 1st Defendant (APC) and/or any political party for that matter in Nigeria must present the National Youth Service Corps Discharge/Exemption Certificate;

*”Whether it is ultra vires the powers of the 1st defendant to have disqualified the plaintiff from participating in its primary election for nomination of the governorship candidate of the 1st defendant in Oyo State for the 2019 General Election on the ground that the plaintiff does not possess National Youth Service Corps Discharge/Exemption Certificate;

*”Whether it does not amount to denial of fair hearing as enshrined in Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution of as amended for the 1st defendant to have purportedly disqualified the Plaintiff from contesting for governorship election in Oyo State under the platform of the 1st defendant without availing the Plaintiff an opportunity to be heard on the allegations that the plaintiff avoided the National Youth Service Scheme; and

*”whether by the combined reading of the provisions of Sections 147(5), 65(1)(b) & (2), 66 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 12 of the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap N84 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the plaintiff was qualified to have been appointed as a Minister capable of holding the office, and/or any other governmental office at any level notwithstanding the fact that he did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme.”

In an affidavit which he personally swore to, the 65-year old minister said: “I was liable but not obligated to have participated in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme both at the time I graduated from the said University and as at the time I was called to the Nigerian Bar.

“ I know as a fact that no “call-up instrument” was served on me as at 1978 when I graduated from the said University by the National Youth Service Corps to have warranted my participation in the scheme.

“I know as a fact that I was also not served any Notice or notified in any manner to proceed to participate in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme.

“I know as a fact that participation in the National Youth Service Corps programme is not one of the requirements to be satisfied under the 1st Defendant’s constitution to enable me participate in the primary election for Nominating the party flag bearer for the office of Governor of Oyo State in the 2019 General Election. A copy of the Constitution of the 1st Defendant is hereby attached and marked as “Exhibit SHITTU 8”.

“I also know as a fact that under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) it is not a requirement for me to have participated in National Youth Service Corps Scheme to be eligible for participation in the 1st Defendant’s primary election for Nomination of its flag bearer in Oyo State for the 2019 General election.

“ I know also as a fact that the Electoral Act 2010 [as Amended] did not make participation in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme a condition precedent for contesting any elective office whatsoever.

“I know also that participation in NYSC Scheme is not one of the requirements to enable me take part in primary election for Nomination of the 1st Defendant’s flag bearer for the office of Governor of Oyo State in the 2019 General election.”

UNDP donates school to Borno resettled community

By News Desk,

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has inaugurated a primary school at Ngwom resettled community in Mara Local Government Area of Borno.

The  project was inaugurated by the UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock on Sunday at Ngwom community.

The school was designed with 12 classrooms,  six offices, store and toilets.

Steiner said the project was part of comprehensive programme designed to facilitate stabilisation, livelihoods support and recovery of conflict affected communities in the northeast.

He said they were in the state to appraise the humanitarian situation, meet the communities with a view to promote stronger partnership to address the dire humanitarian needs in the region.

The UN agency also disbursed N900,000 to Ngwom community under its Village Savings and Loan Associations, to facilitate execution of community development projects.

According to statistics by the agency, some 300 houses, 288 market stalls, clinic, police post and water points were reconstructed at Ngwom under its Integrated community Stabilization programme.

The UN agency also distributed farm inputs to 625 resettled households to enable them cultivate their farmlands during the 2017 and 2018 cropping season.

Similarly, 120 households received support for irrigation activities; 120 for livestock production, while 128 households got small businesses support and 390 displaced persons to benefit from the Community-Based Safety Nets.

Other services rendered by the agency include distribution of 340 lanterns to households and volunteers while 400 households encouraged to plant economic and non-economic trees.

Prof. Adewale to deliver NOUN’s 12th Inaugural Lecture Wednesday

By News Desk,

The 12th Inaugural Lecture of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will take place on Sept. 26 in Abuja, a statement has said.

It will be delivered by the Head of NOUN”s Department of Religious Studies, Prof. Olubiyi  Adewale.

The statement signed by the Dean, Post-Graduate School, Dr Mande Samaila, said that the theme of the lecture is “Africanisation of Hermeneutics: An Escursus into Jesus’ Parabolic Discourses”.

The lecture will take place at noon at the university’s headquarters in Jabi, Abuja.

Adewale was born in Ibadan, Oyo State, in 1963 and bagged a first degree in English Studies from University of Ife, Ile-Ife, in 1984.

He underwent a theological training at the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomosho, where he bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Theology in 1990.

A postgraduate diploma in Mass Communication from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, followed, and he obtained a PhD in Biblical Studies from Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, in 2005.

Prior to that, he had taught for five years at the Benson Idahosa University, Benin City.

It was from there that he joined NOUN in 2006 and earned his professorship 11 years later.

At NOUN, Adewale has served in various capacities, including as director of the Lagos Study Centre.

He is a member of many academic associations locally and internationally and has authored some books.

NOUN’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla  Adamu, is the chief host of the inaugural lecture.

Nigeria, China partner on digital education

By News Desk,

Nigeria has resolved to partner with China for the establishment of digital education institute and provision of smart learning classrooms across the country.

Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP-SDGs), said in Abuja that the Smart Classrooms and Digital Education Institute would be established in partnership with a Chinese Digital Technology giant, NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited.

She said the project was part of the Federal Government commitment to provide quality education to Nigerian children as stipulated in Goal four of the SDGs.

The presidential aide said that the idea was to facilitate investment in ICT by building IT Incubators, Digital Studios and Software Outsourcing and Training Hubs.

She said it was also targeted at creating new jobs in the area of Technology and Innovation.

According to her, smart classroom will be provided for Pilot Science Nursery and Primary School in the FCT in the first phase of the project.

According to her, the project will be officially launched on Tuesday by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and would serve as a model technology-based classroom.

“The Digital Education in Africa (IDEA) was initiated by the Nigerian Government and NetDragon through Public Private Partnership to attract Direct Foreign Investment.

“The idea is to facilitate the setting up of the National Education Resource Public Service Platform, National Education Community Network Platform, National Digital Talent Training Platform, and National Future Education Experience Centre,” she said.

The SSAP-SDGs said that the initiative was to provide high-quality digital education resources and new teaching and collaborative model for basic education in Nigeria.

“In terms of lifelong education, the Talent Training Platform will carry out lifelong skills training and intelligent management of talents in Nigeria to achieve talent upgrading and optimal allocation of social resources.

“Our aim is to use technology to drive the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals 4, 8 and 9 regarding quality education, economic growth as well as industry and innovation.

“With this, jobs will be created through the E-Learning Platforms, Educational Software and Applications as well as other innovations.’’

Bayero varsity expels 33 over exam malpractice

By News Desk,

The authorities of the Bayero University Kano have expelled 33 students for their alleged involvement in various forms of examination malpractice during the first semester examination for  the 2017 to 2018 academic session.

According to a statement signed by the Acting Director, Directorate of Examinations and Records (DEAR), Hajiya Amina  Abdullahi, the Senate of the university approved the expulsion of the affected students at its 365 meeting.

The university said that 12 students were rusticated to repeat a session, while 70 others were issued with warning.

“Equally, two students were exonerated from any offence and two cases were deferred for further investigation.

“The candidates were expelled for involvement in examination misconduct in accordance with regulation 19.17(Ai, iii, iv, v, vi, vii x, xii) as the case may be, “ the university said.

NAN reports that the university expelled 44, rusticated four and exonerated eight students during the 2016 to 2017 academic session.

Nigerian student wins Chinese language contest

By News Desk,

Nigerian student, Anthony Ekwensi, has been crowned the African champion at the 17th Chinese Bridge Chinese Language Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students.

The grand finale of the competition took place on August 4 in Changsha, Hunan Province.

Russian student Ruslan was the overall winner at the event which paraded 152 students from 118 countries.

The 21-year old Anambra-born Nigerian, who came fourth in the final competition, made it to the last round of the championship with four other contestants who were also crowned champion of their respective continents.

The other winners were Theodore Joseph from Australia who came second, Guan Huimin from Indonesia, who took the third position and John Gardner from the United States, who placed fifth.

According to the organisers, the final competition consisted of three parts and tested the finalists’ language skills and all-around abilities, including their knowledge of Chinese culture, history, traditions and communication, as well as their singing and acting skills.

All five winners have been offered full scholarships by the Confucius Institute.

In a telephone interview from China, Ekwensi, a final year student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Anambra State, said he looked forward to returning to China to pursue a post-graduate programme.

‘‘I went into the competition because I knew there was an opportunity to do something great, and also I wanted an opportunity to visit the country I’ve always dreamed of going.

‘‘My next plan now is to graduate successfully from UNIZIK and then come back to China for masters. I dedicate my award to God,’’ the final year student of  Education Management and Policy said.

Ekwensi learnt the Chinese language in Nigeria for two years at the Confucius Institute, UNIZIK, Awka.

Buhari appoints new provost for Alvan Ikoku College of Education

By News Desk,

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Dr Dan Anyanwu as the Provost of the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri.

Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), announced the appointment in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that the appointment was for an Initial Period of four years, with effect from July 25, 2018.

Buhari charged the new provost to transform the institution into an enviable National Academic and Moral Centre of Excellence.

Dr Dan Anyanwu hails from Orogwe in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, Nigeria.

He holds a Ph.D in Fish Nutrition from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), and was the Head, Department of Agric Science at Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education between 2005 and 2008.

Dr Anyanwu was also the coordinator of SIWES between 2015 and 2016, and he had served in several committees in the College either as Chairman, Secretary, Member, including Staff Disciplinary Committee.

JAMB convey additional N7.8b to FG

By News Desk,

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has remitted another N7.8 billion to the federal government, bringing to N15.6 billion, the amount remitted by the examination body in less than two years.

The latest remittance is the surplus generated from the conduct of 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

However, government in its magnanimity, directed JAMB remits about N5.6 billion of the amount and use the balance for restructuring of the board’s headquarters to meet up with its international status.

The board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin, disclosed on Sunday in Lagos, that the board has planned to remit the whole as was done in 2017.

“We, therefore, want to appreciate the governing board of JAMB led by Dr Emmanuel Ndukwe for the tremendous support in ensuring that the current administration’s vision of transparency and accountability as fully embraced by JAMB is sustained.

“The Ndukwe-led board had, within its short period of inauguration, contributed immensely in some ground breaking innovations.

“One of such innovations is the quick remittance of the 2018 surplus. Whatever candidates pay for JAMB’s examination is a trust and must be accounted for.

“The board, though not a revenue generating agency, will continue to be judicious with resources at its disposal,” he said.

“The board is thinking of how to ensure that candidates benefitted from the surplus.

“We are currently looking at a number of ways to enhance the conduct of the examination where candidates will benefit by way of conducive environment in writing the examination.

“We are also looking at putting more mechanism in place that will ensure absolute equity and fairness in the selection of candidates through enhanced technology as currently being done by the Central Admission Process Selection (CAPS),” he said.

Benjamin said that the board was set to acquire cutting edge technology to give candidates the best registration procedure, examination and a more improved selection process.

He said the development was similar to the one that was currently being developed by the CAPS initiative.

Benjamin lauded the efforts of members of staff of the board, as well as other key stakeholders, for their doggedness, commitment and support in ensuring that integrity of the board and its examination was sustained.

NYSC appoints new Imo State Coordinator

By News Desk,

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has appointed, Sunday Aroni as its new Coordinator in Imo.

Ugochukwu Uronta, Public Relations officer of the service made the disclosure in a statement on Friday in Owerri.

The spokesperson said that Aroni replaced Mrs Josephine Bakare who was transferred to NYSC Ogun State.

Uronta described Aroni as an `astute administrator’ of so many years adding that prior to his appointment, Aroni was the former state coordinator of NYSC in Rivers.

He said the new coordinator promised to encompass corps and staff welfare, security and discipline in his administration.

Aroni also promised to enhance existing relationship with the state government, media and collaborate with other agencies and stakeholders.

He identified the success recorded by his predecessor to include the construction of twin block corps hostel and refurbishment of the pavilion at the parade ground.

The new coordinator listed other successes recorded by his predecessor as facelift of the main security gate block and connection of the secretariat to the national grid.

Aroni said that Bakare also secured approval of transport fare to out gone 2017 Batch A stream 1 Corps Members by the state government and the inauguration of the state governing board.