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FG Will Honour Agreements With ASUU, Buhari Tells CAN, Sultan

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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The Federal Government will honour promises made to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to prevent disruptive strikes, encourage uninterrupted academic programmes and improve funding of educational institutions.

This is according to President Muhammadu Buhari who gave the assurance on Tuesday at the presidential villa, Abuja while receiving members of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev’d Dr Samson Olasupo Ayokunle.

The President commended the leadership of NIREC for intervening in the year-long strike by ASUU and holding consultations with the parties, saying no society which wishes itself well neglects its educational system and all its component parts.

This is even as he urged the council to tell ASUU that his administration regards them and the service they provide to the nation very highly.

“’However, they should be cognizant of the fiscal pressures that we are currently facing.

Nevertheless, we remain committed to honoring our promises,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.

“For their part, I would like to encourage ASUU to continue to work with us towards finding resolutions to the challenges that confront us.

“My administration is committed to this engagement and dialogue, and I urge them to stay the course towards a joint resolution in the best interest of our children and nation.”

Buhari also responded to the issued raised by NIREC on finding sustainable solutions to the perennial and disruptive strikes that threaten the sanctity and integrity of the nation’s university system.

According to him, he had directed his Chief of Staff, the Honourable Ministers of Labour and Employment and Education to make resolving this issue a priority.

The President said he had received briefing from the Minister of Labour, detailing where we are today given the various interested parties, and he apprised the meeting as follows:
He added, “’To show our commitment, several payments have been made over the last 6 months, addressing several of the issues you raised – details of which the Minister of Labour and Employment can make available to you.

“’Funding has also been provided for infrastructure development across several public universities and several of them have begun drawing down on this facility to improve their level of infrastructure.

“Finally, and perhaps the most contentious of issues regarding the decision to use either the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) or the University Transparency Accountability Solutions (UTAS).

“As you may be aware, IPPIS was introduced as a means of blocking leakages. Through IPPIS, the Federal Government was able to save over N100 billion annually from the core civil service alone.  In view of the resistance from ASUU we devised UTAS which is now on the table.”

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Education

Education: Student Loan Scheme Kick Off With 1.2 Million Beneficiaries

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All is now set for the take off of Student loan program on May 24, 2024, with 1.2 million students in federal tertiary institutions across the country poised to benefit, according to Akintunde Sawyerr, Managing Director/CEO of the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFUND).

During a pre-application sensitization press conference in Abuja , Sawyerr revealed that the initial phase would support students in federal universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and technical colleges.

Data from the National Universities Commission indicates there are 226 federal tertiary institutions in Nigeria, including 62 universities, 41 polytechnics, 96 monotechnics, and 27 colleges of education.

President Bola Tinubu signed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, into law on April 3. This bill, passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives, establishes the Nigerian Education Loan Fund as a body corporate to manage funds for providing loans to Nigerians for higher education, vocational training, and skills acquisition.

The Act empowers NELFUND to offer loans to qualified Nigerian students for tuition, fees, charges, and upkeep during their studies in approved public tertiary institutions and vocational training establishments. It also removes the family income threshold, allowing all students to apply for loans and take responsibility for repayment.

President Tinubu emphasized the importance of inclusivity in education, stating, “This is to ensure that no one, no matter how poor their background is, is excluded from quality education and the opportunity to build their future.”

Initially set to launch in September, the scheme faced delays due to President Tinubu’s directive to expand it to include vocational skills loans. Last Thursday, NELFUND announced that the portal for loan applications would officially open on May 24.

Addressing journalists on Monday, Sawyerr said, “There are approximately 1.2 million students in federal tertiary institutions owned by the government. Today, by inference, 1.2 million students at the federal level will benefit, but there might be an opportunity to increase capacity by including more institutions. When state-owned institutions are added, the numbers can go up.”

Sawyerr explained that only students from institutions that have uploaded their data on NELFUND’s dashboard would be eligible to apply. He urged students in federal tertiary institutions to visit the website www.nelf.gov.ng to apply from May 24, noting that students in state universities and vocational skills centers could apply later.

To apply, students need their admission letter from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, National Identity Number, Bank Verification Number, and completed application forms from the website.

“The loan application process has been streamlined to ensure easy access for all eligible students in federal tertiary institutions. Applicants can access online support for any questions or concerns during the application process,” Sawyerr said. “We believe that education is a vital investment for the future, and the student loan initiative of Mr. President is a testament to this commitment.”

One key feature of the program is the absence of physical contact between loan applicants and NELFUND, with a user-friendly portal interface designed to facilitate convenient submission of loan applications

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WAEC Releases WASSCE Results, Says 44.29% Scored Credit In Five Subjects

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The West African Examinations Council has released the results of the 2023 West African Senior School Certificate Examination for private candidates across the country.

This was made known in a statement made available by the acting Head, Public Affairs, WAEC Nigeria, Moyosola Adesina, on Tuesday evening.

According to her, only 46,267 out of the 80,904 candidates who sat for the examination scored a minimum of five credits.

She said this translates to 57.19% of candidates obtaining credit and above in a minimum of five subjects (with or without English Language and/or Mathematics).

She added that 35,830 candidates, representing 44.29%, obtained credit and above in a minimum of five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics.

The statement read, “The examination was conducted in Nigeria between Friday, October 27, 2023 and Wednesday, December 20, 2023. The Coordination of Examiners and Marking of Candidates’ Scripts were carried out at SEVEN (7) Marking Venues in Lagos, Ibadan, Akure, Benin, Enugu, Uyo, and Kaduna from Tuesday, January 16, to Tuesday, January 30, 2024. A total of 4,162 examiners participated in the coordination and marking Exercise.

“85,600 candidates, representing 10.07% increase, when compared with the 2022 entry figure of 77,768) entered for the examination, while 80,904 candidates sat the examination at 568 centers spread across the nooks and crannies of the country.

“Amongst the candidates that sat the examination, (211) candidates, with varying degrees of special needs, were registered for the examination.

“Out of this number, 33 were visually challenged, 21 had impaired hearing and 30 were Albinos. All these candidates with special needs were adequately provided for in the administration of the examination.”

The regional examination body management urged candidates to check their results by visiting www.waecdirect.org and ascertain their status before visiting the Digital Certificate platform (www.waec.org) to access the digital copies of their certificates, which have been released along with their results.

 

 

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You’re Senator for all, Kano students declare Senator Barau

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Deputy President of the Senate Barau Jibrin
Deputy President of the Senate, Barau Jibrin
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Students under the umbrella of the National Association of Kano State Students (NAKSS) have described the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau I. Jibrin as a ” Senator for all” who carries all his people irrespective of their political parties.

President of NAKSS, Comrade Yahaya Usman Kabo and a former secretary-general of the Zone A of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Abdullahi Muhammad Sale (Game Changer) led the students to pay a courtesy call on Senator Barau at the National Assembly, Abuja.

Speaking through one of their leader, Abdullahi Muhammad Sale, the students said in the entire history of the state, there was no Senator that carried along the youths and students like Senator Barau in his various intervention programmes.

Sale said: ” We are proud to have you as our Senator. Your interventions and support across all sectors have endeared you to all. We are proud of you distinguished Senator.

“With this, we want to assure you that we are emulating the good path you are putting us on. You are our mentor. We pray for Almighty God to guide and protect you to attain higher positions to serve our country,” he said.

At the end of the event, the students presented an award of excellence to the Deputy President of the Senate.

Responding, the Deputy President of the Senate urged the students to remain resolute and committed to their academic pursuits.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ismail Mudashir, he said he has been engaging students in Kano and beyond to prepare them for leadership positions.

“All the interventions we have been doing for students were distributed by your association. We know how to do it in our best way, but we are doing this to make you ready and guide you to the path of leadership. That is why we said you should handle it. And you have performed excellently.

“The youths are the future leaders of the country, as such they should be groomed towards being fair and just. All that we are doing is to make you ready for leadership in various sectors across the nation. As such, you too should extend the same to the future leaders of the student unions and across all students,” he said.

He promised to continue to support education and empower students, saying ” A student is the child of all. The issues of elections are over, we are now committed to working for our people. Everybody is mine, irrespective of political parties or groups.”

“We have many plans for the future. We have done a lot in the past and we are still doing more. The scholarship scheme is still ongoing. We are also coming with more interventions,” he said.

 

 

 

 

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