The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan on Saturday explained the rationale behind the 25 billion naira education appeal fund by the government and people of Yobe State.
Lawan said the idea was to reposition the education sector in the state and avail the children of Yobe State particularly the indigent ones the opportunity to go to school and become useful to themselves and the society at large.
The Senate President spoke at the Yobe State Education Fund Raising which held in Abuja on Thursday.
Lawan who is also an indigene of Yobe State said the situation in his State was good until the insurgents struck and caused an incalculable damage in the state.
“In the Northeastern state before the former Borno State and presently Yobe State, we received support from government for our education.
“I didn’t have to pay anything to be in primary school. Infact I was given something. My parents were encouraged to send me to school.
“In secondary school, we were given everything. Our uniforms free. Our books free. Feeding and everything free. That was when the resources were available to really accommodate those necessities.
“The population has increased, of pupils and students, and the resources are dwindling. Now we have to look for our friends, our well wishers to come to our aid.
“Asking for help is part of the work. We recognise that we need to, first of all at home, task ourselves and collect something before we go outside of the state.
“Like the Governor said, this is one very important sector in our lives that we cannot run away from talking to you our friends, the friends of our states for help.
“I didn’t come from a rich or wealthy family and many of us here have come from families that are simply there, not wealthy enough.
“But because our states, at that time, intervened to give us the support that we needed to go to school, stay in school, by the Grace of God, we are reaping the benefits. And that is what we want to achieve by raising 25 billion naira and actually the 25 billion naira is not going to solve all the problems but definitely it will reposition our education sector better.
“It is not only Yobe that will benefit from this because a challenge in any part of Nigeria is a challenge in every part of the country. If we are able to deal with our educational challenge in Yobe, we are not the only people to benefit from the educated people in our state.
“Today you have many Yobeans working in different parts of the country. Infact, in different parts of the world but they are of course, indigenes of Yobe,” Lawan said.
The Senate President commended the State Governor, Mai Mala Buni for initiating the idea.
Lawan assured the donors that the donations would be “very prudently applied, very responsibly utilised” and expressed the hope that “at the end of the day, we will like to see a situation where our standing in the educational chat of Nigeria will be an obvious testimony of this event that we have been able to bring everybody together to support the educational development of Yobe State.”
Pay Salary Backlog Or Forget Unfinished Academic Sessions, ASUU Tells FG
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has insisted on the payment of the salary backlog to lecturers, maintaining that without the move, unfinished academic sessions should be forgotten.
President of the union Professor Emmanuel Osodeke made the remark on Friday, explaining that though public varsities have been shut since February, the lecturers should be paid since they have to teach to make up for time lost during the closure.
Osodeke was speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily following the government’s insistence on non-payment of the lecturers over the industrial action.
“Let me tell you the difference between ASUU and other labour unions. When other unions go on strike and come back, all those periods for which you are on strike, you don’t need to do the backlog of work,” the ASUU chief explained.
“But for ASUU, when we go back today, we are going to start from the 2020/2021 session. For these two sets of students that have been admitted by JAMB, we have to teach them over these periods to ensure that we meet up with the system.
“So, we are going to do the backlog of the work we have left behind. We are not going to start today and say ‘This session is 2022/2023, therefore, all these two sets of people that have been admitted by JAMB are cancelled. We have to take another admission for the 2023/2024 session’.”
According to him, if the government maintains its stance on the non-payment of salary backlog, members of the union are not obliged to make up for the lost academic time.
“If we agree on that, therefore, the lectures we should have given [to students] for 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 [sessions], they should be allowed to go so we start a new session 2022/2023 within September which is when a new session should start,” Professor Osodeke added.
“Therefore by July next year, I would go on my leave as we used to have in those days so that the backlog is gone. All the lectures that remain; all the two sets of admissions that JAMB has given that are waiting should become irrelevant.”
He said that ASUU does not need a pity party over the government’s withholding of the lecturers’ wages, maintaining that the union “can take care” of its members.
Kebbi settles N456m WAEC fees – Commissioner
The Kebbi State Government has approved the payment of remaining balance of more than N456 million to West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for the 2022 West African School Certificate Examination (WASC).
Dr Muhammadu Magawata-Aliero, Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education in the state, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital on Monday.
He said: “The Kebbi State Government has approved the payment of N456,596,000 to West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for the 2022 West African School Certificate Examination (WASC).
“This is in addition to N100 million paid to WAEC in April 2022, being deposit, thus, bringing the total payment to N556.5 million.”
The Commissioner recalled that the state government sponsored 30,922 candidates for the 2022 WASC at a registration fee of N18,000 per candidate.
Magawata-Aliero added that government had also approved N2.6 million cost of materials and extra supervision.
FG Can’t Borrow N1.1trn To End ASUU Strike – Festus Keyamo
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has said it was unrealistic for the Federal Government to borrow money to end the months-long strike embarked by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
He made the comment while speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.
“Should we go and borrow to pay N1.2 trillion yearly?
“You cannot allow one sector of the economy to hold you by the jugular and then blackmail you to go and borrow N1.2 trillion for overheads when our total income would be about N6.1 trillion. And you have roads to build, health centres to build, other sectors to take care of.”
The Minister urged parents across the country to beg ASUU.
“Like the President said the other time, those who know them, appeal to their sense of patriotism,” he said.
“Let them go back to classes. They are not the only one in Nigeria.
They are not the only ones feeding from the federal purse. The nation cannot grind to a halt because we want to take care of the demands of ASUU.”
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