By Yahaya Idris, Lokoja
The Students Union Government of Kogi state Polytechnic, Lokoja, has pleaded with the Governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Yahaya Bello to recall their Rector, Prof. Muhammed Atureta, who is suspended over the Treasury Single Account policy adopted by the state government.
In an open letter addressed to the governor on Wednesday and made available to the press, the students appealed to him to consider the development of education and the state especially the performance of the Rector in uplifting the standard of the institution since he assumed office a year ago.
“Your Excellency Sir, on behalf of the over Twenty Five Thousand (25,000) Students of Kogi State Polytechnic Lokoja, we wish to once again congratulate you as you start the journey of second term in office.
“In 2019 Sir, you gave us as an institution, a very precious and cherishing gift in person of Prof. M.S Atureta as the Rector of the institution.
“In your spirit of development and love for education, the Rector took up infrastructural facelift, fast track the release of results, uninterrupted school calendar, enhancing peace and harmony within the internal and external community of the institution, eradication of cultism and other social vices and tackling examination malpractice.
“Sir, this has helped to reshape and put the institution enviable in Nigeria and we are proud to say this.
“Sir, what prompted us to write this letter to you is because of the suspension of the Rector, Kogi State Polytechnic Lokoja, Prof. M.S Atureta over insubordination or noncompliance to the financial policy of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in the state.
“We are aware that you mean well for Kogi State and the Polytechnic for introducing this transparent policy. We are deeply in support of the policy.
“Sir, we plead for mercy from you for the sake of Almighty God and the sake of over Twenty-five Thousand (25,000) students in the three campuses of Kogi State Polytechnic. We plead you forgive him and bring him back to us for us to be happy again.” The students letter reads.
The letter signed by the President of the Students Union Government of state Polytechnic, Comrade Umar Jaafar Omeiza, also stated that “in the spirit of a progressive Kogi State and your love for students, we anticipate for your gift of reinstatement as this would endears us more to the government.
UNIBEN To Benefit From Ekehuan Road Dualisation, Ossiomo Power Project, Obaseki Assures VC
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has assured management of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) that his administration will ensure the university community benefits from the ongoing dualisation of Ekehuan Road project as well as the Ossiomo Independent Power Plant project.
Obaseki gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by management of UNIBEN. led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami, at Government House in Benin City, on Monday.
He said, “I am governor of everybody and everything in the state including UNIBEN. We look forward to collaborating more with you. We are working on the Ekehuan Road project which is now going to make the Ekehuan Campus of the university accessible. We are happy we have UNIBEN in our state particularly in Benin City. It will not be fair for a government that emphasizes education not to take advantage of the very fact that the institution resides in our territory. We are happy we have UNIBEN, we know how much it has contributed to educational and social development of our state over the last four decades.”
According to him, “It doesn’t matter if it is ours, but for the fact that the university is located here in our state, it gives us a responsibility to make sure we make it part of our existence.”
“We are working very hard to connect 50 megawatts of electricity from Ossiomo Power Plant to the Government Science and Technical College and some of the power will be extended to UNIBEN so that you can have uninterrupted power supply. I am making the whole axis an Integrated Science and Technology Hub with a Data Centre.”
Responding to the requests made by the Vice Chancellor, Obaseki said the state government has awarded repairs of the road network in the institution, adding, “We will mandate the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) contractor in charge of the hostel renovation to go back to site. We are beneficiaries of the Federal Fire Service; I am going to make a case for you.
“I’m also going to talk to some of our corporate organisations who are operating here to see if we can support the university with fire trucks, but we are hoping to create a fire service centre that people can call when there is a fire outbreak. We have been talking with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) to create an ambulance service for the citizens in the state, where you can call an ambulance when the need arises.”
Earlier, Prof. Salami congratulated Governor Obaseki on his victory in the September 19 governorship election in the state and assured him of the institution’s readiness to support the administration, adding, “The victory at the poll has actually told a lot about our performing governor. We are sure you will even perform more in your second tenure. We are proud of you. We hope and pray that in good health, you will continue the good work you have started.”
She intimated her host that, “The Federal Ministry of Education has asked universities to come up with a process for resumption and we had picked October 24 as our tentative date for resumption. The institution has resolved in taking the final year students and professional programmes because of COVID-19.”
She commended the governor for his massive renovation of the hostels in UNIBEN ahead of the 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF).
Ghana: Enough Of Submission Of Documents, Pay Teachers Their Legacy Arrears; Educational Workers Connect To GES.
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters” (Albert Einstein)
In fact, there is no denying the fact that, education in Ghana is incomplete without the Ghanaian teachers.
This is a fact that cannot be contested. But the obvious question that always beg for answers is whether the Ghanaian teacher is given that due recognition and respect as they deserve. Your guess is as good as mine.
As said by Guy Kawasaki, “If you have to put someone on a pedestal, put teachers. They are the society’s heroes”
Educational Workers Connect, an educational Think Tank interested in ensuring quality education across the country has once again read with pleasant surprise a circular emanating from GES asking the teachers to once again submit their documents to justify the payment of their old age legitimately owed legacy arrears.
This directive we consider not just worrying, unjustified and unfair to the hardworking teachers across the country but also an orchestrated ploy by GES to either frustrate the teachers or to once again delay the process of paying the teachers their legacy arrears.
We say this because we know for a fact that the teachers have several times submitted these documents through their Union leaders.
Besides, GES have been on record to have stated unequivocally that they were either working on the modalities to pay the teachers or had paid the teachers. A claim the teachers disputed. So the natural question to ask GES is to know which documents did they use to pay those they claimed they had paid? So, we are asking GES to tell the whole country how many times they want the teachers to continuously submit their documents to warrant the payment of these legacy arrears owed these teachers?
We are also on record to have asked GES on 6th August, 2020 to publish the list of all the teachers they claimed they had paid to settle the issues since the teachers denied receiving those arrears. Unfortunately, GES failed to heed to this simple demand that they themselves had promised to do when the teachers mounted a spirited defence against their claim of paying the teachers.
We want to remind GES in case they are unaware that teachers are moaning, groaning and disillusioned with the system. It is important for GES to know that there is so much anger and agitation yet to explode if they fail to pay these teachers expeditiously Therefore, the least we expect GES to do to the teachers is to deny same teachers what is legitimately theirs.
The ramifications that this bad treatment by GES is having on our teachers with its concomitant effects on our education are obvious and dire.
We also want to use this opportunity to ask the various teacher unions if it is a crime or an error to make them the teacher union leaders. We ask this question because of their deafening silence on this legacy arrears issue in a very long while. What has happened to effective communication with their members? What do they know that their members do not know for which reason they seem very lethargic on this very sensitive matter?
This is because according to the Gen Secretary of Gnat, Mr. Thomas T. Musah, GNAT had compiled an electronic database of all their members owed varied arrears totalling 45,512 across the country. This data he said was submitted to GES on 27th Feb, 2020.
So why is GES again asking same teachers to submit same documents? If this is not a ploy to frustrate the teachers, then what again could be the motive?
The teacher Union leaders must remember that “one of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised. “(Chinua Achebe). We demand of them to as a matter of urgency, fight for the rights of their members. This is a non negotiable point that must be stated unequivocally.
We are therefore, asking GES to get the documents that they so need from the teachers either from the teacher Union leaders or from their database.
According to Brian Tracy, ” Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. GES must protect their integrity and stop what we consider to be an unfair treatment being meted out to the teachers. What crime have the Ghanaian teachers committed to warrant these unacceptable treatments from those who should know better? Our leaders, especially our political leaders across governments who are taking the Ghanaian teachers through this agony must remember that it is teachers who taught them, still teaching some of them and teaching their children. So why treat these teachers with contempt and unfairness?
We want to end our call by once again reminding GES of the figures that we are looking at as presented by the teacher unions.
Teachers owed legacy arrears as follows;
Total number of teachers owed excluding NAGRAT members is 54,922 lt doesn’t mean NAGRAT members are not owed. But, we are not accurate on the exact figure.
This data was submitted to GES on 27th Feb.2020.
Once again, enough of the submission of documents. Pay the teachers their legacy arrears. Ghanaian teachers deserve better.
Their rewards are no more in heaven. The Ghanaian teachers need their rewards on this earth.
God bless Ghana!
God bless Educational Workers Connect!
Daniel Yao Agbezudor
Federal University Lokoja To Move To Permanent Site In October 2020
The Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello hosted the newly inaugurated Governing Council of the Federal University, Lokoja at the Council Chamber of Government House, Lokoja.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Angela Mary Freeman, while introducing the council members of the university, stated that her tenure will come to an end in February, 2021 and appealed to the Governor to extend fatherly love to the new council and its members led by Senator Christ Iheanyichukwu Adighije, PhD.
The leader of the delegation who is the Pro-Chancellor /Chairman of the Governing Council, Senator Christ Iheanyichukwu Adighije, PhD said the council and its members were on a courtesy visit to congratulate the Governor on his recent victory at the Supreme Court, describing the victory as a well deserved.
He also used the opportunity to commensurate with the government and people of Kogi State, most especially the families of those who loss their lives during the fire incident that claimed over 25 lives along Felele area of Lokoja and pray to God for their souls to receive divine grace in eternity. A minute silence was observe in honour of the deceased.
The Pro-Chancellor / Chairman of the Governing Council stated that, among other objectives of their visit is to inform the Governor of the institution arrangement to move to the permanent site at Felele area by the first week of October, 2020 and the university need of approval for the Certificate of Occupancy, payment of compensation to land owners who have voluntarily relinquish their land to the university, perimeter fencing of the land, provision of intercity buses to ease movement of students and others from the temporary site to the new site at Felele among others.
Responding, the Governor said the Pro-Chancellor /Chairman of the Governing Council, Senator Christ Iheanyichukwu Adighije, PhD was his mentor while at the Federal Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission, stressing that, he is a disciplined man whose mentorship has brought him and many others to an enviable position and urged the council members to tap from his wealth of knowledge and experience for the needed development of the institution, the host community, the State and the Country at large.
The Governor appealed to the council to look into the local content of the state when the choice of the next Vice Chancellor begin and on the request presented, the Governor promised to approve the certificate of occupancy when all the processes are completed and promised to look into other demands as soon as the financial situation of the State improves.
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