Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has vowed to uplift the standard of education in the state, stressing that God will not forgive him, if after realising the decay in the sector, he leaves office without doing anything.
Engineer Sule made this known while being presented with a report on baseline survey on educational wellbeing of both primary and secondary schools across the state, at the Government House, on Thursday.
The baseline survey was conducted by a committee headed by Professor Mohammed Isa Kida, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Management Studies, Federal University Lafia.
The Governor who lamented the dilapidated conditions of some of the schools in the state, said God will not forgive him, if he leaves office knowing the position he met the schools and yet he did nothing.
While thanking members of the committee for carrying out a wonderful job, particularly the chairman, Professor Kida, known for his thoroughness and passion for such research work, Engineer Sule said what he wanted, which is in line with his character, was for the committee to present the facts, no matter how painful, so that the administration can start work from ground zero.
The Governor said he is committed to education, especially science and technical education, adding that his administration will work as much as possible to reposition the sector.
He commended various administrations for their efforts to improve the standard of education in the state, singling out the administration of former governor Senator Umaru Tank Al-makura, for embarking on the massive construction of schools.
“Every Governor that came in, focused and concentrated on areas of their own interest, or areas that they strongly believe will promote education.
“But education in totality requires so many diverse areas. I am committed to education in Nasarawa State, and today really, is one of my best days.
“This is a day I have been looking forward to, so that you can come and make this kind of presentation, so we will now start from there and build the sector,” he stated.
Engineer Sule, while recounting how he turned around the former AP Petroleum from a negative balance sheet to a positive balance sheet, said he is ready to burst the bubble in order to start from ground zero.
The Governor said from the inspection tour he undertook across some schools in each of the senatorial zones, some of the structures are unfit to serve as learning centres to groom children of the state.
“When you mentioned that 90 percent of our schools, especially primary schools, are dilapidated, a lot of people who don’t understand what is happening in the state, may not believe you,” he stated.
Engineer Sule said because of the special interest he has for science and technology, the state government hastened to complete the skill acquisition centre along Jos Road, started by the Senator Al-makura administration.
According to the Governor, the centre which has 12 shops, running courses in electrical installation, fitter machinist, motor mechanic, carpentry and joinery, wielding, fabrication, radio and television, air-condition and refrigeration and agricultural mechanization, will hopefully start admitting trainees this year.
He disclosed plans to also turn around two technical schools located in Assakio and Agwada, while promising to personally renovate the Government Science School Lafia.
“We are going to work as much as possible to promote science and technical education.
“I am pleading with our people to understand because to me, having a handcraft, will help you a lot to even set up your business,” the Governor said.
Earlier, while presenting the report, Chairman of the committee, Prof Kida, said it consists of raw data for primary schools in six volumes, as well as three volumes for secondary schools, obtained from across the 13 local government areas of the state.
He pointed out that the survey started December last year, with the report serving as benchmark, since according to him, the objective of baseline survey is to establish the baseline where to start, so that the administration will know where it is going.
Prof Kida revealed that there are 1391 primary schools and 419 secondary schools in Nasarawa State, out of which there are 19 junior, about 320 senior and 29 boarding schools.
He said, as researchers, they have done their work by stating the facts, some of which will make the Governor happy, while others will make him sad.
Some of the findings from the report include, that 90 percent of the schools are in the rural areas, , 72 percent of headteachers in primary schools are not qualified, because the national requirement for being a headmaster is a minimum of degree not NCE, among others.
“70 percent of the schools reported that 30 percent of the pupils don’t come to classes regularly,” he stated.
NLC/TUC suspension of Nationwide strike; beauty and power of dialogue – YAN Nat. Speaker, Sani
Speaking on the proposed Nationwide strike by the Organized labour and the subsequent suspension; Rt. Hon. Shuaibu Sani, National Speaker of the Youth Assembly of Nigeria (YAN) applauded labour leaders, Federal Government and other mediating bodies including National Assembly for showing sense of responsibility for the sake of Nigerian populace, adding that, the decision to suspend the strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) is the best decision any reasonable and coordinated Union can make at a time like this.
A Press Statement signed and issue by Makerin Masaka,
National Deputy Director Media & Publicity, YAN, in Abuja, shortly after the press conference said the Youth leader was hopeful that, NLC, TUC and the Federal Government will reach a common understanding that will make for an amicable resolution of all issues in contention as he further commended the organized labour for having masses at heart by given the proposed strike a human face in view of the hardship it would have brought on Nigerians and finally prays for a lasting solution to incessant unrest in the country. He said.
ICPC Clarifies Chairman’s Speech on N2.7Billion School Feeding Diverted
Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, ICPC Chairman.
The attention of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has been drawn to some reports making the rounds on a segment of the speech delivered by the ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, yesterday, Monday, 28th September 2020 at its 2nd National Submit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector. The said reports erroneously implied that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs diverted monies meant for Home-Grown School Feeding Programme.
In the speech, Professor Owasanoye stated inter alia, ‘’… we discovered payments to some federal colleges (secondary schools) for school feeding in the sum of N2.67b during the lockdown when the children were not in school, and some of the money ended up in personal accounts. We have commenced investigations into these findings’’.
The Commission wishes to clarify that the “school feeding” referred to by the Chairman of ICPC was the feeding of boarding students in Federal Government Colleges, who were all at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. This is NOT the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme being managed by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
The Commission had discovered through its review of publications on the Open Treasury Portal that statutory monthly allocations meant for the feeding of secondary school students of SOME Federal Government Colleges were diverted into personal accounts.
This statement is issued for the purpose of clarifying the statement of the Hon. Chairman. Consequently, the general public is hereby advised to disregard the said reports suggesting reference to the school feeding programme going on in primary schools. The full speech of the Chairman can be downloaded from the Commission’s website at www.icpc.gov.ng.
Military Retires 256 Soldiers, Prepares Others For Post-Service Life (Full List)
Global Times Nigeria reports that after 35 years of service to the nation, 256 Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) of the Nigerian military were on Friday retired in a colourful celebration.
The retirement of the 256 followed several months of courses on reintegration to civil life, entrepreneurship and other skills acquisition programmes at the Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Oshodi in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city.
According to reports, the retirees were drawn from the Nigerian Army (NA), Nigerian Navy (NN) and Nigerian Air Force (NAF). They were hosted to a combined passing out ceremony with 26 Generals and 47 mid-level officers who underwent management and entrepreneurship courses also at NAFRC.
It was gathered, 76 officers, were penciled for the courses they took to prepare them for retirement since they do not have many years in the civil service.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin while speaking at the ceremony, urged the retirees to be unrelenting in their support to security agencies particularly in the area of community intelligence gathering.
Reminding them of the recently approved enhanced welfare packages for retiring members of the Armed Forces by President Muhammadu Buhari, Olonisakin reminded them of the need to stay loyal and dedicated to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Olonisakin commended NAFRC Commandant, Air Vice Marshal Kingsley Lar and other staff for ensuring that Armed Forces personnel were exposed to the latest trends in global entrepreneurship and management training.
“I am aware of the reviewed curriculum designed to enhance the management and entrepreneurial skills of the participants. I urge the Commandant to continue these laudable initiatives for high quality human resource development that will be gainful to our personnel and society at large,” said the CDS.
In his welcome remarks, AVM Lar the retirees where the stream one of the second batch for this year. He praised them for their unblemished military service, adding them to remain disciplined, law abiding and worthy ambassadors of the centre.
Lar who led dignitaries at the event round the centre for inauguration of some of the projects executed since his assumption of office in January, said he was glad to have officials of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Department of State Services (DSS), National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Defence Intelligence Agencies (DIA) participate in the courses for the first time ever.
“When l assumed command of this centre in January this year, my first impression was that this is a well-positioned centre with capacity to optimally deliver on its core mandate of vocational training not just for retiring personnel of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) but also for all Nigerians as well as the West African sub region.
“Pursuant to this objective, I immediately developed my vision of command which is to harness the available human and infrastructural capital to transform NAFRC into a word class centre of excellence for international best practice in vocational training. The implementation of this vision was anchored on a three pronged approach of reengineering the people, processes and systems.
“Towards achieving this objective, my first emphasis was to develop and improve different aspects of our human capital resource. Next step was to update the training curricula of the various workshops in line with contemporary practices. As a corollary to this, several of the workshops had to be upgraded and equipped with modern and up to date equipment for training.
“To complement the already existing vocational workshops, l approved the introduction of new vocational workshops in paint making, communications equipment repairs and floriculture. My emphasis was also on maintaining and improving the physical and social infrastructure of the centre.
“On completion of the three anchors of my vision, l thereafter sought and obtained Defence Headquarters (DHQ) authorisation to admit members of para military agencies as well as government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to carry out training in NAFRC.
“In line with my firm belief that NAFRC is adequately poised to train all Nigerians with vocational skills, the centre in conjunction with the Mushin Local Government Council has successfully conducted various vocational training for citizens in Mushin Local Government as well as youths in different military barracks across Nigeria.
“Specifically, the centre’s Agriculture Wing has conducted training and cultivated several economic trees and vegetable farms in Nigerian Army Cantonment Ojo, NAF Base Ikeja while that of the Navy Town Ojo is being finalised. This same gesture has also been extended to several other military formations in Abuja, Bauchi, Kaduna, Makurdi and Kerang in Plateau State…” he said.
Also at the ceremony were a former CDS, Gen. Alexander Ogomudia (rtd.), Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Maj.Gen. Godwin Umelo and Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Logistics Command, AVM Lawal Alao, among others.
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