By Modupe Gbadeyanka
In preparation of the massive infrastructural renewal of basic schools across the 16 local government areas, the Kwara State government has commenced the training of local contractors.
On Tuesday, the north-central state of the federation began a three-day capacity building workshop for the contractors who want to carry out the projects through the Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board (KW-SUBEB).
Recently, the state received a N7.1 billion grant from the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC) after being blacklisted for seven years.
This left most schools in the state in a dilapidated form, causing many indigenes of the state to worry about the poor state of education.
But with the funds released, the administration of Mr Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman is working hard to change the narratives for good.
At the workshop, the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Ms Fatimah Ahmed, explained that the training was to enlighten local contractors on the requirements for the successful bidding process.
“The essence of the training is to enlighten our local contractors because in bidding for a contract, there are requirements that will be needed from the contractors which many of them might not be aware of,” she said.
“This training is coming up first to educate them on the procurement process and what the state will need from them before they can bid for any contract. We have over 1000 participants and the workshop is coming up in batches between Tuesday and Thursday,” she explained.
Ms Ahmed urged the prospective contractors to abide by relevant rules and requirements of the tender board to ensure a successful bidding process.
Procurement Consultant and Governance Reform Expert, Mr Omomofe Akintunde, further explained that the training was designed to equip prospective bidders and vendors in Kwara State on steps to follow for a successful bidding process in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007 and the Kwara State Public Procurement Law.
“Public procurement is for the public, and government needs to interact with bidders on the way to understand the technicalities and what must be put in place before participating in procurement activities and win,” he said.
“When you increase the chance of contractors in participation, it will also help the government in promoting the economy of the state. So, it is not just for the public procurement to be done under board but to follow the guidelines and procedures that are all encapsulated in the Public Procurement Act and the Kwara State Public Procurement Law,” he added.
Mr Akintunde commended the state government for deploying the use of public procurement as a public policy and hoped that it will translate to dividends of democracy and development which the people want and guarantee quality jobs expected from the contractors.
Two of the contractors Umar Farouq Sanni and Omotayo Oladele said the training was necessary to assist them on how to manage the contract and rewrite the story of Kwara State through efficient management of UBEC funds.
JAMB Shifts Registration Deadline, 2021 UTME
By Dipo Olowookere
The registration deadline for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) has been shifted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
The Registrar of JAMB, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, disclosed on Saturday that intending candidates for the examination have till May 29 to register.
Addressing reporters after a two-day meeting with stakeholders in Abuja, Mr Oloyede said the deadline was pushed forward due to the challenges faced by candidates.
“Field reports showed a huge improvement in the processes. As of today, 1,134,424 candidates have so far registered.
“Stakeholders undertook on the spot assessment of the CBT centres and discovered lapses which warranted the extension.
“The challenges among others include candidates’ non-compliance with registration requirements, using the wrong format to generate profile code and using multiple phone numbers, among others,” the JAMB boss informed newsmen today.
He said, as a result, the dates for the mock exam and exam proper have been moved shifted forward.
According to him, the 2021 mock earlier scheduled for May 20 would now hold on June 3, while the UTME will now take place from June 19 to July 3.
Mr Oloyede said the exam body will continue to monitor the situation, assuring that logistics to allow the smooth conduct of the exercise have been put in place.
He said JAMB will not tolerate examination malpractices, warning that those caught involved in such would be punished in line with laws of the land.
Registrations for InterswitchSPAK 3.0 Commence
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Registrations for the 2021 edition of a prestigious science competition organised by Interswitch Group called InterswitchSPAK 3.0 have commenced.
With this development, secondary schools can visit the InterswitchSPAK portal, https://www.interswitchspak.com/, to register their best science students in Grade 11 or Senior Secondary 2 (SS2) for the competition. The registration portal will close on Thursday, May 27, 2021.
Each school is required to present its best science students in SSS2 and can register a minimum of six and a maximum of 10 students.
However, for mixed schools, at least two female students must be among the selected students.
Every registered student will participate in the qualifying examination online, from their schools, homes or any convenient space. The top 81 students will proceed to the finale to battle for the crown of Nigeria’s Best Science Student.
For the qualifying examination, there are two choices of days to pick from between Friday, May 28 and Saturday, May 29, 2021, any time between 8am-6pm.
The InterswitchSPAK national science competition is an annual Pan-African contest aimed at re-igniting and incentivizing the study of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects among secondary school students.
The Group Chief Marketing and Communication Officer at Interswitch, Ms Cherry Eromosele, expressed her excitement about the new edition.
She stated that the competition was back, bigger and better after the one-year hiatus occasioned by the disruptive impact of the global pandemic. She also encouraged more girls to participate in this third edition of the on-going registration.
“At Interswitch, we are committed to inculcating knowledge, aptitude and confidence, with a focus on improving the standard of education in Nigeria.
“We are very passionate about encouraging more students, especially girls, to take up STEM subjects. The good news is that we have seen an increase in the number of girls participating in the competition.
“We encourage teachers, school administrators, parents and guardians to ensure their students are registered. I also want to encourage the students to take hold of this opportunity to pursue their dreams. It is our belief that the year ahead will be very exciting,” she stated.
The coveted prize is N12.5 million worth of university scholarship for the top three winners. The first prize winner gets N7.5 million tertiary scholarship spread over 5 years, a laptop and monthly stipends. The second prize is N4 million spread over 3 years and a laptop and the third prize is N1 million for 1 year.
The last edition saw Oyindamola Aje, a 16-year-old student of Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, emerging as winner, while the duo of 15-year-old Oluwatobi Ojo and Onyekachi Madumere (both of Apt Scholar Universal College, Ogun State) came second and third, respectively.
CRUTECH, FUTO Qualify for NCDMB Science Competition
By Adedapo Adesanya
Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH) and the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, (FUTO) will represent the Eastern region at the national level in the upcoming Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board’s Science and Technology Innovation Challenge (STIC).
The two universities progressed to represent the region after beating other schools, namely, Alex Ekweme Federal University, Abakiliki; Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State; and the University of Calabar, at the regional level.
The STIC competition, organized by the NCDMB, is an upshoot of the agency’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Speaking, NCDMB Manager, Capacity Building Division, Mr Ama Ikuru, explained that the innovations demonstrated by the schools, will go a long way in helping to domiciled capacity and also improve lives.
Mr Ikuru noted that the board was also supporting vocational secondary schools, in a bid to promote skill acquisitions even at an early age.
He presented certificates of participation and congratulated all the contending universities from the South-South and South-East region, explaining that they were already winners, having gotten to the regional stage of the competition.
The STIC is a novel entrepreneurship development programme of the NDCMB and implemented by Enactus Nigeria, intended to challenge all students of accredited Nigerian tertiary institutions to apply science, technology and innovation to find home-grown solutions to everyday problems across all sectors of the economy.
The programme, according to the organisers, will challenge the next generation of Nigerians to think of innovative ways to apply science and technology to solve the deep problems experienced in every sector of the Nigerian economy.
Winners of the competition will not only get prizes but will gain exposure to industry experts who will mentor them to scale their innovation into business ideas that will remain profitable while providing more jobs and creating wealth.
The blockchain brings new financing options to the business market. For example, Bitcoin Cash casino has adapted to only using cryptocurrency. This way, it makes it easier for their customers to deposit and withdraw in a BCH casino. Entrepreneurs have taken note of this and are looking to invest more in crypto than in fiat markets.
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