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Non-Teaching Workers of Universities Suspend Strike

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NASU strike

By Ahmed Rahma

The leadership of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of non-teaching staff unions of universities has announced the suspension of its three-week-old strike with effect from midnight of Friday, February 26.

The General Secretary of the Non-Academic Staff Union of the Universities (NASU), Mr Peters Adeyemi, confirmed this development while addressing newsmen at the end of a conciliatory meeting with the federal government on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr Adeyemi said the union agreed to suspend the national strike after extracting some concessions from the national government that had to do with the grievances it presented.

“We have eight items which we negotiated and which form the basis for our ongoing national strike in the universities.

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“We have held the meeting with the government side and those areas that needed to be harmonised have been done to the satisfaction of both parties and resulting from that development.

“We have agreed that the ongoing national strike in universities and inter universities centres should be suspended with effect from 12 midnight, Friday, February 26, 2021.

“We use this opportunity to appreciate our members for their commitment to this struggles, this strike is hereby suspended,” he said.

Mr Adeyemi stated that the unions would continue to monitor the agreements that had been reached that had a timeline and hoped that the government would implement its own side of the bargain.

According to him, if the government doesn’t, they will call their members to resume the suspended strike, but for now, the strike is suspended.

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Earlier, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige, said the meeting was very fruitful as all the rough edges arising from the former negotiations had been smoothened.

“Today’s deliberations have been very fruitful; we have also issued a conciliation document called Joint Action Memorandum of Action (MoA), and the two unions will get back to their members today and in good faith.

“So, we keep our fingers crossed, believing that their communications with their union members will be as quick and swift as they have promised us.

“This is more so, as the government is desirous that normal activities should return to the University system so that we can take the action one after the other.

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“Also with the normalcy restored in the university system, we intend to do the visitation panel which is one of the agreements reached with them and which cannot be carried out without normalcy in the university system,” Mr Ngige said.

JAC non-teaching staff comprises the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and NASU.

The unions demand included rectifying inconsistencies in the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS), non-payment of arrears of minimum wage, delay in renegotiation with government, NASU and SSANU 2009 agreement, among others.

Ahmed Rahma is a journalist with great interest in arts and craft. She is also a foodie who loves new ideas. She loves to travel and would love to visit other African countries someday. She is a sucker for historical movies and afrobeat.

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Education

FG Approves Agric Institute in Nasarawa

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Nasarawa State map

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has approved the establishment of the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute in Nasarawa State to boost industrialisation in the Northern state.

This disclosure was made by Governor Abdullahi Sule in Lafia on Saturday at the opening ceremony of the Lafia City Mall, a subsidiary of Wave Mart Group of Companies.

Mr Sule said the agric institute would be located in Lafia as a step forward in terms of industrialising the state, adding that it also indicated the readiness of the state to maximize the diverse opportunities in the agriculture sector especially agriculture mechanization.

“We are ready here in Lafia. Lafia is attracting a lot in the area of agriculture industrialization. I am very happy.

“In fact, I woke up this morning extremely happy because last night, I receive the approval from Mr President for the setting up of the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute right here in Lafia.

“I want to use this opportunity to extend my greatest appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari. Just a few weeks ago, we realized that there are going to be about three or four institutes that are about to be established.

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“I now wrote for the establishment of the institute in the state and just yesterday, Mr President approved it and we are going to establish that institute right here in Lafia,” he said.

Mr Sule added that aside from the institute, the state government had also recently signed an agreement with the Gurku-Kabusu community in the Karu local government area of the state for the commencement of an industrial zone on 13,000 hectares of land in the area.

He explained that the choice of the area was due to its close proximity to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, which thereby offers a huge market potential to the investor in the zone.

He said that it also made the business initiative beneficial to the state, the industrialists and the host community.

“Today, we concluded by signing with the people. Gurku-Kabusu is just five kilometres from Maitama. With that type of opportunity that we have, that will be mutually beneficial to the state, the community and the industrialists, we are ready now for industrialization in that area,” he said.

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The governor also revealed that in line with his policy to engage youths in skills acquisition, an institute for skill acquisition has been completed with equipment being procured for the various skill offices in the centre.

He then thanked Wave Mart Group of Companies for setting up the mall, adding that other investors who indicate interest to invest in the state would have no regrets.

“I want to thank you, the CEO of Wave Mart Group for your continuous belief and trust in Nasarawa state and I want to thank you also for giving us the opportunity to prove to the world that Nasarawa state is set for investment.

“Any investor that is interested, that is coming to Nasarawa state, there is no better time to come than now,” he said.

In his address, Mr Emmanuel Umoru, Chairman of Wave Mart Group of Companies, said the Lafia City Mall was not the first but the third investment of the group in the state.

He said given the investments and the years spent investing in the state, he has been able to convince other investors to come for themselves and inspect the security situation with the option of also investing in the state.

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Mr Umoru then disclosed that the Lafia City Mall which so far has gulped about N678 million would employ more than a hundred staff with most of the staff been indigenes of the state.

“The reason for establishing this kind of facility is not just for making money but to give employment to our teeming youths.

“This is a state we have invested in for almost about seven years now and to the glory of God, we have no reason to regret. On this note, I make bold to say that we shall come again. We appreciate your drive for investment in the state,” he said.

On his part, the Emir of Lafia, Sidi Bage appreciated the private sector drive of the governor and also lauded the Wave Mart Group of Companies for choosing Lafia to locate their investment.

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Education

PMI Begins Free Online Course on Project Execution

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PMI Free Online Course

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Individuals willing to have knowledge of best practices and tools needed to effectively manage projects from ideation to execution can now register for a free online course introduced by Project Management Institute (PMI).

PMI is the world’s leading association for project professionals and changemakers and through its KICKOFF programme, it hopes to equip participants with the best global practices in the field.

Much of the working world revolves around projects, which have become more complex than ever due to global Megatrends, including COVID-19, climate change, and more.

The need for changemakers, regardless of industry or position level, to be well-versed in the principles of project management in order to help drive results, has never been greater.

KICKOFF is the ideal solution for those who are new to doing project-based work and would benefit from learning project managements skills to help successfully navigate the process from idea to launch and execution.

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The course is packed with digestible content, downloadable templates, a glossary of key terms, and thoughtful questions to ask to help anyone kick off any project at any time.

According to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession® report, an estimated 11.4 per cent of all investment into projects currently goes to waste due to poor project performance and an inability to nimbly adapt and execute in our rapidly changing world.

Introducing changemakers to project management strategies and tools enables single learners and entire teams to have the framework in place to adapt quickly and efficiently to help reduce wasted time and investment.

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KICKOFF is the free, go-to resource for those looking to quickly learn the basics of effective and strategic project management to complete projects on time and within budget.

“KICKOFF is an easily deployable resource to ensure all employees and team members have the foundational skills to seamlessly collaborate and work smarter,” said George Asamani, the Business Development Lead for Africa at PMI.

“KICKOFF arms everyone from first-time project team members to C-Suite executives with the knowledge to kick start a project at any time to help drive results and deliver value,” he added.

No two projects are the same, so KICKOFF uses a guided questionnaire to tailor the learning experience based on the best project management approach for the needs of the project.

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Learners are presented with a series of short modules that can be completed in sequence or in any order. The modules include bite-sized content focused on the fundamentals, and templates to be downloaded or distributed for immediate use.

Accessible to anyone from their laptop, phone, or tablet, KICKOFF can be completed in just 45 minutes, and is available in five languages: English, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, and French.

Following completion of the KICKOFF course, learners will receive a badge to share on their professional social media profiles to show their peers and company that they have the foundational skills to successfully lead any project.

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Education

Oyo: FG Feeds 209,123 Pupils in 2,448 Public Primary Schools

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Public Primary Schools feeding programme

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) is already having a positive impact in Oyo State as the scheme has benefited not less than 209,123 pupils drawn from 2,448 public primary schools.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Mrs Christiana Abioye, while speaking at an event organised for 66 trained personnel from the state, noted that the initiative has ensured more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable populations.

According to her, the programme has helped the vulnerable population to have improved and sustainable living conditions, with an increase in the economic growth of the state.

In view of this, the Oyo State government has praised the federal government for coming up with the scheme, noting that it was attracting more children to schools.

In a statement issued by the Ministry’s Media Officer, Temilola Akarah, it was disclosed that the training exercise was for independent monitors, who were selected across the 33 local government areas for timely reports of the scheme. They were also given engagement letters and tablets.

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Mrs Abioye, who reiterated that the scheme was a right step in the right direction, noted that the federal government social investment programme was in line with the poverty alleviation programme of the state Governor, Mr Seyi Makinde.

“This administrative believes in quality education, good health and adequate security as well as the thriving economy which are in tandem with the aims and objectives of the federal government, NSIP,” she said.

The Perm Sec, however, appealed to the federal government to expand the social investment programme in view of the increasing population in the state.

The Minister, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, said the 66 youths had earlier been trained on the assignment.

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Represented by the Assistant Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, in the Ministry, Mrs Jumai Abdu-Ali, the Minister added that a re-training on the application of the social investment management information system (SIMIS) became imperative for effective service delivery.

“The application allows the Ministry to have visibility up to the local government level which will guide us at the federal level to ensure that the programme is working in line with their objectives which will essentially help us to deliver on our mandate and contribute to Mr President’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty,” she said.

Hajia Farouk said the sum of N30,000 would be paid as a stipend to the participants while the contract would last for one year.

The Minister who said 4,452 applicants were shortlisted out of 5,000 applicants Nationwide, stressed the need for the participants to handle the task given them diligently.

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In their separate goodwill messages, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on Disability Matters, Barrister Ayodele Adekanmbi and the State Director, National Orientation Agency, Oyo State, Mrs Folake Ayoola commended the efforts of the Federal government and urged the independent monitors to carry out the assignment with the heart of sincerity and use the gadgets for the purpose meant for.

Also, two of the participants, Mr Olayinka Babarinde and Mrs Jumoke Ismail lauded the programme and appealed to the federal government to sustain the scheme, so as to enable them to plan their future through the stipends that would be given to them.

The independent monitoring officials are to undertake periodic reports on the performance of all federal government programmes in their respective local governments in Oyo State.

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