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ASUU opposes TETFUND on inclusion of private varsities in projects




The Academic Staff Union of Universities ((ASUU) has kicked against the plan by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to include private universities as beneficiaries of its projects.

ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, made this known at a two-day interactive session between TETFund and all unions of beneficiary institutions in Abuja on Wednesday.

Osodeke said that the move to include private varsities in the fund’s project would lead to proliferation of private universities devoid of quality.

He charges the fund to work more on its project monitoring method saying that the level of performance by the beneficiary institutions are not in tandem as some of them receive the same amount of money.

He called for sanctions against non-performing institutions while also advocating for the abolition of what he referred to as “stakeholders fund”.

“ASUU will continue to embark on strike untill the right thing is done in our tertiary institutions. Stakeholders fund should be abolished,” Osodeke said.

In his address, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, said the interactive session was conceived as a proactive engagement against the backdrop of the prevailing challenges in the subsector.

Echono said that the engagement was also for the purpose of sustaining steady growth and development of tertiary education.

He stressed the need to consistently engage and challenge one another on how best to improve the situation.

“It is our fervent hope that this interactive session will provide an enabling environment for us to understand some of our challenges and difficulties in the delivery of quality education in our institutions.

“Thereby making meaningful contribution to the successful execution of the objective of the fund.

“As you all know our primary mandate is to rehabilitate, restore and consolidate tertiary education in Nigeria, using funding alongside project management.

“The session is also expected to serve as a platform to discuss and mitigate incidences of industrial disputes in the tertiary education sector and look at ways to prevent and avoid their occurrences,” he said.


Echono also explained that the interactive session would bring the opportunity to build and solidify cooperation among the fund, its beneficiary institutions and the unions on matters that affect the growth and development of tertiary education.

“I believe that this interaction will bring up issues of concerns that will not only enable us address the areas of intervention in our institutions.

“It will also espouse gaps and shortcoming that have resulted in strikes and interruptions of academic sessions, with a view to mitigating them,” he said.

He called for urgent need for all stakeholders to unify efforts to reposition our tertiary institutions for the challenges of the times, especially in dealing with strike actions in the institutions.

“Studies have shown a link between poor student performance and industrial strike by unions. The arguments generally are that the quality of teaching and learning will significantly improve when teaching and learning are uninterrupted.

“Furthermore, building world class institutions requires a consistent and regular academic calendar and this is often affected by industrial strikes.

“However, a closer look will also show that many industrial strikes by the unions were for the improvement in teaching and learning conditions for both staff and students.

“It is for these reasons that sessions like this are organised to deliberate and find common grounds on issues of mutual interest and benefits,” he added.

Also, the former President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, who spoke on ‘The Role of Trade Unions in TETFund Intervention Activities”, commended the fund for its commitment to the elevation of university education.

Wabba noted that the NLC had benefitted a great deal from the ideological clarity and consistency of the unions in the tertiary institutions.

“The patriotic and historical resistance of the Congress against the debilitating influence and impact of neo-liberal policies of the successive government in Nigeria drew a lot of inspiration.

” This is as well as drawing verve from the intellectually sound positions advanced by unions in our tertiary institutions,” he said.


Woman killed while crossing road in Anambra




The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Anambra State Sector Command, has confirmed the death of a woman in an accident at Okpoko Market on the Asaba-Onitsha Road.

The Sector Commander, Mr Adeoye Irelewuyi, who confirmed the accident to journalists in Awka on Thursday, said that the woman was hit while she was crossing the road.

He said that the accident, which occurred on Wednesday, involved a commercial tow truck with registration number XA550BMA.

“Eyewitness report reaching us indicates that the truck was towing a vehicle in an uncontrollable speed along the axis.


“The vehicle that was being towed got detached from the tow truck.

“It hit and killed a female adult, who was said to be crossing the road, while the tow truck continued its movement.

“FRSC rescue team came to the scene and took the woman to Toronto Hospital, Onitsha, where she was confirmed dead and her body deposited at the hospital’s mortuary,” he said.

While sympathising with the family of the dead, the sector commander urged motorists, especially tow truck drivers, to exercise a high level of professionalism.

He also urged the drivers to always use standard equipment and avoid speeding.

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LASG’s maize palliative impactful, says poultry association chair





The Chairman, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Lagos State Chapter, Mr Mojeed Iyiola, said the state government’s maize palliative to members of the association made a positive impact on the sector.

Iyiola said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

“We received about 150,000 tons of maize in February from the Lagos State government as palliative to cushion the effect of high feed prices.

“The major benefit of the palliative is that it actually cushioned the cost of production for most poultry farmers in the state.

“The palliative was beneficial as it made the cost of some poultry produce, especially eggs to drop,” Iyiola said.

He noted that prior to the palliative, a crate of egg was sold between N3,500 and N3,700 at the farm gate, but after the palliative, it now sells between N3,200 and N3,400.

According to the PAN chair, retailers and middlemen who sell from N3,800 to N4,200 do that for their personal gain.


“We have urged our members to sell their eggs at reasonable prices following the receipt of the palliative from the government.

“We appreciate the Lagos State government for the palliative but we also urge the federal government to do likewise, to further reduce the cost of production in the sector.

“This will consequently lead to drop in the prices of all poultry produce across board,” he said.

He said the palliative was shared among financial members of the association at no extra cost.

“As an association we shared the grains equally across PAN’s eight zones in the state equally. We also mandated each zone not the sell even a grain of the maize.

“We, however, considered new poultry farmers who wanted to the join the association as beneficiaries of the palliative,” said Iyiola.

He noted that through the palliative, more poultry farmers were recruited into the association.

“The maize was shared only to poultry farmers and not feed millers, it is the major component of poultry feed formulation,” he said.

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