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Benue Govt Abandoned Foreign Exchange Programme Due to N3mn Bursary – DG BEQA

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi

The Director-General, Benue State Education Quality Assurance Agency, BEQA, Dr. Terna Francis, on Thursday, said the administration of Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia is at the verge of reviving the state foreign exchange programme that was abandoned by previous administrations.

Dr. Terna, who said the foreign exchange program that had provided Benue citizens with opportunity to study abroad in the past, was abandoned due to the inability of the government to pay three million naira for those who secured foreign scholarships.
The DG who disclosed while speaking with journalists in his office in Makurdi, said he had already sent a memo to the State government to reintroduce the program in order to add value to the educational system in the state.
”We want to revive the foreign exchange program which was stopped because of just 3 million naira. I have already made a memo to the State government to reintroduce the program.We have some of these people who have benefited from this foreign exchange programme presently working with the state government. Some of them are in government house working while others are in other MDAs working and adding value to what we are doing”,Dr. Terna maintained. He however expressed dismay over the poor quality of education system in the State, saying there is a big mess in the quality of teaching and learning in schools across the State. “It was for this reason that the Governor Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia established this agency with the mandate to document, control and check the quality of learning in the basic and post basic education sector.”We met a mess in the education sector and we are now doing a clean up exercise . Several schools in the State have structural defects. People convert their two (2)bedroom flats into school.”The teachers are just secondary school leavers. Someone who just finished SS3 is giving a teaching job to teach SS3 physics.”Just imagine, a proprietor chokes students in a poultry farm. This is unacceptable and we are going to close the school down. Education is just for profiteering without quality.”We have been doing our best to clean up the mess. The agency is a bureau directly answerable to the Governor. Quality Assurance that means the department of Quality assurance in the Ministry of Education is directly under the agency.”It is a systemic thing. 32,000 is the fee for WAEC. But before now, the students were paying over 50,000 or more as WAEC fees.”We have called for recertification and gathering of data about quality of teachers and paying of annual renewal fees. We sent out our evaluators to confirm the data schools give to us.”I have visited over 300 schools in the State. We have warned school proprietors and proprietresses to put things in place or have their schools sealed. We are not compromising on standard and quality no matter who is involved. We are not backing down. We have the political backing.”It will amaze you to know that 2016 was the last time the examination board conducted BECE without issuing certificates.”You can imagine that a school in Makurdi is using the British curriculum and operating a semester kind of education. The students are made to pay 550,000 as fees.”We have tried to reduce bureaucracy in the establishment of schools before now, which takes up to a year, but now, it takes just a few months to get a provisional approval to establish a school.

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Rivers Assembly Screens, Confirms Eight Commissioner Designates

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The Victor Oko-Jumbo-led faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly, on Tuesday screened and confirmed eight nominees for possible appointment as commissioners in the state.

Reports says that the screening took place at the temporary legislative chambers located within the state Government House.

The Oko-Jumbo-led three-member legislature is loyal to the state Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

The commissioner designates are to fill some of the vacancies created by the recent resignation of nine commissioners loyal to the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike.

During the sitting, Oko-Jumbo read the correspondence from the governor, requesting the screening and confirmation of the nominees.

He expressed the assembly’s commitment towards supporting the governor to provide democracy dividends to Rivers people.

The factional speaker said that the screening was part of the assembly’s responsibility in the governance of the state

Responding, the House Leader, Mr Sokari Good-boy and Deputy Speaker, Adolphus Timothy, unanimously adopted the request.

They said that most of the nominees had previously served the state at various capacities without blemish.

The commissioner designates include, Mr Charles Bakee, Mr Collins Onunwo, Dr Peter Medee and Mr Elloka Amadi,

Others are, Mr Basoene Benibo, Mr Sydney Gbara, Dr Ovy Chukwuma and Mr Solomon Eke.(NAN)

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Police Arrest Suspect for Allegedly Defrauding Thai Citizen of $216,000, N30m

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Police in Lagos State have arrested a suspect, Chimereze Chinedu, for allegedly defrauding a citizen of Thailand of $216,000 (₦317,725,271) and N30 million.

Police spokesman in the state, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest in a post he shared on his X (formerly Twitter) handle @benHundeyin on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect was arrested by detectives of the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID).

“Chinedu defrauded his victim under the pretense of selling 37 tricycles to her.

“He further expanded his fraudulent activity by forging letters of SCID, Lagos, showing that the tricycles were seized by the police and further extorted N30 million from the victim to purportedly secure the release of the tricycles,” he said.

The image maker said that the suspect was arrested on May 10 in Enugu State following weeks of diligent investigation and technical support from the International Criminal Police Organization, (INTERPOL)

The spokesman said that the suspect was currently in detention, as investigations continued to uncover details towards identifying and apprehending his accomplices.

According to Hundeyin, the Lagos State Command remains steadfast in its commitment to combating internet fraud and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice. (NAN)

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Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers not Proven Effective, Says UNODC

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that the move by the Nigerian Senate to impose death penalty for drug trafficking offenders would not yield the desired result.

UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, said this at a two-day Media Personnel Training organised in collaboration with NDLEA and other partners on Tuesday in Abuja.

Reports says that the training is centered on Anti -Corruption, Police Accountability, Wildlife Crime and Sensitisation on Drugs Prevention, Treatment and Care, (DPTC).

“Our stance as UN is clear on the death penalty we are principally and categorically against it. And from a very practical viewpoint, I have to say, it doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Stolpe maintained that the UN had always advocated for clear distinction between crimes of drug trafficking as opposed to the issue of drug use.

He said that it was always considered primarily to be a health issue saying that it should be dealt with as such.

According to him, addiction is a health condition, it is not a choice.”

On the need for an updated drug data for Nigerians, Stolpe observed that the current national drug survey for Nigeria was last done six years ago, (2018), and therefore does not reflect the current situation for Nigeria.

He said “the drug use survey of 2018 remains as far as I can tell the most cited study in the media.

“This data is outdated and I think a very critical question that media could ask at that point is really well, how can we still refer to 2018 data to describe today’s levels of drug use?

Stolpe enjoined the media to keep the good work while ensuring that information were disseminated efficiently and effectively. NAN)

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