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Education Sector: FG Invests N1.3trl in Four Years

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As CBN plans support for Diagnostic Centres

By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, reiterated his administration’s commitment to providing quality of education in the country.

The President gave the assurance when he inaugurated the newly completed Post-Graduate Centre of Excellence at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, constructed and donated to the school by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Before unveiling the commemorative plaque to formally inaugurate the edifice that sits on a total floor area of 34,102.81sqm, President Buhari said the construction of the project was a testimony to his administration’s effort at supporting qualitative learning from the primary through to the tertiary level. According to him, his administration, in the past four years, had invested about N1.3 trillion in the educational sector of the country, excluding personnel and overhead costs.

The President assured that his administration, in its second term, in spite of funding challenges, will continue to accord education priority by ensuring adequate funding for the sector to make it affordable, qualitative and competitive with what was obtainable in more developed countries.

While lauding the vision of the late Sarduana of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello in establishing the university, he commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for supporting the Federal Government’s investments in the educational sector as well as other keys areas of the economy tied to overall national development, he urged the Bank to sustain such funding support for research and overall economic development.

Welcoming the President to the complex earlier, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele said the Bank’s involvement in the funding and infrastructural support in the educational sector was borne out of the conviction that an educated workforce played a critical role in the advancement of the Nigerian economy and the society in general.

He said the Bank’s analysis of the factors responsible for the growth of successful economies, indicated that investment in education played a prominent role in driving innovation and growth in advanced and emerging economies, while also contributing to significant reductions in inequality. Hence, he said the CBN, being a knowledge-driven organization, had to ensure the sustenance of improvements in institutions of higher learning across the country.

The Centre of Excellence, according to the apex bank boss, was also designed to accommodate the Central Bank of Nigeria Collaborative Postgraduate Programme (CBN-CPP), which he described as a child of necessity in the Bank’s intervention programme in the educational sub-sector. He explained that the project was conceived to produce a critical mass of skilled professionals that will be able to apply their knowledge towards supporting growth and continued innovation in our nation’s financial sector and the economy in general. “This was against the recognition that the dearth of skilled manpower constituted a binding constraint towards making Nigeria the number 1 hub for economic activity in Africa, he added.

He also disclosed that the three first generation federal universities in the country across the six geo-political zones (Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, University of Ibadan (UI), Ibadan and the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka) were selected under the first phase of the intervention programme. He added that the programme was later expanded to cover six other tertiary institutions across Nigeria, which are nearing completion.

He added that the project was mainly to ensure that students at post-graduate levels in Economics, Accounting, Banking and Finance, Business Administration and Statistics study in a serene environment that would stimulate effective learning with a view to building human capacity for the financial services sub-sector.

Emefiele assured that the CBN, working closely with all the participating universities, had taken steps to ensure that this investment yields considerable benefits. Specifically, he said the curricula for the target disciplines had been reviewed and harmonized across board to ensure students are provided with the optimum level of knowledge relative to their peers in other parts of the globe.

“We believe that the Centres of Excellence will help support the government’s efforts towards reducing the incidence of brain drain, and curtail the huge foreign exchange being spent on school fees for Nigerians studying in other countries,” Emefiele said.

While disclosing that the three Centres of Excellence in Zaria, Enugu and Ibadan will commence operation in October 2019, he said the CBN expected the universities to take maximum advantage of the world class facilities provided by the Bank to challenge their counterparts in London, New York and Dubai in the provision of training programmes in banking and finance-related disciplines for the global business community

He also thanked stakeholders in the Federal Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission (NUC), the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and the contractor, Messrs Afdin Nigeria Limited, for their support in completing the project, stressing that such collaborations were necessary for progress.

The Post-Graduate School project, similar to the project inaugurated by President Buhari at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (UNEC) in January 2019, comprises a Faculty building and a block of rooms, as well as a 544-seater auditorium, four lecture and four tutorial rooms, traditional and e-libraries, and a telepresence room.

Meanwhile, the CBN Governor has disclosed plans by the Bank, in the near future, to also provide funding support for the health sector in the country, through the establishment of six diagnostic centres across the geo-political zones of the country.

He said the decision of the Bank to support the health sector was based on the realization that education and health formed the bedrock of development in any society.

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Peter Obi Promises to Change the Country for the Better

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Presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi has asked Nigerians to hold him accountable if a new Nigeria fails to emerge with him as president.

Obi threw the challenge in Abakaliki on Friday at his campaign rally.

He pledged to reform Nigeria back from consumption to production.

The LP candidate assured that the country would be restored when most qualified candidates with character, trust and competence were elected.

He maintained that the 2023 general elections must be based on character and not on or and tribe.

“We will offer you a new Nigeria and also secure and unite the country.

“Let no one deceive you with religion or tell you it is their turn. Just vote people that understand governance.

“I am not contesting as an Igbo man, a south-easterner, but as a Nigerian who is most qualified and competent to revive the country,’’ Obi said.

He commended the people of Ebonyi for their solidarity and support for the Labour Party.

He urged the electorate to vote for Mr Edward Nkwegu, the gubernatorial candidate of LP in Ebonyi to build a better nation.

In his remarks, National Chairman of Labour Party, Mr Julius Abure, appreciated the people of Ebonyi for their show of solidarity, support and commitment to the party.

Abure said the LP would produce most intelligent and credible candidates to fight poverty and insecurity in the country. (NAN)

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Alia Polls 219,009 at  APC Governorship Re-run in Benue 

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From David Torough, Makurdi

Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia has again, won the gubernatorial primary rerun election conducted by the Sen. Bashir Lado led rerun committee. 

Alia polled a total number of 219,002 to defeat 12 other aspirants to emerge winner.

Recall, that the court of appeal sitting in Makurdi while delivering judgement in a case filed by one of the gubernatorial aspirants, Prof.

Terhemba Shija directed the party to conduct a primary re-run election in eleven(11) local government areas of the state.

While announcing the result at the APC Secretariat Makurdi, which also served as the collation Centre for the rerun, Sen. Lado, Chairman of Benue State Rerun Election Committee stated that the primary election rerun which was won by Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Alia was not only free, fair and credible but represented the wishes of  APC members in Benue State.

Chairman of the party in the State, Comrade Augustine Agada while commending APC members in the state for a peaceful primary election, thanked them for their show of maturity during the rerun and termed the results of the election as no victor no vanquish, explaining that the winner in the election is not only Fr. Alia but for the entire Benue APC family.

In a good will message, Amb. Prof. Stephen Ugba who spoke on behalf of party Stakeholders, commended Benue APC for a successful exercise and called on all those who participated in the primary election to see themselves as winners. 

The party immediately after the declaration of results went into a Special Congress to ratify the primary elections. 

The Congress unanimously ratified and adopted Rev. Fr. Dr Hyacinth Alia as the candidate of APC  Benue state for the position of governor.

The Special Congress was attended by members of the State Executive Committee of the party, Critical Stakeholders, teeming members of the APC in Benue state and members of the press.

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Man Slumps, Dies At FCMB Bank In Rivers

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Man has allegedly slumped and died in front of a branch of the First City Monument Bank at Ikwerre Road, Mile 1, Rivers Stateon Tuesday.

The man’s death, according, to a Twitter user, Dokubo, Kenneth Promise #EndSARS, who posted it on his Twitter handle @dokubo_kenneth, was due to frustration resulting from hostile treatment meted out on him by the customer service officials of the bank.

According to the report, the man (whose name was withheld) had been trying to withdraw money but could not, as the bank asked him to do an affidavit in order to have access to his money.

Dokubo further said the victim went with his next of kin to the bank as judicial workers had been on strike, jeopardising any process of swearing an affidavit.

Man dies at @MyFCMB in Port Harcourt due to frustration and unfriendly treatment by the customer service attendants of a bank,” Dokubo tweeted.

 

The man was said to have been vomiting and begging having been in the queue for five hours before he collapsed and died.

“An eyewitness at the scene of the incident disclosed that a man who hails from Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, a customer of (First City Monument Bank) FCMB died in front of the bank.

“He was refused access to his own money since Friday even when he came with his next of kin. He was asked to go to the court to get an affidavit knowing the court is not in session.

“Narrating the event, she added, ‘The man was vomiting and at the same time begging for him to have access to his own money yet he was denied. After he was left unattended to for more than 5 hours, he just died now a few minutes ago at FCMB, Education Bus Stop, Ikwerre Road, Mile 1, she said,’” Dokubo reported on Twitter.

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