FG’s School Feeding Programme Generating Concern Among Benue Beneficiaries
The Federal Government’s initiated homegrown school feeding programme in Benue State appears to be generating concerns again.
It will be recalled that big pen was wielded against the former focal person in the state for the poor coordination of the programme as many things went wrong and the laudable programme had actually started taking a plunge in the state, when the governor sacked him.
This week, many food vendors took protest to Government House, Makurdi, signposting a new trouble as over 300, 000 pupils and many vendors have allegedly been removed from the feeding programme.
On the heels of the protest, some uninformed and illiterate food vendors operating in rural primary schools have been circulating rumours of mass sack hitting them.
In other quarters, it is bandied with that all the old food vendors in the state have been dropped and new ones who are in the good book of the wife of the state governor, Eunice Ortom, are allegedly being secretly recruited. Those who orchestrate this allegation seem to be of the opposition APC stock in the state.
While tension and panic take over the food vendors over the confused atmosphere, information from the official quarters, National Social Investment Programme/Office of the state Focal Person appears not to be diffusing the tension
An online investigation however, revealed that what is happening in the Homegrown School Feeding Programme is not unconnected with the officials of the National Statistics Office, Abuja, who recently toured primary schools in Benue to ascertain vital statistics of the schools in the scheme.
According to the source, Abuja office of the statistics has released the list of the schools toured.
In the list, many primary schools’ names were either blacklisted, omitted or downrightly expunged from the scheme.
In Oju LGA for instance, over 115 primary schools were previously enlisted in the scheme but after the visit of the officials of the National statistics, the schools have been reduced to only 90.
According to a source in the office of the state focal person, desk officers would forward the list of omitted schools up for transmission to Abuja for correction.
The earlier the correction of the error, the better for the scheme and the Buhari administration.
Or it is as good as kissing the laudable scheme bye and the good image of the government of the day will be in shreds. God forbid bad thing!
Zenith Bank Boss, Onyeagwu Bags UNN Doctorate Degree in Business Administration
The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, was on Saturday, March 25, 2023, conferred with a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The award, which is in recognition of his immense achievements as Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank as well as his contributions to the growth of the financial services sector in Nigeria and across the African continent, was conferred on him during the 50th convocation ceremony of the University.
Speaking during the conferment ceremony, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Prof.Charles Igwe, congratulated Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu for distinguishing himself in his career and for his service to humanity, which made him worthy to receive the prestigious Doctorate Degree from Nigeria’s first indigenous University.
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu expressed his gratitude to the University of Nigeria for finding him a worthy recipient of the Doctorate Degree in Business Administration of one of the leading universities in Nigeria, considering the very rigorous process of selection of awardees by the institution. In his words, “for me to have been considered and to have passed through the meticulous selection process makes it the more dignifying because I have no connection with the University.”
Noting that the award represents a validation of the outstanding corporate governance, ethical leadership, and overall outstanding performance that Zenith Bank is recording, Dr. Onyeagwu dedicated the award to the board and management of Zenith, especially the Founder and Chairman, Dr. Jim Ovia, CFR, who has remained a mentor, a leader and a source of inspiration to everyone at the Bank and beyond; the staff, for being the shoulder and proverbial base of the pyramid upon which his achievements and success as CEO of the leading financial institution in Nigeria rests; the Bank’s customers for their unflinching loyalty to the brand; and to his family for their unceasing love and support.
Presenting the citation of Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu to the assemblage at the 50th Convocation Ceremony for the conferment of the Doctorate Degree in Business Administration, the orator of the University of Nigeria, Dr. Ikenna Onwuegbuna noted that Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu is an alumnus of Auchi Polytechnic, the University of Oxford, England and Salford Business School, University of Salford, Manchester, United Kingdom, Delta State University, Abraka. Also, he is an alumnus of Wharton Business School of the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Business School of Columbia University, and the Harvard Business School of Harvard University in the United States.
Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu is a Fellow (FCA) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), the Institute of Credit Administrators (ICA) and Senior Associate Member, Risk Management Institute of Nigeria (RIMAN).
Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu is the Chairman of the Body of Banks’ Chief Executive Officers, Nigeria and Chairman of Zenith Pensions Custodian Limited and Zenith Nominees Limited. He is also on the Board of Zenith Bank (UK) Limited, FMDQ Holdings Plc and Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF). Ebenezer Onyeagwu is a member of the International Monetary Conference (IMC), the Wall Street Journal CEO Council, member of the African Trade Gateway Advisory Council of the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), and member of the Governing Council of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN). He also served on the board of Zenith Bank Ghana Limited, Zenith General Insurance, Zenith Securities Limited, Zenith Assets Management Company, Zenith Medicare Limited, and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).
Dr. Onyeagwu’s track record of excellence has also seen him win several individual awards, including being named Bank CEO of the Year (2019) by Champion Newspaper, Bank CEO of the Year (2020, 2021 & 2022) by BusinessDay Newspaper, CEO of the Year (2020 and 2021) – SERAS Awards, and CEO of the Year (2022) – Leadership Newspaper.
Other recipients of Doctorate Degrees at the 50th convocation ceremony include former Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was conferred with the Doctor of Public Administration, and the Chairman of Hobark International Limited, Dr. Obiora Fubara, who received the Doctor of Business Administrat ion. A retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Mary Odili, was conferred with the Doctor of Law; however, her conferment was deferred to a later date because she was unavoidably absent at the ceremony.
FG, World Bank Earmark $200m to Train Technical Teachers on Innovative Skills
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The Federal Government and the World Bank will spend a whopping $200 million to improve the knowledge of teachers in the federal technical colleges in the country with the 21st century skills that will digitalise the students.
While the whole $200 million is earmarked for Innovation Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) project, about $30 million will be used to train teachers from technical schools to enable them equip the students with the adequate digital skills.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr.Andrew David Adejo who was represented by the Director of Technology and Science Education, Mrs. Grace Jakko said this while declaring open a workshop on the development of a Structure for the in-service training of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) teachers and instructors on Wednesday in Abuja.
Adejo said there is the utmost importance to strengthen the technical schools with the aim to increase the availability of competent and motivated technical teachers and instructors.
He explained that the workshop come on the heels of the realisation that the 21st century presents a radically different economy and society, which is having profound implications generally on education and more specifically on skills development in Technical and Vocational Education.
The Permanent Secretary said that the skills development system in Nigeria must therefore, adapt to the emerging trends of globalisation for economic viability especially in our relevant skills for the formal and informal sectors of the economy.
“All the federal technical teachers in the 27 technical schools across the federation will be trained and captured in this component and the five states that are participating in the IDEAS project, each of the state has three technical colleges and all the teachers in these technical colleges will be captured.
“I’m very certain that we except so much from the teachers, the administrators and the project’s implementors,” she said.
National Project Coordinator, Innovation Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) Project, Blessing Ehi Ogwu said the purpose of the project is to development a comprehensive structure for training technical teachers in Nigeria.
Mrs Ogwu expressed confidence that collective knowledge and expertise of the participants will help create a framework that can effectively prepare technical teachers to meet the challenges of the future.
She also disclosed that they target to equip about 5000 people with technical skills to meet up with the market demand, adding that technical education plays a crucial role in shaping the future of our society
According to her, it’s imperative that we have well-trained teachers who can effectively impart technical knowledge to our students.
However, she noted that designing an effective training program for technical teachers is not an easy task, saying it requires careful planning, coordination and collaboration among various stakeholders.
On her part, a World Bank consultant, Dr Mistura Rufai, disclosed that the entire IDEAS Project is about $200 million and that teachers training is one of the components of that project with about $25 million to $30 million will be spent on training teachers in Nigeria.
Dr Rufai however said though the teachers training has not started but they want to put in place some structure to ensure that when they start, they kickoff the training this year.
The project is for TVET teachers in Nigeria wether it’s being implemented in the state or not, it’s going to cover all the six geopolitical zones, all the states in the country.
“Already we have 38 technical colleges that have been equipped with workshops across the country this is one of the things we are going to leverage on.
“These schools are going to be used as training centres for teachers, we are also looking at boosting the capacity of tertiary institutions that are already providing training for teachers, look at how we can up skill and digitalize their training. There is also plan to up skilled these tertiary institutions providing training to teachers.
“We work with the institution to ensure that the equipment they are getting are 21st century equipment that are market relevant.”
The World Bank consultant said that they wanted the teachers to be trained with the skill demand in the market so that when the students graduatee with their skills for them to be market relevant and provide the skills that the market wants.”
Ben Akpan, a facilitator at the workshop, said the essence of the world bank is to enable the federal government to take ownership of the project so they would have acquired the know-how and continue the project.
FG Lauds NYSC At 50 and Inaugurates Anniversary Committee.
By Evelyn Terseer – Abuja
The Federal Government has lauded the immense roles of the National Youth Service Corps since inception till date, in the areas of socio-economic and political development of the country.
It said the Scheme which was established on the 22nd of May, 1973, is indeed the leading light of youth organisations in Africa.
The Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare stated this today in Abuja, while inaugurating a 22-member Inter-Ministerial Committee on the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Scheme.
He said NYSC must be celebrated for its remarkable achievements adding that; “the economic empowerment of Corps Members through entrepreneurship training initiative has brought to light, the capacity of the NYSC as an organisation that is responsive to contemporary national needs.
It is gratifying to note that the Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme of the Scheme is stirring the interest of Corps Members for self-employment and wealth creation.
The Scheme must be celebrated for its remarkable achievements in the promotion of national unity and integration, development of education, healthcare delivery, as well as social and infrastructural development, through its primary assignment and community development services”.
In a statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, the Minister stated further that the Federal Government recognizes NYSC achievements and decide to mark the Scheme’s milestone on what it has achieved over the past fifty years as a form of recognition.
While charging Members of the committee to work assiduously on the terms of reference, he assured them of government’s support.
The Chairman, NYSC National Governing Board, Ambassador Fatima Balla Abubakar commended the Minister for supporting the Scheme at all times.
In his remarks, the NYSC Director General, Brigadier General YD Ahmed said worthy of commendation is the positive roles of successive batches of Corps Members in the credible conduct of elections in the country, and their participation in other programmes like population census, immunisation exercise, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, fight against corona virus among others.
The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi in his response promised the readiness of all members of the committee to deliver its mandate as expected.
During the programme, a minute silence was observed in memory of Corps Member Oreoluwa Aina that died in the Lagos train/bus accident last week.
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