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NCDMB Boss Canvasses Support for NASENI.

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From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, has called for appropriate level of support for the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) in its efforts to achieve institutional objectives vital to national development.

NASENI, according to the NCDMB boss, has as key mandate the promotion of “research and development in the areas of science, engineering, and technology” as well as “nurturing an appropriate and dynamic science and engineering infrastructure base for achieving home-initiated and home-sustained industrialization for Nigeria.

”Engr.

Wabote was speaking on Tuesday as Chairman at the opening of a NASENI-sponsored Skill Acquisition Training and Youth Empowerment programme themed “Modern Methods of Electrical Installations and Maintenance.” He noted that technical skills such as “electrical installations and maintenance are critical to the industrialization of a nation” and that they are “in high demand in the oil and gas industry and other sectors of the economy.”

While commending NASENI for such training programmes, given their potential to significantly address the challenge of unemployment in a country with a huge youth population, he said collaboration is most desirable among “Government agencies such as the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Petroleum Training Institute  (PTI), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF)” and several others. He was, however, emphatic that initiatives of the sort must be thought through, end-to-end, to achieve the objectives, citing the decay and abandonment of some 2,000 vocational training centres in three states of the Niger Delta as an example of poor planning.

According to him, “With the enormous challenges at hand, NCDMB welcomes all initiatives to tackle the issues from all angles insofar as the end results are clearly thought out so that we are not just training for the sake of it.”  He drew the attention of the NASENI Management to NCDMB’s Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGaPS), stating that it is “one of the means to utilize the capacities being developed via trainings such as this.”

He also highlighted the fact that NASENI’s mandate “closely aligns with that of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, whose mandate is to develop local capacities and capabilities across the oil and gas value chain.”     “To date,” the NCDMB boss continued, “we have delivered over 13 million training manhours and continue to carry out targeted interventions in our secondary schools, vocational institutions, and universities,” pointing out that “Nigeria is leading Africa in terms of human capacity development in the oil and gas industry.”

The Special Guest of Honour at the event, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, immediate past President of Nigeria, corroborated the facts reeled out by the NCDMB boss on the spectacular performance of the Board and stated that his invitation by Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote to chair the occasion was based on that awareness.

The former President, who has the credit for signing the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, 2010, into law, expressed his desire to see the two agencies collaborate closely to advance the nation’s developmental aspirations. He admonished the trainees to make the best use of the skills imparted as well as the start-up packs provided, while urging NCDMB and NASENI to work hard so they could “establish an excellent vocational training/resource centre in Bayelsa State.”

The Chief Host, Governor Douye Diri, represented by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, thanked NASENI for organising a training in critical skill areas in the State, while expressing his expectation that human capacity development programmes “should be deliberate and well-articulated.”

According to him, “ad hoc measures address emergencies,” and would be inappropriate for the type of objectives that agencies like NASENI seek to achieve. “Half measures cannot give a full result,” he added.The Governor challenged the trainees to take advantage of the training programme and develop the capacity for self-improvement and self-employment.

He advised against the common tendencies of trainees to sell off start-up packs, pointing out that “A wise man plants his seed” while a fool dispenses with his for immediate gratification.

Earlier in her welcome address, the Acting Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of NASENI, Mrs. Nonyem Onyechi, thanked the former President, Dr. Jonathan, for returning the agency to The Presidency and thus freeing it from civil service bureaucracy. She said NASENI now “operates optimally.” According to her the ongoing five-day training, which has 100 youths from the three senatorial districts of Bayelsa State participating, is the second in the South South.

The training, she empasised, is to prepare Nigeria and her population for the next phase of the Industrial Revolution in which the technologies are those of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, autonomous vehicles, 5G and the like.The training programme, which started on 9 May, comes to an end on 13 May. 

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CRIME

Emirship: Kano Police Command Assures Adequate Security

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The Police Command in Kano State on Monday assured the people of Kano State of adequate security in the face of the tussle over the Emirship seat.

Its Commissioner, Mr Usaini Gumel, gave the assurance during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano.

“We are battle ready to deal with any person or group of people tampering with the peaceful atmosphere our state is known for.

“We have the ability and capacity to provide required security measures in our areas of supervision, ’’ he told NAN.

He warned individuals, who intend to bring thugs into Kano from other parts of the country, to have a rethink, saying that the command would deal decisively with the situation.

He reminded the public that the Constitution of Nigeria was clear about the responsibility of the police in providing internal security for Nigerians.

“The police will not condone any act that can lead to chaos or violence in Kano State.

“Adequate security personnel have been deployed to arrest anyone who attempts to disrupt the peace or break the law in the state,’’ Gumel said.

He reminded the residents of the state that no one was permitted to carry dangerous weapons around the Emir’s palace and Nasarawa, the Emir’s residence.

“Rigorous stop-and-search and patrols are being conducted across all parts of the dissolved five Emirates,’’ he said.

He urged residents to provide credible information to assist the police to respond swiftly to any situation that could breach peace in the state. (NAN)

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Education

UniAbuja Internal Council Voices Concern Over VC’s Election Plans

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The University of Abuja’s internal governing council has expressed concern over an alleged plan by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Rasheed Na’Allah to conduct an election of the council against the University laws.

The council therefore, said it has taken a legal action against the Vice Chancellor to get clarification.

It would be recalled that President Bola Tinubu’s administration had in June 2023 dissolved all the governing councils in federal universities in the country.

However, the federal government, few days ago announced the constitution of council members of Federal tertiary institutions.

Following the announcement, the University of Abuja’s Internal Governing Council has intensified its stance, asserting that the planned election of new internal members violates established laws of the University.

The University, unlike other Federal Universities in Nigeria operates under a governance framework comprising both external and internal governing council members. 

While the external council members typically consist of individuals appointed by the federal government, the internal governing council members are typically drawn from within the university community, including faculty members, administrative staff, and student representatives through an election.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference in Abuja, a member of the internal Council of the University, Pof. Edmund J.C Nwana blamed the vice Chancellor for planning an election while their tenure has not expired 

“We were elected 12th of July 2022, there was a contest in senate and we emerged winners. We were subsequently inaugurated on the 15th of July 2021 for a four year term.

“When the new administration came on board, we were about council assignments until we got information that Council was suspended.

“So, we waited thinking it will be resolved in may be another week, but it has lingered for now almost going into a year. 

“As we were watching and listening to know what next government wants to do, the rumours started flying and they are quite serious that our administration here, lead by the Vice Chancellor was planning to call for another election on his own understanding that Council has gone.

“So, we got wind of it and decided that, we don’t have time for any physical engagement or argument so we decided to seek the interpretation of the law, because it is in the art of the University of Abuja.

“So, we sought a legal explanation through the Federal High Court in Abuja a few days ago. So that’s where we are today, he has been served notice of a case that is pending,” he added.

According to him, other federal universities where tenures are not ended for internal council members, the Institutions are not going about hitting up the polity, but the members are going to return and complete their tenures.

Also speaking, Barrister Maxwell Opara, a council to the members urged the VC not to hand himself out as somebody who doesn’t obey the rule of law. 

“So, we are calling on the Minister of education, executive secretary of NUC, the Anthoney General of the Federation and the president to call the VC to order. 

Contributing, the Chairman of ASUU, University of Abuja branch, Dr. Sylvanus Ugoh said it is fully behind the council members for the right thing to be done.

“Our internal council members here in university of Abuja got the wind that the University administration led by the Vice Chancellor are planning seriously to conduct another council election, which we know is not in accordance with the law.

“Internal council members were elected for a tenure of four years and they have not exhausted the four years and because of what the University administration is doing, the members went to court to seek interpretation and ASUU being a union of intellectuals, we come to be in solidarity with our members because we respect the rule of law and want them to pursue it.”

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NEWS

FG Postpones Inauguration of Vasities’ Governing Council 

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The Federal Governmanet has  announced the postponement of the inauguration and retreat for Pro-Chancellors, Chairmen and Members of Governing Councils of federal tertiary institutions.

This is contained in a statement in Abuja on Monday by the Director, Press and Public Relations in the Ministry  of Education, Mrs Folasade Boriowo.

Reports says that the federal government had earlier announced the constitution of the governing councils while their inauguration was also scheduled for Thursday and  Friday.

Boriowo said the postponement was as a result of the Presidential directive, as conveyed by the State House Press Release dated May 23, for a comprehensive review of the membership of the governing councils.

“We regret any inconveniences this may cause. Further updates will be communicated in due course,” she said. (NAN)

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