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Out-of-school Children: Ortom Attributes Reduction to UNICEF




Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has attributed the reduction in out-of-school children in the state to efforts of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

Ortom said this when the UNICEF Country Representative, Cristian Munduate, and other staff of the organisation visited Makurdi.

The governor, represented by his deputy, Benson Abounu, said that he could proudly say that the issue of out-of-school children had been tackled.

He said that currently, the state was not experiencing the challenge except for the children who were displaced and were presently taking shelter in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

“Except for the children in IDP camps who are out-of-school, you cannot find any child of school age that is not enrolled in school in the state.

“This is made possible because of our collaboration of UNICEF with the state government.

“UNICEF has done a lot for the people of the state in so many areas of human endeavor. The organisation is not found wanting. It has done her best,” Ortom said.

Earlier, Munduate informed the governor that UNICEF would build a Mother and Child Hospital in Daudu, Guma Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue.

The country representative said that all arrangements had been concluded to execute the project to conclusion in a record time.

She said that the gesture was aimed at assisting the locals to have easy access to quality health care.

Munduate further admonished the people to always seek medical attention whenever they were sick.

The country representative also encouraged them to endeavour to register the birth of their new born babies, stressing that their children need to have birth certificates.

She advised parents to ensure that their children were always immunised with Vitamin A, adding that it was good for the development and growth of children.

Responding, the District Head of Mbawa, Chief Oliver Chado, appreciated UNICEF for her efforts in making life better for them, emphasising that it had done a lot for his community.

Chado appealed to the organisation not to relent in supporting his community rather the support should be sustained. (NAN)


GJF 2024 Democracy Dialogue Calls on African Leaders to Prioritize Education.



Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa

Stakeholders has called on African leaders to prioritize functional education and effective leadership toward achieving growth and development for the African continent.

This was handed down at this year 2024 Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) Democracy Dialogue held in Benin, Edo State capital.

Participants at the dialogue comprised foremost African leaders, academics, development experts, politicians, civil society groups, traditional rulers and students spoke on the need for African leaders to develop innovative educational policies that will help guarantee growth and sustainable development.

According to a press statement by the Communications Officer Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, Wealth Dickson Ominabo and made available to Daily Asset via email said, some of the dignitaries at the event were the former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, former president of Niger, Thomas Boni Yayi, former president of Nigeria and Chairman of Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,   former Vice President of Zambia, Dr Mumba Nevers Sekwila and former vice president of Nigeria, Arch Namadi Sambo.

Others include, governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki,  former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shri Balasubramanian, Director UNDP Sub-regional Hub for West Africa, Njoya Tikum,  Acting Executive Secretary National Universities Commission (NUC), Chris Maiyaki and deputy governors of Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Edo, and  Bauchi.

Chairman of the occasion and former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta in his remarks called on African leaders and policymakers to develop strategies and policies that will set the continent on a winning trajectory.

His words: “As African leaders gathered here today, let us take up this task with the seriousness that it deserves to the leaders of tomorrow.

“As a continent, we must look at our curricula in comparison with the changing global needs and embrace an education system that aims to foster critical thinking, innovation and creativity as this will bolster the continent to immeasurable heights.

“It is our task as leaders of this great continent, to empower our youth with the tools that will shape and prepare them to be great and active participants in the global economy.

“We must therefore intentionally invest in education to ensure inclusivity, diversity and equal opportunity for all our children. This will help foster a conducive environment for innovation and growth.”

Keynote speaker at the dialogue Prof Olubayi Olubayi in his address called on governments around the continent to rethink their educational policies to foster growth and guarantee inclusivity.

He said :  “Each country that wants to succeed must provide education for 80% of its population that is of average ability, but it must also, at the same time, provide education for the other 20% that is exceptionally highly gifted and highly talented. This is the better meaning of inclusion. Education for the 80% and education for the 20% in institutions that maintain symbiotic collaborations.

“The open secret is that for a country to have a genuine functional education it must have a two-sided strategy that is based on the pareto principle of 80/20.

“Our current school systems will continue to educate the 80% who are the majority.

“If we care for Africa’s future, If we care for our grandchildren, If we care for our dignity as human beings, If we care at all, we must ensure functional education within our home regions and countries.

“If we care at all, we must find a way to ensure that each African nation or state establishes at least ONE highly selective world-class university that will be the primary source and catalyst for effective leadership, innovation, technology, growth and development.”

Speaking further he said: we must each return to our villages or towns working or local government areas or counties or districts and start the sacrifice and hard work of mobilizing resources to set up the first highly selective world-class primary or secondary school as a centre of excellence for the free education of the less than 20% of the population of our children that is most gifted and most talented.

Speaking on the importance of the theme of this year’s dialogue, Functional Education and Effective Leadership as a Panacea to Growth and Development, the Executive Director of the Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, Ann Iyonu noted that functional education and effective political leadership are interconnected goals that require concerted efforts from governments, civil society, and the private sector.

She said: “Functional education can empower citizens to actively participate in the political process, hold their leaders accountable, and contribute to the socio-economic development of their countries.

“Conversely, effective political leadership can create an enabling environment for education reform, investment in human capital, and the creation of opportunities for all citizens to thrive.”

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NUC Accredits 43 Programmes at Federal University, Kashere



The National Universities Commission (NUC) has fully accredited 43 academic programmes at the Federal University Kashere (FUK) in Gombe State.

The commission granted the approval for all the programmes presented by the institution for the  October/November, 2023 accreditation exercise.

This is contained in a statement by its spokesman, Mrs Janet Ezekiel in Gombe on Friday.

Ezekiel said the approval is contained in letterct with reference number NUC/ES/412/VOL.

14/327 addressed to the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Umaru Pate.

“The document captioned: Result of the October/November 2023 Accreditation of Academic Programmes in Nigerian Universities indicated that in line with the provision of section 10 (1) of the Education (National Minimum Standard and Establishment of Institutions) Act CAP E3, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“The commission has organized the accreditation of academic programmes at Federal University Kashere in October/November, and accredit all the 43 academic programmes that were presented in either Accredited, Full or Interim Accreditation Status,” she said.

Ezekiel said the exercise covered undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including those presented for initial accreditation and re-accreditation.

She said that four postgraduate programmes earned accreditation status, 32 undergraduate programmes got full Accreditation, while 7 other undergraduate programmes had interim accreditation.

“It is important to note that by implication any postgraduate programme with accredited status and undergraduate programme with full accreditation will remain valid for five years after which it will be presented for re-accreditation whereas, those with interim accreditation status will last for two years before re-accreditation,” she said.

According to Ezekiel, 98 academic programmes being run by the university got full accreditation including 49 postgraduate and 42 undergraduate, while seven undergraduate programmes got interim accreditation status.

The statement quoted Pate as expressing joy over the successful outcome, describing it as “a collective achievement”.

While reiterating commitment to consolidate on the achievement, Pate sought for the support of the staff to transform the university into a “real citadel of learning”. (NAN)

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JOSTUM Promotes 120 Lecturers To Professorial Cadre, Unbundle More Directorates, Departments.




From Attah Ede, Makurdi 

The Vice Chancellor, Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University Makurdi(JOSTUM ), Benue State, Prof. Isaac Itodo, on Tuesday announced that, the university has promoted 120 members of academic staff to the professorial cadre between 2019 to 2024.

Prof. Itodo who disclosed this when he received members of correspondents’ chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists NUJ Benue State Council, on courtesy call in his office, explained that he met a deficit backlog of 130 academic staff who were due for promotion into professorial cadre since 2019 to 2024.

He stated after the rigour assessments by the university academic assessors, 

over 120 readers scaled through and were offered letters of promotion as full professors.


He also assured that the institution has make it deliberate that all those from the directorate cadres who were due for promotion as director, were promoted, stressing that staff no longer loss promotion.

He maintained that some academic programmes have been unbundled to accommodate more and effective teaching and learning, while they secured full restoration of the university College of Management Sciences that were withdrawn about five years ago by NUC.

According to him, out of 11 colleges, 6 are Agro related. 60 percent is Agriculture related, 70 percent resources spent on the 6 colleges with others been supportive.  

He Jamb requested and gave the university a total of 5,840 for Engineering but they could not even get 2000 because their courses are no longer attractive.

” Students who come to do 5 years do not graduate in 8 years. There are several neighbouring universities competing for students so, prospective students go for courses that they think can make a difference in their lives. Because of the high level of unemployment, nobody just want to read anything. 

“We have unbundled Engineering. We will get computer Engineering , electrical engineering, telecommunication engineering , automotive engineering, Mechatronic, water resources, environmental engineering, hence the life of the university depends on the unbundling. 

Prof. Itodo said the institution had received over 6 billion naira as Special Intervention from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND for 2023 which is being judiciously put into use.

 “The institution was receiving the intervention for the first time since it establishment more than 44 years ago. The funds is been applied judiciously to the building of an international conference center in the university. 

“The center when completed, will be a hub for holding conferences by different groups, pointing out that It will go a long way to shore up their Internally Generated Revenue, IGR. 

“We are going to build an Ultra modern drawing studio for engineers, technologists, physics and food science. This is coming as high impact intervention for 4 billion naira.  

“We are also, going to build a Plant Health laboratory for 2 billion naira which is a special Intervention of TETFUND undertaken by Israeli. The Annual intervention for 2024 is expected and we will apply to the award to project for 2024. We know that TETFUND does not delay”, he said.

“We inherited a non academic directory which was only 3. This was over burdening. Hence, we decided to unbundle and create 4 additional directory amongst them; Academic affairs directory, exams and record and directory of Senate affairs”h said. 

He however said the institution was notorious for not releasing results of students on time, maintaining that presently, only three (3) departments have not released results even as he disclosed that 8000 students have already been mobilized for NYSC.

“There are several neighbouring universities competing for students so, prospective students go for courses that they think can make a difference in their lives. Because of the high level of unemployment, nobody just want to read anything. 

“This University started in 82 years. If for 44 years with 3000 staff strength. You cannot compare that to some of the new universities that have 5,000. We are thinking of expanding to fill those programmes that have been unbundled. 

“We have committed most of our IGR to fix student hostels and make them conducive. Hitherto students did not want to stay in the hostels. 

“We have had security issues. Our female hostel was recently under attack. Nobody was harmed but handsets were collected from the students. Some armed men blocked the road at SRS junction and 4 persons were kidnapped including a one hundred level microbiology students

“A week after that, we learnt that some people came around the same place and macheted some of the villagers and the villagers got angry on the ground that the government has neglected them. 

“They blocked the road leading to the university and we can’t go out and come into the university. It was a big problem for us but with the intervention of soldiers, police and the traditional rulers the youths were able to open the road.

“A Joint Army/DSS patrol on a daily basis has commenced in the school. . We need to up our game. We have a standing squad and bought 5 motorbikes and Hilux vehicle to facilitate patrol and response on time. We are equipping our security men. There is a central control unit with drones and walking talkies”, the VC said

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