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Extended strike: FG says 80% of ASUU’s demands have been met

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Abuja—The Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) Monday, has further extended its over six months strike, accusing the Federal Government of failure to live up to its terms in the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement it signed with it.

According to the Vanguard, the action of ASUU came after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which took place at its University of Abuja Secretariat.

Although the union was yet to come out with official statement or address the media on the fallouts of its meeting which began late Sunday and stretched into early Monday, some members who spoke in secrecy disclosed that the meeting ended with a resolution to go on indefinite strike.

A member of the NEC told Vanguard that a formal position of the union in respect of the NEC meeting would be communicated through ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, who he noted was the person with the responsibility to do so.

“We resolved in our just concluded NEC meeting that we should make the ongoing strike indefinite since the federal government has failed to show any commitment to addressing the grey areas that led us to this action.

“Our President, as usual, would communicate this among others decisions to the public through the media,” he said, refusing to speak further.

Reacting to the development,the federal government said it had addressed 80 percent of the union’s demands, noting that the extension of strike was unreasonable.

The Federal Ministry of Education, speaking through its Director of Press and Public Relations, Bem Goong, said: “If you bring some demands and almost 80% have been attended to, there is no need to drag the strike anymore.”

According to him,“It is unreasonable for the strike to be lingering since the government has worked towards fulfilling most of the demands.”

Goong, who said the federal government had deployed all measures to end the strike, said: “As regards the next steps, the government has already inaugurated a committee to harmonize the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS and the University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System,U3PS.

He explained that,” This will ensure that the government will pay with only one payment platform that will harmonize all the technical peculiarities.”

Recall that the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu Adamu, had last week, claimed that government had resolved most of the demands ASUU.

Among the demands addressed, according to Adamu,was the release of N50 billion for the payment of earned allowances for academic and non-academic and non-academic staff of universities.

Recall also that the ongoing strike which had been rolled over in the past, began on February 14th, 2022,after parties failed to reach agreement.

Business

If elected president, I will name, shame oil thieves—Atiku to business leaders

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Lagos—The 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has threatened to name and shame oil thieves in the country if elected Nigeria’s President in 2023.

Channels TV reports that Atiku made this known on Saturday when he interacted with the Business Dialogue Stakeholders Forum at Eko Hotel in Lagos.

Atiku also said he would confiscate all oil blocs allocated to some Nigerians who have failed to make them operational.

“If you are not going to develop oil blocs given to you, we will take it away and give it to those who will develop it.

“We will also assemble the names of those involved in oil theft, publish same and prosecute them,” Atiku told the stakeholders.

He reiterated his commitment to privatizing the refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri.

Atiku was at the event with his running mate and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

Both Governors Udom Emmanuel and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Akwa Ibom and Sokoto states; who are the Chairman and Director General of the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign team, urged the stakeholders to support Atiku for a better Nigeria.

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Only 250 psychiatrists left in Nigeria, says association

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Enugu—Taiwo Obindo, president of the association of psychiatrists in Nigeria, says the current psychiatrist-to-patient ratio in Nigeria is one to one million.

According to TheCable, Obindo Spoke on Thursday on the sidelines of the ongoing 53rd annual general and scientific meeting of psychiatrists in Enugu.

He said two-thirds of certified personnel leave the country annually.

According to him, this has led to the poor ratio and has made accessibility and deliverability of psychiatric care relatively difficult in the country.

“The standard is that one psychiatric doctor should take care of 10,000 patients. But today, we have one psychiatric doctor to more than one million Nigerians,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“As we speak now, we have less than 250 certified psychiatric doctors throughout the country, and more are leaving by the day.”

Obindo called for the passage of the national mental health bill as amended to ensure proper administration of mental health treatment, adequate funding, and remuneration of professionals.

“Mental healthcare should be incorporated into the primary healthcare system to cater to primary and secondary institutions treating mental health disorders in localities,” he said.

“Presently, the little budget meant for mental health treatment goes to tertiary medical institutions only. Mental health should be fully taken care of at primary healthcare centres.

“Percolating mental healthcare to primary healthcare institutions will save Nigerians transportation, feeding and accommodation costs, and the stress of conveying mentally-ill persons to urban centres where psychiatric hospitals could be found.”

Speaking further, Obindo said Nigerians facing insecurity and forced displacements have continued to face psychological and psychiatric trauma and disorders.

He said the government should ensure that such people recover from the shock they have witnessed.

“It is important that governments and other support groups give them special attention to meet their current challenging emotional, psychological, and psychiatric needs so as not to fall into deeper depression or societal withdrawal,” he added.

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FG reintroduces history in basic education curriculum

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Abuja—The Federal Government has announced the reintroduction of history as a stand-alone subject in the basic education curriculum 13 years after it was abolished, according to the Tribune.

The government noted that 3,700 History teachers have been shortlisted for the first round of training for enhanced teaching of the subject.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu while speaking at the flag-off ceremony of the reintroduction of the teaching of history and training of history teachers at basic education level on Thursday in Abuja, lamented that national cohesion was being threatened with the country retreating into primordial sentiments.

He said this is because of the lack of knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria following the removal of History from the basic education curriculum.

Adamu was represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah at the event attended by Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar and other key stakeholders in the education sector.

History was removed from primary and secondary education curriculums from the 2009/2010 academic session.

Adamu ordered the reintroduction of the subject in 2019 following widespread condemnation.

Adamu said: “History used to be one of the foundational subjects taught in our classroom but for some inexplicable reasons, the stream of teaching and learning was abolished.

“As a result, history was subsequently expunged from the list of subject combinations our students could offer in both external and internal examinations compared to the subjects that were made compulsory at basic and secondary levels in Nigeria.

“This single act no doubt relegated and eroded the knowledge and information that learners could otherwise have been exposed to. It was a monumental mistake and have already started seeing its negative consequences

“The loss created by the absence of this subject has led to a fall in moral values, erosion of civic values, and disconnect from the past.

“More worrisome was the neglect of the teaching of this subject at basic and post basic levels of education which invariably eroded the knowledge of the evolution of Nigeria as a country.

“The immediate implication of this was that we lost ideas even of our recent past, and we scarcely saw ourselves as one nation and gradually began retreating into our primordial sentiments.”

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