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NYSC warns corpers against night travel, bans religious gatherings, others

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The National Youth Service Corps has warned prospective corps members against night travel as they prepare to move to the various camps across the country on Tuesday January 9 for their orientation programme.

Director-General of the NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, gave the warning during a sensitisation webinar for the 2020 Batch B Stream II corps members on Friday.

The NYSC said all orientation camps nationwide would be reopened next Tuesday, amid cautious measures against COVID-19 spread including suspending religious gatherings.

Ibrahim urged them to avoid actions that could put their lives at risk.

He advised the prospective corps members to break their journey if they would travel a long distance before getting to their states of deployment.

He said the scheme would not hesitate to decamp anyone who failed to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols while in camp.

“Please don’t travel at night and don’t endanger your security; kindly stay safe. If you are sick, let us know and don’t jeopardise the orientation course. We will not hesitate to decamp anyone who fails to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols,” he warned.

The NCDC DG, Ihekweazu, also said the government could not stop all activities because of COVID-19.

He said, “We have got to find a way to continue moving forward with certain aspects of daily life in a controlled way, mitigating risks as much as possible.”

He said measures had been put in place just like in November 2020 to ensure that NYSC camps were safe.

Dr Oyeladun Okunromade, NYSC Camp Safe Reopening Project Lead, specifically said all forms of religious gatherings on its orientation camps had been banned.

The sensitisation programme with the theme, ‘Protecting the health of the Nigerian Youth: Safe Reopening of NYSC Orientation Camps’ also had in attendance the Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim, and the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu.

Okunromade said corps members would resume with 200 daily and would be tested for COVID-19 on getting to the NYSC camps.

Those testing positive for the virus would be isolated at approved NCDC health facilities while those negative would be allowed on camps, she added.

The NYSC official warned that corps members who failed to resume at their allotted dates risk resuming with the next batch.

She said corps members were required to fill certain forms on the NYSC website to book their resumption dates.

“There won’t be any form of religious gatherings in camp. We encourage virtual activities,” she said, adding that corps members were required to come on camp with their face masks and other personal protective materials as the NYSC would not provide those.

Okunromade also said, “Maami market has been significantly reduced in line with the new normal. There won’t be any sitting down with friends to dine at the market but there will takeaways.”

Education

IPPIS: I now earn salary of graduate assistant, says Unilorin VC

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Vice-chancellor, University of Ilorin, Prof Sulyman Abdulkareem, says he is being paid the salary of a graduate assistant as against his statutory payment at the end of the month, attributing this to glitches in the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System

The Unilorin VC estimated the deduction in his monthly salary to be more than 500 per cent decrease in the statutory emoluments of vice-chancellor in a dederal university.

He made the disclosure on Monday at a press briefing marking the beginning of the 36th convocation ceremony of the University in Ilorin.

Prof Abdulkareem also stated that he has no regrets making peace with the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) stating that not doing so previously, had caused the university untold damages.

The VC also used the occasion to tell the public of the many achievements of the school which is set to convoke a total of 10, 922 students at the convocation ceremonies.

The vice-chancellor though admitted that the IPPIS, as a payment system, is quite innovative and subscribes to all university workers migrating to the platform, however, observed that the platform has its challenges.

”A system created to solve one problem shouldn’t be seen to be creating other ones. You can’t imagine that I am being paid the salary of a graduate assistant rather than as the VC as it should be by the IPPIS system,” he said.

He however expressed the hope that the glitches would be sorted out soon.

Reacting to trending talks about the merit of Unilorin rejoining ASUU, Prof Abdulkareem said that he had no regrets whatsoever taking the university back into the fold of the academic union.

The university broke off as a member of ASUU at the height of an industrial crisis in 2001 but returned some three years back.

“Those who complain about Unilorin being back in the fold of ASUU do not even know what the university has lost or the damage such action has caused us.

“The university has paid a huge price for its staff not being part of the university unions. It took the effort of the unions to get us the earned allowance from the Federal government.

“Even when the money was released by the government it became an issue for the university to get it’s own N700 million for the staff because it was the unions that fought for the money and Unilorin, was not part of them.

The VC explained that it took the university being part of the union to unlock the money for the benefits of the varsity staffers.

He also explained that staff and even graduates of the university suffered untold victimisation wherever they went on account of not being part of ASUU.

“Our students were victimised both home and abroad, lecturers couldn’t get fellowships in other campuses. It wasn’t easy,” the VC said.

But giving an account of 2019/2020, the chief executive officer of Unilorin said that the institution achieved remarkable feats despite the ravages of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

For instance, the university got nominated for the Top 100 Achievements Award in the UK.

“In addition, the university emerged as one of the universities that produced the most employed graduates in Nigeria. What this says is that employers of labour should be fair to our graduates. They claim that our graduates are not well trained to take up jobs out there, that is not fair. Our students are well trained. All the employer needs to do is give them orientations and they will deliver,” he said.

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Why Nigerian varsities are not among world best — NUC

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Poor funding is the main reason Nigerian universities are not ranked among the best in the world, Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, has said.

He however said the commission was planning to put in place stringent measures to curtail the proliferation of universities, especially by state governors and ensure adequate funding for universities.

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities has also lamented that teaching staff are taking over their jobs through the composition of committees by the university management where the teaching staff are made to head such committees.

The NUC executive secretary spoke in Abuja when the leadership of SSANU paid him a visit in his office, in Abuja, the NUC Executive Secretary advised the association to ensure that any time it was entering into any agreement with the Federal Government, such an agreement should be one that will be implementable.

Explaining why Nigerian universities were not among the highly ranked universities in the world, Prof Rasheed said funding had become a key challenge.

He said, “Once a university loses reputation, it has lost everything.  The NUC may come up with stringent measures on establishing state universities because some of the state-owned universities are not well funded.”

He noted with regret that in a particular university in the South-South, the state government released to the management about N452 million to run the institution in the previous year, and later slashed the money the next year to N91 million, with a further slash to N40 million.

“I am not sure they are paying salary to staff regularly.  Some private universities are sick already,” he said,  pointing out that a particular private university had not paid salary to staff for one and half years.

On the concern raised by SSANU President, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim, who led the delegation that state governors were proliferating universities as if it had become a constituency project, the NUC boss said the governors were interested in leaving a legacy but not investing in the established universities.

He, however, expressed optimism that the new NUC Act would give the commission more powers, unlike the existing one, adding that there should be a master plan to be submitted and approved by the commission before any new university was established.

He debunked the claim that some of the commissions set up by the NUC in the universities were dominated by teaching staff, against non-teaching staff.

Speaking earlier, SSANU President, Comrade Ibrahim, lamented that some of the jobs meant for non-teaching staff were being taken over by teaching staff.

He said the association believed in excellent service and doing things in the right way, adding that the voices of members of SSANU would only be heard when necessary.

He said, “Our members are becoming more and more troubled by the recent developments coming out of the university system. Our members’ jobs are being taken over by so many committees in the universities.

“There is the issue of non-payment of salaries, especially for our members in state universities. Some have not received salaries for up to six months, yet we hear that NUC is giving accreditation to new state universities.

“NUC should ensure that our members are not languishing in their offices. We are also disturbed over the negative development of nonuniformity in the conditions of service in the universities. This is happening to the morale of our members. We call for a uniform standard in the universities.”

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FUOYE begins 2021/2022 admission screening exercise, pegs cut off mark

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Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) has commenced the 2021/2022 admission screening exercise.

A statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday, and co-signed by the Public Relations (PRO) of the University, Foluso Ogunmodede and Media Adviser to the VC, Wole Balogun, disclosed that the announcement for the commencement of the screening exercise was made public on Tuesday.

 It added that only candidates who sat for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), and made  FUOYE their first choice are eligible for the screening.

The statement added that the cut-off mark for the screening is now pegged at 160.

Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) has commenced the 2021/2022 admission screening exercise.

A statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday, and co-signed by the Public Relations (PRO) of the University, Foluso Ogunmodede and Media Adviser to the VC, Wole Balogun, disclosed that the announcement for the commencement of the screening exercise was made public on Tuesday.

 It added that only candidates who sat for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), and made  FUOYE their first choice are eligible for the screening.

The statement added that the cut-off mark for the screening is now pegged at 160.

The screening exercise is also available for interested candidates for Direct Entry who possess NCE, HND, and JUPEB etc.

For further information on available academic courses and procedures for the screening exercise,  interested candidate should log on to http://ecampus. fuoye.edu.ng/putme.

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