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Stop giving preferential scores to Northern students – El-Rufai tells JAMB

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has urged the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board to stop giving “preferential scores” to students in Northern Nigeria who sit for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.

He stated this on Monday as a guest on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast programme.

According to the governor, students in the North should not be given lower cut-off marks but the same cut-off marks as their counterparts from other parts of the country for them to be competitive nationally and internationally.

Established in 1978, JAMB is the government agency saddled with the responsibility “to conduct matriculation examinations for entry into all universities polytechnics and colleges of education in the country and to place suitably qualified candidates in the available places in these institutions”.

El-Rufai also said the current closure of schools in the state was the major goal of bandits and terrorists oppressing the state but he vowed that they won’t win.

He said, “The north has always been behind in education, we’ve continuously been the disadvantaged region right from independence even though we’re given preferences, JAMB scores and all that. That has not helped, in fact, it has made our people lazy.

“Against this differential JAMB and FG (Federal Government) scores, I think people should be encouraged to work hard and compete and we are prepared to make our children in Kaduna State to be competitive, not only in the state but globally.

“The schools are closed now because, on the advice of security agencies, they need a couple of months to undertake massive security operations. They are doing that. We are confident that from the next two weeks, we would start the gradual reopening of schools.

“We have moved many of our students in rural areas that we are not sure we can protect to urban schools, thereby increasing the congestion in urban schools that we can protect.”

“The continuous closure of schools  is exactly what bandits and Boko Haram want and we are not going to let them win but we must put the safety of our children and teachers first,” the governor noted, adding that the gradual reopening of schools would commence soon.

‘Kaduna has attracted $3bn investments despite banditry’

Furthermore, the governor said that the state generated over $3bn foreign and local investments in the last two years despite the menace of banditry.

According to him, the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies are overwhelmed, hence, the need to train hundreds of vigilantes who will bear arms and confront the marauders who operate from the forests of Kaduna.

“This banditry is essentially a rural phenomenon but it has moved to the urban areas,” the governor lamented.

He said that when the menace of banditry started in the state about three years ago, “it was essentially a rural phenomenon and that has not affected our ability to attract investment in the state”.

“In the last two years, we’ve attracted more than $2bn, close to $3bn of foreign and domestic investments into the state.

“We’ve also engaged in massive infrastructure across the state, everywhere,” el-Rufai explained.

Source: https://theeagleonline.com.ng

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FG declares public holiday to mark Eid-ul-Mawlud

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The Federal Government has declared October 19 as a public holiday in commemoration of the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Shuaib Belgore, on Friday.

The statement stated that the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government.

Aregbesola congratulated all Nigerian Muslim faithful, both at home and in the diaspora, on the occasion of Eid-ul-Mawlud.

He admonished Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of love, patience and perseverance which were the virtues of the Holy Prophet, as doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.

Read Also: https://newstrends.ng/2021/10/16/competence-not-zone-should-determine-next-presidents-choice-bakare/

Read Also: https://newstrends.ng/2021/10/16/election-not-war-stakeholders-react-as-igp-deploys-over-34000-officers-3-helicopters-others-to-anambra/

The minister enjoined Nigerians, particularly Muslims, to refrain from violence, lawlessness and other acts of criminality.

“As the indisputable leader of our race, we (Nigerians) must show responsible leadership in Africa,” he said.

Aregbesola called on Nigerians to refrain from all divisive tendencies capable of causing crisis in the country.

He also urged Nigerians and the youth in particular, to embrace the virtues of hard work and peaceful disposition to fellow humans.

“Irrespective of faith, ideology, social class and ethnicity I urge you to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration  in its effort to build a progressive and enviable nation that all citizens would be proud of,” he said.

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FG establishing oxygen plants in 36 states – NEC

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The National Economic Council (NEC) says the Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states of the federation.

Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi made this known to State House correspondents after a virtual NEC meeting on Friday presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Umahi said that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who chaired the NEC Ad hoc committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to ease the lockdown of the economy, presented a report to the council.

“The Federal Ministry of Health is establishing oxygen plants across the 36 states in the country, but currently six states have been provided with oxygen cylinders so far.

“The Federal Government has paid for 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines coming in batches and therefore a considerable amount of the vaccines will come into the country between now and January 2022. Nigeria is now classified among the 50 countries in the green zones.”

Umahi said that NEC also received states’ performance report on COVID-19 from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

He said that the council was also updated on the global situation of COVID-19.

He said, “Over 237 million confirmed cases and over 4.8 million deaths due to COVID-19. There are now over 6.3 billion vaccine doses administered.  Nigeria is still in the first wave of vaccination and vaccination tools will improve as the country receives additional vaccines. COVID-19 cases have declined by 7.5 per cent over the last week.”

Umahi said that states were urged to continue to push testing activities in order to detect new cases before the situation worsened.

According to him, an update on travel restrictions on certain countries expected to be announced soon by the Federal Government.

The governor said that the council also received an update on the situation regarding Cholera outbreak.

“Current Cholera situation in the country; suspected number of cases   is 88,704. Number of states is 31 and the FCT. Number of deaths is 3,208.

“Multi-sectoral emergency operation centres activated at level 2 continues to coordinate the national response,” he said.

He listed the challenges to include difficulty in accessing some communities due to insecurity, open defecation and lack of potable drinking water.

Umahi said other challenges were lack of basic health primary healthcare infrastructure, inadequate health facility and cholera commodities for case management.

Umahi said that NEC commended the insightful presentations and congratulated the outgoing Director-General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on his new appointment at the WHO and also welcomed the incoming Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Morayo Adetifa.

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Bakare meets with Buhari, opposes clamour for power rotation

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Founder of Citadel Global Community Church, Tunde Bakare, says the region to produce the president of Nigeria should not be an issue.

He stated this in Abuja on Friday during an interaction with reporters at the presidential villa after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that Nigerians are only bothered about a leader that would ensure the prosperity of the country.

The pastor said the “immaturity” of the citizens is responsible for “making us say power must either be in the North or be in the South, instead of looking for the best.

“Listen to me, if where the President comes from will make the place he has come from to be better, the northern part of Nigeria should be richest and the most progressive and the most developed because out of 61 years, the North has produced either the President or heads of state for 40 to 41 years and yet, see the retrogression in the North.

“If it’s from the South, why should a person like President Obasanjo freeze and seize the account of Lagos State in his own tenure? If it’s from South-South or South-East, why couldn’t President Jonathan use all his powers to develop South-South/South-East?

“If there are agreements between politicians on rotation, a bargain is a bargain. That is between them. But as far as this country is concerned, what we need at this stage is a man who can drive us to the Eldorado.”

The pastor commended the national assembly for empowering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to determine the mode of transmitting election results.

“Perhaps one of the best things the present national assembly has done, especially the senate, because, with that, Nigerians can vote and then results can be transmitted so easily,” he said.

“Not only that, part of the state of the nation address that I did on October 10, I emphasised how Nigeria youth, especially undergraduates, are disenfranchised in our country.”

 

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