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FG may break ASUU strike with another option

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The Federal Government may soon call the bluff of the Academic Staff Union of Universities over the union’s insistence on getting the government to meet all its demands before ending its prolonged strike.

ASUU has asked students idling at home to get themselves busy with some vocational skills, travel and have fun, an indication that it is not ready to end the strike soon.

It also insisted on getting the government to adopt the union’s payment platform endorsed in addition to securing enough funds for the upgrade of the universities, apart improved salaries and welfare package.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said the strike would be resolved by next week after the meeting between the Federal Government team and the union leaders.

He said if the matter was not resolved by then, government would explore the provisions in the labour law and other channels.

The union said the strike was over the failure of the Federal Government to keep to the 2019 Memorandum of Action between them as well as the disagreement over the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, which ASUU rejected.

Ngige, who spoke on Politics Today on Channels Television on Friday, said the government had met six of the union’s nine demands and that they would meet again next week with the hope of ending the prolonged strike.

He stated, “Even if countries go to war, at the end of the day they come to the negotiation table. I’m inviting them (ASUU) next week. We are doing side meetings on our part and we are collating everything. I’m collating responses from the Accountant General of the Federation’s Office and everybody who has something to do with this matter.”

He also said, “By next week, we will conclude this matter. There are so many options left. We have the labour laws and I have options left to me in the labour laws. I have other channels.”

The minister said government had agreed to give the University Transparency Academic Solution, the payment platform proposed by ASUU, a trial.

He however said the feedback he got from the National Information Technology Development Agency, the agency mandated to follow-up the trial with ASUU, showed they had just concluded the first phase and that the second phase to assess the functional requirement of UTAS had not been done.

He added, “UTAS has yet to be ready but government will not discourage them. And we have told them there is no need using the same old method of strike to make demands since such had been deployed since 2017.”

On the revitalisation fund, he said government had agreed to release N30bn out of the N40bn demanded by the union as the payment for November 2019 and September 2020, adding that the remaining N10bn would be staggered.

Ngige said, “A committee that looked into the needs assessment of universities held a workshop on how funds could be generated came up with the recommendation that other things could be done to raise funds because revitalisation cannot be done through the budget, especially when the country is running a deficit budget.”

 

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BREAKING: Tinubu appoints new Head of Service

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Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack

BREAKING: Tinubu appoints new Head of Service

President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack as the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), with effect from August 14, 2024.

According to a statement by Presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale, on Wednesday night, Mrs. Walson-Jack was appointed as Federal Permanent Secretary in 2017 and had served in several Ministries.

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“The new appointee will take over from the incumbent Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, who is due to retire on August 13, 2024.

“President Tinubu, while thanking the outgoing Head of Service for her stewardship, tasks the incoming Head of Service to discharge her duties with innovative flair, integrity, and stringent adherence to the extant rules and regulations of the Civil Service of the Federation,” he added.

BREAKING: Tinubu appoints new Head of Service

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Gov Zulum begs Nigerians not to stage nationwide protests

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Borno State governor, Babagana Umara Zulum

Gov Zulum begs Nigerians not to stage nationwide protests

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has appealed to residents of Borno and Nigerians to refrain from participating in the proposed nationwide protests slated for next month.

During a stakeholders’ town hall meeting held at the Government House in Maiduguri on Wednesday, Zulum emphasized the importance of engaging in constructive dialogue instead of protests, which he believes may lead to violence and distractions. He highlighted the severe impact of the 13-year insurgency conflicts on the state and noted that protests would not be the best approach to maintaining the relative peace currently being enjoyed in Borno.

“Any break of law and order will be a disaster for us. I am appealing to the people, not only of Borno State but all Nigerians, to shun any protests that will bring hardship to Nigerians. Let us engage in positive dialogues. The Federal and state governments are doing everything possible to reduce the hardships people face in Nigeria,” Zulum said.

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He stated, “The Government of Borno State and its people have been experiencing insurgency for the past 13 years, but now peace has gradually returned to Borno State, and we must maintain this peace.”

Zulum expressed satisfaction that many stakeholders had committed not to join the protests and assured that the government of Borno State would follow up to ensure these commitments are upheld.

The town hall meeting was attended by heads of security agencies, traditional rulers, the Network of Civil Society Organizations, Young Peace Advocates, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, and the Nigerian Bar Association. Other attendees included representatives from the Civilian Joint Task Force, the Christian Association of Nigeria, Jammatul Nasir Islam, student and youth groups, women’s groups, traders, people living with disabilities, and the Nigeria Labour Congress.

Gov Zulum begs Nigerians not to stage nationwide protests

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401 Osun LG caretaker leaders quit after S’Court judgment

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401 Osun LG caretaker leaders quit after S’Court judgment

Four hundred and one chairmen and members of caretaker committees running Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas in Osun State have all resigned their positions.

Those that resigned include; 69 caretaker chairmen and 332 caretaker members drawn from each of the 332 wards in the state.

Letters of resignation of the chairmen circulated on social media on Wednesday but a clear reason behind their resignation was not given.

In one of the letters seen by PUNCH, the caretaker chairman of Odo-Otin local government area, Okuku, Adewale Adeyinka, said he was quitting office to pursue other opportunities to serve his people.

The letter addressed to Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, dated July 17, 2024, partly read,  “It is with a sense of duty and respect for our democratic principles that I write to tender my resignation from my position as Chairman of the Caretaker Committee for Odo-Otin Local Government, effective immediately.

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“As I move on to pursue further opportunities to serve my people, I want to assure you that the good work we have started will not end.

“I remain committed to supporting the growth and development of Odo-Otin Local Government in any capacity I can.”

When contacted for comment on Wednesday, the immediate past chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria in Osun State, Sarafadeen Awotunde, said all the 69 caretaker chairmen and 332 members drawn from different wards across the state have resigned their positions since the Supreme Court has declared them as illegal office occupants.

Asked to confirm the resignation of the 332 caretaker members and the chairmen, Awotunde said, “Since we already called them caretaker, I don’t think there is any appropriate word to use than that they resigned. Nobody sacked them.

“Caretakers have temporary time to spend. It means their time is over. If you look at it critically, you will see that the Supreme Court has given a verdict. So whatever is called caretaker now is illegal. So, there is nothing like a caretaker in Nigeria again.”

In Osun State, there are 30 local government areas, 32 local council development authorities, 6 area councils and one administrative office.

The last set of caretaker committee chairmen and members were appointed by Adeleke in August 2023 and their tenure of office was extended by 6 months in February 2024.

401 Osun LG caretaker leaders quit after S’Court judgment

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