The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has asked its chapters in all tertiary institutions to set up COVID-19 task force teams to enforce all guidelines outlined by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and ensure safe reopening of schools.
It also enjoined the Federal Government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to resume academic activities at the nation’s public universities.
NANS President, Sunday Asefon, stated this in a statement.
He said, “Rather than postpone schools’ resumption, it has become imperative to address the alarming spread of COVID-19 and rising cases of deaths from a position of environmental strategy and human coordination since the lockdown mechanism can no longer be a mitigating option in the face of our economic reality.
“The Federal Government is immediately urged to rethink its approach and take only actions that can get more Nigerians into coordinated and regulated systems, like schools and offices, where hours of wearing face masks and complying with COVID Safety protocols can be guaranteed to curb the spread.
“Consequently, the National Association of Nigerian Students is undertaking to prevail on students union bodies to set up Students Task Force Against COVID-19 in every school, while asking the Federal Government to rejig its basic COVID guidelines for schools resumption.”
FEC approves N4bn for construction of Uniosun senate building, others
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved about N4 billion for the execution of three projects across the nation.
The projects according to the Minister of Education,Adamu Adamu include the construction of Senate Buildings in Osun State University, Osogbo and Federal University, Lokoja, as well as erection of radio antenna for the National Commission for Nomadic Education.
The Minister disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja.
He gave the breakdown of the approval for construction of the Senate Building in Osun State University, Osogbo, at a cost of N2,134,686,307.88 billion with the completion period of 76 weeks awarded to WAZLAF Engineering Limited.
The second one, according to him, is the contruction of another Senate Building at the Federal University, Lokoja, at the cost of N1,607,471,754.77 billion with a completion period of 50 weeks.
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He said N336,745, 631.70 was also approved for the erection of radio antenna for the National Commission for Nomadic Education –50 kilowatt AM radio, awarded to ECALPEMOS Technologies Limited, with a completion period of 14 weeks.
The last memo approved was for the takeover of David Umahi University of Medical Sciences, Ebonyi, by the Federal Government.
“What we brought in the memo is for Council to ratify the agreement that has been entered between the Ebonyi State government and the Federal Government.
“And then to approve the renaming of the university from David Umahi University of Medical Sciences to David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences.
“And to approve a draft bill,which has been written,and then to approve the transmittal of this bill to the National Assembly for enactment into an Act.
“This brought the total approval for the four memoranda presented by the minister of education to the Council to N4,078,903,692 billion.”
Also,the council approved a memorandum presented by the Minister of Industry,Trade and Investment,Chief Niyi Adebayo, on behalf of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, a parastatal under the ministry.
The minister disclosed that the council approved N1.8 billion for the construction of a Package Sewage System (PSS) for the authority’s head office within the Liberty Free Zone in Akwa Ibom,with the completion period of 10 months,without variation.
The minister said that as part of the responsibility of regulating and attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the country, the ministry was supervising certain oil and gas free zones in the country.
According to him,one of the free zones is the Liberty Free Zone in Ikot Abasi,Akwa Ibom.
Transportation challenges: UNILORIN okays virtual lectures for large classes
The University of Ilorin has announced the commencement of virtual lectures for large classes as part of measures to address transportation challenges facing both students and lecturers.
Already, it said on Monday that the university had assigned 500 user accounts of 300-capacity zoom licences to various faculties and departments for the immediate commencement of virtual classes.
A statement issued on Monday by Unilorin spokesman, Kunle Akogun, stated that the virtual classes would run simultaneously with physical classes.
The statement read in part, “About 500 user accounts of 300 capacity zoom licences have been assigned to faculties and departments for effective virtual delivery of lectures.
“We have also developed virtual class schedule for courses with class sizes of about 1000, 3000, and 5000 students, using the large capacity zoom licences.
“Physical delivery of lectures/practical sessions in classrooms/laboratories is very important and should be consciously sustained.”
According to him, in the wake of the transportation challenges facing the students and staff of the university, the management rolled out several measures to mitigate the effect of the unfortunate situation on the students in particular.
“These included the directive to the Time-Table and Room Usages Committee to adjust lecture time-table to make it more flexible.
“The management also renewed the university’s zoom licences to activate the virtual lecture option,” he said.
University of Calabar suspends HoD for one year over extortion
The University of Calabar has ordered the immediate suspension of Head of the Department of Pharmacology, Sylvester Ohadoma, for alleged extortion of students.
This was revealed in a statement by the registrar of the institution, Gabriel Egbe, in Calabar, on Monday.
Egbe said Ohadoma was removed as the HoD, for “consistently flouting” the university Senate’s directives concerning extortion and collection of unapproved levies from students.
He said the decision was in tandem with management’s decision to rid the institution of all forms of unethical practices, especially extortion of students.
“Management received a report that Ohadoma as HoD, Pharmacology and Coordinator of the course, Principles of Pharmacology 322, illegally charged and collected the sum of N3,200 from students for what he termed “practical fees”.
“This is even as Ohadoma is said to have extorted the same amount from students in the previous semesters, in addition to selling textbooks for as much as N12,000 each to students in flagrant contravention of management’s directive,” he said.
Egbe said the present administration of the university finds it repulsive that one who should take the lead in protecting the integrity of the institution was involved in such unwholesome practices.
He added that the university’s management would not condone any unethical practice by staff.
He said, “As part of disciplinary measures, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi, has approved that Ohadoma should be relieved of his appointment as HoD and Coordinator of Principles of Pharmacology 322, with effect from January 23, 2023.
“Management has further instructed that all official responsibilities hitherto handled by Ohadoma, including teaching and supervision, are to be reassigned to other qualified lecturers in the department.
“Ohadoma is barred from having any direct academic interface with students for one year.
“Ohadoma has been further ordered to refund all unauthorised monies which he collected from students and provide evidence of such refund to the vice-chancellor through the Director, SERVICOM within the next month.
“While hoping that this will serve as a deterrent to others, management has directed the Dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, to ensure strict and full compliance with the directives.”
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