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Varsity workers suspend strike as unions, FG sign agreement

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University workers have suspended their three-week old industrial action after their unions have signed a memorandum of action with the Federal Government on their demands.

The Joint Action Committee of the non-teaching staff unions of universities, which announced the suspension of the strike on Thursday, said it would take effect from midnight of February 26.

The JAC non-teaching staff leaders comprise representatives of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of the Universities (NASU).

The union conveyed the decision during a media briefing held after holding a conciliatory meeting with the Federal Government.

It said that it agreed to suspend the nationwide strike after reaching an agreement with the government.

NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, who spoke on behalf of the union, said their demands had been harmonised to the satisfaction of both parties.

He said that they would continue to monitor the agreements reached with timeline to ensure that the government would implement its own side of the bargain.

“We had eight items which we negotiated and which formed the basis for our ongoing national strike. Our members in our various campuses in the universities and inter-universities centres had appraised the draft MoU and then raised the few observations, but they granted us the mandate that if we are able to meet with the government which we have been able to do today and if the leadership is satisfied, we can go ahead and suspend the strike.

“So we have held the meeting with the government side and those areas that needed to be harmonized has been harmonized to the satisfaction of both parties and resulting from that development, we have agreed that the ongoing national strike in universities and inter universities centres should be suspended with effect from 12 midnight tomorrow which is Friday 26, February.

“We use this opportunity to appreciate our members for their commitment in this struggles, this strike is suspended and we are not mindful of the fact that we will continue to monitor the agreements that has been reached which has timeline and we hope that the FG we implement his own side of the bargain.”

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, had earlier spoken with journalists on the outcome of their meeting, describing the deliberations as smooth.

He said, “If you remember, this is about the fourth negotiation on the matter brought by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of both unions and today’s deliberation has been very fruitful.

“We have issued a conciliation document, a Memorandum of Action (MOA) and the two unions will get back to their members today with the MoA.”

Education

University of Calabar suspends HoD for one year over extortion

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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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Education

Police confirm kidnap of six pupils from Nasarawa school

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The police have confirmed the kidnap of six pupils of a public primary school in in Nasarawa State.
The gunmen were said to have attacked the school on Friday morning.
Rahman Nansel, police spokesperson in the state, confirmed the development.
Nansel added that a search-and-rescue operation is ongoing .
“Confirmed. 6 were abducted. They invaded the school at about 0710hrs. Search and rescue ongoing and led by the CP as he has met and commiserated with the parents of the victims,” he said via text message.
Nasarawa is one of the north-central states battling insecurity.
Over the years, there have been attacks on Nasarawa communities, leading to killings, abductions, and displacement

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Education

C’River sacks 12 principals, suspends six others over dubious charges

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Cross River State Government has sacked 12 secondary school principals and suspend six others over illegal collection of money from students.

The state Commissioner for Education, Godwin Amanke, disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Calabar, the state capital,on Tuesday.

He also informed that 16 secondary school teachers and principals were accordingly transferred to rural areas as a punitive measure for imposing dubious charges on students.

“Tuition fee in the state is free but some Cross River teachers and principals connived alarmingly inflate other charges, which is not acceptable at all. We have suspended six principals so far over the unusual and inflated charges on students. We have given several queries to others involved in illegal charges and dealings, including bribing and acceptance of bribes to be posted to township schools,” he said.

While the names of the culprits were not made public, Amanke further disclosed that “these principals collect a hefty sum of N40,000 from each student as against N1,200. They collected fees for three terms upfront, claiming that many students do abandon their schools after taking WAEC exams. We are monitoring defaulting teachers and principals, and won’t hesitate to wield the big stick.”

Cultism, he stressed, remains a menace in schools in the state, and advised against this nefarious activity and other indecent acts.

Parents and guardians were further advised to  do their bit and not leave the task of curbing cultism to the government alone.

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