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Government Failed ASUU, Minister Admits



Adamu Adamu
  • Government Failed ASUU, Minister Admits

The Federal Government has admitted that the failure on its part in the negotiations with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) resulted in the ongoing indefinite strike. Briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu said government failed on its part of the bargain, a development which made the strike by the university teachers inevitable.

“Very sad that I am here and ASUU is on strike. Late last year, we had a meeting because ASUU gave one week notice of strike and we were able to work out some agreement. I must confess government has not fulfilled its part of the bargain,” the minister said.

Adamu, however, disclosed that efforts were being made by the government to negotiate with the teachers and work out modalities on how the strike could be called off as soon as possible.

“Even though we are unhappy that ASUU went on this strike without following due process and giving us good notice, the lecturers took the decision to declare the strike after deliberations at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the University of Abuja last weekend.”

In a document titled: “Strike Bulletin No.1”, which was signed and issued by, ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said the strike was to be total and indefinite whereby no form of academic activities, including teaching, attendance of any meeting, conduct and supervision of any examination at any level, supervision of project or thesis at any level should take place at any of the nation’s universities.

While assuring ASUU on the issue of Earned Allowances, the minister explained that “there were communication differences which stalled the earned allowances. “They have been paid N30billion, the problem actually arose because they were not able to account for the N30billion and we said we would only give them the balance if they were able to account for it and the balance is N23billion, the total is N53 billion and government has the money to pay.‎”‎

Adamu said: “I will be meeting them later today (Wednesday) or tomorrow (today, Thursday) and I am sure we will be able to reach some agreement so that the strike will be called off as soon as possible.“I am sure you are aware of the issues we agreed on, there is re-negotiation which is the only one on which they agreed government has done what it promised because we set up the re-negotiation team and negotiation is already ongoing.”

On the issue of registration for Nigerian Universities Pension Commission, the minister who was joined by his counterpart in Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said there were a few issues that needed to be sorted out with the commission, just as he assured “there will be no problem with that.”

“The issue of their staff school, I think the court has given them verdict to go ahead with it. They have requested that they should be allowed to stay off the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and I think government will not do this, but there are some peculiar funds in the university, like endowment, which are monies kept and all the interest they generate, prices and so on are given.

“Government will exempt that one only, but it is part of the peculiarities, they just must log on. I hope later on, when I meet them there will be total agreement‎,” he said.Asked to reconcile his earlier statement during the last dispensation about ASUU strike, Adamu said: “Instead of hectoring ASUU to call off its strike, the nation should be praying for more of its kind in other sectors of the economy.”

According to him, if ASUU had not forced former President Goodluck Jonathan, he would not have created the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), without which he said, the university system would have collapsed.

“That is still my view. I believe ASUU is composed of patriotic people, very responsible. If I can look at what their struggle is, they forced the then government to create TETFund and today, without TETFund, the university system would have collapsed. I’m not supporting ASUU, I am supporting what is good. If it is something bad, I will condemn it.”‎

ASUU yesterday cautioned the Federal Government and political office holders against politicising the strike, saying there was nothing political in asking for a full implementation of the 2009 agreement and 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).The union reacting through the Chairman, University of Ibadan Chapter, Dr. Deji Omole, to the comments made by a member of the House of Representatives, Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo-PDP), lashed out at the lawmaker for displaying shallow knowledge and playing politics with the lives of children of the masses and the future of the country.

Omole also accused the National Assembly of conspiring with the executive to further reduce allocation to education to six per cent in the 2017 budget while pretending to love Nigerian children.Agbonayinma was quoted by a news agency to have said that the strike was a deliberate plot to disrupt President Muhammadu Buhari’s return.

Omole asked Nigerian leaders to demonstrate the love they have for Nigeria by withdrawing their children in private universities both in Nigeria and abroad and stop health tourism by using the health facilities they provide for Nigerians.The ASUU boss said they were surprised that the Chairman of the Federal Government negotiation team was also losing sight of realities that there is a difference between implementation of agreement already signed and renegotiation of the agreement.

Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State University and the Benue State University (BSU) have joined the strike. This happened as the Unified Nigerian Youth Forum, UNYF questioned the intellectual reliability of ASUU leadership, saying that ineffectiveness of the union on policy and decision making has always led to continuous strike.

The youth forum said there was a need for ASUU to set up a think-tank team to proffer more effective alternatives to their continuous demand instead of embarking on strike every now and then.A statement by its President, Abdulsalam Muhammad Kazeem, called on government to, as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency in the education sector.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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EFCC Declares Former Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello, Wanted Over N80.2 Billion Money Laundering Allegations



Yahaya Bello

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has escalated its pursuit of justice by declaring former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, wanted over alleged money laundering amounting to N80.2 billion.

In a first-of-its-kind action, the EFCC announced Bello’s wanted status in connection with the alleged embezzlement of funds during his tenure as governor.

The commission, armed with a 19-count criminal charge, accused Bello and his cohorts of conspiring to launder the hefty sum, which was purportedly diverted from state coffers for personal gain.

The declaration of Bello as a wanted fugitive came after a series of failed attempts by the EFCC to effect his arrest.

Despite an ex-parte order from Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, mandating the EFCC to apprehend and produce Bello in court for arraignment, the former governor managed to evade capture with the reported assistance of his successor, Governor Usman Ododo.

This latest development shows the challenges faced by law enforcement agencies in holding powerful individuals accountable for their actions.

However, it also demonstrates the unwavering commitment of the EFCC to uphold the rule of law and ensure that justice is served, irrespective of the status or influence of the accused.

In response to the EFCC’s declaration, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, issued a stern warning to Bello, stating that fleeing from the law would not resolve the allegations against him.

Fagbemi urged Bello to honor the EFCC’s invitation and cooperate with the investigation process, saying it is important to uphold the rule of law and respect the authority of law enforcement agencies.

The EFCC’s pursuit of Bello underscores the agency’s mandate to combat corruption and financial crimes, sending a strong message that individuals implicated in corrupt practices will be held accountable for their actions.

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Concerns Mount Over Security as National Identity Card Issuance Shifts to Banks



NIMC enrolment

Amidst the National Identity Management Commission’s (NIMC) recent announcement that the issuance of the proposed new national identity card will be facilitated through applicants’ respective banks, concerns are escalating regarding the security implications of involving financial institutions in the distribution process.

The federal government, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), introduced a new identity card with payment functionality, aimed at streamlining access to social and financial services.

However, the decision to utilize banks as distribution channels has sparked apprehension among industry stakeholders.

Mr. Kayode Adegoke, Head of Corporate Communications at NIMC, clarified that applicants would request the card by providing their National Identification Number (NIN) through various channels, including online portals, NIMC offices, or their respective banks.

Adegoke emphasized that the new National ID Card would serve as a single, multipurpose card, encompassing payment functionality, government services, and travel documentation.

Despite NIMC’s assurances, concerns have been raised regarding the necessity and security implications of introducing a new identity card system when an operational one already exists.

Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo, President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, questioned the rationale behind the new General Multipurpose Card (GMPC), citing NIMC’s existing mandate to issue such cards under Act No. 23 of 2007.

Ogunbanjo highlighted the successful implementation of MobileID by NIMC, which has provided identity verification for over 15 million individuals.

He expressed apprehension about integrating the new ID card with existing MobileID systems and raised concerns about data privacy and unauthorized duplication of ID cards.

Moreover, stakeholders are seeking clarification on the responsibilities for card blocking, replacement, and delivery in case of loss or theft, given the involvement of multiple parties, including banks, in the issuance process.

The shift towards utilizing banks for identity card issuance raises fundamental questions about data security, privacy, and the integrity of the identification process.

With financial institutions playing a pivotal role in distributing sensitive government documents, there are valid concerns about potential vulnerabilities and risks associated with this approach.

As the debate surrounding the security implications of the new national identity card continues to intensify, stakeholders are calling for greater transparency, accountability, and collaboration between government agencies and financial institutions to address these concerns effectively.

The paramount importance of safeguarding citizens’ personal information and ensuring the integrity of the identity verification process cannot be overstated, especially in an era of increasing digital interconnectedness and heightened cybersecurity threats.

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Israeli President Declares Iran’s Actions a ‘Declaration of War’



Israel Gaza

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has characterized the recent series of attacks from Iran as nothing short of a “declaration of war” against the State of Israel.

This proclamation comes amidst escalating tensions between the two nations, with Iran’s aggressive actions prompting serious concerns within Israel and the international community.

The sequence of events leading to Herzog’s grave assessment began with a barrage of 300 ballistic missiles and drones launched by Iran towards Israel over the weekend.

While the Israeli defense forces managed to intercept a significant portion of these projectiles, the sheer scale of the assault sent shockwaves through the region.

President Herzog’s assertion of war was underscored by Israel’s careful consideration of its response options and ongoing discussions with its global partners.

The gravity of the situation prompted the convening of the G7, where member nations reaffirmed their commitment to Israel’s security, recognizing the severity of Iran’s actions.

However, the United States, a key ally of Israel, took a nuanced stance. President Joe Biden conveyed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that, given the limited casualties and damage resulting from the attacks, the US would not support retaliatory strikes against Iran.

This position, though strategic, reflects a delicate balancing act in maintaining stability in the volatile Middle East region.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian cautioned against further escalation, emphasizing the potential for heightened tensions and provocative acts to exacerbate the situation.

In response to the escalating crisis, the Nigerian government issued a call for restraint, urging both Iran and Israel to prioritize peaceful resolution and diplomatic efforts to ease tensions.

This appeal reflects the broader international consensus on the need to prevent further escalation and mitigate the risk of a wider conflict in the Middle East.

As Israel grapples with the implications of Iran’s aggressive actions and weighs its response options, President Herzog reiterated Israel’s commitment to peace while emphasizing the need to defend its people.

Despite calls for restraint from global allies, Israel remains vigilant in safeguarding its security amidst the growing threat posed by Iran’s belligerent behavior.

The coming days are likely to be critical as Israel navigates the complexities of its response while international efforts intensify to defuse the escalating tensions between Iran and Israel.

The specter of war looms large, underscoring the urgency of diplomatic engagement and concerted efforts to prevent further escalation in the region.

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