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85 Tertiary Institutions Benefited From FG Road Projects; Says Fashola

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The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has stated that 85 tertiary institutions across the country have benefited from Federal Government road projects.

According to the minister, the new road constructions have increased students’ enthusiasm to learn. 

Speaking during the inauguration and handover of some rehabilitated roads in Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ebonyi state, Fashola said that good roads within the tertiary institutions will result in a conducive environment for both staff and students. 

He said, “The quality of education will be impacted by the quality of infrastructure and the learning environment and those who doubt it should simply listen to some of the feedback from students in the schools where this type of intervention has taken place.”

He stated that the projects have improved and increased the number of students, adding that it “is, therefore, undebatable that the quality of education has been impacted by the quality of Infrastructure and the neat and clean learning environment.”

The minister who was represented by the Federal Controller of Works, Ebonyi State, Steve Oluwadum disclosed that the road projects across the federal institutions are better classified as investments in Education.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has revealed that the newly built Second Niger Bridge will be tolled. The former Lagos state governor made this known when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily. 

Taking a cue from the Lekki bridge in Lagos, Fashola added that the bridge will be better managed by the private sector,  Investors King learnt. 

“Inevitably, the bridge will be tolled but that is the job of the NSIA because we must make sure the bridge is properly maintained. So, this is where…private sector capacity becomes useful. They may not be (able to) build capital to buy the asset but can mobilise the expertise and efficiency to operate it, of course not without due diligence being done. That is the same model on the Lekki toll gate,” Fashola said.

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Federal Government Shortlists 5,000 for Oil and Gas Sector Overseas Scholarships

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The Federal Government has shortlisted 5,000 candidates for its prestigious overseas scholarships.

The announcement was made through the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) in Abuja.

Bolanle Agboola, the Head of the Overseas Scholarship Scheme at PTDF, disclosed that the selection process for the 2024 scholarships had reached its final stage.

She revealed that the shortlisted candidates had participated in rigorous examinations across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

“The purpose of this initiative is to empower Nigerians with high-tech skills required in the oil and gas industry,” Agboola stated. “The selection process was conducted simultaneously in various universities across the country.”

Highlighting the importance of the scholarships, Agboola emphasized the need for Nigeria to indigenize its oil and gas sector.

“Our target is to select the best candidates for the overseas scholarships,” she said. “This initiative aligns with the government’s goal of building local capacity in the oil and gas industry.”

When asked about the number of participants to be selected, Agboola explained that each state of the federation would receive an equal allocation of successful candidates based on the budget for the year.

However, she refrained from disclosing the exact budget allocated for the scholarship scheme.

Agboola defended the decision to send scholars abroad, citing the high-tech nature of the oil and gas industry and the need for hands-on experience with cutting-edge equipment and technology.

She also mentioned PTDF’s in-country scholarship program, where participants are trained in Nigeria.

The overseas scholarships will be offered in various universities in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Malaysia, providing Nigerian scholars with access to world-class education and training in the oil and gas sector.

With this initiative, the Federal Government aims to equip Nigerian professionals with the expertise needed to drive innovation and development in the nation’s vital oil and gas industry, ensuring its sustainability and competitiveness on the global stage.

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JAMB Releases 36,540 Withheld UTME Results, Dismisses Cyber Breach Claims

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The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has quelled concerns over the integrity of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results by releasing an additional 36,540 previously withheld scores.

This move follows earlier revelations of withheld results and assertions of a cyber security breach.

Fabian Benjamin, the spokesperson for JAMB, confirmed the release of these results in a statement issued late Tuesday in Abuja.

This latest batch of released scores, when combined with the 531 previously unveiled, brings the total number of results made public to 1,879,437.

Benjamin took the opportunity to address circulating rumors regarding the security of the UTME results.

He categorically dismissed claims of a cyber security breach, saying that the examination outcomes remain intact and securely stored.

He stressed that the results are not stored in any cloud system and thus cannot be compromised by external entities.

At the time of the UTME release, JAMB had disclosed that certain results were withheld pending further investigation.

Subsequently, 531 of these results were recently unveiled with the remainder still under scrutiny.

Benjamin explained that any candidates implicated in examination malpractice are undergoing thorough investigation.

The examination board intends to meticulously review footage from CCTV cameras installed across all accredited centers to ascertain each candidate’s involvement.

Benjamin urged the public to remain vigilant against misinformation originating from sources not affiliated with JAMB.

He attributed the discrepancies in minimum admissible scores to variations among tertiary institutions. Some institutions, he noted, proposed lower minimum scores than others, resulting in varying benchmarks.

Benjamin clarified that these benchmarks are determined collectively by all Heads of Institutions during the annual Policy Meeting on Admissions, ensuring uniformity across the country.

Also, Benjamin cautioned religious organizations against overstepping their designated roles.

He warned against the dissemination of false information to governmental bodies for personal gain.

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International Students in Germany Get Pre-Study Work Rights Under New Law

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Germany has implemented a new segment of its revamped skilled worker law, granting international students significant pre-study work rights.

This move aims to attract skilled workers from various sectors while fostering integration and easing financial burdens for students.

Under these fresh regulations, non-EU citizens applying for study visas can now arrive in Germany up to nine months before their studies commence.

During this period, which was previously not permitted for work, students are allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week.

This change particularly benefits prospective students from developing countries, offering them the opportunity to support themselves financially while preparing for their academic pursuits.

The revised skilled worker law also extends its support to individuals interested in apprenticeships in Germany.

Third-country nationals seeking apprenticeships can now reside in the country for nine months, provided they demonstrate a B1-level proficiency in German and are below the age of 35.

During this preparatory period, they are permitted to engage in part-time work, laying the groundwork for their transition into full-time training once they secure an apprenticeship position.

Moreover, the new regulations enhance work opportunities for international students already enrolled in German institutions.

The permitted work duration for students has been extended from 120 to 140 full days in any calendar year, equivalent to 20 hours per week, or 280 half days per calendar year.

This adjustment acknowledges the financial challenges students may face and provides them with greater flexibility to manage their expenses.

In addition to pre-study work rights, graduates of German universities now benefit from an extended post-graduation stay of 18 months for job hunting.

This extended period offers graduates ample time to seek employment opportunities within Germany, with the option to apply for permanent residence after two years of continuous employment.

Overall, these amendments to Germany’s skilled worker law underscore the country’s commitment to attracting and retaining international talent.

By providing enhanced work opportunities and support mechanisms for students and graduates, Germany aims to strengthen its position as a hub for global education and professional development.

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