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NEC moves to declare state of emergency in education

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NEC moves to declare state of emergency in education

The National Economic Council (NEC) is working towards declaring a state of emergency in the nation’s education sector.

The deputy governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, disclosed this to state house correspondents at the end of the monthly meeting of the council presided over by vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo.

All the 36 state governors are members of the council.

Mr Shaibu said a final decision on the matter would be taken at the next council meeting holding in November.

He said the council, at its Thursday meeting, received interim report from its ad-hoc committee on the revival of education in Nigeria.

The deputy governor said the committee recommended that all state governors should declare a state of emergency on education.

He said the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, had on June 28, 2018, made a presentation on the “National Education Policy, Prospects, Challenges and Way Forward” to the council.

Based on the presentation, he said the NEC set up an Ad-hoc Committee on the Revival of the Education Sector in Nigeria, to review and submit recommendations.

He said, “The Ad-hoc committee submitted an interim report to the council. The Committee observed that a multi-frontal approach is required to tackle the various factors militating against the achievement of the nation’s educational objectives in view of the multi-dimensional nature of the crisis in the education sector.

“The committee strongly recommends that the Federal Government, states and local governments collaborate to vigorously implement, and sustain action on the 10 pillars of the Ministerial Strategic Plan developed by the Ministry of Education.

“Among the areas of attention are: the issue of out-of-school children, promoting adult literacy and special needs education, reviving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and Technical, Vocational Education and Training, strengthening basic education, prioritising teacher education, capacity building and professional development, ensuring quality and access in tertiary education, promoting ICT in education, boosting library services in education etc.

“The report asked all governors to declare a state of emergency in the education sectors of their respective states and demonstrate their commitment to revamping education.”

Mr Shaibu said the committee recommended that the Federal Government and states should allocate a minimum of 15 per cent of their budgets to education in order to revolutionise the sector.

He said the governments were also advised to constitute special task force to manage the funds and oversee the infrastructural overhaul of selected schools for intervention across the federation.

“Council decided that while the interim report is being reviewed by members of the council, a more detailed report be prepared and presented at the next NEC meeting when decisions would be taken on the proposed recommendations,” he said.

“Declaring state of emergency is at the basic and we must look at the indices that make up our challenges especially at the area of technology so the ministerial plan is for all the states and local government to key in, so that all will be on the same page.

“It is not going to be one of those documents that will be kept aside, and we are all unanimous in addressing it and all the states have agreed on this,” he added.

According to a report on Punch Newspaper, the deputy governor also talked about a report on States Gross Domestic Product computation for 11 states between 2013 and 2017 as presented by the National Bureau of Statistics.

He said the essence of the SGDP computation was to ascertain the sizes of the economy in states, how much state contribute to the nation’s economy, the sector which is best to invest in a particular state, the key sectors that can drive growth, create employment and generate tax revenue for states, and the sectors that need government intervention or support .

Mr Shaibu said the computation started in 2012 with seven pilot states: Rivers, Lagos, Gombe, Cross River, Kano, Anambra and Niger, following the expressed interests of states to measure their economic competitiveness over time, understand the structure of their economies and assess contribution to national output.

“Council was invited to note that the NBS has completed the first phase of the SGDP exercise involving 11 states for the five-year period covering 2013-2017 across the 46 economic activities,” he said.

He said the selected states accounted for N33.3trn in nominal GDP or 29.3 per cent of national GDP in 2017.

“Data on states GDP is generally useful to support evidence-based policy making. Efforts are ongoing to complete the next phase of compilation for the remaining 25 states and the FCT.”

According to him, the remaining states who are yet to pay are Abia, Adamawa, Benue, Borno, Imo Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Nassarawa and Plateau, noting that they will be included in 2019.

Similarly, the Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar, said the issue of the new minimum wage was not discussed at the meeting.

He said, “That was not discussed at the National Economic Council meeting.

“Secondly, governors are part and parcel of the negotiation, the governors have not taken a decision either way because it is a negotiating process and it is still ongoing.

We are represented by six governors in the committee. It is a work in progress and I am sure we will get to the Promised Land.”

The governor also said the federal government was right in placing conditions for the release of the final tranche of Paris Club refund.

“The Federal Government was right in placing those conditions.”

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Alleged Gang rape: Court denies Babcock University student bail

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Nigeria News

A Babcock University student, James Aguedo has been denied bail by  Justice Abiola Soladoye of an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court.

Nigeria News

The student of Babcock University, James Aguedo, accused of involvement in gang-rape of a student of the University of Lagos (Unilag) was reportedly denied bail when bail applications were made.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Soladoye in a ruling on Thursday said Mr Aguedo, 20, did not provide compelling circumstances as to why the court should grant him bail.

“The essence of bail is to ensure the defendant’s attendance at trial. In deciding an application for bail, certain factors must be taken into consideration such as the nature of the charge and the evidence adduced.

“Grant of bail of a defendant in a criminal offence is not automatic, it is at the discretion of the court.

“I am, therefore, of the view that the application before the court has not shown any compelling or exceptional circumstances to warrant the court exercising its discretion in favour of the applicant.

“The application for bail is hereby refused, and the court shall give this case accelerated trial; I so hold,” the judge said.

NAN reports that Mr Aguedo’s counsel, Lawal Pedro, had on March 25 prayed the court to grant him bail to enable him to write an examination at the Babcock University in April.

He also submitted that the undergraduate suffered from ill-health and needed constant medical attention.

“He has a recurring back ailment. We brought not just a medical report but the history because he has been attending an orthopaedic hospital.

“The prison facility is not conducive for him,” the SAN said.

Mr Pedro had attached Mr Aguedo’s school identity card and admission letter to the bail application dated March 13.

Also attached were a National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Yaba, Lagos, appointment card, history of medical examination and a St Dominic’s Catholic Church’s letter of recommendation.

NAN reports that the student is standing trial alongside Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Chuka Chukwu, 19, Peace Nwankama, 19 and Osemeka Josephine, 20.

The defendants were charged with serial gang-rape of a Unilag student (name withheld).

According to prosecution counsel, Fehinti Ogbemudia, the defendants committed the gang rape sometime in 2017 within the premises of Unilag.

The alleged victim had on February 26 testified that she was lured by Nwankama who was her roommate to High Rise, a staff quarters hostel, in Unilag.

She said she was gang-raped at High Rise by eight students, and that the sexual assault was video-taped.

According to the alleged victim, she was also blackmailed with the video and further gang-raped on other occasions by the defendants and their accomplices who are now at large.

The five defendants have been remanded in the Kirikiri Prisons since February 26, when they were arraigned.

The case has been adjourned until May 2 for continuation of trial.

(NAN)

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Sterling Bank Staff, Olanrewaju Yusuf remanded in prison for N36m fraud

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EFCC speaks on raid on Atiku's sons' apartment

 

Justice Bello Duwale of the Sokoto State High Court has remanded a Sterling Bank Plc worker, Olanrewaju Yusuf, in prison custody for cheating to the tune of N36 million and issuing of dud cheques.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arraigned Yusuf, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Viclibo Ventures, on five counts bordering on the issuance of dud cheque, criminal breach of trust and cheating.

A complainant, Tunde Akinola, had alleged that sometime in January 2018, Yusuf, who worked with the Sokoto branch of the bank requested a N30 million loan for the establishment of a biscuit and juice production factory with a pledge to pay back the money with 10 per cent interest.

Akinola stated that he rallied round friends and colleagues to raise the money, which he gave to the accused via his United Bank for Africa account on condition that the loan should be paid back by March 2018.

Pursuant to the agreement, Yusuf allegedly issued three post-dated Diamond Bank cheques of N10m each and another for N6m, all of which were dishonoured by the bank on presentation.

Yusuf pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges.

Counsel for EFCC, S.H. Sa’ad, urged the court to fix a date for commencement of trial and asked that the defendant be remanded in prison custody, but the defence counsel, Ferdinard Okotete, prayed the court to grant his client bail.

Justice Bello, however, ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody and fixed April 25, 2019 for hearing of bail application.

The trial judge further granted an interim forfeiture order in respect of the defendant’s property, pursuant to a motion ex parte filed by the EFCC.

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Kenyan family sues Boeing over Ethiopia crash over Ethiopian Airline Plane crash

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A family of a Kenyan man,  who died in last month’s Ethiopia Airlines crash said it is taking the plane manufacturer Boeing to court in the US.

In all, 157 people died when the Boeing 737-Max 8 went down six minutes after take off on a flight from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

The 29-year-old engineer George Kabau was one of more than 30 Kenyans on board.

At a press conference in Nairobi his siblings said they wanted the company to release emails relating to the plane, which has now been grounded, Reuters news agency reports.

“We cannot replace him, and he cannot and shall not be replaced. But we pray that by what is happening, my parents especially and us as his siblings and all other loved ones, can use his demise to ensure safe travel for all,” said Mr Kabau’s sister.

Boeing is facing three other law suits relating to the Ethiopia crash, including from members of the family of a Rwandan victim.

The Ethiopian Airlines plane nose dived several times before it hit the ground, a preliminary report released a fortnight ago said.

Pilots “repeatedly” followed procedures recommended by Boeing before the crash, according to the first official report into the disaster.

Boeing’s boss has admitted for the first time a failure in the jet’s anti-stall system was a factor in the crash.

But the company has not commented on the legal cases.

BBC

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