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FG clears additional 2 months salaries backlog, as ASUU demands for complete payment



…Payment of two months out of seven far below expectations — ASUU

…ASUU demands payment of promised EAAs as 2023 budget remains unfulfilled

By Sodiq Adelakun

The Federal Government has begun the process of paying the salaries that were withheld from academics who are members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Multiple sources within the academic sector have confirmed this development, which comes as a relief to many affected individuals.

Prof. Gbolahan Bolarin, the chairperson of ASUU at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, confirmed the news, stating, “Yes, it is true. Payment has started rolling in.”

This announcement follows President Bola Tinubu’s approval in October 2023 to release four out of the eight months’ worth of salaries that were withheld from ASUU members.

The salaries were initially withheld when the previous administration, under President Muhammadu Buhari, implemented a ‘No Work, No Pay policy’ against university-based unions that participated in an eight-month strike in 2022.

This policy aimed to discourage strikes and ensure that workers are only paid for the days they actually work.In addition to the salary payments, the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, recently announced that the government has increased the salaries of university workers by 35 percent.

This increase is expected to alleviate some of the financial burdens faced by academics and improve their overall welfare.

The Minister also said the government has granted autonomy to the universities by removing them from the Integrated Payment and Payroll Information System.

He added that the universities no longer need a waiver to recruit and fill vacancies.

“These resolutions were reached through informal consultations with the unions basd in the tertiary institutions,” Mamman said.

Speaking at a press confrence in Abuja on Moday, ASUU Abuja zonal coordinator, Comrade Salahu Mohmmed Lawal, said the payment of the two months’ salarie is far below the expectation of the union.

He said, This is far below the expetation of the union and furtherweakens the morale of ourmembers and the union’ trust in government promises.

“We use thismedium to call on all that are inolved in this inglorious act to do the needful with regards lecturers’ withheld salaries as there is nothing more to prove.”

Lawal urged the federal government to live up to its expectations by concluding, signing and immediately implementing the Prof. Nimi Briggs Committee on Renegotiated Agreement and immediately pay all the withheld salaries, promotion arrears and Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).

He added, “It is obvious that the Nigerian government is known for not fulfilling their promises as Federal and State governments are owing various allowances and arrears all over our campuses.

“The promised payment of arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAAs) which as captured in 2023 budget has not been paid. It might interest you to know that promotion arrears are being owed lecturers as far back as 2018 on some campuses. It is high time to pay up what you owe and stop being a bad debtor.”

Lawal urged both the federal and state governments to halt the increasing number of universities, expressing his concern that the current universities are not receiving sufficient funding. He criticised the establishment of more universities, stating that it is undermining the credibility of the entire university system.

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TETFund commits to enhancing NOUN study centres with high-speed fibre optics — NOUN VC



The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) will upgrade all the study centres of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) with fibre optics to transmit information and data with the speed of light.

The Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters, said this during a pre-convocation news conference on Monday, ahead of its 13th convocation slated for April 13, in Abuja.

Fibre optics, or optical fibre, refers to the technology that transmits information as light pulses along a glass or plastic fibre.

Mr Peters said the rate of technology advancement at NOUN attracted the offer from TETFund.

“Right now, our academics all over the faculties and departments have video components to assist our students and we deploy this with ease.

“And because of the manner we deploy technology, TETFund has offered to assist us with fibre optics in all our study centres across the country.

“It is a testimony to where we are in terms of technology,” Mr Peters said.

He said that a lot of Nigerians were yet to understand how the university operates in spite of its years of existence in the country.

Mr Peters noted that the institution had brought development to many towns and villages where the university had its study centres.

“The forthcoming convocation would be an opportunity to showcase what the institution can do with technology,” he said.

Mr Peters said that 22,175 students in various disciplines across the country would be graduating on April 13.

He said the graduating students would join the convocation via technology from its 120 study centres across the country.

“Of this number, 15,768 are undergraduate degrees, while 6,407 are for postgraduate degrees, with the Faculty of Social Sciences producing the highest number of graduates.

“Twenty-two of these students are first class, 2,362 are PGD graduates, while 41 are Masters and six are leaving the institution as PHD holders.

“This is an indication that the school is gradually moving towards establishing a more robust postgraduate school,” he said.

Mr Peters said the interesting part of the convocation would be the conferment of an investiture on the University’s new Chancellor, His Royal Majesty, Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, with a Doctorate Degree, and his installation as the Chancellor.

He said that the convocation lecture would be delivered by the Vice Chancellor of the Open University of Tanzania, Prof. Elifas Bisanda, with the topic: “Is Western education still relevant for Africa.”

The NOUN VC said the lecture would direct Nigeria and Africa in general to areas which would be useful to citizens.

He added that the lecture would be followed by the conferment of honorary Doctorate Degrees on Dr Innocent Chukwuma, the chief executive officer of Innoson Motors, and Hafsatu Abdulwaheed, the first female novelist in northern Nigeria and an eminent activist.

“Dr Chukwuma is a well-known Nigerian entrepreneur and founder of Innoson Motors, and his creativity and commitment to local content, is one of the reasons the university considered it fit to honour him.

“The second person, Hajia Hafsatu, has dedicated her works to promoting education, particularly for girls, and she believes in the transformative power of literacy to uplift communities and break the circle of poverty.

“These two awardees reflect the core values of NOUN which is entrepreneur ingenuity and knowledge-based content creativity,” Mr Peters said.

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NUC grants UNILAG distance learning approval for four new programmes



By Sodiq Adelakun

The National Universities Commission (NUC) has given its approval for the University of Lagos Distance Learning Institute (DLI) to introduce four new programmes in the upcoming academic session.

The approved programmes set to commence in the next academic session include the Postgraduate Diploma in Education, Bachelor of Science in Finance, Bachelor of Education in Guidance and Counselling, and Bachelor of Educational Administration.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Folasade Ogunsola revealed this information in her address at the blended matriculation ceremony for newly admitted students of the DLI.

Ogunsola expressed the University’s commitment to providing quality education through its Distance Learning Institute and welcomed the new students to the institute’s academic community during the matriculation ceremony for the 2023/2024 academic session.

The Vice-Chancellor commended the freshers for choosing the open distance learning form of education, describing it as the way of the future and charged them to be of good character in deed and in truth.

The Distance Learning Institute serves as the operational and coordinating arm of the university’s open and distance learning programmes, enjoying an elevated status akin to that of a faculty within the institution.

With its own management and academic boards, the institute holds the authority to devise policies, hire staff, oversee academic programs and examinations, manage daily operations, and generate funds independently for its activities.

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JAMB enables printing of 2024 UTME exam slips, vital details now accessible



By Sodiq Adelakun

The Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB) has announced that candidates for the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) can now access and print their exam slips.

These slips, released on April 10th, 2024, hold crucial information such as the exam date, time, and venue.

Candidates have two options for printing their exam slips. They can either utilize the JAMB Exam Slip Printing Portal or access the slip through the JAMB eFacility portal.

Both methods require candidates to provide their JAMB Registration Number, email address, or phone number used during registration.

Once the details are entered correctly, candidates can proceed to print or save the exam slip as a PDF for future reference.

It’s imperative for candidates to note that there is no limit to the number of times they can reprint their exam slips, and both methods provided by JAMB are valid for accessing and printing the slips.

With the exam slip containing essential information for the UTME 2024, candidates are advised not to delay in accessing and printing their slips to ensure they are adequately prepared for their exam day.

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