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Strike: ASUU NEC holds crucial meeting

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BY Deborah Onatunde

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will on Sunday night/Monday morning conclude whether the union will continue its over six-month strike or not.

Nigerian NewsDirect reports that ASUU embarked on a nationwide industrial action on February 14 and has continued to extend it as there has been no agreement with the government.

The union had extended the strike on August 1 by another four weeks, leaving parents and students to an unknown fate.

Other counterparts of ASUU namely the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) have called off their respective strike actions for a few months to allow the Federal Government give a proper look into their demands.

Meanwhile, a comment by the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, stating that some state universities that have opted out of the strike are pretentious, has generated mixed reactions as there is the possibility of more state universities opting out of the strike.

Previously, Kwara State University, Kaduna State University and Ekiti State University have tackled Osodeke for his remark and acclaimed that most of the issues at stake are peculiar to federal universities.

It was also gathered that the FG may order the Vice Chancellors to re-open the schools and register lecturers who are willing to work. Such lecturers would only be paid, while those who refuse to work would not be paid.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has consequently appealed to ASUU to consider whatever is given by the Government in the interest of students.

Moreover, NANS National President, Sunday Asefon, made it known it that the students will not cooperate with the union if it continues the industrial action.

“Let them have pity on students that have been at home for months. If the strike is not called off, we won’t support the union in this fight again. Let them make concessions and live to fight another day,” he said.

Meanwhile, the NEC meeting may determine whether the government would suspend the union as is being heard in some quarters.

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CBN disowns notice on cryptocurrency transactions

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says a notice circulating on social media about the risk of cryptocurrency is fake news.

The Apex disclosed this via its official X account, urging the public to disregard the purported notice for all Deposits Money Bank, Non-Bank Financial Institutions, and other Financial Institutions.

The notice reminded “Institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited”.

However, CBN said the content doesn’t originate from it.

“This information does not originate from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“For authentic updates, please visit the official website,” CBN wrote.

Recall that the CBN governor, during the Bank’s 293rd Monetary Policy Committee meeting, said over $26 billion funnelled through Binance.

On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said the anti-graft agency froze about 300 accounts to ensure the safety of the foreign exchange market.

The Nigerian government had continued clamping down on Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms amid efforts to defend the Naira in the foreign exchange market.

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Biden says U.S. will begin sending weapons to Ukraine

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U.S. President Joe Biden wants to start delivering of weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week.
The president said this shortly after the U.S. Senate approved billions of dollars in new aid for the country under attack from Russia.
“I will sign this bill into law and address the American people as soon as it reaches my desk tomorrow so we can begin sending weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week,” Biden said.
By passing the legislative package, which also includes billions of dollars in aid for Israel and Taiwan, the U.S. Congress has demonstrated the power of American leadership in the world, Biden added.
“We stand resolutely for democracy and freedom, and against tyranny and oppression.”
There is an urgent need for support for Ukraine, which is being subjected to relentless bombardment from Russia, Biden said.
The bill also contains aid for Israel, which has recently faced unprecedented attacks from Iran.
“This critical legislation will make our nation and world more secure as we support our friends who are defending themselves against terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin,” Biden said.
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NSCDC deploys personnel to JAMB CBT centres in Anambra

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), said it has deployed personnel to ensure a hitch-free 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Anambra.

The state Commandant, Olatunde Maku, stated this after monitoring the conduct of the exams across CBT centres in Awka, on Wednesday.

Some of the centres visited are, Integral Development Konsult on Enugu/Onitsha Expressway, White House in Awka, JAMB Centre located inside JAMB office in Amawbia and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Others are St. John of God ICT Hub, Awka and Kachukwu Ventures Staff Development Centre, behind Government House in Awka.

The examination centres take candidates in three batches: 7 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Maku said that the synergy between NSCDC and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had yielded positive results in reducing exam malpractice.

He said that the monitoring of the centres would continue till the end of the examination period, to ensure a seamless conduct of the exercise and promote transparency.

“We are firm in our determination to protect critical national assets and infrastructure including JAMB centres.

“Which was why the NSCDC deployed personnel to JAMB CBT centres in the state to ensure security and so far they have been professional in carrying out their mandate,” he said.

Maku advised candidates writing the 2024 UTME to be law abiding and avoid being in possession of prohibited or incriminating items during the examination.

He warned unauthorised persons against loitering around designated exam centre, adding that anyone found wanting would be arrested and prosecuted.

Also speaking, Mrs Jema Iheme, JAMB Coordinator, Anambra state, commended NSCDC for their support and for ensuring security of candidates and staff at the exam centres.

Iheme said that the swift response of NSCDC to emergencies and enforcement of exam rules and regulations was contributing to a smooth and secured exam process so far.

NAN also reports that about 1.9 million candidates are expected to write the JAMB UTME, which commenced on April 19 and would end on April 29.

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