The Chinese Government has awarded scholarships to 58 Nigerians among whom were 16 doctorate degree students, 39 masters’ degree and three undergraduates, according to a report byPUNCH.
The beneficiaries received their university admission notices from the Counselor, Embassy of China in Nigeria, Mr Li Xuda, in Abuja on Friday.
Addressing the awardees during a pre-departure briefing, the Ambassador of China to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian, encouraged them to work hard in fulfilling their dreams and to observe and learn what brought China to where it is today.
He said, “This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
“In these years, China has always placed education as fundamental to its pursuit of national rejuvenation.
“Every year, hundreds of Nigerian students get scholarships and chase their dreams in China; some of them are sponsored by Chinese companies.
“Last year at the Confucius Institute, University of Lagos, the body of Chinese investors announced the award of scholarships to 63 students of the university to study in Chinese institutions.”
The envoy added that 6,845 Nigerian students were studying in China with 512 covered by Chinese government scholarship.
Gov. Abiodun arrested, arraigned us so we don’t talk about our unpaid salaries – TASCE lecturer alleges [Interview]
In this interview with DAILY POST, the lecturer, Daniel Aborisade, talked about how the five lecturers were arrested, detained and taken to court for allegations, he claimed were orchestrated by Gov. Abiodun to prevent them from agitating for their 60 months unpaid salaries and other crises rocking the college.
DAILY POST: You were arrested and arraigned, alongside four other lecturers of TASCE, for alleged robbery, kidnapping, assault and others. I also saw your allegations that some individuals, who you described as “errand boys” to Gov Dapo Abiodun arranged your arrest and detention. Please elucidate.
Aborisade: I want to tell the whole world that those allegations levelled against me and some members of staff of TASCE were to silence us over our demand for our legitimate right.
I was arrested on Wednesday, 11th September, 2019 at the Governor’s office with one other colleague, Seyi Akinola. I was invited to have an amicable solution to the crisis of unpaid salaries running to 60 months, so I asked the other colleagues to join me in that very important meeting.
We had a brief meeting with the Special Assistant to the Governor on Tertiary Institutions, another Special Assistant and then the Chief Security Officer to the Governor. One thing that was germane in these short meetings was that we were advised to eschew peace.
It was at the tail of our meeting with the CSO that some security officers came in. (The CSO had sent a message to them). He exchanged his phone number with me and we left his office.
It was in the front of the Governor’s office that we were told that we were to be taken to Eleweran, Ogun State Police Headquarters.
I need to inform you that other three (3) members of staff had earlier been picked up on Monday, September 9. They are, Com. Tosin Hembah, Labake Ballard and Bolaji Odunsi. It may interest you to know that we were heading to seek for their bail when the impromptu call for the meeting with the kitchen cabinet of the Governor emanated.
At first, I was sceptical about the meeting. My friend, Olamide Lawal, and a member of the defunct Education Transition Committee facilitated the meeting, but by the time we arrived at the Governor’s office, we could not find him. He directed a young chap to come and welcome us.
When we arrived Eleweran, we were led to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, we were made to write a statement and taken to the cell. We were cajoled that a peace meeting would be called between us and TASCE management the following day.
It was in the wee hours of Wednesday that we were charged to court. We were taken to the Ibara Prison as a result of our inability to meet up with the bail conditions. We were released the following day. I want to say that all the allegations of theft, kidnapping and armed robbery levelled against us were false.
DAILY POST: Do you mean that the governor orchestrated the arrest, detention and arraignment?
Aborisade: Yes. Some of our women staff were at his Iperu residence and he confirmed to them that he ordered the arrest of our staff that were picked on Monday. As of today, Dapo Abiodun government just paid half salary of only May and June 2019, he is yet to pay the balance of May and June and we have not received July and August as of Sunday 15/9/19.
We were owed 57 months salary by OGD and Amosun administrations, Dapo Abiodun promised to pay us instrumentally, but nothing has been done on it.
DAILY POST: Are you saying the governor is trying to send you people to jail because you are calling for the payment of your entitlements?
Aborisade: Yes, he wants to put us behind bars so as not to agitate for our owed salaries again. He wanted to add ‘Resolving TASCE Crisis’ in his 100 days achievements without doing the needful. He asked us to resume work without paying us a kobo, which we did, at least to honour him. The next thing he did was to proscribe our association (Coalition of TASCE Staff, COTAS) and refused to unban our staff unions as recommended by the visitation panel he set up to look into our case.
The governor has been deceived by the Provost of our college, Dr Lukmon Kaidese, to silence us for them to have their ways. This is the Provost that we accused of mismanaging our IGR and subvention, also that he is not qualified to be our Provost. His appointment was terminated by the University of Ilorin, and the governor still keeps him there to wrongly deal with us.
DAILY POST: What are your requests?
Aborisade: Our requests include, setting up of governing council, reinstatement of our staff unions, payment of substantial part of our 60 months salary, release of our three year promotion letters, removal of the Provost as he is not qualified according to our college enabling law; we also want massive infrastructural development of the college. The government should assume payment of 100% of our salary.
DAILY POST: What about the case in court, that is, the allegations of robbery and others?
Aborisade: It is rather unfortunate that TASCE management and Ogun State Government can stoop so low and accused innocent staff leaders agitating for payment of 60 months owed salaries, three years promotion and other welfare packages as kidnappers, armed robbers and so on, just to coerce and silence us. We challenge them to provide concrete evidence on their allegations. They should show us the person that was kidnapped, the ransom collected, who was robbed with guns or other dangerous weapons?
TASCE management and Ogun government should be bold enough to say the truth and do the needful to bail TASCE staff out of our present predicament. All these allegations were cooked just to put staff union leaders behind bars. It is better for them to pay us now. They can only kill the messengers and not the message. The message is, keep TASCE alive, stop the killing of our staff. We have lost 51 staff to the cold hand of death due to non-payment of salaries. As for the case in court, we were granted bail and the case adjourned till 4/11/19.
DAILY POST: Do you see an end to this prosecution and are you sure it will not affect your careers as lecturers?
Aborisade: We are so sure we shall be vindicated as there are no substances in their allegations. We are law-abiding staff of the college. We are just requesting for our 60 months owed salaries. We are neither kidnappers nor armed robbers.
Association writes Buhari over new minimum wage
SSAUTHRIAI made the call in a communique signed by its sectoral chairman, Felix Uwadiae and Secretary, Ademola Olajire, on Sunday.
While the Federal Government is proposing 9.5 per cent salary increase for employees on grade levels 07 to 14 and 5 per cent for those on grade levels 15 to 17, the organised labour is demanding 30 per cent increase for officers on grade levels 07 to 14 and 25 per cent increase for grade levels 15 to 17.
The communique reads, “The council-in-session appreciates Mr President for signing the new national minimum wage bill into law.
“However, the union shows its displeasure in the partial implementation of the new national minimum wage.
“SSAUTHRIAI, therefore, urges Mr President to expedite action in its full implementation.
“The President should urgently and personally intervene on the issue of the committee working out modalities for the implementation of the new national minimum wage for the workers to ensure its implementation.”
The union also appealed to Mr President to reconsider his decision to close the nation’s borders, as it has resulted in the astronomic increase in the prices of some staple foods like rice, beans, and groundnut oil, while the alternative local products are not readily available
“Where they exist, the prices have become prohibitive, due to the low quantity available.”
While sympathising with the Federal Government on the killings and abductions going in different parts of the country, the organisation demanded that government should “reorganise the nation’s security architecture in order to combat the security challenges to conform with the reality on ground.
“The issue of incessant killing, kidnappings, herdsmen attack, armed robbery, Boko Haram and other social vices has been on the increase in recent times in the country.
“While we sympathise with the family of those who lost their lives and others who are affected, we humbly plead with Mr President, to re-organise the nation’s security apparatus to conform with the reality on ground,” it added.
The union also expressed concerns that in spite of the judgment of the National Industrial Court delivered in September 2013 on the skipping of CONRAISS 10, the management of some research institutes were yet to comply.
Court summons Baze University over student result controversy
The Court summon made available to DAILY POST on Saturday and taken out by Yakubu Philemon noted that the defendant’s refusal to accede to the claimant’s request for review of his 19A semester result in MSC 803,Theories of Mass Communication and MSC 803 Research Methods of Mass Communication was contrary to the provision of paragraph 2.9 of the Baze University Abuja policies, procedures and regulations as contained in the student’s handbook 2011.
“Let, Baze University Limited of Plot 686 Cadastral Zone COO, Kuchigoro, Behind National Judicial Institute, Abuja, FCT within 42 days after service of this summons on it, inclusive of the day of such service, cause an appearance to be entered for them to this summons which is issued upon the application of Leo Ekpenyong.
The summons which reads in parts noted that by virtue of the provisions of paragraph 2.9 of the Baze University Abuja Policies, Procedures and Regulations, the defendant is bound to arrange and convene an academic appeal Panel for considering of the complaint by the claimant on the claimant’s 19A semester results.
It further reads: “An order compelling/directing the defendant to arrange and convene an academic appeal panel in respect of the complaint by the complainant on the claimant’s 19A semester result in MSC 801 Theories of Mass Communication and MSC 803 Research Methods of Mass Communication.
“An order of this Honourable Court, directing the defendant to set up an independent panel of examiners, as Commission and globally acceptable practice, in accordance with paragraph 26 of the Baze University Abuja Policies, Procedure and Regulations Students’ Handbook, 2011.
“General damages in the sum of N20, 000,000 (Twenty Million Naira) for all the psychological trauma caused by the refusal of the defendant to review the result of the plaintiff.
“Whether the defendant’s Academic Appeal Panel will not be biased in its arbitration, taking into consideration the refusal of the defendant to respect and abide by the provisions of paragraph 2.9 of the Baze University Abuja Policies, Procedures and Regulations Students Handbook 2011 as enacted by the defendant.
It will be recalled that the claimant, a lawyer by training and a First Class graduate of Communication Studies having explored all available internal remedies within the University, initially dragged Baze University before the National Universities Commission NUC, whereupon he was advised to seek redress before the temple of Justice.
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