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FG shares N208bn to tertiary institutions

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has disbursed N208 billion as total allocation for 2019 tertiary institutions’ fund.

Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, the Executive Secretary, TETFund, made this known at the annual meeting of TETFund beneficiary institutions on Thursday in Abuja, NAN reports.

Bogoro said that universities got N826, 684, 392.00, polytechnics got the sum of N566, 701, 842. 00 and Colleges of Education received N542, 226, 346.00 each.

He said that 18 institutions drawn from six geopolitical zones in the country were to receive special high impact interventions.

Bogoro also explained that the 18 institutions that were critically selected in line with the provided guidelines, received N5 billion for the intervention.

He said that six universities would receive N3 billion each, six polytechnics N1 billion each and N1 billion each would go to six Colleges of Education.

TETFund boss said that the Fund had ensured that the beneficiary institutions, who are recipients of the education tax utilise them judiciously.

According to him, the agency is monitoring projects and programmes approved for them by Board of Trustees.

”The Fund had undergone some internal restructuring and realignment for better and efficient service delivery,” he said.

Bogoro said a total of 55 Colleges of Education have benefited from micro teaching laboratory, construction and furnishing.

TETFund boss added that the sum of N19, 977, 522, 916.59 had successfully been disbursed between January and June 2019 for physical infrastructure and library interventions.

He pointed out that the issue of stranded scholars abroad, which caused the nation and the fund embarrassment had been revisited promptly.

Bogoro, however, said that appropriate steps have been undertaken by the Fund to eliminate the lapses that led to the situation.

Meanwhile, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) commended TETFund in the role played in ensuring the development of the country, especially as it concerns physical infrastructure in tertiary institutions.

Rasheed, however, said that the rising number of tertiary institutions was a challenge, which reduces interventions to the institutions.

He added that in 2019, the country has the largest number of intervention of the institution as more institutions were created.

According to him, Nigeria needs more universities, polytechnics and Colleges of Education but TETFund also needs to be protected so that the volume of intervention can be protected.

”The rising number of institutions is a challenge. Nigeria needs more institutions of tertiary education to provide more access to quality education.

”However, TETFund is also worry that with many institutions, the value of its intervention is minimised,” he said.

Rasheed, therefore, called on administrators of the various institutions to efficiently and successfully administer the funds while also urging them to be proactive in the processing of the fund.

He also called on Chief Executives of the institutions to engage other officials in their various institutions on utilisation of the fund.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari approved N161 billion for varsities, others as 2018 Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) intervention budget for 2019 intervention activities in accordance with the provisions of TETFund Act 2011.

Each public university in Nigeria got an allocation of N785,832,700; Polytechnic gets N536,703,502; and College of Education will get N510,084,900.

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Education

Ogun: I will not scrap polytechnic created in Ipokia by Amosun – Dapo Abiodun

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Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun has said the new Ogun State Polytechnic established in Ipokia by his predecessor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, would not be scrapped, DAILY POST reports.

Gov Abiodun disclosed this during a government function held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital yesterday.

Abiodun spoke on his efforts in resolving the controversies surrounding the upgrade of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY) to Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology (MAUSTECH), Abeokuta and the creation of a polytechnic in Ipokia, Ogun West by Amosun.

According to him, when he came in as governor, none of the institutions were functioning, a situation that brought about the inauguration of various committees to look into the issues.

He said for MAPOLY to function, he had to send a bill to the Ogun State House of Assembly for the reversal of MAPOLY assets, which he said had earlier been ceded to MAUSTECH; adding that MAPOLY is now doing fine as the polytechnic now generates revenue, resulting to a decrease in its monthly subvention.

Speaking further, Abiodun informed that, “the entire ‘ecosystem’ of MAPOLY, “that is the landlords that have hostels, the mama that sells food, the lady that sells recharge card, the person that sells pure water are all happy.”

In his words, he added, “we appreciate the fact that our brothers and sisters from Ogun Central will like to yet have a university and consequently that option has not been taken off the table. There will be a university in the Central.

“The Polytechnic in Ogun West will also exist. Our brothers and sisters from Ogun West have also agitated to have a university. So, we will start off with this polytechnic and we will ensure they have a university.”

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Nigerian newspapers: 10 things you need to know this Saturday morning

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Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Friday said that the plan to increase Value Added Tax (VAT) from five per cent to 7.5 per cent is in the right direction to raise the country’s revenue. CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele said that the government had the responsibility to fend for every citizenry by providing basic infrastructure like roads, electricity and hospitals among others. He explained that the government had only two ways to fund such projects, which are by raising revenue and through loan collection. According to him, the present government has been criticised by some people for high rate of debt incurred.

2. The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Taraba State on Saturday dismissed the petition by Abubakar Danladi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the re-election of Governor Darius Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election in the State. In a unanimous decision, the court held that the petitioners failed to prove their claims that the election was marred by irregularities and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

3. Governors elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) under the aegis of the Progressive Governors Forum yesterday revealed plans to adopt a common governance initiative across all APC states. The governors said they want to create a distinct identity for the party that will separate it from other political parties in the country. The governors set a PGF Governance Programme Steering Committee headed by the Governors of Jigawa and Plateau states, tasked with the responsibility of looking at how they govern their states.

4. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday apologised to bank customers for the inconveniences the newly introduced cashless policy will cause. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank, made the apology at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja. He said he sympathized and regret inconvenience cashless policy will cause bank customers.

5. Rivers-based serial killer, Gracious David-West yesterday said he single-handedly carried out the heinous crime killing a total of 7 victims; 5 in Rivers state, 1 in Lagos and another in Owerri. He however denied being sponsored by any person. He pleaded for mercy, saying that he was been controlled by evil spirit.

6. The Delta State election petition tribunal sitting in Asaba, the Delta State capital on Friday upheld the reelection of Sen. (Dr.) Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa just as it dismissed Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru and the All Progressives Congress, APC’s petition for lacking in merit. The election tribunal headed by Suleiman Belgore handed down the judgment on Friday in Asaba. The Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru had approached the election tribunal, challenging the Governorship election of March 9 which saw Sen. (Dr.) Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa emerging as Governor.

7. Atiku Abubakar, 2019 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Friday spoke for the first time since after President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the Presidential Election Tribunal earlier this month. Reacting, Atiku in a statement, Atiku urged Nigerians to continue their support for constitutional order via the courts. He also thanked the governors elected on the platform of PDP.

8. President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday reacted to reports of the UN rapporteur on violence in Nigeria. He said while the presidency agree that the violence in Nigeria, or in any country, is a major concern and that there is a rippling effect, it was disappointed that the rapporteur was silent on intra-group violence. He pointed out that in Benue, Taraba, Cross River States and many parts of the country, most of the casualties result from intra-group, inter-group and community violence. Many of the displaced persons across the nation are also victims of these conflicts. Buhari said the UN representative needs to be truthful and even-handed in her assignment.

9. The three-man panel of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, and chaired by Justice A.L. Ogumoye, on Friday dismissed the petition filed by 2019 APGA gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Alex Otti against the declaration of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu. The tribunal ruled that the petitioner failed to prove the case of over-voting, non-compliance to the INEC election guideline and electoral act. Alex Otti had asked the tribunal to cancel fifteen out of the seventeen local government areas’ election results in Abia State. Otti claimed that the respondents, PDP, and Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who was the governorship candidate of PDP perpetrated excessive malpractice in those LGAs in the last March 9, 2019, election conducted in the state.

10. A chieftain of the Yoruba apex socio-cultural organization, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has noted that constitutional crisis in Nigeria and the imbalance in the polity are the main cause of agitation for a break-up by different groups in the country. The lawyer and elder statesman said that it would be better if the country breaks up since the leaders refuse to restructure it. He said he has no objection to breaking up, adding that people are talking of breaking up because the term of coming together has been abrogated by the northern Muslims who are dominating the country. According to him, this is why the young elements, extremists in the South- East, South – South, South –West and the Middle Belt are yearning for break-up.

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Ogun polytechnic in secret moves to increase school fees, extort students – NANS raises alarm

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has cried out that the Management of DS Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, Itori, Ogun State, was making secret moves to increase tuition fees and to extort students through the introduction of other ‘illegal’ charges.

However, the management of the polytechnic said there was nothing secretive about its plan to increase tuition fees as it had requested for upward review of the fees through a proposal sent to the Ogun State Ministry of Education Science and Technology; which is yet to get a reply.

But NANS said the polytechnic was trying to make life more difficult for indigent students.

According to NANS, students running their ND programme would now pay N61,000 instead of the current N55,000, while those running their HND programme would have their fees hiked from N71,000 to N76,000.

NANS has since rejected the increase in tuition fees by the polytechnic; alleging that, “we are not unaware of a tactical threat to the students if they dare speak up against their suffering state in the institution.”

The Nigerian students also alleged that, “the school management has also indulged in ‘modernised extortions’ which have been tagged different names such as:
Sundry fee – N12,000
Developmental fee – N15,000
Fine for late submission of file – N10,000
Updating of file – N5,000.”

NANS said it had “investigated and discovered that the increase and the new charges were true, saying it opposed the development in its entirety.

The students body said, “We are also aware of the move by the Rector, Prof. Olufemi Fatade, to pocket the Students Union after holding a meeting with the union’s executive on Wednesday. We are assuring that, against all odds, NANS will not mortgage the trust of the students in their mother body especially, the children of the poor.”

Azeez Adeyemi, NANS Public Relations Officer in a statement said the National President of NANS, Com Danielson Bamidele Akpan, had delegated a six-man panel of comrades and national executive members to meet with the polytechnic management on Monday to ensure that status quo remains.

The statement reads inter alia: “Our attention has been called to the decision of the Ogun State-owned DS Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic to increase its tuition fees by N5,000.

“We have investigated and discovered that the increase was true, the development that NANS opposes in its entirety.

“We, however, appeal to the Rector of the institution, Prof. Olufemi Fatade to immediately see to the immediate reversal of the management’s decision on the increment as we hold him in high esteem.

“Of the thirteen tertiary institutions in the state, we have discovered that none is thinking of doing such at this critical time, except DS Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic.

“We, however, request that the amount of the tuition fees be reversed to status quo effecting from this semester in the institution.”

Why we requested for N5,000 increase in tuition fees – Registrar

When DAILY POST contacted the management of DS Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, our correspondent was informed that adding N5,000 to the tuition fees became necessary if the institution is to maintain its existence.

Speaking with our correspondent, the Registrar, Mr Bayo Ogundimu, informed that the polytechnic had, after considering a lot of factors sent a letter to government, requesting for the upward review of tuition fees. He, however, said the request had not been granted.

Ogundimu revealed that the polytechnic had been self-sustaining in a way, since its creation in 2006; saying it gets N5m monthly subvention from government and it has to pay salaries of staff.

According to him, lecturers of the institution are being owed four months salaries. This, he said, was as a result of lack of funds as “the wage bill alone is about N27m monthly.”

He added that the ICT polytechnic now has more courses accredited, thereby, increasing the wage bill.

According to him, “the Gov Dapo Abiodun-led government is just settling down and it will be too early to belabour it with too much requests. We also know the government has a lot before it. That is why this increase becomes indispensable. We know there are many indigent students, but what do we do?”

On other fees, Ogundimu clarified that Developmental fee is for HND 1 students only; while Sundry fee, he said, was a combination of many fees like library, GNS, sending of result through the portal and others; adding that file updating and late submission of file are mainly for students, especially outgone ones, who defaulted in completing their registration or failed to possess the registration file.

“We introduced all these compliments of fees so as to be able to meet our overhead. Apart from the N5m, there’s no other thing coming from government. We are pushing for the upward review of the subvention, even when we know government has a lot of demands on its neck.”

Asked if he sees government approving the proposal for upward review of tuition fees, considering the public outcry it has generated, Ogundimu said, “I can’t speak for government. Except government sits on it and gives us a reply.”

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