Category: Departments

Adeleke begins salary payment

The Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, has threatened to penalize any ministry, department, or agency that fails to submit its salary schedule.

According to a statement in Osogbo on Monday by the governor’s spokesman, Olawale Rasheed, the warning was sent in response to concerns that certain agencies were sticking to their timetables despite the governor’s instruction.

Rasheed said salary payments have started, beginning with the Ministry of Justice.

The statement read in part, “Any ministry, department, or agency that fails to submit its salary schedule by today’s deadline will be sanctioned.” Any agency head that obstructs the process of scheduling will face disciplinary procedures.

“This warning is in response to reports that some agencies are still holding to their agency’s schedules despite the directive of His Excellency.”

“Governor Ademola Adeleke had last week directed the immediate conclusion of documentation for the payment of salaries. This was a consequence of a report that about 45 agencies are yet to submit their payment schedule. Presently, the payment of salaries is ongoing, starting with the Ministry of Justice.

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Buhari built a road to Atiku’s hometown – Minister

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has warned presidential aspirants against downplaying the accomplishments of the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari during their campaigns ahead of the 2023 polls.

He especially accused the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, of doing so.

Mohammed spoke at a press briefing on Monday in Abuja to discuss the administration’s scorecard in the area of the water sector.

He said, “Let me use this opportunity to comment on the increasing tendency by some opposition presidential candidates to downplay the achievements of this administration, in their desperation for power, ahead of the 2023 elections.

“The worst offender in this regard has been the presidential candidate of the PDP, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

“During his recent campaign in Akure, the former VP was quoted as saying the All Progressives Congress had not done anything for Nigeria in eight years.

“What a preposterous statement from somebody who should know.” “I guess we can excuse His Excellency the former Vice President, who, until recently, had fully relocated to Dubai, thus losing touch with Nigeria.”

The minister said Atiku should not be the one criticizing the present regime, claiming that there was no motorable road to his hometown until Buhari became president.

He added, “If anyone would accuse the APC-led Federal Government of doing nothing, it should not be Atiku Abubakar.”

“Why? There was no motorable road to Atiku Abubakar’s hometown or to key local governments in Adamawa’s southern senatorial zone, which served as the state’s food basket and economic nerve centre during the PDP’s 16-year rule until President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration took office.

“Today, the Mayo Belwa-Jada-Ganye-Toungo Road has been fully constructed, and it is the road that Alhaji Atiku uses to get to his hometown of Jada.”

The minister also stated that, before the Buhari regime, five local government areas in the former vice president’s state were under the control of Boko Haram terrorists.

He added, “What about security?” Before this administration came into office, all five local government areas in Adamawa’s northern senatorial district were effectively under the control of the Boko Haram terrorists.

“All state institutions—the local government administration, the police, the judiciary, schools, hospitals, and markets—had been sacked.

“Traditional rulers, including emirs and chiefs, had been displaced, with their palaces taken over by the terrorists as their headquarters.”

“The affected five local governments in the northern senatorial zone are: Madagali; Michika; Mubi North; and Mubi.”

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FG increases varsities courses to 17

The Federal Government announced on Monday that it has increased the number of disciplines in the Nigerian University System to 17.

This was made known in a breakdown of the disciplines exclusively obtained by a source in Abuja on Monday.

GOGAN TV had earlier reported that the government, through the National Universities Commission, would inaugurate a committee of experts drawn from various disciplines in Nigerian universities in 2021 to design the new core curriculum and minimum academic standards for universities.

The Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards, which were brought about after a comprehensive review of the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards currently in use, were unveiled to the public on Monday.

The Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, said, “The radical re-engineering of the curricula in Nigerian universities is tailored to meet global standards and international best practices towards preparing Nigerian graduates for relevance in the fourth industrial revolution world economy with the skills needed for the future.”

“The Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards has been revised to Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards.

“The CCMAS, which will soon be unveiled to the public, provides 70 percent of what should be taught along with the expected outcome, while the university will provide 30 percent based on its contextual peculiarities and characteristics.”

GOGAN TV reports that before the unveiling on Monday, there were 14 disciplines in the NUS.

However, with the introduction of the CCMAS, the number of disciplines has been increased to 17.

The earlier existing disciplines are Administration and Management, Agriculture, Arts, Basic Medical Sciences, Education, Engineering and

Technology, environmental sciences, law, medicine and dentistry, pharmaceutical science, social sciences, and veterinary medicine

The new disciplines are Allied Health Sciences, Architecture, Computing, and Communications and Media Studies.

Giving his final remarks, Rasheed said, “The CCMAS documents are uniquely structured to provide for 70% of core courses for each program while allowing universities to utilize the remaining 30% for other innovative courses in their areas of focus.”

In addition to the overall learning outcomes for each discipline, there are also learning outcomes for each program and course.

“In general, programs are typically structured such that a student does not carry less than 30 credit units or more than 48 credit units per session.

“Consequently, the commission is optimistic that the 2021 CCMAS documents will serve as a guide to Nigerian universities in the design of curriculum for their programs with regards to the minimum acceptable standards of input and process, as well as a measurable benchmark of knowledge, 21st-century skills, and competences expected to be acquired by an average graduate of each of the academic programs for self, national, and global relevance.”

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Depreciation of the Naira increases foreign debt by N9 trillion

The value of the naira to the dollar fell from N196.92 in June 2015 to N414.72 in June 2022, worsening Nigeria’s foreign debt burden.

Within the seven years under review, the naira depreciated by 52.52 percent against the US dollar.

The Monthly Average Exchange Rates of the Naira (Naira Per Unit of Foreign Currency) for 2015 document obtained from the website of the Central Bank of Nigeria shows that the one dollar was N196.92 for Inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market.

The exchange rate for one dollar as of June 30, 2022, was N414.72, according to the figure provided by the CBN.

GOGAN TV recently reported that Nigeria’s total external debt rose from $10.32 billion as of June 30, 2015, to $40.06 billion as of June 30, 2022.

This showed that there was an increase of 288.18 percent in seven years, according to the external debt stock reports by the Debt Management Office.

A breakdown shows that in 2015, states had $3.27 billion in external debt while the federal government had $7.05 billion.

By 2022, states’ external debt had risen to $4.56 billion, while the federal government’s external debt was $35.5 billion.

The debts include those from multilateral sources such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, as well as those from bilateral sources such as China, France, Japan, Germany, and India.

They also include debts from commercial sources, which include Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds.

If the CBN average exchange rate for June 2015 was used to weigh the country’s current $40.06 billion foreign debt, Nigeria’s external debt in naira terms would have been N7.89 trillion.

However, with the exchange rate of N414.72 as of June 30 this year, the total external debt in naira terms was N16.61tn, showing a difference of N8.72tn.

By implication, it will cost Nigeria N8.72 trillion in naira terms if the country decides to pay back the $40.06 billion in external debt in 2022. If this same debt had been incurred in 2015, Nigeria would have spent N8.72tn less, given the then exchange rate of N196.92/$.

Reacting, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said that high external debt would impose a huge debt service on the economy.

He said, “This will impose a huge debt service on the economy, particularly at a time when we have low revenue from oil sales.” If the revenue from oil sales does not improve, then the government will be struggling to meet that debt service obligation to foreign lenders.

However, he noted that Nigeria could service its foreign debt at its current level, but a constant increase in debt without a corresponding increase in foreign currency earnings could put the country in a difficult position.

In a bid to manage the value of the naira, the CBN introduced several policies, such as stopping 41 items from accessing forex at the official market, offering N5 for every $1 of funds remitted to Nigeria through internal money transfer organizations, and banning the supply of forex to Bureau de Change, among others.

However, these policies have not been able to guarantee naira stability.

The World Bank has said it disagrees with the CBN on how it tries to achieve price stabilization of the naira, adding that the local currency should be allowed to respond to real pressures and not be bottled up by the CBN.

It added that the country’s exchange rate strategy discouraged investors and increased inflation risks.

A Global Finance Report has also said that the CBN has failed to curb rising inflation and stop the naira from sliding against the US dollar.

The International Monetary Fund recently said that the long-term rate of the depreciation of the naira equated to a loss of 10.6 percent of its value annually since 1973.

According to the IMF, this rate was 1.5 times higher than the long-term rate of the currencies of other emerging markets and developing economies at 7.2 percent and sub-Saharan Africa at seven percent over the same time period.

The IMF said, “Its exchange rate underwent more persistent depreciation.” Nigeria’s long-term rate of currency depreciation (on average 10.6 percent annually since 1973) was 1.5 times higher than both EMDE (7.2 percent) and SSA (seven percent). “Given limited availability of long-term data, it is difficult to estimate the exact reasons.”

The Bank of America recently said Nigeria’s local currency unit was set to weaken further next year as its current exchange rate to the dollar was well above fair value.

According to a report by Bloomberg, “Three indicators, the widely-used black-market rate, the central bank’s real effective exchange rate, and our own currency fair value analysis, show the naira is 20 percent overvalued.”

“We see scope for it to weaken by an equivalent amount over the next six to nine months, taking it to as high as 520 per USD.”

During a workshop on tax expenditure organized by the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, financial experts advised that Nigeria and other West African countries should move away from reliance on foreign assistance to finance developmental projects in the region.

According to them, overdependence on financial aid and external loans might affect long-term prosperity for the entire region.

The Special Advisor to the Director (Custom Union and Taxation in ECOWAS), Gbenga Falana, while emphasizing that the debt profile of most of the countries in the sub-region was mounting, stressed the need for West African countries to look inwardly and finance local projects through effective domestic resource mobilization.

Most experts who spoke with a source described the current situation as “naira devaluation,” rather than “depreciation.”

While depreciation is driven by demand and supply, devaluation is often a policy measure employed by the central bank to achieve certain economic outcomes.

A member of the Monetary Policy Committee, who spoke in confidence with our correspondent, said certain demand and supply factors were triggering the devaluation.

The source said, “The issue of devaluation is a function of demand and supply factors.” If the value of a currency is depreciating, it means the demand is greater than the supply.

On the issue of supply, he said that the country was not exporting enough and that foreign investments into the country were dropping.

“If we are having issues with supply, it is either because exports are not growing or because foreigners are not investing in the country.”

“Our export is mainly oil, but there are issues like sabotage in Niger Delta areas.” Our volume has not been increasing as it should, and then there is subsidy, as part of what we earn is also spent on subsidizing refined products.

“Also, our non-oil export is not growing, which means that we have not been diversifying the economy sufficiently to move away from oil to non-oil,” the source said.

The source also said that the pandemic, insecurity, and certain policies contributed to the devaluation.

He said, “Also, the pandemic has affected remittances, and there has been a decrease in capital flow, especially due to insecurity.” Foreigners are also not happy with the policies that we practice. There is risk in the system, which discourages investors. All of these contribute to the failure of supply.

On the issue of demand, the source said there had been the issue of people buying dollars to use as bribes and to keep. This, among other things, had led to more demand than supply, he noted.

“On the demand side, people demand foreign currencies to import raw materials, final products, or capital goods.” In Nigeria, we also see that the dollar has become the currency that people use to bribe. There are also those who buy dollars to keep them. “This makes the growth in demand higher than that of supply, affecting exchange rates over the year,” the MPC member said.

The source added that the government needed to restructure the economy, reduce dependence on oil, address the issue of oil subsidies, and control speculators buying dollars to keep.

A Professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Prof. Sheriffdeen Tella, said there were certain political and economic issues triggering the naira’s devaluation.

On the economic side, he said the increase in imports over exports and illicit capital flows had been major reasons for the naira’s depreciation.

He said, “The devaluation is caused by both political and economic issues.” The economic issue is that we continue to import goods and are not exporting much beyond oil. Also, the non-oil sector is not doing very well, and we are still importing more.

“There is also the issue of illicit capital flow.” That is, people taking foreign currency without caution. “The coronavirus has also affected output.”

He also said that the CBN had been intentionally devaluing the naira in order to increase the funds given to state governments.

“On political grounds, the CBN, probably with collusion from the Ministry of Finance, has been devaluing the value of the naira officially to increase the amount of naira given to the state government.”

“The official devaluation of the naira has taken place twice, and that is a political thing.” “They are doing it to satisfy fiscal expenditures,” he added.

He urged the government to address these issues to achieve naira appreciation.

A professor of economics and public policy at the University of Uyo and chairman of the Foundation for Economic Research and Training, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, condemned the intentional devaluation of the naira by the CBN.

He said, “When you devalue, you are hoping that the goods you export will be cheaper.” You can export more and earn more revenue. However, our major export is crude petroleum, and we don’t control the price or output. “So, we don’t get anything from the government’s outright devaluation.”

Ekpo urged the government to boost production and ensure the country had a strong, productive economy.

“The only way we can stop the devaluation of currency is through production.” We need to produce more goods and services and export them to earn foreign exchange. That is our basic problem in Nigeria: we consume what we don’t consume.

“The government needs to build an economy that is strong and doesn’t rely on one commodity,” he told our correspondent.

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Tinubu campaign train arrives UK; Atiku campaign storms Lagos

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 general elections, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, took his campaign to London, United Kingdom, on Monday, where he revealed his plans to rebuild the nation’s economy, security, and foreign policy if elected president.

This came as the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, stormed Lagos and urged Lagosians to change the APC government, which he said had been dominated by one family.

Tinubu, who spoke at the Chatham House in London, shared his thoughts during an address titled “Nigeria’s 2023 elections: Security, economic, and foreign policy imperatives.”

He said, “The challenges that have manifested themselves with regard to our national and regional development as well as security trajectory are very well known to all of us here: radical extremist violence, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, human trafficking, trafficking in weapons, trafficking in drugs, climate change, and resource-driven conflicts.”

Tinubu was accompanied to the lecture by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Abubakar Bello (Niger), Ben Ayade (Cross Rivers), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), David Umahi (Ebonyi), as well as the former governor of Ekiti State), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and ex-National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole.

Others were former deputy governor of Lagos State, Chief Femi Pedro; former Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Dele Alake; PCC Finance Director, Olawale Edun; Senators Tokunbo Abiru, Musiliu Obanikoro, and Tokunbo Afikuyomi; former deputy governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Adesegun; Hadiza Bala-Usman; and a Lagos APC chieftain, Alhaji Mutiu Are.

The APC candidate also reiterated his desire to consolidate the gains of the current administration, especially in the areas of agriculture and infrastructure.

Tinubu also expressed his willingness to engage the private sector actively if he wins the February 25, 2023, presidential poll.

He stated, “I guess my name is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the current president is Muhammadu Buhari.” There is nowhere in the constitution that says the current administration can’t be in continuity. This doesn’t mean removal from adaptation to my own developmental policies. I did it in Lagos.

“The present administration has invested heavily in agriculture, providing loans and expanding the country’s total acreage of cultivated land.” “We will build on this, but our focus will be on using technology and expertise to accelerate growth and development by providing the critical infrastructure necessary to achieve the commodity transformations in the agriculture value chain.”

He added, “Roads, rail, access to ports, and storage infrastructure are what we require to radically transform the agriculture sector and increase its value to the nation.” Providing these will be the areas of our focus so that the full potential of our agro-economy can be achieved, and we can reap the benefits in jobs, improved economic opportunities and increased prosperity.”

The former Lagos State governor also unveiled plans to fix the energy sector crisis.

He said, “Fixing the perennial riddle of energy supply is another priority.”  There is no version of the world where Nigeria’s ambitions can be achieved without solving the problem of how to provide energy to homes and businesses across the country.  It is time to recognize that the centralized approach to energy policy and infrastructure is not an optimal arrangement and is unlikely to improve with mere tinkering around the edges.

“The Federal Government as regulator, operator, and price fixer is a broken model and one that we fully intend to fix if elected.”

In a related development, Kaduna State governor, El-Rufai, spoke on how Tinubu presidency could tackle the perennial challenge of insecurity and shortage of manpower in the country.

El-Rufai, who was delegated by Tinubu to react to a question raised on Nigeria’s security issue, expressed concerns that the problem goes beyond economic activities.

He said, “Security has been a big issue in Nigeria in the last few years, and that has affected not only real economics but agricultural production, commerce, and everything else.” The Bola Tinubu administration will address these challenges in at least three ways.

“First, in terms of policing, Nigeria has about 300,000 policemen for a population of over 200 million.” We need at least twice that number. That will be achieved by amending the constitution so that policing can be done at the federal, state, and community levels.

“With an increased security footprint, there will be fewer criminal activities.” The second step is to look at our armed forces and security architecture. Nigeria’s armed forces are not more than 200,000 in size, including the Army, Navy, and Air Force. While some countries have a large military, we are struggling with just 200,000 members of the armed forces.

“The numbers, equipment, skills, and training of the armed forces will be scaled up; they will be increased rapidly to meet the asymmetric nature of the security challenges that we face.” This is because today the armed forces are not fighting with other countries. They are fighting with non-state actors, and the doctrine, training, and numbers must change.

“In 1967, the total size of the Nigerian army was only 10,000 because of the civil war. Within a year, we ramped it up to 250,000, so it can be done, and what we are facing in Nigeria today—banditry, terrorism, and oil theft—requires a new approach. We will ensure that our country is not only safe internally but also not a threat to our neighbours.

“Thirdly, the issue of the proliferation of small arms following the collapse of Libya, which is by no means our fault, will have to be addressed through collaboration with countries like Mali, Niger, Sudan, and Chad.” “This has already started but will be deepened under the leadership of a new security team under the Bola Tinubu administration.”

Meanwhile, the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku, urged Lagos residents to liberate themselves from the rule of a family government and replace it with the people’s government by voting for the party in the forthcoming elections.

The former vice president spoke on Monday during the PDP presidential campaign rally held at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island.

Atiku, who was present with his wife, Mrs. Titi Abubakar, promised to restructure the country and empower youths with small and medium enterprises if elected president.

However, it was observed that the former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Olabode George; the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde; the party’s Deputy National Chairman, Taofeek Arapaja; and the former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, among other leaders of the PDP Integrity Group led by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, were absent from the rally.

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Security Personnel Stationed Along Abuja-Kaduna Railway Line

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, at the weekend ordered the immediate deployment of armed personnel drawn from the Police Mobile Force, K-9, Force Intelligence Bureau, Explosive Ordinance Unit, and Railway Police Command for the commencement of railway services along the Abuja-Kaduna rail lines from today.

A statement by the Force Headquarters said the Nigeria Police made adequate security arrangements in collaboration with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and other security agencies in preparation for the commencement of operations.

It said the deployment covered major railway stations along the route and operational coaches to provide adequate security for passengers, their property, and the entire service in order to prevent any unforeseen incidents.

“The IGP, therefore, assured the general public, especially intending passengers, of adequate protection of lives and property as all hands are on deck to fortify the railway services along the route and other rail lines across the country,” it said.

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Atiku, Kwankwaso, Obi clash at debate

The presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, and his counterparts, Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian People’s Party, have proffered their respective solutions to the incessant strike actions by lecturers at public universities in the country.

They also promised to increase investments in the education sector to reverse the growing number of out-of-school children in the country and revitalize the health sector.

The candidates spoke on Sunday during the Arise TV presidential town hall series on “education, healthcare, poverty, and human capital,” which was monitored by GOGAN TV.

Atiku noted that the government should work with relevant agencies to avoid a bottleneck in the funds earmarked for the education sector in a bid to end the constant strike actions of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

In his contributions, Obi lamented that the country’s investment in education is low compared to other nations, adding that the government needed to go back to its agreement with the ASUU and design a sustainable funding mechanism.

In his contribution, Kwankwaso stated that his party’s blueprint addresses the issues raised by ASUU.

On how he will solve the issue of out-of-school children, especially in the north, Atiku stressed the need for more funding and investment.

In his contribution, Obi said, “Throughout these six years, our budget in education has not reached 10 percent.” With the level of people we have out of school, for me, I think we can have a different budget.

On his part, Kwankwaso stated that he believed that more investments should be made in education.

As regards healthcare, Atiku said, “What is required are the basic health centres to cater for the greater population of our people.” This is where we need to focus as far as our health is concerned.

Obi also called for an increase in investment in the country’s healthcare.

On how to stop medical tourism, Kwankwaso said, “We need to do two things: one is put our house in order by improving the government-owned institutions. The second is to encourage private sector participation. Leaders also need to set a good example and seek treatment at home.

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Wike honours 162, thanks Buhari without remorse

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has recognized 162 prominent Nigerians for their achievements, influential lives, and services to the advancement of the state and the nation.

Eight state governors, nine former governors of other states, lawyers, and others who have demonstrated a high level of loyalty to the nation, excellence in public service, commitment to equity, equality, and justice in the country, and love for the Rivers State Government and people were among those honoured.

Wike honoured the awardees on Saturday night at the State Honours and Awards Celebration 2022, which was hosted at the Government House in Port Harcourt.

This was contained in a statement signed by the governor’s personal assistant on media, Kelvin Ebiri, and made available to journalists on Sunday.

The awards were in four categories, namely: the Grand Service State of Rivers State, the Distinguished Service State of Rivers State, the Governor’s Medal of Service, and the Rivers State Merit Award.

Those conferred with Rivers’ most prestigious award, the Grand Service Star of Rivers State, are governors Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Dr Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), and David Umahi (Ebonyi) and some other former governors.

A total of 110 personalities were conferred the Distinguished Service State of Rivers State; they include the wives of the governors of Rivers and Oyo, Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom-Wike and Mrs. Tamunominini Makinde; Mrs. Onari Donald Duke, Attorney General of the Federation; and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, among others.

Similarly, 33 individuals were presented with the Governor’s Medal of Service and two others, Mr. Oruwuru Shedrack and Mrs. Patience Nwogu, with the Rivers State Merit Award.

The governor also said he would refrain from naming the lawyers and commending them publicly because a similar gesture extended to President Muhammadu Buhari had elicited unwarranted acrimony in the Niger Delta.

He said, “Because I said, “Buhari, thank you,” I am having problems today. That is the country we are in. I am not a fan of Buhari.

“When a man has done well, say he has done well in this area.” If he has not done well, you should say so. I have no excuses for anyone. If Buhari had not released the money from 1999, which my party did not even release, I wouldn’t have been doing what I am doing.

The governor said he has advised governors of Ebonyi and Kogi States not to waste their money supporting any governorship candidate in the state “because the Peoples Democratic Party will win all elective positions in the 2023 general elections.”

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said Wike has demonstrated that he is a true patriot and nationalist by honouring Nigerians from the six geopolitical zones, irrespective of their religious and political persuasion.

Similarly, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, who spoke on behalf of the awardees, said, “You have shown what it takes to be accommodating, what it takes to be a bridge builder, a bridge builder across Niger.”

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Rivers State Honours Advisory Committee, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, said the law empowers the governor to confer honour on those who have contributed to the growth and development of the state.

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FG release new universities curriculum

The Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission, is set to release the newly developed curriculum for Nigerian universities on Monday (today), a source confirmed.

Local media reports say that the NUC inaugurated a committee of experts in 2021, drawn from various disciplines in Nigerian universities, to design the new core curriculum and minimum academic standards for universities.

The date for the unveiling was contained in a letter to stakeholders and signed by the NUC’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Administration, Chris Maiyaki.

According to a copy of the letter obtained by our correspondent on Sunday, the unveiling is part of activities marking the commission’s 60th anniversary.

The message partly reads, “On behalf of the management and staff of the National Universities Commission, the Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, invites all its stakeholders to celebrate 60 years of meritorious service to the Nigerian tertiary education sub-sector and the nation.”

“The event is scheduled to take place on December 5 and 6, 2022, at the NUC secretariat.”

“The event will feature, among others, the launching of the new core curriculum and minimum academic standards of universities; the inauguration of the national steering committee on transnational education; and the recognition of past and present champions of higher education in Nigeria.”

Speaking during a recent event in Abuja, Rasheed noted that the new curriculum, core curriculum, and minimum academic standards were brought about after a comprehensive review of the benchmark minimum academic standards currently in use.

He had said, “The Federal Ministry of Education, through the National Universities Commission, has embarked on a radical re-engineering of curricula in Nigerian universities to meet global standards and international best practices for preparing Nigerian graduates for relevance in the fourth revolution world economy with the skills needed for the future.”

“The Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards has been revised to Core Curriculum and Minimum Academic Standards.

“The CCMAS, which will soon be unveiled to the public, provides 70 percent of what should be taught along with the expected outcome, while the university will provide 30 percent based on its contextual peculiarities and characteristics.”

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FCDA repossess Ghana, Malaysia, Thailand plots

The Federal Capital Development Authority has withdrawn the plots provided to Ghanaian, Thai, and Malaysian embassies for impeding the building of a significant motorway in the nation’s capital, a source reported.

The FCDA’s Executive Secretary, Shehu Ahmad, acknowledged the development over the weekend while updating the media on the organization’s efforts to deliver essential national infrastructure.

He asserted that the properties in question, which are in Abuja’s diplomatic district, were designated for a replacement many years ago to make room for the Ring Road One interchange’s development on the busy Inner Southern Expressway.

Ahmad said replacement plots were offered at some of the new layouts, which the authority was developing at Guzape ll, to assuage the embassies affected by the major infrastructural project.

He noted that the issues had been resolved at the diplomatic level, with the affected missions accepting the offer of replacement plots to pave the way for the construction of an interchange on that section of road.

“We had some challenges with diplomatic plots. At Ring Road One, we were supposed to have an interchange there, but we had challenges there due to diplomatic plots.

“When you have an issue with an embassy, it is like having an issue with the government of that nation.” “There were a lot of diplomatic moves made to ensure the resolution, but we have replacement plots and they have indicated their readiness to accept this, and we will soon develop our interchange there,” Ahmad said.

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