5000 entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Kenya, S/A graduated from Google’s Hustle Academy

By Favour Nnabugw

 

No fewer than 5000 business owners in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa graduated from Google Hustle Academy programme.

Celebrating the successful entrepreneurs in Lagos, Google also announced a new speaker series in which successful African entrepreneurs share lessons and advice, furthering its commitment to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive.

The Hustle Academy was a programme launched in February 2022 which provides practical business training. It helps business owners learn the soft skills that complement their hard talents, through peer-to-peer and mentor driven learning.

According to Google, this year’s graduates were chosen from nearly 10 000 applications.

It also explained that the 5000 graduates came from 23 cohorts who attended five day virtual boot camps where they learned how to define their business strategy, increase sales, and how to pitch for investor funding.

Head of Brand and Reputation, SSA. Mrs Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, said: “Our graduates are working hard to grow their businesses, and in addition to having an impact in these 5000 SMBs, this kind of practical training also has a ripple effect, helping many more people succeed.

“The “Hustle Academy Brings You…” the new talk-show style video series featuring renowned and respected entrepreneurs from across Africa, sharing practical advice and growth tips to inspire emerging entrepreneurs is meant to complement and expand the Hustle Academy training.

“This speaker series will allow SMBs to get insight from business owners from an array of sectors, focusing on the issues, themes and subjects they face on a regular basis.”
Aderemi-Makinde added that, “Small and medium-sized businesses, SMEs, are the backbone of the global economy, and in Africa, they account for an estimated 80 percent of jobs. In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are an estimated 44 million micro, small and medium enterprises, which function as important drivers of economic growth.”

EU, ECOWAS launches post graduate programme for West African citizens

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

 

The European Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has launched a post graduate scholarship programme on sustainable energy for West African citizens

The Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Nigeria and the ECOWAS, Cecile Tassin-Pelzer during the launching in Abuja, said the scholarship is aimed at building the capacity of young professionals in the West African energy sector and part of efforts to ensure access to clean, sustainable energy.

Tassin-Pelzer said that the EU is planning to allocate €600 million of grants funding in the sustainable energy sector in West Africa alone.

The selected Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) for the scholarship programme are; Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria), University of Ibadan (Nigeria), University of Nigeria Nsukka, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), Ecole Polytechnique de Thies (Senegal), Universite Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal), and Institut National Polytechnique Felix Houphouet-Boigny (Ivory Coast), Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Ingenieurs Universite de Lome (Togo), and Universidade de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)

“In the framework of the new multiannual Indicative Programme 2021-2027 of the EU for Sub-Saharan Africa, we are planning to allocate 600 million euros of grants funding in the sustainable energy sector in West Africa alone,” she said.

“As demonstrated by this programme, the EU is also available to support the human capital development accompanying this transition, by contributing to the capacity strengthening of higher education institutions in West Africa, in the sustainable energy sector, through scholarships,” Tassin-Pelzer added.

The British Council has been appointed as the implementing partner for the scholarship. Speaking on this development, Lucy Pearson, Country Director, British Council Nigeria and West Africa Cluster Lead said, “The British Council will leverage our extensive experience in scholarship management and Higher Education institution partnerships across Sub-Saharan Africa to ensure a successful programme and outcomes.”

“We are particularly excited that the overall objective of the EU for this programme complements the long-standing work of the British Council to enhance human capital development by improving access to high-quality training, skills development and employability for young people in West Africa,” Pearson added.

Alex Lamber, Country Director, British Council Senegal and senior responsible officer for the scholarship programme, said nine higher education institutions were selected, taking into cognisance course curriculum, infrastructure and ability to receive foreign students.

Lamber explained that the opportunity is open to all the citizens who have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, energy and environment (including renewable energy and energy efficiency), law, economics, finance and planning, adding that special consideration will be given to female applicants.

Dabire Bayaornibe, director of Energy and Mines, ECOWAS Commission, also noted that the supply of sustainable energy, which is available and accessible to all, is critical to the development of the West African region.

“To this end, we must attract the best skills in the energy sector to contribute to the achievement of this objective,” he said.

Applications to universities in Nigeria, Senegal, and Cape Verde are open until November 29, 2022, at 18.00 West African Time.

Rotimi Amaechi commences Masters in Corporate, Company Law in London

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

 

 

Former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, has stated that he has started his Masters in Corporate and Company Law at Kings College, London.

Ehile explaing that he studied law to fulfill his father’s wish to be a lawyer.

But the former governor of Rivers State, who hinted that he would go a step further by going to Law School to be called to bar, said he had no intention of practicing the profession even as he said he had started Masters in Corporate and Company Law at Kings College, London.

Asked if he would go to Law School, he said: “Yes, I think so. I may go to Law School. I’m already doing a Masters degree in Corporate and Company Law at Kings College, London. I hope to combine it with Law School.

Ameachi in an interview with Vanguard said contrary to claims in some quarters that he bought the Law degree certificate,he actually worked hard for it.

He said throughout the time of the programme, he was dedicated to his studies, disclosing further that even as a minister,he was always ahead of lecturers and students in punctuality,a development he disclosed, made the Baze University,where he attended to present him award for being deligent and punctual.

He said going back to pursue a fresh degree in Law at the age of 57 was normal to him, saying he merely achieved what he had wanted a long time ago.

“Going back to obtain Law degree at 57 is normal. I should have graduated a long time ago. When I hear people say I bought a degree,I just laugh. I laugh because until I started campaigning for presidency I never missed a class. So for three years and six months,I never missed a class. And I came before all the lecturers and I came before all the students.

“The school gave me award for being deligent and punctual. I never failed any course work. But that’s not important, what is important is that I wrote all my course work in person,so they can’t say lecturers passed me.

” And in Baze University,we don’t write matriculation number or our names,they give you a barcode which you place on the answer sheet. So when the teachers mark,they mark what is called blind marking and they can’t take it home. They mark there in the school,if they can’t finish,they leave it there and come back the next day. When they come the next day, they continue.

And as they are marking, they mark with barcode so they don’t know the name of the person or the matriculation number and I don’t think they are handwriting experts.

” Let me give you an instance. I scored 69 percent in Jurisprudence which was a B grade. The person who taught me Jurisprudence was my supervisor in my long essay, I’m sure if he had known that it was me,he would have added me one percent to make it 70. The whole faculty was like “oh,no,he should have added you one percent to make it 70t.”

Asked on his inspiration to pursue the course, Chief Rotimi Amaechi explained: “First and foremost, it was to fulfill my father’s wish that I read Law. At least, I have satisfied his wish and he would have been happy if he was alive.

“He was in love with the work of Chief Rotimi Williams who was one of the best lawyers then and felt I should be like him.

“When I got the admission, I started asking myself how would I cope with my work. I would go to school as early as 8am and report to work by 6pm. I would work from 6pm to 11 pm and sometimes 11:30pm then I go home. I did that on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Wednesdays were cabinet meetings. I worked Wednesdays and Fridays. ”

Asked if he would go to Law School, he said: “Yes, I think so. I may go to Law School. I’m already doing a Masters degree in Corporate and Company Law at Kings College, London. I hope to combine it with Law School

“I don’t intend to practice but to have the knowledge of law and the certificate

“It is to help me not to make some mistakes. There is no excuse in law. So they are some things you can’t know except you read Law ”

The former governor of Rivers State,while admitting that he refused to fund the establishment of Law School in the state while he held sway as the governor,faulted his successor for commiting the state’s money to the project which he described as the federal government’s responsibility.

“Yes, it’s true. I asked them when they brought the proposal,I asked them would the federal government fund it and they said no. I’m not a father Christmas. I said primary schools in Rivers State are not functioning, secondary schools are not functioning and I would go and build a law school for government as big as the federal government? I told them that I have a land and here’s the land and they said no. So,I don’t know why that is an achievement for a man whose primary and secondary schools are not functioning and teachers are not paid.

” By the time I did audit of education in Rivers State,we trained 90,000 teachers and I employed 13,200. So that money that he used in building law school would have been used to employ more teachers.

“It’s federal government responsibility. I told them I was not interested but I would give them the land. So the money spent there could have been used in building more schools, employing more teachers and train them. Like out of the 13,200 teachers we employed, only 3000 were teachers,the other 10,000 were people who were just looking for jobs and we employed them and took them to Rivers State University of Education to train them for six months.

“So that money that you are investing in a big federal government’s project,you should have used it to employ more teachers, build more schools and create more jobs for our people. Rivers State has the highest number of unemployment,”he added

Rotimi Ameachi bags law degree, among 504 graduates from Baze University

 

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Thirty-five years after Rotimi Chibuike Ameachi earned his first degree, the former Minister of Transportation bagged a law degree at Baze University, Abuja.

At the 9th Convocation Ceremony held in Abuja today, Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers State, was awarded a Bachelor of Law, LL.B Degree.

Baze University also graduated 504 other students in various fields of study, having not only successfully passed their examinations but also found worthy in learning and character by the authorities of the school.

Amaechi had his early education at St Theresa’s Primary School from 1970 to 1976. He earned his West African Senior School Certificate in 1982 after attending Government Secondary School Okolobiri.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree (Honours) in English Studies and Literature from the University of Port Harcourt in 1987, where he was the President of the National Union of Rivers State Students (NURSS).

He completed the mandatory National Youth Service Corps in 1988, and thereafter joined Pamo Clinics and Hospitals Limited owned by Peter Odili, where he worked until 1992

 

Two twins among 233 First Class graduate from UI

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Double twins, Taiwo and Kehinde Sanuade and Judith and Juliet Agu have graduated with First Class from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

Taiwo and Kehinde Sanuade have graduated with degrees in Law while Judith  and Juliet Agu of the Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agronomy,  the four are among the 233 that came out with First Class from the same university

Taiwo Sanuade announced the feat via their convocation pictures shared on his Facebook page on Monday.

“Happy Convocation to us: Sanuade, Taiwo David (LL.B) (UI) (First Class Honours). Sanuade, Kehinde Daniel (LL.B) (UI) (First Class Honours).
Thank you Jesus. The honour of this is for Jesus who has graciously given us wisdom and the necessary resources to pull this through,” he captioned the pictures.

Judith and Juliet Agu

 

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, speaking on Tuesday at the second day of the Foundation Day and Convocation Ceremonies at the International Conference Centre of the university, urged the graduands to be worthy ambassadors of the institution by making a positive impact.

These times have crucial messages for all of us. For us as university administrators, we have continued to ask and answer the question, how do we rejig and restructure administration in a way to lighten students’ burdens, ensure maximum productivity and absorb the shocks of disruptions?

“For students and the graduands, one lesson of this season that must not be lost on you is the power and desirability of resilience. As you step into life after school, situations will arise that will require you to call up your ability to exercise resilience, instead of giving in and giving up.

Nigerian woman breaks record, bags PhD at 25 years

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Priscilla Asikhia, a young and talented Nigerian woman from Edo State and the daughter of popular gospel film makers, Lekan and Busayo Asikhia’s named Priscilla has bagged Doctoral Degree, set a remarkable record when she graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Babcock University in South-West, Nigeria, at the age of 25.
Priscilla Asikhia shared her success on her LinkedIn profile, recounting the ten years of arduous study that it took her to earn a PhD.

She stated on LinkedIn that her “successive 10-year education has given me a grounded knowledge of Educational Research, Administration, and Human Resources.”

Priscilla began her higher education at the age of 15, and by the age of 19, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

At the age of 22, she graduated from her Master’s program in business administration and management.

Priscilla started her PhD studies in the same semester that she finished her master’s degree in human resources and personnel administration.

She successfully finished her PhD at age 25, making her the institution’s youngest PhD graduate and one of Nigeria’s youngest Doctors of Philosophy.

“I am happy to say that I have just received a Ph.D. degree, making me Babcock University’s youngest Ph.D. graduate. The achievement belongs entirely to God, she said.

Priscilla started her PhD studies in the same semester that she finished her master’s degree in human resources and personnel administration.

She successfully finished her PhD at age 25, making her the institution’s youngest PhD graduate and one of Nigeria’s youngest Doctors of Philosophy.

“I am happy to say that I have just received a Ph.D. degree, making me Babcock University’s youngest Ph.D. graduate. The achievement belongs entirely to God, she said.

Priscilla began her higher education at the age of 15, and by the age of 19, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

At the age of 22, she graduated from her Master’s program in business administration and management.

Priscilla started her PhD studies in the same semester that she finished her master’s degree in human resources and personnel administration.

She successfully finished her PhD at age 25, making her the institution’s youngest PhD graduate and one of Nigeria’s youngest Doctors of Philosophy.

“I am happy to say that I have just received a Ph.D. degree, making me Babcock University’s youngest Ph.D. graduate. The achievement belongs entirely to God, she said.

 

13,000 Civil Servants For 2022 confirmation exams

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Over 13,000 officers from the core Civil Service, the Nigeria Police; and other Para-military and specialized Agencies will take part in the 2022 confirmation

The Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, OHCSF, stated that it has concluded plans to conduct the 2022 Annual Public Service confirmation examination, nationwide, adding that the examination will be a Computer-Based Test, CBT.

A statement by the Deputy Director of Communications, Mr Mohammed Ahmed, on Monday, said this was part of the ongoing efforts to digitize activities and work processes in the Federal Civil Service.

Ahmed explained that the Combined Confirmation/Promotion Examination (COMPRO) for Junior Staff and the Compulsory Confirmation Examination for Senior Staff are the two Mandatory Confirmation Examinations in the Public Service, including the Police and Para-Military Agencies. “They are not an option but a mandatory requirement.”

The statement reads in part: “Since inception, the examinations have been conducted through manual processes across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT.

All newly recruited officers in the Federal Public Service are required to sit for and pass the examination as a pre-requisite for the confirmation of their appointments.

WAEC launches digital certificate platform

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 


The West African Examinations Council , WAEC, Nigeria has announced the launch of  digital certificate platform from October 20, 2022.

In a signed statement by the Acting Head , Public Relations, WAEC Nigeria, Moyosola Adesina, the platform, a mobile and web-based application that has powerful features, was designed specifically for candidates, individuals, institutions, and organizations to access, share, request, confirm certificates and recover forgotten WAEC candidates’ examination numbers.

Part of the statement read:” Advancing in its mission of encouraging academic and moral excellence, promoting sustainable human resource development and international cooperation, meeting the growing global demands, and ensuring prompt service delivery, WAEC Nigeria is set to unveil the much-awaited WAEC Digital Certificate Platform.

” The council is excited and thrilled to introduce this innovation at a time the global world has gone digital. This further proves that the Council maintains its vision of being a world-class examining body, adding value to the educational goals of its stakeholders, by providing timely solutions to all the bureaucratic bottlenecks associated with the academic certificates.

” The Digital Platform creates an easier, instant and safer mode of accessing certificates by stakeholders. With this digital platform, users will be able to recover burnt, lost, and damaged certificates. ” Adesina noted.

On the benefits of the innovation, the spokesman for WAEC Nigeria, explained that the digital certificate platform would among other things eliminate the chances of fraud, and the bureaucratic bottlenecks associated with the manual procedures of certificate issuance and collection.

Her words:” The benefits of this innovation are enormous, as candidates who have sat for the WASSCE in the past and present are able to access and share the original copies of their certificates with ease, the original copies of their certificates, which can be instantly confirmed from a credible and reliable source, regardless of the location.
Also, institutions, organizations, and recruitment agencies can carry out bulk/individual confirmation of certificates at once, with ease. The reliability and authenticity of this confirmation on the digital platform eliminates the chances of fraud.

The unveiling/launching of the product will be on Thursday, 20th October, 2022. The general public and all stakeholders are hereby enjoined to take advantage of this new WAEC Digital Certificate Platform, designed to eliminate the bureaucratic bottlenecks associated with the manual procedures of certificate issuance and collection.

” The WAEC Digital Certificate Platform is available online via www.waec.org. The mobile application can be downloaded on android and iOS app stores. For more information, stakeholders can visit www.waecnigeria.org and www.waecdirect.ng.

Why we suspended the 8 months strike – ASUU

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said it bowed to pressure to call off the eight months strike Court of Appeal and various appeals by President Muhammadu Buhari,the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and other well meaning Nigerians to it .

The union directed members to immediately resume work at their various duty posts with effect from 12 am on Friday, October 14, 2022.

The union in a statement released Friday, by its president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, however, regretted that the issues that led to its eight months long action,were yet to be satisfactorily addressed.

It named some of the issued as,”Funding for revitalisation of public universities; Earned Academic Allowances;Proliferation of public Universities;Visitation Panels/Release of White Papers and University Transparency and Accountability Solution,UTAS, as a broad spectrum software to stop illegality and provide for an alternative payment platform in the university system.”

It, however, appreciated the commendable efforts of the leadership of the House of Representatives and other patriotic Nigerians who waded into the matter.

The statement read in full:”The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) held an emergency meeting at the Comrade Festus lyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, Abuja, on Thursday, 13th October, 2022.

“The meeting reviewed developments since the Union declared an indefinite strike action on 29th August, 2022.

“During the intervening period, the Minister of Labour and Employment, through a referral, approached the National Industrial Court (NIC) for the interpretation of “the provision of sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 18 (1) of the Trade Dispute Act, Cap T8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, whether the on-going prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities which started since 14th February, 2022 is legal even after statutory apprehension by the Minister of Labour and Employment?”

” In addition, he asked for an interlocutory order against the continuation of the strike. The National Industrial Court in its wisdom gave an order compelling ASUU to resume work pending the determination of the substantive suit. Given the nature of the order, and in the opinion of our counsel, there was the need to appeal the interlocutory injunction granted against our Union at the Court of Appeal.

” The Court of Appeal acknowledged the validity of the grounds of the Union’s appeal but still upheld the order of the lower court and ordered our Union to comply with the ruling of the lower court as condition precedent for the appeal to be heard.

“NEC noted the series of meetings with the leadership of the House of Representatives led by the Hon. Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, as well as intervention efforts of other well-meaning Nigerians both within and outside government and the progress made so far.

“NEC deliberated on the recommendations of the Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila-led Committee within the framework of the FGN/ASUU’s Memorandum of Action(MoA) of 2020 on the contending issues that led to the strike action.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the issues include: Funding for Revitalisation of public universities Earned Academic Allowances;Proliferation of public Universities Visitation Panels/Release of White Paper ;University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a broad spectrum software to stop illegality and provide for an alternative payment platform in the university system.

“Renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement:
While appreciating the commendable efforts of the leadership of the House of Representatives and other patriotic Nigerians who waded into the matter, NEC noted with regrets that the issues in dispute are yet to be satisfactorily addressed.

“However, as a law-abiding Union and in deference to appeals by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and in recognition of the efforts of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and other well meaning Nigerians, ASUU NEC resolved to suspend the strike action embarked upon on 14th February 2022. Consequently, all members of ASUU are hereby directed to resume all services hitherto withdrawn with effect from 12:01 on Friday, 14th October, 2022.”

Nigeria spends $100m in feeding 10m school children- FG

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Federal Government has spent $100 million to feeding 10 million Nigerian children under the National School Feeding Programme, as part of efforts to eliminate the scourge of child labour in the country.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, stated in Abuja Friday  when he received the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leornard and officials of the Department of State who paid him a courtesy visit.

Ngige, explained that the Nigerian government introduced the school feeding programme under its social security programme, to lure children engaged in child labour, back to school.

He said the Federal government also introduced social protection programmes to fight poverty, which is the major contributory factor to the prevalence of child labour in Nigeria.

A statement by Olajide Oshundun, Head of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment quoted Ngige as saying, “We have introduced the National school feeding programme under our social security, to lure children back to school. As of today, we are feeding 10 million children across the country. We have spent nearly $10 million on this.

“We have also taken more schools into the areas prone to child labour and made education free in the whole country through the Universal Basic Education Act and the Child Rights Act.

“For the people with disability, we introduced Disability Peoples Commission to give them full and comprehensive aid so that they will not fell that they have any disability. If you don’t support someone with disability, it is outright poverty.”

The minister expressed the gratitude of his ministry to the US government for the recent technical assistance of the United States Department of Labour to West Africa, in the area of fighting violence and harassment at work under Convention 190 of International Labour Organisation (ILO).

“Nigeria and Liberia iare listed there and the fund is $5 million, estimated to be spent on the project. We think that it is a step in the right direction.

“Just last week we got information of another $4 million for anti-child labour activities in Nigeria. Ondo State is chosen as the pilot state for the fight against child labour in the area of cocoa farming. We think this is a good step in the right direction because over the years, from the time we visited for African Growth and Opportunities (AGOA) conference under the Department of Labour and Trade in Washington in 2017, we had made it clear that the United States Government has to take practical steps for us to follow. We cant be mouthing child labour and we leave it unattended to when we know that most of those engaged in it are those trying to make up for family needs.”

According to him, vulnerable families send their underage children to work in cocoa farms, mining sites or to engage in street hawking and petty trading, because family income is not enough, owing to underemployment or unemployment.

He explained that advocacy alone cannot reduce the scourge, as it would be difficult to retain the audience of a hungry person.

Ngige reiterated his proposal at the AGOA conference that the United States must assist Nigeria in fighting child labour, adding that his ministry needed assistance in the area of capacity building and logistics, such as vehicles, to enable officials of the Department of Occupational Safety and Inspectorate Division move into areas with high incidence of child labour and tackle the scourge from the source.

He added that the government needed assistance to train people in skill acquisition, to make the uneducated gainfully employed in plumbing, refrigeration repairs, tiling, among others.

Earlier Leornard said the United States Government was worried to see that Nigerian children were subjected to the worst forms of child labour in quarries and grannites and mining sites.

She assured that her country would continue to work with the Nigerian Government in addressing the scourge and appealed to the remaining seven states yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act to do so without further delay.

She said the US government was pleased to see a new programme in Nigeria that provides seed capital to vulnerable people to pursue programmes in areas with high prevalence of child labour.