FG, World Bank partner to train technical teachers on innovative skills

By Favour Nnabugwu




The Federal Government and the World Bank have collaborated to improve the knowledge of teachers in the federal technical colleges in the country with the 21st century skills that will digitilise the students.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Andrew David Adejo disclosed this while declaring open a workshop on the development of a Structure for the in-service training of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) teachers and instructors on Wednesday in Abuja.

Adejo, who was represented by the Director of Technology and Science Education, Mrs. Grace Jakko, said there is the utmost importance to strengthen the technical schools with the aim to increase the availability of competent and motivated technical teachers and instructors.

He explained that the workshop come on the heels of the realisation that the 21st century presents a radically different economy and society, which is having profound implications generally on education and more specifically on skills development in Technical and Vocational Education.

He said that the skills development system in Nigeria must therefore, adapt to the emerging trends of globalisation for economic viability especially in our relevant skills for the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

According to him, “All the federal technical teachers in the 27 technical schools across the federation will be trained and captured in this component and the five states that are participating in the IDEAS Project, each of the state has three technical colleges and all the teachers in these technical colleges will be captured.

“I’m very certain that we except so much from the teachers, the administrators and the project implementors.”

National Project Coordinator, IDEAS Project, Blessing Ehi Ogwu said the purpose of the project is to development a comprehensive structure for training technical teachers in Nigeria.

Mrs. Ogwu expressed confidence that collective knowledge and expertise of the participants will help create a framework that can effectively prepare technical teachers to meet the challenges of the future.

She also disclosed that they target to equip about 5000 people with technical skills to meet up with the market demand, adding that technical education plays a crucial role in shaping the future of our society.

She said it’s imperative that we have well-trained teachers who can effectively impart technical knowledge to our students.

She, however, noted that designing an effective training program for technical teachers is not an easy task, saying it requires careful planning, coordination and collaboration among various stakeholders.

On her part, a World Bank consultant, Dr Mistura Rufai, disclosed that the entire IDEAS Project is about $200 million and that teachers training is one of the components of that project with about $25 million to $30 million will be spent on training teachers in Nigeria.

Dr Rufai however said though the teachers training has not started but they want to put in place some structure to ensure that when they start, they kickoff the training this year.

The project is for TVET teachers in Nigeria wether it’s being implemented in the state or not, it’s going to cover all the six geopolitical zones, all the states in the country.

“Already we have 38 technical colleges that have been equipped with workshops across the country this is one of the things we are going to leverage on.

“These schools are going to be used as training centres for teachers, we are also looking at boosting the capacity of tertiary institutions that are already providing training for teachers, look at how we can up skill and digitalize their training. There is also plan to up skilled these tertiary institutions providing training to teachers.

“We work with the institution to ensure that the equipment they are getting are 21st century equipment that are market relevant.”

The World Bank consultant said that they wanted the teachers to be trained with the skill demand in the market so that when the students graduatee with their skills for them to be market relevant and provide the skills that the market wants.”

Ben Akpan, a facilitator at the workshop, said the essence of the world bank is to enable the federal government to take ownership of the project so they would have acquired the know-how and continue the project.

Buhari congratulates Nigerian professor for winning $300,000 history prize

By Favour Nnabugwu




President Muhammadu Buhari has applauded a Professor of History and African Diaspora Studies, Florida International University, Saheed Aderinto, for winning the prestigious Dan David Prize.

Dan David Prize is the largest financial reward for excellence in the historical discipline in the world.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, on Saturday, President Buhari commended the selection committee of the international award, created 21 years ago, for recognizing the vital and scholarly contributions of the Nigerian to the study of history, which sheds light on the human past.

President Buhari noted with delight that in acknowledging the works of the first and only Nigerian to win the prestigious prize of $300,000, the selection committee lauded the University of Ibadan trained historian for “situating African history at the cutting edge of diverse literature in the histories of sexuality, nonhumans, and violence, noting that it is exceptional to see a single person leading scholarship in all of these fields.”

The President expressed hope that this honour on the founding President of the Lagos Studies Association would continue to spur the teaching and learning of history among students and scholars in the country and beyond.

NYSC deploys 200,000 corps members for 2023 elections

By Favour Nnabugwu




No fewer than 200,000 corps member has been earmarked to take part in the 2023 election by the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC,

NYSC Director General, Brigadier General Yushau Dogara Ahmed, who briefed journalists at the Scheme’s headquarters in Abuja, said the deployment was for the presidential and National Assembly elections scheduled for February 25.

Ahmed disclosed that the Scheme was working alongside other security agencies to ensure the safety of all corps members during the polls.

Nevertheless, he warned corps members against collecting any form of gratification, including food from politicians before, during and after the elections.

In the pre-election, the NYSC Director-General said: “We are deploying 200,000 corps members for the elections. What is fundamental for me to also mention is the security of these Corps members.

“Since I took over, I have met with the IG of Police, the DSS, I have met with the NSCDC, I have equally met with the INEC and every hand is on deck to ensure that the Corps members are secured

“We were assured by INEC that they will carry these Corps members to their respective places of assignment and bring them back safely from wherever they are picking them from.

“As for the welfare of these corps members, INEC has promised to provide them with sleeping kits and whatever they need for the elections.

“What I want to warn corps members about is that they should be careful in whatever environment they find themselves in. They should not accept any gift from any politician. They must not accept any food from anybody.

“As they go, they should carry at least their service support. Any form of gratification or gifts, we don’t expect any corps member to accept,” he added.

Ahmed also stated that those to participate at the elections had been provided with requisite skills for the conduct of the elections by officials of INEC.

“Those who are participating in this election have already been given proper training. Guidelines have been given to them. They have been well informed and they are ready to give their best.

“Some of them were trained outside the camps while those who just passed out (of the orientation exercise) were trained by INEC officials in the camp,” he added.

JAMB suspends 2023 Direct Entry registration

By Favour Nnabugwu




The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board,JAMB,has announced suspension of its ongoing 2023 Direct Entry registratin.

The board,in a statement by its Head, Public Affairs and Protocol,Fabian Benjamin, explained that the registration which commenced on Monday, 20th February, 2023, was suspended with effect from Tuesday, 21st February, 2023.

The suspension, according to a statement issued by JAMB on Tuesday, is to enable the deployment of certain measures, which are designed to better serve prospective candidates.

The statement said “a new date and fresh registration procedures, which will include upload of JAMB Admission Letter in the case of OND and NCE, Admission Letter issued by universities in the case of University Diploma, and Admission Letter issued by A’ Level examination bodies (IJMBE, JUPEB, etc.), would be announced in due course so that candidates could proceed to JAMB offices nationwide to register.”

Recall that JAMB had commenced DE registration on Monday, 20th February, 2023, and had slated it to end on Thursday, 20th April, 2023.

“Candidates are also to note that only JAMB offices are approved to register them for Direct Entry,”the statement added.

FG to make University of Abuja the first education Free Trade Zone in Nigeria

By Favour Nnabugwu




The  Federal Government is to established Nigeria is established the University of Abuja as the first education Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Nigeria.

The education FTZ would be established on 11, 800 hectares of land at the university which has all kinds of mineral resources, and a mining centre.

The Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, who disclosed this on Friday, urged more universities in Nigeria to take part in the free trade zones scheme.

He added that NEPZA plans to partner with the University of Abuja and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce to bring industries closer to the students.

University FTZs: NEPZA Chief added the agency is working with the University of Abuja to establish a Free Trade Zone, which is built on 11,800 hectares of land and contains minerals that can be minded. He said

“We are now talking about the University free zone, education-free zone, technology-free zone, and knowledge-free zones; and we are working very closely with the University of Abuja in that regard.

“This is going to be one case that people are going to be very happy with. The University of Abuja has applied to be a free zone. It’s going to be the first such education-free zone.

“It is 10 minutes to the airport, 20 minutes to the city centre, 11,800 hectares of land with all kinds of mineral resources, free rivers, so it is going to be a mining centre.”
Industry and Academia: Adesugba added

that NEPZA plans to work with the university and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce to bring industries closer to the students, adding that the relationship would benefit both University and the industry. He said:

”Interns and university students having access to knowledge-based productive activities will also come into place; so it is going to be a fantastic thing.

”The best thing about the free zone is that the university lecturers and everybody within that community will have something to do.

They will always have something to do.
”There will be warehouses for industries, hotels for conferences; the rivers will provide the terrain good enough for the gulf. So we are going to have holidays and stuff at the university and it is going to be an amazing city. It’s a city within a city, it’s a dream.”

The NEPZA chief noted that this is the way to go; citing that there won’t be strikes as such agreements to do we do not allow strikes within the free trade zones.

“We will also ensure there is fairness, people will be appropriately paid, it is not just going to be lecturers asking for pay that the universities can’t afford. The University of Abuja is going to be the richest in Africa, by the time we finish with this concept we will be excited about it.”

JAMB cancels registrations of 817 candidates.. Asks them to re-register

By Favour Nnabugwu




The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board,JAMB, has cancelled the registrations of 817 candidates in the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination,UTME.

The cancellation came following discovery by the nation’s tertiary institutions admission body that the candidates engaged in various forms of irregularities while carrying out the registration exercise in various Computer Based Centres,CBT across the country.

Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede,who disclosed this after separate meetings with stakeholders, in Abuja,said the registrations were invalidated over identified infractions bordering on use of strange biometric fingerprints in the registration process.

While saying some registration officers in the affected 178 Computer Based Test (CBT) centres added one of their fingerprints to complete the registration process for the candidates, Oloyede, however, said the 817 students would be given another opportunity to re-register for the exam with the centres bearing the cost.

He said : “For the students who allowed other people to add their fingers to their registration procedure. We found that some of them were only naive, because you will hear them saying my finger was hot, and the man added his own. And you allowed him to add his own?

“Some of them did it deliberately for impersonation but we can’t identify those who are genuine from those who are not genuine. We will cancel all of them. All the registrations and we will ask them to re-register.

” The centres involved, we have just met with them, and they all confessed, nobody is disputing it, even students that were telling lies, they know we have the technology that won’t allow any lie to be accommodated.

” On their own (CBT owners), they suggested the solution. We will cancel the registrations of those people concerned and we will send a message to them to go back to the very centres where they were registered and the CBT centres will pay to the board the cost of registration of the candidates.”

The JAMB boss revealed that allowing a registration officer or any other person to add his or her finger during capturing of a candidate’s biometric data can bring about impersonation in the exam as well as give such ‘strange’ persons access to change vital details including exam centre.

“By adding his or her finger to your registration, it means he or her can change all your particulars when you are not there. You know your finger is what is used to identify you. The person can change your examination centre like say from Lagos to Ibadan, and on the exam day you won’t be able to write the exam.

“That is why we put in place a device that will throw up any strange finger that is not yours and that is why we were able to identify them.

Speaking on the recent suspension of five CBT Centres for selling UTME registration pins above the stipulated price, the JAMB boss said four of the five have been let off the hook.

He however, said the excess payment would be refunded by the affected CBT centres to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) for necessary action.

“Those who sold our pins to candidates beyond the approved limit, we have decided to lift the ban on four of the five after they have explained, and they have given us an apology and they have explained what happened.

“One didn’t not come so we are not lifting the suspension. The four of them, one of them that came, we are still doing investigation (on the centre)….

” As for those who overcharged, all the candidates who overpaid we are compiling the list. The overpayment will be paid by those vendors and those institutions to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

” They will pay the money to them and the law will determine what to do because I don’t believe the money should go back to the candidates, because if you can pay N3,000, N5,000, N6,000 above the cost, you do not deserve any sympathy.

I believe the money should not go back to them because we told them not to pay but now that they have paid we will recover the money and pay it to the appropriate government agency because if we retain it, they will say JAMB is looking for money, we are not looking for dirty money, we will therefore return the money to the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, so as decides by the law, they can even take it to a charity home and give it to those in need.”

265,000 graduates from OOU in 40 years

By Favour Nnabugwu




The Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State has produced over 265,000 graduates and postgraduates in the last 40 years of its existence.

The University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ayodeji Agboola, who disclosed this at a press conference to herald the five-month activities marking the 40th anniversary of the institution, said the University has grown from four faculties at inception into three Colleges and 13 faculties.

Agboola in his address titled,
“OOU @ 40 Lighting the Path of Academic Excellence: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”, explained that the university which started with 522 students and four faculties in 1983, has grown to receive 22,000 applications from candidates with about seven thousand quota every year.

He added that the OOU now runs 72 programmes with full accreditation for 65 of them by the National University Commission.

The vice chancellor also disclosed that the institution had produced 190 first class graduates between 2016 and 2021 academic sessions.

“To improve on the academic programmes of the institution,
four new academic programmes had been developed and accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) within the last decade. These included Civil Engineering, Music, Linguistics and Nursing Science”.

“In addition, the institution has established academic programmes, that include;
Institute of Governance Studies; Open and Distance Learning Centre”.

“The current ranking of the academic programmes, based on the accreditation of programmes in 2020/2021 places the University higher in professional programmes such as Medicine, Law, Accounting, Banking and Finance, Economics, Engineering, amongst others, than similar programmes in most of the Universities in Nigeria”, he said.

“A Webometric Committee that was established to improve the visibility of the University continue to perform, with the University web visibility up from its previous 26th position in 2017 to 18th in 2022, out of a total of 170 Universities in Nigeria”.

“We are the 4th State University out of 49 in Nigeria on the Webometric ranking”.

“Over the years, academic programmes at Olabisi Onabanjo University have enjoyed high ratings as evident in the accreditation reports of 2021. These rating gave rise to the good standing of Olabisi Onabanjo University among the comity of Nigerian Universities”.

“It is on record that the University was the first to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to conduct screening examinations for candidates seeking admission into the University”.

Speaking on steps to check the rate at which students drop out of school, Agboola said the management of the Olabisi Onabanjo University has introduced work studies to enable students work and attend classes.

He said: “When we noticed the rate at which students were dropping out, we did the SWOT analysis of what happened to them. We came to realize that the major problem is funding. So, we instituted immediate funding but, of course, it cannot take care of all of them.

“So, going forward, we have agreed that we are going to be doing work studies where funding will be given to just 500 (students) because, we cannot take care of all of them.

“With work studies, we are sure that majority of them will be accommodated and that will also solve the problem.”

Agboola, who assumed office last October, said that his administration would ensure academic excellence, high impact and translational research, university administration, improved students experience, entrepreneurial linkages and partnership and improved and sustainable funding.

He said that the next five years would be used to consolidate on various achievements of the past administrations.

273 bag First Class out of 35, 758 graduands as ABU holds 42nd Convocation

By Favour Nnabugwu




A total 273 bagged first at he Ahmadu Bello Universit, y(ABU) Zaria  out of will present a total of 35,758 graduands for the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 coming up on Saturday, 28th January, 2023.

A statement on Friday by Auwalu Umar of the institution”s Directorate of Public Affairs, said  the number, released along with other activities lined up for the convocation by the institution’s Registrar, Malam Rabiu Samaila, comprised

8,842 higher degrees ,869 Ph.D; 60 M.Phil; 6,179 Masters; and 1,734 Postgraduate Diplomas.

“26,916 Bachelors Degrees out of which 273 have First Class, 5,647 Second Class Upper Division, 17,567 Second Class Lower Division, 2,899 Third Class Honours, 45 Pass degrees, and 485 unclassified degrees.”

The statement said four outstanding personalities will be conferred with the institution’s honorary doctorate degrees for their immeasurable contribution to humanity, which included former military governor of old Kano State Col. Sani Bello (Rtd) and Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Ms. Amina Jane Mohammed.Others are former Bursar of Ahmadu Bello University Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Jibo and Katsina-based philanthropist Hajiya Fatima Lami Usman Kurfi.

“The Visitor to Ahmadu Bello University, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, will be the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion. His Excellency, Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, OFR, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, will be the Chief Host, while His Highness, Malam Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, CFR, the Emir of Zazzau, will be the Royal Father of the day.”

“There will be a pre-convocation lecture scheduled to hold at ABU’s CBN Centre for Economics and Finance Auditorium at 4pm on Friday, 27th January, 2023.

The lecture, entitled “The Impact of Man-Made and Natural Disasters on Food Security and Agricultural Development in Nigeria”, will be delivered by Mr. Boss G. Mustapha, CFR, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Mr. Hubert Wigwe, CON, the Managing Director, Access Bank PLC, will chair the lecture presentation.”

“Other activities lined up for the convocation include a public lecture scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 24th January, 2023.The lecture, which is to be presented by an alumnus of Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi, will hold at the institution’s CBN Centre for Economics and Finance Auditorium.”

“Prof. Olukoshi, a distinguished researcher and scholar at Wits School of Governance, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, will speak on “Nigeria: Character Builds a Nation, Dignity Transforms It,” the statement added.

AfDB President calls for adequate funding of education in Africa

By Favour Nnabugwu



The President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwunmi Adesina has called for adequate funding of education sector in Africa in order to reduce youth unemployment in the continent

Adesina on Thursday in Abeokuta warned that, the high unemployment rate in Africa if not checked could worsen the social and political fragility of countries in the continent.

The AfDB President gave the warning in a lecture delivered at a Colloquium on “The Role of Education in 21st Century Nigeria Development: BBHS Adventure” as part of activities marking the 100 years anniversary of Baptist Boys High School (BBHS), Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The event which was attended by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole and other alumni of the school was organized by the Old Boys Association of the school.

Adesina while delivering his lecture virtually said, for the United Nations (UN) goal for inclusive and quality education for all to be achieved, the global spending on education must rise from $1.2 trillion to $3 trillion per year by 2030.

He said, Nigeria as a nation with rapidly growing population must do more to ensure that the younger generation receive access to the education they deserve.

He said, “As a nation, the demands of a dynamic, fast-changing and integrated labour market globally require that we must significantly invest in building first grade and competitive human capital”.

“We must also improve educational system to be more resilient and able to adapt to the rapidly changing environment.

“We must transform African’s educational systems to prepare students for this new digital world.

“The investment that any nation makes in education reflects hopes and aspirations for accelerated development.

“We cannot underfund education. A nation can only go as far as its quality of its human capital, so if you underfund quality education, get ready for underdevelopment.

“The greatest discouragement to education is lack of jobs. The unemployment rate in Africa is extremely high and it reduce the return on education. Furthermore, it leads to frustration among the youths and spurs social discontent which could worsen social and political fragility of countries.”

Adesina said, AfDB has equipped no fewer than 50 million young Africans with skills, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

According to him, the AfDB has invested more than $171 million in education in Nigeria, adding that, the various interventions have produced more than 464 Masters degree holders and 83 PhD holders.

He said, the AfDB would soon establish a Youth Enterprise Investment Bank in Africa to address high unemployment rate in the continent.

In his address, the National President of Old Boys Association of BBHS, Prof. Kayode Oyesiku said there was need for Nigeria to de-emphasis certification and focus more on technical and vocational education.

“This country place too emphasis on paper certificate. The issue of unemployment may not be resolved if we continue to place too much emphasis on paper certificate.

“Without vocational and technical education we are going nowhere. We are only deceiving ourselves, we must emphasis on vocational and technical in our schools starting from secondary up to the tertiary level”, Oyesiku said.

JAMB begins registration of UTME January 14, direct entry Feb 20

By Favour Nnabugwu



The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, will begin the registration of 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME on January 14, 2023.

JAMB also said the registration of its Direct Entry,DE for 2023 session commences from Monday, February 20, to Thursday, April 20, 2023.

The spokesman of the nation’s tertiary institutions admission examinations body ,Dr Fabian Benjamin,said in a statement, Tuesday,that the decisions were taken at the end of JAMB’s management meeting held on Tuesday, 20th December, 2022,.

“The Board has approved the commencement of registration for the 2023 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) from Saturday, 14th January to Tuesday, 14th February, 2023.

“This, however, does not include registration for Direct Entry (DE) application documents as the DE registration would commence from Monday, 20th February to Thursday, 20th April, 2023,”he said.

The statement further read:”The Board also fixed Thursday, 16th March, 2023, for the conduct of its optional mock-UTME.

“Candidates are to note that they would be required to pay the sum of N1000 service charge for CBT centres for the conduct of mock examination at the point of registration so as to prevent a situation where candidates would indicate their interest to sit the mock-UTME leading the various centres to commit human and material resources only for them to stay away on the day of the examination. With the new arrangement, candidates indicate their interest by paying for the mock at the point of UTME registration, therefore, precluding the centres from incurring any loss whether candidates turn up or not.

“Also, the Board, after considering its other commitments, fixed Saturday, 29th April, 2023, for the conduct of the 2023 UTME, which is expected to end on Monday, 12th May, 2023.

“The Board advises all candidates, who desire to register for the 2023 UTME to immediately embark on the creation of their respective profiles ( creation of profile code) ahead of the formal commencement of the registration exercise to avoid being caught up in any ensuing bottleneck.”