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Earlier, you acknowledged stable academic calendar this year, as there has been no strike. But one is brewing already with the FG/ASUU face off over the Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). As somebody who has vast experience in the university administration, in what way are you advising the government to handle this matter?

Frankly speaking, my response to this question is not as JAMB Registrar, it is as a Professor from a university and as somebody who had managed the university and who has also been President of Association of African Universities and has a fair view of what goes on in the university all over the world. This is because I served on the governing boards of the Association of Commonwealth Universities as well as International Association of Universities. Besides, I am widely travelled when it comes to university administration. I will caution the Federal Government about IPPIS.

The government should be cautious because IPPIS might do more damage to the University system than good. My own position is that we are swinging between one extreme to the other. Prior to 2005, no university got direct allocation from the government; we used to defend our budget with the National Universities Commission (NUC).

It is the NUC that regulates, controls, supervises and monitors everything. Now, because our colleagues felt that NUC was too overbearing, they decided to have direct interface with the National Assembly and the national purse. This is one of the consequences of such complaints about NUC being accused of being overbearing. I believe that if you look at the analysis of government expenditure on universities, prior to 2005 and after 2005, go and compare, there has been lawlessness since 2005 because what you get into the university is no longer a product of what you need, but a product of lobbying and so many dirty things that go along with lobbying. It is no longer regulated.

When NUC was regulating, we had parameters, size of the university, age of the university, Science-Arts parameter and the growth rate. Then, there was the University System Annual Review Meeting (USARM) where every Vice-Chancellor accounted for every kobo given to his school to the NUC.

The NUC would harvest this review to serve as basis for its recommendation for budget allocation for all the federal universities. Now, we have dismantled that structure and every university now handles matter individually independent of NUC, which is not even cost effective. If you analyse how much every Vice-Chancellor spends in coming to and from Abuja on the issue of contacting National Assembly or contacting IPPIS, they are not only spending money, they are learning new tricks about corruption. This is because, yes, many people may say universities are corrupt, yet no sane person will assert that the universities are more corrupt than the public service. Civil service is stinking about corruption and the universities are still sane. But by the time we allow the undue and unregulated intermingling, you are going to transfer this poisonous dose into the university system and they are going to be the worse for it as they (universities) have the intellectual capacity to package the corruption.

It is something that we need to look into! Many people raised the issue that some Vice-Chancellors were prosecuted. What was the outcome of the prosecutions? I did not find any one of them that was not set free.

The court said that by the rules of the University, they have not done anything wrong. All the noise in the media is when they are being tried. But when the court sets them free, nobody hears about it.

There was the case of somebody who was serving President of the AAU (and Vice-Chancellor); you know the impact of the trial of such a person on the nation. We were really shocked and after the man went through all the horror, only for the court to say nothing was found against him after the name of the country and the University was almost permanently damaged.

So, what we are saying is that there are in-built mechanisms for addressing the issue of corruption in the university system. Let us activate those mechanisms, let us make sure that NUC is made to play both supervisory and regulatory role on federal universities. They have regulatory roles over all universities but they have both supervisory and regulatory roles on Federal Universities and that is what we are saying they should activate.


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Ending Inisa Central Mosque Leadership Crisis: FRMIOS Calls For Constitution of Shuurah Committee




…harps on harmonising Interests among Warring Factions

Muslims have been charged to always embrace peace and uphold the tenets of Islam in whatever they do including selection of a leader or Imam.

The Forum of Ratibi Mosque Imams of Osun State (FRMIOS), a registered Islamic Organization under the leadership of Pa Alhaji Shehik Imaam Illyas Afolabi Alawe gave the charge this weekend.

This was coming against the backdrop of the efforts at resolving the Inisha Central Mosque leadership crisis that kept worshippers away from observing prayers at the mosque for quite a while before last Friday.

In a release signed by the organisation’s secretary, Jamiu omotoso Tajudeen and made available to Daily Mail in Osogbo, FRMIOS called for constitution of a Shuurah Committee as a way to harmonize Interests of the Warring Factions.

The release read in part: “To be an Imam is to lead others in observing Salats and doings of some other religious activities including presentation of regular Sermons. It is a question of one having adequate and sufficient knowledge, wisdom and native intelligence more so that essence of the leadership in Islam is to guide adherents of the faith to the way of Allaah as sent to mankind through all the Prophets.”

“Shuurah Committee is a body always assigned a role to determine and select a leadership in Islam based on the religious criteria. It follows that where such had been in place within the Muslim community in this part of the country, probably closure of the central Mosque would have been averted and an ugly development that did more harm to the Muslims and Islam at large.

“The warring factions should therefore embrace peace and see to amicable resolution of the crisis in the overall interest of the Muslims and Islam which is obviously facing a lot of challenges in the Southwest as a result of inability of the Ummah to be united and speak with one voice.

“We therefore further call on the state government to look into urgent creation of the Shari’ah Court of Appeal in this state as guaranteed by Section 275 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Taking into consideration the huge population of the Muslims in the state, creation of such Shari’ah Court of Appeal in the state will definitely avert such a leadership crisis and others which are capable of disturbing peaceful coexistence of the people in the state.

“In addition, creation of such Shari’ah Court will provide jobs and generate more revenue for the government while such religious crises would always be settled in a very civilized manner. Our organization shall not relent in promoting peace, harmony and in a quest to see to the creation of the Shari’ah Court of Appeal in Osun State.

“Meanwhile, intervention of the well-meaningful people such as Chief Imam of Osogbo, HRM Olunisa of Inisa, Our Sheikhs, Alfas, brothers in Islam and Osun State government is highly appreciative and commendable.”

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Cutting Costs of Governance: Presidency Should Lead Way – Ogunwale



Kola Ogunwale

A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Osun State, Senator Felix Ogunwale has said the Nigerian presidency should lead the way for others to follow in cutting down cost of governance.

Senator Ogunwale spoke on Wednesday in Osogbo while fielding question from a panel at a programme, The Frontliners’ organised by the Osun State Chapter of Association of Veteran Journalists, AVJ.

He said the right thing to be done was for the president of the country to show commitment to changing the narrative by not only asking Nigerians to endure the current hardship but to demonstrate the willingness to also make all arms of government to also feel the impact in their budget.

“I have always said it that we are note being driven by ideas in Nigeria but money. You can’t be asking those in the National Assembly to reduce their pay now when in actual sense the reason for some of them being their is to amaze wealth.

“Do you know what to correct this, it’s if our president, I am not referring to the current president, it’s the day our president decide to be riding bicycle to his office, the day the balance in his account is not more than 10 million, the day our president refuses to take more aides than it’s necessary, the day our president doesn’t believe in amazing wealth.”

The chairman of the event, Dr. Muyiwa Oladimeji who also shared the views of the guest urged the people of the State to continue to support the Administration of Senator Ademola Adeleke to be able to achieve his dream of developing all sectors of the State.

He commeded the AVJ for championing such efforts geared towards charting a way forward on how to achieve all round growth and development of the society and the nation at large.

Earlier, the chairman, AVJ, Adepoju Atobatele had described the programme as another opportunity to get Nigerians engaged on salient issues of national and global dimensions on the Front Liners.

Atobatele said, the association considered it a duty as professionals in the pen fraternity, to deepen democracy by constantly provoking Intellectual disputes that would widen public horizon of issues that are germane to the wellbeing, progress, security as well galvanizing interest in the affairs of the Country.

He said “The FRONTLINERS has been very active in widening discussions and analytical assessments of issues, events and personalities involved in determining the socio-economic and political directions of our dear Country, Nigeria.

“These we are carrying out successfully with the resources available to us in different ways, through the instrumentality of the Media.

“Ours as a professional body of retired media practitioners, still active in the concept of information management, has thus taken it as a sacred duty to act as change agents in a society yearning for objective information dissemination.”

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IMO: Oyetola holds bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Jamaica



…as Nigeria sets to sign MoU with Saudi Arabia

The minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, on Tuesday, continued bilateral discussions with ministers and representatives from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Brazil and Jamaica, expressing Nigeria’s government interest in learning from their knowledge and experiences.

This was revealed through his media aide, Ismail Omipidan, in a statement issued on Tuesday evening.

Recall that Oyetola, on Monday, held bilateral meetings with representatives of Greece, Qatar, and Mexico, on the sidelines of the ongoing 33rd General Assembly session of the International Maritime Organization, IMO, in London, United Kingdom.

During his meeting with the Brazilian Chief of the Navy’s General Staff, Adm José Augusto V. da Cunha de Menezes, the minister said Nigeria would want to learn from the operations of the Brazilian coast guards, as the ministry was desirous of setting up one so as to further secure the maritime space and the country’s waterways.

Oyetola further noted that: “We want to also focus on sectors such as Marine Renewable Energy, Marine Mining, Subsea Cabling and Piping, Marine Genetics, and Biotechnology, so as to grow the marine and blue economy.

“As we continue to expand and develop the activities of the sector, there will be need to deepen security architecture within the maritime space. In this regard, we are considering setting up Coast Guards and we believe that they will complement the existing security architecture to further secure our maritime space.”

The minister while expressing Nigeria’s desire to tap into technology to revolutionalise the maritime sector, further said “technology and innovation are vital for boosting Nigeria’s trade and investment prospects within the Marine and Blue Economy. Advanced marine technologies, including innovations in maritime logistics and smart logistics solutions, will significantly enhance the efficiency and sustainability of maritime transport and port operations, making Nigerian ports more competitive globally.”

Oyetola also met the newly elected Vice President of IMO, who is the Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK, Saida Muna Tasneem and Saudi Arabia’s Saleh bin Nasser AIJasser, who is the minister in charge of the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services of Saudi Arabia, Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Both Saudi Arabia and Nigeria during the meeting agreed to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cement their corporations, collaboration and partnership in the maritime space.

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