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Education

Poly students threaten Abuja airport operations over ASUP strike

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Polytechnic students, under the aegis of the National Association of Polytechnic Students, on Thursday called on the Federal Government to ensure an immediate end to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic.

They made the call during a protest they staged in front of the Ministry of Education at the Federal Secretariat Complex in Abuja.

The association’s President, Sunday Asuku, called on both parties to reach a compromise or risk nationwide protest by students.

According to him, ASUP had been on strike for two months and nothing had been done about it.

He said, “We have written to them but they have declined. The Federal Government workers are being paid their salaries and allowances likewise our lecturers, so who is going to pay the students for time wastage?”

Asuku added that the students’ body had reached out to ASUP which had promised to shift ground if the government would yield to their 15 demands.

He added, “As a student body, we are interested in the government paying the lecturers their minimum wage which is accrued to two years.

“Other MDAs have received theirs since November 2019. Why holding our lecturers to ransom? If you can give them this, then we have the right to hold them accountable for not teaching.

“We want the government to call ASUP back to a round table and give them what belongs to them, or else by Monday, we will grind activities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.”

However, the Minister of State for Education, Chukuemeka Nwajiuba, while addressing the students said everything that had to do with ASUP had been settled.

According to Nwajiuba, the decision to call off the strike now lies with the union.

The minister said, “Every one of us is pained by what is going on in the polytechnic sector of our education. Many of us spoke with ASUP at the time of their warning strike that we are not running an ad hoc government.

“Nothing ends today, even if I die today, Nigeria will continue and there is nothing that will stop Nigeria.

“When ASUP wanted to start this strike, we wrote them and said everything that ASUP requested for has been agreed upon, we do not have one area of disappointment.”

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Education

88 days after, kidnapped Tegina Islamiya Pupils finally released

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Over 70 pupils of Islamiyya school in Tegina town who were kidnapped by armed bandits in Niger State have been released by their abductors.

The pupils, PRNigeria reported, were abducted from their school premises in June.

A security source told PRNigeria that the students are on their way to Minna en route Kagara from Birnin Gwari.

The Islamiya pupils were held for 88 days and 11 hours according to the timeline of the days and time they have spent in the bandits’ captivity.

PRNigeria has been publishing counts-up since the abductions of some pupils and students in Northern Nigeria. The Abducted students of Yauri Federal Government College (FGC) have been in captivity for 70 days while the remaining abducted students of a Baptist School in Kaduna will be spending their 52nd days in captivity.

▪︎ By PRNigeria

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Education

Chibok Girl Bags Accountancy Degree from Atiku’s University

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One of the three girls who escaped from Boko Haram captivity in 2014, Mary Katambi has graduated with an accounting degree, on Saturday, July 10, alongside other 474 students who also obtained various degrees from the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola.

Katambi was one of the 276 schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists in 2014 from their hostel rooms at Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Chibok in Borno state.

Ecstatic former Nigeria’s Vice President who doubles as the founder of the institution, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said Katambi has beaten the odds to become a graduate seven years after her abduction by Boko Haram.

“Mary Katambi, I’m proud that seven years after your release from Boko Haram captivity, you’ve beaten the odds to graduate with a degree in accounting from the American University of Nigeria. The best years are still ahead of you,” Atiku said on his Facebook handle.

During its 12th commencement ceremony, the university awarded one Doctor of Philosophy, 38 masters degrees, 3 postgraduate diplomas and 433 bachelor degrees.

Margee Ensign, the President of AUN,  in her remark challenged the graduands to be good ambassadors of the institution.

She expressed optimism that with the kind of training and mentorship they received, they will excel in their chosen careers urging them to make both their parents and institution proud.

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group in his keynote address charged the graduating students to extol the virtues of selflessness, justice, equity and fair play.

He urged Nigerians to embrace unity and patriotism adding that “our diversity should be our source of strength.”

According to him, had Nigeria managed its diversity well, the country would have become a haven of development and prosperity, drawing an analogy with Singapore doing excellently well despite its diverse cultures, religions, and ethnicities.

He called for the opening of more space for youth participation in governance, economy and all other spheres of life noting that Nigeria’s major challenge lies with the creation of predominantly rich and predominantly poor classes of citizens.

While calling on actors and policymakers to dedicate more energy to agriculture, Adesina said the sector is the biggest asset that can bail Nigeria out of the woods.

He assured of African Development Bank’s readiness to invest heavily in the agricultural sector to raise productivity by supporting women to access land and other implements.

The founder of the University, Atiku Abubakar, in response to Dr Akinwumi Adesina, advocated for the African Development Bank to consider supporting the private sector more in agribusiness.

Alhaji Abubakar who own a microfinance bank says the bank has lifted 45 thousand families out of poverty and called on the bank to assist the women in agriculture.

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Aviation

Hope Rises for Aerospace University, as NUC Gives Provisional Approval

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Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika presents the Concept Note for the establishment of the African Aviation and Aerospace University Abuja to the Executive Secretary National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed

The quest by the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Aviation, to establish an Aviation and Aerospace University has been boosted by the assurance of the National Universities Commission (NUC) to expedite action on the concept document submitted by the Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika.
Executive Secretary, National University Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed who gave the assurance after receiving the note from the Minister, said the commission will engage some professors to perfect the concept note for immediate approval.

A statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation,  Dr James Odaudu quotes the Executive Secretary as saying: “I can assure you that by the end of the month (July), we are going to have a brand new University, the first of its kind in Abuja, first African University dedicated to aviation and aerospace study in the country”.

According to the Executive Secretary, the value of such university can’t be quantified and commended the Minister for his boldness and courage.
“This aviation under your guidance, will be the first to show the way that we can support the establishment of specialized university that won’t only serve us but serve the African region and the International community”. He stated.

Presenting the Concept Note earlier, Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika who was accompanied by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Directors and Heads of Agencies, said that the ‘African Aviation and Aerospace University Abuja’ will be dedicated to research and development of knowledge in Aviation and Aerospace.

The Minister stated that the decision to establish the specialised university was informed by the need to fill some identified gaps in the growth and development of the aviation sector.

“When we took the leadership in civil aviation, we identified and understood the gap in the growth and development of civil aviation in Nigeria in particular and Africa in general. We are deficient in research and development in civil aviation and aerospace technology and that has caused a lot of underdevelopment of the sector and made us to be backward”

Sirika further said that the huge gaps and deficiencies have left the Civil Aviation sector to be managed with basic knowledge of either being a pilot or aircraft maintenance engineer, with no one going into research and development to understand the Civil Aviation and Aerospace industry to grow it for our own betterment and leverage on the sector to recreate the economy, improve the wellbeing, add to the GDP and most importantly to expend knowledge horizon of Nigerians.

“We have been working three to four years now into this and we developed a concept note based on the advice by Executive Secretary NUC for critique and that will fast track the process of setting up the University. We come up with concept note of what will be the focus of this University” he explained.

He added that “the potential of this University to serve the market of civil aviation and aerospace within the continent cannot be overemphasized. Once the University takes off, a lot will happen and it will change the dynamic”.

Sirika expressed gratitude to the Executive Secretary and his team for guiding the process leading to the submission of the concept note, and the assurance that it will be expeditiously concluded.

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