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Why I signed National Open University amended law – Buhari

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…As over 32,000 graduate in combined virtual convocation

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that his prompt signature on the amended law of the National Open University of Nigeria’s (NOUN) has resolved the long-term non-recognition of its graduates in the country.

He stated this on Saturday during the university’s combined 9th and 10th Convocation Ceremony, which was held virtually.

The president, represented via a virtual connection by the National Universities Commission (NUC) Deputy Executive Secretary, Ramon Yusuf, stated: “NOUN is delivering on its mandate by taking education to the doorstep of Nigerians.”

Buhari, who is the university visitor, added that his administration has placed a great premium to education, especially in ensuring a lifelong learning via the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode.

While saluting the efforts of the university’s management in continuing to expand access to higher education, the president acknowledged that NOUN has remained the only single-mode ODL institution in Nigeria.

In his message, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, said the combined ceremony has seen the graduation of a total of 32,725 students from various courses of study in undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

Adamu, who is rounding off his five-year tenure on February 10, 2021, disclosed that a total of 24,300 graduands were drawn from the year 2020, the convocation ceremony of which was shelved due to the enforced lockdown necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the year 2021 has a total of 8,425 graduands, making it a cumulative 80,418 students who graduated within his five-year stint at the university.

The Vice-Chancellor added, “It became necessary to hold a combined convocation due to inability to hold the 9th convocation in March 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“The virtual convocation is not the first in the country due to Covid-19 restriction, but it is the most significant in leading way to the largest single event mass graduation of students in the history of higher education in the country.”

Adamu, who took time off to explain his achievements, said the recorded strides were a culmination of “dedication and singular focus in moving the university from a static provider of ODL to dynamic process of transformation of higher education delivery models in Africa.”

The Chancellor of the university, Amb. (Dr.) Lawrence O.C. Agubuzu, thanked the federal government for its support to the university.

On his part, the chairman, Governing Council, Professor Peter Okebukola, said the combined convocation conducted virtually was unique in many ways, as it will set standard for other universities in Nigeria.

He said, “This is the last convocation under the leadership of Professor Abdalla Uba Adamu, whose five years go down as the best in the annals of the university.”

Goodwill messages were received from other universities as thousands of students, families and friends hooked on via the various streaming platforms.

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Aspirant Confirms Receiving Refund From Delegates After Losing Primaries 

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Adam Namadi, son of former Vice President Namadi Sambo, has confirmed receiving a refund from delegates after losing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives ticket for Kaduna North Federal Constituency.

Reports earlier emerged that drama ensued when Namadi who allegedly gave each delegate N2 million and promised to add N1.5 million if given the ticket, asked them to refund the money.

Reacting, in a statement on Wednesday, the former aspirant justified his action, saying “there was nothing dramatic about the request, and it is unfortunate the media has been purporting it as such”.

According to him, there was an agreement between the delegates and stakeholders in the constituency prior to the primary election that those not favoured by the outcome of the election should be refunded.

He said, “Delegates themselves are aware of the directives given by the major stakeholders of the PDP in the Kaduna North constituency, that any sums given to delegates by various aspirants for their support should be returned to those unsuccessful in their primary elections.

“This was done to encourage delegates to vote for the aspirants based on their qualities and not just their perceived spending power and to hold them accountable for the candidates they put forth.

“As a mark of respect for that agreement, some delegates in the Kaduna North constituency started to reach out to the unsuccessful State House of Assembly aspirants whose elections were held before ours, followed by my fellow contender, Shehu Usman ABG and I.

“Therefore, I am not acting in isolation or making any ludicrous demands.

“I take their decision in good faith and will continue to labour with the PDP and do all my best to protect its good fortunes”.

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“Absolute Agony” says Alex Ferguson, As He Presents Manager of the Year Award to Jurgen Klopp

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Sir Alex Ferguson joked that it was “absolute agony” to have to present Jurgen Klopp with the trophy named after him at the League Manager’s Association (LMA) awards last night.

Liverpool boss Klopp was named Manager of the Year after guiding the Reds to League Cup and FA Cup glory, plus second in the Premier League and this weekend’s Champions League final.

Klopp was presented with the Alex Ferguson Trophy by the man himself – who admitted, with tongue in cheek, that doing so was especially painful.

Watch: Ferguson in “agony” as he honours Klopp

Why would that have pained Ferguson?

As manager of Manchester United, Ferguson made them undisputed kings of English football, overtaking Liverpool as the club with the most national league titles – as the Scotsman once put it, knocking them off their perch.

The balance of power has shifted in recent years, however, with Ferguson retiring and Klopp being appointed at Anfield, with the German bringing consistent domestic and European success back to Liverpool.

United have not won the Premier League since 2012-13 – Ferguson’s last season in charge – or any trophy at all in the last five seasons, while Liverpool won the league in 2019-20 and the Champions League the year before.

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Nigeria lauds improved collaboration in AFI Region, signs MoU with Sierra Leone, Rwanda

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MINISTER of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has commended International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) stressing that it’s leadership stance in collaboration has led member states of the African Indian-Ocean ( AFI) region to pool resources in resolving challenges and enhance safety in the Sub-region.

Sirika made this known at the 7th AFI Aviation Week in Abuja, Nigeria holding from 16th – 20th May where the nation signed Memorandum of Understandings, (MoUs) with Sierra Leone and Rwanda for technical support to enhance safety and security of Civil Aviation in the region.

According to him, ICAO’s leadership has set the bar for Member States to collaborate in resolving challenges particularly in the area of enhancing safety in our Sub-region.

He explained that one of the outcomes of such collaboration is the Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa, which metamorphosized in the West Africa region into the Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organization (BAGASOO), in Abuja, which is hosted and substantially funded by Nigeria stating that this organisation has continued to support the Member States in improving their safety oversight capabilities and human resource development.

On the MoUs, Sirika said they will aid to strengthen safety and efficiency of the sector as well as cooperation in the region.

The Aviation Minister stated that, aviation being an enabler and a positive factor for growth, development and robustness of the economy, informed the sector to enter into partnerships with other countries.

From left, Commisioner Banjul Accord Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA), Engineer Charles Irikefe Erhueh with Minister of Aviation, Nigeria, Senator Hadi Sirika and Commissioner Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria, Engineer Akin Olateru at the opening ceremony of the 7th AFI Aviation Week in Abuja, Nigeria holding from 16th – 20th May

“This is the only way to continue to make these initiatives relevant and sustainable, while contributing to the strengthening of safety, security and facilitation in the region, bearing in mind that a safe, secure and efficient air transport system is a natural impetus for socio-economic development of the region and a means to support trade and tourism”.

The MoUs were signed by the Nigeria’s Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu and representatives of the two countries at the opening ceremony of the Conference in Abuja.

Explaining further, the NCAA Director General, Captain Nuhu said, the partnership with the two African countries is to assist each other where there are gaps or deficiencies in the system, adding that no civil aviation authorities globally have the capacity to do everything.

The experience of the last two years, Captain Nuhu emphasized has underscored the fact that overcoming challenges and achieving meaningful growth in the industry, can only be done through cooperation, collaboration and co-ordination amongst stakeholders.

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