Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, announced that he has given approval for the recruitment of teachers into the State’s teaching service, noting that his government is re-engineering the education for “long-lasting positive results.”
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the Governor stated this while speaking at the commissioning of a N50 million multipurpose hall donated to the Ilora Baptist Grammar School, Ilora, by an old student, Mr. Remi Oyekola.
The statement also quoted the Governor as indicating that the state government has not scrapped the School Governing Boards(SGBs) which manages the secondary schools.
Makinde also stated that he has approved running grants to schools adding that the funds must be lodged in the existing SGB Account of each school.
“The operational guidelines for the School Governing Boards, including the already established financial template and procedures must be strictly adhered to,” the Governor said, adding that any school without an existing School Governing Board should report to the Director of Schools, Ministry of Education not later noon of Friday, October 25, 2019.
He said Government has put in place a policy of free education and no principal should compel any student to pay any illegal fee, even the Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) is voluntary.
He also warned those who were hell-bent on sabotaging his Government’s education policies by destroying school properties through arson and burglary and those extorting students to desist from such path or face the full wrath of the law.
He maintained that no matter the amount of threats and blackmail by opponents of his free education policy would deter his government from providing free and qualitative education.
He said: “Any parent that wants to contribute to the school where his/her ward is attending can do so, it’s fine. But what we met on ground was huge fraud. There was no accountability. Even, as early as the day before yesterday, they said some people were still requesting for payment of N2,000 for the running grants we want to give to schools.
“Actually, I may not be right all the time but I will still investigate. But I am 100 per cent sure that I am right and I said to them that if they collect the money, I will jail the people in charge. The situation we are with the education of our children in Oyo State can be likened to a popular saying that goes thus: ‘a child that says his mother will not sleep, will equally not be allowed to rest’. We won’t allow anybody to sabotage our education policy.”
Governor Makinde commended the donor of the building, Mr. Oyekola, who in his speech had said that he embarked on the project to give back to the society and to honour his mother who toiled for his education.
The Governor announced that he had given approval for recruitment of teachers in order to address the challenge of shortage of teachers, especially following the influx of students to public schools in the state.
He said: “I can assure you that we are on top of the matter. As I speak to you, the process of teacher recruitment has begun. The next thing you will see is the result. We are determined to put an end to the recurring problem of shortage of teachers in Oyo State public schools. And so help us God, it will be done.
“Attending events like these restores my faith in systems. As an engineer, I am a firm believer in systems. If something is not working the way it should, it means it has not been engineered correctly. And so there is a need to have another look at the system to identify what is amiss.
“We all know that education in Oyo State has experienced many systemic failures. As an administration, we are focused on dealing with these failures by re-engineering processes. The thing is, reengineering processes takes longer than patching it up.
“Politicians like patching things up because it looks good for the cameras. Also, the people want to see things happening. It is definitely good to see things happening. But it is better to reengineer the process while doing things that people can see.”
Governor Makinde further admonished individuals in the State to always give back to their alma mater by partnering with Government, as it could not handle the task of building infrastructure and other responsibilities in the education sector alone.
He said: “The old students of every school are a big part of the education system. After they leave and make something of themselves, either as individuals or as groups, they are obligated to come back and give something back to their school, no matter how small.
“I have often said that Government alone cannot fund education. I have always believed this. I have spoken fondly about my time at Bishop Philips Academy and how I took the first one million Naira I made as a business person back to my Alma Mater. After we passed through the school and have gone on to make something out of our lives, we were obligated to come back to give back to our school. All the blocks you have renovated is validating the point that the government alone cannot do it. We have to work together because, quite frankly, these children are our future. So, whatever we invest in them today is what we will reap tomorrow.”
Governor Makinde, who maintained that his Government had been able to create an enabling atmosphere that is now making parents jostle to secure the transfer of their wards into public schools, said the administration has taken note of the resultant effects of the transfer such as the increased pressure of facilities and the shortage of teachers and that it was ready to address the challenges.
“To effectively resolve the issue of shortage of teachers, we cannot take any short cuts. We need to get to the root of the problem. This involves getting the necessary data: How many teachers do we need per school, what should be the subject matter specialisation of these teachers.
“We are doing our part to move education in Oyo State forward. We encourage you to use the communication channels provided by the Oyo State Ministry of Education, and for those of you who use social media, the pages and handles of Oyo State to give feedback on the progress of the work in your communities. And whatever is not going as scheduled, please report to us. We are a listening government and we will always respond to your feedback,” Governor Makinde added.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Principal, Ilora Baptist Grammar School, Mrs Titi Akintujoye, said that the old Students Association has rehabilitated over 10 blocks of classroom, toilets and the library, also provision of fence to secure lives and properties in the school.
She, however, appealed to the Governor to approve the re-classification of the school as Junior and Secondary Schools to allow for efficient management and transition from one school to the other, completion of the school fencing to prevent encroachment and to assist in completing a block of four classrooms started by the School Governing Board in the school.
I Wont Reverse Minimum Wage Payment, But Heads Will Roll – El-Rufai
The Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai has disclosed that his government has no intention to reverse the recommend minimum wage being paid civil servants in the state, he mentioned however, that workers would be sacked in view of the limited recourses available to the state.
The Governor made disclosure while informing newsmen in Kaduna, of the sack of 99 political appointees in his government.
He said the disengaged appointees constitute 30 percent of political office holders.
He said the state has started implementing its rightsizing policy but is yet to disengage any state civil servant.
The governor disclosed that only agencies connected to the local government system have disengaged staff and these include the 23 local government councils, SUBEB and the Primary Health Care Board.
“So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants. We want to be fair with regards to civil servants. We had earlier promised that before we reduce the size of the civil service, we will start with political appointees and we have done that,’’ he said.
The governor, who spoke in Hausa, said the rightsizing of civil servants will still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues that is accruing to the state government from the federation account.
‘’However, civil servants with question marks on the veracity of their data have to be given a chance to clear the doubts before any action is taken on them,’’ he clarified.
The governor said his government has employed 11,000 more workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University as well as primary and secondary schools across the state.
The governor disclosed that it is a fallacy to allege that the salaries of political appointees account for the bloated personnel cost of the State Government.
‘’In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointees amounted to N259 million , while civil servants were paid N3.13 billion, aside from costs related to state contributions to pension, accrued rights and other personnel costs. So, it is false to insinuate that political appointees are the ones that guzzle most of the state’s resources,’’ he said.
Justifying the rightsizing of the public service, he said that all states and the federal government are affected by the shortfall of revenue and some states have even reverted to paying the old monthly minimum wage of N18,000.
The governor, however, promised that Kaduna state will not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.
“We are the first government, federal or state, to pay the minimum wage. We will retain the minimum wage of N30,000 and the consequential adjustments that gave most of our civil servants a 66% salary increase. We will also retain the minimum pension of N30,000 monthly.
“The unified Local Government Service continues to pay the minimum wage, even though they varied the consequential adjustments for their workers below the level for state civil servants,’’ he added.
Ohanaeze, IPOB Rubbish Northern Group Over N100m Bounty On Nnamdi Kanu
The Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Friday hit back at the Northern Consensus Movement (NCM) which, on Thursday, declared IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, wanted and offered a reward of N100m to anyone who can bring him to Nigeria.
Kanu had taken up residence in the United Kingdom after jumping bail in respect of treason charges filed against him in October 2015 by the federal government.
The NCM at a press conference in Abuja late Thursday blamed Kanu and the Eastern Security Network, which is suspected to be the militant arm of IPOB, for the recent attacks on Northerners in the Southeast.
Responding to the NCM’s statement, the Secretary-General of a faction of Ohanaeze, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, asked the northern groups to direct their efforts elsewhere.
He said their N100 million bounties should be placed on the successor of the slain Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.
He said: “We want to tell the groups being sponsored by some northern presidential aspirants to place the bounty on the new leader of Boko Haram terrorist group that has just emerged after the death of Shekau.
“Nnamdi Kanu has an address in London or in Germany where his headquarters of IPOB is. There is no need of searching for Kanu. He is not in Nigeria; he has an address in London as a British citizen.
“They should just use the N100 million bounties given to them by northern politicians, who are trying to destabilise the Southeast, to have easy root for the 2023 presidential ticket of major political parties in Nigeria, especially of the PDP.
“They should place the bounty on Shekau’s successor, who has no address, who is living in the forest, the terrorist group that took arms against the government for the last six years.
“They should not cry more than the bereaved; we will take care of the Southeast and ensure normalcy returns. As far as we are concerned, that bounty is inconsequential and political. It is not necessary, only a means to continue to heat up tension in the polity.”
Isiguzoro dismissed the NCM allegations of killing of Northerners in the Southeast, saying: “for the purpose of record and from the last time, there has not been any killing, except the accidental killing of Ahmed Gulak in Owerri.
“There has not been killing recorded anywhere in the Southeast about Northern people except some nefarious activities of unknown gunmen and killer Fulani herdsmen who have been attacking police stations and government facilities and killing both Igbo and indigenes from other parts of the country.”
Responding for IPOB, its spokesman, Emma Powerful, said the group would not dignify the northern groups with response because “they are inconsequential groups and they don’t know what we’re doing.”
He added: “claiming that they’re representing Arewa means they represent nobody.
“We pity them for challenging Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB because they don’t know what we are made of; they can rant from here to Arewa; we don’t know such groups before.
“They want people to hear their ranting so that people will know that they exist because people don’t know them.
“People that matter in the world are talking about Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB and Biafra. We are ahead of them all.”
During its Thursday press conference, NCM said it was declaring Nnamdi Kanu wanted for the continuation of criminal charges against him.
It is offering a reward of N100 million to anyone who can produce him in Nigeria for that purpose.
Kanu had taken up residence in the United Kingdom after jumping bail in respect of treason charges filed against him in October 2015 by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The NCM blamed Kanu and the Eastern Security Network, which is suspected to be the militant arm of IPOB, for the recent attacks on Northerners in the Southeast.
It asked the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the European Union to ensure Kanu’s repatriation to Nigeria.
Dr. Awwal Aliyu, NCM spokesman, said members of the group took it upon themselves as active citizens of Nigeria to declare Nnamdi Kanu wanted for “crimes against humanity and for instigating the killing of innocent Northerners in the Southeast via his hate speech.”
Kanu, according to Aliyu, must answer for “the killing and destruction of Northerners residing and undertaking lawful businesses in the southeastern part of Nigeria.
He added: “So, we are placing a bounty of N100m as an offer to anyone who can produce him alive, hale, hearty, and uninjured to us for onward delivery to the security agencies for the continuation of his prosecution.”
He asked the US, the UK, and the EU, as champions of democracy, rule of law, and freedoms of speech and expression, to “kindly and humbly respect Nigeria’s sovereignty and facilitate the repatriation of Nnamdi Kanu to Nigeria so that he can face his treason, and possibly a fresh terrorism and genocide charges against innocent citizens of Nigeria.”
Obasanjo Contributed To Nigeria’s Crisis, He Should Mind His Utterances –Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says former President Olusegun Obasanjo contributed to the current chaos in the country, adding that the ex-military general should mind his utterances.
He stated this on Friday in a piece titled, ‘Nigeria’s Unity And All The Iberiberism’.
Adesina wrote, “The sabre-rattling about Nigeria’s unity and the possibility of disintegration has got to the point of Iberiberism (a bastardised Igbo word which could mean stupidity). Some people have no other business than doomsday predictions of a crumbled, collapsed Nigeria, as if they actually fast and pray for that eventuality.
“When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was President between 1999 and 2007, they predicted that he was going to be the last President of a united Nigeria. It didn’t happen. When Umaru Yar’Adua came, they said he was too sick to hold Nigeria together. The country stood.
“Under Goodluck Jonathan, they said the man was too weak, and different components of the country would soon say, ‘to your tents oh Israel.’ Nigeria survived. And for six years under Muhammadu Buhari, they have not changed their songs. The Somaliasation of Nigeria was on the way.
The Fulanisation of the country would be the final death knell. But Nigeria lives. It trudges on from day to day, month to month, and will surely survive.”
Adesina said though some people dwell on negativity, “some fathers of the land will not fold their hands and see Nigeria go down”.
“Fortunately, we have one of them as President now. The young Muhammadu Buhari spent 30 months in the frontlines as a young army officer, fighting the war of unity. And he has said it: we will not be around and watch Nigeria go down. Never. We will rather speak to insurrectionists in the language they understand.
“And what of Olusegun Obasanjo, a civil war hero. Despite all that he has contributed to the current upheavals by his actions and inactions, words and bile, he says it is idiotic to wish Nigeria disintegration now. Good. But let us put our money where our mouth is. Let Baba mind his thoughts, and his language,” the presidential spokesman added.
“Nigeria will survive. The polity will endure. And the component parts will live together in amity and brotherhood. Any other option is Iberiberism,” he concluded.
Obasanjo, a military head of state from February 1976 to September 1979, was Nigeria’s democratically elected president between May 1999 and May 2007.
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