• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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ASUU, FG reach a no-deal agreement

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) rejected the Federal Government’s offer of a 23.5 percent increase in their salary. The union described the increase “as inadequate to meet their respective demands needed to tackle the challenges confronting the university system.”

Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education who led the Federal Government delegation in a new meeting with the striking unions on Tuesday to end the more than six-month-long strike, had offered a 23.5 percent pay increase, among other things.

During a news conference in Abuja, the Minister stated that the government also provided a 35 percent raise for lecturers in the professional cadre.

He said that the government had also promised that a sum of N150 billion “shall be provided for in the 2023 Budget as funds for the revitalization of Federal Universities, to be disbursed to the Institutions in the First Quarter of the year.”

Added to the N150 billion, the government promised to disburse the sum of N50 billion that would be included “in the 2023 Budget for the payment of outstanding areas of earned academic allowances, to be paid in the first quarter of the year.”

However, ASUU rejected the government’s peace offer, stating that it would not back down from its demand for a 100 percent salary increase.

At the end of the news conference, Adamu appreciated all the unions for participating in the meeting aimed at putting an end to the strike, saying that the Federal Government had done its best to reason with ASUU.

“We have done the best that we can in the circumstance,” the Minister said.

Read also: ASUU strike: FG constitutes another negotiation team

Obi denies receiving $150m diaspora funding

Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, on Tuesday, denied claims that he or his campaign organisation received the sum of $150 million from the diaspora as a donation to his course.

Obi was responding to allegations making the rounds on social media that he or his campaign organisation had received a sum of $150 million from the diaspora. A claim many believe is in clear violation of electoral law of funding from outside the shores of the country.

According to an investigation, these claims were made by a group under the aegis of Tinubu-Shettima Connect. The group had pleaded with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify Obi over the alleged funding as it violates the Electoral Act on campaign funding.

However, speaking during an interview with Channels TV in London, the former running mate to Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 general election, denied such allegations, saying that they were only “baseless speculation”.

Obi was in London to continue his sensitization tour of Nigerians outside the shores of Nigeria.

“Nobody has given me anything,” he said. “That is speculation. What I need is not what they would give me. But what they would give Nigeria, because we need them to turn around Nigeria.

“This is the energy, the capacity that we need to turn around Nigeria. Every country that was turned around was done by the diaspora. Even in the Bible, Joseph, who left later, came back to feed his people. ”

“It is not a campaign, it is consultation,” he said, defending his meetings with Nigerians in Europe and North America. “I am consulting Nigerian diasporans to know why they should be involved in the Nigerian electoral process. And you can see from my conversation and everything that what I am doing is saying let’s get involved.

They are the most critical components in turning around Nigeria. The investment Nigeria needs to turn around is from diasporans. If they believe in Nigeria and bring their resources, both in terms of their material, talent, and energy, we will turn around the country. ”

Obi, who has received widespread support from many young Nigerians, called for the 2023 elections to be based on merit and not on religion or ethnicity.

“Nigeria’s 2023 election should not be based on ethnicity, religion, connection, ‘my turn’, or any bias,” he said. “It must be on character, competence, capacity, and determination to deal with the problems of Nigeria.”

Cross River, China partner on cloud computing technology, others

The Chinese government and the government of Cross Rivers State are set to enter into a strategically beneficial partnership that is going to strengthen the relationship between both parties. This relationship is set to cover various sectors, with a special focus on artificial intelligence, cyber security, and cloud computing.

The information about the partnership was made available when a delegation from the government of Cross River led by Inyang Asibong, the state Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, paid a courtesy visit to members of the Chinese delegation at the Chinese Consulate in Abuja on Tuesday. During the meeting, the commissioner assured the Chinese delegation of the state’s readiness for the takeoff of the project.

He also assured the Chinese delegation that the state government is eagerly looking forward to the takeoff of the project because the governor believes that it is going to bring economic growth and development to the people of Cross River.

According to the commissioner, the new partnership will improve the economic status of the state through information and communication technology (ICT), scholarships and education,as well as science and development.

House committee on finance calls for FCCPC  finance director’s sack

During an investigative hearing on Tuesday, the Committee on Finance at the House of Representatives called for the sack of Akinyogbon Ojo, the Director of Finance of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC).

James Faleke, the Chairman of the Committee, stated that his dismissal would make it easy for government agencies and ministries to arrive at suitable parameters for the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (2023–2025).

According to findings by the Committee, Ojo was allegedly accused of being involved in extra-budgetary spending, an offence that encourages diversion and misappropriation of government funds.

The Committee also recommended that the Accountant-General of the Federation block the account of FCCPC.

UK PM Liz Truss accepts invitation to visit Ukraine in first call with foreign leader

Mary Elizabeth Truss, the new British Prime Minister, spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in her first call with a foreign leader.

In her conversation with Zelenskiy, she not only accepted his offer to support Ukraine in its war with Russia but also promised to visit the country soon.

Outside the United States of America, Britain has been the biggest financier of Ukraine and one of the country’s most vocal international backers. Britain has supported the Ukrainian war effort with Russia with 7,000 anti-tank weapons, hundreds of missiles, and armoured fighting vehicles. It is also training Ukrainian soldiers. This is according to Reuters.

The prime minister spoke to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, this evening to reiterate the United Kingdom’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s freedom and democracy, according to a readout sent by Truss’s office.

“The prime minister said she looked forward to working with the President in the coming weeks and months and was delighted to accept an invitation to visit President Zelenskyy in Ukraine soon.”