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I Have No Regrets Siting Transport University in Daura – Amaechi

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The Minister for Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, said he had no regrets siting the transportation University in Daura.

Amaechi said this at the ground breaking of the Transportation University in Daura, Katsina on Monday.

”When we sited the factory at Kajola, there was no noise, nobody debated about it, nobody abused us for it unlike the site for the University.

”Daura is in Nigeria, it is not in any other part of the world. It is not in Niger Republic, Biafra or Mali, it is in Nigeria. So, what is wrong in siting the University of Transportation in Daura?

”I have no regrets siting this university where I have sited it, it is not because I want to get any gain,” Amaechi said.

According to him, the establishment of the University was an attempt at responding to the question of how we (Nigeria) will maintain the infrastructure we are building in the country.

He said: ”It is my attempt at responding to the question of how to maintain and manage all the infrastructure we are building and realised that education is key.

”I engaged the companies, the first engagement was when they were constructing Lagos-Ibadan.

“They were not so keen at spending their funds to build a university for Nigeria until I refused to sign the contract for the Lagos to Ibadan railway.

”I insisted that I will only sign if three things were done.

“The first thing is to take our children to China and train them by giving them first degree in railway technology.

”Today as I speak, 60 of our children are in their second year and we thank CCECC and 90 are on their way to China this week, making it 150.

”The second is that, if we must sign the purchase of locomotives in China, they must build a factory were we can construct for coaches, locomotives and wagon and today at Kajola that factory is being constructed.

”Finally, I insisted on the University of Transportation and today we are here for the ground breaking of the University and for all we are grateful to CCECC and the Chinese government.”

The Minister commended the Governor of Katsina for the speed in which he donated the land for the project.

He said the land which is about 413 hecters was donated by the katsina government and it has promised to increase it.

He also commended the various governors, ministers, stakeholders, the Chinese government and all who have made the project a success.

The Chairman, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr Ibrahim Hassan, described the University as the first of its kind which would boost economy and educational quest of Nigerians.

Hassan said that Engineering courses as regards to transportation would be introduced, adding that courses like Marine, road, rail and inland water transportation would be the main focus.

On the challenges faced by the rail sector, he said the board was committed towards improving the welfare of staff and exposing them to modern technology.

According to the Managing Director, NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, the University came about due to the persistence of the Minister.

”Amaechi insisted that there should be a university as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) of the contractor that is developing the rail industry in Nigeria that is the CRCC and the CCECC.

”We believe that from their profit they should do something meaningful for Nigeria so that we can develop human capacity and Nigerians can benefit from the on-going rail modernisation,” Okhiria said.

On Nigeria’s commitment to the project, he said there was no contribution from Nigeria except that we (Nigeria) gave them (the contractors) work to modernise our rail.

On completion of the project, Okhiria said it could be about two years, adding ”we hope that by the time we get the rail from Ibadan to Kano the University should be in place”.

”And remember that we have about 150 Nigerians that we have sent to China, among which some of them will become lecturers, some practitioners in the rail engineering processes.

”So we expect them to get to PhD level and that is the idea of sending them to China to specialise in transportation.

”So that by the time they come back here, we will have the lecturers in place to pioneer and continue the process of indeginising the University.”

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the University would offer courses and award degrees in Railway Engineering. (NAN)

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Nine-Year Old Boy Passes University-Level Maths Exam [VIDEO]

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The Mathematics Certification Institute of Japan on Tuesday said a 9-year-old boy from the Western Japanese province of Hyogo has passed a university-level maths exam.

According to the Kyodo news agency, the institute said Shogo Ando had been studying for the exam for two years and intended to use his mathematical skills for the betterment of society.

The report said the boy was cited as saying that he would like to use his skills to combat climate change.

Testing and achievement are central to Japan’s highly competitive school system.

However, according to the latest data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Japan has fallen from fifth to sixth place in the ranking of countries by their school pupils’ maths abilities.

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Ekiti Varsity Workers Protest, Shut Down School Over Sack Of Staff

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Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti staff today grounded academic activities at the institution over the dismissal of over 900 workers

The institution had on December 5 sacked over 900 workers institution who alleged to have been illegally recruited between 2016 and 2017, during the tenure of Governor Ayodele Fayose, have been sacked.

Discrepancies were said to have been found in the certificates of some of the affected workers, while others were also found not to possess the requisite certificates from the primary level.

The lecturers who protested within and outside the institution’s campus blocked the entrance gate as early as 7: 45am and chanting solidarity songs.

The protesting lecturers barricaded major roads and prevented vehicles from either leaving or entering the campus.

The protesting workers who were led by the major in various unions in the institution under the aegis of Joint Action Committee were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions and chanting solidarity songs.

The protesters included members of Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Academic Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).

The workers who disrupted academic activities, besieged the administrative  building where member of staffs were equally chase out workers from their duty posts.

Addressing journalist, the NLC chairman in Ekiti state who dubbed as the SSANU chairman of the institution, Mr Kolawole Olatunde said the struggles would be a fight to finish between Labour and the management.

He said the action of the management was uncivilized and inhuman .

Also speaking other Labour leaders explained that the sack of over 900 staff was an act of wickedness, adding that the various basis for the retrenchment were flimsy.

They, however, threatened to continue with the Protest on Tuesday until the management rescind its decision on the sacked workers.

The labour leaders, equally, urged Governor Kayode Fayemi to called on the institution’s authority to reverse the decision to guarantee industrial harmony.

Meanwhile the leadership of three of the unions in the University, namely, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU),  Non-Academic Staff Unions of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) under the auspices of Joint Action Committee (JAC) have been advised to maintain decorum while making their agitations.

The Vice Chancellor of the University,  Professor Edward Olanipekun, gave the advice while reacting to the action of the unions to drive staff out of their offices after their joint Congress meeting held earlier on Monday

According to the Vice Chancellor, management would not watch and allow the unions to take laws into their hands by preventing those with legitimate businesses on campus to transact their businesses.

According to him, “There are laid down procedures to be followed under the labour law in  particular if staff unions want to withdraw their services which have not been followed in this case by JAC.

Professor Olanipekun also frowned at the situation where law-abiding staff were being chased out of their offices and described the attitude as unethical.

He, therefore, appealed to staff and students to go about their normal duties, warning the leadership of JAC would be held responsible in the event of any breakdown of law and order in the University community.

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Gov. Akeredolu Orders Reappointment Of Sacked Ondo Poly Workers

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The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin OluwaRotimi Akeredolu, SAN has ordered the reabsorption of 59 sacked workers of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, into the state’s civil service.

The workers were teaching at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Staff Primary and Secondary Schools, before their sacking following the authorities’ inability to financially run the schools.

The disengagement of the teachers sparked crisis between the school management and the institution’s chapter of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics.

Speaking at a meeting with the representatives of SSANIP held on the campus, the Chairman of the polytechnic’s Governing Council, Mr Banji Alabi, said the governor ordered that the sacked workers should be reabsorbed into the mainstream state teaching service.

Alabi said, “The polytechnic in collaboration with the state government has offered to reabsorb the disengaged workers into the mainstream state teaching service and deployed in primary and secondary schools within Owo Local Government Area.”

In a statement jointly issued at the end of the meeting by the SSANIP Chairman, Mr Chris Olowolade and Secretary, Mr Samuel Olorunnusi, the union commended the management for the development.

The association also appealed to the polytechnic’s authorities to give the workers an option of being transferred to the mainstream of the polytechnic instead of the state teaching service alone.

The statement read in part, “The governing council representative appealed to the union to see the magnanimous gesture of the state governor in directing that the disengaged staff school members be absorbed into the (state) primary and secondary schools as an opportunity for them as they can rise to the position of principal and head teacher in no time because they will be replaced where their contemporaries in the teaching service are.”

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