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“We Were Not Part Of Strike”, CONUA Vows To Sue F.G Over Withheld Salaries

Rival Academic union, Congress of University Academics has expressed its disappointment with the Federal Government, especially the Ministry of Labour and Employment, over the non-payment of its members’ withheld salaries “even when the government knew that the union did not call for strike action and its members were not involved in the strike action that lasted for eight months and which shut down the university system nationwide.”

In statement on Tuesday by its National President, Secretary and Publicity Secretary, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, Dr Henry Oripeloye and Dr Ernest Nwoke, respectively, CONIA  argued that it was wrong for the FG to lump CONUA with members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities who went on eight months strike between February and October, 2022.

The new union of lecturers thereby viewed to sue FG for withholding its members’ salaries.

The statement partly read, “CONUA formally made its non-involvement in the strike known to the Federal Government in a letter addressed to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, in April 2022.

“In the letter, we made it clear that because CONUA constituted a separate and independent union in the university system, our members did not call for any strike. This was followed by a Press Conference in Abuja on August 19, 2022 at which it was categorically stated that CONUA was not part of any ongoing strike, and that the “No Work No Pay” principle ought not to apply to members of the union.

“CONUA’s expectation is that, due to the express and categorical declaration, the government would seamlessly release our members’ outstanding salaries when it resumed the payment of salaries to all university staff in October 2022. But to our dismay, CONUA members were also paid pro-rata salaries in complete disregard to the fact that we were indeed shut out of duties by the strike.

“Subsequently, we wrote to the Accountant-General of the Federatıon and the Ministry of Labour and Employment reminding them that it was an error to lump our members with those that declared and embarked on strike action. It was yet another shock for the outstanding backlog of salaries not to have been paid to our members along with the November 2022 salary.”

CONUA said the non-payment of “our withheld salaries” contravenes Section 43 (1b) of the Trade Disputes Act CAP. T8, which stated that “where any employer locks out his workers, the workers shall be entitled to wages and any other applicable remunerations for the period of the lock-out and the period of the lock-out shall not prejudicially affect any rights of the workers being rights dependent on the continuity of period of employment.”

“This provision is consistent with global best practices,” it added.

“From the foregoing and as a law-abiding union that pledged to do things differently, we have resolved to seek legal redress of the illegal withholding of our legitimate salaries by taking the matter to court in consonance with the rights enshrined in our laws,” the union said.

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Education

FUOYE Confers Honorary Degrees on Odegbami, Olanipekun, others at 7th Convocation

Nigerian football legend, Segun Odegbami, aka ‘mathematical Odegbami’, legal luminary, Wole Olanipekun, renown banker, and ex-First Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Olabisi Onasanya and leading publisher and chairman, Trust News, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf will be garlanded with the honoris causa, (Honourary Doctoral degrees) of the prestigious Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) during the 7th Convocation ceremony of the upwardly mobile Ivory Tower which kicks off from February 6, 2023. Chairman of the University Ceremonial Committee, Prof. Tajudeen Bolanle Opoola , has revealed in a statement made available to the University media team on Wednesday
Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo will also grace the occasion to deliver a speech to herald the University’s Founder’s Day celebration, while Prof. Wahab Olasupo Egbewole gives the Convocation lecture.
According to a press statement signed by the Wole Balogun, Special Adviser, Media, to the VC the 7th Convocation ceremony will also features other important events which include a Founder’s Day Speech by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Convocation lecture by Prof. Wahab Olasupo Egbewole, investiture of the Chancellor, Attah Igala kingdom, a Convocation play to be presented by the institution’s Department of Theatre and Media Arts currently under the headship of Associate Professor Lilian E. Bakare, which promises to be thrilling, instructive and refreshing, induction of engineering students at the Ikole campus, 7th lnuagural lecture by Prof. A. Akeem Ajiboye, world press briefing by the VC, Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fasina, presentation of the VC’s merit awards for deserving staff members as well as commissioning of infrastructural projects to mark the two year eventful and highly rewarding tenure of the incumbent Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Fasina, among others.
Excited about the development, Mr.Odegbami said: “Gooď News from a citadel of learning. Even in an atmosphere of ominous dark, grey clouds, some sunlight shines through… completely out of the blue, I received a call from an emissary, followed by an official letter from the office of the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, giving me the good news of the desire of the university to confer on me an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Human Kinetics at the university’s 7th Convocation ceremony coming up in February.
“I was going to keep it to myself but wiser counsel by a few friends that I shared it with prevailed. So, here I am, using this small medium to publicly acknowledge this offer.
“I humbly urge all those that read this to join me in expressing very sincere gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abayomi Sunday Fasina, the Governing Council, the Senate, Staff and Students of the University for finding me deserving of such an exalted honour.
“This is fuel to my spirit and my being. I shall continue to make my humble contributions to the fields of sports, society and humanity.”
The VC, Prof. Fasina who is the Chief host of the occasion, said in the release: “On behalf of the Governing Council, Senate, Staff and Students of the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, I have the pleasure to invite you to the 7th Convocation Ceremonies of the University scheduled to hold between Monday, 6th February and 12th February 2023. The Convocation Ceremonies are for the investiture of the University Chancellor, Awards of Postgraduate and Graduate degrees, conferment of Honorary Doctoral degrees as well as Special Meritorious Service Awards to some distinguished personalities in Nigeria.

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Education

We Have Paid N18b Scholarship Debt From Kwankwaso’s Administration- Kano Government

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s administration has so far paid N18 billion scholarship debts incurred by Rabiu Kwankwaso, his predecessor.

Mohammed Garba, Commissioner for Information in Kano State disclosed this while speaking on the foreign scholarship programme initiated by Kwankwaso before leaving office in 2015.

He explained that there was over five million euro debt in Cyprus alone, leading to institutions in the country writing to Governor Ganduje.

“When we came into power in 2015, we met huge unpaid foreign and domestic scholarships left behind by the Government of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and this gave us a lot of problems. But we [have] settled about N18 billion so far,” Garba said.

“We have to sit down and negotiate a way out with Cyprus to reduce the debts. We [have] paid N600 million; N300 million in the beginning and another N300 million [now]. You can see how committed we are to settling all the scholarships [debts] left behind by the government of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.”

The commissioner insisted that the scholarship programme was haphazardly created and without due diligence.

“If Gawuna is elected as governor of Kano State, he will certainly look at the programme [and] fine-tune it,” he said, noting that beneficiaries would henceforth be those studying courses that will be beneficial to the state “like engineers, and other relevant courses, not historians and their likes.”

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Education

No Admission Into Biochemistry, Petroleum Engineering For 2023 Session- UNILAG

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) has announced that there will not be an admission of students to two programmes for the 2023 academic session.

Oladejo Azeez, Registrar of the institution and secretary to the governing council made the disclosure in a statement on the tertiary institution’s website.

“All prospective UTME and Direct Entry candidates for the 2023 admission exercise should please note that the University of Lagos will not run two programmes, namely: Biochemistry and Petroleum & Gas Engineering. Hence, there will be no admission into the two programmes.

“Candidates are hereby advised not to choose any of these two programmes, and those who have done so should change to other programmes.”

UNILAG in December 2022 announced the commencement of the student admission process and cutoff marks for the 2023 academic session.

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