EDUCATION: NCCE, NTI strengthen ties for teacher education development
From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) has strengthened its partnership with the National Teachers Institute (NTI) for the purpose of producing quality and professional teachers, who are willing and ready to impart knowledge on students.
The two agencies of government are saddled with the responsibilities of training (NTI), and regulating teacher education (NCCE).
Executive Secretary of NCCE, Dr. Bappah Aliyu, told our correspondent in Abuja yesterday that the partnership would go a long way in closing the loopholes in curriculum and other academic standards, which, according to him, had led to a compromised education system, with dire consequences.
He stated that he has received support and assurance from the Director-General of the NTI, Prof. Dahuwa Azare.
He commended the Ministers of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu and Prof Anthony Anwukah, for their support, which has ked to the successes achieved so far by both agencies.
POWER: FG begins verification of 1,630 PHCN retirees
From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Federal Government has begun the final verification of about 1,630 retired staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in Lagos, Kaduna and Benin. Out of the number, 823 are with biometrics while 807 are in database.
A team from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Limited (NELMCO), and National Pension Commission, who are conducting the exercise at the three centres reported the impressive turn out or the retirees and their next of kin, which was devoid of hitches and security challenges.
Spokesman of BPE, Alex Okoh, said the exercise commenced on October 3, 2016 for the final batch of the PHCN retirees.
He said: “At the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) in Lagos, those to be verified turned up as early as 8:30am and after being addressed by the leader of the verification team, Mr. Mohmud Adam of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, the exercise commenced in earnest with the team members assisting those who had issues filling their claims. At the end of the first day of the exercise by 5pm, over 40 persons had been attended to.
“At the Benin Centre, where the exercise is holding at the Bishop Kelly Pastoral Centre, 30, Airport Road, those to be verified turned up as early as 8am. Leader of the team, Mrs. Martina Omojola of the BPE in her address, reminded them that it was the final exercise and meant for only those who had not been paid their retirement and pension benefits. She read out the requirements to them and by 8:45am, the exercise commenced with the assistance of security personnel and other supporting staff. Over 20 people were screened on the first day.
“Also at the Kaduna Electric Head Office, venue for the Kaduna Centre, the exercise was reported to be peaceful and without hitches.
The exercise will run at the three centres from Monday to Friday this week. The next phase will commence on Monday, October 10 to October 14, 2016 in Port Harcourt and Bauchi while the last phase would be from October 19-21 at Merit House, Abuja.”
SON: NASSI partners SON on product packaging
From Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
National president, Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI), Engr. Ezekiel Essien, has said that the group accounts for about 70 per cent of jobs in the country and ranks second in the GDP index nationally, while they are collaborating with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) on packaging of their products to meet international standards.
During a congress/exhibition for the collaboration, Essien remarked that their growth and relevance have not been accorded the requisite opportunity to thrive as a result of nonchalance and over-reliance on crude oil sales to sustain Nigeria’s economic growth and expenditure.
According to him, to return the country to agriculture and other non-oil economic activities designed to reverse the dependence on a monolithic source of national income, government deserve commendation.
Essien stressed that the greatest challenges that could arise as an aftermath of sustainable access to cheap funds for the productive grassroots producers, financing of storage of excess products, production and exportation of semi and semi-finished products were packaging and quality test to meet international standards.
These were the motives behind the collaboration of NASSI with SON, as it would guide processors, manufacturers and members of the association on the requisite methodology and design that would make their products competitive internationally.
EDUCATION: FG campaigns for better reading culture
From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
the Federal Government has intensify its campaign for Nigerians to revive the culture of reading, stressing the role it plays in national development.
Government also averred that reading acts as a catalyst that stimulates ideas that can drive the socio-economic growth of a nation.
Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, who led the campaign on the occasion of the Independence Reading Festival in Abuja yesterday, expressed worry that social media and technological activities were hindering the reading culture of Nigerians.
The minister, who was represented by his Special Assistant (Political), Chief Frank Ibezim, however, encouraged Nigerians, particularly youths, to explore the great knowledge contained in books.
He commended the READ Campaign Unit of the ministry as well as the Explore Book & Reading Club for keeping the tempo of the campaign.
Meanwhile, former Minister of State for Education, Prof. Jerry Agada, under whose tenure the programme was launched, expressed his satisfaction with the ministry’s effort in keeping alive the dream of reviving the education system through the Read Campaign he initiated a few years ago.
The Reading Festival was packaged , with a view to inspiring young people, especially primary school pupils and secondary school students, to embrace reading.
Technology: Nigeria spends N1.7tr on vehicle imports
From Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
Director-General, National Automotive Design And Development Council (NADDC), Engr. Aminu Jalal, has said that a total of about 400,000 vehicles (about 100,000 new and 300,000 used), valued at over N1.7 trillion were imported in 2014, while N420 billion was spent to import vehicle spare parts and tyres.
Jalal dropped this hint yesterday in Abuja during a training workshop for chief executive officers of mass transit organisations, organised by NADDC, where he stated that the local manufacture of vehicles would not only create wealth but also generate a large number of small and medium businesses and jobs, boost local engineering capacity through spillover effects and develop local raw materials.
Presenting the lead paper during the workshop, Jalal said that the National Automotive Industry Development plan was announced with clear fiscal guidelines and programmes to run initially for 10 years with periodic phased reviews.
He explained that the main objectives was to bring back vehicle assembly operations and develop local content in Nigeria, adding that, to gain investor confidence, efforts were made to legislate the plan and it has passed both Houses successfully as a package of incentives.