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Strike: ABU joint unions to shut down water supply, other essential services

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The Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) chapter of Joint Unions of Universities, said on Tuesday they have withdrawn all essential services hitherto rendered at the institution in spite of their nationwide strike.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that three non-teaching staff unions said at a news briefing that the decision was taken after a congress meeting at ABU main campus in Samaru, Zaria.

Hadiza Kabir, National Women Leader, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, said their stand to withdraw essential services was unanimous.

“The strike declared on Dec. 10, 2017 was total, comprehensive and indefinite, that’s why we agree here that all forms of services being rendered by non-teaching staff should be withdrawn with immediate effect.

“It is sad to say that ABU management sees us as enemies and they have forgotten that we are also empowered to do whatever we are doing within the confines of the law.

“We are only fighting government because we have grievances; government has terms of settlement with us which it has not honoured.

“We are not fighting the management, we are only pressing for the implementation of those 12 terms of settlements government signed with JAC,” she said.

The women leader lamented that the management of ABU was using security personnel of the university, who happened to be members of the striking unions, to harass them.

“Under section 11 of the Trade Union Act, there are exemptions to who are not members of trade unions, but the security department is not among those listed in the Act; therefore, they are not exempted.

“They are our members, they are part and parcel of us because they pay their union dues to us but we decided to overlook and allow them to work.

“We allow them to stay in the office so that they can look and protect lives and property during the period of this strike.

“We thought that the management would have given us kudos by the position we took,” she said.

According to her, the security personnel would still be allowed to continue with their work, but that all other essential services including water supply will be withdrawn immediately.

Earlier during the congress meeting, the Acting Chairman, SSANU-ABU, Shu’aibu Halilu said that it was sad that some of their members were being compelled to come to work.

“There is no superior officer or Head of Department that has the legal right to call our members to come and work compulsorily, such superior officer has no right at all.

“Section 73 of the Labour Act had made it very clear that no person shall require any other person or permit any other person to be required to come and perform force or compulsory Labour.

“Such is contrary to section 34 (1c) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended, so we are very covered by the law,” he said.

Halilu assured that any member of the unions who shunned the strike would be penalised.

He advised those who were compelled to work to report to the union for necessary action.

In his contribution, the NAAT Chairman, Hassan Garba said that non teaching staff were not happy with the formula adopted for the sharing of N3 billion earned allowance released to the university.

According to him, more than 80 per cent of the amount released by the Federal Government went to academic staff leaving the non-teaching staff with less than 20 per cent.

He claimed that the federal government had admitted that the mistake was from them and promised to bridge the gap.

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Education

Hijab crisis: UI International School shut down

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Girls wearing hijab

Girls wearing hijab

The International School of the University of Ibadan has been shut down indefinitely, following controversy over wearing of Hijab by Muslim students.

The school was shut down early on Monday as the hijab crisis lingers.

A statement posted on the main gate of the school said that the school had been shut down until further notice.

The statement, signed by the management of the school, advised parents and guardians to take note of the closure.

“Notice: The International School, University of Ibadan has been closed down until further notice. Please, take note,” the statement read.

The Principal of the school, Mrs Phebean Olowe, was not available for comments when a NAN correspondents visited her office.

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Education

Educationist decries rising cases of crimes in school

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Members of a gang in educational institution, ready to commit crime

Members of a gang in educational institution, ready to commit crime

Mr Ike O‎nyechere, Chairman, Organising Committee, 2018 Safe School Leadership Empowerment Conference and Awards, has decried the rising cases of kidnapping and other crimes in educational institutions across the country.

Onyechere, who made the assertion in Abuja at the ongoing conference, called for continued advocacy on safety and security in schools by education stakeholders. ‎

The educationist said that two recent reports by the United Nations indicated the enormity of the challenge of security in educational institutions across the country.

According to him, the two reports indicate that killings and attacks are on the increase in schools.

“The reports also indicate that schools will continue to be targets of choice for terrorism, insurgency, kidnapping and other crimes, making it imperatives to beef up security,” he said.

Onyechere, who is also the Chairman, Exam Ethics Marshal International, explained that the conference and awards were components of the Safe School Empowerment Project (SASEP), which was launched in 2014.

He added that SASEP was launched with the support and facilitation of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC), Federal Fire Service and the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA).

He said the project was coordinated by Safe School Academy International in collaboration with Exam Ethics Marshals International and Ethics Resource Centre Nigeria. ‎

Onyechere said that SASEP since its inception had recorded success stories, which include distribution of 390,000 safe school manuals and training kits ‎to educational institutions.

“Since the launch in August 2014, four Leadership Empowerment Conferences have been organised and attended by 2,475 principal officers of educational institutions and agencies.

“10, 750 safe school ambassadors and first respondents have been trained and deployed,” he said.

Also speaking, Maj.-Gen. Matthias Efeovbokhan (Rtd) of Nigeria Defence Academy Consultancy Service limited, in his presentation, said the level of consciousness among parents on security and safety best practices was low.

‎Efeovbahkan, however, urged participants and everyone to evoke the consciousness of security and safety best practices.

He said the Safe School Project had contributed in developing security and safety consciousness in educational institutions across the country.

“Safe School Academy International has helped develop this consciousness through books and manuals distributed to educational institutions.

“These safe school manual are very comprehensive body of knowledge on protection, precautionary, preventive and mitigation best practices, protocols and measures against security risks, threats and vulnerability in educational institutions.”‎

NAN reports that the purpose of the conference is to bring leaders of educational institutions together with security agencies to update their knowledge on contemporary security situations.

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Education

College workers settle for 70% salary against downsizing

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Emmanuel Alayande College of Education: Staff to get 70 per cent salary in place of downsizing

Emmanuel Alayande College of Education: Staff to get 70 per cent salary in place of downsizing

By Akeem Abas

In a bid to resolve issues of salary payment, staff unions in Emmanuel Alayande College of Education (EACOED) Oyo, have settled for payment of 70 per cent salary against downsizing the workforce.

This is part of agreements reached in a communique read by Mr Teslim Adediran, the Registrar and Council Secretary, after a meeting of the governing council and staff unions of the college at the institution.

The meeting was attended by Dr Bisi Akin-Alabi, Special Adviser to the Governor on Education; Acting Chairman on the Council, Mr Kayode Omotoso and the Provost, Dr Rasak Adefabi.

Others were representatives of College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU).

The academic and non-academic staff of the institution had embarked on industrial action since June 28 over non-payment of their salary arrears, which the governing council was said to have now decided to clear in installments.

The communique said that the unions had agreed to settle for payment of 70 per cent salary as a sacrifice on their part rather than opting for downsizing of staff to guarantee full monthly salary.

It said the unions agreed with the council that the 70 per cent salary should be subjected to review by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Management Committee(RMAMC) as the situation improved.

The communique said that it was agreed the RMAMC must meet quarterly to review the situation.

It admonished members of the various unions to desist from engaging in hate speech, adding it was not only damaging to the system but criminal.

The communique said that the apology letter written by COEASU was accepted by the council.

It added that the meeting agreed that the letter should be re-written to reflect the pledge of COEASU that the ugly incident of Nov. 1 would not repeat itself, while all stakeholders guaranteed peace.

Akin-Alabi appreciated the council, staff unions and students for their cooperation, assuring them of government’s commitment to ensure total transformation of education sector.

The special adviser to the governor, who hinged the cut in the subvention to tertiary institutions on paucity of funds, said government was poised at clearing the salary arrears of workers.

“I am sure you all know the efforts of Gov. Abiola Ajimobi in transforming the education of the state. These efforts have culminated in the successes recorded so far in the sector.

“This state prides itself as the intellectual capital of Nigeria. The restoration and sustenance of this glory is what the governor has been working on since inception.

” He achieved a lot on this and has not relented. I assure you that all measures would be evolved to transform the state to human capital hub, where human capital will be exported,” he said.

NAN reports that the communique was signed by representatives of the state government, governing council and the provost.

The communique was also signed by COEASU Chairman, Mr Segun Oyewunmi, SSUCOEN Chairman, Mr O. S. Adeniji and NASU Chairman, Mr Fatai Adebayo.

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