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UNIVERSITY OF MAIDUGURI CONVOCATION: VP Shettima Inspires Graduands, Harps On Education As Service To Humanity

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UNIVERSITY OF MAIDUGURI CONVOCATION: VP Shettima Inspires Graduands, Harps On Education As Service To Humanity

  • Bags Honorary Doctorate Degree

By: Our Reporter

The University of Maiduguri was on Saturday enveloped in a frenzy of academic recollection as Vice President Kashim Shettima shared his reflections on the significance of education and service to humanity.

Speaking during the 24th Combined Convocation Ceremony of the university, Sen. Shettima inspired graduands as well as dignitaries at the event with lessons learnt from the school, attributing his current position to the values instilled in him during his formative years as a student.

The Vice President who was also honoured with an Honorary Doctorate degree by the citadel of great learning, acknowledged the profound impact of his educational journey, noting that he is a product of a civilization that valued education.

In a heartfelt address delivered at the event, the VP said, “I was born into the heart of a civilisation that favoured education. So, I entered a world where a map had been provided for me—the path of scholarship. Wherever I go and whatever I do, I am reminded of this noble heritage. Wherever I go, I realise that the noblest duty a person must undertake is to serve the people.

“But, to serve humanity, one must train the mind, shape character, and find a purpose. This institution nurtured those aspirations, pointing me in a direction that has led me to where I stand today,” the VP harped.

Acknowledging the role of teachers and mentors in shaping his path, Sen. Shettima recalled their patience while imparting a great deal of knowledge to him, just as he said, “This homecoming is to express my gratitude for the lessons learned in the halls, the premises, and in the service of this esteemed institution.

“The choices I’ve made since being certified by this institution to pursue my dream have taken me to heights I could have only imagined. In each room and at every event, I find a reason to utter a prayer for the training acquired here. I am a child of a collection of patient teachers and mentors, so I’m acutely aware that this honour is not mine alone to claim,” he added.

The Vice President expressed his commitment as an ambassador of the University of Maiduguri, noting that it was a privilege to uphold the institution’s values, part of the reason he said he was deeply moved to accept the honorary degree.

He continued: “To you, I will always be a student, and with all the privilege to remind me of my ambassadorial duty to the University of Maiduguri. This is why I am excited that I am not here today for defying a code of conduct, for that would have meant that I failed as a flag-bearer of my alma mater.

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, receiving an honorary doctorate from the institution that has been instrumental in shaping one’s formative years can only signify that one has followed the path of an indescribable principle. However, this honour is neither for me nor for you alone; it is a grand testament to the equalizing power of the education fostered here. This gathering symbolizes our collective aspirations as an institution.

“Here, on the fine sands and under the lush trees of Unimaid, I was taught that education is the brick with which a purposeful life is built. However, the education in question isn’t what you cram to pass your examinations; it’s what you do with what you have learned. I am where I am today because I learned here that intellectual curiosity is the preservative of every enduring civilization,” Sen. Shettima emphasised.

The VP also recollected the security challenges faced by Maiduguri, stating that even though the city is renowned for its fidelity to education, it had come under attacks and threats.

He however noted that in the face of these challenges, the Borno State capital has remained resilient, even as he described the city as “a prime intellectual powerhouse, prepared for the disruptions of the era”.

Urging the graduands, those before them and the institution itself to become symbols of the privileges that a well-tailored education offers, the VP emphasised the importance of purpose in education, stating that the true value lies in what one does with acquired knowledge.

“Unless we strive to become the reference points of why this edifice exists and why our teachers labour to prepare us for tomorrow, we will never defeat the anarchists obsessed with dragging us back into the darkness that our ancestors devoted their lives to end. We must be the light of humanity, the hope of the downtrodden, and the rhetorical motivation of the skeptics,” he said.

Acknowledging the power of education, Sen. Shettima implored the graduands to dwell on the need to repay the debt owed the institution by becoming ambassadors of its values.

He emphasized the importance of excelling beyond professional achievements, stressing that without purpose education would be a mere self-stimulation.

Accepting the honorary doctorate degree, Vice President Shettima said he considers it as an invitation to greater responsibility, just as he pledged to stay on the track that favours humanity, drawing inspiration from the invaluable lessons learned at the University of Maiduguri.

“Here, ladies and gentlemen, I humbly accept this honorary doctorate. This, for me, is not a culmination but an invitation to greater responsibility. This, for me, is a reminder of the obligation I carry, alongside each one of us, to dedicate ourselves to the cause of the nation and to the service of humanity,” the VP stated.

Palpably enthralled by the Vice President’s humility to honour the invitation, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Aliyu Shugaba, had earlier thanked Sen. Shettima for gracing the occasion, acknowledging that the VP has given much to the school.

Urging the graduands to be good and worthy ambassadors of the institution, Prof Shugaba counselled them to imbibe the spirit of entrepreneurship to enhance their livelihoods before picking up white-collar jobs.

“Every success in life brings with it challenges. You are graduating today, our nation is faced with myriads of problems. I believe the university has adequately prepared you to contribute to proffering solutions to these problems.

“The era when graduates look up to the government for answers to all problems is fast fading. I encourage you to specifically utilise your entrepreneurial training in the university to decide your employability status. Start an enterprise, no matter how small your capital or idea is,” he advised.

Noting the current challenges bedeviling the university, the Vice Chancellor appealed for more support for tertiary institutions across the country.

On his part, Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, noted that the state government was committed to supporting the institution in ensuring that its students contribute to the growth of the society.

Expressing appreciation to the school for conferring what he described as a well-deserved honour on the Vice President, the Governor observed that the honorary doctorate degree is a reflection of Sen. Shettima’s dedication to the development of the nation.

Prof Zulum Commended the university for what he termed its unwavering commitment to shaping and equipping the students as part of their contribution to national development.
He applauded philanthropists such as business mogul, Alhaji Muhammad Indimi and Chairman of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, for their unflinching support to the institution.

Also speaking at the convocation ceremony, a former Registrar of the institution, Alhaji Dahiru Bobbo, thanked the school’s Senate and management for finding them worthy of such an honour, saying it will deeply spur them in their endeavours, just as they will continue to hold the University of Maiduguri in high esteem.

Other dignitaries present at the convocation ceremony included the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Garbai El-Kanemi; Governors Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, Governor Agbu Kefas of Taraba State and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State; Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, and Deputy Governor of Borno State, Umar Usman Kadafur.

Others are Senator Ali Ndume; APC Deputy National Chairman, Alh. Bukar Dalori; Director General of FRCN, Mohammed Bulama; Executive Director, Projects, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Engr. Ibrahim Abba Umar; Senator Kaka Shehu Lawan; former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai (rtd), ministers, members of the House of Representatives, including Engr. Ahmed Satome and members of the Borno State Executive Council, among others.

UNIVERSITY OF MAIDUGURI CONVOCATION: VP Shettima Inspires Graduands, Harps On Education As Service To Humanity

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NAPTIP DECRIES THE SURGE IN BABY FACTORIES, THE BUYING, AND SELLING OF CHILDREN ACROSS THE COUNTRY

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NAPTIP DECRIES THE SURGE IN BABY FACTORIES, THE BUYING, AND SELLING OF CHILDREN ACROSS THE COUNTRY

By: Michael Mike

The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Prof. Fatima Waziri–Azi has expressed deep concern over the increasing incidences of trading of babies and the proliferation of baby factories across the country.

In recent times, there have been alarming reports and public outcry regarding the sale of babies and the existence of facilities specializing in trapping young girls, recruiting men to impregnate them, and subsequently selling the babies after delivery.

These factories operate clandestinely, preying on the desperation and vulnerability of unsuspecting victims, often luring them with promises of financial gain or false assurances of care and support.

One of the most recent incidents occurred in Umunkwa village, located in the Umuafai Ndume Ibeku area of Umuahia North Local Government, Abia State where ten victims were rescued from a baby factory.

The victims, aged between 1-24 years , included seven young girls, six of whom are pregnant, one lactating mother, and two boys who are minors. The baby factory was uncovered by the Department of State Services (DSS), Abia State Command.

A 63-year-old woman, identified as Chinyere Nkwocha, was apprehended as the owner of the baby factory. Both the suspects and the victims have been handed over to the NAPTIP Abia State Liaison Office for further investigation and appropriate action.

While commending the Abia State Command of the DSS for the successful operation, the Director-General urges the public, particularly parents, to be vigilant and ensure that their wards do not fall victim to these unscrupulous individuals.

She also encourages communities to continue collaborating with Law Enforcement Agencies in combating these heinous crimes by promptly reporting all cases of human trafficking to NAPTIP through its toll-free number, 0703 0000 203, or short code 627 (MTN & AIRTEL Only).

NAPTIP DECRIES THE SURGE IN BABY FACTORIES, THE BUYING, AND SELLING OF CHILDREN ACROSS THE COUNTRY

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Borno flags off 2nd phase of training for 781 incompetent teachers

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Borno flags off 2nd phase of training for 781 incompetent teachers

…Present N783 million cheques for participants

By: Ndahi Inusa

Following the inability of thousands of Primary School Teachers to pass competent test earlier conducted, in which they are yet to be placed on N30,000 minimum wage, the Borno state government under the leadership of governor Babagana Zulum has flagged the second phase for the training of 781 teachers who were yet benefit from the N30,000 minimum wage.

This is as the sum of N783 million cheques has been approved and disbursed for the three months exercise at Bama College of Education, venue for the training.

The 781 second beneficiaries were part of the over 2,740 teachers, mostly those who failed to meet up with the 2019 Verification and the 2022 competency tests organized by a committee that were constituted by the present administration.

Just last week, a total of about 1,949 teachers formed part of 1st phase free training at Waka- Biu college of Education in southern Borno Senatorial District, where the sum of over N1 billion cheque were presented.

Unveiling the second training on Monday at Umar Ibn- Ibrahim College of Education, Science and Technology (UIICEST), Bama in Borno Central, Governor Zulum, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Umar Usman Kadafur said, “the programme underscore the pragmatic policy initiative of this
Government in the critical sector of education, as such, is quite
appropriate and timely.

“You may recall that on Monday, 6th May, 2024, we unveiled phase 1 of this significant programme with one thousand nine hundred and fourty nine (1,949) teachers from 27 Local
Government Areas. This initiative is part of Government broader commitment to improving the quality of education in the State, as outlined during the inauguration of the Local Government Education Secretaries on March, 19th 2024.

“It is strategically pertinent to note that Government allocated a substantial sum of one billion naira (N1 Billion) for
the training of 2,730 teachers. These educators will undergo rigorous training at both the College of Education Waka-Biu and Umar Ibn Ibrahim El-Kanemi College of Education, Science and
Technology Bama.

“The duration of the program is three months, covering one thousand eight hundred and eighty four (1,884)
teachers through a sandwich programme and eight hundred and
forty six (846) teachers through a full-time NCE program.

“It may interest you to note that the aim of this initiative is to address issues of remuneration, retention and most importantly the competency of our teachers in line with national standards.

The program is free of charge and each participants is entitle to N30,000.00 monthly stipend, in addition to their regular salaries. Those enrolled in full-time NCE program will attain automatic in- service status.

On this note, let me use this medium and urge the participant to approach this opportunity with utmost dedication
and seriousness, knowing fully well that successful completion of the program and passing the competency test will lead to a review of wages.

“To ensure adequate preparation, the Ministry of Education has been directed to release an additional sum of
fifty thousand naira (N50,000) to all participants”. Zulum stated.

In his address, the Commissioner Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Engr. Lawan Wakilbe while commending governor Zulum and all state holders for repositioning the sector said, the ceremony is a pivotal step in journey toward revitalizing basic education in the state.

He hinted on the Needs Assessment carried out in 2021, which prompted the competency test for teachers across the different Local Government Education Authorities that took place from 5th to 20th January 2022.

Wakilbe noted that “the outcome of the test revealed that Five thousand Two Hundred and Fifty-Seven (5,257) individuals passed, Six Thousand Two Hundred and Twenty-seven (6,227) were considered trainable, and Four Thousand Three Hundred and Thirty-Nine (4,339) were found to be untrainable.

“The challenges facing basic education in our state have reached critical levels, particularly following the cessation of the direct absorption of Primary School teachers from their Teachers’ Colleges.

“The absence of a structured employment framework has led to various issues, including discrepancies in salary scales and the recruitment of
underqualified personnel. Consequently, the Borno State Government has been confronted with significant challenges in teacher recruitment, remuneration, and
retention.

“Therefore, decisive measures have been taken to address these challenges, especially the authorization granted for the Ministry of Education to reassign untrained personnel from Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) to alternative roles, freeing up positions for qualified individuals.

“Secondly, a comprehensive assessment of manpower requirements within the LGEAs has been authorized, leading to the employment of suitable candidates to meet those needs. And lastly, plans for Phase III of the teacher training program have been initiated, encompassing individuals with Diplomas and those unable to participate in the initial training phase.

“Additionally, arrangements are
underway for further education and development programs through the Institute of Education at Borno
State University (BOSU) for eligible personnel.” Wakilbe stated.

Also speaking, the Executive Chairman of Borno State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Professor Bulama Kagu, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Hyelni Mshelia lauded governor Zulum for magnanimously ordered the lifting of the embargo on promotions across the Civil Service, including teachers.

“Borno SUBEB has taken decisive steps to implement this executive order. First, the management issued a circular to all former education secretaries, urging them to urgently compile authenticate, and submit the list of all deserving teaching and non-teaching staff due for promotions.

“Secondly, the management constituted an ad- hoc committee to screen and verify submissions from the Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs). However, a change in leadership within the LGEAs necessitated another circular from the
management to the new education secretaries to revalidate and Submit the earlier list.

“This process is ongoing, and I urge all our education secretaries to expedite their actions.

“Thirdly, the management has written through the Honourable Commissioner to the Deputy Director of Statistics, Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation, requesting the submission of the list of NCE and graduate teachers with their current salary scales for appropriate placement, considering their experience and years of service.

“Once this data is collated, the committee will expeditiously work on it and submit it to the management for the board’s consideration and, ultimately, for government approval.

“Presently, 5,408 teachers are on their qualifications. We have 3,096 teachers with NCE qualifications, of whom 1,907 are already appropriately placed.

“Another 1,189 require upgrading and will be placed on GL 07 step 1 immediately. We have 1,032-degree holders, of whom 324 are appropriately placed, while 708 teachers with degrees will be upgraded immediately to GL 08 step 1. Seven teachers hold master’s degrees, and only one needs upgrading.

Earlier in his welcome address, Professor Kalli Tijjani, Provost of UIICEST, Bama appreciated the efforts pit in place by the present administration in improving quality of teaching, and pledged that participants would receive the basic training needed to inculcate knowledge to pupils and students in the state.

In their separate goodwill messages, the Shehu of Bama, Alhaji, Dr. Kyari Umar Kyari El-Kanemi, the Chairman of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Borno chapter, Comrade Zali Garba and the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Comrade Yusuf Inuwa cautioned people to stop politicizing the issue of education, in which some resort to social media alleging poor salary package to those incompetent teachers who were supposed to be laid off from the teaching profession.

Borno flags off 2nd phase of training for 781 incompetent teachers

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Emir of Kano prays the peace and stability of Nigeria, West Africa

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Emir of Kano prays the peace and stability of Nigeria, West Africa

By: Michael Mike

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero has prayed for peace and stability in Nigeria and the entire West African region..

The Emir offered the prayer when the Deputy President of the Senate, who is also the Acting Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Barau Jibrin, led the delegation from ECOWAS Parliament who are in Kano for the Second Extraordinary Session of the regional legislative arm to his Palace on a courtesy.

The Emir thanked the parliamentarians for the visit and prayed for the successful conduct of the extraordinary session of the parliament.

The Emir, while commending the Deputy President of the Senate for facilitating the hosting of the session in Kano, urged the parliamentarians to explore business opportunities in the state.

Speaking during the visit, Senator Jibrin explained that Kano was selected for the second extraordinary session to bring the ECOWAS Parliament closer to the people.

He said: “This will bring the ECOWAS Parliament closer to the people at the grassroots. It will also create an avenue for interactions and business relations. The dream of our founding fathers is to unite us through ECOWAS.

“The emir is the custodian of our tradition and religion. We are here to seek for his blessings and register our respect for the emirate and the emir. Your Royal Highness, we also want to seek for your prayers for the event to be successful,” he said..

The extraordinary session is convened to consider and adopt the rule of procedure and strategic plan for the sixth legislature as well as the 2024 work programme.

Parliamentarians from 12 countries including Nigeria, Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’ Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Republic of Togo, are participating in the second extraordinary session of the parliament.

Emir of Kano prays the peace and stability of Nigeria, West Africa

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