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Govt scraps HNDs, merges polys with varsities

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Govt scraps HNDs, merges polys with varsities

From Madu Onuorah, Abuja:

THE Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved a comprehensive reform of Nigeria’s tertiary
education system, scrapping the award of the Higher National Diploma (HND) by the nation’s polytechnics.
In effect, the award of the HND will be limited to only the students currently admitted for the programmes.
Also, all the programmes currently being run by the polytechnics, which are not technology-based, and which are about 70 per cent,
will be scrapped.
Under the new rule, the polytechnics will now become campuses of the proximate universities with the Vice Chancellors of those
universities appointing provosts for the polytechnics, subject to the ratification of the Universities Councils.
The polytechnics will now be limited to award of the National Diploma (ND) while those desirous of further education will be awarded
the Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) by the proximate university.
To kick-start the new policy, the nation’s two most prominent polytechnics – Yaba College of Technology and Kaduna Polytechnic –
will henceforth be known as City University of Technology, Yaba and City University of Technology, Kaduna.
And to give legal teeth to these approvals, the FEC approved the submission of two Executive bills to the National Assembly for
enactment into law.
With education being on the concurrent list, the states may wish to consolidate their tertiary institutions. But if they do not wish to
follow the federal example, their programmes will continue to be regulated by the relevant agencies of the Federal Ministry of
Education.
The first bill will concretise the setting up of the two city universities while the second will approve the preparation and consolidation
of all federal polytechnics and colleges of education as campuses of proximate universities.
The Ministry of Justice will do the preparation and submission of the two bills to the National Assembly.
Minister of Education, Mall. Adamu, told journalists after the weekly meeting of the council that under the reform
measures, her ministry would, however, continue to licence private polytechnics and colleges of education for the award of
qualification at ND and National Certificate in Education (NCE) levels.
She said: “There will be no more award of HND. After we have exhausted the current students under the programme, there will be no
more award of HND. This means that there will be no fresh admission for HND programmes. And in addition, any programme that is
not technical will be out of the polytechnics. About 70 per cent of polytechnic graduates are in the non-technical courses. It is going
to be a rigorous implementation programme.”
A ministerial committee to ensure the smooth implementation of all that is required for the take-off of the reform initiatives is to
begin work immediately.
[b] mall. Adamu said: “The HND certificate will remain a legal tender in Nigeria and holders of such certificate will continue to be
recognised as the equivalent of first degree holders without discriminatory remunerations and limit to progression in the work place.
The NCE certificate will be retained as the minimum teaching qualification at the basic level of education. Any higher qualifications by
these private or state-owned polytechnics will be only affiliation with a university. So, HND is no longer in existence, but existing
HND will be respected and considered legal tender.”
The council also approved the Federal Government’s formal take-over of the Waziri Umaru Polytechnic, Birnin Kebbi, which will be the
College of Technology campus of the Othman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, as well as the Hussein Adamu Polytechnic, Kazaure,
Bauchi, which will be a College of Technology of the proximate university in the state.
Also, the Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri, Imo State, has been taken over as a campus of the Federal University of
Technology, Owerri. A state that had never had any federal institution, like Bayelsa, is to have a College of Technology as a campus
of the College of Technology of the University of Port Harcourt. Also, Bali, in Taraba State, is to have a college of technology as a
campus of the proximate university.
The Council also approved a New National Gender Policy, which is to handle issues of concern to men and women.
The Council also approved contracts for the expansion of the air cargo apron of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, at a cost of N822 million, as well as the installation of simulation training and fire-fighting equipment at the National College of Aviation.

Credit Authority Newspaper

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FG to provide Solar home systems for 5m households

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FG to provide Solar home systems for 5m households 

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Power Jedy-Agba has disclosed that the country is set for a ‘bounce back’ programme in its green recovery initiative that will provide solar home systems to 5 million households

He spoke at a UK hosted Climate Change Conference Roundtable on Clean Power Transition on 11 January during a virtual visit to the UK on 10–12 January by United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres which he attended. 

The Minister added that off-grid power sources have become more competitive since the removal of fuel subsidies.

He stressed that Nigeria was taking steps to merge its energy access and energy transition plan. 
He acknowledged that the largest population without electricity globally resides within its borders, and identified financing as a major constraint to Nigeria’s clean and renewable energy transition plans. 
According to him, 

“With the help of the international community, we can improve the decentralized renewable energy market to create jobs, provide energy more quickly to those without access, and ensure that we maintain and eventually reduce our emission levels to achieve our net-zero objectives.

“As the COP26 Presidency, the UK Government is committed to supporting the Nigerian government to develop ambitious evidence-based plans to deliver on Nigeria’s own commitments ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November 2021. 
“The UK supported the solar sector in Nigeria with a £66m programme between 2014 and 2020 which  helped provide energy access to   5.5 million Nigerians since 2015.
He said the UK is delivering ongoing programmes to develop quality standards, financing and manufacturing arrangements for solar home systems.
“Many UK companies are also active in the solar home system market in Nigeria.
“The UK considers the licensing of mobile money to facilitate Pay As You Go arrangements for solar home systems a positive development.”

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres at the event challenged developed nations to fulfil their pledges to provide $100 billion annually for developing countries’ clean energy transition.
During the roundtable, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK will pledge up to £38 million to the Climate Compatible Growth programme, supporting developing countries to accelerate their transition to clean energy while growing their economies.
“The UK is already moving to clean power faster than any major economy, and last year committed to protect at least 30 per cent of its land and ocean by 2030.
“Together these announcements address the two leading sources of global emissions – electricity generation and land use – and demonstrate the UK’s leadership in fighting climate change ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.”

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Akpabio denies giving Attorney general $5m bribe over NDDC sole administrator

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Akpabio denies giving Attorney general $5m bribe over NDDC sole administrator

 
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has denied paying $5 million bribe to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and others to secure the appointment of a Sole Administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This was contained in a statement that was issued in Abuja on Sunday by his chief press secretary Anietie Ekong
He described the claim as a piece of fake news.
The statement reads in part,
“We wish to state categorically that this is a piece of malicious concoction manufactured from the pit of hell by mischief -makers.
“It is a figment of the imagination of the author of the fake news. Senator Akpabio denies the story in its entirety. The authors of the fake news should be ready to back up their claim or face the full wrath of the law.
 
“The story is a desperate attempt by some unscrupulous bloggers to impugn the integrity of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami as the claim is not only spurious but utterly ridiculous. 
According to him, in a suit number ABJ/CS/617/2020 filed by a Civil Society Organization, Forum for Accountability and Good Governance, at a Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Ahmed Mohammed had granted an order restraining the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC from performing the functions of the board and accessing the Commission’s offices and files.
 
“The Order clearly listed the Managing Director Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, Acting Executive Director of Projects Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Mrs Caroline Nagboh and Cecilia Akintomide as those restrained.
He said the Order also asked that “the most senior civil servant or administrator in the Commission be appointed” to take charge of the Commission.
 
“It was based on this order that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the elevation of the Acting Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Effiong Akwa, being the most Senior Administrator to take over the headship of the NDDC as an Interim Administrator pending the completion of the Forensic Audit Exercise.
 
“It is therefore absurd for anyone to even imagine that the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio would bribe the Attorney General before an Order of the Court is complied with as the purveyors of the fake news have stated. “
He therefore advised the general public to discountenance the piece of trash.
 
He said, “It is obvious that some persons who are scared of the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari are working tirelessly to scuttle the exercise by blackmailing the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. 
“Their modus operandi is to churn out fake news in a bid to stop Senator Akpabio from sanitizing the NDDC.
“Otherwise, how can a responsible news website make such a grievous allegation without any shred of evidence to back up its claim.”
 
However, he restated the resolve of Senator Akpabio to continue to do the right thing as mandated by President Buhari adding that no amount of sponsored fake news and blackmail would deter him from achieving his mandate. “The Minister has the overwhelming support of the impoverished masses of the Niger Delta who have borne the brunt of underdevelopment of the region over the years.”
 
 

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NEF warns Nigerians against stoking religious war with unguarded statements

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NEF warns Nigerians against stoking religious war with unguarded statements

The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has asked Nigerians to watch and guard their statements so as to prevent any form of religious war in the country.
This was coming against the backdrop of inflammatory and inciting statements after the Christmas day sermon by fiery Bishop of Sokoto Catholic diocese leading to the issuance of a quit notice on the revered Bishop to leave Sokoto State.

NEF in a statement on Wednesday by its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed warned that Nigeria should not be subjected to further difficult circumstances capable of imposing fear in the mind of citizens.

Baba-Ahmed who expressed worries about certain disturbing comments in the polity, therefore, warned those spreading explosive and inciting statements to check their ways and desist from such acts.

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