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Press Conference on ASUU-KSU vs Government impasse: Between Facts And Fiction

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Press Conference on ASUU-KSU vs Government impasse: Between Facts And Fiction

Gentlemen of the press.
There is a need to keep you constantly abreast of the long-drawn struggle between ASUU-KSU Anyigba on the one hand and the University Administration and the Kogi State Government on the other, to adequately keep the public duly educated and informed. The total, comprehensive and indefinite strike action granted to the branch by the national body of ASUU on February 3rd 2017 is over four months now. Regrettably, the Kogi State Government has not demonstrated enough commitment to the timely resolution of the issues that led to the strike.
For the avoidance of doubt and at the risk of repetition, ASUU-KSU presented a catalogue of issues needing immediate attention to both the Kogi State Government and the Governing Council via a letter dated 24th May, 2016 and formal presentation to the Council on the 31st March, 2017. However, for the immediate amelioration of the fast deteriorating condition of KSU Anyigba, other equally important issues were put in abeyance in favour of the more critical demands: reconstitution of the Governing Council for proper governance and the payment of all arrears of salaries and their components owed to all categories of the academic staff. The Governing Council has been reconstituted and this is commendable. The more important obligation that is incumbent upon every employer of labour both lawfully and morally, that is, the payment of salaries and their components has not been addressed. The government has not shown adequate appreciation of the gravity of workers being owed salaries for several months.

CURRENT STATE OF SALARY PAYMENT
The reported claim in some quarters that 95% of salaries owed the academic staff of KSU, Anyigba has been paid is not only fallacious but utterly misleading. From available records, of the 517 academic staff of the University, 275 representing 53.19% are

being owed salary arrears of 3, 4, 5, 6, 9 and 12 months. This figure is made up of tenure, sabbatical, contract, staff studying overseas and 2015 employees.

Gentlemen of the press, it may interest you to know that only 242 or 46.81% of the academic staff members have so far received salaries up to March 2017. The breakdown of the staff yet to be paid is presented in tabular form below:

S/NO
NO OF ACADEMIC STAFF OWED
MONTHS OWED

1. 116 : 12 months

2. 2: 9 months

3. 10: 6 months

4. 39: 5 months

5. 5: 4 months

6. 3:3 months

TOTAL: 275

The 95% payment being peddled runs short of any conceivable correlation with the reality on ground. The government by its action has made it very difficult to be believed or taken by its word. The promise to pay N50m monthly till the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) owed is liquidated was abandoned after only four months payments as at December, 2016. This is contrary to the assurance that the government would increase the monthly installment of N100m with effect from January 2017 when the outstanding amount would have been captured in the budget. From January to date, nothing has been paid.
It is curious that the implementation of annual incremental salary step with effect from October of every year has been put on hold since October 2016 and no reason has been adduced from this strange development.

NONPAYMENT OF SALARIES AND ITS ATTENDANT EFFECTS ON ACADEMIC STANDARD
The nonpayment of salaries no doubt has effects on both the affected staff and the academic standard of the University. These effects as they relate to contract staff, staff on sabbatical leave, 2015 employees and staff studying overseas are x-rayed below.

Contract staff – These are the doyens of intellectuals in their various fields. On their shoulders lie the quality, success or failure of postgraduate programme in the various departments, particularly at the postgraduate level. The engagement of contract staff is a standard practice in Universities the world over.

Sabbatical Staff – Statutorily, every Senior academic staff can proceed on sabbatical leave of one year to another University for cross fertilization of ideas and collaborative research among others. They are also engaged for reasons of need in core courses and for accreditation purposes. This also, is a global practice.

2015 academic employees – Employment in universities is based on academic needs. The engagement of the 2015 academic staff in KSU followed due process.
ASUU KSU makes bold to say that without these categories of staff, several academic programmes in some Departments in the Faculties of Agriculture, Education, Natural Sciences and College of Health Sciences will cease to function. This will lead to denial of accreditation by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in such Departments/Faculties/College. Such an eventuality will take the University back to the dark days of 2005, when virtually all the programmes in the University failed accreditation.

Staff studying overseas – The current condition of this category of staff is pathetic as they have not been paid for 12 months. There is a justifiable fear that the affected staff might not want to return to KSU upon the completion of their programme. The implication of that on the academic development of the University is obvious.

Way forward
ASUU KSU as a stakeholder in the University system and desirous of seeing to a speedy resolution of the ongoing impasse, hereby calls on Council and the Kogi State Government to ensure the payment of all arrears of salaries and their components (balance of February 2017 salary, EAA and annual incremental step) owed all its members till date.

Aluta Continua, Victoria acerta!!

Dr. D.O. Aina
Ag. Chairman

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Zamfara gives Sahara Reporters 7 days to retract libelous publication or face litigation

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Zamfara gives Sahara Reporters 7 days to retract libelous publication or face litigatigation

Zamfara State Government has threatened to institute a court action against Sahara Reporters over alleged libelous report against the state government and the personality of the Governor of Zamfara State Bello Muhammad Matawalle.

Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Nura Ibrahim Zarumi who issued the threat letter to the editor of the media outfit on Tuesday evening in Gusau, gave 7-day within which the management must publish a retraction and public apology on “your online publication and in two other national dailies”.

The commissioner warned that it will amount to “suspicious gamble” if the letter is threated with levity, adding that the state government would take every step necessary to fight the matter to it’s logical conclusion.

“It is our mandate to intimate you of this grievous breach on the image and hard-earned reputation of the state with patent collateral damage on its people,” the commissioner noted.

The letter further reads: “Be informed that the state has not only suffered an infinite loss of Goodwill but also confronted with unbearable disgrace from within, outside the state and across the globe as a result of your publication. The state is alive to it’s right both law and equity, but it disposed to afford you an opportunity to undo the evil you have already done by retracting the same unwholesome remarks on the same platform it was published and apologize in two other national dailies”.

“The whole scenario becomes bewildering after reading your publication and the description of the state is totally out of place and libelous.

“Having regard to your previous publications against the state government our state has come to the conclusion that your publication is both malicious and libelous.”

The Commissioner insisted that, the state government will swing to action if Sahara reporters refuse to act according to the instructions of the state on this very important issue.

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Buhari says the good family name left by Sam Nda-Isaiah is worth more than gold

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Buhari says the good family name left by Sam Nda-Isaiah is worth more than gold

***As Leadership Alumni holds candle light for him

The good family name left by Sam Nda-Isaiah is worth more than gold, President Muhammadu Buhari has declared.

He urged the family to do whatever it takes to uphold it.
This was contained in a letter he wrote to the bereaved family. President Buhari said: “On behalf of the Federal Government and my family, I sincerely express my condolence on the sudden transition of my friend and ally, Mr. Sam Nda-Isaiah, the publisher of Leadership newspapers.
“Indeed, Sam’s untimely passage filled me with shock and sadness to the point that I was short of words when the news reached me.”
Presidential aide, Garba Shehu, delivered Buhari’s letter to the deceased’s younger brother, Abraham Nda-Isaiah.
This was coming just as Leadership Newspaper Alumni held an evening of tributes and a candle light in his honour at the NUJ, FCT council secretariat on Tuesday.

At the session session, he was described as a man of many paths and a bridge builder who had finished his course.


The chairman of the NUJ FCT Council, Comrade, Emmanuel Ogbeche described him as “A man, many Love to Hate and Hate to Love”
A former editor of the paper, Sadiq Abdullateef said he was more than a boss, but like a father and big brother to all Alumni.
“He taught us a lot about leadership and journalism, no amount of words or eulogies can appropriately describe what chairman meant to all of us.
“He made us what we are today, so we can’t thank him enough for giving us the opportunity to grow on this job.
“Personally, a few days before he died we spoke on the phone and a day before he died I missed his call and I have been asking myself what that conversation would have been.
“It so sad, we will continue to pray for him, his family and Leaderhip as an jnstitution.”
He said he edited the newspaper from 2012 to 2016 as the longest serving editor of the paper.

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Humanitarian minister tasks media on awareness creation on the ills of drug abuse

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Humanitarian minister tasks media on awareness creation on the ills of drug abuse

The minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has charged, the Nigerian Mass Media on the need to educate the public on the ills of drug and substance abuse.
She made the call at a Media Orientation on National Awareness on Drugs and Substance Abuse held at Merit House, Abuja on Tuesday.

The Minister described the Media as a major agent of socialization as well as a viable tool for disseminating information on the ills of drug and substance abuse.

“The role and importance of media as a viable tool for informing and educating people across groups and demographics especially on Drugs and substance abuse in our society cannot be over emphasized.
“As you are aware, substance abuse is increasing at an alarming rate, deteriorating the health of nations, increasing crime, hampering productivity, destroying relationships, eroding social and moral values and impeding the overall progress of societies”.

Umar Farouq noted that young people were increasingly becoming victims of substance abuse, hence the urgent need for the mass media to propagate the disadvantages of the use of substances and hard drugs.

“The potential power of the mass media has helped in solving social problems. Television, radio and print advertising have been used overtime to influence our ideas, values and behaviour. “The continuous abuse of drugs has led to a situation of drug addiction and criminality. “The effects of drug abuse is detrimental not only to the individual but to the society as a whole, therefore, the use of campaigns by the mass media to reduce health and other related social problems in the society is very critical.
“The potential of mass media campaigns lies in their ability to propagate simple and focused messages to large audiences repeatedly, over time, at a low cost per capita.
“It is also assumed that they are able to reach a large and heterogeneous proportion of the population”.

The Minister also urged the media to remain steadfast in the accurate reportage of helpful information that will promote peace and unity of the nation.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary Bashir Nura Alkali reiterated the negative consequences of substance abuse on the society especially on youths.
Alkali who was represented by the Director Human Resource Management, Mr Abdulrahaman Babatunde Jaji urged the mass media to join hands in stamping out substance and drug abuse.

“The abuse of alcohol and other drugs by youths may result in family crises and jeopardize many aspects of family life, which sometimes result in family dysfunction.
“Therefore, the collaborative effort of all stakeholders is needed as no one alone can control it.
“The  problem is on the increase especially in the conflict zones of the country which is a serious threat to our national sanctity. Based on these findings, prevention advocates would look to the mass media as an important aid in addressing the problem of Drugs and Substance abuse”.
In her closing remark, the Director Social Development, Dr Dorothy Nwodo thanked the participants and other stakeholders for their contributions in ensuring a robust  awareness on drugs and substance abuse. She also implored  the media to keep up efforts towards projecting and actualizing the Ministry’s mandates.

Other participants at the Media Orientation on Awareness on Substance and Drug Abuse were representatives of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, the Nigerian Correctional Service, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Media.

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