N- Power Program: Federal Government To Commence Payment Of N30,000 To 200,000 Graduates

The Federal Government has announced its readiness to start paying N30, 000 monthly stipends to 200,000 graduates engaged under the N-Power job creation program before the end of this month.

This was disclosed on Sunday by Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President while giving an update on the program. Mr. Akande stated that in some states, the graduates have been deployed to their primary places of assignment, noting that payment of the N30,000 stipends for the graduates will commence this month once verification and deployment have been completed. The Federal Government announced the selection and engagement of 200,000 unemployed graduates as the first batch of the half a million it plans to hire for the two-year paid volunteer job under the N-Power program.

In his budget speech Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the Social Investment Programmes will continue next year, with the allocation of N500billion to the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme, loans for traders and artisans, conditional cash transfers to the poorest families and the new Family Homes Fund (social housing scheme).

The N-Power Program explained Mr. Akande, recently took off with the employment of 200,000 graduates across the country, while the School Feeding Programme has commenced in a few states, where the verification of caterers has been completed.

He added that while the Federal Government is responsible for their monthly stipends payable to those engaged under the N-Power program, it partners with state governments to verify selected unemployed graduates and deploy them to their primary places of assignment since each of the volunteer graduates will be serving in communities where they are resident.

States that have completed the verification disclosed Amanda, are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Cross Rivers, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina and Kogi states. Others are Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara. Verification and deployment, he revealed, have already been completed in Benue, Cross Rivers, and Kogi.

According to Mr. Akande, the verification has commenced in virtually all states of the country, and there are hints that considerable progress will be made this week to enable the Federal Government process the monthly payments of already verified graduates before Christmas.

“The Buhari administration is keen on ensuring that the selected 200,000 graduates are able to draw their stipends starting this month, as plans have been concluded to release the funds once verification is completed. States have been very cooperative in working with the Federal Government so much that even in states that have not completed verification by the weekend, much activities are going on towards attaining that goal.

“The FG will pay the graduates their monthly stipends directly into their own bank accounts, and 93% of the selected 200,000 graduate volunteers have already been verified based on the Bank Verification Number, BVN,” said Akande.

Federal Government approves 8 new universities.

The federal government has approved the establishment of eight new private universities.

Anthony Anwuka, minister of state for education, disclosed this while addressing state house correspondents at the end of Wednesday’s federal executive council (FEC).

Anwuka said the ministry of education had sought for approval after the NUC made recommendation.

The universities are Anchor University, Ayobo, Lagos; Arthur Jarvis Akpabuyo University, Calabar, Cross River; Clifford University, Owerinta, Abia; Coal City University, Enugu; Crown Hill University, Kwara; Dominican University, Ibadan, Oyo; Kola Daisy University, also in Ibadan; and Legacy University, Okija, Anambra State.

Federal Government Bans Collection Of PTA Levies In Unity Colleges.

The Federal Government has banned the collection of development levies by Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) in the 104 unity colleges across the country, the Federal Ministry of Education says. The ministry in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday said the ban, aimed at alleviating the sufferings of parents, would take effect immediately.


The statement was signed by Mr Bem Goong, Deputy Director, Press, in the ministry.


“No PTA of any unity college is allowed to initiate any development project in any of the unity colleges without the express or written authorisation of the Federal Ministry of Education.


“The new measures are aimed at arresting the shocking trend where development levies imposed on parents by PTAs are becoming higher than the school fees charged by government which established the unity schools,’’ the ministry said.


The ministry said that the Minister, Malam Adamu Adamu, had noted excessive PTA levies in Kings College, Lagos, and Federal Science and Technical College, Yaba, Lagos.


It said that in the two schools, fees charged for JSS1 in the first term was N69, 400 while the PTA collection was N70, 000 at Kings and N74, 000 at Yaba.


“This brings the total paid by parents in these two schools to N139, 400 and N143, 400 respectively.

“With the reduction on development levies and ban on charges for new projects as well as pegging of the development levy to a maximum of N5, 000, parents of JSS1 in these two schools will now pay N88, 000.


“I acknowledge the complementary roles played by parents and the support provided by the PTA to the colleges but I will not allow the PTAs to constitute themselves into a government within a government at the level of unity schools and at the expense of parents,’’ the ministry quoted Adamu as saying.


It said that Adamu expressed concern that PTAs in unity colleges had formed themselves into national associations and said that running additional organisations, such as National Parents and Teachers Association of Federal Government Colleges (NAPTAFEGC), increased the burden on parents.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that NAPTAFEGC recently rejected an alleged 300 per cent increase in school fees of unity schools.


Dr Gabriel Nnaji, National President of NAPTAFEGC, had told newsmen that the alleged increase from N20, 000 to N75, 000, was unacceptable to parents.


He said that an average parent with more than a child in unity schools would not be able to afford the cost. However, Adamu on Tuesday denied knowledge of the increment in fees.

NCCE Expresses Joy Over FG’s Proposal To Engage 500,000 Teachers

Prof. Monday Joshua, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), has expressed joy over the Federal Government’s proposal in the 2016 Budget to employ 500,000 teachers.

Joshua, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday, said that such a move would boost basic education in the country.


NAN recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari who presented the budget at the National Assembly on Tuesday, said that 500,000 graduates and NCE holders would be employed to boost teaching at the basic education level.


Buhari said that the decision, which was aimed at addressing the shortage of teachers in public schools across the country, would be in partnership with state and local governments.


“These graduate teachers will be deployed to primary schools, thereby enhancing the provision of basic education especially in our rural areas,” Buhari had said.


According to Joshua, the proposal if implemented will help the commission in achieving its mandate.


“As the head of NCCE, I am very excited with the proposal by the President. We are responsible for producing teachers for basic education and the plan will help us in achieving our mandate.


We commend the Federal Government for that proposal; it will go a long way in reducing unemployment generally.


It would also address teachers’ deficit in primary schools,” he said.

NAN further reports that President Buhari presented a N6.08 trillion 2016 Budget proposal with education getting an allocation of N369.6 million.




Sokoto Govt, FG, World bank To Commit N4.9bn To Irrigation Scheme – Tambuwal

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State said the Federal Government, World bank and the state government would commit over N4.9 billion for the reclamation of farms in the Kware Irrigation Scheme.


A statement by Tambuwal’s Spokesman, Imam Imam in Sokoto on Sunday, said that Tambuwal was speaking when a team of the partner agencies visited Sokoto.


He said the scheme, tagged, ”Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMIN) will support and improve agricultural productivity through strengthened institutional arrangement and improved access to irrigation drainage services.


”Our government will commit about N460 million while our partners will provide the rest.


” It involves construction of 175 irrigation water conveyance canals, 120 units of hydraulic structure, 55 kilometres of feeder roads, five units of primary schools, two primary healthcare centres and two community markets.


“The target is to enhance agricultural growth and production, provide job opportunities, tackle poverty among the populace and also help in developing rice value chain by boosting local rice milling in our state.”


Tambuwal said that his administration was partnering the Federal Government and the World Bank to develop large scale irrigation scheme in the state.


The statement quoted the governor saying ” the scheme will also complement existing major agricultural initiatives and focus on improving large-scale public irrigation in Sokoto and some selected states in the North.


In his remarks, TRIMIN’s Project Coordinator, Mr Peter Manjok, said ”given the global growing competitiveness in irrigated agricultural production, a window of opportunity was opened to help raise income and reduce poverty in the country.”


According to him, the scheme, which will run for seven years, will involve the transfer of tertiary irrigation and drainage facilities to registered operators and Water User Associations (WUAs) in affected areas.





Lawyers Want FG To Strengthen Family, Juvenile Courts

Some lawyers in the Federal Capital Territory on Monday appealed to the government to strengthen Family or juvenile Courts to take care of child’s right.


They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the strengthening of the courts would help to preserve the Child Rights Act.


An Abuja-based lawyer, Mrs Chinelo Eruchalu, expressed concern over the maltreatment most children go through, particularly the house helps and children from less privileged homes.


Eruchalu said that those who subject the children to such miserable experiences seem to go undetected and without punishment, notwithstanding the establishment of the family courts.

“The establishment of the family court is to protect the right of the child and to ensure that children get parental care, protection and maintenance.

“The inability of most families to guarantee the protection and maintenance of the child has led to the countless challenges the country faces today.

“When the family court becomes effective through proper usage, any breach of the fundamental rights of the child will be challenged in the family court,’’ Eruchalu said.


She, therefore, called on the authorities to be more proactive in this direction and “to do all that is necessary to ensure that the family court is functional’’.

She also regretted the inability of some states to domesticate the law even though it was passed in 2003 by the National Assembly.


Eruchalu reasoned that since children were the future of the society and in fact the most vulnerable of the society, they deserve special protection.

She expressed the hope that the family court would fill this noticeable gap in the justice administration.

Ms Christie Nwaka, another family lawyer, believed that the growth of the family courts had not been as encouraging as one would ordinarily expect.

“The Child’s right Act guarantees free compulsory universal primary education of the child that is from zero-year to age 18 as the case may be.

“More importantly it seeks to discourage or abolish child marriage, an issue that has become divisive and impedes the domestication of the Act in some states.

“Children are said to be the future leaders of tomorrow, so the kind of children we have today determines the quality of the leaders we shall have tomorrow,’’ Nwaka said.

Nwaka called on the government at all levels to redouble their efforts toward the speedy establishment of the family court.

“It is not enough to designate some courts as family courts, but they have to be made functional and effective through sensitisation of the populace,’’ Nwaka opined.

The other family lawyers agreed that it was not right for a child to stand trial in conventional court where adults were tried because it prematurely exposes the child.

“In a family court, the child is delicately handled, and much patience is brought to bear in the proceedings.

“The fear of sanction is the beginning of wisdom, so the rights of a child can only be protected when punishment is imposed for any breach of such right,’’ they said.



Dasuki Sues The Federal Government

Former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) has dragged the Federal Government to a Federal High Court in Abuja seeking enforcement of his fundamental human rights to dignity and security of his life.

Dasuki also urged the court to dispose with his appearance in court because of the alleged constant threats to his life from the security agencies.

Dasuki is asking the court for a mandatory order compelling the Federal Government and its agents especially the operatives of the Directorate of the State Security Service (DSSS) to vacate his house located at 13, John Kadija Street, Asokoro with immediate effect.

In the suit filed by his counsel Mr Ahmed Adeniyi Raji SAN, Dasuki pleaded with the court to stop the siege laid on his house and to remove all impediments, human and non-human barricade and bulwarks said to have hindered the permission granted him since November 3 to travel abroad for treatment of his ailing medical condition.

In a motion on notice filed pursuant to section 36(5) 37 and 41 of the 1999 constitution and sections 1(1) and (2) and 266 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, the ex NSA also sought for order of the court extending order of November 3 permitting treatment of his ailment abroad.

The motion on notice was premised on five grounds including the request to enforce the 3 week permission granted him by the court on November 3 to keep a re-rescheduled medical appointment with his physician abroad.

He claimed that the Federal Government acting through the operatives of the SSS and other security agencies have frustrated the said order by barricading his apartment since the permission was granted.

The ex NSA also requested the court to extend the order of Number 3 since it could not be implemented due to the action of the security agents.

Credit: Vanguard