The Association of Water Well Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners(AWDROP) has warned that any attempt to increase the Value Added Tax(VAT) by 7.2 per cent will have adverse effect on millions of Nigerians.
AWDROP made this position known through its National Public Relations Officer, Mr. Richard Adeyinka
‘’All Nigerians know that the Federal Government needs money, but it must thread with caution, considering the state of the economy. Any increase in VAT will affect all aspects of life negatively, the masses will suffer for it. At the present 5 per cent VAT the masses know what they are going through, what happens if it is now increased by 7.2 per cent ?.’’
‘’Democracy means government of the people, for the people and by the people. Government cannot stand alone without the masses, who voted those in government into power. It is advisable for government to look elsewhere’’, Mr. Adeyinka stated.
However, the unattractive annual budget allocation to the education sector has continually manifested in the troubled learning environment, shortage of qualified Teachers and teaching aids, poor salaries and absence of incentives for those who impart knowledge.
Nigerians insist that the public higher institutions of learning in the country are yet to meet the purposes for which the institutions were established, even as they argue that the private ones are exploitative and fall short of acceptable international standards.
Sadly several fraudsters have exploited the situation, in connivance with a sizable number of supposed qualified Teachers, to defraud Parents and Guardians of their hard earned money ? in the guise of overseas admissions.
In this interview with, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke opines that Policy makers in government have to co-opt those with the technical know how to move the country forward. Excerpts :
What are your views on higher education in Nigeria, considering the falling standards ?
The Nigerian educational system started to have problems as a result of several retrogressive factors confronting its management, but with neglect and misplacement of priorities from all stakeholders, most especially on the side of government-which is supposed to set and enforce standards and quality in an environment of discipline. For example, federal character aims at ensuring uniformity of purpose and equity. But it has ended up in collapsing the ethics, as reflected in the admission standards, which have discriminatory minimum scores for admission across the six Geo-Political zones.
Unfortunately, this does not reflect in the quality of grades of those affected, but paradoxically in the quality of the products and their performance ratings.
This is the major concern of the South West that is struggling to go back to the virtuous era of discipline, quality, standards, graduate reliability and employ-ability that could be compared to the modern day acclaimed global competitiveness, through best practices.
Today, we are having 170 universities that are yet to make the first 200 best universities in the global rating.
This is purely due to under funding of education in Nigeria, most especially in the areas of Teachers’ standard upgrade, lecturers’ capacity building need and facility update challenge to meet up with the global trend of development in the world of Science and Technology, through the ever dynamic world of Information Technology(ICT).
Instead of government complying with the UNESCO’s benchmark of 26 per cent of the national budget allocation, Nigeria’s funding pattern of education is yet to attain 10 per cent.
Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFUND)has achieved in the areas of structure, but not totally in the area of facility.
The struggle to ensure that all tertiary institution Teachers have first, second and third degrees, is appreciable, but only fractional and unfortunately, the interest of having Doctor of Philosophy, is not for research and development purpose, but for accelerated career progression in the world of academics.
Worse still, our Professors in various fields of human endeavor are yet to be fully engaged in the scheme of aggressive nation building because of the murky waters of our partisanship driven political hostile environment, where expert views are supposed to be sought, but politicians use money to make a wrong choice. This has resulted in the re occurrence of problems in a more dangerous way.
Government’s inability to fund Polytechnic education, as appropriate, makes it a challenge.
Higher National Diploma (HND) programs are still limited by the National Diploma status of the institutions in question.
Today, most Polytechnics are mere surrogates of Universities.
Unfortunately, university education is more in favor of the cognitive domain that is more of research.
Polytechnic education, with adequate facilities, are expected to compete favorably with what obtains in the industries, which can transform, when harnessed, university theories into physical dynamic machinery of operation, that favors the Psycho-motor domain of education.
All institutions are supposed to work in tandem, with correlative synergy` to promote the country’s industrialization.
Nigeria’s costly neglect of the Technical Colleges, has made us to lose out in the areas of vocational and entrepreneurial evolution that would have formed the very practical bases for industrialization, but for the stigmatization effect.
Parents and children are running away from patronizing this aspect of Engineering appreciation, which the Canadian government has proved to the whole world that their products are crucial, with recruitment in mind, in the establishment of cottage industries for the Small and Medium scale Enterprises(SME).
90 to 98 per cent of this sector are responsible for the industrialization of China, Hong Kong, Russia and the United States of America.
The policy makers need to look inward, by contacting the relevant experts, both from the Polytechnic and University sectors to resolves this matter.
According to the Minister for Industry and Trade Joseph Kakunda, who made this known recently, the government would also take over 33 others this May, if they failed to submit their investment reports.
The Minister expressed worry over the distress situation of 68 enterprises, amone which some have already closed shop.
Some time in March, the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Constantine Kanyasu , warned that the government would take over some privatized hotels and lodges over alleged mismanagement and poor handling of tourists and visitors.
"The ownership of the hotels will be shifted to other investors who are ready to manage them in the interest of promoting tourism," Kanyasu stated.
20 years ago, the government privatized 176 public firms under the World Bank-funded Presidential Parastatal Sector Reform Commission (PSRC).
Alleged attempts by government security forces to break the ranks of the protesters were resisted by soldiers who protected the protesters.
Attacks by students militias, anti-riot policemen and government security forces have not deterred the protesters.
Interestingly, Sudanese traders in Juba have declared that they stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters back home.
"I support with all my power the change in Sudan because change must be now, at this time on these days. (We) must take al-Bashir out," Isim Assam Abdallah, a trader disclosed
"We want justice and freedom. The government of Sudan is the government of destruction. The government has killed innocent people and has killed many in Darfur since 2004," another trader Abdallah Haman said.
Senior Lawyers have risen to defend the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, who has been charged by the Federal Government for offences that have to do with the declaration of assets.
However, Nigerians have picked holes at the timing and the speed with which investigations were carried out ,concluded and charges filed. The coming weeks hold explanations of the unkown. Perhaps.
Helpless Nigerians have raised the alarm over the continuous implementation of the policy of casualization by both the public and private sectors.
They lament that the companies are both local and foreign owned, while stressing that the high unemployment rate was the source of inspiration of these companies.
The companies hide under the guise of outsourcing the recruitment of casual workers to promote slave labour.
Recently aggrieved casual workers of a biscuit and poultry products factory located in Ibadan, Nigeria protested at their respective places of work to bring to the notice of the public their harrowing experiences.
One of the workers at the biscuit factory speaking incognito, painted a pitiable picture.
''In this factory we work on three shifts of eight hours, there is no break. And the pay is so meagre. The management treats workers like slaves, we are not allowed to take our phones into the factory, we are not allowed to eat, if a worker has an accident while working such a workers would be queried. For the eight hours work, a worker must not sleep. As at now, three workers, who had accidents while working in September are still coming to work with their injuries. And our salaries are between N14,000, N16,000 and N17,000 per month. For me my salary is below N12,000'', the mpoverished worker lamented.
Another worker at the poultry products factory disclosed that for several years ,casual workers have been shortchanged in the name of outsourcing the recruitment of casual workers.
A man at the factory, who simply gave his name as Emmanuel disclosed that the contract of the company in charge of the casual workers had been terminated, while stressing that the workers wages had been increased by N300.00.
In his reaction to the development , the Natonal coordnator of the All Workers Convergence(AWC)Comrade Andrew Emelieze casualization was also the trend in government owned establishments.
''It is unfortunate that Nigerians workers have been maltreated all these years, this has been the case all the while, it did not start today. The issue of casualization does not only affect the private sector, but also the public sector.''
'' The postion of AWC is that workers should continuously protest their pilght and other workers should also protest in solldarity to end slave labour and slave wages. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Prodcutivity should initiate policies to save Nigerian workers from casualization.''
At the University of Ibadan, non academic staff lament that management staff of the institution, compel junior workers to work after the official closing hours of 4.00pm for personal purposes without extra wages.
In his reaction, the branch Chairman of the Non Academic Staff Union(NSAU)Comrade Oluwasegun Arojo maintained that it was unethical for any staff of the university to subject to such an inhuman treatment.
''I think it is unethical for any staff to compel his surbordinate to work etra hours with compesation. The extant rule permits that when you do extra work, you must receive over-time pay. If at all it is happening it is barbaric. And those involved should desist from such act forthwith. It could lead to crisis. Anyone affected should report to the union leaders in the university'', Comrade Arojo stated.
Government agents in Zimbabwe have launced a manhunt for Opposition MDC-T National Chiarman Morgan Komichi over his refusal to accept the election results declared by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
Four unidentified armed men had visited the Harare residence of Komichi on Sunday night searching for him.
However, the Police stated that Komichi and the MDC Alliance principal Tendai Biti are wanted.
Komichi, in a chat with People, confirmed that his life was in danger.
"I now fear for my life and my family because I left home 10 minutes before the armed men pounded on my wife and children looking for me. Luckily, I had just driven out," Komichi said.
Nigerian workers are increasingly giving up hopes of owning their own homes, as issues of unpaid salary arrears, unfavourable working environment and conditions trail the present administration up till the last lap of its four year tenure.
Mot workers have for long contended with the exploitative tendencies of house owners, who increase rents randomly.
This in in addition to the soaring costs of land and building materials.
For the National Vice President Western zone of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities(SSANU)Comrade Alfred Jimoh, workers have taken their destinies in their own hands, when it comes to the fundamental issue of housing.
''The future of workers are in their own hands, as far as owning houses is concerned. I have not seen any meaningful assistance from the management of the University of Ibadan and the Federal Government in particular. The only effort I know, is a revolving housing loan, but I don't know how effective it is. Workers are making efforts to own their houses with the assistance of cooperative societies and their unions. SSANU acquired some plots of land and distributed same to its members. Also, cooperative societies in the University of Ibadan assist their members with loans and deduct this from their salaries, As far as Government and our employers are concerned nobody cares'', Comrade Jimoh lamented.
In the views of Comrade Oluwasegun Arojo, the Chairman of the Non Academic Staff Union(NASU), University of Ibadan branch, the beauty of working is to retire into one' own home, with the assistance of government.
''Our members should be able to afford to build their own houses. Let government provide the loans and direct workers to pay instalmentally, not that when we retire, shelter becomes a problem'', Comrade Arojo stated.
However, the All Workers Convergence(AWC) frowns at the National Housing Fund(NHF), just as it describes fund as a method government introduced to evade its responsibilities.
This position of the AWC was made known by its National Coordinator, Comrade Andrew Emelieze in a chat with Federationews2day.
''The National Housing Fund is an imposition by the Federal Government of Nigeria, in a bid to run away from its responsibilities to provide either affordable housing scheme for Nigerian workers or giving out housing loans to the workers. The NHF is used to scoop cash from the already impoverished workers because the deductions are mandatory and almost non-refundable until probably after retirement''.
''The interests on the deductions collected from the workers is equally ridiculous. More painful is the fact that the process of obtaining the housing loans are very cumbersome and workers are usually frustrated, making them resign to fate and allow the deductions to continue without attempting to take the loans''.
'For workers, generally, we feel cheated and because we don't have options, and because we are not well protected by our industrial unions, we at most time resign to fate. In fact the NHF has never given account of the contributions and balance of workers on a monthly basis.
''And if no worker in the scheme has collected loans within the last 10 and 15 years, and the NHF is not giving reasons why this is so, it means the National Housing Fund is a fraud'', Comrade Emelieze concluded.
- By solomon2day
- On 11/07/2018
Kenyan are expressing reservations over the plans of government to introduce a single uniform for all student in the country.
They insist that the action ogf government would encourage corruption, politcal patronage and favoritism.
Ghana and Tnazania are among the few countries in Africa that have implemented the policy, where students in all public schools wear the same uniform, that is only differentiated by badges.
Not long ago the Principal Secretary of Education, Dr. Bell Kipsang amde government's intention known at a forum at the Moi University owned Rivatex company.
"As we move towards having the same uniform and fabric in all our schools, we want Rivatex to prepare so that they are able to play a role in the manufacture of the uniforms that will be required" Dr Kipsang disclosed.
The Namibian Government wil from next month increase the pensions and grauities of retireesin the country by $50.
This disclosure was made in a statement by the Ministry of Poverty Eradication.
According to the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, I-Ben Nashandi, the increase would be backdated to April, this year.
The statement disclosed that all beneficiaries will receive N$1 450 in August, including a N$200 back pay for April, May, June and July.
It then stated that subsequently, a monthly amount of N$1 250 will be paid out to all beneficiaries as from September 2018.