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Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s Bailout Saves Lagos Tertiary Institutions From Crisis – SA Education Tokunbo Wahab

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Special Adviser on Education to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, has said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s led government is bent on improving human capital and infrastructural development of Lagos State as its public private partnership hostel project in Lagos State University, LASU, is set to generate billions of naira.

Mr. Tokunbo Wahab who said this during the visit of Lagos State Online Media Publishers Association at his Alausa Ikeja, Lagos Office also said Mr. Governor believes so much in human capital development and to that extent the theme’s agenda have education and technology as a pillar, same way it has health and environment as a pillar.

He said, “For us we have gone back to the foundation and that is our resolve. We have to go back to our primary schools so as to make it more competitive with our private schools that are bridging the gap and what we have done in the past few months is that; we have put ‘EkoExcel’ in place. ‘EkoExcel’ allows the teachers to be retrained to a 21st century teachers; it allows the teachers to use the tab as a modern day technique to teach, it also allows you to monitor them and put the curriculum at par across the state.”

The young and vibrant politician also said, “Whilst we are doing that, we also admits that the state of physical infrastructures across the schools in some parts of the state is not something we are proud of; we would not blame anybody, we are taking responsibility as a government and to that extent we are putting investment on the physical infrastructure, so as to make the classrooms habitable for these pupils. Whilst doing that, we are also putting in place other infrastructure for them. In all these we are doing, we are also saying to ourselves, we must reduce the ratio of teachers to students and that has led us to start massive recruitment of teachers from primary to secondary school levels.”

He said; “In our secondary schools, we try to place a template that will make it seamless for those that leaves our primary when ‘EkoExcel’ is in place to our secondary. We are also trying to review the curriculum to see if it is very possible to get it to our institutions of higher learning where have Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, in Epe and Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education at Ato Ijanikin, to see if we could try and replicate EkoExcel from there.”

On the plans and progress so far in Lagos tertiary institutions, Wahab said, “All our higher institutions in Lagos State were in dare states when we came in. And I thank Mr. Governor for signing out a bailout for each and every one of them. Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, in Epe had a 200 million naira bailout, LASU had almost N400 million, Adeniran Ogunsanya had about N350 million bailout funds to take care of debts they have owed over the years.”

“We went to LASU which is about 36 years old; and we told Mr. Governor that we must be audacious to the school to make it competitive and global and to that extent we had a massive infrastructural deficit on ground. So, we did what has not been done before in the history of this country in LASU in December, we gave 8,272 hostel bed spaces for LASU students in a PPP project. We didn’t spend a kobo of the state fund to get this; tax payers’ money is intact. However, in the course of time LASU and Lagos State Government will generate billions of naira as concession fee and equity share holders in due course and LASU after the expiration of the contract we still own those hostels. We are also planning to replicate these across the state institutions.”

On the peaceful atmosphere of learning being experienced since the Governor came in about a year ago, the Special Adviser said; “That again we have been able to put in place. Since Mr. Governor came in, remember there was a problem at Lagos Polytechnic before we came in? What we had to do is set up a visitation panel which will be winning-down any moment from now and we have promised to implement every recommendation from that panel. There is now industrial harmony at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education with the appointment of a new provost which was seamlessly done.”

He however said, with all these, the government won’t neglect other sectors of the economy and critical infrastructures like roads and others in the state but that they have to make sure that people that manages these sectors are educated and healthy so that the governor’s efforts wont go to waste and the State can only achieve this through high human capital development.

He said; “Mr. Governor has put his skin in it now by increasing the 2020 budget on education by 63% and more than 40% increase on health which is unheard of in the history of Lagos State. That tells you his conviction and believes and where his heart lies. So, that is where we are.”

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Plateau Govt Confirms 22 Dead, 132 hospitalised In Jos School Building Collapse

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The Plateau State Government has confirmed 22 dead and 132 persons injured in the Jos collapsed school building.

Musa Ashoms, the Commissioner for Information, said six of the injured were in critical condition.

Ashoms said that those injured were receiving treatment in various tertiary health facilities in the state, while the bodies of the deceased had been deposited in the mortuaries.

NAN reports that a two-storey building of Saints Academy, a secondary and primary school located in Busa-Buji community of Jos North Local Area, had collapsed, trapping students, teachers and others.

The incident occurred at about 8:30 am on Friday when the students were writing their third term examination.

Meanwhile, Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has described the incident as a tragic and monumental loss to the state.

Mutfwang stated this in a statement issued by Mr Gyang Bere, his Director of Press and Public Affairs, on Friday in Jos.

The governor, who sympathised with the families of the affected victims, further described the incident as heartbreaking and unfortunate.

“This is tragic, unfortunate, heart-wrenching and a gloomy situation. We appreciate the timely intervention of the search-and-rescue team, as well as members of the public, who rushed to the school premises to assist in evacuating some of the surviving students and staff,” he said.

 

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Tinubu Renames National Theatre After Wole Soyinka

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President Bola Tinubu has renamed the National Theatre in Lagos after Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

JomogNews reports that President Bola Tinubu has renamed the National Arts Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos, after Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka.

This online news platform learnt that Tinubu announced this in a tribute he wrote to celebrate Soyinka in commemoration of his 90th birthday.

The tribute dated “Professor Wole Soyinka at 90: Tribute to a national treasure and global icon,” was personally signed by the President and made available to journalists on Friday.

Tinubu expressed his delight to join admirers around the world in celebrating Soyinka, adding that July 13 would be the climax of the series of local and international activities held in his honour.

Tinubu wrote, “Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth. Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work.

“It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us. I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.”

Tinubu stated that Nigeria not only celebrates Soyinka’s remarkable literary achievements, but also his unwavering dedication to the values of human dignity and justice.

“When he turned 80, I struggled to find words to encapsulate his achievements because they were simply too vast. Since then, he has added to his corpus with his series of Interventions, which have been published in many volumes.

“Professor Soyinka is a colossus, a true renaissance person blessed with innumerable talents. He is a playwright, actor, poet, human rights and political activist, composer, and singer.

“He is a giant best riding not just the literary world but our nation, Africa, and the world,” he averred.

According to the President, Soyinka is one Nigerian whose influence transcends the Nigerian space and who inspires people around the world, explaining that since his youth, he has been a vocal critic of oppression and injustice wherever it exists, from apartheid in South Africa to racism in the United States.

“Beginning from his 20s, he took personal risks for the sake of our nation. His courage was evident when he attempted to broker peace at the start of the civil war in 1967. Detained for two years for his bravery, he narrated his experience in his prison memoir, ‘The Man Died.’

“Despite deprivation and solitary confinement, his resolve to speak truth to power and fight for the marginalised was further strengthened.

“Our paths crossed during our struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election,” Tinubu stated.

 

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FG Reaches New Agreement With IOCs On Crude Supply To Dangote, Local Refineries

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JomogNews Nigeria reports that the Federal Government and crude oil producers in Nigeria have committed to working towards a sustainable supply of crude oil to local refineries under a market-determined pricing system.

This Nigeria news platform understands that both parties said the commitment aimed to ensure that while the operators (crude oil producers) do business optimally, the refineries are not starved of feedstock.

Accordingly, the industry regulator, the Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission has directed oil refiners in the country to provide monthly price quote on crude supply.

This came as the $20bn Dangote Petroleum Refinery is reportedly ramping up the importation of crude from the United States, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, Nigeria’s upstream regulator stated that oil producers under the umbrella of the Oil Producers Trade Section of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at a meeting called by NUPRC, agreed to concede to a framework that would be mutually beneficial with the aim of ensuring that local refineries are not strangulated due to off-the-curve prices.

“The focus of the meeting held at the instance of the Commission Chief Executive, Gbenga Komolafe, was on the status review of the Framework for Seamless Operationalisation of Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation Template.

“It was part of efforts to effectively implement key sections of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, especially the issue of pricing and crude supply to the domestic refineries,” the commission stated.

In the statement, Komolafe said President Bola Tinubu is fully committed to providing a level playing ground for producers and refiners to do business in the industry.

He expressed the need for a rule of engagement to ensure that the pricing model from the oil producers does not hinder the domestic refineries.

He directed producers and refiners to provide the NUPRC with cargo price quotes on crude supply and delivery for effective monitoring and regulation of transactions among parties. “We need to have the price quotes monthly,” he directed.

The NUPRC boss pointed out a convergence between the Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligation and the nation’s energy security, indicating that his team is re-engineering its regulatory processes to address the challenges.

“We allow all our processes to be transparent. While the Federal Government targets the implementation of the regulation, all parties must submit to the rules of engagement as a guide for operation,” Komolafe stated.

He said NUPRC is committed to driving the willing buyer/willing seller provision.

“We have to discuss pricing, especially as parties have committed to respecting their domestic crude oil obligation. As the regulator, we don’t want the upstream sector to be operated sub-optimally through cost under-recovery.

“So, the regulator is very alive to that. In crude pricing we will never allow price strangulation to disincentivise our domestic refining capacity optimisation. The regulator does not support cost under-recovery in the upstream sector, and we will continue to work to ensure that crude supply profiteering as a negative factor that can strangulate our domestic refining capacity optimisation is disallowed,” Komolafe declared.

Dangote raises alarm

Last month, the Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, had accused International Oil Companies in Nigeria of plans to frustrate the survival of the new Dangote Petroleum Refinery.

Edwin had said the IOCs were deliberately and willfully frustrating the refinery’s efforts to buy local crude by hiking the cost above the market price, thereby forcing the refinery to import crude from countries as far as the United States, with its attendant high costs.

“Recall that the NUPRC recently met with crude oil producers as well as refineries’ owners in Nigeria, in a bid to ensure full adherence to Domestic Crude Oil Supply Obligations as enunciated under section 109(2) of the Petroleum Industry Act. It seems that the IOCs’ objective is to ensure that our petroleum refinery fails. It is either they are deliberately asking for a ridiculous/humongous premium or they simply state that crude is not available.

“At some point, we paid $6 over and above the market price. This has forced us to reduce our output as well as import crude from countries as far as the US, increasing our cost of production. It appears that the objective of the IOCs is to ensure that Nigeria remains a country which exports crude oil and imports refined petroleum products.

“They (IOCs) are keen on exporting the raw materials to their home countries, creating employment and wealth for their countries, adding to their Gross Domestic Product, and dumping the expensive refined products into Nigeria – thus making us to be dependent on imported products. It is the same strategy the multinationals have been adopting in every commodity, making Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa to be facing unemployment and poverty, while they create wealth for themselves at our expense,” Edwin had stated.

But on Thursday NUPRC emphasised the imperative for appropriate pricing to drive willing buyer willing seller referencing guided Fiscal Oil Price published by the commission in line with the provisions of the PIA.

“NUPRC is committed to attracting the needed investments to boost upstream development and optimisation of our hydrocarbon resources just as we want sustainability of domestic energy supply in the midstream and downstream sector.”

Crude importation

Also on Thursday Bloomberg reported that Nigeria’s Dangote mega-refinery was ramping up the importation of crude oil from the United States, stating that the Lagos-based refinery had created a new flow of long-haul crude from the US, as inflows of American feedstock could be about to rise further.

The report stated that the Dangote mega-refinery was lapping up ever more US crude, bringing the barrels thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean.

It stated that Dangote bought more than 16 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate crude oil so far this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In August and September, the proportion it will take from the US — as opposed to Nigerian barrels — may be set to rise, based on tenders for new supply seen by Bloomberg.

 

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