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Business

Varsities unlikely to resume on January 18 due to second wave of Covid-19 – ASUU

ASUU has stated that it cannot afford to toy with the health of students as no preparatory measures have been put in place to deal with the pandemic.

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Varsities unlikely to resume on January 18 due to second wave of Covid-19 - ASUU

Union leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) disclosed that Nigerian Universities are not prepared for the resumption of operations due to lack of preparatory materials to handle the Covid-19 pandemic for students and teachers.

This was disclosed by the ASUU Union leaders for Obafemi Awolowo University and FUNAAB in an exclusive interview with Punch.

READ: Nigeria surpasses 100,000 cases of Covid-19

Dr Adeola Egbedokun, union Chairman at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State, stated that the union cannot afford to mess with the health of its students and warned that no preparatory measures have been put in place to deal with the pandemic.

  • “COVID-19 is very real and this second wave is as real as described. We cannot afford to toy with our health and the health of our dear students in the name of resumption, which is politically motivated. There are no preparations for safe re-opening of the universities and I think parents must insist on safe re-opening. The current classroom and hostel configurations in our universities do not in any way conform with the PTF (Presidential Task Force) on  COVID-19 protocols.
  • “There is no way universities can achieve that. I have said this elsewhere, that rather than for government to have addressed the obvious deficits in the public universities during the lockdown and strike, they were playing to the gallery.”

READ: Covid-19: FG lists conditions for reopening of schools, universities

Dr Adebayo Oni, Chairman of ASUU-FUNAAB, added that the University lacks protective materials for hand washing, as lecturers have not been provided sanitizers. He also warned that the University may not have the capabilities to deal with a surge of student during the pandemic resumption.

READ: FG to focus on procurement of Covid-19 vaccine in first quarter 2021

  • “The lecture halls are overcrowded. As of today, in my own campus, I have not seen any facility for hand washing. Who is to provide sanitizers? Do you expect lecturers to provide sanitizers for themselves. Fumigation of the environment from time to time should be done. How do you cope with students surge and the challenge of power supply?
  • “It is definitely a threat to the resumption of academic activities. The fact is that under this circumstance and looking at the threat of the figure, going physical with students would be more disastrous. Conducting physical session, physical lectures with students would be more disastrous.

READ: Lagos task force shuts down Cubana nightclub, other facilities for defying Sanwo-Olu’s order

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Obafemi Awolowo University stated that the school has put in measures in line with COVID-19 protocols.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, announced it has reached an agreement with the Federal Government over major issues that will lead to the end of its strike.
  • On 26 December 2020, the Federal Government directed the Vice-Chancellors of universities to immediately put on hold all academic activities in their various institutions.

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    Business

    Digital ID will help drive financial inclusion – VP Osinbajo

    FG to ensure a friendly business environment is created to promote ease of doing business in Nigeria.

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    Digital Identification is one of the keys to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria.

    This was disclosed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during his facility visit to SecureID, a smart card manufacturing and digital solutions company, on Tuesday.

    According to Osinbajo, Digital ID would help Nigerians, especially the ones that are not financially inclusive, operate in the global space.

    He also assured entrepreneurs that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration would ensure a friendly business environment is created to aid ease of doing business in Nigeria.

    He said, “Environment must be friendly for local investors first before foreign investors come in. Today marks a momentous occasion in the history of the technology and manufacturing sector, and I am delighted to be a part of it.

    “SecureID Limited has proved to us with this state-of-the-art manufacturing plant that local production of smart cards at the highest quality is not only viable in Nigeria but also brings a plethora of opportunities with it for Africa.

    “I must commend this indigenous company for laying the precedent for other local manufacturers to follow. I must also congratulate the founder and CEO, Kofo Akinkugbe, who through her grit and passion to contribute to the growth of the economy, has committed innumerable resources and manpower to bring this factory to fruition.

    “It warms my heart to see a woman take charge and create something indelible for other young women to emulate. She is an attestation to the fact that women are dependable collaborators in our quest for nation-building.”

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    The company, which recently bagged the esteemed Global System of Mobile Applications (GSMA) certificate making it the first in Nigeria and 3rd in Africa, also manufactures sim cards for telecom companies, loyalty cards for retail and security documents for public sector: driving license, national identity cards, international passports and more.

    Osinbajo expressed confidence in the company to bolster local content and contribute to the growth of the economy, stating that the recent GSMA certificate and other global certificates bear glowing testimony to the level of high standards demonstrated in its production of first-rate smart cards in the country.

    Speaking on the company’s recent milestone, Akinkugbe stated that SecureID strictly upholds high quality standards and protocols to manufacture an array of smart cards in line with global best practices, emphasizing that the company worked resolutely, to attain the GSMA certificate and other certificates.

    According to her, the company is an attestation that local production of smart cards at the highest quality is possible in Nigeria.

    “As an indigenous company, we are able to produce high quality SIM cards and at the same time, provide job opportunities for Nigerians. The government has seen it, its volume, value and growth, that we are able to contribute is something we would showcase and further prove that this can be done locally.

    “On our journey, we sought and received support from many institutions, agencies, and initiatives that have been established to encourage startups SMEs and enterprises,” she said.

    What you should know about SecureID

    Jaiz bank

    The company recently bagged the esteemed Global System of Mobile Applications (GSMA) certificate making it the first in Nigeria and 3rd in Africa. This is an addition to its other global certifications including Visa International, MasterCard Incorporated, Verve, Card Quality Management (CQM) and ISO 9001/2015 for Smart Card Manufacturing and Personalization of credit and debit cards for all banks in Nigeria and clients in 21 countries across Africa.

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    Business

    FG proposes retirement age of 65 years for doctors

    Ngige stated that the government wants to keep the nations health workers here in Nigeria.

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    The Nigerian Government has announced that it is proposing to increase the retirement age to 65 years for normal health workers and doctors, and 70 years for consultants, in a bid to keep health workers in Nigeria.

    This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, in a meeting between the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PSC), relevant Federal Government stakeholders, Health Sector Professional Associations, and Trade Unions on Tuesday in Abuja.

    What Ngige is saying about the proposed retirement age for health workers

    “We have taken their proposal. The government side will firm up its own proposal and we are reconvening June 1, so that we can have an agreed hazard allowance for health workers in Nigeria.

    We also discussed the issue of retirement age for health workers, being that we want to keep our health workers here in Nigeria. A lot of people are coming here to poach and take away people we have trained at very great cost.

    It takes a lot of funds to train a medical doctor, nurse or even a laboratory technologist or physiotherapist. So, we want to retain them here,” Ngige said.

    The Minister added that health workers could be retained for a longer period, citing a proposed retirement age of 65 for health workers and doctors and 70 years for consultants. He revealed that the FG had called back retired health workers during the pandemic, and delayed retirement age by six months for health workers to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

    What you should know

    The FG’s proposal to keep health workers is a complete u-turn from an earlier strategy, as Nairametrics reported in 2019 that the Labour Minister had said he was not bothered about the decision of some medical doctors who chose to leave Nigeria to practice outside the country.

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