The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has said that its 2021 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) earlier scheduled for May/June, may not hold.
This is as the examination body has announced the release of results for WASSCE for private candidates, 2021, first series on Tuesday in Lagos.
This disclosure was made by the Head of Nigerian National Office (HNO) of WAEC, Mr Patrick Areghan, on Tuesday in Lagos, where he said that the effect of the coronavirus pandemic is still much felt in the education sector.
What the Head of the Nigerian National Office of WAEC is saying
Areghan pointed out that the entire education calendar has been distorted and, therefore, it may not be possible to conduct the examination as scheduled.
“Let me use this opportunity to disperse rumours, being peddled about by some people regarding the conduct of the WASSCE for school candidates, 2021. The effect of the COVID-19 is still very much felt in the education sector and this has taken its toll on the academic calendar in the country.
“It is, therefore, not going to be possible to have the examination in May/June this year. A convenient international time table for the conduct of this examination will soon be released. To this effect, all stakeholders are, therefore, requested to keep their fingers crossed until they hear directly from WAEC,’’ the WAEC boss said.
He appealed to all the school principals and proprietors to keep to the stipulated timelines for the enrolment of candidates for the examination.
Areghan said that from the analysis of the results, out of 7,690 candidates that entered for the examination which was conducted between February 15 and March 11 with a total of 431 examiners participating in the coordination and marking exercise, 7,289 candidates actually sat for the examination at 252 centres across the country.
He noted that the drop in the figure is attributable to the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said that out of the 7,289 candidates that sat for the examination, 599 results were withheld in connection with various reported cases of examination malpractice with 7,174 candidates having their results fully processed and released while 115 others have a few of their subjects still being processed due to some errors traceable to them.
He said that efforts were being made to complete the processing to enable all the affected candidates to get their results fully processed and released subsequently.
According to him, further analysis of the performance of candidates showed that out of those that sat for the examination, a total of 3,938 obtained credit and above in a minimum of any five subjects with or without English Language and/or Mathematics.
Also, a total of 2,195 others obtained credit and above in a minimum of five subjects including English Language and Mathematics.
Areghan advised candidates who sat for the examination to check details of their performance on the council’s website – www.waecdirect.org.
He said that the collection of certificates for the WASSCE for private candidates would be based on request online via the Electronic Certificate Management System platform (e-certman).
Lagos agricultural sector to generate $10 billion in the next 5 years
The agricultural sector in Lagos state is projected to generate as much as $10 billion within the next 5 years.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has projected that the agricultural sector in the state could generate as much as $10 billion within the next 5 years.
This is as the governor noted that Lagos could no longer afford to rely exclusively on other states for its food, adding that it was time to unlock its immeasurable agricultural potential through the implementation of the 5-year roadmap.
This disclosure was made by the Governor at the formal launch of the state’s 5-year Agricultural and Food Systems Roadmap, on Thursday, adding that most of the investments would be private sector-driven while the government acts as the catalyst and enabler.
Governor Sanwo-Olu opined that the Roadmap would also lead to wealth generation, value creation, food security, the industrialisation of the agricultural sector and the entrenchment of inclusive socio-economic development of the state.
He said that the roadmap essentially focuses on 3 pillars, which are: growth of the upstream sector, growth of the midstream and downstream sectors as well as improvement of private sector participation.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu, in his words, said, “Our strategies for sustainable Agricultural Development shall focus on three pillars. First, we will grow the upstream sector through interventions by leveraging technologies that are capable of lowering the cost of production of value chains; Focus on growing the midstream and downstream sectors that are of value and lastly, we will improve on private sector participation by developing and initiating policies that will encourage more private investments in agriculture.”
The projection is that the total investment in the Agricultural Sector from the government, private sector, donor agencies and development partners will run into over $10 billion in the next five years. While we expect most of the investment to be private sector-driven, the government will continue to provide the needed infrastructure while the private sector will be encouraged to lead the key projects.’’
The governor pointed out that the state had already started the revamping of its Agricultural Land Holding Authority (ALHA) to support investment in agriculture, giving assurance that the coconut belt would also be strengthened with increased private sector involvement.
Sanwo-Olu listed some State’s landmark investments that will aid smooth delivery of the Roadmap to include the Lagos State Aquatic Centre of Excellence (LACE) that would boost fish production from 20% to 80%, the Imota Rice Mill, the Lagos Food Production Centre Avia, Igborosu-Badagry as well as other statewide agriculture-focused initiatives.
He said, “I am greatly encouraged by the interest already generated in the Five-Year Agricultural Roadmap and I hope it will be sustained and backed with concrete action on the part of our development partners and the international community. I assure you that the Lagos State Government is putting in place deliberate incentives to make your investment safe, secure and profitable.’’
Sanwo-Olu, therefore, urged potential and established stakeholders in the agricultural sector to partner with the state in order to transform the agricultural sector for food security, wealth generation, poverty eradication, economic diversification, rapid industrialisation and accelerated socio-economic growth.
This is a very laudable initiative from the Lagos State Government especially at a time the country is looking at diversifying its economy. The successful implementation of this programme with the expected benefits from the value chain will contribute significantly to the economic development of the state and the country in general.
The investment in the transformation of agriculture to agribusiness is one way of achieving the dream of attaining self-sufficiency in food production and creating more wealth.
Bank needs to humanise customers – Aladdin CEO
Every customer needs a unique page where their details go beyond the account numbers.
Nigerian banks have been tasked to humanise all customers and not only treat them as just an account number. This is to say that banks should treat each customer uniquely and not assume a one-size-fits-all.
These are the comments of the Chief Executive Officer, Aladdin Digital Bank, Darlington Onyeagoro. According to him, the continent, especially Nigeria needs a marketplace Digital Bank to humanise customers, a vacuum he said Aladdin will occupy.
He said, “By humanizing customers, we are putting a face to the name. You are not just an account number, you are a human being, and as humans, you need to eat, make money and other things.
“Each customer is unique; that is why for the first time, we are breaking barriers so we can reach each one personally. We run a platform structure where every customer has a unique page where their details go beyond the account numbers.”
He added that Aladdin Finance App, which is powered by PurpleMoney Microfinance Bank, will also be offering its customers free banking with no charge rates, where customers can carry out their transfers and transactions to other banks for free.
“Traditional banks charge N25 per transfer, but we are charging Zero Naira for now. We bear the cost for now. So, we offer free banking for at least between one to three months of our operation to encourage them. All transactions are free for now,” Onyeagoro added.
The app also has several features that will cater to each customer, including seamless customer service, rewards on savings, high-interest rates up to 16% (subject to money market reality), and access to different types of loans for emergencies.
To encourage savings for customers to meet their business and personal needs, Aladdin Bank will also be rewarding its customers through a weekly raffle draw on its online platform, where amounts saved from N5,000 and above with the bank will give each customer a virtual ticket for a raffle draw.
“In that way, we are encouraging our customers to save towards their goals. For example, if you want to travel, pay your rent, children’s school fees, etc., whatever you want to do, you can set targets for yourself and save towards it. So, while you are saving towards your target, we are also paying you a competitive interest rate,” he added.
What you should know
The co-founders and chief promoters of this project are Onyeagoro, Olayemi Nasiru and Avi Umukoro. Nasiru is a seasoned banker with over a decade of experience. He once held a Senior Management Position in one of the top commercial banks in Nigeria.
Umukoro, another top-flight banker, has over 12 years of consumer banking experience in one of the top-performing banks.
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