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Ogun Council Chairmen Say Wale Adedayo Lied On Zero Allocation, Apologise To Governor Abiodun



Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun

Local government chairmen in Ogun State on Tuesday denied the allegation that the state government had been diverting their funds, resulting in zero allocation to them.

This is even as Governor Dapo Abiodun said he was disturbed by the baseless allegation against him.

The council chairmen visited the governor on Tuesday night with Mr Wale Adedayo, the Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government, who made the allegation, to tender an unreserved apology, as they accepted that mistakes had been made.

Speaking at the meeting in his office at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, attended by 18 out of the 20 chairmen, Governor Abiodun expressed surprise at the allegation, noting that rather than starving the local governments, he has made several interventions on their behalf to lessen their burden.

Prince Abiodun said he has always been supportive of the councils because they are an integral part in the march towards the development of the state.

He said: “Where there is no information, there is misinformation. When I read in the news media yesterday that I Adedapo Abiodun, the privileged Executive Governor of this State for the second term, is being accused of diverting funds meant for a local government, I say to myself perhaps it must be another Adedapo Abiodun and not me.

“God knows that this job, I am doing it with every iota of sincerity of purpose. I continue to ensure that I am guided by all the promises I made in the course of my journey to the governor’s office. I continue to remind myself that I am holding this public office in trust as a trustee for and on behalf of all sons and daughters of this state and I will continue to be dogged, irrevocably committed to developing every part of this state equitably and fairly.

“I will continue to respect that besides the state government, there is also another tier and we are charged with the responsibility of building the future of this State.

“So, I began to wonder how could anyone possibly begin to imagine that I would divert funds meant for another tier of government when my party, the APC, had formed government 100 per cent in that tier particularly. It is not as if I am trying to punish some council chairmen who are not in my party. State government and local government are all one family.”

He said his administration worked tirelessly to ensure the emergence of the council bosses and therefore could not engage in any act that could retard development at the grassroots.

He also disclosed that he, along with two other governors had impressed it on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to help with separate intervention funds for the local governments.

“I know what I committed to ensuring that we are all successful when you were contesting either at the primary level or at the general elections. So how will I be able to explain to my conscience that having done all that, having vowed, having pledged, having been committed to the development of this State, as evidenced across the length and breadth, how would I justify stifling the local government?

“I know what myself and two other governors advanced before our president in the last two weeks about the need for the Federal Government to provide separate interventions just for the local government. So naturally, I have been taken aback,” Abiodun said.

The governor acknowledged the place of disagreement in human relationships but added that there should be roundtable discussions to find solutions to any vexed issues instead of resorting to misrepresentation and character assassination.

“Our preoccupation should be to continue to join hands together to build the future of this great state. I restate my commitment to ensuring that your tier of government is given all the support that you need to make the best of the opportunity that your people gave you. As you will be entering the last few months of your administration, it will be a joy and delight to ensure that you all have legacies that define your tenure in office,” the governor assured.

Earlier, the Chairman of Ijebu-Ode Local Government, who also doubles as the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Chairman in the state, Emilola Gazal, told the governor that the visit was to acknowledge the mistakes that were made and to beg for forgiveness.

Gazal acknowledged that the governor had at no time interferred in the distribution and sharing of local government funds from the federation account.

According to him, as the leader, the governor was bound to be insulted, but he must forgive and forget.

He said that the governor has been passionate about the development of the state, adding that no previous administration could claim the same success recorded across the state in the last four years.

The chairmen also acknowledged that in May, N4.5 billion was shared by the 20 local governments. In June, N4.4 billion was shared, while July also saw the sharing of N4.4 billion . In August, N5.2 billion was shared.

They also confirmed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor was augmenting their allocation to the tune of N1 billion monthly.

The chairmen admitted that because of insufficient funds from the federation accounts, they have been unable to pay the mandatory Pay As You Earn (PAYE) to the state, and as a result, they are owning the state, several billion.

In an interview later, Kazal said all the grey areas in the contending issue have been resolved, adding that the meeting with the state officials provided the chairmen the opportunity to get a briefing on what the state government has been doing to ensure smooth running of the council areas.

He said: “We are here to see the governor to discuss the grey areas and today, all sides are better off. We have seen the lighter sides of the grey areas and all those issues have been resolved amicably. The governor has assured us that local governments will continue to witness development till the end of his tenure.”

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Abiodun Pays Tribute To Alaperu’s Late Wife, Harps On Enduring Legacies



Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has extolled the exemplary virtues of the late wife of the Alaperu of Iperu, Olori Kehinde Idowu Basibo-Odoru, describing her as a strong pillar for her husband and a unifying factor for the entire royal family while alive.

The late queen was born on April 23, 1962, and passed on at the age of 61 on 27th July 2023. Her funeral and thanksgiving service was held on Friday at the St. James Anglican Church, Iperu.

The governor, in his remarks, expressed his heartfelt condolences to the royal father, Alaiyeluwa, Oba Adeleke Idowu-Basibo, and the people of the town over the loss, as he prayed for necessary fortitude to carry on in her absence.

He recounted the enviable attributes of the late Olori while alive as bold, lovely and supportive; with passion to help those around her, adding that she would be sorely missed by her immediate family, the entire town of Iperu and Ogun State in general.

“On behalf of the government and the good people of Ogun State, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to my brother, the Alaperu of Iperu, Oba Adeleke Idowu-Basibo, on the passing of his adorable wife.

“The late Olori was a friend and reliable companion to her husband till death. She was also a doting mother to her children. We are going to sorely miss her; may the good Lord repose her soul,” Abiodun said.

The governor counselled the congregation on the need to be fair to all in all ways while alive, to leave worthy legacies after death as exemplified by the late Queen.

He continued: “Life is a journey; we all have our exit points. We have no power over that, it is inevitable. What is important is what we do while we are here, what type of tribute would be written about you when you are no more.”

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BREAKING: Govt Increases Salaries Of University Lecturers, Others



Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamma

In a bid to improve the lot of tertiary education, the Federal Government has increased the salaries of the lecturers and non-academic staff in the nation’s public universities.

The increase was approved by the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.

This includes payment of a newly approved percentage increment in salaries for academic and non-academic staff of all Federal Government’s tertiary institutions in the country.

This is as the percentage increment for junior staff of tertiary institutions was raised from 23.5% which was reviewed last year to 25%. Our correspondent gathered that the arrears of the increment from January 2023 will also be paid.

Though nothing was said about the withheld salaries of the academics and non-academics who embarked on strike in 2022, it was learnt that the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, earlier wrote the Chairman of the NSIWC, Ekpo Nta, to demand the status of the collective.

According to sources within the Ministry of Education, the decision of the minister to write the NSIWC might not be unconnected from visitations by some of the academic unions and intervention by some pressure groups.

When asked if polytechnic lecturers were aware of the new development, the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Dr. Anderson Ezeibe, said that the union heard of the news and were looking forward to the implementation.

“Definitely, we heard of it and we are looking forward to it. There will be 25% increment for junior lecturers while chief lecturers and professors will benefit from 35% increment,” he said.

The National Vice-President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Chris Piwuna, disclosed that such a letter would be addressed to the management of universities and not ASUU.

A letter by the Chief Executive Officer/Chairman of the NSIWC, Eyo Nta, which was addressed to the Minister of Education on September 14,2023 shortly before his departure to the United Nations General Assembly in New York
tagged ‘RE: Implementation of the 35% and 23.5% salary increment for staff of tertiary institutions,’ reads: “I refer to your letter No. FME/IS/UNI/ASUU/C.I/IT?/90 dated 8th September 2023 in respect of the above-subject. Find attached the circulars pertaining to the four salary structures in the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education for your information (attached).

“The 23.5% earlier reflected in our letter SWC/S/04/S.149/I/59 of 28 July 2022 and stated in paragraph 2 of your letter, has been increased to 25% which accounted for the increased cost implications. This Commission is really pleased with the success your informal discussions have achieved. We shall endeavour to support all your efforts aimed at repositioning the Education Sector. Please accept the assurances of my warm regards.”

Consequently, the commission proceeded to issue a circular also dated September 14, 2023 and addressed to the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation among others informing them of the implementation of the newly reviewed salaries.

The circular reads: “ The Presidential Committee on Salaries at its 13th meeting having taken into consideration the various stages of collective bargaining in various sectors, and specifically engagements between the Federal Ministry of Education and Tertiary Institutions-based Unions, and consequent upon the Federal Government’s approval, as well as 2023 budgetary provisions, approval is hereby conveyed for the revision of the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Salary Structure for academic staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, with effect from 1st January 2023.”

Also, a letter from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation dated September 21, 2023 which was made available to our correspondent on Friday in Abuja confirmed the increment.

The letter which was signed on behalf of the Director, Human Resource of the office, Ajanaku F.O reads, “I am directed to inform you that the Presidential Committee on Salaries at it’s 13th meeting having taken into consideration the different stages of collective bargaining in various sectors and specifically engagements between the Federal Ministry of Education and Tertiary Institutions-based Unions and consequently the Federal Government’s approval, is hereby conveyed as revised for the following:-

“Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Salary Structure for Academic Staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education with effect from 1st January, 2023.

“Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure II for non-Academic Staff of Federal Universities, with effect from 1st January, 2023.

“Consolidated Tertiary Education Institutions Salary Structure for non – Academic Staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, with effect from 1st January, 2023.

“Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure II (CONUASS II) for Academic Staff of Federal University with effect from 1st January, 2023.”

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Canada’s Dallaire Institute Invites Nigerian Security Personnel For Elite Child Protection Training



Dr.Shelley Whitman

The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security, a global leader in preventing the recruitment and use of children in armed violence, has invited two members of Nigeria’s security forces to participate in its first regional lead trainers course on child protection. The course will run from September 25 to 29, 2023.

Maj. Edwin Okpala (rtd), a chartered mediator, and a disarmament, demobilization and reintegration expert at the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, and Capt. Grace Watirahyel Samuel, will join other members of the armed forces, police, and civil society groups from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, South Sudan, and Uganda for five days of theoretical training and scenario – based simulation in Rwanda.

Organized through the Dallaire Institute’s Africa Centre of Excellence, the course, which is specifically for previously trained facilitators, will be delivered by lead facilitator Maj. Musa Donald Gbow, the first-ever child protection advisor in an African Union peacekeeping mission and a master trainer for the Dallaire Institute.

In a statement, the Executive Director of the Dallaire Institute, Dr Shelly Whitman disclosed that the course will bring participants up to speed on best practices in preventing the recruitment and use of children, while enhancing their ability to independently lead Dallaire Institute courses across the continent.

“The Dallaire Institute believes in the importance of collaboration that leads to long-term systemic change to place children at the heart of peace and security. The lead trainers’ course will bring together our champions for change from military and police institutions across the African continent, so they can support and learn from each other on how to prevent the recruitment and use of children and we as the Dallaire Institute can continue to learn from their lived experiences to ensure our approaches are effective”, Whitman noted.

The Dallaire Institute has worked with the Nigerian military, police, and civil society groups since 2017. In 2021, as part of collaborative efforts, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Martin Luther Agwai Leadership and International Peacekeeping Centre (MLALIPKC) and the African Peace Support Training Association (APSTA) to support capacity building activities.

Founded by renowned humanitarian and former Canadian Forces Lieutenant General, Roméo Dallaire, the Dallaire Institute was created with the unique premise that preventing violence against children requires a dual lens that is focused on prioritizing the protection of children, as well as understanding the significant operational impacts upon security sector actors.

As co-developers and custodians of The Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers, the institute’s stakeholders advise governments and multilateral partners on integrating the principles into security sector governance.

The Institute also hosts a prestigious Tier 1 Canada Research Chair on International Peace, Security and Children and offers undergraduate and graduate courses that will lead to the creation of a certificate program on children, peace and security. Through academic and practitioner training, and community engagement, the Dallaire Institute’s interdisciplinary and applied research advances innovative strategies for preventing the recruitment and use of children in armed conflicts and violence. The Dallaire Institute is supported through private, public, and international contributions.

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