Outrage As VCs’ Wives Plan To Hold Training In Turkey
By John Michael Ojo
Heavy criticism on Thursday trailed a plan by the wives of Nigerian universities’ vice- chancellors to attend a five-day training on “Leadership and Management Masterclass, and Fellowship Induction for spouses of vice- chancellors, women academics and higher education leadership in Africa.”
The training is being organised under the auspices of the Committee of Vice-chancellors of Nigerian Universities.
A circular seen by New Times disclosed that the training would help equip the VCs’ wives on the best possible support to accord their husbands in the discharge of their duties.
Each participant will pay N1.5 million for the training.
The circular said: “TO: ALL DISTINGUISHED VICE – CHANCELLORS
INVITATION TO THE ISTANBUL 5-DAY LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT MASTERCLASS,
FELLOWSHIP INDUCTION FOR SPOUSES OF VICE CHANCELLORS, WOMEN IN
ACADEMICS AND HIGHER EDUCATION LEADERSHIP.
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“I bring you warm greetings from the Secretariat of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.
In this constantly evolving sector, authentic and inspirational leadership are the key to success of individuals, teams and organizations. In order to lead others effectively, it is essential that leaders understand and continue to develop their own capabilities and leadership style. Women in modern times are surpassing social and cultural barriers, making tremendous contributions to the
advancement of education, business and the community. We understand the vital role spouses play in supporting Vice Chancellors as they execute their day- to day administration of universities.
” It is therefore imperative, that capacity building exercises be put in place for the Women in Academics and spouses of Vice-Chancellors in Nigerian Universities .
“In this regard, the Committee’s Secretariat, In Partnership with Win Institute for Gender Studies (WIGS), Nigeria in collaboration with her Turkey-based learning partner, Istanbul Egitimler, have put together a 5-day Leadership & Management Masterclass, and Fellowship Induction for spouses of Vice Chancellors, women academics and higher education leadership in Africa .
“The programme is scheduled to hold from 18th -23rd July, 2022, in Istanbul, Turkey.
Course Fee: The course fee is N 1,500,000 per Participant, covering instructional manual and course materials, visa fees, Accommodation for 5 nights, venue, tea/coffee break, buffet lunch, souvenirs and Certificates. (Concept note is attached for further details)
Payment should be made directly into the following account:
Account Name: C.V.C.N.U Workshop and Conferences
Account No: 1217755695 (Naira)
Bank: Zenith Bank
“Participants are kindly requested to send names and confirmation of payment to the Secretariat’s Senior Projects and Programs Officer, Ms. Olaghere Sylverina.
You may also wish to contact her on 234-8180996500, 08052226887 or by firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com should you need further clarifications. Deadline for Payment is 6th June, 2022.
Please accept assurances of my highest regards,
Yakubu Aboki Ochefu Ph.D, FHSN, MNAL
Professor and Secretary General.”
Meanwhile, lecturers from various universities in the country and other citizens have condemned the initiative . They have wondered how relevant such a training in Turkey would be especially now that universities in the country have been under lock and key for months over the inability of the federal government to resolve disagreements with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the funding of the tertiary institutions.
Condemning the development, a source said : “Joblessness and an attempt to waste our money. Next will be spouses of principal officers and different categories of university staff viz, DVCs, Bursars, Registrars, DAPs, Deans, HODs, DPGSs, DPPs etc. Yeye dey smell, rubbish, rubbish.”
Another source who was shocked by the information simply replied: “Spouses of VCs? Ok na. Ala first ladies of the universities.”
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Also, a source who does not want her name in print while criticising the planned workshop, questioned where the N1.5 million registration fee for each expected participant would come from and what benefit would the seminar be to VCs’ wives who are not educated or academic.
She added that with this development, the former Pro-Chancelor of the University of Lagos, Dr. Olawale Babalakin, SAN, will be having the joy of a secret laughter.
She wrote: “My God! It’s unfortunate.Very soon, spouses of professors will have their own association.
“I ask: From which savings or salary will a female professor/senior lecturer get N1.5m to pay for this workshop?
“And, what about the unemployed spouses? Who pays for them? University IGR?
“Workshop for what? To enhance teaching and learning? To enhance their spouses’ libido? To curb their spouses’ greed level?
“Mr. Babalakin will surely have the joy of secret laughter on reading this!
“It is the hand of Esau but the voice of Jacob. Unilag and ALL current VCs are academic disasters in the garb of professors!.”
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However, a text message sent to ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke to get ASUU’s position on the development was not responded to as at the time of filing this report.
The practice of spouses travelling overseas to attend seminars has been going on for a while now.
Earlier in the year, the wives of Nigerian governors on the platform of the Nigerian Governors Wives Forum, led by the wife of the Ekiti State Governor Dr, Bisi Fayemi, were in Dubai for an undisclosed seminar as well. Their activities only became known when Nigerians back at home spotted the first ladies with a cake while celebrating the birthday of Aisha Buhari, the wife of the Nigerian president who was in Dubai at that time.
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BREAKING: Tinubu, PDP’s G5 Members Meet In Aso Rock
President Bola Tinubu and the members of G5 or the Integrity Group of the Peoples’ Democratic Party )PDP) met at the Aso Villa, Abuja.
The G5 group, led by one serving governor and four former governors caused a major division within the Peoples Democratic Party after demanding the then National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu step down for a southern replacement as a precondition to support the presidential ambition of the party’s flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar in the February 25 poll.
Both Atiku and Ayu called the then governors’ bluff and did not succumb to their demands in the just-concluded elections.
Makinde and Wike reportedly played supportive roles to Tinubu ensure his victory at the February 25, presidential election.
Those at the meeting are Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state as well as former Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
The current governor of Enugu State, Peter Mbah was also present.
Tinubu had met with Wike and Makinde some times since his election and inauguration.
Govt Declares June 12 Public Holiday To Mark Democracy Day
The Federal Government on Thursday declared Monday, June 12, 2023 a public holiday in commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day.
Disclosing this in a statement, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade congratulated all Nigerians on the occasion.
She said: “Nigeria’s democratic journey has, like in many other climes, encountered both stormy and smooth sails, but the ship of State, its institutions and most importantly, the Nigerian people have remained steadfast on the tenets of democratic governance.
“On this memorable occasion therefore, Nigerians and friends of Nigeria are invited to appreciate the progress that has been made, celebrate the milestones covered and look forward to a better future for the country’s democracy.
“The Permanent Secretary wishes all Nigerians a Happy Democracy Day celebration”.
Senate Rejects Controversial Water Bill
The controversial National Water Resources Bill, 2023 has been rejected by the Senate.
The bill was lined up for concurrence in the order paper but was rejected by the majority of the senators.
This brings an end to the controversy by governors and the federal lawmakers particularly those from the Southern part of the country.
When the bill was read for concurrence on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, Senator Gabriel Suswan from Benue North West, raised Order 85 of the Senate Rules which provides that Senators must have full details of the provisions of any bill coming for concurrence.
Senator James Manager from Delta South, who seconded Senator Suswan’s point of order, also stressed the need to have details of the bill since provision was made for only the title of bill.
The Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who later ruled in favour of the rule cited, adjourned the plenary for the day.
It would be recalled that the House of Representatives had passed the bill in 2020 amidst suspicion by members and the general public that the proposal had sinister motives.
Before the passage, the chairman of the House Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli, said the former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), as well as commissioners for justice and attorneys-general of the 36 states of the federation had been consulted and the opinions received would be attached to the bill and distributed to all members.
To buttress the suspicion of some members of the public, a member of the House from Benue State, Mark Gbillah, raised the alarm when the bill was to be taken for the first reading.
Only the short title of a bill is written on the Order Paper for first reading, while a long title, which has more details, is written when listed for second reading.
Gbillah said, “I am aware that the matter listed for first reading, the National Water Resources Bill, generated a lot of controversy within this honourable House and even across the country, and some of us wonder why this issue is still being represented on the floor of the House, because some of us are not comfortably in support of this bill in the first instance Mr Speaker. I thought I should bring that to the notice of the Right Honourable Speaker.”
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who admitted that Gbillah “raised a very cogent point,” noted that Nigeria is a very diverse country and everybody’s sensitivity must be taken into consideration.
Gbillah, however, disagreed with the Speaker, stating that the lawmakers were duly elected and given the mandate to represent the interests of their constituents.
He said, “Whatever the governors might have agreed upon may not be acceptable to us. It is we that have those powers as enshrined in the Constitution to enact legislation that will be binding on this country.”
There were fireworks in the House on September 29, 2020, with some members, mostly from the southern part of the country, raising various legal and procedural issues against the bill.”
The then President, Muhammadu Buhari, had in 2017 presented the controversial bill to both chambers of the National Assembly, which seeks to transfer the control of water resources from the states to the federal government.
The legislation was titled, “A Bill for An Act to Establish a Regulatory Framework for the Water Resources Sector in Nigeria, Provide for the Equitable and Sustainable Redevelopment, Management, Use and Conservation of Nigeria’s Surface Water and Groundwater Resources and for Related Matters.”
The summary of the bill reads, “This Act repeals the Water Resources Act, Cap W2 LFN 2004; River Basin Development Act Cap R9 LFN 2004; Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (Establishment) Act, Cap N110A, LFN,2004; National Water Resources Institute Act Cap N83 LFN 2004; and establishes the National Council on Water Resources, Nigeria Water Resources Regulatory Commission, River Basin Development Authorities, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, and the National Water Resources Institute.”
The proposed bodies, if established, will “provide for the regulation, equitable and sustainable development, management, use and conservation of Nigeria’s surface water and groundwater resources.”
Though the 8th House managed to pass the bill, the controversy had frustrated passage of the bill by the Senate, as the Red Chamber on May 24, 2018, considered the executive bill for second reading, during which senators were divided across regional lines.
While Northern Senators had supported the proposal and its objectives, their Southern counterparts had opposed it.
Those opposed to the bill had pointed out that the bill, if passed into law, would further centralise power and resources of the country. This, they pointed out, would counter the move towards devolution of power domiciled with the federal government.
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