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Chief Wole Olanipekun urged FG to fight corruption in varsities

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The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has called on the Federal Government to fight corruption in public institutions by ensuring that the cost of contracts will not be more than its actual value.

Olanipekun made the call during the opening of 10 projects executed by the institution at the cost of N45.6m.

Also speaking at the event, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Dapo Asaju, said the projects were carried out through direct labour, which significantly lowered the cost.

Olanipekun said government could learn a lot from the way ACU executed its projects, adding that corruption would be reduced to the minimum if government paid attention to how projects were awarded in its universities and other institutions.

He said, “We’ve been able to complete 10 projects within a short time. Please, let us tell people in our country that this is the way to fight corruption. This is the way to manage resources. As a lawyer, I have been saying that fighting corruption is not about calling names. Maybe government should arrest and take people to court. It should begin to curb corruption at the very root. Uproot it.

“We want to challenge state governors in the country to send people to ACU and learn how we manage resources. Let them send auditors, architects, quantity surveyors, engineers and structural engineers. Let them compare and contrast what we spend on our projects with what they spend in other public institutions, including government institutions.

“This is our own humble way of telling the government that we have our own way of fighting corruption. We have our own way of instilling discipline into the financial sector of this country. How I wish government took a cue from this. How I wish the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission would come here, not to arrest, harass our management team but to learn from us.

“How I wish I was a pro-chancellor of this university before I was a pro-chancellor of the University of Ibadan, I would have learnt so much; I would have been more equipped.”

Olanipekun also urged the government to introduce a policy in its budget that would restrain anyone from inflating contracts in the schools.

“For a block of 10 classrooms, we spent N9.5m. For the shopping complex, we have spent 9.3m and to build the Faculty of Education, we spent N56m. The water factory cost N7.7m, while the indoor sports complex, which will be completed in the next one month, cost N3.1m.

“Now charge them in your budget that a building should not cost anything more than certain amount. Charge them that anybody who says no should go to ACU  and learn how they do it,” he added.

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Banking

Stakeholders Extol Jim Ovia, As Zenith Bank Names Iconic UNILAG Alumni Building In Honour Of Late Prof. Ibidapo-Obe

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Zenith Bank Names Iconic UNILAG Alumni Building In Honour Of Late Prof. Ibidapo-Obe

Stakeholders Extol Jim Ovia, As Zenith Bank Names Iconic UNILAG Alumni Building In Honour Of Late Prof. Ibidapo-Obe—-The memory of Professor Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, came alive as Zenith Bank Plc named the iconic building housing its Unilag Branch and the University of Lagos (Unilag) Alumni in his honour on Friday, November 25, 2022.

 

In his opening remarks at the commissioning ceremony, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc and Chairman of the Body of Banks’ CEOs in Nigeria, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, lauded the Founder and Chairman of the bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for being physically present at the commissioning of the building to honour the memory of his late friend, Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, who served on the board of Zenith Bank as a Non-Executive Director, and for his passion for youth education and digital learning.

 

He noted the remarkable and continued commitment of Jim Ovia, CFR, to education and youth development in Nigeria, especially through the setting up of James Hope College, a co-educational institution which offers a combination of British and Nigerian curricula, and the James Hope University, which is billed to commence academic activities next year. He also extolled his philanthropy through the setting up of the Jim Ovia Foundation and Mankind United in Total Support for Education Initiative, which has awarded scholarships and produced over 1500 graduates from among indigent people who would not have had the benefit of having a university education.

 

Onyeagwu also recalled how the bank’s partnership with the University of Lagos began in 2001 with the donation of the first ICT centre, when the Founder and Chairman was the Group Managing Director/ CEO of the bank. According to him, “Today, Zenith Bank has built not less than 15 ICT centres in various tertiary institutions and cities all over the country. And I just want to say that no single institution or individual has been able to accomplish what we have done in that respect. And this is a demonstration of the passion our Founder and Chairman has, not just for education, but also for digital learning and computer literacy. This is in addition to several other support to the university, including the institution of Academic Excellence Awards in 2001, where the best graduating students from selected departments – Banking & Finance, Business Administration, Economics and Accounting, receive awards with financial rewards (currently NGN500,000) and employment opportunity, and the donation of 3,500 tablets to enable indigent students of the university to learn online effectively in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic”. Onyeagwu noted that the building is a strong statement of Zenith Bank’s sustainability initiatives as a signatory to several global sustainability frameworks including the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, as it incorporates many of the elements that make a facility environmentally friendly and sustainable.

 

Speaking at the commissioning of the iconic building, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel noted the huge contributions of Zenith Bank and, in particular, Jim Ovia, CFR, a man he described as a father, to the development of Nigeria. In his words,” when you see things being done consistently in the right way, there is always a man pointing in that direction. A lot of people ask me how come you are doing so much in public service; I say I come from a background where my mentor told me that you don’t report efforts, you don’t give excuses, but you report results. So no matter the situation, even in the midst of an economic recession, in the midst of Covid, you should not stop development and performance. As far as you are from the Zenith family, you are expected to have that creativity and ideas that can make you produce results. In Zenith, we say only the paranoid survive. So I really want to appreciate what I am seeing here today”. Whilst thanking the alumni association and the school authority for their collaborative efforts towards achieving capacity development, which he described as the bane of Nigerian society, he expressed his delight and honour to commission a building named after the revered Late Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, who touched and impacted so many people while he was alive.

 

In his address, the National President of Unilag Alumni Association, Dr. John Momoh, thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank as well as the management of the bank for the magnificent building and Mrs. Sola Ibidapo-Obe for accepting the association’s request to name the building after her husband as a lasting legacy in his honour. He encouraged everyone to take good care of and maintain the building to serve the university community for years to come.

 

In her remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, acknowledged the invaluable contributions of Zenith Bank to the development of the school, promising to work with the Alumni association to ensure that the facility serves not only the Alumni but also the entire students populace. She thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for donating 3,500 tablets to the university, which ensured that students who could not afford laptops for e-learning during the covid-19 pandemic were not left behind.

 

In her remarks, the wife of the Late Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, Mrs. Sola Ibidapo-Obe, thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for immortalising her late husband with such a great edifice named after him. Recalling how close he was to her late husband, Mrs Ibidapo-Obe said: “You are my husband’s friend. Dr. Jim Ovia has demonstrated the love that does not die in his friendship with my beloved husband. When he fell ill, Dr. Jim Ovia was there from day one till the last moment. I could feel the way he felt. From then, I knew that he was a genuine friend. He tried his best to ensure my husband survived, but he did not”.

 

The iconic building, which sits on a total site area of 950m2, was constructed by a team of world-class builders who had the mandate of delivering the best quality possible. The iconic structure is a smart building that incorporates many of the elements that make a facility environmentally friendly and sustainable, including a grid-tie solar system that sustains power load on solar and not on a generator or national grid, an inverter-driven VRF air conditioning system and motion sensor lighting to enhance energy efficiency, perforated aluminium composite panels for natural lighting and ventilation, free Wi-Fi system to provide internet access for students, fire management systems, including fire hydrant, smoke detector, and fire alarm system, and a LED screen installed on the building for the dissemination of information. The iconic building will house the Unilag Branch of Zenith Bank Plc and the operations of Unilag Alumni. Of the total 1,665m2 of floor area designated for office use in the four-storey building, 585m2 will be used by Unilag Alumni.

 

 

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Education

Wild Jubilation As US Approves No-Interview Student Visa Renewals For Nigerians

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US Approves No-Interview Student Visa Renewals For Nigerians

Excitement As US Approves No-Interview Student Visa Renewals For Nigerians—-The United States Government has approved no-interview student visa renewals for Nigerians.

The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Mission made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday.

It said Nigerians on an F1 or academic J1 visa may be eligible for renewal without an interview when back home over the winter break.

To qualify, the applicants must be physically in Nigeria and renewing a student visa that is still valid or has expired within the past 24 months.

The are two permissible reasons for renewals: That applicants are continuing participation in the same course even if at a different institution.

The second is that they are attending the same institution even if in a different major course of study.

The Embassy gave the commitment to return passports within two weeks from the appointment date and prioritize required follow up interviews.

The students were asked to visit the U.S Travel website and follow the instructions.

Newsmen gathered that the no-interview visa renewal was in response to fears that available appointment dates are from December 2024.

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Education

JUST IN: Governor #Ganduje Signs PWD Bill Into Law

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#Ganduje Signs PWD Bill Into Law

JUST IN: Governor #Ganduje Signs PWD Bill Into Law—-Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has assented to the Kano Persons With Disabilities (PWD) Bill 2022 recently passed by the House of Assembly.

The bill was signed into law on Tuesday at the weekly State Executive Council meeting held at the Government House, Kano.

Speaking, shortly after assenting to the bill law, Ganduje explained that it would pave way for the inclusion and development of people living with disabilities in the state.

He pointed out that the law provided for the establishment of a ministry to oversee the affairs of PWDs, saying that all the six clusters of disabilities would be represented in the running of the ministry.

The governor maintained that when established, the ministry would be given all the necessary assistance to make it functional in accordance with global standards.

He said that some of the people living with disabilities were part of those selected for entrepreneurial training at the Dangote Skills Acquisition Centre, Kano, to make them self-reliant and reduce unemployment.

The governor, however, said that the state has banned street begging and had set up a committee to evacuate beggars from all the nooks and crannies of the state.

Newsmen reports that House of Assembly passed the PWDs Amendment Law 2022 on Nov. 16.

The new law provides for the establishment of a ministry, to oversee the affairs of PWDs, in addition to the allocation of two per cent of all employment opportunities to the six clusters which include the physical and visually impaired.

Others are those with impaired hearing, speech impairment, spinal cord injury patients, down syndrome patients and lepers.

The law also make it possible for the reservation of special parking lots and spaces in public buildings for persons with disabilities

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