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Dangote Donates N1.2bn Students’ Hostel To ABU

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The Chairman of Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has donated students’ hostel worth N1.2 billion to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. The hostel consist of 10 blocks of fully equipped complex with capacity to comfortably house 2,160 students. The university had no additional hostel accommodation in the last 40 years until the present gesture by the foundation. 

Speaking during the inauguration of the project at the ABU Phase II site, Dangote recalled that when he visited the institution as Guest Speaker of 2016 convocation ceremony, the university authority complained of accommodation constraints.

“When I came here as a Guest Speaker in 2016, the Vice-Chancellor told me that they have needs for accommodation, in fact the last accommodation they had was 37 years ago as at then. “It is not good for us to leave a university like this without accommodation, really our intention was to accommodate the female students not boys, however, I still plead with the Vice-Chancellor to leave it for the female folk. “Because of the luxury of this place, it is better to give it to the girls, boys can manage anywhere, may be we need to have discussion to see how we help in terms of transporting them to and fro. “If you bring the boys here, I will really be in trouble with my daughters, you know I have only three daughters, so they will like to have the ladies here,” he said. 

Dangote appealed to businessmen and wealthy Nigerians to ensure that “we continue to intervene in most of these universities, government cannot do all these things alone, there are so many other needs.” He advocated for an increase of one per cent of corporate tax so that companies can pay additional money mainly for infrastructure in the universities. “We have to make sure that we give back to Nigeria to show our gratitude because without Nigeria I won’t be where I am today, so we must continue to give back to the society.” Dangote said ABU as an institution occupied a unique place in history, adding that it is named after late revered patriot, great achiever and leader, the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna Sokoto. “This institution is a product of philosophy, vision, drive and commitment of the late premier to ensure that qualified Nigerians from all tribes and religions in the early 60s were given quality tertiary education to prepare them for nation building. “This quest culminated in building a unique university, which attracted the best of international scholars like Walter Rodney, Patrick Wilmot, Ali Muzrui and our own Dr Bala Usman who graced its portals while serving as lecturers, teachers and mentors to students. “ABU from inception has remained a mini-Nigeria where students from all tribes and tongues congregated to become agents of change, growth and national development. “Products of ABU went on to excel and distinguished themselves ahead of their contemporaries, serving the nation as Presidents, Vice Presidents and high calibre officials both in the public and private sectors,” he noted. Earlier, the ABU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, appreciated Dangote for what he described as a gigantic intervention and appealed to other wealthy individuals to generously emulate his good spirit. He said ABU is a mega-institution with the largest carrying capacity above any Nigerian university and still unable to absorb the teeming population of candidates soliciting the university as first place of choice. “This need has compelled us to continue to open-up and restructure the space to provide more opportunities for leaning in a number of ways.

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Rivers, Imo Teachers Shine As Promasidor Marks World Teachers Day With Special Cowbellpedia Teacher’s Mathematics TV Quiz Show

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It was a reversal of roles for teachers last weekend as Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of “Cowbell, Our Milk”, marked the 2019 World Teachers Day with special (Teacher’s edition) of Cowbellpedia Mathematics Quiz Show to celebrate the teachers.

The twelve teachers, who produced the finalists in the Junior and Senior categories of the 2018 edition of the competition, contested for honours and prizes.

In the Junior category, Mr Paul Fase of Graceland International School, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, outclassed others with 105 points, to win the star prize. Fase was the teacher of Favour Okarike who emerged as second runner-up in 2018 finals.

On the heels of Fase was Kayode Adebayo, a teacher from The Ambassadors College, Ota, Ogun State who garnered 95 points to emerge as first runner-up, while Godwin Udom, his counterpart from the same school, scored 75 point to become the second runner-up.

Adebayo’s student, Master Akinleye Akinfoluhan was the junior category champion in the 2018 edition while Udom’s pupil, Loluwa Abiodun was a finalist.

Other teachers who also participated in the contest but fell by the way side include Beckley Daniel of Welkin International School, Ota, Ogun State; Hamzat Dankanawa a teacher from  Nigerian Tulip International College (Boys) Abuja and David Akuru from Jesuit Memorial College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Fase with a five years’ experience in the teaching profession, expressed gratitude to God for winning, maintaining that he now appreciates what the students are going through. “It is very easy to blame the students for lack of speed and for errors, but I now know it is not that easy,” he admitted.

In the Senior category, Ebock Inah-Ngulu, a teacher from Federal Government College, Owerri, Imo State, got the crown with 75 points. His student, Jessica Austine, was a finalist last year.

Christopher Olasupo of Graceland International College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State and Anfani Egbeyemi of The Ambassador College, Ota, Ogun State came second and third respectively. Olasupo’s student, Chinedu Mgbemena was the 2018 senior category champion, while Egbeyemi taught Enoch Adenekan, a 2018 finalist.

The trio successfully shrugged off the challenge from Oladipo Olatunde of The Ambassador College; Olalekan Olowe from Reality High School, Ilesha, Osun State and Samson Otunubi, a teacher from Federal Government Academy, Suleja, Niger State.

All the teachers commended Promasidor for the initiative which they described as a big morale booster for teachers across the country, adding that teaching requires passion, but teaching Mathematics demands a ‘special anointing’ because of the nature of the subject and the misconception by students and parents.

The students will come back to ‘battle’ this weekend as the semi-finals of the Cowbellpedia Quiz Show continues with 36 students jostling for 12 final slots. The airing also continues on DSTV Africa Magic Family Channel, AIT Network and other six television stations across the country.

Aside the N2 million grand prize, Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Anders Einarsson disclosed that the winner in each category, (Junior and Senior) will enjoy an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country at the end of the initiative.

In addition, the first and second runners-up in each category will receive N1.5 million and N1 million respectively, while the teachers of the top prize winners will be awarded N500, 000. Those of the first and second runners-up will receive N400, 000 and N300, 000 respectively.

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Sultan of Sokoto reveals how to end security challenges in Nigeria

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President-General of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has called for the development and adoption of homegrown solutions to the security challenges facing the country.

Abubakar made the call in Sokoto on Monday, during a Town Hall Meeting on Security Matters organised by the Sultanate Council in collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Sokoto State council, NAN reports.

Abubakar decried the rising security threats in the northern region.

He emphasized the need for a strong partnership between political leaders and traditional rulers towards finding lasting solutions to the challenges.

The Sultan expressed disappointment over the alleged involvement of some traditional rulers in the activities of armed bandits in parts of Zamfara.

He advocated prosecution of any traditional ruler involved in the supporting banditry and other criminal activities.

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto called for the strengthening of all law enforcement agencies and other institutions that promote peace in the country.

Tambuwal lamented the shortage of manpower in some of the security agencies, stressing the need for a total review of the nation’s security architecture.

He also called for more funding and proper intelligence gathering as well as collaboration with the traditional institution for better results.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that three key speakers; Gen. Ishola Williams (rtd), Emir of Zamfara, Alhaji Muhammad Attahiru-Ahmad and Prof. Tukur Baba of Federal University Birnin Kebbi presented papers at the meeting.

The lecturers dwelled on the need for drastic approaches to security matters, overhauling of security structures, community involvement in tracking security breaches, increased professional training and viable economic empowerment at all strata of the society.

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Buhari govt insists on VAT increment, gives reason

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Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, has insisted that Value Added Tax (VAT) has to increase.

She said this while noting that the nation will not be able to reach 80 per cent revenue performance for 2019.

Ahmed at the public presentation of the 2020 budget proposals, said that as at half year, the actual aggregate revenue for 2019 was N2.04 trillion, which was 58 per cent of the prorate target.

Ahmed said of the figure, oil revenue accounted for N900 billion, Company Income Tax (CIT) N349.11 billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) N81.36 billion and Customs Collections N184.10 billion.

“As to whether we will reach the N8.33 trillion at the end of 2019 is very unlikely and that is why we have to make special efforts to boost revenue performance”, NAN quoted her as saying.

“It is clear that we can not reach even 80 per cent and that is why we have to do several things to make sure that revenue performance is enhanced.

“Releases did not start until late July and as at last week we had scheduled and releases are now up to N650 billion.”

According to her, N294.63 billion was released for capital expenditure as at the end of September, but the target is to be able to reach N900 billion by the end of December 2019.

Ahmed said that of the total appropriation of N8.92 trillion, N3.39 trillion had been spent by June 30, as against the prorated expenditure budget of N4.58 trillion, representing 76 per cent performance.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2019 Appropriation Bill was presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on Dec. 19, 2018, but was signed into law on May 27, 2019.

The N8.92 trillion budget had a revenue projection of N6.97 trillion, consisting of oil revenue projected at N3.73 trillion while non-oil revenue was estimated at N1.39 trillion.

Estimates for non-oil revenue consisted of N799.52 billion from CIT, N229.34 billion from VAT and Customs Duties of N302.55 billion.

The 2019 budget was predicated on oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day at 60 dollars per barrel and an exchange rate of N305 per dollar.

On the issue of border closure, she said only the main borders that were manned by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and other security operatives were closed.

She added that the nation had seen the benefits of the closure and that though there were some challenges, the NCS and the committee working on the borders closure was looking at how to ease some of the difficulties.

“It has to be Nigeria first and we have to protect our own industries because some of our neighbours have been flagrantly abusing commitments that we jointly signed to and the President has said this is no longer acceptable.

“The border closure is not forever, there will be an end date, the Federal Government is currently in discussion with governments of our neighbouring countries Niger and Benin Republic.

“We are negotiating to make sure that the challenges that led to the closure of the borders are addressed on both sides but, especially that our neighbors meet the commitments that we signed unto several years ago.

“Once those discussions are concluded, the borders will be opened again,” she said.

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