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By Winifred Ogbebo and Henry Tyohemba, Abuja The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike, following federal government’s refusal to fulfill the agreement made with it in 2009. The national president of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, told journalists yesterday that the decision to embark on the industrial action was resolved at its emergency national executive council meeting held at University of Abuja during the weekend. Ogunyemi said that the industrial action which took effect from Sunday August 13, 2017 will be “total, comprehensive and indefinite action whereby no form of academic activities, including teaching, attendance of any meeting, conduct and supervision of any examination at any level, supervision of project or thesis at any level would take place at any of the government universities”. In 2009, after a strenuous and painstaking three-year renegotiation exercise, the federal government had signed an agreement with ASUU on the issues of...
BY AHURAKA ISAH, SOLOMON AYADO, Abuja, Abu Nmodu, Minna With the rising cost of governance, lean revenue earnings and little or no funds for infrastructural development, legal experts in the country have advocated the merging of the Senate and the House of Representatives to form a unicameral legislature. This is coming just as former President Olusegun Obasanjo has again taken a swipe on the National Assembly, saying Senators and members of the House of Representatives are fond of cornering capital projects into constituency projects to perpetrate corruption. The legal experts, including constitutional lawyers and members of the inner bar contended that the federal legislature can function effectively as a unicameral legislature just like states and local government councils that are operating unicameral legislature, with only state Houses of Assembly and Councillors respectively at these levels of government. In separate exclusive interviews with LEADERSHIP yesterday, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay...
By Abu Nmodu, Minna President Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, yesterday disclosed that the company will invest 450 million dollars in agriculture development in Niger State over the next three years Dangote who gave the hint at the 2017 Niger State Investment Summit in Minna, Niger State capital, said the funds will  be used in establishing a large scale rice processing mill to process over 200, 000 metric tonnes of paddy rice. He said that a state-of-the-art fully integrated sugar refining industry would also be established. His words: “The Dangote Group is committed to invest around 450million dollars over the three next years to establish a large scale rice processing mill for out growers. “Our company is also establishing a state of the art fully integrated sugar industry involving the development of over 30,000 hectares of sugar cane plantation and the production of about 500, 000 metric tonnes of refined sugar. “We are very excited about...

Pension Fund Hits N6.5trn

By ZAKA KHALIQ, Lagos The nation’s pension funds, under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS), grew to about N6.5 trillion as at the end of July 2017, even as the number of pension contributors rose significantly to 7. 6 million, LEADERSHIP has exclusively gathered. As at the end of July 2017, the fund increased to about N6.5 trillion from N6.4 trillion it stood at as at April ending. Moreover, LEADERSHIP gathered that between April and June this year, there were 97,713 Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders registered under the new pension scheme, with 77,023 contributors from the private sector. 9,148 workers from the federal government registered under the CPS, while state governments recorded 11,542 contributors, thus, increasing the total number of pension contributors from inception of the scheme till now to 7.6 million. In the same vein, report has it that between April and June, 2017, the pension fund gained about N7.5 billion as private...
The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) has predicted a second defeat for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the next general election.
Normal church services were held at St. Philips Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Anambra, a week after gunmen killed  worshipers during early morning service. The church was sealed after Aug. 6 massacre which claimed 11 people and 18 others sustaining various degrees of injury. A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who attended the church service, reports that there was an initial low turn-out of parishioners but the attendance later picked up. NAN reports that the service was attended  by officials of the state government led by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu. Also, present at the Mass was Aloysius Ikegwuonu, popularly called ‘Bishop” and one of the chieftains of the village, who was alleged to have been the target of the Aug 6 attack. IIkegwuonu, who lost his father in the attack, refused to talk to newsmen, but one of his aides said his principal would talk at appropriate time. Security operatives were...
By MBACHU GODWIN NNANNA, Abuja Worried by the increasing the number of fake private universities in the country, the  Economic Financial Crime commission (EFCC) said it has concluded plans with the National universities commission (NUC)  to crackdown on such unauthorized institutions operating without the federal government license. Acting chairman of the anti-graft agency, Ibrahim Magu, who disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the corporate headquarters of the LEADERSHIP Newspapers Group in Abuja last Tuesday said such crackdown will bring sanity in the university system which according to him has become a means of some corrupt officials enriching themselves. The anti-corruption czar whose confirmation by the Senate had been a source of controversy said that the commission is worried over the high number of fake institutions operating in the country, extorting money from parents. Magu who expressed regret over the activities of such illegal campuses further stated that his agency will partner the...
KINGSLEY OPURUM examines the prospects of Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) surviving the raging crisis bedeviling the newly registered party There were widespread speculations that the Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) was floated by Sen. Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its alternative platform in case the Supreme Court judgment favoured Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff faction. Eventually, the apex court handed Makarfi faction of the party the opportunity to bask in euphoria, as the pendulum of triumph swung in their side. However many observers have been left wondering how a nascent party like Advanced Peoples Democratic Alliance (APDA) has been plunged in a full-blown internal crisis, which has the capacity to decimate the party permanently. These political watchers bemoaned the  feud that has engulfed a political party, which is still lying in its cradle, describing the situation as unprecedented in the country’s political history, where a barely two-month...
Former President Goodluck Jonathan declared yesterday that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is ready to take over power at the center in 2019, noting that the party cannot be intimidated.
By CHIKA IZUORA, Lagos Federal government’s decision to procure prepaid meters for electricity consumers in the country through a special intervention process will cost the country a whopping N224 billion. While the figure is based on current estimated cost of a 3 phase meter which is put at N80,000, the decision became necessary following the inability of Distribution Companies (DisCos) to meet their metering obligation. Executive secretary of Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), the umbrella body of power distribution companies, Mr. Sunday Oduntan, told LEADERSHIP Sunday that conservatively, about 2.8 million household electricity consumers are currently unmetered. Speaking on the constraints facing DisCos over meter roll out, Oduntan said, “Currently, the distribution companies are carrying out customer enumeration exercise to determine the exact metering gap. “From the old system, we had about 8 million unmetered customers but we know the figure is more than that because we discovered that so many people are...