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Gbajabiamila advocates for educational reform

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has urged the Federal government and other tiers of governments to fashion out ways of transforming the Nigerian educational system to strengthen the capacity of the Nigerian youth.

The Speaker in a message commemorating the International Youth Day with the theme ‘Transforming Education,’ said the essence of education is to proffer solutions to challenges confronting humanity.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker noted that governments at all levels have the primary responsibility of ensuring that every Nigerian is given access to basic and qualitative education.

The Speaker added that democracy and good governance would thrive in an atmosphere where a sizeable proportion of the populace is educated and well enlightened about their civic responsibilities.

While assuring that the 9th House of Representatives under his leadership would prioritise issues concerning the education sector, Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila emphasized that revamping the sector has become imperative.

The Speaker had in 2016 during his tenure as the House Majority Leader sponsored a Bill to provide access to higher education for Nigerians through interest-free loans.

The Bill, which has been reintroduced in this Assembly and has gone through first reading, proposes a Nigeria Education Bank, which will be established by law to provide education for all Nigerians without any discrimination.

He said: “As we celebrate the International Youth Day, I intend to use the office of the Speaker and the instrumentality of the law to fast-track the passage of this and others Bills that are capable of restoring hope to our youth to reposition them for the tasks of nation-building and global competitiveness.

“It is indisputable that the global economy is knowledge-driven, while the private sector has continued to play a leading and pivotal role in the economic development of states and nations.

“This is why we need to transform the Nigerian Educational System and why the youth should be encouraged to broaden their skills,” the Speaker said.

“I wish all Nigerian youths a happy International Youth Day”.

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Buhari back to Abuja after 9-day holiday in Katsina

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President Muhammadu Buhari, Saturday returned to Abuja after a nine-day official visit, including celebrating the Eid-el-Kabir with family members and inauguration of some developmental projects in Katsina State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that shortly before departing the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Airport, Katsina for Abuja, Mr Buhari had charged the military to be more spontaneous in restoring peace to the country, particularly states troubled by bandits.

He gave the order when he addressed 15 officers and 160 soldiers of the 17th Army Brigade and Nigerian Air Force 213 Operational Base in Katsina, under the “Operation Hadarin Daji’’, at the Airport in Katsina.

While in his hometown, Daura, Buhari received Guinean President, Alpha Conde, and the two presidents performed Eid prayers in Daura on Sunday.

Conde, who was welcomed by members of Daura community, was also conferred with a traditional as well as being treated to the traditional Durbar display at the palace of the Emir of Daura, Faruk Umar Faruk.

NAN reports that the developmental projects inaugurated by the president included network of rural roads where he applauded the progress being recorded under the administration of Governor Aminu Masari.

The president, who also inaugurated the Nigerian Air Force Reference Hospital in Daura on Thursday, met with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from seven local governments affected by banditry in the state.

Buhari also received members of the Progressive Governors’ Forum and leadership of the National Assembly and Katsina State House of Assembly who paid him Sallah homage in Daura.
(NAN)

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2023: Northern youths faults El-Rufai’s position on zoning formula

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Northern youths under the aegis of United Northern Youth and Students (UNYS) have berated Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai over his recent claim on zoning, ahead the 2023 presidential election.

The UNYS also declared their position on ambition of former Lagos State governor and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for Presidency in 2023.

El-Rufai had recently called for the abolition of power rotation in the country.

Coordinator of the youth group, Comrade Jabir Maiturare, stated this when he addressed a press conference in Kaduna on Friday.

Maiturare said, “Let it be known that Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu has not declared to contest for any position yet. Instead, he is solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari and giving him the required support.

“In any case, whenever he seeks to contest for any position, including the presidency in 2023, we are ready to give him overwhelming support, and we therefore dissociate ourselves from such irresponsible act of some minority youth from the North.

“In the same vein, we wish to state categorically that Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai’s statement against the zoning arrangement in place is uncalled for and should not be given any serious thought because he speaks only for himself and not for the North.”

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INEC to release timetable for Bayelsa, Kogi gov’ship elections

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said in the next few days, it would announce the time table for collection of Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and other activities ahead of the November 16, governorship poll in Bayelsa and Kogi states.

The National Commissioner and Chairman of the Commission’s Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Barrister Festus Okoye, gave the hint at the opening of a two-day National Strategy Meeting on Capturing Disaggregated Data of Persons with Disabilities [PWDS], organized with support from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Abuja.

According to him, the time table for the collection of PVC will be announced at a stakeholders engagement to be organised in some few days time.

Okoye said “In the next few days, the Commission will announce the time table for stakeholder engagement for PVC collection and other activities relating to the states where we are going to have standalone governorship elections and the issue of this data collection will be one of the big issues in relation to whether we conduct good elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.”

Speaking also, Charman of INEC’s Outreach and Partnership Committee (OPC), Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, said the meeting was a needed platform for knowledge and experience sharing.

He said: “According to the world report on disability published in 2011, stated that about 25 million Nigerians have at least one disability. However, with the population figure of Nigeria being put at over 200 million based on the latest United Nations estimates, naturally, there will be an upward swing in the population figure of PWDs in the country.

“Granted the huge population, PWDs are too important a demographic group to be ignored in planning in all spheres of human endeavor including the processes of election”.

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