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IPPIS: ASUU suspends proposed strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has suspended its proposed strike over Federal Government’s directive to enroll its members into the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that when President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2020 budget proposal before lawmakers on Oct. 8, 2019, he vowed that Federal Government Employees not captured on the IPPIS platform by 31st Oct. 2019 would no longer be receiving their salaries.

ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, in a phone interview, noted that the union had decided to maintain status quo, pending further meetings.

ASUU had at different fora rejected the deadline, stating that universities operated differently from the civil service and should, therefore, not be seen as appendages of ministries, departments and agencies of government.

“What we have been saying is that the reaction of our members will depend on what happens in the government. Our members will meet at the appropriate time to take appropriate decision.

“The Senate has intervened in the matter and we are engaging the Senate, the Senate has appealed to us for now, When they pay other workers, they pay them also.”

According to him, the union is proposing another template which would factor in the peculiarities of the universities and promote their interest.

“The point we are making is that we have visited the Senate President, told him that there is an alternative to IPPIS, the IPPIS as we see it, will not promote the interest of the university, there is no university or country in the world where the payment of university workers is centralised with the government.”

On the World University ranking, Ogunyemi stressed that enrolling its members would affect Nigeria’s status, and discourage visiting lecturers come into the system.

“IPPIS will affect our ranking, because now scholars from different parts of the world will not be encouraged to come to Nigeria.

“Imagine somebody come for short six months and because of IPPIS he is not paid from three to four months, whereas, if they are domesticated in the universities, ASUU will pay them.

“Any university can attract scholars from any part of the world and you do not expect scholars to come from India, China, Australia, America or UK and be coming into Abuja to enroll in IPPIS.

“It is ridiculous, and that is what the autonomy means, that universities should govern their personnel, and their pay role system.

“We are saying it is not safe, we are going to become a laughing stock among committee of universities.

“In Ghana, there is something like IPPIS, but universities are not part of it. There is nowhere in the world that payroll is centralised and managed by consultants.”

He, however, noted that what the union wanted was a “Governing Council’ that would govern and manage the payroll of ASUU members.

“If government does that, it is the council that the government will hold responsible, that is what the law says, and where a council is found to be corrupt, or incompetent, that council should be dissolved and another council should be put in place.

“Our proposal is that there should be a mechanism that will enable the government to monitor the payroll system and the personnel. At the appropriate time, we will release it to the Nigerian public.

“The mechanism, when we centralise the payroll system of academics in Nigeria, you are taking a risk, cyber criminals can break into it at any time.

“There is nothing you put on the internet that cannot be hacked and that is not accessible in any part of the world.”

He stressed that the IPPIS will erode autonomy of the union, noting that the universities are unique environment, and are called “universal cities, because they are universal market places of ideas.”

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THE NATION

Cool FM’s Amin Mousalli, Allon Nelken, Kavitta Chellaram, Diana Chan, others for Ethnic Business Awards

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Nigeria-based foreigners who’re contributing to the nation’s economy in terms of visible investments and employment generation will be honoured and celebrated during the Ethnic Business Awards (www.theethnicbusinessawards.com) on Valentine’s day, February 14th, 2020 at the prestigious Oriental hotel Lagos.

These diaspora foreigners who have chosen Nigeria as home despite the stormy waters, according to the organizers of the epoch making event deserve more than celebration and will be honoured in different categories such as Ethnic Man of The Year, Woman of The Year, Entrepreneur of The Year, CSR Brand, Beauty Brand, Financial Institution to mention but a few.

On the Ethnic Man of The Year category are revered international business tycoon such Alli Mousalli of Cool FM, Allon Nelken, (Mega Plaza), Benoy Berry (Contec Group), Robert Tung (Wempco), Mann Lababidi of Crown Flour Mills to mention but a few while the nominees for Ethnic Woman of The Year are Diana Chan (GAC Motors), Kavita Chellaram (ArtHouse Contemporary) and Caterina Bortolussi of Kinabuti Fashions.

Diana Chan (GAC Motors)

Other interesting categories are the Ethnic Financial Institutions where the likes of Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered and Citi Bank are being nominated.

Foreign entertainers who’re making waves in the Nigerian showbiz industry will also be honoured in the catrgories itemized as Cross-Over Actors, Actress and Musician of The Year. Prominent African stars such as Juliet Ibrahim (Ghana), Princess Shyngle (Gambia), Cynthia Emade (Cameroun), Ela Mensah (Ghana), Okawa Shaznay among others.

Ella Mensah

The Ethnic Business Awards is aimed at recognizing and appreciating the outstanding contributions of foreign businesses, organisations, individuals and communities to corporate Nigeria, “this is like thinking outside the box, the awards is designed to reward and encourage innovations and excellence among Nigeria-based foreigners in enterprise”.

Inspired by the growing population of foreign investors, organisations, individuals and migrants communities who have impressed with remarkable inputs into the growth of the Nigerian economy, the Ethnic Business Awards [EBA] seeks to reward the best practices in commerce, international diplomacy and excellence across other industries.

Nigeria became Africa’s largest economy for the second year in a row according to a multinational professional services network, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in 2019. Beyond doubts, this feat would have been impossible without the faith reposed in her by men and women of other nationalities who have defied doom prediction to swarm Nigeria to grow her commerce.

The EBA (www.theethnicbusinessawards.com) pays very special attention to promising and established foreign companies, missions, communities, organisations and individuals of sterling qualities all of whom have been identified and grouped into different categories following a public opinion poll and wide consultations with some of the industry’s finest experts.

The event holds on St. Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2020 at the prestigious Oriental hotel Lagos.

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THE NATION

We’re not recruiting, Nigeria Immigration warns

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has warned applicants against patronising fake recruitment sites as the Service was not recruiting.

A statement by its spokesperson, Sunday James, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the NIS Comptroller-General, Muhammad Babandede, issued the warning while reacting to the reported existence of fake NIS websites across the country.

It particularly noted that the website – https/nis/recruitmentname.ng – where unsuspected Nigerians were being duped, was fake.

“The service is hereby disassociating itself from the fake claims and advising Nigerians against subscribing to it as no recruitment is ongoing in the service.

“The service recruitment exercise is always advertised in reputable national dailies, televisions and on its website – www.immigration.gov.ng – and it is usually free,“ the statement noted.

He advised the general public to desist from patronising fraudsters and report any suspected case to the following platform and telephone number – nis.servicom@nigeriaimmigration.gov.ng. and 07080607900.

(NAN)

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THE NATION

UNILAG VC, Prof Ogundipe eulogises Pantami, says he is a man of integrity

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L-R: University of Lagos Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ogundipe with the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami when the latter paid him a visit in Abuja on Tuesday

The Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe has described the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM as a man of unquestionable integrity who keeps to his promise.

The Vice Chancellor made his position known on Tuesday when he led the management of the institution to a courtesy visit to appreciate the Honourable Minister for the various IT intervention projects donated to the institution aimed at enhancing research and learning.

The VC also invited the Honourable Minister, Dr Pantami to deliver a lecture at the upcoming convocation ceremony of the institution scheduled to hold in March.

In his remarks, the ‘Next Level’ vibrant, energetic and focused Minister, Dr Pantami pledged the Ministry’s commitment under his watch to bridge the gap between academia and industry, stressing that skills are very important and critical in driving a digital economy in Nigeria.

The Honourable Minister said “in Nigeria today, we are producing many potential employees and fewer potential employers”, adding that “in technology and most importantly in digital technology, if you can marry both degrees and skills that is the best, however, if it’s only one, then skills have priority over certificates”.

Dr. Pantami maintained that there is a need to think outside the box and enhance the skills of the younger generation through mentorship to drive a digital economy and position the country on the path of prosperity.

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