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The leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities is set for a fresh clash with the Federal Government as it has ordered its members across the country to shun the government officials who will be visiting campuses for biometric capture of academics beginning from Monday, 2020.

, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, gave the directive in a letter dated 15th October 2020, he wrote to all the Zonal Coordinators and all members of the union, urging them not to have anything to do with the verification officials, who according to him, are Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) officials from the of the Accountant General of the Federation.

The letter entitled: “Update on Engagement with Government” sighted by Tribune Online reads: “We have received information that IPPIS officials from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation will be visiting campuses as from Monday, 19th October 2020 for biometric capture of academics. All ASUU members should have nothing to do with them. Fact-check by ASUU with the figures from the OAGF has proven the claim that our members are trooping to enrol in the IPPIS in Abuja as false. The enrolled number is inconsequential.

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“On Monday, 12th October 2020, UTAS (Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution) was presented to the President and other leaders of the Nigerian . Discussions on the withheld salaries, EAA, (Academic Earned Allowance), renegotiation of2009 Agreement, visitation to federal universities and proliferation of State Universities started at the meeting.

“On Tuesday, 13th October 2020, the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, the Senate Leader, Chairman of Senate Committee on Tertiary . Minister of Education, Munster of and Employment, Accountant General of the Federation, among other government officials, met with the ASUU leadership on UTAS and other matters.

“Yesterday, 14th October 2020, the UTAS was also demonstrated to the Accountant-General of the Federation, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chairman of Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFund, Executive Secretary of NUC and other stakeholders.

“Today, 15th October 2020, we shall meet with representatives of government to have decisive engagement on UTAS/IPPIS and trash out the main demands in the ongoing struggle All our members would be adequately briefed of the outcomes.

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The first stage of UTAS testing has been completed. What is left is the technical testing which is commencing immediately. All stakeholders applauded the innovation that UTAS represents. IPPIS is a World Bank creation imposed on . UTAS is a creation of Nigerian scholars to secure our data, ensure the autonomy of Nigerian Universities and reposition our University system for global competitiveness.

The leadership of our great Union is fully aware of the hardship the non-payment of salaries by the Accountant- General and other forms of intimidation by over-zealous Vice-Chancellors have unleashed on our membership and we are leaving no stone unturned to redress the situation. Therefore, all members of ASUU should stay away from anything related to IPPIS; so as not to jeopardize the ongoing critical engagement with the Federal Government.”

However, at the meeting with the Federal Government officials on Thursday, ASUU President, Ogunyemi had expressed the readiness to call off the strike if the Federal government was able to address some of the demands of the Union, with the Federal Government promising to release the sum of N30 billion as part of the Academic Earned Allowance for the lecturers.

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, at the end of the meeting, said the Accountant General of the Federation was committed to releasing the money before November 6.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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Buhari govt begins payment of N30,000 to 330,000 Nigerians

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Vice , Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has announced that beneficiaries nationwide will receive a one-time grant of N30,000 with Lagos, Kano, State and Federal Capital Territory, FCT and nine more States in the first batch.

He said that enumeration and verification are still ongoing for Payroll Support Scheme

The VP said that free CAC Business Names’ Registration for 250,000 MSMEs has also commenced.

He said that as the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan progresses, the payment of N30,000 one-time grant to 330,000 artisans across the country is now in progress.

“The payments are being made to sets of verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme, a track under the MSMEs Survival Fund,” Osinbajo said in a statement made available to DAILY POST by Laolu Akande, his Spokesman.

“In the first stream of payments starting today, beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta States. They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10,” he added.

The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP, which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020.

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The President asked Osinbajo to head the committee which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan.

Under the ESP, the Survival Fund is generally designed to, among other things; support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their different obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector.

It would be recalled that applications for the Artisans’ Support Scheme under the MSMEs Survival Fund opened on October 1.

Meanwhile, the enumeration for the second stream of States under the Artisan Support Scheme has also commenced with enumerators in various States compiling the lists of artisans through their association leaders. All artisans are expected to liaise with their association leaders to document their details.

The registration of applicants for Stream 2 began on the 19th October 2020. States under Stream 2 are: Edo, Ogun, Ekiti, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Enugu, Ebonyi, Adamawa, Taraba, Bayelsa

In the same vein, enumeration and verification of the documents of applicants under the Survival Fund Payroll Support scheme is still ongoing. Dates for the commencement of payment would be announced in due course.

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The application process for the payroll support scheme, which began on September 21, had ended on the 15th of October 2020. Accepted applications are categorized by industry sectors, including and Hospitality, among other sectors.

However, there may be an extension for applications for some States that have not met their quota on beneficiaries. The Artisan Support Scheme is to benefit about 9,000 Nigerians per State and FCT.

In addition, the formalization support under the MSME Survival Fund will also commence today. This involves free business names’ registration for 250,000 MSMEs nationwide by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

According to the CAC, 6,606 business names in each of the 34 states will be registered for free. In Abuja, there would be 7,906 free registrations, 9,084 in Lagos and 8,406 free business names from Kano.

Also, a date for the commencement of the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme under the Survival Fund will be announced soon. This scheme is designed to safeguard existing small businesses and save jobs, while ensuring continued local production by guaranteeing off-take of priority products

The Offtake Scheme is a track specifically for MSMEs that are into production of items approved by the Steering Committee of the Survival Fund coordinated under the leadership of the Industry, Trade and Investment Minister of State Ambassador Mariam Katagum. The basic requirements include a CAC certificate, valid BVN, SON or NAFDAC certification.

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The N2.3 Trillion Economic Sustainability Plan consists of fiscal, monetary and sectoral measures to enhance local production, support businesses, retain, create jobs and provide succour to Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable.

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JUST IN: Buhari Nominates Yakubu For Another Term As INEC Chairman

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Muhammadu Buhari has reappointed the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, for a second term in .

A statement from Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity) in Abuja on Tuesday informed that in a letter to President of the , Ahmad Lawan, the President said in accordance with the provision of Section 154 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of , 1999 (as amended), “I am pleased to present for confirmation by the Senate, the nomination of Professor Mahmood Yakubu for appointment as Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a second and final term.”

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Prof Yakubu was first appointed by President Buhari in November 2015.

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