The Federal Government of Nigeria says it in talks with relevant authorities over plans by the United States government’s plan to strip Nigerian and other international college students of their US visas and deport them if their courses go entirely online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move will affect thousands of Nigerians who constitute one-third of African students who travelled to the US to attend universities or participate in training programmes, as well as non-academic or vocational studies.
The Director, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Education, Bem Ben Goong, said the federal government is trying to verify the authenticity of the policy before responding to it as a country, according to a report by The Guardian.
According to him, “If the report about the US is true, I think there would be very little any government can do about it.
He said: “We are in touch with the United States authorities to get the validity of that information. On social media today, anything can happen. I would also like you to bear in mind that if that policy is true, it does not only affect Nigerian students, it will affect every student studying in the US.
“That Nigerian student will come home is not a big deal, the big deal is if they will be able to study successfully and get their results and the certificates they need to get? If the answer is yes, there not much anyone can do about it. We will verify that and put up our appropriate response.
Gong added that if the policy is successfully implemented by the Donald Trump administration, it could spell doom for the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), as the Federal Government may decide to adopt a fully online policy thereby engaging lecturers only on part-time basis.
“If the policy is true, it means that the world is changing and ASUU may go extinct. In the US, I know for a fact that 80 per cent of the lecturers are part-time lecturers. If the Nigerian government decides to tell ASUU that it cannot bear their bill anymore and that it was going to put them on part-time and they can only be teaching based on their workload, these are some of the things that ASUU needs to consider.
“The FG invested over N1.3 trillion in infrastructure last year and if you go to any of our universities today, the infrastructural development is pronounced.”
He explained that 70 percent of lecturers in the Nigerian university system might lose their jobs if the government decides to adopt fully online-based teaching and learning.
“When I saw that report about the US, what came to my mind was that ASUU is in trouble because if the US implements that and it is successful, it then means that you can do most courses online. It means that 70 percent of lecturers will lose their jobs.
“ASUU needs to understand that they have competitors and their competitor is the evolving technologies that can knock them off. If ASUU continues to be archaic in their thinking, orientation and actions, their days may be numbered.”
Agric Minister Shield’s Factional AFAN Leader From Police Invitation
The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, on Friday, 17th June, 2021 at the ICC (International Conference Centre), in Abuja prevented policemen on duty from taking factional leader of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Mr Farouk Rabiu for questioning on fraud related matters.
According to reliable sources and eye witnesses at the scene which was the venue of the 2021, Council on Agriculture, the police were there to invite Farouk to Force headquarters following a petition against him for acts that bordered on criminality.
Recently a federal high court sitting in Abuja had cautioned the renegade group led by Farouk through their lawyer, on Wednesday,15/2/2021, against parading themselves as leaders of AFAN until the matter is determined in court.
Farouk had been accused of defrauding investors using the name of AFAN Kano branch which he illegally registered, a matter which had been brought before the Corporate Affairs Commission, who revoked the registration.
However, Farouk has been continuously recognised as the leader of AFAN, by the Minister who hails from the same state with him despite several petitions from the Arc Kabir Ibrahim led executive.
The minister’s actions in siding with Farouk despite a case in court to resolve the leadership tussle of AFAN, has been allegedly linked to the minister’s shameful removal as chairman of AFAN Kano, long before he became appointed minister.
Witnesses at the scene stated that the minister after frantic efforts to get the Inspector General on phone to call off his men failed, resorted to giving an unhindered exit to Farouk in his official car, tantamount to obstruction of justice, much to the chagrin of the police officers.
A reliable source further disclosed that the policemen declined to follow the minister to his office.
Three Soldiers Injured as Troops Kill ISWAP Terrorists in Borno
Troops of the Nigerian Army under the Operation Hadin Kai have killed several ISWAP Terrorists in Dikwa town, Borno State.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Mohammed Yerima, the gallant troops decisively dealt with the terrorists who were attempting to infiltrate the town on Tuesday.
The terrorist elements were said to have mounted five gun trucks, others mounted motorcycles, while others moved by foot.
They were, however, met with superior fire power by troops in conjunction with air bombardment by Air Task Force.
“The marauding terrorists were thoroughly vanquished forcing them to withdraw in high state of confusion abandoning their truck, guns and ammunition,” the statement read.
“During the encounter, six members of the terrorists groups were neutralized, several others were severely injured while the survivors withdrew in total disarray leaving behind their deceased colleagues”.
Three soldiers, however, sustained various degrees of injuries but have now been stabilised.
Items recovered during the encounter included one gun truck, eight AK 47 rifles, 40 rounds of 7.62mm Special, 39 special ammo, three motorcycles and six magazines.
To mop up the area, troops conducted exploitation in the early hours of Wednesday in conjunction with the Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters along the terrorists’ withdrawal routes and recovered 90 rounds of 7.62 mm x 54 on links belonging to the fleeing terrorists.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Faruk Yahaya, has commended the gallant troops over the feat and charged them to remain resolute and steadfast.
He urged them to maintain the tempo in order to ensure total obliteration of terrorist groups within the North East region.
Onion Marketers Threaten to Stop Supply to Southern Nigeria
The Onion Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria has threatened to stop the supply of onions down to the South from June 7, 2021.
The group said it would carry out the threat if the government fails to compensate its members who have suffered losses in recent times following attacks in some parts of the country.
President of the association, Aliyu Umar, made this known to journalists at a press briefing on Sunday in Sokoto State.
He explained that the government under a committee led by the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello had promised to compensate their members, many of whom suffered huge losses in Abia, Imo and Oyo States during the #EndSARS and Shasha market crisis.
However, according to him, the promise has not been kept and the members have reportedly lost over 4 billion naira.
“We are calling on the state and Federal Government to restore law and order in the state, and we are calling on the good people of the southern part of Nigeria to live with the Hausa community in peace as we are only there for our lawful businesses,” Umar said.
“We also call on state governments to collaborate with fed govt to set up a committee to investigate the incident that led to the loss of lives and property of the Onion Association members.
“Furthermore, if the government fails to adhere to what we are saying, we are shutting the supply of onion to the entire south by Monday the 7th of June 2021”.
In recent times, the price of Onions skyrocketed from just about ₦20,000 to nearly a hundred thousand, in less than a year – a situation which quickly gave it the reputation of ‘new gold’.
While the price hike could not be understood by many, some traders have attributed the increment to seasonal fluctuations, a general increase in prices of fertilizers among other items, strike actions as well as insecurity arising from the #EndSARS protests.
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