The meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities on Thursday ended in a deadlock.
The meeting, held at the Ministry of Labour and Employment office in Abuja over the universities lecturers’ strike since November 5, lasted for about six hours.
It had to be adjourned till next week when there was no headway.
The ASUU delegation to the meeting was led by its National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, while the government side had the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono; and the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.
Ngige, before the meeting, went into a closed-door session, told newsmen that “talks with the academic union are coming a bit late because we have been having negotiations on the new minimum wage.
“The government appeals to ASUU to put the interest of the students first because they are at the receiving end of the consideration.”
But Ogunyemi, after the meeting, which lasted from 3 pm to 9 pm, said the union had put forward its demands and the meeting had been adjourned till next week.
He said: “No date has been fixed for next week but we will communicate the date to you tomorrow (Friday).
“The union was forced to go on strike because our plea for the implementation of the 2017 Memorandum of Action fell on deaf ears.
“Our meeting with the Minister of Education (Adamu Adamu) in May and September 2018 to remind him of the Federal Government’s promises to implement the agreement yielded no result.”
Tony Elumelu Foundation Hosts European Commission, Leading Development Finance Institutions and Think Tanks in Brussels
At a time when Europe’s relationship with Africa is high on foreign policy and developmental agendas and with the European Union beginning to deliver on its 2017 External Investment Plan, targeted at attracting investment and job creation in Africa, the Tony Elumelu Foundation brought together leading stakeholders in the development finance sector, at a case study session in the EU capital, Belgium.
The convening demonstrated that Africa also had solutions to bring to the table and platformed the Foundation’s unique approach to catalysing entrepreneurship in scale across the continent.
Themed “A Convening on Africa’s Economic Transformation: A Case Study of the Tony Elumelu Foundation”, the event presented the results of the first five years of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme a unique programme, which has trained, mentored and seeded 4,470 African entrepreneurs with 3,050 newly announced to receive seed funding, and drawn over 200,000 applications to its 2019 cycle. Tony Elumelu’s $100m investment in entrepreneurial philanthropy was held up as an example of how vital capital could be targeted efficiently and effectively, at African businesses best able to create significant economic and developmental impact.
Opening the event, Mr. Koen Doens, Deputy Director General, DEVCO, EU, said: “Africa needs to create jobs by the millions to match the needs of its exponentially growing population. It will achieve this only if it unleashes a generation of empowered entrepreneurs. The Tony Elumelu Foundation contributes to this massively. The European Union wants to play its part and contribute to this endeavour.”
During an indepth question and answer session with EU-Africa relations expert, Annie Mutamba, Founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu CON, highlighted the growing interest in the Tony Elumelu Foundation and its unique approach, while welcoming a new type of intervention in Africa. “We very much believe in collaboration, mutual respect and a shared commitment to transform Africa. Africa is ready but we need to do this through the right sustainable manner, that enables our people to become self-reliant, and independent, instead of perpetuating dependency. We need to implement practical solutions on ground through entrepreneurship, which empower people economically and addresses issues of extremism, migration, and insecurity.”
Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post, Belgium, also commented: “There is an increasing desire in Europe to engage Africa, including its grassroots in a structure and targeted approach with the right processes. The Tony Elumelu Foundation offers this platform.”
The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which last month in March announced 3,050 selected entrepreneurs for its 2019 cycle, continues to grow in scale, ambition and impact, and now actively leverages technology to support entrepreneurs through TEF Connect – a digital hub designed to link entrepreneurs across Africa, and which already has 500,000 users.
On the Foundation’s future plans, he stated: “We want to make sure that we impact more, reach more, touch more lives and get more women involved. We want to see more Northern Africa participation. We would like to reach 10,000 a year, with support from partners to empower additional entrepreneurs. We want to eradicate poverty and create wealth in a sustainable way. Ultimately, \we want a larger and broader entrepreneurship ecosystem, that supports young Africans, and we want to deepen our engagement with government to create the enabling environment to support these Africans to succeed – the right investment climate, training, education, access to capital and most importantly creating the right investment culture.”
Other dignitaries at the event included: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mr Viwanou Gnanssougou, Assistant Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) at the European Council of the European Union, and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
A Mother Knows —- A Short Film About Autism By GTBank [WATCH]
A Mother Knows is a short film by GTBank created to raise awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Nigeria. The film tells the story of a young boy growing up with autism and the impact of the condition on his family as they raise him.
According to the WHO, 1 in 160 children
The film, A Mother Knows, is part of the Bank’s effort in addressing the neglect and stigmatization of children living with Autism face, daily.
Speak up against the stigmatisation of people living with Autism and other developmental disorders.
Visit www.gtbank.com/autism to learn more about Autism.
Zeno Launches First Bus Ride In Lagos
Today, the 1 st of April through the 5th of April, several lucky commuters will get free accessOn the Zeno experience free bus rides between the Ajah-Lekki-VI axes of Lagos.
Zeno, a flagship product from Zeno Digital Limited – an indigenous technology firm in Nigeria – is seeking to change the narratives of the daily commuters through organized mass Transportation while also leveraging shared economies. This service will be delivered throughthe Zeno mobile app.
Zeno bus service is a schedule based system that is both time-based and route-based – a 7 am bus leaves exactly by 7 am and heads straight to its destination. It runs via a network of private loading bays all across the city of Lagos.
Schedules are available daily for users to book and secure their seats in a bus ride. Our private loading bays have been carefully selected along existing paths to the traditional bus stops. Whilst it immediately shields users and the buses from the harassments and hustle at the traditional bus stops, they are easily located as directions to them are available in the app when a booking is made. The bus service runs two lines; a blue line with no stops in between and a red line that has only two stops.
These stops are simply drop-off points. A key feature of the Zeno app is FDT (Fixed Daily Transit). This allows users with fixed daily transit pattern to pre-book and schedule their rides ahead of time, saving them the last minute rush of trying to book or completely missing a trip because it was fully booked. With this feature, users get a reminder 15 minutes before pick-up time to either confirm or cancel their booking. Payment is completely cashless; you can pay in-app via your cards or by purchasing a voucher online.
The Zeno app has an SOS button on the user and driver apps respectively that can be activated when in danger. This allows the business to intervene immediately if there is an issue of concern and can be further escalated to the nearest security agency if need be. Also, there is real-time video surveillance in the buses to capture events as they happen.
Zeno buses are fully air-conditioned and comfortable. Needless to say, the affordability that comes with the shared system is unmatched. The buses also provide the opportunity for individuals to join the scheme as partners by bringing their buses to the platform.
Partners have access to a remote dashboard that shows them how their asset is performing daily while also having a lion share of the revenue. The Zeno app is available to be downloaded on theGoogle and iOS app stores respectively.
You can join the conversation and follow the Zeno experience on social media @zenonigeriaacross all social media platforms.