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Abuja Teacher, Ezem Collins Wins 2019 Maltina Teacher of the Year; Pockets N6.5m

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Ezem Collins, a teacher at the Royal Family Academy, Abuja has emerged the 2019 Maltina Teacher of the Year. Collins, a Civic Education and Christian Religious Studies teacher was declared the winner of the prestigious honour at the grand finale held on Friday, October 18, 2019, at Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

For emerging the winner of the 5th edition of the Maltina Teacher of the Year, Collins will be awarded a total cash prize of N6.5 million (N1.5million immediately and N1million annually for the next five years) by the Nigerian Breweries – Felix Ohiwerei Trust Fund. He would also get an all-expense paid capacity development training abroad while a furnished block of six classrooms, a library and sanitary facilities worth about N20 million will be built for his school in his honour by the Fund.

Megbowon Soji, a teacher from Jakande Estate Comprehensive Senior College, Lagos State emerged the first runner-up winning a total of N1.5 Million while Atondo Fidelis, a teacher from Government Secondary School, Ingawa, Katsina emerged as second runner-up with a prize of N1, 250.000.00. Other 20 teachers who emerged as state champions were also rewarded with a sum of N500, 000.00 each.

Speaking at the event, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo who was represented by the Minister of State, Education, Honourable Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba applauded Nigerian Breweries Plc for being at the forefront of improving the education sector by continually investing not only in educational infrastructure but also motivating and inspiring teachers.

Osinbajo noted that the investment in a unique initiative such as the Maltina Teacher of the Year will obviously contribute to the improvement of education in Nigeria by recognizing and rewarding outstanding teachers in Nigeria.

“I am honoured to join this one-of-a-kind initiative to celebrate the Nigerian teacher. Whatever we have become is a direct outcome of what you, our teachers, have passed on to us,” he said

While congratulating the overall winner and all the state champions whom he described as a beacon of light, Osinbajo implored them to continue to be an example in their different states and impact the generation of the young ones entrusted into their care, whom the country needs to hold its own in the comity of nations.

Delivering his remarks, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu represented by the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo lauded the efforts of Nigerian Breweries Plc for creating a more befitting, learning and teaching environment for public schools in the country through some of its interventions. Sanwo-Olu urged other corporate organizations to take a cue from this gesture, as this would go a long way to improve the education sector in Lagos and the entire country.

In his welcome address, the Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Jordi Borrut Bel affirmed that the initiative was designed to recognize, celebrate and motivate teachers in Nigeria for their invaluable contributions towards the overall development of our lives as individuals and the society as a whole.

“There is no doubt that teachers play a vital role in sustainable national development by training, coaching and modeling students which is critical to determining the quality of education. However, everyone acknowledges that these teachers seldom get the recognition they deserve.

“We at Nigerian Breweries Plc, commend you our teachers for the countless lives you have touched and moulded-in your own unique ways. We recognize the work you are doing and on behalf of Maltina and all of us at Nigerian Breweries Plc, I salute you for your exceptional efforts. I congratulate all the winners today and charge those who do not win the top prize to hold their heads high for being a shining light for their profession,” he said.

In her remarks, the Corporate Affairs Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mrs. Sade Morgan stressed that this year’s edition recorded an unprecedented interest from teachers across the country as the record of participation for the initiative surpassed previous editions, an indication that the initiative has become widely accepted amongst teachers.

While praising the members of the jury for exhibiting a high level of professionalism and transparency throughout the evaluation process, Morgan commended all stakeholder groups including the Federal Ministry of Education, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria and the All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, for their support in ensuring the 5th edition was a huge success.

Speaking shortly after he was declared the winner, Collins expressed profound appreciation to Nigerian Breweries Plc, Maltina, his wife as well as the school for the support and honour.

Since inception, the Maltina Teacher of the Year initiative has produced five grand winners, Rose Nkemdilim Obi, Anambra (2015), Imoh Essien, Akwa Ibom (2016), Felix Ariguzo, Delta State (2017), Olasunkanmi Opeifa, FCT (2018) and now, Ezem Collins (2019).

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FG Insists On Wednesday Deadline For NIN Registration

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The Federal Government on Sunday insisted that the deadlines given for the registration of all Subscriber Identification Modules with valid National Identity Numbers were still in force.

It also declared that the NIN was mandatory for diplomats who reside in Nigeria, as well as for all other lawful residents across the country.

Asked whether the Federal Government had eventually advised the Nigerian Communications Commission as regards the deadlines for SIM registration with NIN, the Director, Public Affairs, NCC, Ikechukwu Adinde, told our correspondent that nothing had changed.

It was reported on Thursday that the NCC was awaiting the advice of the Federal Government as regards the stipulated deadlines.

“The deadlines are still in force; there is no update for now and just like I told you last week if there is any change you will be communicated,” Adinde stated on Sunday.

Calls for deadline extension are mainly due to the large crowds that gather daily at the various offices of the National Identity Management Commission, as many telephone subscribers had yet to get their NINs.

On December 15, 2020, the Federal Government declared that after December 30, 2020, all SIMs that were not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.

It later extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement and gave three-week extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2021.

It also gave six-week extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021, but many organisations had called for a further deadline extension or outright suspension of the NIN integration process.

This came as the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, declared on Sunday that all diplomats living in Nigeria must have NINs.

The minister approved the setting up of a NIN enrolment centre at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs for diplomats. The desk would be set up on January 19, 2021.

A statement issued in Abuja by Pantami’s aide, Femi Adeluyi, stated that the centre would provide support for members of the diplomatic corps and would be managed by the communications ministry through NIMC.

The ministry stated that the centre was being set up based on the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in order to simplify the process for diplomats.

It said, “The NIN is mandatory for diplomats who will reside in Nigeria for a continuous period of two years or more.

“It is also mandatory for all other lawful residents in the country as stated in Section 16 of the NIMC Act 2007.”

It stated that the law had made it mandatory for Nigerians and legal residents to obtain a NIN since 2007.

It, however, noted that compliance had been low, until recently.

It said the communications ministry was committed to creating an environment that was conducive for all Nigerians and legal residents to obtain their NINs.

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Lagos Schools To Run Second Term For 61 Days

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Barring any closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the second term of the 2020/2021 academic session is meant to last for 61 days for public and private schools in Lagos.

According to the revised calendar for the 2020/2021 academic session released by the Office of the Education Quality Assurance (OEQA), the second term is slated to run from January 18, 2021, to April 30.

The mid-term break has been scheduled for March 4 and 5.

There will also be two public holidays – Good Friday on April 2 and Easter Monday on April 5.

Resumption for the third term has been scheduled for May 4, while the term is to terminate August 6.

Schools have been directed to strictly follow the time table.

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Dangote Completes Nigeria’s Longest Concrete Road

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The Dangote Group has completed Nigeria’s longest rigid pavement located in Kogi State.

It is the first of its kind, top engineers say.

The 43KM Obajana-Kabba road constructed by Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), as

been described by motorists as the country’s most strategic highway that is aiding travelers between the North and the South.

Olatunbosun O. Kalejaiye, the Project Director, said he was excited that the Corporate Social Responsibility Project is being delivered for use by Nigerians, adding that while the rigid pavement has been completed, the company was dressing the shoulders.

Site Engineer Samuel Obosi assured that the dual carriageway will be durable and less susceptible to potholes and repairs like asphalt road, adding that it would crash the rate of road accidents in the country.

Motorists said it is now one of the busiest roads linking the two regions in the country.

“Thank God it is a concrete road. It can withstand any heavy-duty vehicle,” Alhaji Lamidi Sikiru, a driver expressed optimism.

John Moses, a member of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, said his taxi business is booming compared to when the road was very deplorable with potholes and barely used by motorists.

A community leader of Apa Bunu Kingdom and spokesperson for the community Sam Omosayil commended the Dangote Group, saying that the road has attracted a lot of businesses along the road.

Traditional and community leaders eulogized the President of the Dangote Group.

The Bajana of Obajana Land, King Idowu Senibi described the project as gigantic and the first of its kind anywhere in Nigeria.

“Dangote is our son. We would protect his huge investment and gigantic concrete road. I am happy that this is happening in my lifetime and in my Kingdom. This is a great opportunity for us and many generations to come. Our society will be opened as you can see vehicles and commercial activities have started coming up. May God Almighty bless Dangote and all his staff.”

Speaking in the same vein, the traditional head of Akpata Land Frederick Durojaiye Balogun said his people were very proud of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, adding that the Dangote Cement, Obajana plant, which is the single largest cement plant in the world, has brought honour and respect to their Kingdoms.

“His presence has brought a total turnaround in our lives. Also, permit me to appreciate the Federal Government for this joint effort. We are very grateful,” he said.

Speaking, the King of Okebunku Land in Kabba Bunu Local Government, Timothy Omonile commended the President of the Dangote Group and charged other philanthropists to emulate him, adding that that is the only way Nigeria can develop its economy and infrastructure.

He said the construction of the road has helped cut down the rate of criminality in the state while describing the Group President of Dangote Group Aliko Dangote as God sent.

Rechel Olatunji, a businesswoman said she makes more money now and that business is booming because of the road.

Another businesswoman Veronica Samuel prayed fervently for the Dangote Group, adding that the new road has changed her life, and enabled her to sponsor her children to school.

Worried by the huge sum of money used in road repairs, President of the Dangote Group Aliko Dangote had said plans were afoot to revolutionize Nigerian roads with concrete, stressing that resources used in road repairs and maintenance would be channeled to other more important needs of the nation.

“We are going to be building concrete roads in the country so that anytime we build a road, we do not have to go back to repair after the third raining season, but move on and use the resources to address other pressing needs of Nigeria,” Mr. Dangote had said.

It would be recalled that as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS), the Dangote Group had earlier commissioned the 26 km Itori-Ibese Concrete Road.

At the commissioning, the Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, had noted that the stride by the Dangote Group demonstrated the unwavering commitments of an indigenous investor towards the industrialization of Nigeria.

A statement from the Corporate Communications Department of the Dangote Group said: “Concrete roads last longer than asphalt roads and do not have potholes. It does not require frequent maintenance as asphalt roads. It saves fuel for motorists and protects tires from wear and tears.”

The statement said it is part of the Group’s determination to support the government and Nigerians in order to grow the economy and facilitate ease of doing business.

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