THE OKOWA AGENDA TO ‘LEAPFROG ’ EDUCATION

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

THE OKOWA AGENDA TO ‘LEAPFROG ’ EDUCATION

 

Worried by the poor education standard in the country, and Delta State in particular, the state government, last week, held a two-day summit to find lasting solution to the problems faced in the sector.

 

Education, key to economic, political and social development of any society, has been in a poor state, resulting in the turning out of half baked graduates from the country’s primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.

 

The two-day summit, held under the theme, ‘Leapfrogging Education in Delta State’, attracted several eminent persons, including Chief Afe Babalola and Emeritus Prof. Pai Obanya, who addressed some of the key issues responsible for the dwindling standard of education, especially in Delta.

 

And the state, in a proactive step, included, in its 2016 Budget, the establishment of a Teachers Professional Development Centre for in-service training, in an effort to build the capacity of those in the educational sector. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, however, expressed concern over the continued request for the establishment of more tertiary institutions in the state.

 

The governor, who raised the issue during the question and answer session at the summit, asked  know how best to go on the matter as funding the existing ones was already a big challenge in government’s determination to providing the best education for the people.

 

He informed the  summit that Delta presently grapples with a university with three campuses, seven polytechnics and three colleges of education and yet more requests were being made by communities  for higher institutions.

 

Okowa noted that one determining factor in the establishment of the three campuses of Delta State University in Abraka, Oleh and Anwai as well as the first three polytechnics at Oghara, Ozoro and Ogwashi-Uku was senatorial district representation.

 

He stated that the people were moving in the direction of state government establishing a higher institution in each of the 25 local governments, maintaining that the way the requests were being made, each ward in the state would soon be asking for at least one higher institution sited there.

 

The governor pointed out the financial burden already faced by government to run the existing institutions in the state led to the education summit to find the way forward.

 

Most of the participants said no to the establishment of more higher institutions in Delta.

 

They maintained that what is most required now was  for government to ensure quality in the existing ones, stressing the need for urgent revolution in the education sector.

 

The summit participants stated that right and enabling environment must be created to leapfrog education in Delta. The Chairman of the occasion, Chief Afe Babalola, in his remarks, said: “The state government must be congratulated for identifying the need to set up an education summit. This is quite understandable as no right thinking Nigerian would deny the fact that there is urgent need for a revolution in our education system that would bring about quality and functional education having regard to the ever growing number of unemployable and unemployed graduates, the poor quality of teachers, cases of fake certificates, the rising list of illegal institutions, strikes and the unprofessional attitude of some teachers to education etc.

 

“The aim of education at any level and more importantly at the University level is to improve learning and also to mould character. A society which is interested in and concentrates only on learning at the expense of character is one that is bound to falter with time.

 

“As a matter of fact, character itself aids and accentuates learning whilst learning on its own is empty without character. It is for this reason that University certificates are issued only to persons who have been found deserving of it in terms of learning and character. This is a carryover from ancient times when the first universities were established by religious organizations or orders. At that time much emphasis was placed on morals”.

 

Professor Obayan, in his keynote address, said: “Education as a never-ending process has a vertical as well as a horizontal dimension. On the horizontal axis, we see various modes for the aquisition of learning not only co-existing but in fact coalescing. Of the four modes of acquiring/promoting education listed, only one belongs to the realm of the formal.

 

“On the vertical axis, as the figure illustrates, formal education goes on from early childhood development, through primary and secondary to the tertiary level. In all natural conditions, non-formal equivalents of early childhood, primary and secondary education also exists. In order words, non-formal education is not simply for the basic life skills required for the basic level of education. It should also be available and accessible for persons in a variety of evolving life circumstances, in a variety of forms, for a variety of learning needs throughout life”.

 

The Chairman of the Summit Planning Committee, Prof Patrick Muoboghare, said “the ?summit is not about who is wrong but about what is wrong” and insisted that funding was critical to education.

 

He said inadequate funding has created anxiety for school heads “such that many have resorted to unconventional practices to make the system run”.

 

In his paper, a former Vice Chancellor of the Delta State University, Prof John Enaowho, advocated  the scrapping of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, and the National Universities Commission, NUC.

 

Enaowho held that both establishments have outlived their usefulness. In the lecture, entitled, ‘Fiscal Planning and Development in Nigeria Education: The Paradox of Autonomy and Dependence’, the former VC decried that, despite the supervisory role of JAMB and the NUC, no Nigerian university has made the list of the 100 universities in the world.

 

Enaowho, a two-time Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Port-Harcourt, argued that accreditation of courses in tertiary institutions should be done by professional bodies in the respective disciplines such as the Council for Legal Education, the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council and the Council for the regulation of engineering rather than the NUC which he maintained should be scrapped.

 

He called for the removal of education from the purview of the Federal Government by decentralizing the educational sector in line with true federalism, urging the Federal Government to focus on other sectors such as defense, aviation and works. He insisted that it should leave education to states as was obtainable in foreign countries.“While noting that funding was the major challenge in education sector from primary to tertiary levels, Enaowho added: “Some level of charges should be introduced because the present day education cannot be totally free of tuition”.“The professor disclosed that Nigerians spend billions on Naira for their children’s fees abroad and in private universities but were not willing to pay fees in government owned tertiary institutions.

 

In another lecture, entitled, ‘Community and Parental Involvement in the Formal Education of the Child’, Prof Cecilia Otete Okobiah said communities have abandoned their pivotal role in the education of the child even as she lambasted some parents for not paying adequate attention to sound upbringing of their children.“On how government could leapfrog education in the state, the university don charged the state government to revamp the existing educational structures to ensure they play their role effectively among others.

By Festus Ahon Vanguard 

TEARS IN ENUGU AS Fr. MBAKA RELOCATES TO NEW PARISH

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

TEARS IN ENUGU AS Fr. MBAKA RELOCATES TO NEW PARISH

ENUGU -It was an exercise laced with emotions yesterday as fiery catholic priest; Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka was escorted by thousands of catholic faithful in Enugu to his new parish at Emene, an outskirt of Enugu urban.

 

The faithful gathered at the Christ the King,CKP, GRA, Enugu as early as 7.00 am, preparatory for the movement. Several lorry loads, buses and cars, all line the street in what could be dubbed a triumphal exit that halted economic and other activities along major streets where the long convoy passed.

 

With several music provided by the various band groups, the over four hours journey began, amid wailing by members, who were apparently unsatisfied with the transfer that has removed Mbaka from the CKP, where he had been since 1996

Mbaka, had while addressing the crowd before the movement, expressed reservations over the transfer, which he said was calculated to make him suffer by certain leader of the church.

 

He said:“I know we are going to suffer within now and few months to come. I am going to suffer and suffer; I know that.

 

I’m going to suffer because I have no place to put my head. I am going to suffer because I have no place to keep the Adoration ministry’s assets. I know I’m going to suffer.

 

Fortunately, it is going to happen in the month of lent. So, I am going to use my exit here as a Lenten observance but Jesus said it all in John 16:20 to his apostles that you will be sorrowful and the world will be rejoicing but very soon I

will turn your sorrow to joy.

 

But for now I know you are going to suffer. The Adoration Ministry is passing through suffering right now even though I’ve accepted that is the will of God. Is the will of God through suffering? It is a mega suffering

 

“The quantum of the assets of the Adoration Ministry is the only thing I am bothered at for now. Where am I going to keep them? I am going to stay in one small room that has only one small bed, one small table, little toilet and bathroom.

 

So where am I going to keep all the adoration assets? My clothing and books I can keep in the car or somebody’s house but where will I keep these assets that I have given to the Catholic church of Enugu? But I say may God take the glory and

whoever that has offended me, I have forgiven.

 

I won’t fight anybody or even dream of battling anybody. If anybody allows the devil to use him, the same that advised you to make a mistake will laugh at you when you cry over the error. The baby is born, there is no going back.

 

We are moving out. We have been doing it and we will do it again.

 

Moses was going out with a rod in his hand, Mbaka is moving out with his bible and this nobody can take away from me”

Decrying what he described as “attempt by some persons to politicize the church”, by feeding the Bishop falsely, he noted: “ I am giving God the glory and I welcome the church’s choice and action with absolute acceptance and obedience. So there is no negation to what God has approved and what the church suggested.

 

Nobody should see me as a recalcitrant priest. I am not. I have taken an oath of obedience and I stand on it. I pray God to bless all of you who in one way or the other have supported the work of God here and those who have sincerely allowed God to use him or her for the jobs we did here all these years.

 

God will bless the people of God here and reward you according to your labours. The parish is not going to collapse, it the church that will continue to grow”.

 

He told the members their journey to Our Lady Parish, Umuchigbo

Njinike, Enugu where he has been posted as Resident Priest serving fewer than two Priests should be seen as the “journey of the Israelites out of Egypt”.

 

“God has planned a future and hope out of disaster and where I am going, He will go before me to level mountain. The bible says that He will deliver me from all evil; He will keep my going out and coming in both now and forever…

 

I am praying that God will keep his church and my fellow adorers so that our journey to Umuchigbo will be a journey of Israelites out of Egypt.

 

Some of them were grumbling leaving Egyptian soil because they were having the phobia for the unknown, but I am telling you people as a courageous leader, do not be afraid. We are moving and in not distant time, you people are going to smile’, he told them.

Vanguard 

Why I Conceded To Buhari-Jonathan

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

Why I Conceded To Buhari-Jonathan

 

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has spoken of the tensed moments he

faced on March 28, 2015 ahead of his decision to concede victory to

President Muhammadu Buhari after that year’s presidential election.

 

“I was actually in that valley on March 28, 2015”, he said.

 

Jonathan also narrated  why he relinquished power to Buhari, saying he did

not want Nigeria to slide into a theatre of war, with his  fellow county

men and woman dying, and many more pouring into other nations in Africa

and beyond, as refugees.

 

“I never knew that the human brain had the capacity for such enhanced

rapid thinking. One hundred and one things were going through my mind

every second. My  country was at the verge of collapse. The tension in the

land was abysmally high and palpable, in the months leading to the

election. The country became more polarised more than ever before, such

that the gap between the North and the South and between Christians and

Muslims became quite pronounced”, the former President said.

 

“In fact, it became so disturbing that some interest  groups in the United

States began to predict indeed, many Nigerians did buy into this doomsday

prophesy as they began to brace themselves for the worst.

 

“As the President, I reminded myself that the Government I led had

invested so much effort into building our country. I worked hard with my

top officials to encourage Nigerians and non-Nigerians to invest in our

country to be able to provide jobs and improve the lives of our people.

 

“We worked hard to grow our economy and to improve and bring Nigeria up as

the biggest economy in Africa, with a GDP of about half a trillion

dollars”.

 

Jonathan told his story, last week, during a dinner in his honour by

Cercle Diplomatique, Geneva, Switzerland. The former President also spoke

about his foray into politics, the allure of power and future plans.

 

He began: “ As you can see, I have not come here with a prepared speech,

since what I consider appropriate for this occasion is to just thank you

all, members and everyone else in attendance, in a few words, for the

dinner and the award, in order not to make the evening look boring. But

having said that, I am still tempted to note that if I were to present a

written speech, the title, would probably have been “Power Tussle in

Africa: A Stumbling Block to Economic Growth.” When Mr. Robert Blum, your

President, made his very interesting opening remarks, he introduced me as

the former President of Nigeria. He was absolutely correct.

 

My foray into politics

 

“However, I believe that not many of you here know that the story of my

foray into politics has a peculiar ring to it. I entered politics in 1998

and, barely one year after, I got elected as the Deputy Governor of

Bayelsa, my state. I later became Governor, Vice President and eventually

got elected as the President of my country. I remain the only leader in my

country to have travelled that route.

 

As the President, I served out my first term but, as Mr. Blum had pointed

out earlier, I lost the bid to be re-elected. I am encouraged by the fact

that many of you here appreciated my decision not to reject or contest my

loss at the polls, not even in the courts as many people had expected.

 

The allure of power

 

“Again, I have to agree with Blum that it was not an easy decision to

take. This is because the allure of power and the worries about what would

become of you after leaving office constitute an irresistible

 

force. It has an attraction so controlling and powerful that it takes a

man who has the fear of God and who loves his people and nation to

relinquish power so easily in Africa.

 

Alone in the valley

 

“I was actually in that valley on March 28, 2015. I never knew that the

human brain had the capacity for such enhanced rapid thinking. One hundred

and one things were coursing through my mind every second. My country was

at the verge of collapse. The tension in the land was abysmally high and

palpable, in the months and days leading to the election. The country

became more polarized more than ever before, such that the gap between the

North and the South and between Christians and Muslims became quite

pronounced.  In fact, it became so disturbing that some interest groups in

the United States began to predict that Nigeria would disintegrate in

2015. And, indeed, many Nigerians did buy into this doomsday prophesy as

they began to brace themselves for the worst. As the President, I reminded

myself that the Government I led had invested so much effort into building

our country. I worked hard with my top officials to encourage Nigerians

and non-Nigerians to invest in our country to be able to provide jobs and

improve the lives of our people. We worked hard to grow our economy and to

improve and bring Nigeria up as the biggest economy in Africa, with a GDP

of about half a trillion dollars.

 

Posers I had to contend with

 

“Should I then, for the love of power, watch Nigeria slide into a theatre

of war, with my fellow country men and women dying, and many more pouring

into other nations in Africa and beyond, as refugees?

 

Should I hang on to power and tussle with my challengers, while the

investments of hard working citizens of the world go down the drain? I

then said to myself, NO!

 

Resisting the lure of power

 

“I promised my God that I will not let that fate befall Nigeria under my

watch, hence the historic telephone call I put through to congratulate my

challenger even when the results were still being

 

tallied. I believe that for a country to be great, both the leaders and

the led must be prepared to make sacrifices. This is why, everywhere I go,

I always advise that the new generation of African leaders must think

differently. We can no longer afford to wilfully sacrifice the blood of

our citizens on the altar of dangerous partisan politics. It is not worth

it. This reminds me of one of my campaign statements to the effect that my

ambition was not worth the shedding of the blood of any Nigerian. Some

people took it then as mere political slogan but I knew that I meant it

when I said it.

 

We must all fight for the enthronement of political stability in Africa,

for in it lies the panacea for sustainable growth and development. For

Africa to record the kind of advancement that will be

 

competitive and beneficial to our citizens, we must have stable states

supported by strong institutions. That appears to be the irreducible

minimum that is common to all developed societies. Africa’s political

odyssey can distinctly be categorised into three eras, and probably

another that would later signpost its classification as a developed

continent”.

 

Challenges

 

“Some may doubt this, but it is no fluke that Africa is growing and

rising. However I will admit before you here that we still have

challenges. That is why people like us did all we could to ensure that

 

Nigeria, the biggest black nation on earth, would not drift into anarchy

because such a situation would have spelt doom for the rest of the

continent. It would have affected not just Nigeria alone, but the

 

GDP and economy of the entire West Africa. And if the economy of West

Africa crashes, it would definitely affect the performance of the economy

of the whole of Africa. As you know, the GDP of Africa is less than three

trillion dollars, with only six African countries able to boast of nominal

GDP above $100 billion. Even for those in this ‘elite’ category, you can’t

really say that they are rich countries. Apart from maybe South Africa

that has an industrially competitive economy, the rest are still mainly

commodity exporting countries. Even the case of that of South Africa is

not very encouraging, because we have a situation which we could refer to

as a first world economic performance, yet the ordinary people live the

life of the people in the so called third world.

 

In the case of Nigeria which is even the biggest economy on the continent,

the reality is that we have an unenviable per capita GDP of $3,203, which

is the World Bank average for a period covering 2011-2015.

 

Africa’s future is bright

 

“Even then, I still believe that Africa has a bright future; a promising

prognosis that is supported by the fact that the continent remains a very

fertile and attractive territory that yields irresistible returns on

investments. I believe that in the next few years many more big investors

will be jostling to come to Africa, if only we will do the right thing.

The process of getting it right has already started with a democratic and

increasingly democratising Africa. But we have to deepen and strengthen

our democratic credentials through regular, free and fair elections. This

will in turn bring about the stability necessary to improve the

infrastructure that promotes rapid economic growth. These are the

guarantees that would lead us into the next period which I would like to

call the era of a developed Africa. I have no doubt in my mind that we

will get there some day.

 

My future plans

 

“I will be applying myself diligently to two key areas. First, is to work

for good governance by promoting credible and transparent elections. This

will bring about the strengthening of our institutions

 

and the enthronement of stability. I also believe that there is the urgent

need to create jobs for our

 

teeming young population. This is another area that will be receiving my

attention. I recall that the Vice President of your association made

reference in his speech to my achievements in that regard through

 

what we called Youth Enterprises with Innovation (YouWin) and the

Nagropreneur programme which encouraged young people to go into

agriculture. I believe more programmes like that should be established to

promote youth entrepreneurship. That way, we reduce their reliance on paid

employment. We will not only teach them to become entrepreneurs, they will

also acquire the capacity to employ other people. We will be paying

special attention to this segment of our society, especially young people

and women. We will develop programmes that will inculcate in them business

skills to be able to set up micro, small and medium enterprises. We shall

assist them to access take-off grants when they acquire the relevant

skills and capacities. There are many areas that they can go into; food

processing, light manufacturing and the services sector are just some of

them. I can tell you from experience that this works. As we speak, Our

Nagropreneur programme, to promote youth involvement in agriculture

 

value chain, is being scaled up by the African Development Bank presently.

It is already being replicated in 19 African countries because of the

success of the programme in Nigeria. I invite all of you here today,

cabinet ministers, diplomats and private sector people to remain committed

to the cause of improving lives, especially those lives in Africa, and

making our world a better place. For those of you that will be sharing in

this vision for Africa, I assure you that you will not be disappointed. I

am very optimistic that if we encourage young men and women in this

continent to develop businesses of their own, the story of Africa will

change within 10 years”.

Job Creation: Okowa to Flag Off Online Digital Jobs Workshop

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

Job Creation: Okowa to Flag Off Online Digital Jobs Workshop

In line with the S.M.A.R.T. and Prosperity Agenda for all Deltans, Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa is set to officially flag off the opening ceremony of the Online Digital Jobs Workshop for 2000 high potential unemployed Deltans. 

 

The programme which is billed to hold on Monday February 1st 2016 will take place at the Orchids Hotel Asaba at 10am prompt. 

 

The programme being organized by the state Ministry of Science and Technology in conjunction with the Rockefeller Foundation is a two day workshop for 2000 prospective unemployed youths of Delta State origin from Monday 1st to Tuesday 2nd February, 2016. 

 

The purpose of the workshop is to train participants on (MICROWORK) in order to access digital online jobs that would generate income of between $1000-$4000 dollars for them monthly.

 

Shortlisted candidates can check their names at the official website of the Ministry of Science and Technology (www.most.dl.gov.ng).

20 Pro-Biafra Agitators Granted Bail

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

… 20 Pro-Biafra Agitators Granted Bail

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, granted bail to 20 pro- Biafra agitators facing trial for treasonable felony.

 

The accused persons who were all seated in the court in their inmates uniform, were full of hope to go home immediately after the ruling.

 

But, their countenance later changed following the bail conditions given by the trial Judge, Justice Uche Agomuo.

 

She granted the 20 accused persons a consoli­dated bail, saying each of them must present two sureties, adding that one of the persons taking them on bail must be a blood relative.

 

Also, the surety must deposit N500, 000.00 cash, while the other must be a civil servant of level 13 with evidence of recent three months paid salaries and must deposit his or her original letter of employment.

 

The trial judge further ordered for accelerating hearing of the matter and adjourned hearing on February 16, 17 and 18.

 

She also warned both the prosecuting and defen­dant counsels against default.

 

The Sun. 

I Was Not Sacked By Supreme Court – Oduah

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

I Was Not Sacked By Supreme Court – Oduah

 

Sen. Stella Oduah On Friday in Abuja, described as “a misinterpretation”, media reports which quoted a Supreme Court judgment to have sacked her and other federal lawmakers from Anambra.

 

Reports in the media said that the apex court had ordered the replacement of Oduah and other federal lawmakers from the state saying that their nomination to contest in the 2015 election was wrong.

 

In a statement issued by Cynthia Ferdinand, Press Secretary to the Senator, Oduah said that the report in the media was misleading as the apex court did not order the withdrawal of her certificate of return.

 

She said that the judgement of the Supreme Court said that it was only the National Executive Council of a political party that had the legal right to sponsor candidates in an election.

 

Oduah, therefore, stressed that she and all the other lawmakers from Anambra state have not been sacked by the Supreme Court contrary to media reports.

 

“It is pertinent to note that this is a mere misinterpretation of the Supreme Court rulings and should be disregarded in all entirety.

 

“The Supreme Court did not order the withdrawal of the Certificates of Return issued by the Commission.

 

“It did not hold that the faction of the PDP had the right to sponsor candidates for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

 

“It did not equally authorise the Commission to substitute our clients with the individuals whose names were on the list improperly allowed by the Commission,

 

“Series of judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria states that it is only the National Executive of the party that has the vires to sponsor candidates,” she said.

 

Meanwhile, the solicitors to the nine lawmakers allegedly sacked, have written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to also fall into the folly of misunderstanding the judgment.

 

The letter signed by the lawmakers urged the commission not to allow itself to be misled by its legal department just as it was initially misled to accepting the list presented by the state chapter of the party.

 

The lawmakers stressed that separate rulings of the Supreme Court including that of Jan. 29, upheld that only the list submitted by the National Executive Committee was valid.

 

“This correspondence is aimed at setting the record straight so that your good self will not again be misled by your legal department into unjustifiably occasioning an unnecessary confusion in the process.”

 

The letter also drew the attention of INEC to pages 4647 and 48 of the judgment of the Supreme Court to further butress the point that the couurt did not sack their clients.

 

The solicitors stated further that the apex court did not authorise the Commission to substitute the lawmakers’ names with the individuals whose names were on the list improperly allowed by the Commission.

 

NAN reports that the media was awash with reports that the Supreme Court had sacked the nine remaining lawmakers from Anambra state.

 

The Nation.

GOODLUCK JONATHAN’S HIGH-SPEED TRAIN SERVICE IS FINALLY READY FOR OPERATION

Ossai Ovie Success Blog

GOODLUCK JONATHAN’S HIGH-SPEED TRAIN SERVICE IS FINALLY READY FOR OPERATION

 

 The high-speed train was just completed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) and cost $849 million. The Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Adeseyi Sijuwade, while addressing the media in Lagos, said

 

The high-speed train service will open for service in March 2016. It is the double-track, standard gauge between Abuja and Kaduna that runs at 120Km and 150 Km an hour. Come March, travelers will be able to journey  from Abuja to Kaduna (and vice-versa) in less than an hour.

 

“Next month, we’ll be taking delivery of modern coaches to run on the standard gauge line, specifically for the Abuja-Kaduna line, so that that service can commence immediately, ” he added.

 

He further stated that the corporation was looking at a February-March timeline to commence delivery of services.

 

The rail project was supposedly completed in December 2014, but was never delivered. And even if the delivery is 15 months later than expected, it is good news that the country might finally be getting it right I’m the transportation sector.

 

Read more at http://www.theheraldng.com/nigerias-high-speed-train-service-finally-ready-operation/#sTYpe4ZeJJ2CPSEY.99