Thursday, 22 December 2011

UNIPORT Alumnus Tasks Nigerian Varsities On Admission

A 1984 graduate of the University of Port Harcourt and Professor of Economics, Nimi Wariboko, has challenged Nigerian universities to work towards attracting the best brains and maintaining academic standards through strict adherence to stipulated admission requirements and provision of an enabling environment for staff and students.
Reacting to the observation, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka, assured the Visiting Scholar and other stakeholders in the affairs of the University that genuine efforts are ongoing to adhere strictly to the Institution’s carrying-capacity and admission quota as a means of ensuring quality graduate harvest. He also told his guest of other ongoing efforts aimed at repositioning the University for greater service delivery, assuring all stakeholders that his Administration was fully committed to building a world-class Entrepreneurial University that can compete with the very best in the world.
Explaining that while universities abroad are open to all cadres of persons, a quality control mechanism is put in place to ensure that candidates are admitted based on their level of intellectual capabilities. Professor Wariboko advised that “Every University should work towards attracting the best brains to ensure sustenance of high breed intellects and outstanding talents for the benefit of mankind. Universities do themselves a huge disservice when they admit unsuitable students who cannot measure up to the required standards. At the Postgraduate levels of education, we should admit only the very best”.

“Part of my intellectual DNA draws from the quality training I received from world-class teachers in the University of Port Harcourt close to 30 years ago. You cannot be a good Scholar without being eclectic in your thinking; and this is what UNIPORT taught me as a student”, the erudite Scholar said, the intellectual direction of his adult life was  on his earlier exposure to multi-disciplinary approach to knowledge.

UK blacklists medical graduates from 9 Nigerian universities

GMC says the schools no longer meet accepted standards of practice in the UK

Medical graduates from nine universities in Nigeria will no longer be able to obtain licenses to practice in the United Kingdom, following a decision by the UK's General Medical Council (GMC) to ban the higher institutions.

The GMC, a body of independent regulators which registers medical doctors to practise in the UK, took the decision to bar graduates from the nine universities from writing PLAB.

PLAB is the UK exam that enables non-UK Medical graduates to undertake post-graduate medical training in the country.

The affected graduates are those who graduated after December 10, 2010 from Ambrose Ali University, Ebonyi State University, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Nnamdi Azikiwe University, University of Jos, University of Nigeria and the University of Port Harcourt.

It also applies to those who graduated on or after April 1, 2010 from Igbinedion University College of Health Sciences and the University of Benin.

According to Jason Day of the GMC's press office, the schools were axed because they no longer meet the required standards for practise in the UK.
He added that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) had also advised that they suspend accreditation of some medical schools in the country.

“The decision only applies to students who graduated from those medical schools after the MDCN suspended their accreditation,” Day said

Culled from

zilian baby 'born healthy' with two heads

The baby was born in Brazil last week to a 25 year old Brazilian woman, Maria de Nazare,who said she had been told by doctors that she was set to welcome twins.

The baby has two brains and two spines but shares one heart, lungs, liver and pelvis. They've been named Emanoel and Jesus. 


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Fuel subsidy to go in April

Owing to the high political temperature generated from the decision to remove oil subsidy, the Federal Government may have pushed the planned removal from January to April 2012. National Assembly sources told Daily Sun that the decision to shift the new take-off date to April was based on “inconclusive consultations” across all the sectors of the economy and politicians.

Months of intensive lobby by the Presidency for the National Assembly (NASS) to endorse the removal, beginning from the 2012 fiscal year ran into troubled waters.
President Goodluck Jonathan may be at the crossroads as an intensive lobby of the leadership of the National Assembly and some key committee chairmen has failed, for now.

Federal lawmakers have, so far, refused to endorse his proposal.
Besides, three Senate standing committees, mandated to consider the President’s proposal to the National Assembly on the removal, have rejected the move in the report submitted to the whole house two weeks ago.
The President presented estimates of N4.749 trillion Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on December 13 without any mention of the oil subsidy, which the government claimed that has so far gulped N1.5 trillion as at September this year.
Rather, in his budget speech, the President canvassed liberalization of the downstream sector much in line with that done for the communications sector.

“My administration is pressing forward with key structural reforms. We are implementing the privatization of the power sector based on the Power Roadmap which I unveiled last year.
“We believe that the power sector can benefit from liberalization and privatization by attracting investors in the same manner as the telecommunications sector has done. In the same vein, government will come up with policies to encourage investment in the downstream sector through liberalization so as to create jobs for our people,” the President had said then.
The National Assembly is still unimpressed.

This plea for understanding is, however, not sailing through in the federal legislature as renewed lobby of the lawmakers is not yielding any positive result. The move has even divided the NASS leadership as two camps have emerged.
Daily Sun checks on Monday revealed that even the two chambers are polarized along similar lines.

Sources close to the leadership told Daily Sun that the three committees, which worked on the 2012-2015 Medium Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), warned against removal of fuel subsidy.
Some members of the Senate Committees on Finance, National Planning and Appropriation, which worked on the document, actually recommended that the Presidency should forget removal of subsidy.

The Senate has yet to debate the committees’ recommendations on the MTFF which was submitted two weeks ago.
Another National Assembly source recounted how the leadership of the legislature pleaded with members to show understanding with the President and not to resort to ‘unparliamentary behaviour’ during the budget presentation.
“We know what it took us to plead with our members to show understanding with the President before the budget presentation could sail through without any hitch.

“Right now, there is no consensus on the removal of the subsidy. Although the report of the MTFF has been submitted, the recommendation of the joint committees is that subsidy must remain while the leadership is also divided on how to go forward on the issue,” the source stated.

Meanwhile, the Presidency may not really need the approval of the National Assembly on subsidy removal as funds are taken directly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
Reliable sources told Daily Sun that consultations, particularly with the National Assembly on removal of oil subsidy, are just to prevent any ‘political backlash’ that may arise from such move.

“Annual allocation for oil subsidy was removed from annual budgets submitted to the National Assembly in 2004 and taken directly from the CRF, but the proviso is that the President has to first write to the National Assembly, seeking permission to take the money which can only be done after approval has been given.

“Right now, the President has not sent in any request and he needn’t have put the allocation for oil subsidy in his budget speech. That was why he was silent on it during the budget presentation last week,” a lawmaker said yesterday.
When contacted on telephone on Monday, Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba , bemoaned the time constraint, but confirmed that the chamber would have on its Order Paper, the 2012 budget, the BPE probe report and the MTFF.
He declined to confirm whether the chamber would be able to discuss all the items on the paper.

BISHOP OYEDEPO UNDER HEAVY ATTACK FOR SLAPPING A MEMBER OF HIS CONGREGATIONA Youtube video showing the general overseer of the Living Faith Church (aka Winners Chapel), David Oyedepo, smack an unyielding female church member during a deliverance service has sparked social media outrage in Nigeria and around the world. The video became an internet sensation on Saturday after it was posted on Youtube, drawing widespread condemnation of the pastor’s action, which many see as gender or child abuse. It has the pastor, affectionately called “Papa” by members of his church, slapping a lady kneeling before him. Apparent from the video, the lady refused to admit she was a witch after several prods by the pastor. The lady rather insisted she was a “witch for Jesus” a claim that apparently angered the pastor. Mr Oyedepo then hit her hard on the left cheek, yelling, “Do you know who you are talking to?” The congregation cheered but the courageous lady insisted she wasn’t a witch. The disappointed pastor dismissed the lady, saying she had no place in heaven. Brutal methods of exorcising children and women are a common place with among Christian preachers and traditional healers in Nigeria. Most times, the victims are intimidated into admitting membership of evil cults before they are subjected to different forms of cruel exorcisms. The recent case - in Akwa Ibom State - where children were branded witches and then abused, sometimes killed – received global condemnation leading the government to ban such practices. Many Nigerians who have seen the video took on to their social media communities to condemn the pastor’s action while hailing the lady for maintaining her stance in the face of such brutality. The condemnation, commentators say, is not just for the pastor’s spiritual tactics but also a denunciation of violence against women. Human rights activists have labelled the pastor’s action “religious bullying,” “violence against women” and “child abuse.” “That was assault! Nothing less,” Irina Aduke-Ife Patrick said. “...another glaring case of violence against women and child abuse.” “I really need to find the girl in the Oyedepo child abuse video,” Modupe Ariyo, a Nigerian women and child rights activist said. “Aside supporting her, I want to commend her for standing up to the religious bullying.” “Should the anointed enjoy the liberty to violently touch the non-anointed in the name of superstition?” Pius Adesanmi, a newspaper columnist asked. “This catch-a-witch nonsense is getting out of hand,” he added. “We really need to do something about these prosperity pastors in Nigeria. Maybe make enough noise and draw the attention of local and international human rights groups to Pastor Oyedepo's action? If he sells one of his private jets fighting a big backlash, he will think twice before slapping innocent little girls. Nonsense!” Mr Oyedepo could not be reached for comments, as calls to a telephone number listed on his website were unanswered. The clergyman is however not new to controversies. He is one of Nigeria’s richest pastors and was heavily criticised after he bought a N4.4 billion private jet in March this year. In July, he reportedly ordered D’Banj, Nigeria’s popular afro-pop musician, to pull off all the elaborate jewelry dangling from his neck in the middle of a performance at a youth program in Covenant University, where the pastor was also a guest. Courtesy Premium Times

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