ASUP Calls On FG To Implement NEEDS Assessment Report Of 2014 - IReporteronline
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ASUP Calls On FG To Implement NEEDS Assessment Report Of 2014

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The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has called on the federal government to implement the NEEDS assessment report of 2014 to enable federal polytechnics in the country to feel the impact of the assessment.

ASUP also declared that the ongoing strike action remains until the union’s demands are met by the federal government, saying the culture of neglect of the sector must be reversed in the interest of Nigerians.

Addressing newsmen at Federal Polytechnic Idah (FPI), on Wednesday, the chairman of ASUP , FPI branch Comrade Egbunu Danladi, explained that in 2014 the federal government set up a NEEDS Assessment team that went round federal tertiary institutions across the country with a view to addressing the high level of infrastructure decay in the institutions.

According to him, several years after the report was submitted to the federal government, no polytechnic in Nigeria has benefited from the report.

“The report was submitted and it was only universities that felt the impact, we are appealing to the federal government to implement the NEEDS assessment report so that polytechnics too can benefit,” he appealed.

The union also rejected in its entirety the plans by the accountant general of the federation to deduct over 19 billion naira on the pretext of recovering Pay As You Earn tax liabilities from nineteen Polytechnics, describing the plans as dubious, painted in different colours of impunity to further pauperized the union members.

“The claims are unverified, unreconciled, offensive to extant laws and therefore unacceptable to our members who have diligently and over the years been bearing the brunt of unacceptable tax regime with little or no social benefits from political leadership in their respective states,” he added.

The ASUP Chairman who urged the federal government to release the ten months in arrears of the new minimum wage owed members of the union in Federal polytechnics also called for the implementation of the same in the several states that are yet to implement the new minimum wage.

“Aside from the issue of minimum wage, the government should release owed staff salaries in Abia, Ogun, Osun, Benue, Plateau, Edo and Cross River while full salary payment should be implemented in Sokoto, Kaduna, Adamawa and other institutions with such reports.

“Promotion arrears in Federal Polytechnics should be released and payment of same as well as annual increments in Adamawa, Plateau and other states with similar cases,” he stated.

The union, however, called for the implementation of 65 years retirement age for academic staff in state-owned institutions such as Kano, Kaduna and other state institutions in the country.

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Nigeria Immigration Service Suspends Issuance Of Passports

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Between the 17th and the 31st of May 2021, the Nigeria Immigration Service has halted the issuance of new passports in order to clear the existing backlog.

At a media briefing on Innovations and Administration for Ease in Passport Issuance and Processing in Abuja, Comptroller General of the Service Muhammad Babandede revealed this.

Babandede also stated that during the two-week period, all passport offices in the country will be closed to the public, and that payment for new passports will resume on June 1, 2021, and will be done online.

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Ogun Governor Suspends Aide Arrested In US For Fraud

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Ogun State governor Tuesday suspended his aide Abidemi Rufai, who was arrested in the United States on Friday for suspected wire fraud.

“Our position is that the law should take its course,” said Kunle Somorin, the chief press secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun. ““Meanwhile, the governor has ordered his immediate suspension from office to answer charges against him.”

The newspaper said Rufai was suspended immediately the governor was briefed about his arrest.

Rufai, the founder and chief executive of Ecobet, was accused of stealing the identities of 100 residents of Washington to file fraudulent unemployment claims between March and August 2020.

He was also fingered in similar fraud scheme in Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania. He faces up to 30 years in prison if found guilty of fraud relating to benefits paid in connection with a presidentially declared disaster or emergency.

Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman accused Rufai of using an alias, Sandy Tang, to steal over $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department.

“Since the first fraud reports to our office in April 2020, we have worked diligently with a federal law enforcement team to track down the criminals who stole funds designated for pandemic relief,” said Gorman.

“This is the first, but will not be the last, significant arrest in our ongoing investigation of ESD fraud.”

The proceeds of his fraudulent claims were paid out to online payment accounts such as ‘Green Dot’ accounts, or wired to bank accounts controlled by “money mules.”

Some of the proceeds were then mailed to the Jamaica, New York address of Rufai’s relative. Law enforcement determined said more than $288,000 was deposited into an American bank account controlled by Rufai between March and August 2020.

“Greed is a powerful motivator. Unfortunately, the greed alleged to this defendant affects all taxpayers,” said Donald Voiret, Special Agent in Charge FBI Seattle.

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JUST IN: NLC President Dares El-Rufai, Leads Protesters To Kaduna Govt House

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The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, is currently leading union members to the Kaduna State Government House.

This is after Governor Nasir El-Rufai declared the labour leader and others wanted for “economic sabotage” and attack on public infrastructure.

Daily Trust reports that a large crowd, led by Wabba, is marching through Waff road in Kaduna and heading towards the government house.

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