AGRIC: FG, IITA to build sub-regional seed centre


From Basil Obasi, Abuja

The National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) is collaborating with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to build a world standard, West African centre of excellence for seed industry in Nigeria.
The Director-General of the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC), Dr. Olusegun Ojo, who made this disclosure during a visit of IITA team to the council’s technical headquarters, Sheda, Abuja, for the unveiling of cassava seed tracking system, explained that the centre was strategic for seed industry development and seed business incubation. This is to to enable both public and private individuals as well as smallholder seed companies to help in solving the problem of food insecurity in the country.
Said he: “In line with the resolve of government to establish a sustainable cassava seed value chain in Nigeria, the NASC through the IITA’s Building an Economically Sustainable, Integrated Cassava Seed System (BASICS), has developed cassava seed tracker system.
“It will also serve as a channel to deliver quality cassava varieties, promote the adoption of new varieties, and improve productivity, and food security – all geared towards increasing the income of farmers, village seed entrepreneurs, processors and intermediaries along the value chain.”
He stressed that the system would also address the various bottlenecks associated with farmers’ access to improved seedlings.


Science & TECH: FG tasks industrialists on use of local raw materials

From Magnus Eze, Abuja

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has charged Nigerians, particularly industrialists and entrepreneurs to look inward and begin to use the abundant raw materials available in the country in their production processes, saying it would strengthen the currency, reduce poverty and create wealth.
Speaking during the formal presentation of the report of the committee on the Development of National Strategy for Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Products Development in Nigeria in Abuja yesterday, the minister said Nigerians must be prepared to add value to raw materials so that industrialists would find them easy to use.
Onu pledged to build on the report in the interest of the country and also ensure that raw materials in sufficient quantity in the country were no longer imported.
Earlier, the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Udemba Jacobs, represented by Alhaji Aliu Madugu, said the report, which he described as an implementable strategy, would help the country reduce significantly, over-dependence on importation of raw materials and products.



EDUCATION: NUC scraps sub-degree diploma programmes in varsities

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

The National Universities Commission (NUC) yesterday announced the scrapping of sub-degree diploma programmes hitherto offered in the Nigerian universities, with a call on institutions currently running such programmes to begin the process of winding down.
The commission said that reasons for the development is because such diploma programme is not supposed to run in universities but polytechnics.
The Federal Government had in November 2001, issued circular to institutions, stating that such diplomas could neither be accepted for employment nor promotion in the public service.
The Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, through a communiqué released in Abuja, shortly after meeting with vice chancellors asked them to direct their energies to the production of quality manpower for the economy, by strengthening their part-time programmes in addition to offering high quality undergraduate degrees as well as postgraduate diplomas and degrees.
Rasheed equally encouraged the university administrators to identify areas of strength/comparative advantage and collaborate among themselves to mount joint Ph.D programmes.
This, according to him, was in view of the increasing cost of Ph.D training abroad and the need for Nigerian universities to continue to develop their staff and produce more Ph.Ds holders for the economy. He also counselled the vice chancellors to be courageous enough to close down any unviable programme(s). insisting on creativity innovations that would further address emerging societal challenges.


.Says review of varsities curricula begins next year

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Worried by the perceived declining quality of education and public outcry, the National Universities Commission (NUC) has announced that a comprehensive review of the entire university curricula (the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards) and ranking of Nigerian Universities have been scheduled for next year.
The Commission also said that two of the cardinal activities of the Commission, which are Accreditation of Programmes and Resource Verification, will now take place twice and thrice a year respectively: May and November for Accreditation and March, July and December for Resource Verification.
These unanimous decisions were taken at the end of meeting of the officials of NUC led by the Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, and vice chancellors in Abuja.
Other decisions taken at the end of meeting include the revamping of institutional accreditation, commencement of accreditation of part-time programmes and resumption of the Nigerian University System Annual Review Meeting (USARM).
The Commission also said that the issues of accreditation of academic programmes by professional bodies, shortfalls in personnel emoluments and incorporation of universities into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information Systems (IPPIS) and matters arising from the 2009 agreement between the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) were extensively discussed.
Also, the issue of governance structure as well as the university education component of the Ministerial Action Plan were also discussed.


FG urged to set up presidential task team on education

From Fred Ezeh, Abuja

Worried by the perceived declining state of Nigerian education system, the Federal Government has been urged to set up a presidential task team charged with the responsibility of resuscitating the sector and also rescue it from total collapse.
An educationist, Mrs. Arete-Zoe Amana, who made the submission in Abuja yesterday recommended that members of the task team should cut across different sectors with emphasis on the private sector.
She, however, acknowledged the bureaucracies involved in government businesses, suggesting that the establishment of such a stronger task team and harmonious synergy amongst critical stakeholders would, no doubt eradicate bottlenecks and thus facilitate issues of education development.
She commended the efforts and visionary leadership of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, towards a better education system, insisting that more budgetary allocation and private sector involvement in funding education is required for effective service delivery.
The educationist urged Nigerians to quit complaining about the declining state of education but galvanise support for government and private sectors to achieve the desired change as contained in the Federal Government’s three-year education policy document.
Amana said that gone are days that government was left with the responsibility of funding all education for the masses.
The educationist equally recognised the contributions of Tertiary Education Fund (TETfund) and other interventions in terms of infrastructural provisions, but also insisted that more support is required particularly from the private sector.

Adamu Adamu education mnister

Source: Today Trending News




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