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Education, FEATURES

It was a defining moment for teachers in the Lagos State Education family on Tuesday. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu presented handsome rewards to teachers adjudged to have made quality impacts in the State’s teaching service.

Thirteen teachers and school administrators got a brand new car each from the Governor at the Year 2020 Teachers’ Merit Award organised by the Ministry of Education. The awardees were part of the finalists nominated for the grand prize by the Screening Committee led by the chairperson of Association of Private Educators in Nigeria, Mrs. Lai Koiki.

The merit award is an initiative of the Sanwo-Olu administration to reward teachers’ commitment and excellent service to boost delivery of quality education in the State.

Over 3,700 applications were reviewed by the screening committee; 23 teachers and school administrators made it to the final stage. They were adjudged to be passionate, visionary, and adept in modern teaching techniques.

Sanwo-Olu, while presenting the cars to the recipients, said his Government was cognizant of the essential role of teachers in building a prosperous society, stressing that the reward would be made regular to inspire hard work and excellence.

The Governor said the merit award was institutionalised in fulfillment of his pledge to raise the bar of excellence in education and make teaching service a rewarding profession.

He said: “Today, I celebrate the remarkable teachers who leave no stone unturned in molding lives, building character and preparing our students for a productive future. In Lagos State, teaching is not a thankless job and this annual Teachers’ Merit Award is a proof that Lagos will always reward excellent, committed, and diligent teachers.

“We are cognizant of the essential role that teachers play in building a formidable society, which is why we are committed to rewarding exceptional teachers on a regular basis. This is one of the key strategies for the actualisation of the Education and Technology Pillar of our development agenda. We cannot thank our teachers enough for the passion they bring to the job and for inculcating in our children the values they require to excel as global citizens.”

Sanwo-Olu said the award was a genuine way to promote merit and encourage healthy competition amongst our teaching staff in Lagos. He appealed to teachers to continue to uphold the ethics and standards of the profession, urging them not to relent in demonstrating uncommon sense of responsibility in discharging their duties.

The Governor said his administration would not waiver in achieving the key goals of its Education and Technology pillar, pledging to provide holistic education that would enable children to excel and compete with their peers globally.

The Government’s commitment to capacity building in education, Sanwo-Olu said, is reflected in the periodic recruitment and training of highly qualified teachers, pointing out that the State’s strategic investment in technology and provision of digital devices to support learning in basic schools had begun to yield the desired results in terms of quality teaching.

“We will continue to prioritise investment in education by improving the capacity, competence and welfare of our teachers, bridging the teacher-pupil ratio in our schools, making the education sector more ICT-compliant, exposing our teachers to international best practices as well as ensuring that our schools are conducive for teaching and learning with quality and modern infrastructure,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The Governor congratulated the recipients and urged them to serve as the State’s Ambassadors of Excellence.

Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, said the merit award was initiated by the Governor to raise the bar of excellence in public teaching service and inspire commitment of teachers.

She said the event was a testimony to the pledge by Sanwo-Olu to reward teachers for their contribution to education, stressing that the gesture had elevated education in the State.

She said: “In line with T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda to deploy education and technology to produce highly resourceful students, teachers must be equipped in 21st century skills to deliver this promise. Teachers’ welfare, training and development remain the focus of this administration.

“The awardees will be showcased and exposed to multiple opportunities in the course of the year. They will be our ambassadors to enhance our vision and showcase the possibilities for delivering quality education and restoring prestige back in teaching. This will encourage young people to consider teaching career.”

Koiki, Director of Green Springs School, applauded the State Government for the initiative, stressing that the reward model recognised the importance of education as bedrock of development.

She said members of the screening committee came out of the process enriched and empowered for more collaboration with the public sector.

Chairman of the State’s chapter of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Adedoyin Adeshina, who has served 29 years in the teaching service, said Lagos education had benefited more under Sanwo-Olu, saying the

Governor met excellent records, broke the records and set another record with the reward for teaching staff.

Dr. Wilson Barney, who represented private schools, said the gesture would inspire the teachers to spread their wings and deliver quality teaching to the next generation.

Recipients of the grand prize of brand new cars are nine primary and secondary school teachers, and three school administrators.

They are Mrs. Ovinuyon Buhari of Gbagada Comprehensive Junior High School; Mr. Adesola Akindele of Lagos State Girls Junior Model College, Ikorodu; Salmot Obiwumi of Wahab Folawiyo Junior High School, Eti Osa; Mr. Temitope Gbadamosi of Immaculate Heart Comprehensive Junior High School, Kosofe; Rebecca Oyinloye of Amuwo Odofin Nursery and Primary School, and Mrs. Abosede Padonu-Daniel of Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Eti Osa.

Others are Mr. Ekundayo Ajiborisade of Clementina Ajigbeda Memorial Girls Nursery and Primary School, Surulere; Mr. Joshua Olasehinde of State Universal Basic Education Board, Eti Osa; Mrs. Tawakalitu Akinleye of King Ado Senior High School, Lagos Island; Mr. Oluwaseun Balogun of Ilupeju Senior Grammar School, Mushin; Mr. Rasheed Odenike of Civil Service Senior Model College, Igbogbo, and Mr. Tolulope Odusanya of Abibat Mogaji Millennium Senior Secondary School, Agege.

Ten other finalists were rewarded with consolation prizes.

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ICT, LIFE STYLE

Two directors of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Bako Wakil and Oluwatoyin Asaju have been conferred with the Fellowship of the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (FNIEEE).

Wakil, is the Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, while Asaju is the current Director, Spectrum Administration Department at the Commission. Wakil and Asaju both certified engineers, received the Fellowship Award at the 8th Fellowship Conferment and Awards/Dinner of the Institute, held on Saturday, March 27, 2021 in Abuja.

Wakil holds a Master of Science degree in Information System Engineering, South Bank University, London, (1997) and a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, University of Maiduguri (1989). He is a Microsoft-Certified Professional (MCP), Member, Nigerian Society of Engineers (MNSE); Member, Institute of Incorporated Engineers (MIIE) and a COREN-registered engineer.

As a professionally experienced and certified engineer with vast expertise in diverse areas of engineering, Wakil has participated in a number of ITU conferences such as World Radio Communications Conference (WRC)-03, WRC-07, World Telecommunications Standardisation Assembly (WTSA-12), ITU Telecom World 2011 and also participated in a number of ITU Study Groups (SG) meetings.

In the same vein, Engr. Asaju holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering (1985), Master of Business Administration (1998) and Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Science (2004) all from the prestigious University of Ilorin. A beneficiary of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) postgraduate scholarship programme, Engineer Asaju earned a Master’s Degree in Telecommunications Regulation and Policy (MRP) with distinction from the University of West Indies in 2007.

As an experienced Engineer and Administrator, Asaju has participated in many local and international conferences where he has made significant contributions in diverse areas of engineering.  He is a member of several professional bodies of international repute, including the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Fellow; Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE); Member, Nigerian Institution of ICT Engineers (NIICTE); Member, Nigerian Institute of ICT Engineers (NIICTE) and Member, Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (NIEEE), amongst others.

Meanwhile, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has added his voice to those of colleagues, friends, professional associates and well-wishers of the awardees to felicitate with the duo on the new engineering fellowship status.

Danbatta said the awards are in recognition of the valuable and selfless service to the society and their widely acknowledged authority in the field of engineering describing the two directors as professionals who have made remarkable contributions to the regulatory achievements of the Commission.

The EVC said: “I facilitate with Engr. Wakil and Engr. Asaju on the engineering fellowship. As a Fellow of the Institute, I understand that it takes competence, dedication, and integrity in service to bag any engineering Fellowship. These awards have again demonstrated that the awardees are of outstanding character and have excelled in the field of Engineering.” he said

“On behalf of the Board and Management of the Commission, we rejoice with our Directors; we are proud of their achievements and we wish them the best as they continue to excel in their service to the Commission and the engineering profession in Nigeria,” Danbatta said.

Wakil and Asaju joined the services of the Commission in 2005 and have moved through the ranks, serving in different capacities before their current positions as Directors Technical Standards & Network Integrity Departments and Director, Spectrum Administrations respectively.

The NIEEE, established in 1984 as a group of COREN registered electrical engineers, strives to promote professional competence and excellence among members through innovative contributions and development of sustainable solutions to challenging engineering problems by deploying efficient technologies and systems for the benefit of mankind.

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Government

Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Monday, said that the state would soon fix at least 200 kilometres of rural roads through the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP).

The governor said that his administration was committed to improving agricultural outputs of the state so that it could take its pride of place and take many unemployed youths out of the streets.

He stated these while receiving the delegates of the African Development Bank (AfDB), International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), who paid him a courtesy visit in his office.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor informed the team, which will equally embark on a trip to the state’s agro-processing project, that through RAAMP, the administration would fix no fewer than 200 kilometres rural roads in 2021.

He said: “We are excited about this programme, because the four pillars, which this administration is standing upon are education, health, expansion of our economy and security. And in expanding our economy, we are looking towards where we have a comparative advantage and that is agriculture.

“We are keen to take our space in terms of agricultural outputs. So, this could not have come at a better time for us and, as an administration, because we want to take many of our unemployed youths off the streets, we know agriculture and agribusiness is the way to go.”

Governor Makinde commended the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) for the commitment to fixing over 200 kilometres of rural roads in the state.

He added that the special Agro-Processing Zones (SAPZ) Project will also have the support of the government of the state at the topmost level.

“Let me use this opportunity to also thank a partner, IFAD. They are involved in the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project. Though we are about to kick off on that one, but this year we are fixing over 200 kilometres of rural roads.

“When Dr. Debo Akande told me of this visit, I had to cancel all other schedules to meet with you to show the importance we attach to the SAPZ programme. “So, you can expect support and attention from the topmost level of the government of Oyo State,” the governor added.

Earlier, the team lead of the African Development Bank, Dr. Chucks Ezedinma, said the Bank is currently in the country to undertake what it calls the Special Agro- Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs).

He said the programme is designed for six states and that Oyo State is one of the beneficiary states.

He said: “I bring you greetings from our president, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina. The bank is currently in the country to undertake what we call the appraisal of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, which is the lead African strategic programme of the bank.

“Currently, the project is designed as a programme that will be done in six states and Oyo State happened to be one of the six states that we are going to be starting with.

“We are looking at designing the programme in a way that will be transformational, youth-oriented, gender-oriented, environment-sustainable and ensuring that we also put into cognisance the issue of climate change.”

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ICT

The Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commision, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta has called on the need for collaboration between government and key stakeholders to achieve broadband set target of 70%.

The EVC made a presentation titled “Aggregating the Potential of the Sub-Sector to Meet the New Broadband Set Target Of 70%”, at the Virtual Structured Engagement with Key Stakeholders in the Nigerian Telecom & IT sector on the New Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 organised by the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

According to the NCC boss who was represented by the Director, Digital Economy, Dr. Austine Nwaulune, “Both Government, the industry and other stakeholders need to aggregate their potentials and expertise to achieve these targets.”

He highlighted some of the targets of the NNBP 2020-2025 to include; “achieving 15Mbps & 25Mbps internet speed in rural and urban areas respectively by 2025, interconnection of 90% of all LGA’s by fibre, 70% Population penetration, 100% of Tertiary Institutions to be within 5Km of a fibre PoA, 60% of all telecom towers to be connected by fibre, connection of 1 major hospital or General hospital per LGA via fibre, reduction of average cost of data to N390/Gb or less and establishment of at least one (1) local assembly or manufacture of smart devices, reduction of RoW to N145/m etc.”

The EVC said “The Commission has already commenced some of this consolidation with the directive issued to Infraco licensees to commence immediate roll-out of optic fibre cables (OFC) as contained in their license agreements to all the LGA headquarters by giving them freehand to start from viable areas and gradually move to unviable areas while the expected counter-part funding from Government is being finalized.”

He noted that “An equally important consolidation in the area of spectrum availability is the Commission’s finalization of the Spectrum Trading Guidelines as well as our collaboration with NigComSat that will make available 400MHz of prime spectrum for Next Generation Network deployment in the near future.”

And that “Collaboration with State Governments has also seen the adoption of the N145/m or outright waiver Right-of-Way (RoW) by six (6) State Governments, although, here we must mention that more needs to be done by the States and Local Governments to ensure full adoption and cascading of the decision for implementation. This notwithstanding, the Commission will not relent in its effort towards addressing the issue RoW.”

Adding that the Commission’s regulatory thrust towards enabling National Roaming, approval of e-SIM and 5G trials have also aggregated the efforts of the industry players towards achieving the set target.

He concluded that “although, there has been a 3% decline in the broadband penetration from a peak of 45.93% in October 2020 to 42.93% in January 2021, which was largely as a result of the suspension of registration of new SIM cards in December to facilitate smooth linkage and synchronization of the SIM-NIN databases that will not only address some of the security challenges we are facing today but it will help us determine the truly unique numbers in the Country thus further guiding us towards achieving the 70% penetration target.”

“The NNBP 2020-2025 has raised the performance bar for the whole telecom industry, however being a document crafted by experts and executives, there is no reason why it cannot be achieved to put Nigeria in a firm pedestal of nations with broadband access. I wish to assure you that the Commission shall continue to proactively provide the necessary regulatory interventions which will facilitate the achievement of not only the 70% broadband penetration target but other associated targets as well which will truly transform our economy into a Digital Economy” he said.       

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