Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has said the Federal Government has approved an additional N25 billion allowance for members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Speaking at a valedictory press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Adamu said the newly approved fund is different from the N20 billion earlier released in 2018.
He assured that the beneficiary institutions would get the money directly and urged ASUU to shelve further strikes to make room for peaceful negotiations.
The minister said the current administration inherited an unrealistic agreement of N1.3 trillion during when it took over power in 2015.
“The sad news is that the N200 billion that was released to the Central Bank of Nigeria since 2013 for the universities has not been fully accessed. In specific terms, all the 73 public varsities have accessed the 1st tranche of 50 percent of the N200 billion,” he said.
“For the second tranche of 40 percent, only 56 institutions have been able to access their funds. The last 10 percent representing the third tranche of the N200 billion has not been accessed at all.”
Also speaking at the event, the minister of state for education, Anthony Anwukah, said the FG has approved the establishment of a secondary education commission to oversee operations of secondary schools.
Anwukah said the government has slashed the charges paid in unity schools across the country; reducing parents, teachers association (PTA) levy to N5,000.
Reps pass bill to ban plastic bags, prescribe 3-year jail term for sale
The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill banning plastic bags in the country.
The lawmakers said the bill is to among other things address waste management and protect the environment.
The Plastic bag prohibition bill provides for: “An act to prohibit the use, manufacture and importation of all plastic bags used for commercial and household packaging in order to address harmful impacts to oceans, rivers, lakes, forests, environment as well as human beings and also to relieve pressure on landfills and waste management and for other related matters.”
The bill states that a retailer shall offer a paper bag to the customer at the point of sale.
It describes as an offence: failure to provide customers with paper bags, manufacturing plastic bags for the purpose of selling, and importing plastic bags “whether as a carryout bag or for sale”.
ccording to the bill, any person found guilty of the offences shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding N500,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
It also prescribes a fine of N5 million to companies guilty of the offences.
Contributing to the motion on the bill, Tahir Monguno from Borno state said plastic bags have had an adverse effect on Nigeria’s environment.
He said: “Nowadays we have a lot of plastic bags in our water bodies and they are adversely affected. So the bill seeks to regulate plastic bags to reduce the adverse effect on our environment.”
Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, however expressed concern that the bill does not provide for recycling.
“There should be room for recycling. Because by this bil, you are simply saying that plastic materials should not be seen anywhere, he said, adding: “And this would mean the need for another amendment. Recycling is still part of cleaning environment.”