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One of the social intervention programmes of the Nigerian government, N-Power, has announced its Impact Series competition, which offers one beneficiary in each state and the federal capital territory one Million Naira.

In a series of tweets on its Twitter page, the programme, under which 500,000 graduates have so far been recruited, said the competition was birthed to reward the scheme’s volunteers.

“This competition is a reward package for outstanding N-Power volunteers who have impacted their communities,” N-Power tweeted.

“All you have to do is upload a video talking about how N-Power has impacted your life and your community.”

The scheme disclosed that the competition will commence on Tuesday, November 13th at 11:00pm.

It is, however, unclear how the winner would be determined.

The scheme also cleared that the impact series competition is different from the N-Power Enhancement which has earlier been announced.

On October 19, The Guardian reported that the Nigerian government announced a ‘big plan’ for some beneficiaries of the social intervention programme.

The federal government in a communique revealed that it is set for an enhancement programme for the 2016 N-power programme beneficiaries.

“The 2016 beneficiaries will proceed into an enhancement programme as you continue to give your service and earn your monthly stipend,” the statement reads.

The federal government noted that “the details of the N-Power Enhance will gladden” the hearts of the beneficiaries.

Although the statement did not indicate when the enhancement programme will start, it, however, hinted that the enhancement plan is a “multi-sector, multilayered and multi-pronged” one.

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Education

Leezloaded views: why didn’t the vice presidential candidate mention ASUU STRIKE during debate.

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hfAktkqTURBXy9mZGU4YmZkMmZkZDZmNjQ3OTdmMzFmZGZkZThmNGI1Yy5qcGVnkpUDACPNA jNAjKVAs0DBwDDww - Leezloaded views: why didn't the vice presidential candidate mention ASUU STRIKE during debate.

Which nation is this….

Where are we going to….

Did our leaders value education…

To show how much importance the elite attach to education in Nigeria, there was a vice presidential debate last week where the words “ASUU strike” were considered not worthy of mention by the debaters or the moderator, Imoni Amarere. 

Not even in passing. I felt it.

502422d62fd424bf8e6962e817e15275.jpg703480x1 150x150 - Leezloaded views: why didn't the vice presidential candidate mention ASUU STRIKE during debate.I was stuck in hellish traffic during the debate, but made sure to monitor proceedings on my smartphone thanks to mobile TV. I was yearning for that question that bordered on the strike of university lecturers and the shutting down of classrooms of tertiary institutions across the country for well over a month now. I could well have waited forever.

Someone would later explain to me that because vice presidents are constitutionally tasked with matters that pertain to the economy by their presidents, it was okay not to bother them with the ‘small matter’ of shutdown of schools at a time when illiteracy is about the biggest challenge confronting this country at the moment.

ASUU strike: FG reveals when students will return to class

I have a different take. A vice president can be as powerful as the president makes him to be. He serves at the president’s pleasure and carries out tasks handed him by the president. He advises the president where necessary, he is dispatched by the president to oversee negotiations with trade and labour unions. And when the president travels abroad to keep a date with his doctors, the vice president steps in. A vice president is much more than a figurehead.

Vice President Osinbajo knows all about why the school gates have been slammed in the faces of students for weeks. He should have been asked how negotiations between the government and the lecturers have panned out since November 4. He wasn’t. Other candidates should have been peppered with questions bordering on how they intend to fix education and ensure strikes are no longer a recurring decimal. They weren’t.

There is a sense that the elite will remain unconcerned about university strikes because their kids aren’t enrolled in schools on our shores. There is a sense that all of us have abandoned the striking lecturers and students to their fates. We owe the schools and students tons of apologies for our silence.

In the final analysis, lecturers have shuttered school gates because they want better pay, prompt payment of earned allowances, increased funding for schools and implementation of previous agreements. Governments who do not honour pacts reached with unions and university teachers should be called out for paying lip service to education.

We owe the next generation a semblance of decent education. We can’t achieve that by keeping them at home.

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