June 9, 2009

N850m scam: FG suspends UBEC officials

By  Chris Ochayi
The Federal Government yesterday  suspended from office officials of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), who are facing trial in court over their alleged involvement in the N850 million-contract scam.

The Minister of Education, Dr. Sam Egwu, who stated this in Abuja, said the suspension of Prof. (Mrs.) B. O. Sokan, Deputy Executive Secretary (Services) and three others is with immediate effect.

He explained that this action followed her involvement in the alleged fraud involving three other officials of UBEC in connection with the N850 million contract award to Intermarkets Nig. Ltd. for the supply of plastic sitting materials to select Junior Secondary Schools in Nigeria, in 2005.

Earlier, the UBEC Governing Board at its Emergency Meeting of 21st May 2009 approved the suspension of Dr. Andrew N. Ekpunobi Director, Planning & Information Management Arch. M. M. Muftwang, Deputy Director, Physical Planning, and Mr. Mike Aule Chief Accountant, for similar charges which was ratified by the government.

In another development, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has disbursed a total sum of N211, 500,000 million to the private providers of education for children with special needs.

Minister of State for Education, Hajia Aishatu Ibril Dukku who presented the cheques to the respective beneficiating proprietors of schools/centers in Abuja, explained that the move was aimed to address the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education For All (EFA) goals.

She said the Road Map for the Nigerian Education sector recently approved by the Federal Government Executive Council (FEC) made available provision for children of this category.

She stated further that, “the sharing formula which allocated 2% of the Fund to address the problems and challenges confronting the education of special needs children attests to the Federal Government’s continuing approach to issues of qualitative education especially to disadvantaged groups and segments of society who have experienced difficulty in accessing available educational opportunities”.

“To the beneficiaries, I wish to appreciate you for your contribution towards the education of this category of learners. Your effort is recognized by the Universal Basic Education Commission and indeed, the Federal Government”.

Urging them to continue to provide quality basic education to this category of learning, the minister added, “this can in no way pay you for your efforts, but will certainly encourage you and others to do more”.

Former Army Chief, Luka Yusuf for Burial June 12

ABUJA — The remains of the former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Luka Nyeh Yusuf who died last week in a London hospital of Leukemia, will be buried in his home town, Bara Kagoma in Kaduna state on Friday June 12, 2009.

According to a statement signed by the director of Army Public relations, Brig-General Chris Olukolade in Abuja yesterday, the funeral activities which will hold both in Abuja and Bara Kagoma will begin with a wake keep and service of songs in Abuja on Thursday 11, June 2009 and end with the funeral service and internment in his home town.

The statement added that both events are expected to be attended by prominent national, military and international personalities as well as friends and well wishers of the deceased COAS family.