From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has explained why it is not considering the option of the Computer-Based Test (CBT) in its examinations.
The Abuja Zonal Coordinator of WAEC, Mr. Yusufu Ari, told Daily Sun in Abuja yesterday that the complexity of the exam and inadequate facilities were the major reasons the exam body was putting on hold the option of CBT.
Ari, who was speaking at the 2016 National Stakeholders Dialogue on Examination Malpractice in Abuja, said WAEC was considering the option of CBT, but faced with inadequate facilities like sufficient computer systems, steady power supply and other infrastructural provisions, this is not feasible.
Said he: “WAEC exam is very complex because it does not conduct exam in urban centres only. It reaches out to government and WAEC accredited schools in remote areas to conduct its examinations, unlike the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) that candidates are assembled in a particular location with facilities.
“Moreover, experts in education assessment confirmed that moving candidates from their places of residence would affect their performance psychologically and emotionally, thus suggesting that the body maintains the mode of examination, pending when adequate provisions are made for the successful take off of CBT.
CIVIL SERVICE: Directors not verified to be taken off payroll – FG
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has threatened to take off directors in the Federal Civil Service yet to participate in the verification exercise for the Directorate Level Officers Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with effect from Monday, July 25, 2016.
It had extended the verification exercise to enable officers, who have been away on official engagements and those who have, until now, not been verified to participate in the exercise.
A circular entitled: “Re: Verification Exercise For Directorate Level Officers in the Federal Public Service” and signed by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, and issued from her office to all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government, said: “Officers who declined, under any guise, to participate in the verification exercise for the Directorate Level Officers in the Federal Public Service will be taken off the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with effect from Monday, 25th July, 2016.”
Technology: We must diversify energy source – Onu
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has re-instated the need to diversify the source of energy needs of the county before meaningful industrialisation can be realised.
The minister said this, as he opened a two-day national technical validation workshop on “Sustainable Energy for All Action Plan,” in Abuja, yesterday.
He stated that it had become urgent for the nation to diversify its sources of energy so that if one source had a problem, the other could make up for it.
Onu, who explained why the nation could neither rely on gas nor hydro-energy, said “the geographical location of Nigeria in the tropics gives us great advantage in utilising solar energy and also wind energy. We will also look at other renewable sources of energy.”
While noting that virtually all the developed and emerging countries, including the United States of America, China, Germany and Russia, rely heavily on coal for electricity generation, he charged the Energy Commission of Nigeria and other research institutes within the ministry to conduct research to see how coal fire plant can be made more friendly to the environment.
Finance: NMRC injected N6bn into mortgage market, says MD
From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Managing Director of Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC), Professor Charles Inyangete, yesterday said that the company had injected more than N6 billion into the mortgage market, to make housing affordable for Nigerians.
Speaking in Abuja when NMRC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), to provide accurate housing data, Inyangete disclosed that 700 mortgages had been refinanced and many more mortgages created.
According to him, the company’s first bond issue was N8 billion, which had been fully disbursed, adding that the company had also refinanced nine transactions and five mortgage entities.
“Our own initiative is refinancing and for that we went to the market last year for our first bond issue. It was N8 billion and we have almost practically fully disbursed the N8 billion and we refinanced nine transactions, including five mortgage entities as well as a commercial bank in the past few months. We were actually planning going to the market again with our second tranche. We want to be the dominant housing partner in Nigeria and the key thing that we are supposed to do is to provide liquidity to the mortgage lenders, not directly to individuals but to the mortgage lenders,” he said.
Explaining the reason for the MOU with NBS, he said it would enhance the establishment of a reliable data for the housing sector.
Communication: FG to establish ICT University
From Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja
Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has said the Federal Government would establish an Information Communication Technology (ICT) University in Nigeria, the first of its kind in Africa.
Shittu said the university, when established, would serve as a formidable institution that would provide manpower needs as well as develop human capital for national development.
The minister revealed this yesterday in Abuja when he paid a working visit to Galaxy Backbone Limited, one of the parastatals under his ministry. He said he would soon present the proposal at the Federal Executive Council meeting for consideration and approval.
According to him, “we are working on an ICT University, which will be the first in Africa. It will train high calibre personnel that will service the ICT industry.”
He further disclosed that the recently compiled ICT Roadmap 2016 would soon become operational, adding that part of the implementation of the ICT roadmap would involve some seminars and sensitisation programmes, which would commence in the next few weeks.