From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) have agreed to forge a common synergy, which will help candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions in the two nations.
The synergy, according to JAMB Head of Information, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, would focus mainly on Digitalised Item Analysis and Item Banking.
The Registrar/Chief Executive of JAMB, Professor Dibu Ojerinde, who spoke at JAMB/UNEB International Bench-marking workshop in Abuja yesterday, said that such synergy would enable the exam bodies to exchange views, knowledge and experience on how to promote efficiency in their respective services.
Ojerinde urged the members of the visiting UNEB delegation to avail themselves of the abundant opportunity the bench-marking exercise and training provided.
The JAMB boss shared with the delegations, his experiences of the implementation of the Computer Based Test (CBT) examination mode in Nigeria and its implication as well as the prospects and challenges.
The Director, Psychometrics Department of the Board, Mr. Popoola Omokunmi, presented the first module of the workshop, which centred on “Transition from Paper Pencil Test to Computer Based Test and the Implication for an Assessment Body, while Dr. Akinyele Aiya delivered the second module entitled, “The Role of Psychometrics in Computer Based Testing”.
Other papers delivered included Quality Assurance in Testing by Dr. Francis Ojo; Test Development Process in JAMB by Mr. Ibrahim Kawu; Basic Background on Item Banking System by Mr. Popoola; The Role of Trial Testing in CBT by Mr. Wakeel Isamotu as well as testing delivery system for CBT by Mr. Ibrahim Mololuwa and Mr. Hafis Jimoh.
Other papers presented are: The paper on the role of ITS in CBT (Mr. Fabian Okoro), Over-view of Item Analysis software package presented (Mr. Patrick Onyeneho), Item Analysis Using Estimation Software Practical Application (Mr. Emmanuel Adelakun), Creation of Multiple Test Forms for Equivalency (Mrs. Olanike Omoleye), Practical Demonstration of Item Banking and Using IRT Software Package (Mrs. Aminat Egberongbe and Mrs. Chidinma Ifewulu).
HEALTH: FCT to build 48 PHCs in four years -Minister
From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Muhammad Bello, has said that the FCT administration will construct 48 Primary Healthcare Centers (PHCs) in the next four years.
The minister, who spoke at the 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM)/ scientific conference of the FCT chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), explained that the FCT administration would construct two model PHCs in each of the six area councils of the FCT annually, starting from 2016.
Bello emphasised the importance of PHCs in the effort at taking healthcare to the grassroots, where majority of low income earners live, gave assurance that personnel would be employed and posted to the new health centers.
Represented by the Acting-Secretary at the Health Secretariat, FCT, Ode Achu, the minister further disclosed that provision were made in the 2016 budget for the procurement and installation of new medical equipment in government owned hospitals, with the view to enhancing healthcare services in the nation’s capital.
On the issue of enrolling more residents of the FCT into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the minister charged the doctors to come up with workable models through which government could collaborate with the private sector to widen access to health insurance.
Also speaking at the conference, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, advised doctors to be more involved in politics and public policy, arguing that it was only through active participation of professional groups ,such as the NMA, that important interventions that would positively impact on socio-economic status of majority of the country’s populace, could be planned and properly executed.
Earlier in her welcome address, chairperson of the FCT chapter of the NMA, Dr. Fatima Mairimi, reiterated the commitment of doctors to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage.
Interior: NPC boss laments condition of teenage girls
From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Chief Eze Duruiheoma, has lamented the plight of teenage girls, saying they have become vulnerable. He spoke while releasing NPC report, which revealed that at least 10 per cent of Nigerian teenage girls have had sexual relationship. The report also said that about 20, 000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth everyday in developing countries.
The report noted that the second leading cause of death among girls between ages 15 and 19 in Nigeria was complications of pregnancy and child birth, including Versico Virginal Fistula (VVF)
Speaking on the Theme: “Investing In Teenage Girls,” the NPC, chairman said that data from the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2013 indicate that an estimated 23 per cent of women aged 15 to 18 years have begun childbearing of which 17 per cent have had their child and six per cent are pregnant with their first child. Also, 32 per cent of teenagers in rural areas have begun child bearing as opposed to 10 per cent in the urban areas in Nigeria.
NPC chairman also said the conditions in which the majority of the teenage girls live and the challenges they have to surmount on daily basis were pathetic.
LABOUR: PMAN: FG inaugurates Interim leadership
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The federal Government has set up a 25-member caretaker committee to run the affairs of the Performing Musicians Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN), as part of efforts to end the crisis rocking the association in the 11 years.
While inaugurating the committee, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, charged the warring factions to bury the hatchets in the interest of the music industry in Nigeria.
The minister, who said membership of the committee was drawn from the two key factions, urged the members to work assiduously to put in place democratically elected leadership at the state chapters and the national level before the end of October.
Ngige disclosed that a Deputy Director from the Ministry would be assigned the responsibility of monitoring the entire process that would see to the emergence of an acceptable leadership. He noted that PMAN was critical to tourism development and job creation in the country that the government cannot afford to look away from it.
The minister said a united PMAN stood the chance of being engaged by the government for its numerous programmes.
Responding on behalf of the committee, the committee’s Chairman, Mr. Kelvin Lucciano Gabriel, thanked the minister for his fatherly role in bringing back peace to the umbrella body of musicians.
He agreed that the festering crisis had really affected Nigerian musicians negatively, but expressed happiness that peace had finally returned to the association.
Some notable members of the caretaker committee are Tee Mac Iseli, George Durueke, Orits Williki, Chris Mba, Yinka Davis and Daddy Showkey.
Power:FG expresses concern over electricity challenges
From Dennis Mernyi, Abuja
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has expressed worry over the challenges being faced by government to settle all electricity market liquidity problems.
According to him, owing to the difficulties electricity consumers have to pay for the power they consumed to enable it meet the obligations.
Speaking at the opening of this year’s National Council on Power, the minister stated that events at the power sector was at a critical stage, insisting that market liquidity and other financing must be taken seriously.
Fashola, who was represented by the Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, said government was working to address the issue of payment performance by the distribution companies (DISCOs).
He said emphasis was being placed on transmission expansion and completion of all on-going projects, revealing that contractors were already mobilised to sites and that grid expansion was on the priority list of the present administration.
On Energy Mix, the minister reiterated the fact that Nigeria has a lot of renewable energy sources, which, if well-harnessed, will increase power generation.