The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Monday, presented its own alternative payroll system tagged, ‘University Transparency and Accountability Solution’, to the Senate. The President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, addressed journalists after about a three-hour closed-door session with the Senate leadership. Ogunyemi said the visit was a follow up to an earlier one held between ASUU and the Senate in October 2019 to find a way out of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System crisis. The university teachers and the Senate leadership had at the October meeting agreed that ASUU would design an alternative to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System. The ASUU leaders had on that occasion urged the Senate leadership to give them an opportunity to design a payroll system that would accommodate the peculiarity of the university system. Ogunyemi told journalists after the Monday meeting that the UTAS it had developed, was a homegrown method that would end its ongoing eight-month industrial action if embraced by the FG. In his opening remarks, before the closed session, the Senate President berated the FG for signing unrealistic agreements with the Academic Staff Union of Universities. Lawan wondered why government representatives would endorse an agreement that they knew would not be implemented. He added that ASUU should not be too rigid in its demands.
A fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of their ecosystems collapsing because of the destruction of wildlife and their habitats, according to an analysis by the insurance firm Swiss Re. Natural “services” such as food, clean water and air, and flood protection have already been damaged by human activity. More than half of global GDP – $42 trillion – depends on high-functioning biodiversity, according to the report, but the risk of tipping points is growing. Australia, Israel and South Africa rank near the top of Swiss Re’s index of risk to biodiversity and ecosystem services, with India, Spain and Belgium also highlighted. Countries with fragile ecosystems and large farming sectors, such as Pakistan and Nigeria, are also flagged up. Countries including Brazil and Indonesia had large areas of intact ecosystems but had a strong economic dependence on natural resources, which showed the importance of protecting their wild places, Swiss Re said. The index was designed to help insurers assess ecosystem risks when setting premiums for businesses. The Swiss Re index is built on 10 key ecosystem services identified by the world’s scientists and uses scientific data to map the state of these services at a resolution of one square kilometre across the world’s land. The services include the provision of clean water and air, food, timber, pollination, fertile soil, erosion control, and coastal protection, as well as a measure of habitat intactness.
Just hours after Nigeria’s President tried to assuage protesters by promising “extensive” reforms to stop the rising crisis of police brutality, some civilians were shot and killed by police as #EndSARS protests entered a second week. Video clips on social media showed paramedics frantically trying to save the man’s life as he lay in a pool of blood in a Lagos neighbourhood where protests were underway, but he died soon after. At least four Nigerians have been killed by police during a week of demonstrations against police brutality. The Nigerian branch of Amnesty International, in a tweet on Monday night, reported that the toll had climbed to 10 protesters killed, while others were severely injured, beaten or arrested by police. Thousands of people continued to protest across the country on Monday, blocking a major highway in Lagos and an access road to the Lagos international airport, even after the Nigerian government had pledged on Sunday to disband a controversial anti-robbery squad that has been linked to widespread torture and killings. In Abuja, the Inspector-General General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, in a meeting with pop star Davido, said the training of a new police unit to replace the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad will commence next week.
Libya has restarted production at its largest field, Sharara, as peace talks began between eastern and western forces. The National Oil Corporation announced it had lifted the force majeure on Sharara after reaching an agreement with the Petroleum Facilities Guard to “end the entire obstacles that face Al Sharara Field in a way that guarantees there will be no security breaches and in a way that enables the National Oil Corporation to lift the force majeure status and resume production in Al Sharara Oil Field.” Libya is currently producing about 300,000 bpd and Sharara could add up to 200,000 bpd more after the lifting of an oil port blockade by the eastern-affiliated Libyan National Army. From below 100,000 bpd, oil output reached close to 300,000 bpd in a matter of two weeks. And plans are to continue ramping up: the governor of Libya’s central bank has called on the industry to raise oil production to 1.7 million bpd, which would be more than the country produced before the oil port blockade – 1.2 million bpd. The National Oil Corporation, which has been saying for months the blockade is costing Libya billions in lost oil revenues, earlier this month reported it had booked in July the smallest monthly revenue this year. At $38.2 million, the July figure was down from $2.1 billion a year earlier. In August, the NOC said, revenues improved thanks to a temporary lifting of the force majeure it had imposed on exports for the duration of the blockade, to $90 billion. This was down from $2 billion for August 2019. Libya’s production ramp-up plans fly straight in the face of OPEC’s plan to continue keeping a lid on production amid still sluggish demand improvement and persistently low oil prices.