Global body honours Omolewa, six others
From Laolu Akande, New York
FOR the first time since its inception, the International Adult and Continuing Education (IACE) Hall of Fame has chosen an African to join its Hall of Fame in the United States (U.S.) at the University of Oklahoma’s Centre for Continuing Education.
He is Nigerian Professor of Adult Education, Michael Omolewa, who has been picked as one of the “seven exemplary educators being recognised with one of the most coveted awards in the adult and continuing education field: Induction into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.”
According to a statement released by the organisers of the awards, Omolewa, the current Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), was elected a few years ago as the President of the UNESCO yearly General Conference in Paris, France, headquarters of the world body.
While conveying news of Omolewa’s selection, Dr. Ed Boone, chair of the IACE Hall of Fame, said “the Board of Directors is proud to have you join those who have already been inducted.”
A special induction for the 2008 awardees will hold on September 8, at the University of Oklahoma.
A second induction would also be held later in the year in Europe, specifically in Budapest, Hungary, in conjunction with a major UNESCO conference holding from December 3 to 5.
Since the first awards in 1996, more than 200 educators have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Those to be honored alongside Omolewa include Hazel Benn, post-humous, Colonel and creator of the voluntary education programme in the U.S. Marine Corps, Paulo Freire, posthumous, Brazilian philosopher, social activist and adult educator, Paula Harbecke, vice president for Academic Affairs, Regis College, Richard Liles, professor emeritus, North Carolina State University, Mortimer Neufville, executive vice president of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and Thomas Sork, professor of educational studies, University of British Columbia in Canada.
source: click here
I read the following in Yesterday’s paper with much Zest.
By EMMANUEL ONYECHE
Published: Sunday, 24 Aug 2008
EARLY last year, the former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Sir Richard Gozney, made a statement that corroborated what many Nigerians already knew. He said, ”The UK Visa operation in Nigeria is one of UK‘s biggest and busiest in the world.”
Gozney added that within a space of 10 months (March to December 2006), ”The BHC has processed over 300,000 UK visa applications in Nigeria.” Out of this number, he did not state the percentage of those whose applications were successful or unsuccessful.
He did, however, provide a statement from which we can make a fair deduction. Gozney said only 8,000 out of the 28,000 Nigerians that applied for the British study visa in 2006 were successful.
What Gozney did not also say was that among the slightly over 75 per cent unsuccessful applicants and even those who were successful, were those who had applied for the visa for more than three times, as well as those who had made deposits of at least one year fee into registered and unregistered UK universities.
Patrick Odozi, a lawyer and an immigration consultant, says that in his class in the UK, where he studied, they were 18 Nigerians and none of them came on first application. Back in Nigeria, he says he frequently battles to help students seek the refund of their trapped one-year tuition fees after they have been denied visa by the BHC. Sometimes, these tuition fees are as much as £4,000, which is over N1m.
Indeed, the desperation of many of these students to escape from the harshness of their own country, is eating deep into their pockets, while their intended guests are raking in money handsomely for their government. The student visa application fee is N25,750, which means that of the 20,000 students that were denied visa in 2006, the nation lost N515m (about $4.1m). This is the minimum because there are cases of students, who had applied more than four times before they got the visa.
Odozi says that about 50 per cent of Nigerians, who apply for UK visas, have no business travelling to the UK in the first place.
Yet, each time they fail, the UK visa operation in the country tells them that they are at liberty to make fresh applications, and, of course, pay fresh visa fees.
These non-refundable visa fees are not peanuts. The fee for direct airside transit visit is N11,450 (about £50), while six months visit is N16,400. Longer visits of two years and above is N52,000 (more than £200), while the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme Visa, as well as the work permit visa are also N52,000. The fee for settlement visa is N130,000.
Gozney, who gave a summary of why many visa applications were not granted, said that the rejected 2006 student visa applications included those of candidates, who failed to fill their forms correctly and those who failed to give convincing evidences that they had been duly offered admissions or would be able to finance their education without recourse to public funds in the UK.
As simple as Gozney‘s reasons for the rejection of visa applications appear, Odozi believes that the UK visa application form is strewn with landmines and regrets that many people make the mistake of filling it in a hurry – some right there at the embassy – without seeking the help of an expert.
Odozi says, ”This form is a standard form that asks some questions that sometimes require just a ‘yes‘ or a ‘ no‘ answer and does not go into details to tell you that further information are needed to be disclosed. But then, the embassy will state, when they turn the person down, that they did not disclose those information.
”For example, a simple question that asks for your marital status will require that you must present your marriage certificate if you say you are married or a court order showing that you are divorced if that is what you indicated in the form and also the presentation of a detailed explanation regarding who holds custody of your children if you say you have kids.”
Another mistake many people make, Odozi says, is that they make the wrong application. ”Sometimes, some people do not know what they want to apply for and the moment you apply for the wrong thing, you may not know all the information you need to provide. If you are going to study, do not asterisk visiting on the form,” he says.
He gives the example of a heavily pregnant woman, who applied for visiting visa with the hope that her baby, if delivered in the UK, will be a British citizen. Odozi says this is not automatic, adding that if the woman had applied for medicals, it would have brightened her chances of getting the visa.
Again, he advises people not to fill the form with little residual knowledge. ”You need to be able to access all the laws that govern each type of application,” he adds. ”Take the right of abode as an example, you need to be conversant with the British Immigration Act and the Nationalities Act and not just rush and fill the form.”
Some people who apply for visiting visa also make the mistake of filling the form in such a way that the amount of money they earn does not correlate with how much they intend to spend in Britain. ”Someone who earns N80,000 in a month and says he wants to go on six weeks leave in Britain, where he intends to spend £2,000, has missed the point. Eighty thousand a month multiplied by 12 months is N960,000. The question is why anyone should want to blow over 50 per cent of his annual income in six weeks. Such a person is a potential candidate to be turned down. All these deductions are made from your answer to two simple questions that asks you how much you earn and how much you are travelling with. That is why I say most information are hidden and are intended to weed out people,” he says.
Some people also make the mistake of going to the Internet to apply to all sorts of schools and if such schools are not approved by the British Education Board for award of degrees such applicants are also potential candidates to be turned down. To avoid them, Odozi says an expert opinion counts. ”This kind of mistake is very costly because not only are the candidates denied the visa but they are on their own in recovering their trapped tuition,” Odozi says.
The greatest losers are those who do not have the intention of travelling to the UK in the right way. In this category, Odozi says, are those who fill the form without being educated about the harsh realities of life in the UK.
”We counsel such people not only to get the visa, but also on what they are likely to face if they find themselves in the UK. The tendency for such people to start suffering from the airport is 99 per cent because nobody is ready to help them. Everybody is hostile and in a hurry to catch the next train. The people are so cold and so individualistic that if you run out of money nobody is ready to lend you some.
”In any case, you must have a work permit before you can get the type of employment that will bring you under the British labour law. Some people think that going to Britain to attend school is to go and work. It is not so. The moment you land in Britain without the requisite documents, you end up working in what they call ‘Cababs,‘ that is to say you do menial jobs and those that will employ you are the Asians. The minimum wage in Britain is £5.35 per hour, but these Asians can pay you half of that and you work for 18 hours, maybe as a replenishment assistant and your job is to use your shoulder to offload goods from vehicles.
”Eighty per cent of Nigerians who are illegal immigrants in Britain are night watchmen. In three pubs that I frequent in the UK, the guys that stay in the toilets to give out toiletries like hand towels are Nigerians and they are graduates. Some read economics.
”If you go with a visitor’s visa of six months and stay put, first of all, if you ever commit a crime, you will be deported and you can also be banned from entering Britain for many years.”
What I thought about was the financial implications for the British Government, how much they are raking in on a monthly and yearly basis from the already-dry pockets of our brothers and sisters, who want to go abroad. At the end of the day, their visas would be denied.
Are there any Britons lining up in front of the Nigerian High Commission in the U.K, awaiting their visa approvals? How many foreign students want to come and study in Nigeria anyway? How about the daily arrival in droves of half-baked expatriates?
question: how did certificate forgers get jobs at the EFCC? This is the question bothering my mind at the moment.
It can be explained, how certificate forgers get jobs at the Nigerian Civil Service, and eventually become ‘civil servants’’; at NITEL, MTEL, PENTASCOPE…and such eventually become ‘engineers’’; at Banks, even at the CBN, and such become Bankers,; in the Nigerian Police, and such become Policemen, etc. How about at the EFCC?
By Oscarline Onwuemenyi, Abuja
Published: Monday, 25 Aug 2008
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Sunday said it had dismissed 11 officials for forgery and other fraudulent acts.
The dismissed officials include three junior staff, four cadet officers, three senior staff and one management officer.
According to a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity in the commission, Mr. Femi Babafemi, and made available to our correspondent in Abuja, the affected officers were sacked between August 2007 and August 2008.
The dismissed officials were detected after routine investigations carried out on them to verify the authenticity of their academic claims revealed anomalies.
Those dismissed on account of certificate forgery include Adamu Samson, Usman Muhammed, Muhammed Umar, Collins Nwachukwu, Shola Pedro, Olatunji Oluwakeri, Adaka James, Akinwamide Oluwaseyi, Mohammed Maina, and David Ibhawoh.
While the 10 officers dismissed on account of forgery will not be prosecuted, the Chairman of the commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri, has, however, directed that Mr. Davies Idrisu Ibrahim, who was arrested in Lagos last week for conniving with others to defraud a suspect, should be dismissed and prosecuted.
He is expected to be charged to court this week.
This Nigerian Ambassador is definitely speaking my mind. As much as the perpetrators are guilty and should be made to face the full strength of the law, those victimized are guilty too.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Ambassador to Australia, Prof. Sunday Olu Agbi, has said that people being cheated in the so-called “Nigerian scams” are greedy and should be jailed.
According to an online publication, Agbi said on Sunday that Nigeria had gained a bad reputation because of the scams perpetrated by a few people, and that those who found themselves involved with the scams were equally as guilty as those running them.
It reads, “The Nigerian government frowns very seriously on these scams and everyday tries to track down those who are involved,” Agbi told the Sydney Morning Herald in response to a previous article on Australians falling for Nigerian scams.
“People who send their money are as guilty as those who are asking them to send the money,” he said.
Out of the 140 million people in Nigeria, Agbi said that 0.1 per cent were involved in scams. The scams, also referred to as 419 or advance-fee fraud, predate the Internet, but have exploded in recent years thanks to the proliferation of e-mail and instant money transfers.
– why do they want to profit from where they did not sow?
– why are such interested in becoming family members of dead African politicians who had a fat bank account in some European country, which cannot be accessed, except by someone living in such a country? Do they just agree to ‘send money’ to these scammers, all out of doing a favor to some poor soul in Africa, until such agree to give their bank account details, and get duped etc?
– why didn’t the scammed contact the nearest Nigerian Embassy/Consulate or the nearest police station in their country to verify such claims.
Ofcourse the tales these scammers tell are very captivating to covetous ears, but really, it takes two to tango. Gossip has a mouth and an ear: the mouth that gossips and the ears that listen.