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Strike: Wabba, Shehu Sani, Ene Obi lead national protest in Abuja




The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba; former Senator and activist, Shehu Sani, and the Country Director of Actionaid Nigeria, Ene Obi, are leading hundreds of protesters in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, against the continued shutdown of Nigerian public universities.

The protesters, who had converged on the Unity Fountain, a popular protest ground in the capital city, were on their way to the National Assembly, chanting solidarity songs and carrying banners and placards bearing various inscriptions stating their demands.

It is the second day of the two-day nationwide protest declared by the NLC, the umbrella body of workers in Nigeria.

Various state chapters of the union had mobilised their members, parents and allies on Tuesday to kick off the two-day protest, even as they presented a list of demands to the state governors for onward delivery to President Muhammadu Buhari.


Abuja protest

On Wednesday, as early as possible, protesters defied the precarious security situation in the capital city to demand the reopening of the universities. They said the more than five-month-old industrial action by the university workers is a contributory factor to the degenerating security situation across the country.

Joining the protest in Abuja are members of the national leadership of the striking university workers’ unions including the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU), and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), among others.

Leading the protest on Wednesday, Mr Wabba urged participants not to relent until the goal of reclaiming the lost glory in Nigeria’s education, economic, health and other sectors are reclaimed.

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In response, the crowd chorused; “We would not be tired.”


“Save Teacher Education, Address Issues Now;” “We are Tired of Unfulfilled Promises,” among others, are some of the inscriptions on their banners.

Also conspicuous at the protest ground are members of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), who were also armed with placards and banners.

The common demands by all the striking unions include the rejection of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) as a payment platform for the workers.

They are also demanding better welfare for their members and improved funding for the university system.

The striking unions have consistently accused the Nigerian government of unfulfilled pledges, saying they could no longer bear the brunt of the neglect the nation’s education sector continues to suffer.
ASUU speaks


ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, said by the National Universities Commission (NUC’s) regulations, the ratio for lecturer to students is 1:9 in medical and sciences and 1:15 in the humanities and social sciences, but that the reality is unimaginable.

He said; “In the university today, there are 1 teacher to over 1,000 students. That’s what brought the earned academic allowance that they did not pay.

“So we need to let them know that they don’t have dominance over us. Universities are universal. Our universities used to have foreign students. You are a child of a governor, you sit and learn with the child of a driver. Eat in the cafeteria together. Stay in the same hostel. Today, it is not like that”.

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He recalled how the government had agreed to pay a revitalisation fund of N200 billion yearly, but that it never did.

The ASUU President accused a former Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Wale Babalakin, of attempting to commercialise education in Nigeria.


Mr Babalakin, who led the negotiation team between the government and ASUU from 2017 to 2020, when he angrily resigned, was accused of highhandedness, but Mr Babalakin has consistently denied this.

Mr Osodeke added that his union’s protest against IPPIS has been proved right by the fraud allegations against the disgraced Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.

“We have been vindicated by what happened to the accountant general,” said Mr Osodeke.

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Naira appreciates against USD at forex market amid Binance clampdown



Naira has returned to its appreciation against the US dollar in the foreign exchange market amid the restriction of Binance, a cryptocurrency platform.

Data from FMDQ showed that the Naira appreciated N1,609.51 at the close of trading on Wednesday from N1,615.94 on Tuesday.

This represents an N6.43 or 0.4 per cent appreciation compared to the N1,615.94 recorded at the closing of Tuesday’s trading.

Meanwhile, the Naira exchanged for N1,500 per USD on Wednesday at the parallel market from N1,618.489 on Tuesday.


Naira Rates, the parallel market exchange rate, showed that the Naira appreciated 1,463.098 per USD on Wednesday.

The development triggered a massive selloff at the Binance Market.

Theheute recalls that Naira had continued its appreciation trend on Monday.

However, it depreciated against the USD on Tuesday for the first time since last week.

At the end of Tuesday’s 293rd Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Olayemi Cardoso, reiterated his commitment to strengthen the Naira against USD at the forex market.


The CBN had announced the resumption of foreign exchange sales directly to eligible Bureau De Change Operators.

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Ghana passes anti-gay law



The Ghana Parliament, on Wednesday, passed the bill on human sexual rights and family values, commonly referred to as the anti-LGBTQ bill.

The bill, called the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, was introduced by Sam Nartey George, the MP for Ningo-Prampram.

Press reports that the bill was a Private Members Bill led by Sam Nartey George, the MP for Ningo-Prampram.

The bill prohibits LGBTQ activities and makes it illegal to promote, advocate, or fund them, as reported by Citi Newsroom.


Local media also reports that individuals caught engaging in the activity could face a jail sentence ranging from six months to three years, while those who support or promote the activity may be sentenced to three to five years in prison.

This is coming after years of the bill being in parliament and going through various stages, facing backlash and efforts by opponents to block it or make changes.

In Ghana, homosexuality is currently prohibited by law and can result in a prison sentence of up to three years.

According to the new legislation, the maximum sentence will be extended to five years.

This proposal will also criminalise the distribution of materials that are considered supportive of LGBTQ rights.


According to Citi Newsroom, Parliament approved the bill one day after Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Board Chair of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to reject it.

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Takyiwaa Manuh, a senior fellow at the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, mentioned to CBS News that Akufo-Addo has not approved any previous privately sponsored bills for legal reasons related to the country’s constitution.

According to Manuh, the speaker of the parliament did not conduct the necessary analysis of the bill.

She believes that if the bill becomes law, it will significantly impact the judiciary, police, and other areas of society.

“I am sad, disappointed and surprised that our commitment and democratic principles in this country appear to be so shallow.


“This bill represents a real danger to our country, and we are looking to the president to uphold the values of our country and constitution,” she said.

The bill will need the President’s approval to take effect.

It remains uncertain whether President Akufo-Addo will approve the bill.

In 2021, the United Nations expressed concerns about the potential impacts of the proposed law, Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, warning that it could lead to state-sponsored discrimination and violence against sexual minorities.

In May 2023, Uganda implemented strict anti-LGBT legislation, which includes severe penalties such as the death penalty for certain homosexual acts.


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Elumelu in global academic limelight as TEF case study becomes Harvard’s curriculum



In an unprecedented move, the Harvard Business School, the graduate business school of Harvard University, is set to cast the spotlight on the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), recognizing the Foundation’s extraordinary philanthropic achievement in a ground-breaking case study.

The case study, the first of its kind on any philanthropic organization in Africa, is to be launched on Thursday, February 29, 2024, before a class of graduate students in Boston, Massachusetts, and will explore the Foundation’s unique approaches and transformative initiatives, showcasing how strategic philanthropy offered by TEF is driving positive change and elevating countries and communities.

This move by Harvard underscores the Foundation’s pivotal role in empowering young African entrepreneurs across all 54 African countries and places the Foundation at the forefront of global discussions on transformative and catalytic philanthropy, acknowledging its significant contributions towards fostering entrepreneurship in Africa.

In addition to delving into the foundation’s innovative approaches and the resultant impact it has garnered over the years, the event will also feature an exclusive acknowledgment of the Founder of TEF, Tony Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the African continent.


The Tony Elumelu Foundation is the leading philanthropy, empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, driving poverty eradication, catalyzing job creation across all 54 African countries, and increasing inclusive economic empowerment.

Since the launch of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme in 2015, the Foundation has trained over 1.5 million young Africans on its digital hub, TEFConnect, and disbursed over USD$100 million in direct funding to 20,000 young African women and men, who have collectively created over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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Tony Elumelu who spoke on the impact of TEF on the African youth said, “TEF is creating economic hope and opportunity for African Entrepreneurs. We know that entrepreneurship is the antidote to poverty, youth unemployment, and insecurity. Through the intervention of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, we are encouraging our young people, giving them hope through the seed capital we provide, capacitating them through the training and mentoring we provide, and setting them up to create businesses that will succeed and create even more jobs. Collectively we are fixing the challenges that we have on the continent.

Continuing, he said, “The Tony Elumelu Foundation was set up to create more successful African business leaders. We want to replicate our own success and create entrepreneurs who will build more prosperity on the continent and for the continent. It’s all about transforming our society and making sure that we leave society better than we met it. It is not about the money that we have in our bank accounts, it is about the legacy that we make and the impact we create. Prosperity for all is what will create the security, harmony, and peace that we need.”

The Harvard Business School session will provide a platform for thought leaders, scholars, and business enthusiasts to engage in a meaningful discussion on the role of philanthropy in shaping sustainable and inclusive economies. As the world grapples with complex challenges, the Tony Elumelu Foundation stands as a beacon of hope, showcasing how strategic philanthropy can be a driving force for positive change.

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