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No nation can develop without science and technology- Secretary-General Research Institute

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Dr Theophilus Ndabuaku, National Secretary-General, Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI), says no nation can develop without Science and Technology.

Ndabuaku said this on Thursday in Abuja, during strategic meeting of Directors-General of Research and Development Institutions and Leadership of ASURI on National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC), establishment bill 2019.

He noted that it was an undeniable fact that research was the engine of scientific innovations.

According to him, ASURI is very conscious of the enormous economic potentials of Nigeria.

Ndabuaku said, “We assert the incontestable fact that Nigeria is either second to none or maybe to the U.S.A. in terms of diversity, quantity and quality of human and natural resources.

“Given the abundance of God’s blessings, with minimal occurrences of natural disasters, Nigeria should be among the richest nations in the world.

“Many technologically-advanced and rich nations such as China, India, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia initiated similar policies at about the same time, but they were consistent with the implementation.

“At independence, the Nigerian economy was far better than those of some of these nations, but we have transformed from net exporter to importer of goods and services from them.

“Though Nigeria has been designated as the current poverty capital of the world, ASURI remains confident that establishing the NRIC is key to making our nation great again”.

He further noted that repositioning of the research institutions in the country would help to make unemployment, cybercrime, kidnapping, prostitution, human trafficking, maternal and child mortality, things of the past.

He mentioned that with NRIC Nigerian researchers would be able improve on crude oil refinery technologies and that through collaboration with Standards Organisation of Nigeria; the country would save more funds.

He commended the Federal Government efforts for establishment of the National Research Organisation Council, which he said would not only help to re-position research in Nigeria, also move the nation forward.

Earlier,  Dr Jubrin Mohammed, Director-General of National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI), decried inadequate funding of the Science and Technology to hinder growth.

Mohammed, also Chairman of the event, said that although the first National Science and Technology policy designed to promote innovations was initiated in 1966, it was produced in 1986.

He, therefore, called for proper investment in the research development in the country to achieve desired goals.

“This point in time in our country is a critical one; it is either we make investments in research and development as nation than live by predictions now or in future.

“Otherwise, we will expire down the path on short sited cut to Nigeria Science and Technology enterprise, engineering and mathematics, education activities that supports us.

“Our children and grandchildren will suffer if we fail to invest: research and education leads to innovation and brings about economic growth, good paying jobs and revenue supports for additional research.

“The concept of sustainable development requires balancing environmental, societal and economic considerations, in the pursuit of improved quality of life,” Mohammed said.

Meanwhile, Prof. Peter Onwualu, former Director-General of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), said that although government established research institutions, it should fund them to achieve targets.

According to him, you will hear about institutions such as NUC looking after universities, NCCE for Colleges of Education, NBTE for polytechnic and so on.

“Why do governments establish these institutions, because it is aware that you require these institutions to function effective, which institution has been established for researches, no one.

“How much do we give to research institutes, if resources are there you have no business being poor in the research institution, to succeed government must take leadership,” Onwualu said.

He, however, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the National Research and Innovation Council Bill passed by the NASS into law, to promote research development in the country.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that the high point of the event was the revival of the Committee of Directors of Research Institutes (CODRI) by the participants.

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Kwara Government reiterates commitment to road rehabilitation

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The Kwara Government has restated its commitment to give priority to construction and rehabilitation of roads in the state.

Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi, gave the assurance when he received the Executives of Idofin Odo Ashe Development Association, led by its President, Mr Stephen Kasum in his office in Ilorin on Saturday.

Alabi described the deplorable state of roads as a serious problem in the state, especially in Kwara South, adding that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq-led government would give necessary attention to road rehabilitation across the state.

The President of the Association, Stephen Kasum, commended the   government for the achievement recorded so far in the development of the state.

Kasum called for the upgrading of traditional rulers in Idofin district from third class to second class status.

He also called for the rehabilitation of the dilapidated Idofin-Olla road in order to reduce the suffering of road users.

 

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President Buhari salutes Sultan of Sokoto at 63

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President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar III, on the occasion of his 63rd birthday.

The president’s congratulatory message is communicated in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Saturday.

President Buhari applauded the Sultan’s exemplary roles and contributions toward building a peaceful, secure and prosperous country.

The President lauded the timely counsel and support of the royal father to his administration’s policies and programmes.

He also commended the Sultan for championing poverty reduction, healthcare and education for the most vulnerable, during his reign as a spiritual and traditional leader of the people.

President Buhari also acknowledged the laudable contributions of the Sultan as head of Jama’atu Nasirl Islam (JNI), President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and co-Chairman of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).

He urged him to keep doing the things he loves most: building bridges of peace, tolerance and development across Nigeria.

President Buhari joined family members, the Sokoto Emirate, the government and people of Sokoto State, friends and well-wishers in praying that Almighty Allah grants the Sultan more years of health and happiness.

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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No change in traditional roles of Chief of Staff, SGF – Presidency

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The Presidency on Saturday explained that the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the President had not changed.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja, frowned at recent negative speculations, saying the role of the CofS remains as it was during the first tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said: “Recent media and social media reports on the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff to the President have suggested that the role has changed. This is not the case.

“Today, under the Buhari II administration the role of Chief of Staff remains the same as it was under Buhari I.

“It is worth stressing that the role and responsibilities of the Chief of Staff and the method of communication and arranging scheduling between Cabinet members and the President are, in Nigeria, based on the US model, where the same system operates – and has done for decades – in precisely the same way.’’

According to Shehu, the CoS is to act as the head of the presidential administration at Aso Rock and to be an adviser to the President on any and all matters.

He said the CoS would serve as the line manager for all staff at Aso Rock, and to manage appointments and scheduling for the President.

“In the traditional presidential system, it is a primary function of a Chief of Staff, which may vary according to the needs and desires of each President.

“He is to supervise key State House Staff, control access to the office and the person of the President, manage communications and information flow and this includes that which binds the relationship with the two other arms of government,’’ he added.

The presidential aide, noted that during the President’s first term those were the responsibilities of the CoS, and “they remain the same responsibilities today. There is no change.

“When President Buhari explained to ministers that they would be expected to communicate with him and arrange scheduling to meet with him primarily via the Chief of Staff, he did so as many of the Buhari II Cabinet ministerial appointments are new appointments and cannot therefore be expected to know how matters of liaising with the President operate.

“This is to stress that access to the President is open to ministers. It is not true that this is denied them in the Second Term.’’

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on the other hand, according to him, is responsible for ensuring the effective coordination and monitoring of the implementation of government policies and programmes.

He added that all cabinet matters must go through him.

He explained that under this dispensation, a performance evaluation of ministers and Permanent Secretaries would be maintained by the SGF.

“Two weeks after assuming office, they are expected to sign mandate acceptance documents.

“It is time to end the unnecessary controversy, for the key appointees of the President to carry out their jobs,’’ he said.

SYC/MST

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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NGO produces 45 PhD holders in 25 years – Coordinator

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The Muslim Refresher Course Programme (MRCP), an Islamic Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), says it has trained and produced 45 Ph.D holders, with several Masters and First Degree graduates in its 25 years of existence.

Malam Aliyu Sabo, the State Coordinator of the organisation, disclosed this at the Silver Jubilee celebration of the NGO, held at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Conference Hotel, Kongo, Zaria, Kaduna state, on Saturday.

Sabo said: “At 25, MRCP has achieved most of its objectives which include; producing more than 45 Ph.D. holders, apart from those with Masters and First Degrees, HND, NCE and Diploma, among others.

“It has significant number of academic staff in ABU, Zaria, alone, talk less of other institutions.

“There are many among its beneficiaries in the Armed Forces with the ranks of Major, Captain and its equivalent, as well as in the Nigeria Police.

“It produced Medical Doctors, Administrators, Mathematicians, Engineers, Accountants, Teachers and Pharmacists, among others, who are contributing greatly to nation building.”

He said that MRCP had become worthy of emulation as similar programmes were established by its ex-students and people with same motive all over the town.

Sabo said the existence of the NGO had not only united the youths in Zaria, but it also helped them eliminate differences and hatred that existed amongst them for decades.

The coordinator howecer listed some challenges facing the organisation to include; lack of funds to establish Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and skills acquisition centre.

Others, he said, were lack of mobility for educational trips and other purposes, lack of laboratory and science practical apparatus and lack of standard computer laboratory.

Gov. Nasiru el-Rufa’i appreciated the gigantic efforts of the NGO and encouraged the leaders of the NGO to sustain the tempo.

The governor, who was represented by Alhaji Sa’idu Suleiman, Assistant Director, state Ministry of Education, assured the commitment of government towards educational development in the state.

The Emir of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris, described the efforts of the NGO as gigantic, encouraging and undying, adding that the benefits will never be forgotten.

The Emir, who was represented by Bijimin Arewan Zazzau, Alhaji Aliyu Sa’idu, appealed to other NGOs in the area to emulate the gesture to take Zaria and Zazzau emirate to greater heights.

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Price of garri remains stable in Enugu major markets

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The price of cassava flakes, popularly called ‘garri’, has remained stable in major markets in Enugu, the Nigeria News Agency reports.

A market survey conducted by in Enugu metropolis on Saturday revealed this price stability.

The report said the price of garri, one of the staple foods regularly consumed by Nigerians, had remained stable since April.

Some garri sellers, who spoke to attributed the price stability to many Nigerians going into cassava farming.

Mrs Patricia Nwozor, a garri seller at New market, said that the price has remained the same for the past five months.

Nwozor added that she planted, harvested, processed and sold the product by herself.

“Many people are into cassava farming this days, ever since garri was sold for N1000 per 4.5 litres in 2017, many families decided to go into cassava farming.

“Since 2018 till this time, the price of garri has been relatively stable in Enugu,” she said.

Mrs Uchechi Ikechi, another garri seller at Garki market, said that the price of a bag of white garri is stiil sold for N8,500, while that of yellow garri remained N9,500

Ikechi explained that a 4.5 litres bucket of the white garri goes for N300 and the white garri goes for between N350 and N400.

“The price of garri was lesser between December 2018 and March 2019, though stable from April till now.

“Between December 2018 and March 2019 the white bag of garri was sold for between N6000 and N7000.

“The yellow type went for N8000 and the 4.5 ltres of the white and yellow types were sold for N280 and N300, respectively,” she said.

Mrs Joy Igwe, a garri seller at Mayor market, said that price remain stable in the metropolis except in the rural markets where one could negotiate with the sellers to get it at lesser price.

According to Igwe, four cups of both the white and red garri still go N100 as one cup could be bought for N30.

A buyer at Ogbete Main Market, Mr Ukamaka Okezie, expressed happiness that price of garri has continued to be stable in the past five months.

Okezie commended the Federal Government for encouraging Nigerians to embrace farming as this has made staple food available and affordable in the country.

OJI/MST

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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