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Publishing in tertiary institutions: FG approves N4bn book devt fund



The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TEFund) says the Federal Government has approved over N4.9 billion for Book Development Fund to revive academic publishing in tertiary institutions.

Dr Suleiman Bogoro, TETFund ‘s Executive Secretary (ES), disclosed this on Thursday at the third inaugural ceremony of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on book development fund in Abuja.

Bogoro said that there is critical paucity of indigenously produced tertiary level textbooks and related academic publications in the nation’s tertiary institutions.

“It is equally worrisome that quality of most academic publications in Nigeria leaves much to be desired.

“It is expected that nurturing the culture of quality authorship and production of indigenous books will ensure availability of recent books and safeguard national pride.

“It is true that foreign books are helpful but an indigenous book industry is needed to provide opportunities for the nation’s writers, thinkers and artists,” he said.

The executive secretary added that the gross insufficiency of standard tertiary level literature in our libraries and bookshops further underscore the urgent need that comes with targeted strategies to encourage indigenous authorship of textbooks for tertiary institutions.

He said that the project was inspired by the need to ensure adequate production and supply of locally developed academic texts, and in line with fund mandated by law.

“A seed grant of N2 billion was approved by the Board of Trustees for the Book Development Fund which is being utilised centrally for development of manuscripts and textbooks.

“Subsequently, an additional sum of N2.980 billion was added to the seed grant, which is making it N4,980,000,000.00 out of which N2,589,438,751.03 has been utilised for the intended purpose.

“The Book Development Fund intervenes in three interrelated areas, namely: Development and Publication of Academic Books as well as conversion of high quality thesis into book.

“Support for Professional Associations’ Journals and establishment as well as sustainability of Academic Publishing Centres (APCs),” he said.

The TETFund boss noted that there is ongoing construction of seven APCs at least one in a university in each of the six geo-political zones and Federal Capital Territory with the aim of reviving quality academic publishing in tertiary institutions.

According to him, the centres are to be fully equipped and staffed to provide all necessary pre-press support for the production of quality manuscripts and conversions of manuscripts into books.

“Out of the seven APCs that have been established across six geo-political zones and FCT, four centres are completed and commissioned.

“Others centres are at the various stages of completion, which are to be completed and commissioned by the end of 2019.

“We are expecting the inaugurated Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to advise the Fund on the sustainability of APCs and institutional arrangements for their management, among other guidelines,” he said.

He tasked the committee to turn things around by ensuring the harvest and publication of high quality tertiary level texts, especially tertiary education institutions.

Bogoro added that the expectation of the fund is that senior academics should be able to produce exceptional quality manuscripts for the academia and serve as mentors to young ones.

“The TAG inaugurated today comprises of eminent and a wide range of professionals drawn from within the academia and relevant stakeholders.

“We are very confident that given the quality range of expertise and experience of its members, the Higher Education Book Development programme will record a remarkable success,” he said.

Responding, Prof. Charles Aworh, the Chairman of TAG, commended TETFund boss, Chairman and all members of the TETFund board of trustees for the opportunity to serve the nation.

Aworh said that it is indeed an opportunity and a privilege to serve and that all the group accept the responsibility with humility and gives the assurance to work with loyalty and commitment, to discharge their responsibility and make sure everyone is engaged and motivated.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the TAG was created in 2010 by the fund to restore the culture of research and high quality academic publishing within the higher education sub-sector.


FMBN, Diaspora Commission plan to providing easy mortgage for Nigerians abroad



The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) is developing  a Diaspora mortgage housing scheme to assist Nigerians living abroad to own homes in Nigeria, the Managing Director, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa, says.

Dangiwa spoke in Abuja on Thursday when Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, paid him a courtesy visit.

He described the visit as timely because the bank was currently managing Nigerians in the Diaspora on mortgage products developed for them.

Dangiwa said that several presentations had been made on the subject at external engagements attended by the bank, particularly in the UK and the U.S.

He said the bank had received positive responses and visits as a result of some of the engagements.

“The Diaspora Mortgage is a special window developed for Nigerians living abroad to facilitate access to finance for residential housing development at home.

“The steps we took show that we have the interest of Nigerians in Diaspora,” Dangiwa said.

He said that the central focus of the bank’s strategic realignment was to strengthen its partnership and collaborate with stakeholders to promote mutual understanding to  achieve  the purpose of the National Housing Fund (NHF).

He said that the bank was established to provide affordable mortgages to drive home ownership among Nigerians, particularly low and medium income earners, through NHF.

Dangiwa said Nigerian workers contributed 2.5 per cent of their monthly income to the NHF scheme.

In her speech, Dabiri-Erewa said the project would make the lives of Nigerians in Diaspora easier by enabling them to acquire their own houses.

She said that it would deal with the major challenges faced by Nigerians in Diaspora as many  had been duped by friends and relatives.

“Many of them will send some money home for people to help them build houses but at the end, those relatives will spend the money without doing anything,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

She said that Dangiwa had made mortgage attractive as poor Nigerians could now own houses.

Dabiri-Erewa said it was important that something was done urgently to ensure that Nigerians in Diaspora owned houses in the country.

She said that the staff of the commission would participate in the bank’s mortgage programme.

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FG tasks 1,000 civil servants trained by HUAWEI`s on quality service delivery



The Federal Government on Thursday urged 1,000 civil servants trained under the HUAWEI`s initiative to improve the nation`s public service in their various Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).


HUAWEI is a technologies company limited, a Chinese multinational technology company, that provides telecommunication equipment and electronics.


Nigeria News Agency reports that HUAWEI Company is collaborating with the government of the federation to train 1,000 public servants across the MDAs.


Mustapha, who expressed gratitude to the HUAWEI technologies for partnering with the Nigerian government, said the initiative would upgrade the knowledge of Nigerian civil servants in area of technology to enhance quality service delivery in the country.


Represented by Mr Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, Mustapha said the training was aimed at improving the capacity of the federal public servants in ICT.


“This journey began in 2018 with signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Government and the HUAWEI Technologies Nigeria Ltd.


“Interestingly, this event signifies a further collaboration between government and private sector organisations.


“This, I believe will facilitate the ongoing efforts at improving the quality of service delivery to Nigerians through all government policies, programmes and projects, “ he said.


The SGF opined that the initiative was machinery, which the Nigerian government had put in place, to ensure improvement in quality of service delivery through the deployment of technology.


He said HUAWEI technologies did not only trained the participants, but had also gone ahead to demonstrate its commitment to the application of the knowledge acquired by recognising 30 outstanding participants among the civil servants.


“I will like to commend the efforts of our sponsors for the initiation of this noble gesture as part of the obligations under the Social Corporate Responsibility programme, “ he said.


Earlier in his remark, Mr Olusegun Adekunle, Permanent Secretary, General Services Office, office of SGF, commended Huawei technologies for its corporate social responsibility obligations in Nigeria.


Represented by Mr David Genge, Director Planning Research and Statistic office of SGF, Adekunle said the initiative would continuously invest in people by improving ICT talents through technical training.


“ICT for change is one of such programmes sponsored by Huawei Technologies and particularly designed to build capacity and improve on the skills of 1,000 public servants in the area of ICT.


“Essentially, this programme complements the implementation of reforms in the Federal Public Service, part of which is intended to upgrade the public service through a constructive plan to boost knowledge and efficiency within the work force.


“It is paramount to note that government is dependent on a resourceful and efficient public service for the implementation of its policies and programmes for the actualisation of a better Nigeria.


According to him, the initiative is targeted at equipping participants with latest trends in ICT such as e-Government for the future we want, Big Data Cutting-Edge technology.


Others, he said, were trends, Internet of Things (IoT), Innovative ICT (Building a Smart City), which had direct impact on Government programmes and policies.


“ I therefore want to urge participants to use the acquired knowledge to positively impact on their work, bringing about innovative ideas that will boost service delivery in the best interest of the Public Service, “ he said.


Also speaking, Mr Zhou Pingjian, Ambassador of People`s Republic of China to Nigeria, expressed pleasure to join Nigeria in the awards ceremony.


Pingjian said civil servants played an essential role in the effective and efficient running of government of any country in the world.


According to him, with the ever wider spread and application of ICT in the society, civil servants everywhere are confronting more and more ICT-related challenges in formulating and implementing policies.


He said China remained committed to enhancing exchanges and cooperation between competent authorities of China and Nigeria, sharing good practice in each other’s ICT development.


“This will be achieved by seizing the opportunity presented by the digital economy, encouraging companies to carry out cooperation in ICT infrastructure, the internet and the digital economy.


“And also working together to narrow the digital divide and promote the building of an information society in Nigeria and China, “ he said.


Edited by Felix Ajide


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NiMet predicts thunderstorms, rains for Friday



The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted thunderstorms over parts of North and central cities with chances of rains over the Southern region on Friday.

NiMet’s weather outlook on Thursday in Abuja predicted thunderstorms over Northern states throughout the forecast period with day and night temperatures of 25 to 29 degree Celsius and 20 to 24 degree Celsius respectively.

“For Central States, thunderstorms and rains are anticipated over Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Yola, Mambilla Plateau, Niger, Abuja, Makurdi, and Jos axis in the morning.

It forecast cloudy conditions with chances of rains over Ikom, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Yenagoa, Calabar, Eket and Enugu axis in the morning hours.

NiMet envisaged intermittent rains over the region in the afternoon/evening period with day and night temperatures of 29 to 31 degree Celsius and 22 to 24 degree Celsius respectively.

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COREN conference participants emphasise mentoring for young engineers



Participants at the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), Assembly have called for consistent mentoring of young engineers by the experienced colleagues to enhance the growth of the profession.

They made the call on Thursday, at the close of the 28th COREN Assembly which held in Abuja. It had the theme: “Strategic Alliance Among Engineering Professional for Enhanced Opportunities”.

According to them, young engineers need to be mentored and guided by the older and more experienced ones so that they can be grounded in the knowledge they acquired in the classroom, and groomed with knowledge that comes with actual practice.

One of the participants, Mr Hamza Musa, who works at the Osogbo control centre of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, told the Nigeria News Agency , that such mentoring was particularly crucial for electrical engineers.

He said that there should be more training and courses that would make the engineers more enlightened, exposed and equipped.

Musa, however, identified quackery as one of the major problems facing the industry.

“The conference is also an avenue to eliminate such menace in the profession since very experienced technocrats deliver talks that embolden the young ones in the sector.

“We need to have access to mentoring; we need to see what other organisations are doing so that we can compete and meet up with the global trends in engineering.

“Mentoring is very important if Nigeria must be among the commity of nations with excellent records.

“Talking of mentoring, I believe it should come more in the area of electrical and chemical engineering,” he added.

According to him, young professionals in these areas have few industries available where they can get the required experience.

“The situation is even worsened by the fact that Nigeria does not have the equipment and also lacks the environment to support the young professionals.,” he said.

Mr Timothy Ahile, Lecturer, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi corroborated Musa’s position

“It is time the issue of mentoring is taken seriously because it is the only way to strengthen the system and build a strong structure in the sector. Young people must have those that they look up to for reference and inspiration.

“I came here with three young engineers working with me because I believe that the experience will build their confidence and enable them improve on their perspective and focus on the profession.

“COREN must ensure that mentoring of youths studying engineering becomes one of the programmes of the courses. Through that course, young engineers will be made to feature in conferences,” he said.

NAN reports that the COREN assembly is an annual event and the biggest gathering of the engineering family where issues affecting the profession are discussed and solutions to emerging issues proferred.

Edited by Ariwodola Idowu and Ephraims Sheyin

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Information minister tasks bosses of FG-owned media outfits on unity




Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, has charged heads of parastatals under the ministry to use their platforms to promote unity, patriotism and cordial relationship among Nigerians.

Mohammed gave the charge on Thursday in Abuja when heads of some of the ministry’s parastatals paid him a courtesy call to congratulate him on his reappointment.

Those who visited the minister included Dr Garba Abari, National Orientation Agency, Malam Yakubu Ibn-Mohammed of NTA, and Dr Mansur Liman of FRCN.

Others included Malam Isha’q Modibo Kawu of NBC, Mr Osita Okechukwu of Voice of Nigeria, and Mrs. Ndidi Amimienwaw, Ag Director-General, Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation.

“The only reward for hardwork is more work; you have the responsibility to turn down the heat, hostility and hatred that is threatening to engulf the country today.

“Use your powerful platforms to restore unity to the country and promote cordial relationship among the various groups, irrespective of ethnicity or religion.

“I want to appeal to you to please redouble your efforts and ensure that we work together to take back our country from agents of disunity and destabilisation.

“I have no doubt that together we can turn down the accrimony that is being promoted by enemies of the country using platforms which are not as powerful as yours,” Mohamed said.

He stressed that unity among heads of parastatals under the ministry was crucial to achieving great things for the country.

The minister thanked God for the fresh mandate and also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari  for finding him worthy of a fresh opportunity  to serve.

According to him, the reappointment was a testimony of Buhari’s confidence in him and the information ministry’s contributions to the success recorded in the last four years.

Earlier, leader of the delegation, Abari, had said that the the purpose of the visit was to congratulate and felicitate with the minister on his reappointment.

“Your reappointment did not come to us as a surprise given what has been done in the past four years; you added value to this government in the last four years.

“We have worked with you and passed through many challenges but with your guidance and support, we were able to reach our destinations.

“It has been tough in the last four years; this time around, the terrain may be tougher and rougher, especially with the forces of opposition being unleashed on us left right and centre.

“This visit is to drum support for you and commit ourselves to carrying out our mandates in our respective mandates,” Abari said.

Edited by Chioma Ugboma and Ephraims Sheyin

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