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Buhari salutes ex-Minister, Adelusi-Adeluyi, at 80

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Buhari salutes ex-Minister, Adelusi-Adeluyi, at 80

President Muhammadu Buhari has rejoiced with a former Minister of Health, Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, on the occasion of his 80th birthday.


The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement, said Buhari’s congratulatory message was conveyed in a letter addressed to Adelusi-Adeluyi, on Saturday.

The president described Adelusi-Adeluyi as an accomplished pharmacist, lawyer and boardroom player.

“It gives me immense pleasure to rejoice with you, as you attain the milestone age of 80 in sound mind and good health.

“Your life is one signposted by many achievements, which, undoubtedly, inspire the younger generation to noble ideals. Your imprints are clearly left on the sands of time,” he said.

“As an accomplished pharmacist, lawyer and key player in many private sector organisations, you are on the Governing Council and past president of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies; first District Governor of Rotary International, District 9110, Nigeria and Chairman of MTN Foundation,” he said.

Buhari also acknowledged Adelusi-Adeluyi as a recipient of national awards of MFR in 1986 and OFR in 2002.

“At 80, as you are celebrated by family, friends, associates and professional colleagues from far and near, I wish you longer life, greater strength and more salutary impact on our country and across all walks of life,” the president said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adelusi-Adeluyi is the Founder and Chairman of Juli Plc, the first indigenous company to be quoted on the Nigeria Stock Exchange.

He was also a former Minister of Health; past Chairman of O’dua Investment Limited; Distinguished Fellow, Institute of Directors; Fellow, Institute of Management; Fellow, West Africa Post-Graduate College and pioneer President, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

Ismaila Chafe: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Defence/Security

Digital economy: Nigeria must shift focus from certificate to skills – Pantami

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The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, has advocated for shifting of focus from certificate to skills education for the actualisation of Nigeria’s digital economic drive.


Pantami made the call at the Graduation Lecture of the National Defence Collage Course 28, titled; “Digital Economy and National Development in Nigeria”, on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said that digital literacy and skills was one of the pillars outlined for the development of the digital economy of Nigeria in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS).

The minister added that emphasis on certificate must be reduced in engaging labour force, urging that focus should be shifted to skills if the nation must catch up with development.

He said that many developed and developing countries such as China, United States and Morocco had shifted attention to skills rather than certificate, adding that many of them had established skills centres.

According to him, certificate is important but secondary to skill and that is why we must pay attention to skills in our journey to digital economy.

“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy. It will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens.

“We recently provided a platform, the DigitalNigeria.gov.ng platform, to enable Nigerians receive training in diverse digital skills. Over 36,000 Nigerians have enrolled on the platform since the 2nd of April, 2020.

“We are championing a paradigm change that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills.

“The National Defence College is an institution that supports the development of skills and there are many digital techniques that can support the great work that you are doing here,’’ he said.

Pantami stated that the digital economy was a prime catalyst for development, adding that in less than one year, government’s modest efforts had already yielded remarkable results.

According to him, the recent first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that ICT contributed an unprecedented 14.07 per cent to Nigeria’s total real GDP.

The minister further disclosed that the national security architecture must key into the digital revolution in tackling the prevailing security challenge using digital technology.

He explained that emerging technologies came with different solutions to security challenges of every nation such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotic technology, drone and many more.

“These are some of the emerging technologies that will go a long way in promoting security of nations. The security officials are in better position to look into and see how to customize them and make use of them.”

Also, the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, said the Federal Government had taken steps to adopt, adapt and internalise the digital economy in a functional manner.

Magashi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, said it was important that security and defence establishments show more than a cursory interest in the digital economy.

He added that the adaptation of digital economy could result in increased cybercrimes thus undermining national security.

“I wish to commend the Commandant, staff and the entire College community for their collective efforts in pursuing the ideals of the College.

“In particular, I commend you for organising the graduation lecture, which was exciting, educative and would be helpful to the economic and security needs of the Nigerian nation,’’ he said.

Earlier, the Commandant of the collage, Rear Adm. Markson Kadiri, said the lecture had become a key component of the training programme of the College and a major highlight of its annual graduation ceremonies.

Kadiri said that a total of 107 participants had successfully completed the course comprising 67 officers of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, seven Senior Police Officers and 15 participants from key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Others according to him, include 18 senior military officers from the Armed Forces of friendly nations.

“A large part of the Course was conducted online, after the general lockdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Course was conducted under the theme “Economic Diversification and National Development in Nigeria”. Economic diversification is a broad based strategy designed to cause positive and multi-sectoral economic growth and development,’’ he said.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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General news

Kwara Gov congratulates BUA boss at 60

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has congratulated the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, on his 60th birthday anniversary.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the congratulatory message was sent on behalf of the governor by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Rafiu Ajakaye, in Ilorin on Tuesday.

AbdulRazaq described the BUA boss as a distinguished Nigerian businessman with a track record of investments in human capital and community development. 

“On behalf of his family, the people and government of Kwara State, His Excellency, the Governor sends his warm greetings to the business leader and philanthropist Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu on the occasion of his birthday.

“While assuring him of conducive business environment, the governor commends Alhaji Rabiu for his huge investments in Kwara State,” Ajakaye said.

The CPS added that the governor also acknowledged the head of the BUA conglomerate as the highest singular donor to the state’s campaign against COVID-19 pandemic.

He said Rabiu donated N100 million and three ambulances to fight COVID-19 in the state.

“The governor prays the Almighty Allah to continue to bless Alhaji Rabiu and his family and all his business concerns.

“He prays Almighty God to grant him more fruitful years and good health,” Ajakaye added.

Edited By: Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)

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Environment

137 Rangers worldwide die in 2020, says International Rangers’ President

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No fewer than 137 park Rangers lost their lives to wildlife attacks among several unfortunate homicide related cases, across seven regions of the world in the last 12 months, the International Federation (IRF), said on Tuesday.


Its President, Chris Galliers, made the disclosure at the 2020 World Ranger Day, celebrated annually on July 31.

Galliers’ speech was read by Dr Ibrahim Goni, Conservator-General, National Park Service, during a Zoom meeting in Abuja to commemorate the World Rangers Day in Abuja.

He said that the figures accounted for the highest number of Rangers deaths since the inception of the Roll of Honour in 2011.

Galliers said of the seven IRF regions, Asia had the greatest number of rangers’ killed at 66 deaths, representing 48 per cent of all ranger deaths.

According to him, Africa has the second highest number of Rangers’ deaths of 40, making up 30 per cent.

“We know that this number could be considerably higher, as not all ranger deaths are reported or publicised.

“The number is still unacceptably high, with 1,013 recorded ranger deaths over the past decade.

“This is of major concern. We, as the ranger family, share in the loss of our colleagues and their families, and look to honour them on the World Ranger Day for all that they had contributed to the profession and conservation.”

He said the main cause of deaths on duty for rangers was homicide, which accounted for 43 deaths, adding that these deaths mostly occurred in Africa and Asia.

“In addition, the environment in which rangers work can be hostile and dangerous, threatened by the very animals that they serve to protect.

“Wildlife attack accounted for the second highest cause of rangers fatalities, with 24 deaths.

“Other causes include accidents- 33 deaths; drownings- 14 deaths and illness/natural causes- 23 deaths.”

The IRF president said the the federation, at the World Ranger Congress, at  Nepal in November, 2019, set some ambitious actions to professionalise the sector and support those working on the frontline.

He said for the rangers around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic had created new challenges and threats.

Galliers said that for the most part, rangers had been classified as essential services, allowing them to continue their invaluable works.

According to him, rangers need the support of the world, and to achieve this, regardless of COVID-19, or not, there is a need for empowered and well supported rangers, operating in a more secured work place, who will become ambassadors for the profession to inspire the next generation.

“We hope that the world takes a greater appreciation of the value of protected and conserved areas and the people who protect them, and realise having a minimum of 30 per cent of the earth protected by 2030 is a real necessity.

“On behalf of IRF and the Board, we thank all those that are taking the time to voice their support for rangers. Thanks too must go to all that are running programmes to keep rangers operational and effective through this difficult time.

“Finally, a thank you to the ranger families for their support and the sacrifices that they live with continuously.”

In his remarks, Mr Andre Dunn, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Nigeria Project, said the current COVID-19 pandemic had added to some of the challenges being faced by rangers.

Dunn, however, said it was commendable to note that ranger patrols by the Nigerian National Park Service had not once faltered during this turbulent period.

According to him, with the support from WCS, Rangers are a force for good in Nigeria.

Dunn: “Ranger teams in Yankari Game Reserve have not lost a single elephant to poaching since 2015.

“Dedicated ranger units in Cross River National Park have drastically reduced poaching of Cross River Gorillas, and there has been no record of Gorillas killed in Okwangwo since 2008.

“Only constant patrols by courageous rangers in Gashaka Gumti National Park has kept Nigeria’s largest wilderness area safe and secure, free from the scourge of Boko Haram.”

He, however, noted that Nigerian rangers needed automatic weapons, better training, improved remuneration and better working conditions.

Dunn added that the rangers also needed joint patrols with the army and improved recognition of the work they do to improve security for all Nigerians, not just for wildlife.

“Also, confidence that the poachers they risk their lives to arrest will be prosecuted according to the full force of the law, and would not be released to reoffend; zero tolerance for violence or threats of violence against rangers,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some rangers from the various national parks across the country shared their experiences, and called for provision of more sophisticated equipment and support for effective service delivery.

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

 

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COVID-19

NUC says 32 universities involved in research to tackle impacts of COVID-19

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The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, says 32 federal, state and private universities across all geopolitical zones are involved in different stages of research toward tackling direct and collateral impacts of COVID-19.


Rasheed, who was represented by Dr Suleiman Yusuf, Deputy Executive Secretary, Academics, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday at a news briefing on the contribution of the Nigerian University System toward mitigating the impact of COVID-19.

He noted that the research would be building up over the coming months.

According  to him,  the universities will not relent on their efforts until COVID-19 was consigned to history and lessons learned for tackling future national epidemics and global pandemics.

” As at June 22, not less than 32 universities are involved in different stages of research aimed at galvanising research toward the development of vaccines and non vaccines.

“As in many other parts of the world, the pandemic has challenged our knowledge system, which has proved inadequate and insufficiently robust enough to respond to the challenges.

“Only few institutions have been able to utilise open and distance learning system to keep students engaged while the pandemic lasted and only few laboratories continued with research and development activities.

” Nonetheless, the few who engaged in research and innovation work have demonstrated the need for a well-funded and robustly organised national research and innovation system to catalyse the national

response,” he said.

Rasheed added that in the area of Genomic research, the African Centres of Excellence (ACE), particularly the Centre for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases at the Redeemer’s University, Ede was collaborating with the University of Cambridge for the development of vaccines.

He said that other ACEs in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Universities of Lagos, Benin, Port Harcourt and Jos,  which served as national

testing and screening centres had proved that world-class research and development was possible in Nigeria.

He, therefore, added that the country’s university system could be readily effective and relevant to national development if research was valued and adequately funded and the institutions provided with resources to motivate researchers and innovators including students.

On the current efforts of herbal remedies, Rasheed said the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on herbal and natural products development was acknowledged, following the great demonstration of enviable political leadership by the President of Madagascar.

“Such will go a long way to motivate homegrown developments and innovation in science and technology by the NUC, including anti COVID-19 human immunity boosting foods.

“Furthermore, Nigeria needs to develop homegrown capabilities in the production and manufacture of the most basic medical and pharmaceutical products such as PPEs, WASH accessories, and ventilators.

” Limited developments are reported from the few ongoing research, but these give some hope that the NUC can provide the R&D base for responding to these needs and much needed structural reconfiguration of the economy.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

 

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