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Centre advocates intervention fund to boost research in Nigeria



Prof. Okechukwu Ukwuoma, the Director-General, National Centre for Technology

Management (NACETEM) on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to establish an intervention fund to

boost research activities in the country.

Ukwuoma made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of ongoing Stakeholders’

Workshop on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Indicators organised by NACETEM.

The workshop, which would also serve as means to conduct the first audit of selected economic sectors in the

country is holding in Abuja.

According to him, many times research institutions depend on budgetary provisions for their operations,

which is usually not timely and adequate.

He said “if we have funds, it will facilitate and fast track our ability to capture data within a time frame and

at a scale.

“But if we continue to wait for budgetary provision from government, it is only when the money is released that

we can do something.

“If we have intervention from other sources, maybe private sector or other government agencies, our operations

will be continuous but if it comes intermittently, our operations will also be done intermittently.

“Usually, the level of funding determines the outcome of research, so studies have shown that if funding is not forthcoming,

it takes longer time for the outcome to be realised.

“But if you have large quantum of funding, it would fast track research and accelerate results.”

Ukwuoma, who explained the essence of the workshop, said that a country could develop technologically if it had data

to plan, hence the need to capture the STI indicators for the country.

He added that the auditing was to ascertain Nigeria’s position in her quest for development.

“It is when we have the manpower and the required expertise, the right technology in terms of

hardware and software, as well as the infrastructure within our operating environment that we will say we are good to go.”

Dr Michael Mba, the Head of Real Sector Statistics Office, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a participant

who spoke on the importance of data, said that the role of CBN economic management made

it that such attempt to produce credible data that would support economic policy was supported at all levels.

He said “insufficient data affects us enormously because CBN is a strong anchor when it comes to economic management

in Nigeria and without data, we cannot actually do that.

“When we don’t have data in any aspect of the economy, it limits the effectiveness of our policies, the monetary policy

which the CBN drives. So, CBN will appreciate the efforts of any government agency or any institution to enhance

data collection and bring it to the level that it will be used for national development and policy formulation,’’ Mba said.

He added that the efforts of NACETEM to bring together all stakeholders before going out to collect data to harness

thoughts from key players in the economy was commendable.

On intervention funds, Mba said that before any call for intervention, there should be enough evidence that already released

funds were not sufficient.

“If we do not have enough information to support that we are not spending enough on research,

we cannot have justification to push for any intervention. So, part of what this study will achieve is to establish

what is the quantum based on the budgetary provision from research institutes and universities up to the households.

“We will now be able to ascertain and say apart from budgetary provisions these are other spendings

by institutions and agencies in Nigeria on Research and Documentation (R&D).

“When we measure the data accurately or near the reality then we can have some justification to say that there is

need for intervention from any angle from the Federal Government, state governments or government agencies.”

He, therefor, called for more efforts to ensure that the workshop lived up to its billing of coming up with accurate

data that government could use in formulating, implementing and evaluating data.

The workshop had in attendance, key players in the economy in both the private and public sectors.

General news

District Head plans skills acquisition centre for subjects



District Head plans skills acquisition centre for subjects



Bauchi, Jun.2,2020 Mallam Hussaini Othman, Head, Miri District, Bauchi Local Government Area, Bauchi State, says the district will establish skill acquisition centre for the entrepreneurial development of the people.

Othman made the disclosure on Tuesday in Bauchi when the leadership of Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’a Wa Ikamatus Sunnah (JIBWIS)  Wuntin, Dada branch, visited him.

The district head said that such vocational centres would not only facilitate the learning of skills, but put the youths on the path of self-reliance.

He described entrepreneurial skills acquisition as critical to the economic development of every nation.

“Acquiring skill is very important, the things we can do with our hands are capable of taking us to greater heights.

“As a people, we shall encourage our youths to get trained on meaningful tasks and become experts themselves,” he said.

Othman listed skills expected to be passed on to the youths to include, hair dressing, fashion designing, automobile mechanic, electrical works and mobile phone repairs, among others.

He said that the centre would also teach skills on small scale business management, adding, “we need our youths to be meaningfully engaged”

Earlier, Ustaz Salisu Jibrin, leader of the delegation, commended the district head for fostering unity, harmony and cooperation among the people.

Jibrin said the Islamic group was willing to support efforts of the district to promote morality, discipline and and decency among youths in the area.

Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Children play at Pavilion of Knowledge – Ciencia Viva Centre in Lisbon




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Children play at the Pavilion of Knowledge – Ciencia Viva Centre, a scientific and technological space, in Lisbon, Portugal on June 1, 2020, the International Children’s Day. (Photo by Pedro Fiuza/Xinhua)

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Lockdown: Osun to meet religious leaders on worship centres reopening



The Osun government says it will meet with religious leaders in the state to evolve modalities for the reopening of worship centres.

Mrs Funke Egbemode, the State Commissioner For Information and Civic Orientation, said this in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Osogbo.

Egbemode said the meeting with religious leaders became imperative in order to ensure proper implementation of the new guidelines for reopening of worship centres as given by the Federal Government in the new phase of easing the lockdown which began Tuesday.

“While we appreciate the patience of the citizens of the State of Osun so far, we are using this medium to urge citizens and residents not to be too anxious to assert the liberties contained in the new guidelines so that we do not lose the gains that we have made over the last few weeks,” she said.

She appealed to  residents of the state to exercise patience, promising that government would hold meetings with religious leaders across the state to work out the modalities for reopening of worship centres.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the relaxation of restriction placed on churches and mosques from Tuesday.

Mr Boss Mustapha,  the Chairman of the task force and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, disclosed this at the PTF press briefing in Abuja.

He said the reopening of churches and mosques would be based on guidelines issued by the task force and protocols agreed on by states.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Mufutau Ojo (NAN)

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COVID-19: Navy inaugurates 40 bed space isolation centre in Lagos



The Nigerian Navy (NN) on Monday  inaugurated a 40-bed-space isolation centre at the Naval Dockyard in Lagos State, for its   personnel who might  test  positive for Coronavirus disease .

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ette Ibas, was represented by Rear Adm. Oladele Daji, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command at the inauguration.


Ibas said that the centre would be used to isolate positive but asymtomatic persons, saying that it was part of NN’s proactive measures to curb the spread of the virus.


The Nigerian Navy  identified the need for increase its  isolation centres as a proactive measure toward quick response to the  COVID-19 management.


“Especially in situations where other facilities are overwhelmed with high number of patients ,this 40-bed isolation centre which we are about to  put to use immediately is part of the contributions of the Nigerian Navy to the fight against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.


“The isolation centre will be used to isolate positive but asymtomatic persons under strict guidance of trained medical personnel with technical support from the Lagos State Government,” he said.


He said that as there was an increase in exposure to the virus, there was  also an  increase in the number of confirmed cases, thereby causing isolation centres to be limited.


“An increase in exposure to the virus will lead to an increase in the number of confirmed positive cases.


“Therefore, the  management of positive cases includes the  isolation of the infected persons to reduce the chances of further spread in the community.


“Isolation centres have been established across the country to isolate and manage  confirmed cases,however, as more cases are confirmed, there arises the need for more centres for the isolation of people to reduce the risk of further transmission,” he said.


He said  the NN could not afford to take any chances,  especially, looking at how compacted their ships were.


“From what we have been hearing, somebody can have the virus but asymptomatic, that means it is possible that it can be spread to others.


“And you know by the nature of our work-space in the ship ,which is enclosed compartment, we can’t afford to have a high rate of such,” he said.


He said that the NN had been in contact with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Lagos,  since the project was conceived, saying that the NN would continue to contribute its quota to ensure that the pandemic was curtailed soon.


“Since this project was conceived, up till the commissioning, the NCDC  is in support of the NN policy for the health care need of personnel as championed by the CNS.


The NN will continue with this type of programme where necessary in  other parts of the country where we have a high concentration of naval personnel,” he said.


The CNS also used the opportunity to seek God’s guidance over naval  personnel and the Armed Forces in general.


As the NN celebrates its 64th anniversary, we pray that God Almighty continues to shower his blessings upon all our sailors, families, the leadership of the NN and the armed forces,” he said.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a tour round the facility showed that each room houses four beds.


NAN also reports that the facility was  divided into two sections where one section would  accommodate those that were not symptomatic.


The other section which housed oxygen ventilators would be  for those that would require some level of management before the arrival of NCDC officials.


The Coronavirus disease popularly known as COVID-19 is a pandemic which had affected virtually every country in the world, the first case in Nigeria was reported on Feb. 27, 2020 in Lagos.


The disease has spread to 35 of the 36 states with 9,202 confirmed cases in Nigeria while Lagos State has  recorded the highest number with 4,337 confirmed cases and 3,585 active cases.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Dada (NAN)


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Christians obey govt’s directive on partial reopening of worship centres in Ondo



Christians in Okitipupa, Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State on Sunday complied with the directive of the state government on partial reopening of worship centres in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Wednesday directed a “guided” and “syndicated” resumption of mosques and churches across the state.

The state government on March 26, directed a shutdown of all religious worship centres to curtail the spread of #coronavirus.

As part of the partial reopening of the worship centres, Akeredolu also directed that mosques and churches must be disinfected.

The governor also directed that soaps, water, hand sanitisers must be provided to worshippers as well as use of face masks and maintaining social distance, among others.

A NAN correspondent who visited churches like Christ Apostolic, Anglican, Methodist, Winners Chapel, Mountain of Fire, Redeemed Christian Church of God, among others, in Okitipupa, noted that the churches complied with government directives.

NAN also reports that worshippers wore face masks, while soap, water and hand sanitisers were provided for worshippers before entering the churches.

Worshippers also observed social distancing during the  services.

Primate Elisha Akinsulere, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ondo South District, told NAN on telephone that the government had been magnanimous in reopening worship centres.

He urged Christians to continue to pray to God to give the leaders the necessary direction and to pray for God to take away COVID-19 permanently.

“We are happy for the partial reopening of worship centres. We thank the state government for the magnanimity and we will continue to pray for our leaders for the right direction.

“I urge all our brethren to continue to pray to God to help us defeat COVID-19 permanently for peace to return to our dear country and the world at large,” Akinsulere said.

He, however, urged Christians to continue to comply with all government preventive measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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COVID-19: 21 patients discharged from Oyo isolation centre



Twenty-one COVID-19 patients have been discharged from the Oyo State Isolation Centre in the past three days after receiving their second negative test results.

Gov. Seyi Makinde announced this through his official Twitter handle on Saturday night.

Makinde said the figure raised the number of discharged cases so far to 96 in the state.

He, however, stated that 30 new cases were recorded within three days from May 28 when their confirmation tests came back positive.

According to his tweets, 10 cases recorded on May 28 were all from iSON Xperiences – a company located in the Dugbe area of Ibadan.

On May 29, 15 cases were confirmed and 10 of it were from the iSON Xperiences while five cases were recorded on May 30, five of which were also from iSON Xperiences.’’

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the five new cases confirmed in the state were among the 553 recorded in 15 states on Saturday.

The total number of confirmed cases in Oyo state is now 282,

With the new development, Makinde further urged residents with any COVID-19 symptoms, such as cough, fever, tiredness, body ache and shortness of breath, to call emergency operations centre.

According to him, the numbers to call are 08095394000, 08095863000, 08078288999 and 08078288800.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Lockdown: Event centres operators lament loss of patronage, lay off workers



Some proprietors of event centres in Lagos on Saturday complained about poor patronage of their outfits due to lockdown imposed to flatten the spreading curves of the coronavirus.

The relaxation centres owners, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, said they had laid off many of their workers because of the movement restriction order.

Mr Chike Asusu, Director of Double Day Events and Confessionary, at FESTAC said that he closed shop since the beginning of the lockdown in March, in line with the government order.

He said that since then, no form of income has been coming to him.

Asusu described the hospitality industry as worst hit by the lockdown.

“Lack of patronage of the centres, has compelled owners of many event centres to lay off workers so as to cut overhead.

“Three months running now, we have been without business.

“I managed to keep my 20 workers for the first two months of the lockdown, hoping the whole thing will be over soon while maintaining utility bills in the place.

The centre director, who decried the lockdown, stressed that no fewer than 10,000 jobs have been lost in the hospitality industry due to the lockdown in the state.

He appealed to the state government to assist the hospitality industry operators with bailout fund for the hospitality sector, in the post lockdown so as to return to business.

Also, Mr James Amadi, an outdoor catering service provider and event manager, said that social events have been greatly hindered by the lockdown.

Amadi, who services Lagos Trade Fair market and environs, said that people that fixed events before the lockdown, have put them off.

He said that this has rendered many operators redundant and unable to meet their obligations.

Normally I hired five caterers, three event venue decorators, three DJs and 12 ushers and all of them are been weekly.

But, without jobs these days, it has been difficult to keep them hence we laid them off.

“The tempo of the business will determine who among them that will be called back in the post lockdown,’’ he said.

Edited By: Cecilia Odey/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Kano Govt adopts measures to prevent spread of COVID-19 in worship centres



The Kano State Government says it has put in place measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in worship centres across the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Environment, Dr Kabiru Getso, said this in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry Mr Abbas Habib on Saturday in Kano.
“To prevent the spread of coronavirus during Friday and Sunday prayers in the state, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje has provided more facemasks and sanitation facilities to additional 430 worship centres across the state,” he said.
The Commissioner, however, called on the Imams and Pastors to continue to cooperate with the government, in its bid to educate residents on preventive measures against the coronavirus desease.
“Coronavirus is real and government will not condone inciting sermons that will throw people into doubting the disease,” he said.
Getso said the government had deployed 5,513 Sanitation Vanguards, Hisba Corps and other religious guards for distribution of facemasks and other sanitation facilities to Mosques and Churches to ensure compliance with the developed guidelines during the prayers and church services.
He said that about 430,000 facemasks, 3,000 detol soaps and 500 bottles of hand sanitisers have been distributed to Mosques and Churches.
The state government had on May 17, allowed the resumption of Friday prayers and Church services in the state.

Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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Reopening of worship centres: Muslims comply with govt. directive



Muslim faithful in Okitipupa in Okitipupa Local Government Area of Ondo State, on Friday, complied with the state government’s COVID 19 measures on partial re-opening of worship centres.

A check by the News Agency of Nigeria correspondent at the Okitipupa Central Mosque during the Jumat Service, revealed that water, soaps and alcohol base hand sanitisers were provided for worshippers.

NAN reports that Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu on Wednesday directed a “guided” and “syndicated” resumption of worship by Mosques and Churches across the state.

The state government had directed the closure of both worship centres on March 26 to curtail the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

Akeredolu also directed that worshippers must wear face mask and maintain social distancing while mosques and churches must be disinfected, and provided with soap, water and hand sanitisers.

NAN reports that most of the worshippers were seen putting on face masks and also maintaining social distancing in the mosque as directed by the state government.

Alhaji Kamaldeen Adeyemi-Bagudu, the Chief Iman of Okitipupa during his sermon, urged Muslims to sustain the love that existed in their families during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Adeyemi-Bagudu said that the pandemic had reunited many families and returned love to some shattered homes.

He advised the faithful to be thankful to Allah for being alive to witness the partial re-opening of mosques and called for more prayers to end the pandemic permanently.

“Fathers and husbands should be closer to their families even after the coronavirus because the lockdown has united many people better than what it used to be.

“Muslim faithful should pray for leaders and also that Allah should end the pandemic in Nigeria and the whole world,” Adeyemi-Bagudu said.

He urged Muslims to continue their five-time a day prayers at home, noting that only Friday Jumat would be observed in the mosque.

He also urged them to adhere strictly to all government preventive measures on COVID-19.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)

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