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CMD urges FG to create budget line for research in hospitals



CMD urges FG to create budget line for research in hospitals

Dr Muhammad Alkali, the Chief Medical Director, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBU-TH) has urged Federal Government to create budget line for research in health and educational institutions in the country.

Alkali made the call while addressing newsmen in Bauchi on Thursday during the Maiden Annual Research Day and Conference organised by the hospital.

Alkali explained that the hospital has three mandates – training, service and research.

He, however, added that “one sad thing is that in spite of the fact that research is a mandate of this hospital, there is no funding for it.

“Whatever is being supported is what the management of the hospital is doing and we all know for one to conduct credible research, the funding is beyond the hospital.

“Government should create specific budget line for research because without research, institutions, especially education and health, might go into extinction.”

The CMD said that with research, both health workers and the academia could find out how things were done and know more about diseases.

He said that this would enable the workers to manage their patients better and impart knowledge to those they want to teach or train.

Alkali said that the maiden annual research day and scientific conference would help the hospital to create awareness on the mandates of the hospital.

“This annual research day would provide platform to create awareness about the important mandates of the hospital.

“It would also serve as avenue to disseminate what researches are being done within the hospital and in the national and international scientific community, as well as serve as a form of interaction where we can network and move science to the next stage.” 

Edited by: Johnson Eyiangho/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu



Ayinde Olaide: 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]


Harvestplus Country Manager, chairs IITA-BASICS 11 cassava project



The Harvestplus Country Manager, Dr Paul Ilona, has been selected as the Chair of the Steering/Advisory Committee of the Building an Economically Sustainable, Integrated Cassava Seed System, Phase 2, (BASICS-II) of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.

The IITA Digital Extension and Advisory Services Specialist, Mr Godwin Atser, announced this in a statement on Sunday in Ibadan.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that BASICS II aims to create a community of commercial seed entrepreneurs across the cassava value chain by catalysing dissemination of improved varieties.

According to Atser, the project, driven by IITA, will focus on Nigeria and Tanzania with a spillover effect on other African countries.

He noted that Ilona, who was unanimously selected for the position, worked with IITA before joining HarvestPlus.

“During his stint with IITA, Ilona worked with breeders particularly, Dr Alfred Dixon, to develop hundreds of improved cassava varieties in several African countries.

“His work on cassava breeding and improvement earned him a national honour in DR Congo in 2013 and one of the best varieties released in that country was named after him.

“The “ILONA” cassava variety (MV2007/126) yields 21-47 tonnes per hectare with resistance to Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD) and a good level of tolerance to Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD).

“Ilona worked with farmers in participatory variety selection and fast-tracked cassava recovery in the DR Congo after the CMD invasion.

“He was instrumental in moving cassava breeding, looking at the bigger picture of value chains, and helped to link farmers to processors,” he said.

He quoted Dr Kenton Dashiell (IITA Deputy Director-General for Partnerships Delivery) and Alfred Dixon (IITA -Director and Technical Advisor to BASICS-II) as describing the selection of Ilona as a round peg in the round hole.

They expressed confidence that he would deliver, according to Atser.

NAN reports that in HarvestPlus, Ilona had championed the dissemination of pro-Vitamin A cassava (popularly called yellow cassava) to millions of farmers in Nigeria.

His efforts led to the acceptance and consumption of yellow cassava in Nigeria.

Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Coronavirus: Bauchi State Govt. distributes locally-produced face masks



The Bauchi State Government on Thursday launched the distribution

of 700,000 locally-produced face masks to vulnerable residents to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

The state Governor, Bala Mohammed, said while launching the distribution in Bauchi that the gesture was to ensure

people obeyed one of the protocols to check the spread of COVID-19 — wearing of face mask.

Represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Baba Tela, the governor, who is also the state’s Chairman, Task Force Committee on COVID-19

and Lassa Fever, said “as we are aware that the primary means of transmission of the deadly COVID-19 is among others,

the emission of small respiratory droplets of the virus from infected individuals.

“These individuals are either symptomatic, asymptomatic, or patients with full blown Coronavirus.”

Mohammed noted that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) protocol on combating spread of the pandemic

required ensuring physical distancing, wearing face mask, frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitiser, as well as

maintaining respiratory hygiene.

The governor explained that the distribution of the locally produced face masks was a significant milestone in checking

the spread of COVID-19 at the community level.

He added that the beneficiaries were the most vulnerable members of the society.

“The more we use the face mask, the less likely we will be in contracting the disease,” he said.

Mohammed reiterated that his administration had already directed the 20 local government areas caretaker committee chairmen to produce 10,000 face masks to distribute accordingly.

Dr Adamu Maigoro, the state’s Commissioner for Health, reiterated the commitment of the present administration on provision of quality healthcare to the citizens.

He said the state government initiated a collaboration with North East Development Commission (NEDC) and established Bauchi State Molecular Reference

Laboratory at the Specialist Hospital and ATBU Bauchi Teaching Hospital.

Maigoro said that the state government had also concluded arrangements to commence community active case search through

community testing in three local government areas of Bauchi, Kirfi and Bogoro.

“This is in line with NCDC guidelines of actively testing people to check the spread of the


Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu, the Emir of Bauchi and the state Chairman, Palliative Committee, urged the public to strictly follow COVID-19 protocols.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)


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ATBU alumnus vs ex-lecturer: Bauchi High Court dismisses defamation suit



A Bauchi High Court has dismissed a suit filed by an alumnus of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University,Bauchi, Mustapha Isa, accusing  his former lecturer,Dr Idris Abdullahi,  of defaming his character, and seeking for N4million damages.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that when the case came up on Thursday for judgement, Justice Abdulkadir Suleiman, dismissed the case for lack of merit.

In his verdict, Suleiman held  that the plaintiff’s plea to the court to declare a publication by the defendant in a national daily newspaper of Nov. 12, 2017, as defamatory , malicious and libellous in nature,  could not hold.

“The claims cannot hold because the entire proceedings during the trial centered on examination malpractices and its antecedents, while the defamation aspect was silence.

“All the witnesses,  including Registrars of the institution, only testified over the issue of examination malpractices levelled by the defendant against the plaintiff, and not that of defamation.

“It is also paramount to mention here that no member of the public and no body among his friends, as well as members of his family, had testified over the said publication,” he said.

The judge therefore resolved the matter in favour of the defendant and the dismissed the case for lack of merit.

Suleiman also did not grant the N1million sought by the defendant as counter-claim for general damages.

NAN reports that the former student, now a lecturer with Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi, had in Dec. 2017 filed the suit seeking for N4million as damages over an article written by the defendant, an apology, a retraction of the publication, as well as a perpetual injunction stopping further publication of the offending article.

In his statement of claim, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant had made reference to his ATBU examination in a publication, accusing him of engaging in examination malpractice while he was a student.

According to him, a committee on examination misconduct set up by the institution had cleared him, hence, his graduation from the university.

He therefore alledged  that the defendant’s article was malicious and defamatory, and aimed at ridiculing him.

In his reply contained in his statement of Defence, however, the defendant said he never mentioned the name of the plaintiff but insisted that whoever was bearing the registration number he published, had engaged in examination malpractice.

 “The registration number of the candidate in question was captured, not to defame his character, but rather to vividly report the case to the Visitor (to ATBU).

“That I am only trying to make ATBU do the needful about the purported case of exams malpractice, to avoid cheating the weaker ones,” the lecturer had said.

He had therefore described the plaintiff’s claim as “frivolous, vexatious and without merit,” as such should be “dismissed with substantial cost”.

He also sought by way of counter -claim, an award of N1 million as general damages.

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Nigeria records 576 new Coronavirus cases, as total hits 37,801



Nigeria on Tuesday recorded 576 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total infections to 37, 801.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made this known on its official twitter handle.

The centre also said that four  deaths were recorded in the country.

It said that the 576  new cases were reported from 22 states.

The NCDC said till date,  out of the 37,801 confirmed cases, 15,677 cases have been treated and discharged.

It added that a total of 805 deaths were recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The agency said that new cases were reported in Lagos (88), Kwara (87), FCT (82), Plateau (62), Ondo (39), Enugu (28), Oyo (26), Taraba (24), Kaduna (20), Ebonyi (20), Edo (17), Cross River (16), Kano (14), Rivers (11), Ogun (10), Delta (9), Nasarawa (8), Osun (8), Katsina (3), Imo (2), Kebbi (1), and Borno (1).

According to it, a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level three, continues to coordinate the national response activities.

Meanwhile the NCDC said that there were  currently 58 laboratories in 30 states with the capacity to test for COVID-19 in the country.

The agency announced inclusion of five new laboratories in its Molecular Laboratory Network: Edo Specialist Hospital, Benin, ATBU Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, Rivers Indorama Company Molecular Lab, State Specialist Hospital, Amachara, Abia, University of Abuja, Gwagwalada GeneXpert .

It said that the  Federal Ministry of Health through the agency had prioritised testing as one of the key strategies to the COVID-19 response in Nigeria. In order to contain the outbreak, the Government of Nigeria plans to rapidly scale diagnostic testing to cover all 36 States plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The NCDC said it would work with donors, partners and the private sector to rapidly scale testing capacity to every state.

“As of April 14, 2020, Nigeria has 12 functional testing facilities in eight states, with a capacity to conduct a minimum of 1,500 tests per day in Lagos and 1,000 tests per day in FCT and other states.

“As the epidemic intensifies, the NCDC has been using a multi-phase approach to scale up testing to all 36 states of the federation,” it said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that as of July 21,  the New Cases Percentage Change stood  at 0.025 per cent, Recovery Percentage Change, 0.509 per cent, Death Percentage Change, -0.667 per cent,  Recovery Rate, 41.472 per cent and Death Rate, 2.13 per cent.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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