Dr Muhammad Muftahu, the Coordinator, Global Higher Education Networks (GHEN), has called for the establishment of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) by the academic community in Nigeria.
Muftahu made the call on Wednesday at an international capacity building workshop on higher education governance, leadership and management, organised by Kaduna State University (KASU), in Kaduna.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that Muftahu is from the National Higher Education Research Institute of University Sains, Malaysia (USM).
The don also called for the separation of the National Council for Higher Education from the National Council of Education, saying that this would go a long way in providing a smooth platform for research and economic development in the country.
“Globally, higher education policies had long been limited to assumptions and loose projections, with little research-based evidence for policies.
“This will contribute immensely to the improvement of human knowledge and increasing awareness among students and professionals by promoting research and opportunities.
“In spite of the debate as to whether higher education is a field of specialisation or a professional academic discipline, it is clear that its relevance as a field of action and policy research is now widely acknowledged by several universities and other higher institutions around the globe.
“The underpinning relationship between higher education research and higher education policy and practice is the promotion of research and policy making that aims to improve higher education quality for both the state and the globe.
“Higher education challenges will remain potent if the right people with the right qualifications and skills in higher education are not in places for making decisions and policies for higher education,”, Muftau said.
He stressed the need for stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission (NUC) and other relevant agencies, to work on the problems through effective evidence-based policy making process.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye and ‘Wale Sadeeq
Indonesia edges down coal reference price as pandemic depresses demands
Indonesia has ratcheted down the country’s coal reference price known as coal benchmark reference price for June as the novel coronavirus has depressed demands for the commodity.
The Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry set the coal reference price in June at 52.98 United States dollars for metric ton, or 8.13 dollars lower than the figure in the previous month, the ministry’s spokesman Agung Pribadi said on Friday.
The coal stockpiles of the importing countries remain afloat, thus the importers prefer to use them first, according to the spokesman.
Indonesia’s coal reference price came lower last year with an average of 77.92 dollars per metric ton, falling from 98.96 dollars per metric ton in the previous year, according to the ministry.
The Indonesian reference price for thermal coal is the basis for setting up the prices of the country’s 77 coal products and measuring the royalty producers have to pay for each metric ton of coal sold.
Indonesia is the world‘s largest exporter and producer of thermal coal.
Indonesia reports 703 new COVID-19 cases, 49 new deaths
The COVID-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 703 within one day to 29,521, and the death toll increased by 49 to 1,770, Achmad Yurianto, a Health Ministry official, said at a press conference here on Friday.
According to him, 551 more people have been discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 9,443.
The provinces are Aceh, Riau, Bengkulu, East Nusa Tenggara, West Sulawesi and Gorontalo.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called on his administration to pay more attention to the spread of the COVID-19 in three provinces with high number of cases, namely, East Java, South Sulawesi and South Kalimantan.
“I want the Task Force, ministries, military force and police force to concentrate on the three provinces with the high number of cases,” the president said at a virtual limited cabinet meeting at the State Palace in Jakarta on Thursday.
As of Friday, East Java reported 141 new cases, bringing the total to 5,549 cases.
South Sulawesi recorded 54 new cases, with total at 1,776.
Meanwhile, South Kalimantan reported 71 new cases, increasing the total cases to 1,213.
Authorities have been conducting coronavirus tests in the affected areas and ordered the public to always wear masks to curb the spread.
The government is preparing for the so-called “new normal,” under which the public would be allowed to resume their routines.
COVID-19: Ooni of Ife donates motorised fumigators to Enugu Govt.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on Thursday at the Enugu State Government House donated four modular motorised fumigators to the state government.
He said that the equipment were locally fabricated within the neighborhood of the monarch.
According to him, the chemical that comes with the equipment is not harmful to the body and can be used to disinfect the environment.
Ogunlesi said that the fumigator had a droplet that could kill germs and viruses.
Responding, the Deputy Governor, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, thanked the monarch for the gesture.
Ezeilo said that the intervention would support the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
The deputy governor also said that the invention of the equipment would generate employment for Nigerians.
Engineers, govts, other professionals should partner for national devt – Don
A Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Lagos, Dr Olanike Buraimoh, on Thursday called for collaboration among governments, engineers and other professionals to solve Nigeria’s developmental challenges.
Buraimoh of the university’s Department of Microbiology, made the remark at the 11th Olu Awoyinfa Distinguished Annual Public Lecture, induction of new engineers and presentation of scholarship awards in Lagos.
The event with the theme “Forming Uncommon Partnership: Solution to Challenges of Developing Nations”, was organised by the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) Lagos.
Buraimoh said that microorganisms interacted with all elements within the environment and affected operations and activities in every field, hence the need for collaboration of other professionals with microbiologists to harness microbial benefits.
She highlighted the need for synergy between engineers and microbiologists, to avert most of the problems of environmental degradation causing building collapse and construction failure.
The lecturer made various illustrations on how microorganisms could cause degeneration of substances, chemical components, facilities and other installations because of the kind of materials disposed in the past on the portion of land.
“Chemically, microorganisms degrade chemicals, plastic or anything.
“Almost 50 per cent of the challenges we have in Nigeria is because we have refused to reckon with microorganisms,” she said.
Buraimoh said that 80 per cent of microorganisms were beneficial to humans if put to the right use, listing some of the areas of benefit to include construction, agriculture, water, health, among others.
She said that the introduction of microorganisms to agricultural sector had improved production more than 60 per cent in Nigeria, without affecting food quality or chemical interference which could cause toxicity.
The guest speaker urged all fields of engineering to collaborate with microbiologists, to assist them in using microorganisms to deal proactively with microbial challenges slowing down innovations.
Buraimoh said that bio wastes were available in huge quality in Nigeria and could be used to produce most chemical inputs, needed locally to reduce importation and dependence on other nations.
She urged governments and other professionals to partner with the academia to commercialise several abandoned viable researches good enough to industrialise Nigeria.
“A sustainable collaboration must take place between the academia and the industries, ministries, governments and policy makers to foster evidence-based policy making.
“To understand how humans and other life forms on earth, including those who we are yet to discover, can withstand an anthropogenic climate change, it is vital to incorporate knowledge of microbial unseen majority.
“Microorganisms affect climate change including production and consumption of greenhouse gases.
“The impact of climate change will depend heavily on response of microorganisms, which are essential for achieving an environmentally-sustainable future,’’ she said.
Mrs Funmi Akingbagbohun, Chairman, Ikeja Branch, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), said the nation had a combination of several issues which required uncommon partnerships with other professionals to resolve.
While delivering her opening speech, she eulogised the virtues of late Olu Awoyinfa.
She said that Awoyinfa, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 75, included annual awards for best graduating Chemical Engineering graduates of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in his will.
“Engineer Awoyinfa never became a chairman but we are celebrating him today because he was not looking for power; he focused on how to grow and mentor young engineers.
“Any nation that wants to grow requires engineers who are in every sphere of life solving societal problems,” she said.
Akingbagbohun commended his spouse, Mrs Abimbola Awoyinfa and her children, who had been supportive before and after the passing of the icon in all the series of the lecture.
“ This is the 11th of the series and Pa Awoyinfa enjoyed some of the series even when he was alive and because of the social distancing, we can accommodate only 20 in the hall and the others will have to join us online,’’ she said.
The Ikeja Branch NSE chairman boss challenged young engineers to strive to leave a legacy while highlighting the various efforts of the branch, to ensure commercialisation of researches of some young engineers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Adeniran, best graduating Chemical Engineering student of OAU, received a N100,000.00 scholarship award while 21 new members were inducted into the Ikeja NSE.
Nigerian Army donates vehicle to NIPR
The Nigerian Army on Thursday, donated an Innoson G-Wagon 80 SUV to the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) in continuation of its civil-military relations activities.
Buratai said that the army and NIPR had been partnering in the promotion of public relations, adding that the presentation of the vehicle was in fulfilment of his pledge to the institute.
He said the donation was part of efforts to maintain a healthy information cooperation with the institute and to also reinforce the recognition of Nigerian army of the essence and importance of information management.
“The aim of our being here today is to present on behalf of the Chief of Army staff, officers and soldiers of Nigerian army, Innoson vehicle G-Wagon 80 SUV as Buratai’s pledge to this institution.
Adeniyi said that the institute recognised the effort of Nigerian army in the fight against insurgency and other forms of insecurity in the country as well as performing its primary responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of the nation.
He said the institute has watched how the military has done this commendably to the admiration of all and to ensure that Nigeria remains one indivisible entity.
“In the process of doing this, we have also seen that they have realised the importance of maintaining effective communication and synergy with stakeholders not only in the areas of operations but also the wider Nigerian society.
“We have also seen the new trend of establishing the civil-military affairs office and also what we see as a step forward in the area of public relations to ensure that the civilian populace is on the same page with the vision and mission of Nigerian Army,” he said.
Adeniyi also commended the Nigerian army for the choice of the vehicle being a made in Nigeria product, saying it was a bold statement in believing in Nigerian products and the reputation of what Nigeria represents.
He pledged the readiness of the institute to support the vision of the Nigerian army to fight fake news.
“We have seen the havoc that fake news could constitute in major parts of lives; first, the situation of insurgency in the North East and of course the general defence of Nigeria and secondly the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have discovered that while efforts are ongoing to address these two major crisis, the incidence of fake news has constituted a major setback for us.
“We, as a professional institute, join the military and all the appropriate authorities to fight this scourge,” he said.
COVID-19: NGO donates kits worth N500,000 to Badagry Council
“What we brought here today include: 20 boxes of Latex hand gloves, 40 packets of Disposable Gowns/aprons, five eye goggles, 10 pieces of face shield.
“Others are : 40 pairs of elbow gloves, 25 packs of face masks, five pieces of infrared thermometers, hand sanitiser and hand washing soaps.
Ogunlende urged the council’s staff to always practise social distancing and the use of face masks in line with the Lagos State Government’s directive.
From left: Dr Toyin Akinloye, the Council Medical Officer, Mrs Omodara Bolaji, the Apex Nurse, and Mrs Carolyne Olowo-Osi, the Community Health Officer checking the PPE kits donated to Badagry West LCDA
Receiving the kits at the council’s Secretariat in Kankon, the Chairman,Mr Joseph Gbenu, thanked the NGO for the donation.
Gbenu promised that the kits would be useful to the council in containing COVID-19.
He also said that the council had done a lot in containing the spread of COVID-19 in the area through disinfection and distribution of food palliatives.
“On behalf of the good people of Badagry West Local Council Development Area, I thank you for donating these kits.
“If someone can think deep after the distribution of foods, sanitisers, and soaps and still go further to buy PPE kits for the council, he needs to be appreciated,” he said.
“We are really running short of supplies of PPE kits and RAK has just donated them to us at a very good time.
NAN reports that dignitaries at the presentation include: Mr Rauf Yemaren, Vice Chairman, Badagry West LCDA, Mr Gusanu Sovi, Secretary to the council, Mr Anthony Godonu, the Supervisor for Health.
Banditry: Don’t give breathing space to bandits –Chief of Air Staff urges NAF Special Forces
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has urged the troops deployed to fight against banditry and kidnapping in the North Central and North West, to continue to do everything possible not to give breathing space to bandits.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abubakar was earlier briefed by the Air Officer commanding Special Operations Command of the Nigerian Air Force, AVM Charles Ohwo, on the operations.
“I appreciate your efforts, but I urge you to give no breathing space to bandits.
“Locate the bandits, identify their locations and ensure that they do not attack people.
“Do everything humanly possible and ensure that Nigerians conduct their legal activities without hindrance,” he said.
Abubakar further urged the officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force to ensure that farmers go to their farms during this rainy season.
“Do not allow bandits to interfere with farming processes,” he said.
He advised the bandits to surrender themselves and their weapons for their own good.
He said that NAF would continue to deploy serviceable aircrafts, surveillance aircrafts, gunship helicopters and aviation fuel to enable the air officers and men effectively fight the criminal elements.
He therefore urged Nigerians to have confidence in NAF and give them intelligence information that would assist to achieve success in the fight against criminals.
“Security is not only a military affair, but is for all and sundry. Give intelligence information to NAF, Nigerian Army, police and other security agents about activities of bandits and other criminals.
Earlier, the Air Officer Commanding Special Operations Command, AVM Charles Ohwo, spoke at length on their operations in the North Central and North West zones of the country.
He told the Chief of Air Staff that Operation Gama Aiki, Operation Thunder Strike and Operation Hadarin Daji, were introduced to tackle insurgency in those parts of the country.
Ohwo said that the NAF aircrafts involved in the operations so far covered about 1,400 flying hours covering areas in Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States.
He said that the major challenges they were encountering are poor whether conditions and lack of hanger space.
COVID-19: Group donates hygiene packs to NUJ
Ofomata said the donation was in recognition of journalists’ role in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“As a group, we acknowledged the strategic contributions of journalists in the front line of the ongoing fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.
”The donation of the hygiene packs and souvenirs is part of Amaecom social responsibility to ensure that journalists and Nigerians stay safe while doing their jobs,” he said.
According to him, this is to say thank you for what you are doing to the community and by way of showing solidarity with you.
”Today, we are doing what we can to ensure that people stay safe. Nigeria is our home and we have to ensure that people observe all safety precautions,” he said.
Ofomata commended Ogbeche for his pragmatic leadership and media development since assumption of office.
”We appreciate your presence in the council, your demonstration of solidarity with journalists and media workers in the FCT shows that you recognised the integral part they play in national development.
”COVID-19 has dealt massively with the media industry in Nigeria and when we find corporate organisations like yours identifying with us in our trying moments, we count it for value.
”On behalf of the NUJ, I want to thank you sincerely for this donation and assure you that it will be put to good used,” he said.
Ogbeche said that in spite of harassment and intimidation of its members, the union would continue to be committed to the Nigeria people.
He promised a stronger and mutual relationship with the Amaecom Group going forward.
COVID-19: Kwara commends FG for donating vehicles to epidemiology unit
The Kwara government, on Thursday, commended the Federal Government for donating Hilux vans to the epidemiology unit of the state Ministry of Health.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Raji Abdulrazaq, gave the commendation in Ilorin while speaking with newsmen.
He said that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made the donation through the World Bank-funded project to support the Emergency Operation Centre in the state.
According to him, the centre caters for and handle any outbreak of diseases in the state, including COVID-19.
Abdulrazaq also observed that the donation of the vehicles would go a long way in strengthening the system and compliment the efforts of the state government to combat the disease.
He added that the state ranked fourth out of 36 states across the country in terms of preparedness and response to COVID-19, adding that this was why the Federal Government appreciated the efforts of the state government.
The commissioner said the state would not relent in its efforts at safeguarding and promoting the lives of the citizens in the state, stressing that the vehicles would be used to achieve that.
“The NCDC promised us more and we are feeling the impact of the Federal Government,” he said.
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