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Don seeks establishment of NGOs by academic community in Nigeria

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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).

He said that establishment of such NGOs by the academic community and introduction of higher education as field of study would drive the need for higher education research in Nigeria.

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

Foreign

Indonesia edges down coal reference price as pandemic depresses demands

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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 global economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic that has weakened demands for the commodity, he said.

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.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Indonesia reports 703 new COVID-19 cases, 49 new deaths

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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 pandemic has spread to all the 34 provinces in the archipelagic country. However, no more positive cases were found in six provinces as of 12:00 p.m. local time on Friday.

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.

More than 300,000 military and police personnel have been posted in nearly 2,000 places, including shopping malls, traditional markets, and tourism spots in four provinces and 25 regencies or cities.

(XINHUA)

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General news

COVID-19: Ooni of Ife donates motorised fumigators to Enugu Govt.

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The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on Thursday at the Enugu State Government House donated four modular motorised fumigators to the state government.

Ogunlesi said that the gesture was part of his contributions to contain the spread of the ravaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

The monarch, who was represented at the presentation of the equipment by Mrs Fadekemi Fadojutimi, said  the gesture underscored his selfless service to the country.

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.


Edited By: Angela Okisor/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Engineers, govts, other professionals should partner for national devt – Don

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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.

Akingbagbohun said that the COVID-19 pandemic had further revealed the need for collaboration of the experts, to look for permanent solutions to Nigeria’s problems.

While delivering her opening speech, she eulogised the virtues of late Olu Awoyinfa.

Akingbagbohun said that Awoyinfa, who was celebrated nationally and globally, was passionate about the development and advancement of engineering in Nigeria.

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.

The Ikeja Branch NSE chairman said that the scholarship awards had been sustained and announced Miss Oluwatofunmi Adeniran as the 2020 beneficiary, being the best in her set.

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.


Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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Defence/Security

Nigerian Army donates vehicle to NIPR

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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.

The vehicle was presented to the President of NIPR on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, by the Chief of Civil Military Affairs, Maj.-Gen. Hamza Bature.

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.

“You are all aware that we are in an era where the menace of fake news or fake news syndrome poses a great danger to the corporate image of organisation,” he said.

Responding on behalf of the Chairman of Council, NIPR, Mr Muktar Surajo, the Vice President, ACG Wale Adeniyi, commended the Nigerian army for the gesture.

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.


Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: NGO donates kits worth N500,000 to Badagry Council

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An NGO, Real Acts of Kindness (RAK) Development Foundation, on Thursday donated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) worth N500,000 to the Badagry West Local Council Development Area.

 

The NGO’s Pioneer,Mr Mobolaji Ogunlende,said that the equipment was to support the council in containing the spread of COVID-19.

 

Ogunlende said  that the donation was the organisation’s  way of giving back to the society, especially,  during the fight against the  current COVID-19 pandemic.

 

He said that the decision to start the PPE kits’ donation from Badagry West LCDA was because of his belief that charity begins at home.

 

“I am from the council and I believe in the saying that charity begins at home; that is why we are starting from Badagry West, as a  way of complementing the Hon. Joseph Gbenu-led administration.

 

“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.

 

“It is my belief that all these PPE kits will be judiciously used by  the council to curtail the spread of the pandemic in the council and its communities,” he said.

 

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.

 

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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.

 

He added that the council had  established a COVID-19 holding centre at Apa  in April where the the donated PPE kits donated would be useful.

 

“On behalf of the good people of Badagry West Local Council Development Area, I thank you for donating these kits.

 

Badagry West is your home base, for sometime now I have seen a lot that you have done, not only in Badagry West, but in  other local government areas.

 

“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.

 

The chairman handed over the kits to the council’s Medical Officer, Dr Toyin Akinloye, for even distribution across the five Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the area.

 

Akinloye said that the donation of the PPE kits was timely  as the PHCs were running out of the equipment.

 

“We are really running short of  supplies of PPE kits and RAK has just donated them to us at a very good time.

 

” I am sure that  the health workers will be praying for the NGO.These kits  are exactly what we need for the frontline workers,”  he said.

 

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.

 

Others are: Amusa Rasaq, Majority Leader of the council, Mr Ayodele Hunge, Council Manager,  Mrs Omodara Bolaji, the Apex Nurse,  and  Mrs Carolyne Olowo-Osi, the Community Health Officer.

 


Edited By: Victor Asije/Peter Dada (NAN)

 

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Defence/Security

Banditry: Don’t give breathing space to bandits –Chief of Air Staff urges NAF Special Forces

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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.

Abubakar gave the directive on Thursday when he paid operational visit to the 213 Forward Operating Base, Katsina, where he addressed NAF Special Forces.

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.

Abubakar said that the Nigeria Air Force has deployed 500 Special Forces to fight against banditry, kidnapping and other forms of crimes in the North central and North west zones of the country.

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.

Abubakar further said that the NAF has recorded 82 per cent success on serviceable operations of its aircrafts despite COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

“We will continue to work together with Nigerian Army and other security agencies to fight insurgency,” he said.

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.


Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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COVID-19: Group donates hygiene packs to NUJ

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The management of Amaecom Global has donated some hygiene packs to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Council to support the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

Chairman of Amaecom, Amachi Ofomata, presented the hygiene packs to the NUJ FCT Council Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, at the council secretariat on Thursday in Abuja.

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.

”We decided to donate these packs to NUJ because we are donating to agencies that are in the front line for the fight against COVID-19 and the NUJ has maintained a strategic position.

”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.

Responding, the NUJ FCT chairman thanked Amaecom Group for identifying with the union during the COVID-19 pandemic in Abuja.

”Your donation to us shows we are doing something good and that there are those that are burdened about the condition of journalists and media workers in the FCT.

”We want to use this opportunity to call on corporate organisations to emulate Amaecom Group and support journalism and media workers in recognition of their role in the fight against COVID-19.

”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.


Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola/Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

 

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Health

COVID-19: Kwara commends FG for donating vehicles to epidemiology unit

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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.


Edited By: Abiodun Esan and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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