The Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan, has distributed five tonnes(1,000kg) of high yield maize seed variety resistant to downy mildew and streak diseases to farmers in the South-West Zone.
The institute’s Executive Director, Prof. Veronica Obatolu, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Ibadan that the five states of Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Lagos and Ekiti received one tonne (1000kg) each.
Obatolu said that farmers in Oyo State would soon receive their own from the seed store of the institute.
She said the seeds distributed were for cultivation of 50 hectares of land in each state.
Obatolu explained that since maize was a source of some major food in the South West Zone, the institute decided to address likely seed shortage for maize cultivation.
She said that access to quality seeds remained the bedrock of agricultural productivity, adding that the outbreak of COVID-19 was likely to affect economic strength which may make quality seeds inaccessible to farmers.
“This may likely encourage seed adulteration and invariably lead to reduced yield and hunger.
“The aim of the distribution is also to reduce likely stress of accessing quality seed by farmers due to various forms of lock down,” the executive director said.
She advised farmers to make good use of the seeds and maintain physical distancing while on field.
“COVID-19 has come, it will go by God’s grace, rain has come, it will not wait for us, so now is the time for farmers to go to the field and plant the seed for us to be food secured during and after COVID-19,” she said.
NAN reports that IAR&T is a multi-commodity national research institute that serves as a national center for integrated research on improvement of genetic potentials of crops such as maize and livestock.
The institute also works on improvement on seed supply, yield and quality as well as utilisation of food and industrial crops and livestock that are adaptable to agro-ecological zones of the South-West Zone.
Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Law enforcement training institute to train officers on use of body camera
The Director General of LETI, Mr Ifalade Oyekan,said this during a sensitisation programme by the Vehicle Inspection Service at its Lagos Island office on Saturday.
Oyekan said that this was the fourth round in the series of sensitisation and mobilization programmes for personnel of all Lagos State Law Enforcement Agencies.
The Agencies visited are: the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA),the Lagos State Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC), the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGSEC) and the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS).
Oyekan said that for law enforcement officers to live up to their expectations, there was the need to train and retrain them on best global practices.
He said that the training was in line with the Lagos State Government THEMES agenda which are: Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century state; Security and Governance.
Stressing the benefits of the body camera, Oyekan said: “In other climes, their law enforcement agencies make use of dashboard camera and body camera which help them carry out their duties effectively.
“The idea is that every officer will be assigned a camera and immediately he resumes duty, the camera is expected to be on throughout his shift, this will also serve as clock in and out.
“With the cameras assigned to officers, they will be able to capture offenders and violators which will help the Ministry of Justice to prosecute their cases in courts based on the evidence produced from the body camera.
“Also, everything captured will be transmitted to the central database of the enforcement agency and officers will not be able to tamper with the device. With this, there will be more transparency and officers will carry out their duties as expected.”
Oyekan said that beyond sensitising the officers, visits to the various agencies had enabled him ascertain their training needs in order to tailor the training curriculum to their challenges.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Peter Dada (NAN)
Reps want e-learning system instituted in education sector
The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Education to urgently develop a national policy and framework for online education for schools at various levels.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the resolution was sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Aniekan Umanah (PDP-Cross River) at the plenary on Tuesday.
Moving the motion, Umanah said that the outbreak of coronavirus has altered the educational calendar globally.
Quoting UNESCO, he said that most governments around the world had temporarily closed schools in order to contain the spread of the virus.
The lawmaker said that the closures were impacting over 72 percent of the world student population.
“This has brought significant setback to academic endeavours, with far-reaching impacts on the more vulnerable and disadvantaged countries, such as Nigeria.
“The closure of schools, occasioned by COVID-19, has kept over 1.2 billion children out of the classroom and as a result, education has changed drastically, with the increase in the use of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms.
“This sudden event has caused a shift from the classrooms in our nation’s schools.
“Teachers and students have been forced to adjust and adapt to this unplanned rapid move to online teaching and learning, with no structure, training and equipment tools, and are faced with inadequate preparations,” he said.
According to the lawmaker, e-learning approach takes time and it is a gradual system of learning, adding that schools and colleges will have to develop modular structure for it.
He also said that a database and e-learning pattern, supported with efficient communication and internet, must be in place.
Umanah recalled that the Federal Ministry of Education had announced a free e-learning portal, intended to create access to online education across the nation as well as radio and television classrooms.
He said that this had remained mere intentions, as reports had indicated that it was not working and, therefore, not serving the desired need of closing the educational gaps.
Umanah attributed this to lack of instructional design and implementation, including lack of cognitive psychology tools to support e-learning.
He said that with the present situation, Nigeria’s educational system was lagging behind by not being functionally awake to the present reality of online education.
The lawmaker said that research had shown that the level of online learning and preparedness in Nigeria was about 10 percent.
He stressed the need for urgent steps to salvage the already battered educational system, which he said, had further been humbled and bruised by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The house urged other educational regulatory bodies across the country to incorporate online education and modular system into school curricular across the country.
In his ruling, the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the House Committees on Basic and Tertiary Education to ensure compliance.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq
Stockbrokers elect Amolegbe as new institute’s president
The Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) on Tuesday announced Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, as its new President and Chairman of the Governing Council.
He succeeded the incumbent President, Mr Adedapo Adekoje at the institute’s maiden virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Amolegbe, an accomplished investment analyst, and a Fellow of the Institute was until his election, the First Vice President.
Also, Mr Oluwole Adeosun, the Second Vice President, became the First Vice President, while Mr Oluropo Dada, Chief Executive Officer, Network Capital, won the keenly contested election to emerge as the new Second Vice President.
Mr Adedeji Ajadi, the institute’s Registrar and Chief Executive, said in a statement, that Mr Garba Kurfi, Mr Jude Chiemeka and Mrs Nkoli Erika, were re-elected to the council.
Ajadi said in the statement that Mr Babarinde Sunday, Mr Martins Olaolu and Dr Momoh Mohammed, were also elected into the council.
By the institute’s convention, Adekoje would formerly hand over to Amolegbe at a later date in a high profile ceremony, called investiture.
In his valedictory speech, Adekoje, who assumed office as the President in April 2018, expressed satisfaction that his administration was able to achieve landmark projects in spite of the inclement operating environment.
He attributed this to divine intervention and unflinching support of every member of the institute.
Adekoje pledged to continue to support the institute in whatever capacity, urging members to rally round the incoming administration for sustainable achievements.
“On top of this, the general macro-economic situation of the country also meant that getting grants from benevolent institutions became very difficult.
“We tasked ourselves in council, financially and otherwise; sacrificed a whole lot of our normal privileges, and like true generals, led the battle from the front.
“By so doing, we gave inspiration to other members who came out to serve in various committees and others who expressed their supports in various other ways.
“It gives me exceeding fulfilment to note that I am leaving the office of president with a solid foundation laid for the financial recovery of the institute.
“Our renewed march toward the restoration of the Securities and Investment profession as the major driver of the Nigerian economy is well on course.
“I am very happy to announce that, not only have we fully paid for our secretariat building, but a transformational renovation is being carried out to create a truly befitting ambience and world class working environment for the staff.
“The institute, through its very successful Special Membership Window, is beginning to address one of its major weaknesses, as we now have several fully qualified members in diverse sectors of the Nigerian economy, such as the academia, public sector and topmost echelon of corporate Nigeria.
“One of our cardinal objectives during my tenure was to devote much more energy, resources and creativity to our advocacy activities, with the ultimate aim of elevating the status of the capital market in the scheme of things nationally.
“In this regard, we have engaged government at the very highest level, with strategically structured communication with the Presidency and the National Assembly,” Adekoje said.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
COVID-19: Institute distributes food items to Lagos slum
The Institute for National Transformation (INT) on Friday distributed food items to over 120 indigents in Monkey village, an inner-city slum in Opebi area of Ikeja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that each of the beneficiaries received a bag containing 2kg gari, 5kg rice and 5kg beans.
Femi-Ajala said that the institute would also embark on intervention programmes in various slum communities in Lagos State.
According to her, the intervention programmes include welfare, housing, medicals, education, entrepreneurial and leadership training.
“In order to develop a nation, we need to first develop the people and change their mindset by re-orientating them.
“From the communities we visited in Ayobo and Monkey village, we tried to identify their basic needs apart from food.
“Having identified their needs, we intend to attack it by first changing their mindset and training them based on what they want in terms of skills.
“For monkey village, we are teaming up with stakeholders around the area to find out ways to make something good out of the place,’’ she said.
Femi-Ajala added that the institute would begin to change their mindset on proper waste disposal and recycling so they could begin to see money from waste.
She noted that community engagement through community leaders was an effective approach to data collection and key to the success of intervention programmes.
“One of the strategies that have been working for us is collaboration with the community leaders, to know the exact state of affairs,” she said
She also urged Nigerians not to rely solely on the government to live improved lives.
“We cannot wait for the government for everything. Whatever we can do in our community, let us do it,” she added.
Also speaking on the deplorable state of Monkey Village, Mr Tunde Akindele, INT board member, said the community was faced with hardships such as access to clean water.
“There are over 1,000 people living in the area including children, the elderly, youths. They have no water and as a result, they have to walk about 2km to get clean water.
“So, as a matter of urgency, we are going to rally with other people to see how we can construct borehole so they can have easy access to clean water. At least if they have food and clean water, they can be alive.
“Our next step is to look for those who are literate among them who we can train on various skills.
“We will ensure they are empowered gradually until they are able to stand on their own and eventually leave the environment to make something good out of themselves,” he said.
Receiving the food Items, Mr Volume Kupa, a community leader in Monkey village, expressed gratitude for the food package saying “it will go a long way.”
Kupa said the community was facing prolonged lack of electricity, exposure to wildlife, lack of clean water, among others.
He also pleaded with the institute to provide other relief materials such as mosquito nets and repellents as they were very susceptible to malaria.
Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Institute weighs in on 5G controversy, tasks FG on smooth transition
The Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (NIEEE) has weighed in on the controversy that next generation telephone networks, popularly known as 5G technology may be harmful to human beings.
In a statement signed by the National Chairman of the institute, Mr Kings Adeyemi, in Lagos on Wednesday, the institute said that the frequency that drives speed in technology as well as the technicalities behind 5G operations can never pose hazards to human health.
He said that the institute would continue to support government and other stakeholders to ensure that right decisions were adopted to ensure smooth 5G mobile technology deployment.
Adeyemi said that Nigeria was lagging behind in its transition to 5G mobile network which, according to him, drives both telecommunication and internet connectivity speeds.
He called for increased investments in 5G network, which according to him is expected to be launched by 2030.
“The rollout of 5G networks is still at infancy stage globally. There is no 5G deployment in Nigeria as at this time.
“NIEEE will continue to advise government and organisations and educate the public on matters within the jurisdiction of electrical and electronic engineering profession. 5G will co-exist with predecessor generation networks.
“Kindly note that this publication is not intended to contend against existing procedures and regulatory instruments (local or international) but as insights to the concerned stakeholders,” he said.
Adeyemi identified concerns around the evolution of 5G network, noting that by NIEEE’s professional training, safety was of highest priority to all electrical engineers.
“Mobile telecommunication is based on radio wave propagation, which is similar to other commonly known forms of radio communication such as broadcast radio and television.”
He explained that the systems operate in designated frequency bands within the electromagnetic spectrum and that every new generation mobile networks (G) had its delights and skepticisms.
The chairman said that evolution of every stage, spanned 10 and that 5G was a product of 10 years of research, planning, testing and fine-tuning.
“It is obvious that 5G is not just about human communication only but machine/devices communications and interactions with applications.
”It therefore, means that 5G will usher in interconnection of people, things and applications with little or no human intervention.
“In as much as the set goals are laudable and novel, the first concern is for researchers to identify the technologies that can bring these goals into reality.
“The six fundamental technologies that we can address are millimeter wave; small cell or mini base station and plenty or massive Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO).
“Others are advanced beam forming; Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access (NOMA) and Mobile Edge Computing. These technologies are not new,’’ he said.
MIMO is a method of multiplying the capacity of radio links using multiple transmissions and receiving antennas to achieve multipath broadcast.
NOMA on the other hand is a design technique used for radio wave access for 5G wireless networks and beyond usually designed to serve multiple users and computer applications.
Adeyemi explained further that wireless communications operated within certain calibrated frequencies with 5G services falling into three sub-bands affected by low power and short coverage should not generate fears.
“Natural behavior of radio waves obeys Newton’s inverse-square law of electromagnetic propagation, meaning that each time the distance from the transmitter is doubled, the received power at that point is reduced to one-fourth of the power at the transmitter.
“Some say high speed kills, this does not apply to high data speed. World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Adeyemi noted that there was no significant difference in the frequencies used for 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G because the 5G could operate on all earlier network frequencies.
According to him, focus should be on the frequency and the power, rather than the technology as international standards are the main pillars of mobile telecommunications.
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Silas Nwoha (NAN)
Expert urges FG to establish Emergency Medical Services institutes with COVID-19 funds
The Medical Director, Olohun Osebi Hospital in Ilorin, Tiamiyu Idowu, has urged Federal Government to establish Emergency Medical Services (EMS) institutes, using funds donated in support of fight against COVID-19 in the country.
Idowu, who is a trauma and critical care specialist, said this in a statement which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday.
”It is quite unfortunate that the whole world is facing a health challenge that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives because of its pathological effect on human beings with focus on human respiratory system
Idowu noted that with N250 million, the Federal Government could establish a standard training institution with international accreditation, using part of the funds donated to fight COVID-19.
”In the alternative, professionals in the EMS health sector are ready to set up the institute with support in form of grant or soft loans since government alone cannot do everything,” the EMS expert said.
The medical expert described critical and trauma care as the “hallmark or heart of any functional health system which determines whether a patient will survive or pass on.
”The primary focus of managing respiratory illnesses such as Corona virus is air way support management first before other diagnostic care.
”The majority of deaths recorded in Nigeria during COVID-19 was as a result of low level of care and availability of qualified EMS personnel to provide air way management support to those that tested positive.
“And lack of training institution to train these critical health workers hands on with EMS skills and continuous professional education in trauma management and Basic Life Support (BLS) is a major challenge in Nigeria’s health system.
“Even if you are a professor of medicine and you are not trained on BLS skill, you may not be able to resuscitate your patient safely.
“These are basic knowledge and skill that determine patients’ diagnosis and survival in any acute settings,” Idowu said.
He, therefore, appealed to benevolent individuals and corporate bodies to join hands with experts to invest in setting up standard EMS institutes in the country.
“We need this institution as a matter of urgency to alleviate the chronic shortage of manpower in health field in our country.
“We also call on wealthy Nigerian individuals and corporates to help us with flexible grant or loan to pay over period of years.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Coronavirus: Nigerian varsities, research institutes capable of developing vaccine – Immunologist
Arinola, a staff of the Department of Immunology, University of Ibadan, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Ibadan against the backdrop of the 2020 World Immunisation Week.
NAN reports that the World Immunisation Week celebrated worldwide in the last week of April is aimed at promoting the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against diseases.
The don said that Nigerian researchers and scientists could develop viable vaccines against the virus with governmental support and political will.
” This is an important and responsible decision.
“There are many groups working on potential vaccines for COVID-19 using viral proteins and modified virus.
” Host proteins such as serum of infected persons containing anti-coronavirus antibodies can be used as passive immunisation but this is usually short-lived.
“COVID-19 vaccine like any other vaccine must be safe, widely used, elicit enough protective immune response and must have passed through development and testing such as exploratory stage, pre-clinical stage, clinical development, regulatory review and approval, manufacturing and quality control. This takes a lot of time.
“Nigeria has capacities in universities and research institutes to develop vaccines but with government support and political will.
“There are capacities to isolate the virus, kill or attenuate the virus, sequence the virus genes, develop antibody against the viral proteins and separate specific antibodies from immunised serum among other capacities,” he said.
The immunologist also warned against the use of traditional herbal medicines being touted as coronavirus vaccines or cure.
According to him, many of the herbal medicines only have anecdotal evidence based on studies carried out on different animals which are genetically different from humans.
“The credibility of ethnomedicine in fighting epidemics in the past is appreciated in biomedicine.
“Herbal and plant-based remedies “may” have the edge over pharmaceuticals due to their easy and cheap availability, complex and synergistic nature of components.
“However, these herbs or plants are mentioned to have immune-boosting, antioxidant- and antiinflammatory properties but the side effects are not discussed.
“Viral diseases like COVID-19 can be difficult to cure and antiviral drugs are difficult to develop because Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SAR-CoV 2) lives inside the host’s cell using host genetic machinery where they are protected from drugs and can mutate easily because it is an RNA virus.
“Moreover, COVID-19 is a new viral disease, there is need for enough direct evidence to support cures of these traditional remedies.
“The safety and direct effects of these herbs or plants on SARS-CoV 2 have to be assessed widely and the data from trials be published in peer-reviewed journals including other internationally accepted procedures,” he said.
The global health body has, however, advised against the use of traditional herbal remedies for COVID-19, saying that “though some of them alleviate some of the milder symptoms of COVID-19, they do not kill the virus directly.”
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Institute urges FG to utilise community structures to contain COVID-19 spread
The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), has urged the Federal Government to utilise all community structures for contact-tracing and sample collection to check the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Dr Patrick Dakum, the institute’s Chief Executive Officer, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Abuja.
Dakum said that the government should engage the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), State Agencies for the Control of AIDS (SACAs), Primary Health Care, (PHC) structures under National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, (NPHCDA), among others.
He said that these agencies had critical roles to play as the country experienced community spread of the virus.
He explained that most of them could be used as sample collection sites.
“All PHCs should have capacity for sample collection and adequate data-driven logistics,” he said.
“The geographical spread of the contacts will provide a rough estimate of communities at higher risk. Geo-mapping of index cases and their contacts is key.
“The virus is highly infectious and can spread when contacted from someone who has it.
“Therefore, we must ensure that both primary and secondary persons who are in contact with someone who is exposed are traced.”
He said that although maintaining social distancing was very difficult in densely populated areas, the directive should not be relaxed until the virus was contained.
He stressed the need for intensive campaigns to be carried out in the communities on disinfection of surfaces and regular washing of hands.
Dakum said that the surge in infections of the virus could be handled with quick detection, isolation and treatment.
He called on the elderly and those with underlining diseases to be cautious as the virus could easily knock off their natural defence.
Edited By: Joe Idika (NAN)
Germany records 1,478 new COVID-19 cases: Robert Koch Institute
Germany registered 1,478 new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, raising the total cases to 159,119, said the federal government’s agency for disease control and prevention on Thursday.
The death toll grew to 6,288, up 173 within the same period of time, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
At the height of the epidemic in Germany, more than 6,000 new infections were recorded on a single day by the RKI.
On Tuesday, RKI President Lothar Wieler asked his countrymen not to risk the results achieved in containing the virus.
“We want to continue to defend this success, and we can do so if we stick to certain rules,” he said. Enitem
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- UK COVID-19 deaths top 39,000 as another 111 patients die
- Chinese medical experts awarded by Serbia for assistance in fighting COVID-19
- Mozambican president launches national independence celebration
- Namibia’s beef exports to international markets not affected by COVID-19
- SH edits -FG extends gradual easing of lockdown by 2 weeks
- Tanzanian universities reopen on cautious note over COVID-19 pandemic
- Somalia confirms 47 new COVID-19 cases as tally hits 2,023
- S. Africa’s COVID-19 cases continue to rise amid further easing of lockdown
- COVID-19: Ekiti inaugurates 400-testing capacity mobile laboratory
- London to offer COVID-19 risk assessments to Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers: mayor
- COVID-19 : Oyetola commends group for donating protective items to Osun
- China steps up inactivated COVID-19 vaccine development
- Sharp downturn in UK manufacturing continues in May: survey
- COVID-19: South African-based firm donates palliatives to vulnerable in FCTA
- Public vote on Russian constitutional amendments set for July 1: Putin
- Russia says NATO increases military activity near its borders
- FrieslandCampina WAMCO records 40,000 litres daily fresh milk collection
- England primary schools partially reopen as half parents still wary
- Man, 45, bags 15-year jail term for raping his tenant’s niece
- I-G deploys investigation aids to unravel death of UNIBEN female student
- Japan’s corporate profits book sharpest dive since 2009 amid global pandemic
- Hotels, archaeological sites and museums reopen in Cyprus
- 1st LD: New Ebola outbreak reported in northwest DR Congo
- Africa’s COVID-19 cases over 144,700 – WHO
- Cuba condemns United States terrorism, political manipulation
- Myanmar extends entry restrictions for travellers to June 15 to contain COVID-19 spread
- Minister tasks lawmakers on ending violence against women, girls
- Roundup: Turkey enters “new normal” of lifting anti-coronavirus restrictions
- Belgium’s iconic Atomium building reopens to public
- COVID-19: Navy inaugurates 40 bed space isolation centre in Lagos
- Japan begins coronavirus antibody tests on 10,000 people
- COVID-19: Group urges Bauchi govt. to increase allocation to agric sector
- Passenger trains resume service in BiH
- Association seeks justice over rape, murder of UNIBEN student
- Portugal celebrates Children’s Day with messages of hope
- Group asks court to compel DSS, IGP to investigate Omo-Agege
- Insecurity: Nigerian Army inaugurates ‘Operation Accord’
- COVID-19: 50 awaiting trial inmates released in Plateau
- Kenya says Chinese-built railway to blossom cities, open new markets
- Buratai lays foundation for construction of Nigeria army reference hospital in Maiduguri
- Tanzania plans to increase annual sisal production to 120,000 tonnes by 2024
- Lebanon’s COVID-19 cases rise by 13 to 1,233
- Netherlands reopens restaurants, cinemas as COVID-19 death toll remains low
- Zambian children head back to school after COVID-19 shutdown
- Edo commissioner condemns rape, murder of UNIBEN student
- Thailand authorities further ease up anti-pandemic measures
- Roundup: Coronavirus cases rocketing in South Asia as India becomes 7th worst-hit country due to COVID-19
- Israel discovers 1,800-year-old marble faucet with lion’s face
- COVID-19: Bello orders lockdown of Kabba-Bunu LGA over index case
- Normal life gradually return in Kuwait
- New Ebola outbreak declared in northwest DR Congo
- Commentary: China determined to further open up despite COVID-19 epidemic
- 3 PKK members killed in southeastern Turkey
- La Liga president admits match times could change in hot weather
- Colosseum monument in Rome reopens
- Possible second wave of COVID-19 may hit harder in Finland: policy group
- COVID-19 cases in Myanmar rise to 228
- S.Africa schools to re-open on June 8
- New Oyo state CP assumes office
- Nasarawa SSG indicted over project scam, to refund over N248.5m