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NDDC clears N2bn foreign scholarship debt – MD

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The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) says it has paid over N2 billion to settle outstanding stipends and fees owed to students under its Foreign Post-Graduate Scholarship Programme.

NDDC’s Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, said this in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by the commission’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, on Friday.

Brambaifa was quoted to having made the statement when he visited candidates writing the commission’s scholarship computer-based tests at the Rivers State University (RSU) ICT Centre in Port Harcourt.

“We are here at the RSU ICT Centre as part of our on-the-spot assessment of the scholarship process.

“NDDC have made payment (N2 billion) for NDDC scholars following the resolution of issues with the Central Bank of Nigeria which delayed remittance of the funds to the universities.

“The scholarship programme equips graduates of Niger Delta origin with relevant training, skills and capacity building for improved education standard in the region,” Brambaifa said.

He said of the 5,000 candidates that applied for the programme that 3,112 candidates had been selected to take part in the 2019 exercise.

The managing director said he had recently led a NDDC delegation on a five-day working visit to some universities in the United Kingdom as part of commitment to the scholarship programme.

“The visit afforded the NDDC team an opportunity to deepen the existing relationships with the foreign universities and take advantage of other mutually beneficial programmes,” he added.

Mr Godson Ideozu, Consultant to the NDDC scholarship programme, said the commission adopted the computer-based test to boost transparency of the exercise.

He said that candidates seeking for scholarships in Masters’ and Doctorate degrees courses were examined primarily in their core area of study.

“The exercise is fair and gives applicants equal opportunity to compete. Also, candidates get to see their scores immediately after writing the examination,” he said.

NDDC Assistant Director, Education, Health and Social Services, Mrs Seledi Wakama said the scheme was part of NDDC’s human resources development initiatives.

She said no fewer than 200 successful candidates who passed both the aptitude and oral test would bag their scholarships.

Education

Oyo SUBEB Chairman inspects intervention projects in primary schools

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Dr Nureni Adeniran, the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has inspected some ongoing 2017 UBEC-Oyo SUBEB intervention projects in Ogbomoso and Ibadan zones.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that this was contained in a statement issued by Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, the state Commissioner of Information and made available to newsmen in Ibadan on Thursday.

The statement quoted Adeniran as reiterating the importance of the projects to the improvement of basic education in the state.

He expressed satisfaction with the standard and the speed at which the projects were being executed, saying most of them would have been ready before the second term resumption in January 2020.

Adeniran said that the completion of the projects would ease the commencement of the 2018 intervention projects, noting that the inspection had become necessary in view of the governor’s passion for the sector.

NAN reports that the chairman’s first point of call was Methodist Primary School, Bodija, Ibadan, where he assured the school authorities that government would soon site a model school there, in fulfilment of the government’s pledge to improve learning in the state.

“Therefore, let me plead with the traders displaying their wares at the entrance of the school, thus blocking the entrance, to please vacate the space, as a big project will soon commence here,” he said.

Adeniran also visited Anwaru-Islam Primary School I, II and III, Eleyele and St. Peter’s Primary School, Aremo, where he urged the contractors on site to speed up the projects, against resumption of the pupils in January 2020.

He also that the project at Elewura Community Primary School, Elewura, had been completed and was already being used by the pupils.

Speaking on the recent vandalism of facilities in public schools by hoodlums, the chairman said that government would henceforth ensure arrest and prosecution of anyone found disturbing the peace of schools, during and after school hours.

NAN reports that Adeniran also monitored the ongoing unified examinations in some of the public primary schools he visited.

He said that the essence of the monitoring exercise was to ensure that quality returned to the education system in the state.

The chairman noted that the Makinde-led administration had strengthened the unified examination so as to nurture the pupils from the scratch, adding “this will go a long way in curbing failure.

“This government has paid for the unified examination for public primary schools in the state, while the past administration rested its responsibilities on the shoulders of the parents.

“With this examination, we can know the competence level of each pupil we are nurturing and know how to help them.

“With this kind gesture by the governor, no pupil will be absent based on lack of funds,” Adeniran said.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Education

Be committed to tracking basic education project, plug hole of corruption- NGO

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An NGO, Human Development Initiatives (HDI), has called on stakeholders in the education sector to be committed to tracking Universal Basic Education (UBE) projects and plug hole of corruption.

Mrs Olufunso Owasanoye, the Executive Director, HDI-Nigeria, made the call at a two-day training programme to strengthen the existing structures in the sector.

Owasanoye said, “Basic education will only thrive when members of the school Board Management Committees, Parents’ Forum and stakeholders groups are involved and committed to tracking basic education project and service delivery.

“Together, let’s plug the hole of corruption.’’

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the training programme tagged: “Training of Community-Based Monitors on Tracking UBE Projects’’ in Lagos was supported by MacArthur Foundation.

It was organised by HDI to boost the capacity of local based monitoring on tracking of Universal Basic Education (UBE) projects in Lagos State.

According to Owasanoye, the training is also to build the capacity of the community monitoring teams so that they could do better.

“Those that have been doing it before or those that are just joining, we don’t just want activities again, we want result.

“It is not like before, there are new strategies coming up and you are Monitoring and Evaluating (M and E) agents and M and E will be done on you.

“It is going to be like proper office work, you will go by 9.00a.m and return 5.00p.m, you will have schedule, you have duty and responsibility.

“You will be given us report because from this date, you don’t know the greater heights you are going to,” she said.

The executive director urged any of the local monitoring teams, who was not interested in the new innovation, to leave the training, adding that it was no longer business as usual.

Also, Mr James Fadokun, a trainer from the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), urged the M and E agents not to accept gratification from contractors handling UBE projects in Lagos.

Fadokun said that accepting gratification from the contractors would not allow them to give a factual report about the UBE projects in the local areas.

He said that some members of agents that were collecting gratification from contractors had been expelled when the NGO found out that they were not sincere with their monitoring.

Fadokun said that the community-based monitoring teams would achieve their aims through factual, teamwork, investigative journalism and professionalism.

In his remarks, Mr Tayo Adelana, a staff of the HDI, urged the M and E agent to be objective, accountable and transparent in their monitoring.

Adelana also said that they should be social auditors in supervising projects in their local area.

“When supervising a building projects, no special favour should be given or solicited and no politicisation of the monitoring process must be allowed,” he said.

Edited & Vetted By: Olagoke Olatoye
(NAN)

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Education

Lagos SUBEB receives bids for renovation of schools

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Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (LASUBEB) on Thursday received bids for the renovation of primary schools across the state, assuring that only qualified and competent bidders would be awarded the contract.

The Chairman, LASUBEB, Wahab Alawiye-King told the bidders at SUBEB office, Maryland, Lagos, that the move was in consonance with basic public procurement procedures.

The event which was held in conjunction with the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) had several contractors, suppliers and service providers in attendance.

Alawiye-King added that the exercise was in pursuance of the board’s mandate and in compliance with the requirements of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency law 2011 (as amended in 2015).

He said that the board carried out the bidding exercise, being a procedure specified in the state’s public procurement guidelines for the procurement of works and goods.

”The bidders bid for construction of blocks of classrooms and rehabilitation of blocks of classrooms.

”They also bid for furniture and construction of boreholes and overhead tanks for public schools.

”The projects being bid for were under the 2018 BEB Intervention Projects designed to ensure that the primary education system gets the needed boost it deserves, ’’ he said.

Alawiye-King noted that the board’s goal was to award timely and cost-effective contracts to qualified and reliable contractors, suppliers and service providers for the provision of goods and services.

Edited & Vetted By: Adeleye Ajayi
(NAN)

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Education

Unilag patents 11 inventions in 18 months

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The University of Lagos says it successfully patented  11 inventions in the last 18 months, with three of them being prototyped.

The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Oluwatoyin  Ogundipe, disclosed this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Lagos.

Ogundipe spoke about the developmental strides in the university especially in the area of research, and the successes recorded by his administration of two years.

NAN reports that Ogundipe who was sworn in as the 12th Vice Chancellor of university in 2017 and recently celebrated  two years in office  on Nov. 12th.

The vice chancellor told NAN that the administration had attracted  research grants of over N7 billion.

According to the professor of botany,  the institution’s Innovation Unit recently received  patent certificates for six inventions submitted for patenting in February.

He said that the inventions included  a Unique Improved Selected Fishing Traps by scholars of the Department of Marine Science of the university,  with two others from the Nigeria Institute Of Oceanography and Marine Research.

The patent application number  for the innovation is NG/P/2019/00098

The don further listed the other inventions to include  Solar Power Neonate Phototherapy Device Station by scholars of the Departments of Physics  and Paedraitrics, College of Medicine of the university, with patent application number NG/P/2019/000099.

An Epoxy Particulate Hybrid Nanocomposite for Automobile Bumper Application, with patent application number NG/P/2019/000100 by scholars of the Dept of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering is one of the inventions.

Also, Road Vehicle Black Box Security Surveillance System, with patent application number 000101 also  by scholars of the  Department t of Physics of the university, is among the inventions.

Equally  patented  is a Thick Dual-Slot Antenna for Microwave Ablation of Breast Tumour, by scholars in the College of Medicine of the institution. It has  patent application number NG/P/2919/000103 among.

“Our programmes for research grants are some of those things that  we are very excited about.

“University is about research grants and Unilag is about research. We are  research-oriented; therefore, we are positive that what we are working on now will definitely have impact on the system, and the nation will benefit from it.

“We just had a formal presentation of the Fourth  Research Grants/Award of the Professor Ayo Ogunye Chair in Chemical Engineering put together by the Professor Ayo Francis Ogunye Trust Foundation of the University of Lagos.

“It is intended to support PhD students of the institution to carry out research work as well as make it easy for the research work to be well-funded.

“The university is elated at the development because the foundation has done this, four times,  with our PhD students winning it thrice.

“We have listed some of our efforts in research already, one of it, the Dolar Power Neinate Phototherapy Device Station, and other innovation ideas are  even going to be exhibited at the Lagos State Innovation programme coming up on  Dec. 5.

“We are indeed happy,” Ogundipe said.

According to him, the the outgoing year has been wonderful for the university in the area of research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“What we also want to say is that we still have a lot of grounds  to break as far as research is concerned in the university.

“We have a higher ground that we are moving to,” he said.

The vice chancellor said that his projection for the institution for  2020 would be to make it more visible globally.

“We also want to be celebrated more in the area of ground-breaking research works, innovation, entrepreneurship and setting up businesses for our students.

“We also want Unilag to be known for its academic programmes and in its students ability to compete globally.

“More importantly, we  want it to be known as a university that is showing forth the light,” Ogundipe told NAN.

 Prof. Ayo Ogunye, a former lecturer in the university, said that research output determined a university’s position  in the world university ranking.

He urged Ogundipe not to relent in his determination to push for scholarship.

“I want Unilag to be number one, and we are lucky to have the kind of vice chancellor we have now who has passion for scholarship.

“We must support our scholars in the area of research.

“So far, a total of 45 scholars have benefited from the Research Grants/Award of the Professor Ayo Ogunye Chair in Chemical Engineering

“For us, it is a way of giving back to the university that made me what I am today. The research grant of N1.5 million started about four years ago but before then, we were giving prizes.

“When we do this, we feel satisfied because, it is investing in human capacity development and as well placing the system on the right  path.

“We must always be willing to extend a hand of fellowship for  good courses and for the sake of posterity,” he stated.

NAN reports that Ogunye, a Professor of Chemical Engineering, facilitated the setting up of the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Lagos.

He was appointed Head of the Department  at age 31.

Edited & Vetted By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN)

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ENSG reiterates commitment to create conducive learning environment

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The Enugu State Government, on Wednesday, reiterated its resolve to create conducive and safe learning environment for pupils and students to enhance their academic pursuits.

The Commissioner for Education in the State, Prof. Uchenna Eze, said this during the inauguration of “My Safe Space Project’’ in Enugu.

The project is being run by an NGO, Yes We Can (YWC).

Eze, who was represented by a Director in the Ministry of Education, Chief Laz Udeh, noted that the state was working relentlessly to put in place enabling atmosphere for young people to realise their full potential.

The commissioner, however, commended the “My Safe Space Project’’ initiative.

“The ministry is ready to support the My Safe Space Project in the state through advocacy to various schools,’’ he said.

The Project Coordinator of the NGO, Amanda Okolie, said that the strategic plan of the project would focus on discussing and addressing challenges of unemployment, violence and youth participation in politics.

“The project will engage with the youth through three thematic areas of dancing, reading/storytelling and advocacy.

“It is hoped that every member of the platform can identify one thematic area to belong to and use it to express himself or herself.

“The project targets 100 youths in Enugu State, particularly the most vulnerable youth – unemployed, poor, slum dwellers, uneducated, physically-challenged, youth in conflict and others. It will run for 12 months.

“One of the key outputs expected at the end of the project is a book documentary that captures conversations and ideas coming out of the platform.

“This will hopefully be a guide on how to address issues affecting young people in Enugu State and Nigeria in general,’’ Okolie said.

She expressed optimism about new opportunities of building on the successes of the project and assuring that the project team would be committed to fulfilling the group’s responsibilities.

Edited & Vetted By: Cecilia Odey/Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

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OAU  to honour Rwandan president, 3 others

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Convocation

Ile-Ife (Osun),  Dec. 4, 2019 Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, as well as three other eminent Africans are to be honoured at the 44th convocation of the Obafemi Awolowo University,  Ile-Ife.

A statement issued on Wednesday in Ile-Ife by the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, said another eminent African to be honoured is Mr Biodun Shobanjo, a marketing communications practitioner.

The others are the President of African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK), Dr Benedict Oramah,  and the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Bank of Nigeria Plc., Mrs IbukunOluwa Awosika.

The statement said Kagame’s exemplary  leadership qualities and achievements in Rwanda were considered, especially his being actively instrumental to ending the infamous genocide in Rwanda.

According to the statement, the recognition of the outstanding and remarkable achievements of   Kagame led to the decision to confer on him  the Doctor of Public Administration (Honoris Causa).

It also stated that Shobanjo’s trailblazing efforts and enduring legacies  in the last 50 years in marketing communications in Nigeria and his humane social activism had made him fit for the award of the Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa).

The Doctor of Science (Agric. Economics) (Honoris Causa) conferred on   Dr Ben Oramah,the statement said, was in recognition of his outstanding academic achievements.

It added that the indelible corporate achievements, unique and outstanding contributions to the growth of entrepreneurship in the society and humane social activism earned Mrs IbukunOluwa Awosika a Doctor of Business Administration  (Honoris Causa) degree.

The awardees, the statement said, would be conferred with their degrees during the 44th convocation of the university scheduled for between Dec. 11 and Dec. 14.

(Edited & Vetted By: Mufutau Ojo)
(NAN)

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