Connect with us

Education

NOUN to award degree in Arabic, Philosophy, 3 Nigerian languages

Published

on

The Senate and Management of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), have approved degree programme in three major Nigerian languages as part of efforts to impact national integration in Nigeria.

Prof. Doris Obieje, Dean, Faculty of Arts, said this at the faculty’s maiden public lecture delivered by Prof. Oladele Balogun of Department of Philosophy, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Ogun State.

She said degree would now also be awarded in Philosophy and Arabic to help achieve a united country characterised by social order, harmony, unity and equality irrespective of philosophical principles, language and religious differences of the citizens.

Prof. Obieje noted that the public lecture entitled: “Religion, Language, Culture and National Integration: Through the Lens of a Philosopher”, evoked the decision of NOUN management to award degree in the three languages.

“It is my hope that the lecture will equally enhance further our understanding of the values of philosophy, language, religion and other cultural elements in the realisation of unity and progress in our nation,” she said.

Prof. Balogun, while delivering his lecture, noted that religion, language and culture could be used to foster national integration in post-colonial Africa.

He said there was need for peaceful national integration in a country such as Nigeria, where language, religious and cultural differences seemed to place a divide in its collective responsibility of building a united country.

He said that scholars of international persuasion argued that poor, corrupt and inept leadership, and ethnic polarity were among the internal prime factors responsible for the lack of national cohesion in the management of states in post-colonial Africa.

He added religious fanaticism by natives, socio-economic and environmental injustices as causes.

“The earlier such internal causative factors are tackled head-on, the less the conditions that foster tension, strife and instabilities in national life in Africa.

“Contentious as both divides are, the realities of national disintegrations are visible to the blind and audibly loud to the deaf in many parts of Africa today,” he said.

According to Balogun, the challenges of external aggression can be addressed with the synchronisation of religion tolerance and cultural reconstructionism.

He highlighted the importance of linguistic de-colonisation to inculcate in the children the ideals and essence of the Nigerian culture.

“Colonialism not only brought European languages to Africa.

“It also sought to invent indigenous languages and to establish hierarchies between them in which the European languages were hegemonic as part of the process of constructing colonial states, spaces and societies.

“Thus, colonialism not only separated the language of the home, it separated also the African language.”

He, however, called for a systematic, critical, reflective and robust interdisciplinary research on the subject matter to further canvas on how best Nigeria could flourish through national integration in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

Vice Chancellor of NOUN Prof. Abdalla Adamu had earlier said that language barrier was the greatest challenge the country had ever faced since independence.

He, therefore, announced that N1million would be given to any faculty that organised inaugural lecture aimed at promoting national integration.

EMAF/DCU

Edited by Donald Ugwu

Foreign

Egypt announces new oil discovery in Western Desert

Published

on

By

A new oil discovery was made in Egypt after drilling a well in the Western Desert that would produce massive amounts of crude oil and natural gas, an Egyptian petroleum company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The discovery was achieved by Borg Al Arab Petroleum Company at Abu Sennan concession after drilling Al Salemia Well-5 in the Western Dessert, according to the statement.

“The new discovery has been put on the production plan at a rate of 4,100 barrels of crude oil per day and 18 million cubic feet of natural gas per day,” said the company.

Borg Al Arab Petroleum Company is a joint venture between the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Kuwait Energy Egypt, and it is responsible for operations at Abu Sennan concession in the Western Desert.

The company said that its chief reported the new discovery to the Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek al-Molla.

In late 2019, the company announced a petroleum discovery in ASH-2 area of oil rich Abu Sennan, with an average production rate of 7,000 barrels of crude oil and 10 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Egypt saw a 7-percent surge of oil and gas production in 2019 by producing some 650,000 barrels of crude oil and 7.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, according to a former statement by the Egyptian oil minister.

Egypt’s largest Zohr offshore gas field in the Mediterranean Sea, which was discovered by Italy’s giant Eni in 2015, greatly contributes to the country’s natural gas production as it produces alone about 2.7 billion cubic feet on a daily basis.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Bank of Canada announces unchanged interest rate

Published

on

By

The Bank of Canada announced on Wednesday it would keep its interest rate at 0.25 percent.

The Canadian central bank said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy appears to have peaked, but there remains a great deal of uncertainty.

The pandemic has led to historic losses in output and jobs, but the country’s economy appears to have avoided its worst-case scenario presented in the bank’s April Monetary Policy Report, the bank said.

The bank now expects the country’s GDP to decline between 10 percent and 20 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019, down from the 15 percent to 30 percent decline forecasted in April.

However, there is some reason for optimism, the bank noted. “Decisive and targeted fiscal actions, combined with lower interest rates, are buffering the impact of the shutdown on disposable income and helping to lay the foundation for economic recovery.”

While the outlook for the second half of 2020 and beyond remains heavily clouded, the bank said it expects the economy to resume growth in the third quarter.

The bank also announced that it is reducing the frequency of its term repo operations and purchases of bankers’ acceptances citing improvements in short-term funding conditions.

It said other programs to purchase federal, provincial, and corporate debt will continue unchanged. “As market function improves and containment restrictions ease, the bank’s focus will shift to supporting the resumption of growth in output and employment.”

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Turkey, Azerbaijan announce visa exemption for citizens

Published

on

By

Turkey and Azerbaijan on Wednesday announced on the official gazette mutual visa exemption of three months for their citizens who hold passports with validity of at least six months.

The decision was agreed upon by the two government on Feb. 25.

With the new visa agreement, the exemption period between the two countries is increased from 30 days to 90 days.

The move aims to strengthen the “friendly relations and cooperation” between the two countries, aiming to facilitate the travels of citizens of Turkey and Azerbaijan, said the statement.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Finland announces record-high supplementary budget to counteract COVID-19 impact

Published

on

By

The Finnish government on Tuesday announced a record-high supplementary budget of 5.5 billion euros (6.16 billion U.S. dollars) to counteract the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Minister Katri Kulmuni said.

With this budget, the debt taken by the government this year increased to 18.8 billion euros (21.04 billion dollars), Kulmuni said at a press conference.

The government also decided to extend the target timing of stabilizing the ratio between public debt and gross domestic product from 2023 to 2030, Kulmuni said, adding that the longer time frame would ease the pressure.

The senior official said Finnish universities will be authorized to add 4,800 students to this year’s enrollment.

According to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland confirmed a total of 6,887 COVID-19 infections by Tuesday afternoon, with 320 virus-related deaths and at least 5,500 recoveries.

The country reopened restaurants and cafes on Monday, with opening hours shortened and capacity of service halved. The new restrictions are supposed to stay until the end of October.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Minnesota governor announces civil rights probe into Minneapolis Police Department

Published

on

By

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said Tuesday that his state is launching a civil rights probe into the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), of which four police officers were involved in the brutal killing of unarmed black man George Floyd last week.

Walz said the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has filed the civil rights charge against the MPD and will investigate its “policies, procedures, and practices over the past 10 years to determine if they engaged in systemic discriminatory practices.”

“My administration will use every tool at our disposal to deconstruct generations of systemic racism in Minnesota,” the governor said on Twitter following a news conference. “This effort is one of many steps to come in our effort to restore trust with communities that have been unseen and unheard for far too long.”

Floyd died on May 25 after being pinned to the ground by four MPD police officers, who arrested him for allegedly using a fake 20-dollar note to buy cigarettes. All of the officers have been fired, and Derek Chauvin, the one who kept his knee down on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes even as Floyd pleaded desperately for his life, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

“This is not about holding people personally criminally liable,” said Minnesota Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero, who will lead the just-announced investigation. “This is about systems change.”

Floyd’s death instigated nationwide protests against police brutality and racism that have persisted for a week now.

As demonstrations escalated into violent unrests in some parts of the country, United States President Donald Trump on Monday threatened the use of the military to clamp down on the protesters, a response that drew immediate condemnation from his political opponents, including former Vice President Joe Biden, whom Trump is all but certain to face off in the general election later this year.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Britain announces £160m in humanitarian aid to Yemen

Published

on

Britain announced on Tuesday 160 million pounds ($201 million) in humanitarian aid to Yemen, James Cleverly, the Foreign Office minister for the Middle East and North Africa said.

Cleverly told a pledging conference to help the war-torn country of the British government plans to assist Yemen with the fund.

Saudi Arabia hosted a virtual U.N. conference to help raise some 2.4 billion dollars to counter funding shortages for aid operations in Yemen.

The conference is aimed at raising 2.4 billion dollars to keep aid flowing to Yemen.

“Unless we secure significant funding, more than 30 out of 41 major UN programmes in Yemen will close in the next few weeks,’ UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in a videoconference.

“Today’s pledges will help our UN humanitarian agencies and their partners on the ground to continue providing a lifeline to millions of Yemenis,” he added.

He added that aid agencies “are in a race against time” in Yemen.

He said that reports indicate that mortality rates from COVID-19 in Aden, the temporary seat of the Yemeni government, are among the highest in the world.

IAA

Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Morocco announces 37 mln USD aid package for drought-hit farmers

Published

on

By

Morocco on Tuesday announced that an aid package of 37 million U.S. dollars has been paid to drought-hit farmers.

According to a report of the ministry of agricultural, the payment was started in mid-April, in an effort to mitigate the impact of a rainfall deficit on farmers.

This year, Morocco has been facing unfavorable climatic conditions, characterized by high temperatures and irregular rainfalls, which decreased by 40 percent compared to the normal season.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Canadian protesters, officials denounce racial discrimination, police brutality

Published

on

By

Several Canadian cities have seen protests, some of which involved elements of violence, following massive protests across the United States over the death of unarmed African American George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

On Sunday, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Montreal to denounce racial profiling and police brutality in both Canada and the United States.

Even the city’s police force, in tweeting a call for a peaceful demonstration, commented on the events surrounding police involvement in the homicide of 46-year-old Floyd, as the Minnesota county examiner announced on Monday.

“Both the action taken and the inaction of the witnesses present go against the values of our organization,” the Montreal Police said on Twitter on Sunday. “We respect the rights and the need of everyone to speak out against this violence and will be by your side to ensure your safety.”

But about three hours after the peaceful march and rally ended in the province of Quebec’s largest city, tensions flared as people threw rocks and projectiles at the police, who responded with pepper spray and tear gas.

Store windows were smashed, fires lit and shops looted, resulting in the arrest of 11 people — nine of them on charges of breaking and entering.

On Twitter, Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante condemned the actions of the looters whom she said “had nothing to do with” the otherwise peaceful protest.

During his daily briefing with reporters on Monday, Quebec Premier Francois Legault also chastised “those who took advantage to loot and vandalize” and “must face the legal consequences.”

But while he said he supports the stance against racism, Legault said he does not believe there is “systemic discrimination” in Quebec, where black people represent the largest visible minority — or about 10 percent of the population — in Montreal.

However, at his daily COVID-19 news conference on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that “we can’t pretend that racism doesn’t exist” in Canada.

“Anti-black racism is real; unconscious bias is real and systemic discrimination is real — and they happen here in Canada,” he said.

One of his cabinet ministers, Somali-born Ahmed Hussen, minister of families, children and social development, shared a personal perspective on anti-black racism via Twitter.

“I have heard from people who have said that we should not worry about what is happening in the US because that is not our problem,” he tweeted on Saturday. “As a Black man & a father of 3 young boys, I can tell you it is a lived reality for Black Canadians.”

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

United States Texas announces prosecution for protest agitators violating federal law

Published

on

By

United States Texas Governor Greg Abbott, along with all four United States attorneys in Texas, announced Monday that individuals coming to Texas from other states to engage in violence will be subject to federal prosecution.

According to a release from the governor’s office, anyone who is arrested and charged with such offenses will be transferred to federal custody.

The United States attorneys in Texas will be working with local prosecutors and law enforcement officials to aggressively identify crimes that violate federal law, said the statement.

“Texans must be able to exercise their First Amendment rights without fear of having agitators, including those coming from out-of-state, hijack their peaceful protest,” said Governor Abbott and the U.S. attorneys. “Today’s announcement will ensure there are harsh consequences for those breaking the law and that they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

A massive protest is being organized for Tuesday afternoon in downtown Houston to show solidarity with George Floyd. Local police have warned the public of not parking the car in the street and avoiding downtown area when the protest takes place.

Demonstrations and riots have spread to cities across the United States after a video went viral of George Floyd being suffocated to death by a white police officer in the midwestern United States state of Minnesota a week ago.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

Read Also