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NUC approves 6 new courses for NOUN

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NUC approves 6 new courses for NOUN: The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) says that the National Universities Commission (NUC) has approved six academic programmes for the institution.

Mr Ibrahim Sheme, Director, Media and Publicity of NOUN in a statement on Monday in Abuja said that the approval was conveyed to the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Abdalla Adamu.

According to Sheme, the approval was contained in a letter dated March 19, 2020 and signed by Maryam Sali, NUC Director of Accreditation on behalf of the Executive Secretary.

He said that the programmes are; Accounting, Banking and Finance, Business Administration, Marketing, Public Administration and Hotel and Catering Management.

He said that implication of the status was that NOUN now has the mandate to run the programmes for five years.

“The NUC has the statutory mandate to accredit academic programmes in all universities; certificates issued to students admitted into unaccredited programmes are not recognised.

“The latest approval given to NOUN is sequel to the result of an NUC-organised accreditation visitation to the university in Abuja in October/November 2019.

“The result of the visit shows an impressive score for each of the six programmes from 78.7 per cent to 97.4 per cent,” Sheme said.

He noted that the vice chancellor was delighted with the approval.

According to him, the vice chancellors’ said that the development shows readiness of NOUN to fulfill its obligations as a centre of excellence in the Open and Distant Learning.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

Foreign

UN chief calls for attention to nuclear, cyberspace security amid pandemic

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday said that attention should be given to increasing risk of nuclear proliferation and the lawlessness of cyberspace, while the international community has been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our world is afflicted by enormous fragilities: weak health systems; runaway climate change; unsustainable levels of inequality. We see other signs of this fragility everywhere, from the increasing risk of nuclear proliferation to the lawlessness of cyberspace,” Guterres said at a virtual press conference on High-level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond.

“Ignoring these warning signs is senseless arrogance. Existential threats demand humility, unity and solidarity,” the UN chief noted.

“We cannot contemplate a return to the same failed priorities and systems. We must invest in a sustainable and inclusive recovery,” he added.

The secretary-general said that he was encouraged to see 50 heads of state and government, the leaders of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Institute for International Finance, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the special envoys of the United Nations and the African Union and others – “the largest gathering of leaders since the pandemic began – coming together around joint solutions to the crisis caused by the pandemic.”

The UN chief noted that “this pandemic is reminding us that the important things in life require investment – in people; in physical and mental wellbeing; in protecting our environment and in combating inequalities, including gender inequality.”

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change address precisely the failures that are being exposed and exploited by COVID-19,” Guterres said.

Convened by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and the UN chief, the virtual event aims to advance concrete solutions to the development emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Czech gov’t to lend CEZ money for nuclear energy plant expansion

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The Czech government will lend energy company CEZ a hefty sum of money for the expansion of its nuclear power plant in Dukovany, according to a press release by the Government Office on Thursday.

“We more or less agreed that the state will provide CEZ with a loan on very favorable terms for the state and CEZ,” said Prime Minister Andrej Babis.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Trade and Transport Karel Havlicek said a new nuclear power source is necessary to ensure the energy self-sufficiency of the Czech Republic and ensure a stable and affordable source of electricity. He noted that two of the three agreements between the Czech state and the company could be signed by the end of June.

The government has been in talks with the company about expanding its nuclear power operation and replacing older units, but high costs had been a matter of concern for officials.

A new unit for the power plant would cost an estimated 162 billion crowns (6.6 billion U.S. dollars), local media quotes CEZ CEO Daniel Benes as saying.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Iran says U.S. blacklisting of 2 nuclear scientists “desperate” attempt

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The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said Thursday that the recent blacklisting of two Iranian nuclear scientists is a “desperate” attempt by the United States to counter Iran’s progress, according to official IRNA news agency.

“Desperate attempt and unwise measure of the U.S. policymakers to sanction two Iranian nuclear scientists is an indication of unceasing hostile approach of Washington against the Iranians,” the AEOI said in a statement.

“Such measures cannot quiver the resolve of the Iranian youth” for the supreme goal of the country, according to the statement carried by IRNA.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that Washington was imposing sanctions on two Iranian scientists, Majid Agha‘i and Amjad Sazgar, who he claimed were leaders of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

U.S. to end sanctions waivers on Iranian nuclear projects

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday announced the end of the sanctions waivers on several Iranian civilian nuclear projects as the latest effort to pressure Tehran.

Pompeo said in a statement that the measure applies to Iran’s Arak reactor conversion, the provision of enriched uranium for the Tehran Research Reactor, and the export of Iran’s spent and scrap research reactor fuel.

Multiple foreign companies have been working at these civilian projects to keep Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

“The sanctions waiver covering these activities will end following a final, 60-day wind-down period allowing companies and entities involved in these activities to cease their operations,” said the statement.

According to the statement, the Trump administration extended a 90-day waiver covering ongoing international support to the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1, as a means “to ensure safety of operations.”

“We will continue to closely monitor all developments in Iran’s nuclear program and can modify this waiver at any time,” Pompeo added.

Pompeo on the same day also announced the designation of two Iranians working for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

Analysts said ending the sanctions waivers is counterproductive. “Another bad move. Trump and Pompeo are trying to goad Iran into abandoning all nuclear constraints,” tweeted Mark Fitzpatrick, a nuclear issue expert and former state department official.

The Trump administration withdrew Washington from the Iranian 2015 landmark nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed unilateral sanctions on Iran. Tehran, however, dismissed U.S. calls and vowed resistance against the pressures.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Lithuania, Belarus sign nuclear incident notification agreement

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The nuclear safety authorities of Lithuania and Belarus signed an agreement on early notification of a nuclear accident and on the exchange of important nuclear safety information, Lithuania’s State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) announced here on Monday.

In order to protect the public by minimizing the potential radiation-related risks and consequences, the two authorities agreed to exchange key information immediately after a nuclear incident or when the monitoring systems indicate a radiation dose-rate level that could be hazardous to the public health, said a VATESI press release.

“This agreement is also important, because it applies for information exchange about safety of all nuclear facilities in Belarus and Lithuania and for important decisions to ensure that safety,” VATESI said in the statement.

The agreement came into force on the date of its signature. Under the 1986 Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, such bilateral agreements between neighboring countries are usual in international practice.

Lithuania’s authorities have regularly raised questions about the environmental and nuclear safety of the Ostrovets nuclear power plant in Belarus.

The newly signed agreement authorizes VATESI to promptly alert other responsible authorities once it receives early emergency notification from Belarus.

(XINHUA)

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Education

OAU secures NUC’s full accreditation for Law, Dentistry, others

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The National Universities Commission (NUC) has given full accreditation to all the academic programmes in the Faculties of Law, Dentistry, Basic Medical Sciences and Social Sciences of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the university, Abiodun Olarewaju, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Ile-Ife.
He said that the NUC, with the statutory mandate to accredit academic programmes in all Nigerian universities, had fully accredited all the programmes.
Reacting to the accreditation, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, lauded the patriotic zeal of the Professor Abubakar Rasheed-led NUC.
Ogunbodede praised NUC for giving in its best to ensure that all academic programmes being run by the universities in the country were of international standards.
He also appreciated what he called the institutional spirit of the institution’s Governing Council, led by Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi, the Senate as well as all the departments, faculties and alumni associations.
The vice chancellor said that their commitment had assisted, in much greater measure, in putting all the necessary facilities in place, which eventually culminated in the accreditation of all the courses, particularly those with initial outright denial or partial accreditation.
“With the latest accreditation of 42 undergraduate programmes, all the 107 programmes in the university are now accredited,” he said.
Ogunbodede pledged that his administration would put in more efforts at ensuring the sustenance of the high moral, academic and cultural standards which the university was noted for.
He called on stakeholders in the education sector to do all within their powers to assist the university in putting in place more structures and infrastructure.
According to him, such support will enhance the full realisation of the dream of the founding fathers of the institution.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Foreign

Nucleic acid testing should cover all overseas arrivals: official

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Nucleic acid testing should cover all inbound personnel and those involved in transferring inbound travelers, a Chinese health official said Monday.

Prevention measures including closed-loop management should be strengthened to prevent domestically transmitted cases in light of the evolving situation overseas, as people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation may increase, Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission, said at a press conference.

China is facing growing pressure to prevent imported cases, Mi said, adding that the number of daily new confirmed cases worldwide exceeded 100,000 for the first time on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to more than 4.52 million.

(XINHUA)

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Education

EKSU gets more progrommes accreditated by NUC

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Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado Ekiti, says the National Universities Commission (NUC) has granted full accreditation to the institution to run more undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Mr Bode Olofinmuagun, Head, Directorate of Information, Corporate Affairs of EKSU, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Ado Ekiti.

According to Olofinmuagun, the undergraduate programmes are: Law, Civil Engineering, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Geology and Psychology.

Others are: Building and Woodwork Technology Education; Christian Religious Studies, Electrical/Electronic Technology Education, and Metal Auto Mechanic Technology Education, Arabic Studies, Islamic Studies, and Philosophy.

The postgraduate programmes are: Banking and Finance, Business Administration, Personnel Management, and Public Administration.

Olofinmuagun said that the approval was conveyed to the university through a letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor by Dr Maryam Sali, Director of Accreditation, on behalf of the Executive Secretary, NUC.

He said the accreditation for the programmes was conducted by the Commission in October/November, 2019.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Edward Olanipekun lauded the commission for accrediting the programmes and assured the NUC that the university would not compromise academic standards.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Judiciary

Court orders NUC, Airtel to pay media outfit N703m for copyright infringement

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Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja, in Wednesday ordered the National Universities Commission (NUC) and Zain Nigeria Ltd (now Airtel) to pay N703 million in damages to a media company, TV Xtra Production for copyright infringement.

Delivering judgment, Justice Ekwo, held that the actions of the defendants contravened the Copyright Act.

TV Xtra Production’sChief Executive Office(CEO) and General Editor Arise News, Christian Ogodo, had designed and registered a quiz programme, titled: “University Challenge” with the National Copyrights Commission.

However,Ogodo,  was surprised to see the programme being aired on televisions by NUC and Zain four weeks after he made the presentation to the NUC.

Zain Nigeria, in its defence, contended that TV Xtra was not the original owner of the programme, explaining that the idea was picked from a similar programme, “the British Universities Challenge.”

But the judge ruled that the defendants misunderstood the case of plaintiff who was seeking remedy for his work not in any other part of the world, but registered in Nigeria and which existed at the time it was aired in Nigeria.

He added that airing the programme on  African Independent Television (AIT) and Nigeria Television Authourity (NTA), without the permission of the author violated Sections 2(a) (1), 6 (1) (a) (1) and 8 of the Copyrights Act.

“The law is that a work in Nigeria is the exclusive right of the owner to control the reproduction of the work in any material form and making  adaptations of the work going by Section 6(1) (a) (1) and 8 of the Copyright Act.

“I find that the case of the plaintiff succeeds on the merit  i make an order entering judgement on the terms of the claims”, Ekwo said.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that TV Xtra, through Festus Keyamo Chambers, had, on Dec. 18, 2009, filed the copyright infringement suit, demanding N500 million as special damages for the infringement.

It also demanded N200 million as general damages for airing the programme titled: “Zain African Challenge” in Nigerian televisions which infringed its rights.

The company, in addition, demanded the sum of N3 million as cost of the suit.

The media outfit also demanded an order of the court compelling the NUC which was the first defendant in the suit, to endorse and approve the programme called ‘University Challenge’.

The firm sought the court to issue a perpetual injunction restraining Zain Nigeria from “producing, airing, marketing or exercising any right in respect of the programme called “Zain African Challenge.”

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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

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