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Unilag ASUU passes vote of no confidence on pro chancellor

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The University of Lagos branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Wednesday passed a vote of no confidence on the Pro Chancellor of the institution, Mr Wake Babalakin.

At an emergency congress, the union also described Babalakin as a persona non grata.

The union said that it discovered that the information Babalakin gave out that led to postponement of the institution’s 51st convocation ceremonies was false.

A member of the union and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Dr Olubunmi Ajibade, told the Nigeria News Agency that the congress resolved that Babalakin must not be seen anywhere around the university henceforth.

“We have discovered that this whole issue is centred on the grouse the pro chancellor is nursing against the management of the university.

“We are saying that this must stop; we have had enough,” he said.

The Federal Government had through a letter to the management of the institution on March 5, postponed the convocation ceremonies.

ASUU has said that Babalakin claimed that the convocation was not approved by the university’s governing council.

The convocation ceremonies were to start on March 9 and end on March 12.

They were suspended four days to the commencement.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN)

Education

Osinbajo, Sanwo-Olu, ASUU hail Unilag VC at 60

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu have prayed for more wisdom, strength and  favour for the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, as he clocked 60.


In a congratulatory message made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, Osinbajo thanked God for Ogundipe’s life. and prayed Him to grant the vice chancellor more grace.

Dolapo and I, congratulate you heartily on your 60th birthday anniversary.

”We bless the name of the Lord for his great favour and mercy over your life in the past years. God is truly worthy of praise.

”As we celebrate with you and your family and friends as you attain this milestone, we pray that as your days are, so shall your strength, wisdom and favour with God  be, in Jesus name,” Osinbajo prayed.

Similarly, Sanwo-Olu  congratulated the vice chancellor, saying that he  (Ogundipe)  belonged to the privileged class of ‘Nigeria’s Independence’ children.

”You were born in the same year the country emerged as an independent nation, bearing the hopes and aspirations of the African continent and the entire black race.

”By your towering and exceptional achievement as a foremost man of God, scholar, administrator and patriot, you stand tall today.

”I have followed closely your transformational strides at Unilag, which happens to be my alma mater.

‘’Under your watch, the institution entered the 2020 Times Higher Education Ranking of the best 1000 universities in the world, for the first time,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The governor said that the vice chancellor

had registered his footprints  on the sands of time, by his achievements.

“I am proud of the work you are doing,  and grateful that the Almighty God  has spared your life to see this Diamond Jubilee,” he said.

The governor prayed God to continue to grant Ogundipe grace and wisdom  to take the university to greater heights.

”On behalf of my wife, Ibijoke, and myself, I congratulate you and the entire Ogundipe family on this milestone, and wish you many more glorious years,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Also in a congratulatory message, the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) wished Ogundipe more years of experience and diligence.

”The association rejoices with the vice chancellor. We believe he is 20 years old, plus 40 years of experience. We look forward to another 40 years, when we will come back to celebrate him.

”We wish him the very best in office as he continues to pilot the affairs of the Great Akokites,” ASUU National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said.

NAN reports that Ogundipe clocked 60 years on Sunday.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Buhari felicitates with UNILAG VC, Prof. Ogundipe at 60

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President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof.  Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, on his 60th birthday.

Ogindipe will be clocking 60 yeats on May 31, 2020.

In a congratulatory message released by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Saturday, the president joined family members and friends of the vice chancellor to celebrate the milestone, laced with great and memorable achievements.

Buhari rejoiced with the academia and professional colleagues of Ogundipe, who, ”through diligence and resilience, rose to become a Professor of Botany at 42, taking up responsibilities as Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies; Director, Academic Planning Unit; and Deputy Vice Chancellor.”

The president extolled Ogundipe’s commitment to upgrading and expanding of the departments, faculties and institutes in the university.

He particularly lauded him for paying attention to the dynamic global market, evolving trends in research, and most importantly, the need for character, competence and competitiveness.

The president commended the ongoing efforts to improve the quality of learning by attracting grants for infrastructure development and research, promoting scholarship and management of resources, with the larger picture of supporting governments to meet growing demands, especially in research funding and employment.

He prayed that the almighty God would continue to strengthen the highly respected academic and author, and grant him wisdom to achieve his dreams for the institution and the country.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Education

COVID-19: Unilag-produced ventilator game changer  – LASG

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The Lagos State Government has described as a game changer,  the AmbuVent – ventilator –  produced  by a team of researchers from the University of Lagos.

The state Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Hakeem Fahm, made the observation at the presentation of the AmbuVent to the government by the researchers. 

The project, known as the University of Lagos/Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council AmbuVent, was sponsored the Lagos State Government.

The News Agency of Nigeria

reports that  the project was aimed at tackling the spread  of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 The project is aimed at proffering solution to respiratory challenges associated with COVID-19  and other respiratory issues.

Fahm said at the presentation that

the device was a highly specialised equipment that cost millions of naira or dollars.

He noted that its availability was limited worldwide.

”And here, we have a team of engineers, medical professionals and scientists working together to come up with a locally-sourced product that works.

”This is going to be a ‘game changer’ in Nigeria because we no longer have to wait to place orders for something like this, when it can actually be manufactured locally. It is also available on scale.

” You can have a big one as well as a miniature one that can be carried any where, which can be very useful for rural areas.

”Because it is made in Nigeria, the researchers are cognisant of the fact  that there are challenges of electricity; so, this device can operate with the regular power supply, battery and also can be solar-powered.  It is a plus,” he said.

The commissioner hailed the team  for the feat.

” This is great, and we are indeed proud of this Unilag team.

“Please extend this to other universities for collaboration,” he said.

Fahm  gave the assurance that the equipment would be applicable to hospitals and any other place that a respirator would be needed.

He hoped  that the ventilator production would spark  new ideas and  add value in tackling challenges of people with respiratory problems, caused by COVID-19 or other health  challenges.

”It is important for us to understand the fact that we will continue to invest in laudable projects like this for our country,  because, if we make it here, it is ours.

” If we need to fix it, we do that locally, and we can always improve on it,” Fahm  said.

Mr Olatunbosun Alake, Special Assistant to  Lagos Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Innovation and Technology, said he was not surprised that the scholars came up with the device.

”I have always known that we have a deep level of intelligence and ingenuity in Nigeria, especially in Lagos State.

“Like it has always been said, necessity is the mother of invention; this is a testament of that.

”This is going to add tremendous value to our healthcare system because, for starters, it brings down the cost of production of this kind of life-saving equipment, and once we are able to successfully commercialise it, it will become a good example of other things that we can do,” he said.

He commended the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe for championing this cause.

“I also know that the Lagos State Government is passionate about driving value creation.

”We are going to work as fast as possible to get this project fly, as we all understand the unique situation facing the country,” he said.

Responding, Dr Uzoma Oduah, one of the brains behind the project, said he was excited at the feat, which he described as materialisation of a dream.

Oduah, who is in the Department of Physics, University of Lagos,  said:  I inspired the project.

“My thought when I started was to achieve reliability, efficiency, affordability, over 80 per cent local content, mass production ability and simple device.

 “All those are embedded in the the project.

I am most excited.”

The university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services), Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, described AmbuVent as a ventilator in a bag.

She said that the idea was to ensure that it could be easily moved to any part of the country.

According to her, a professional can stay in any part of the country and give instructions to another person elsewhere on how to manipulate or operate the device.

”We can deploy it anywhere. More importantly, it has a global implication because even rich countries are looking for small portable things that are not costly.

”It has shown that when we start to do things, we will get things of low cost, because we necessarily have to think like that.

” I am sure, this project has market value and also impact for healthcare,” Ogunsola said.

NAN reports that the team of researchers

had last week carried out ‘demonstration of concept’ of the AmbuVent to the instution’s management.

The team Lead,  AbdulHakeem Amuda, an Associate Professor in  Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, University of Lagos, told NAN at the demonstration that the project provided  an opportunity for scholars to prove their mettle.

According to Amuda, the ventilator has met basic requirements as specified by  the World Health Organisation.

He said that one of the unique features of the ventilator was its ability to work in villages not connected to the national grid, as it used battery that could last for 13 hours, and a trolley for easy movement.

 

Amuda said that the  ventilator was designed to  use 90 watts motor, adding that it was  made in such a way that the motor must not be  needed for 24 hours daily.

He said that a critical component of the ventilator was that of delivering compression that would inflate the lungs as well as the micro controller system.

”The journey of the development of  this Ambuvent started on March 27 when a colleague of mine,  Dr Uzoma Oduah, walked up to me and muted that as a result of the global shortage of standard ventilators at this period of global health crisis,  it would be good if Nigeria could start thinking ahead on what to do.”

Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Health

Unilag Faculty of Education produces, donates fabric face masks

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In an effort to contribute to the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic,  the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, has produced and donated 500 pieces of re-usable fabric face masks to the institution’s management.

In a statement on Wednesday in Lagos, the Dean of the faculty, Prof. Monday Ubangha, said that the gesture  was

informed by the scarcity and high cost of medical face masks as well as continued spread of the virus.

“The production of the fabric face masks was carried out by the Department of Science and Technology Education of the Faculty of Education of the university.

”We thought it wise to produce these masks and donate same to the university management  as our little contribution to the aggressive fight against the dreaded pandemic,” he said.

He quoted the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, as commending the faculty, especially the Science and Technology Education Department, directly involved in the project.

According to the dean, the vice chancellor reiterated the need for all segments of the university community to be creative and be in the forefront of finding innovative local solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic

He added that the vice chancellor directed the distribution of the face masks to various sections of the institution.

He said that 250 pieces of  the masks would be given to the institution’s Security Unit, 100 to the Sabo Police Station and another 100 to the Bariga Police Station.

He said that the Yaba Local Council Development Area would receive 50 pieces of the face masks.

According to him, a good fabric face mask would  not require touching of the face and ears to adjust the elastics around the ears or pulling the mask up to cover the nose properly.

” Specifically, ankara fabrics that would meet the taste of fashion-concious Nigerians must be made with good finishing, to encourage people to move around freely wearing them.

”Special attention has to be paid to the design considerations and fabric colour combinations, without compromising the main purpose for wearing the mask, which is, protection against COVID-19,” he added.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Nigeria’s coronavirus cases have risen to 782, after recording  117 cases on Tuesday  – the highest daily increase  – with  59 of the 117 cases confirmed  in Lagos.

Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Health

Unilag manufactures sanitisers, donates to LUTH

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The University of Lagos has manufactured  hand sanitisers and donated to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in support of Lagos State and Federal Government’s efforts  in containing COVID-19.

  The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said in a statement in Lagos that the sanitisers 

were produced by the university’s Department of 

Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology in the Faculty of Pharmacy.

He said that the Dean of the faculty, Prof. Glory Ajayi, led the team from the faculty to 

make the donation on behalf of the university.

”The hand sanitisers, comprising gel and solution fomulations, were produced by the Department of 

Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, and donated to the Chief Medical Director, 

Prof. Chris Bode, and the management of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba. 

”This gesture is to identify with LUTH and by extension,  Lagos State and our dear nation, in support of their courageous and patriotic fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

”It is also for use by the frontline ‘warriors’ in the hospital healthcare team and other staff members caring for COVID-19 patients. 

”This is a sacrifice that the university believes will be useful at this trying time.

“We pray that God will terminate both the spread of this virus and the infections in human lives,” he said.

Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN) 

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Health

COVID-19: Unilag research team to develop low-cost Ambubag ventilator, adapt mechanical

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The University of Lagos has begun research to provide solutions to the paucity of ventilators needed for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. 

Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, 

made the disclosure in a statement in Lagos on Saturday.

He noted that  shortage of ventilators contributed much to the death of COVID-19 patients in many parts of the world.

Ogundipe said  that the

 multi-disciplinary research team

 would  be providing intervention at two levels.

”The first is the development of low-cost rapidly deployable Ambubag ventilators, while the second is the adaptation of already existing mechanical ventilators to accommodate up to 10 patients with provision for tubing splinter device.

”The development of the low-cost Ambubag ventilator has reached an advanced stage, and this will address the shortage of mechanical ventilators in the nation.

”It is a first-level “stop-gap” approach to quickly provide access to the much needed life-saving device,” he said.

According to the  vice-chancellor, who inaugurated the group, the university is positioned to provide critical support for the nation at critical times through research and innovative ideas.

Ogundipe charged the group to rise up to the challenge and deliver on the task.

He noted that the group led by Dr Hakeem Amuda, an 

Associate Professor of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering and 

Deputy Director (Innovation) in the Research and Innovation Office of the institution,  had reached an advanced stage in the  development of a prototype of the Ambubag ventilator for the management of COVID-19 patients.

“A standard mechanical ventilator usually cost between $20,000 and $35,000 and is currently scarce all over the world, but the Ambubag ventilator being developed will cost around N300,000 to N350,000 each and can be made available in thousands when completed.

”Currently, the team has reached the level of integration and testing of the system,  and once this is completed, the prototype will be made available to the public.

”The product is largely driven by local contents, and this will create value chain that will extend to some artisans in the country. The product will also be energy-efficient and back-up power will be provided.

”One of the salient aspects of this product is the safety assurance that it provides to patients. The product mimics the natural lungs; thus, guarantees that the lungs are protected when patients recover and are discharged.

”This means that the lungs are not damaged or collapsed as a result of the pressure from the product in the long run. The necessary clinical parameters have been put into cognisance for efficacy.”

He said that members on the team  were drawn from the university’s  Research and Innovation Office, Departments of Anaesthesia, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Sciences, and Physics and Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.

According to him,  the Director of the  Research and Innovation Office, Prof. Bola Oboh,  had observed that beyond COVID-19, many low and middle-income countries hitherto unable to provide required mechanical ventilator support for patients with respiratory failure would  be able to use the product.

“When completed, the university will be taking necessary steps to meet stakeholders to commence production of Ambubag ventilators.

”This is what the university is established for  – to look for creative ways to solve societal problems.”

Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN) 

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Education

Unilag soars at Africa Inter-university Machine Learning Competition

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Students of the University of Lagos Artificial Intelligence Club have emerged Nigeria’s champions at the 2020 edition of the Africa Inter-University Machine Learning Hackathon Competition.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the competition was tagged UmojaHack.

It was organised by Zindi Africa and had 72 universities drawn from African  countries.

A total of 796 teams participated.

Zindi Africa is a South Africa-based organisation that promotes learning and artificial intelligence.

Dr Victor Odumuyiwa, Staff Adviser of the University of Lagos team, told NAN on Saturday in Lagos that the essence of the competition was to build machine learning modules and increase  students awareness on artificial intelligence.

Odumuyiwa, who is the Director of the institution’s Centre for Information Technology and Systems, said  that 28 students from various disciplines in the university participated in the online competition on March 21.

”This particular competition  was only  for students of universities across Africa.

“It was a one-day  competition with the aim of  building machine learning models and increasing the awareness of students on Artificial Intelligence.

“The competition was in three categories, the first being Beginner Hack (Hotspots Fires Prediction Challenge) –  to build a model that predicts fires in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

”We also had the Intermediate Hack, (Xente Purchase Prediction Challenge).

“The   task here was to build models and solutions that will help Xente with target marketing and better catering for customers’ need,” he said.

According to him, Xente is an organisation that provides mobile financial services and e-commerce platform.

”The Advanced Hack (SAEON Invertebrate Classification Computer Vision Challenge) was the third category, basically  to build a model to identify species using computer vision,” he added.

He said that the university’s  Artificial Intelligence Club team  participated from one of the institution’s  laboratories at CITS.

”At the end of the hackathon, the  Artificial Intelligence Club came first in Nigeria with the following performances in the three categories:

”At the Beginner Hack, the university  came first in Nigeria and fourth in Africa out of the 363 teams that participated in that category. We also came fourth and fifth on the leader board.

”The university came third in Nigeria at the Intermediate Hack category and 11th in Africa, out of the 227 teams that  partipated in this category,” he said.

The official also said that the university emerged  11th on the leader board in the category.

”Finally, in the Advanced Hack category, the institution  emerged first  in Nigeria and third in Africa out of 206 teams that participated in this category.

“We came third on the leader board.”

Odumuyiwa said the achievement showed the students’ readiness to compete well globally as well as tackle challenges through technology.

”We are happy at the feat achieved by the students.

“It is indeed heart warming as it shows they are  competing well globally and their standards going higher.

“On our part, it shows we are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to building competence among our students on Artificial Intelligence.

”It also shows our readiness as a university to exploit the Artificial Intelligence technology to solve problems locally and internationally,” he said.

Edited By: Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN)

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Education

Unilag crisis: Sheathe your swords, give peace chance, Group tells warring factions

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A group of non-teaching staff at the University of Lagos has called on the leadership of the institution, currently embroiled in a face-off, to sheathe their swords and give peace a chance.

Mr Adekola Adetomiwa, a key member of the group, who made the call in a statement issued on Sunday in Lagos, said that enough was enough.

According to the group, while conflict is natural in any human relationship and interaction, the resolution of such a conflict usually strengthens the affected system.

“Our university, for some time now, has suffered bickering among the topmost leadership, a fact which is in public domain.

“This unmitigated downpour of conflict has come up with a slide. The disagreement has resulted in the cancellation of the 51st convocation ceremony.

“The slide has brought, in its wake, pains, disaffection and disappointment.

“Some stakeholders in the Unilag project, especially union leaderships, have failed in averting the unpleasant situation.

“They have failed to consciously sue for peace, especially among the warring leaders,” the statement said.

The group expressed regret that the unions, had rather chosen to take sides through verbal and media attacks rather than reconciling the parties involved in the conflict.

According to the statement, such act has only helped in polarising the university community.

“This approach has only succeeded in factionalising rather than uniting members of the Unilag community.

“It is unhealthy to use derogatory words on the person of either the Vice Chancellor of the institution or the Pro-Chancellor.

“Neither of them will consciously work to destroy the system, a legacy which obviously will outlive everyone of us.

“The vice chancellor is a scholar and an administrator of repute, while the pro-chancellor is also a leader and philanthropist of note.

“The disagreement between the duo should be a concern to all stakeholders and they are expected to work for an amicable resolution of the conflict so that the benefits derivable from their services to the university will not be lost to the crisis,” it said.

The group appealed that the typecast of ‘persona non grata’ already hanging on one of the unions be withdrawn and that a machinery for peace restoration of the crisis be set in motion without further delay.

Edited By: Shittu Obassa and
(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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COVID-19: WAEC postpones exam, Unilag for a month

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The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) on Friday announced the suspension of the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates.

This is contained in a statement signed by the council’s Head of National Office (HNO), Mr Patrick Areghan.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the examination, which was earlier scheduled to commence on April 6, has been rescheduled for a later date.

WAEC in its decision said, ”This is as a result of the impact of the Coronavirus and the serious implications it may  have on the conduct of the examination  coupled with the anxiety it has generated among the populace.

”This decision is in demonstration of the council’s concern and support for the various protocols being put in place by both the federal  and state governments and that of other member countries to check the spread of the disease.

”Consequently, the earlier released time table for the conduct of the examination is hereby suspended until further notice.

”We wish to assure all candidates and their schools as well as all stakeholders and the public at large that the decision will be reviewed as soon as the health situation improves.

”We therefore enjoin all school principals presenting candidates for the examination to inform their candidates accordingly.

”A new date for the conduct of the examination will be communicated to schools and all other stakeholders in due course,”the HNO assured.

In another development, the management of the University of Lagos has implored its students and staff to adhere strictly to all recommended safety measures against the dreaded Coronavirus disease.

This is contained in a statement signed by the institution’s Principal Assistant Registrar, Communication Unit, Mrs. Taiwo Oloyede in Lagos on Friday.

Oloyede said that all students of the university  had been directed to vacate the hostels latest by 4p.m on Saturday, March 21, and proceed on a month compulsory break as part of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

”Following the increase in the identified cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, the University of Lagos Management, at a meeting held with the Provost and Deans Committee on Thursday, March 19, 2020, resolved to close the university.

”Subsequently, Senate at an emergency meeting held today, Friday, March 20, approved the resolution in accordance with the order issued by the Federal Government that all schools nationwide should be closed for the period of one month, effective from Monday, March 23,” she statement .

She noted that the  federal government decision was as a proactive step aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.

”In view of the above, management hereby directs that latest by 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, all students should vacate the hostels and return to their respective homes.

“Resumption date is subject to review as developments unfold.

”Members of the university community are hereby enjoined to follow precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

”Management wishes everyone safety and good health during this period,”she added..

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN)

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

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