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Unilorin set to make COVID-19 vaccine research breakthrough



The University of Ilorin (Unilorin) says it will soon produce a vaccine for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The institution said this in a Bulletin issued on Monday that a team of medical experts and scientists led by a Professor of Medical Virology, Prof. Mathew Kolawole, is working on the project.

It stated the research team had developed three viable proposals for research on various aspects of the contagious disease.

Kolawole, who is the Director of the University’s Institute of Molecular Science and Biotechnology (IMSB), assured that his team of researchers had prepared proposals for the development of vaccines.

The don said this include the molecular epidemiology surveillance for COVID-19 as well as a prototype for the detection of COVID-19.

The virologist added, however, that the only impediment is funding to support the research, said the bulletin.

This development comes as policy makers in the nation’s health sector continue to grapple with the challenge of finding effective medication to curb the raging pandemic.

Kolawole said: “Proposals have been written by me and some of my research team.

“One is on the development of a vaccine; another has to do with molecular epidemiology surveillance for COVID-19, and the third has to do with developing a prototype for case detection.

“The prototype will hopefully be ready by next week for a pre-test. Once it is ready and fine, we will be seeking for funds.”

The IMSB Director pointed out that to develop the prototype for case detection, he and his team of researchers had been using their personal funds.

“I have used my personal funds; and members of my team have also contributed personal funds to develop the prototype and this is the bane of research in Nigeria.

“Ideas are there but when you don’t have funds you can do nothing.

“I want to use this channel to appeal to the government to give us money, as there is capacity to do more if research is funded,” he said.

According to the expert in Viral diseases ASUU is on strike and they are yet to receive salary for February and March, adding that he has been working and spending his money on research.

“If I can do this it shows the passion and level of commitment I have for research,” he said.

Kolawole recalled that he was the first to report the Coronavirus in Nigeria in 2017, adding that if his work had been taken seriously, Nigeria would have been better prepared to combat COVID-19.

“I was the first to report Coronavirus – OC22963 in Nigeria in 2017, and it is a srain of the Coronavirus family – not COVID-19.

“If the Nigerian government had taken heed at that time they would have put much in place before COVID-19 came.

“The research was funded with international partners in the U.S. with a grant from the National Science Foundation; but I was the one that did the local research,” he said.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Unilorin VC congratulates AbdulRazaq on 1-yr in office



Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin (Unilorin) has said that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has moved the state forward in his first year in office.

Abdulkareem congratulated the governor in a statement by Mr Kunle Akogun, the institution’s Director of Corporate Affairs, on Monday in Ilorin.

The vice-chancellor described the last one year in Kwara as peaceful, progressive and eventful under the leadership of AbdulRazaq.

He expressed satisfaction with the performance of the governor, saying that AbdulRazaq has proved to be “great worker and exceptional leader”, who worked round the clock to ensure development of the state.

”The governor has left no one in doubt that he is in office to work toward moving the state to greater heights,” the vice chancellor said.

He noted that the achievements of the governor over the last one year are very stimulating, inspiring and encouraging.

Abdulkareem expressed the appreciation of Unilorin to the governor for sustaining existing cordial relationship between the institution and the state government.

He also noted that AbdulRazaq was steadily paving new ways of cementing the relationship toward promoting mutual benefits among the two entities.

“I am happy that this hard-working governor has proved to be a good friend of our university.

“He has done so many things that made me to conclude that he is our friend in words and in deed,” the vice-chancellor said.

Abdulkareem commended AbdulRazaq for ensuring the fumigation of the university as a way of halting the spread of Coronavirus to the campus.

He also appreciated the governor for extending palliatives to junior workers of the institution to cushion the effects of socio-economic pains occasioned by Coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

The vice-chancellor recalled that the recent fumigation of the campus by the state government was to save students, staff and visitors from being infected by the dreaded virus..

He added that the governor also attended the 195th inaugural lecture of the institution and appointed several alumni as Commissioners and Members of the State Executive Council among holders of many other sensitive offices.

Th vice-chancellor assured the governor of the ceaseless support of the university in his effort to transform the state.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Career: Unilorin trains children on anchoring radio talk show



The University of Ilorin management says its radio, 89.3FM has trained some Primary school pupils on methods of anchoring special live broadcasts on the radio.

According to the University of Ilorin Bulletin issued on Monday, the training is part of its sustained effort to promote the community service mandate of the University to its environment.

The publication stated that the children were drawn from various schools within the Tanke Community of Ilorin, the University’s immediate host community.

It stated that the pupils were trained and made to handle most of the routine programmes of the radio station for the day.

“Among the scheduled programmes handled by the pupils were the station’s daily newspaper review programme tagged “Top Highlight”, the various day’s news bulletins in English.

Also ‘Wednesday Give-away on Radio’ an audience phone-in programme in which callers win various gift items; as well as Children’s Variety, a discussion programme in which children-related issues were discussed”.

The publication said that at the end of the programmes, the children expressed satisfaction and happiness for having the opportunity to broadcast live on radio.

“They said that the opportunity has ignited the urge in some of them to pursue a career in the journalism profession, especially the broadcast aspect.

“Speaking on behalf of others, Samuel Jato of St. Joseph College, Ilorin, appreciated the management of Unilorin FM for the opportunity given to them to have first time and professional experience in broadcasting.

“Jato stated that his love for radio has increased while his inquisitiveness to know what is talking on radio means has also been satisfied,” it said.

The publication added that other children who also participated in the special Children’s Day broadcast were Olatundun Olawuyi from Hillspring Montessori School, Tanke; and Adekunle Quadri from C & S College, Sabo Oke, Ilorin.

“Addressing the children after their radio programmes, the Director of Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin, Mr. Kunle Akogun, stated that the management of the radio station designed the special Children’s Day programme as part of its Corporate Social Responsibilities obligation to the University’s immediate host community.

“He added that this is to identify with the children who are the leaders of tomorrow.

“Akogun pointed out that the programme is also a means of identifying the talents of the kid-participants toward assisting them to make a viable career choice early in life,” it said.

Akogun also advised the children to face their studies squarely and plan adequately for their future.

“He also advised them to set realistic goals for themselves, a situation which he said will make them focus more on result oriented programmes on radio and television rather than just watching movies and listening to frivolous programmes.

“Also speaking, the Ag. Station Manager of Unilorin FM, Mr. Idris Alooma, appreciated the Director of Corporate Affairs, for his prompt approval of the special Children’s Day programme on the radio station when it was proposed to him.

“Alooma, however, advised primary and secondary schools in Kwara to establish press clubs in their various schools, which he said will enhance the student’s learning process and bring the positive aspect of the society closer to them in their various schools”.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso and Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)

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COVID-19: Ex-Unilorin Director tasks FG on research fund



Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji, the immediate past Director, Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ilorin, has urged the Federal Government to set aside fund for research on COVID-19.

Adedimeji told newsmen in Ilorin on Monday that the research fund would aid relevant efforts towards getting a vaccine to fight the deadly virus.

He phasised the importance of research, and said that part of the funds donated by individuals and corporate organisations in respect of COVID-19 in Nigeria should be channeled to research.

The Associate Professor in the Department of English, said that government needed to be committed to providing the tools, facilities and enabling environment for researchers to thrive.

“We have been hovering on the same spot for years by having the same ambivalent attitude to knowledge and research.

“This attitude of paying lip service to or neglecting education and research has to change,” he said.

Adedimeji, however, commended the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) for coming to the rescue of the nation’s tertiary education institutions in areas of critical needs.


Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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COVID-19: Kwara Govt extends palliatives to Unilorin



The University of Ilorin (Unilorin) says about 643 of its workers had benefited from the COVID-19 palliatives being distributed by the Kwara Government.

According to the institution’s bulletin issued on Monday, no fewer than 643 Departmental Staff have received food items donated by the state government as palliatives to cushion the effect of the lockdown occasioned by Coronavirus pandemic.

The university said that the food items, which included 200 bags of 5kg rice, 100 bags of 10kg garri and 50 bags of 5kg sugar, were distributed to the workers.

It noted that the Deputy Registrar, General Services, Mrs Maymunat Zakariyya, was charged with the distribution.

It also said that the management of the university headed by Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, had in its letter commiserated with the Kwara Government on the Global COVID-19 pandemic.

Zakariyya noted that the letter requested the state government to kindly extend the distribution of the Federal Government palliatives to its low cadre staff to ease their economic situation in this period of the lockdown.

“The state government responded by presenting 200 bags of 5kg rice, 100 bags of 10kg garri and 50 bags of 5kg sugar to the university administration.

“She added that the university administration, however, identified 643 staff on CONTISS 1 and 2, and departmental staff of the university as the most vulnerable, and the Vice-Chancellor graciously directed that the food items be shared to this category of staff,” it stated.

Zakariyya, however, admonished the beneficiaries to observe the COVID-19 protocols, imploring them to endeavour to stay safe while hoping that the world will soon get out of thd crisis.

According to the bulletin, one of the beneficiaries, Mr Ajadi Suleiman, who spoke on behalf of others, commended the Kwara government and Unilorin management for the support.

Suleiman however advised the beneficiaries to accept whatever they got with joy and happiness.

“What the government has done is a good thing. We should all receive whatever gets to us with joy and happiness as it will do us a lot of good,” he said.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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COVID-19: Kwara govt. fumigates Unilorin



In its bid to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 in Kwara, the state government has fumigated the campus of the University of Ilorin.

The Chairman, Sub-Committee on Fumigation of  Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, Prof. Shehu Adaramaja, disclosed to newsmen in Ilorin on Monday.

He said that the university was among numerous public places fumigated by the committee.

Adaramaja said that premises fumigated in the institution were the Works Department, radio station, clinic, Senate Building, Security Office, University Auditorium, the Faculty of Education, main gate and motor park.

Also fumigated were the walkways, lecture theatres as well as the Central Mosque and the churches.

“Let it be on record that the University of Ilorin, despite being a federal institution, is the first university to be fumigated by the governor, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq,” Adaramaja said.

He affirmed that infected persons could be cured as long as they report all signs and symptoms noticeable in their communities to the helplines provided by the COVID-19 team.

“Stay at home and follow all established rules as directed by the NCDC.

“The government has established an isolation centre at the Sobi Specialist Hospital and converted the Hajj camp to an isolation centre.

” It has established an oxygen plant at Sobi Hospital, provided medical equipment, approved the payment of N25, 000 per day to frontline doctors and prorate for other health workers involved in the fight against COVID-19.

“The government has also provided health insurance policy for front line workers as well as distributed palliative food items for vulnerable members of the society,” he said.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Unilorin VC congratulates Gambari on appointment as Buhari’s CoS



Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin, has felicitated with Prof. Ibrahim Gambari on his appointment as the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Abdulkareem, in a statement signed by the institution’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Kunle Akogun, on Monday, said the appointment of the renowned scholar and outstanding diplomat was one of the best things to have happened to Nigeria in recent times.

He said that the university was especially happy for the renowned academic and consummate diplomat, who was Guest Speaker during the institution’s 34th Convocation Ceremony in 2018.

The vice-chancellor said that the University of Ilorin was delighted with the appointment of Gambari, whom he described as an eminent son and great friend of the university and its host community.

Abdulkareem recalled that the University of Ilorin had on a number of occasions in the past benefitted Gambari’s scholarship and deep experience.

He said that Gambari had honoured the university’s invitations on at least two occasions during which he delivered thought-provoking and intellectually-stimulating lectures.

Abdulkareem said that Gambari’s appointment befits the resume of the nation’s longest-serving Permanent Representative to the United Nations in view of his scholarly candour, humility, resourcefulness and apolitical disposition.

According to him, Gambari is imbued with what it takes to assist President Buhari in steering the wheel of the nation to the promised land.

He also congratulated the Kwara State Governor, Malam AbdulRahman AbdulRazak on the appointment of a foremost Kwara indigene to that exalted position.

The vice-chancellor also rejoiced with the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, on the appointment of the illustrious Ilorin prince.

Abdulkareem prayed Allah to grant the new Chief of Staff all it would take him to have a very successful tenure of office.

Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Unilorin NASU distributes N8m to retired members



The Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) University of Ilorin Chapter, has distributed N8 million to 40 retired staff members as retirement welfare package from the union.

Mr Ibrahim Suberu, Chairman of the chapter, made this known on Monday, while coordinating the 2020 Retirees’ Welfare Package Programme instituted by the union.

He said the package included those that retired up till Dec. 12, 2019 and their records were forwarded to them.

Ibrahim appreciated efforts of the members, including the stakeholders for the achievements recoded so far.

He said the union had done a lot in making sure members enjoyed all benefits of life to the best of their ability.

He added that members of the union formed the largest workforce in the university and had been playing their roles in the development of the set goals by the forefathers of the university.

“For avoidance of doubt, we shall be paying 40 retirees who are our members and have served the university and the union meritoriously.

“Each of them will go home with N200,000, a little difference from before when we gave N150,000.

“In fact we are working toward ensuring our members will be going home, after their retirement with more than N500,000,” Suberu said.

The chairman prayed for the repose of the souls of late members of the union as he also remembered all other members still alive.

He also prayed that God would continue to save them from the coronavirus pandemic, ravaging the whole world.

Ibrahim commended the management of the university, the National NASU and the Kwara State branch for their support and assistance to the union and for prioritising the welfare of members.

In her remark, the immediate past NASU Chairperson of Unilorin chapter, Mrs Olabisi Adesina, commended the NASU executive for providing such benefits in this trying period of COVID-19 pandemic.

She urged stakeholders in the university to continue to support the union as better days were ahead.

She also sympathised with those who lost their lives among their members.

Adesina warned those in charge of the deceased families not to create problems for the children and the widows left behind.

She thanked the leadership of the University of Ilorin and the security unit for giving maximum support to the current chairman.

In his goodwill message, the Kwara Chapter Secretary of NASU, Mr Owoeye Olusina, who doubles as Vice President of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) applauded efforts of the past leadership of the Unilorin chapter of NASU.

Olusina who was represented by Mr Peters Adeyemi, General Secretary of NASU, commended the union and urged them to intensify efforts on welfare of members by organising yearly training on welfare package.

He also urged the union to set retirement agenda for members, create soft loans to finance businesses through a formidable committee.

He also suggested improved welfare scheme by trading and registering the union welfare scheme with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

Some of the beneficiaries included; Mr. Clement Iyoha; Mr. Rapheal Idowu and Mr. John Uboh, among others.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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Aappointment of Unilorin don into COVID-19 committee excites V-C



Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin (Unilorin), has described the appointment of Prof. Kolawole Mathew of Unilorin into the Ministerial Advisory COVID-19 Committee in Nigeria as a welcome development.

Mr Kunle Akogun, the Director of Corporate Affairs of the university, said in a statement that the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, appointed Kolawole, a Director of Unilirin’s Institute of Molecular Science and Biotechnology (IMSB) into the committee.

He said the committee would serve as a think-thank at the highest level strategic advisory forum on matters related to COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“The 18-man Committee, which is chaired by a Professor of Virology, Oyewole Tomori, was constituted to provide professional advice to the Minister of Health vis-a-vis the health sector response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria,” he explained.

According  to the statement , Abdulkareem said that Unilorin was not surprised with the appointment of Kolawole considering his deep intellect and profound exposure in the field of disease control in Nigeria.

“The VC, said that the don has made the institution very proud through his impactful researches and enormous contributions to the growth of knowledge.”

He expressed optimism that the committee would not only come-out with measures that will effectively halt the further spread of the virus, but also bring about an enduring panacea to the pandemic.

According to the VC, Kolawole has “recently developed three viable proposals for research on various aspects of the COVID-19 that could eventually lead to the development of vaccines”.

The research, he said, would include molecular epidemiology surveillance for COVID-19 as well as a prototype for the detection of the contagious pandemic disease.

“Kolawole is a respected professional and world renowned expert in infectious diseases.

“Prior to the appointment, Kolawole was focused in the eradication of Poliovirus in Nigeria, and has held several academic and administrative positions since he joined the services of the University,” the spokesman said.

He added that Kolawole is an accomplished Consultant to the World Health Organisation (WHO), astute academic and relentless researcher.

The noted that the don has published over 130 highly-rated articles in several globally respected scientific journals, which have attracted the attention of researchers, scholars and organisations across the globe.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Science & Technology

Unilorin takes delivery of TETfund engineering equipment



The management of University of Ilorin says it has taken delivery of multi-million naira Science, Engineering and Technology equipment from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).

The university made this known in its bulletin issued on Monday, saying that this would further boost the institution’s quest for consistent high quality service delivery in the realm of teaching, learning and research.

It stated that the institution Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, expressed the management appreciation to all concerned stakeholders for considering the university to be beneficiary of the intervention.

The publication said that the equipment, which were part of a TETFUND Intervention Project in Special Science, Engineering and Technology (SET), were supplied in two installments.

It said that the intervention was expected to boost teaching and learning in the Faculties of Engineering and the Sciences in the institution.

“The installation of the equipment, numbering about 55, would be undertaken by Skill-G Nigeria Ltd. very soon to ensure that the facilities are put to use without further delay,” it said.

According to the bulletin, the facilities will be useful in the fields of Autotronics, Electrical Electronic Communications, Mechatronics as well as Refrigeration and Air-conditioning.

It also quoted Dr Jacob Aweda of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, as saying that several Departments such as Physics, Telecommunication Science and Computer Science, Agricultural Engineering and Educational Technology are bound to benefit from the equipment.

“It will expose their students to the latest information in their respective fields of study.

“The equipment will no doubt assist students in learning and retention in the course of their training as well as encourage them in the pursuit of entrepreneurship before and after their graduation,” Aweda said in the publication.

Aweda commended the National Universities Commission (NUC), the Tertiary Education Fund and the Skill-G Nigeria Ltd. for the various roles they played in ensuring that the Federal Government considered the university as beneficiary.

He assured the university management that everyone involved would not only be properly trained on how best to utilise the equipment, but empowered in such a way that the facilities would stand the test of time.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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