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Writers, Authors decry poor reward for productivity, seek government intervention

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The President, Association of Nigerian Authors, Malam Denja Abdulahi, said lack of reward for writers’ productivity was a major challenge facing the development of the book industry in the country.

The occasion was part of activities lined up to mark the week-long annual International Book Fair ongoing at the University of Lagos.

According to him, authors and writers are faced with hostile operational environment, which has to a large extent left them with little or nothing to show for the amount of energy and resources they invested in the development of the book industry.

“I want to say that the writers in this country have come a long way even in the face of very harsh economic environment.

“And that is why part of what we are going to do here today is to celebrate our members who have done so much, inspite of  the odds.

“We are also going to focus and deliberate on how we can deploy ICT, to assist these authors and writers on their business craft and advance the way we can write.

“You know we can actually write better with technology, going by the fact that almost everything has gone digital. We also want to look at how the same ICT can be used in distributing the writers’ books, to make them benefit more from their efforts,” he said.

Abdulahi then said that one of the challenges facing authors and writers was the fact that often times, their books were not sold.

According to him, this development is frustrating as well as discouraging, coupled with lack of support from the government.

He noted that the activities of the pirates were not helping issues.

“This whole issues constitute challenges to the writers and authors and the development of the book industry.

“So, there is need for collaboration across board of stakeholders in the book industry and that is the essence of this gathering.

“Government has a lot of roles to play in terms of also establishing legislation as well as introduce national book policy and other schemes that will help the circulation of books across the country.

“It can also help us to protect our intellectual property, intensify efforts in its fight against piracy and even recommend books that should be sold in schools across the country.

“We also want an enabling environment for the writing business to thrive,” he said.

Mr Ugo Okoye, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bambooks, said that as a writer, he was gradually carving a nitch using ICT.

According to him, the Bambook is a digital library, the first of its kind in Africa.

He noted that there was need to democratise contents using ICT and as a result, allow every Nigerian to have access to contents, anytime anywhere.

According to Okoye, about 30,000 readers have already subscribed to the library, adding that this was a major way of using technology to advance common goal.

Okoye is one of the writers that was celebrated by the association at the occasion, for his outstanding contribution to the development of the book industry in the country.

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Education

Oyo govt. opens bid for 2018 UBEC/SUBEB intervention projects for primary schools

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No fewer than 87 local contractors, on Thursday, participated in the bid for the 2018 FGN- SUBEB intervention projects for primary schools in the state.

A statement issued in Ibadan by Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, the Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, quoted Dr Nureni Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of SUBEB, as saying that the exercise was in compliance with the Public Procurement Act, 2010.

“We allowed due process in this bid opening, which states that people should be allowed to tender for any goods and/or services, and that the tender should be opened in the presence of the owners,” the SUBEB chairman said.

According to Adeniran, the 198 projects to be executed are to be jointly financed by the state government, through SUBEB and the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).

He said that the open bid was in line with the present administration’s commitment to transparency, openness and integrity at all times.

The chairman listed the projects to be executed to include construction of five model schools, six early childhood development (ECD) pilot centres, 32 blocks of three-classroom buildings and 15 blocks of four-classroom buildings.

According to him, the contractors are also bidding for renovation of 59 blocks of classrooms, sinking and erection of 40 units of boreholes and tank stands.

Others, he said, were procurement of 36 classroom furniture, sports equipment, 16 motorcycles and one Toyota Hilux pickup van.

Adeniran also disclosed that the board was in the process of accessing the 2019 FGN- SUBEB intervention funds, saying that the state government had approved the release of its counterpart fund.

The SUBEB chairman appealed to successful bidders to ensure they execute thorough jobs and timely completion of the projects.

He said: “Bidders are strongly advised to ensure speedy project execution, as this administration has zero tolerance for time wastage as far as project execution is concerned”.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the exercise was witnessed by representatives of UBEC, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Bureau of Public Procurement and the Federal Ministry of Education.

Others were the Nigerian Society of Engineers and the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers.

Edited by Bayo Sekoni and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Education

Ogun State wins 2019 NNPC science quiz competition

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Ogun State has  won the 2019 Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) Science Quiz Competition for secondary school students across the country.

Ogun state emerged as the winner at the grand finale of the completion held at the NNPC Towers in Abuja on Thursday.

Ojo Oluwatobi from APT. Scholars Universal College, Ota, won the first price for Ogun State with 80 points while Mbazu Justice from CSMT Staff Secondary School, Abakaliki in Ebonyi State, took the second position with 70+points.

Nwachukwu Ugochukwu of Dority International School Aba, Abia State took the third position with 70 points.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, said that the corporation as an enabler company would continue to contribute to education to ensure a greater Nigeria.

He said that the competition was one aspect of the corporation’s effort in supporting nation building.

“Building a successful nation has to deal with talent management and as a corporation we try to recognise them young and help them to development it well.

Also, President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, urged the students to put in their best in whatever they did in life as leaders of tomorrow.

He commended the NNPC for the initiative adding that it had helped to develop a lot of scientists in the country.

Speaking on behalf of the participants, the 2019 winner, Oluwatobi commended the NNPC for the initiative and thanked all his teachers and parents for their support.

“I am very grateful to the NNPC for the opportunity and the initiatives such as this.

“This competition has made me to read so hard, I am happy to emerge as the winner.

“I am grateful to my teachers, parents and all the oraginsers.

“With this competition, I am very sure to pass all my exams very well,’’ he said.

The corporation, also in its report, said that  the competition  started at the grassroots level in each of 774 local government areas and best three student proceeded to the state level.

“At the state level, the best student in each state emerges and proceeds to the zonal level and each winner at this level is entitled to a one-off educational grant of N100.000,’’ it said.

It further noted that the states at the geopolitical zones meet at different times to compete among themselves and then determine the best three states to compete at the national grand finale.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the first position got N300,000 scholarship per session as an undergraduate, while the second position got N250.000 and  third position N200.000 respectively.

Eighteen states participated in the grand finale with three states representing each of the geopolitical zones.

edited by Olawunmi Ashafa/Donald Ugwu

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Education

IMT Enugu begins award of degrees, says Rector

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The Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu says it has commenced the award of degrees in some disciplines, in affiliation with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), beginning from the current academic session.

The Rector of the institute, Prof. Augustine Nweze, said this in Enugu on Thursday, when the state House of Assembly Committee on Education visited the place as part of its oversight.

Nweze said that the National Universities Commission (NUC) had given approval for the award of the degrees by the institute.

He said that the NUC approval followed the ratification of the affiliation by the UNN Senate and Council of the institute.

He said: “It is the desire of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to give IMT a university status in the shortest possible time.

“To give life to that dream, we have on our own gone into affiliation with one of Nigeria’s foremost universities, the UNN, to award degrees in many disciplines.

“I sincerely hope that the new students will be some of the earliest beneficiaries of this partnership.”

The rector said that IMT was established in 1973 and modeled after the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston Massachusetts, U.S.A. and currently had nine schools and 40 departments.

“Management is working assiduously to improve lecture halls, laboratories and studios to make them fit for learning.

“We are immensely thankful to the governor for giving us the opportunity to serve our people in our different capacities in IMT,” he said.

In a remark, the Chairman of the committee, Mr James Akadu, pledged that the state government would do its best to ensure that IMT regained its past glory.

Akadu said that the plan to award degrees by the institute was due, pointing out that the school had churned out prominent Nigerians in different professions.

He commended the management, staff and students of the institute for their efforts in taking the school to greater height.

(Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Sam Oditah) (NAN)

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Education

NYSC set aside N26m to replace Corps member’s amputated limbs

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has set aside N26 million to replace a Corps member’s amputated limbs in Kano state.

The state NYSC Coordinator, Malam Ladan Baba disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday when he led other officials of the scheme to visit the corps member, Nuruddeen Tahir at his family house in Gwarzo Local Government Area of the state.

Baba sai the corps member, who already had his left hand amputated when he was 12 years old, had also lost the other one in an accident on his way to his Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) in Taraba State where he attended orientation course for 2019 Batch ‘B’, Stream l.

He said, “The DG, when he heard the information was so concerned about the condition of the Corps member, therefore, he made adequate arrangements to replace the two hands with artificial ones.

The coordinator explained that the courage and endurance of the 27 year old corps member to continue with his education after the amputation of the first hand prompted the DG to offer him the lifetime succor.

He said, “Tahir is presently stable after spending over two months on admission at Dala Orthopaedic Hospital in Kano, and the NYSC had settled all his medical bills and had since been posted to teach in a secondary school in his hometown.

“After he managed to complete his primary education, he had the zeal and determination to continue with his education up to degree level where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies from Yusuf Maitama-Sule University, Kano”.

“In order to give this patriotic young man hope of life, the DG made adequate arrangements to replace the two limbs with artificial ones worth N26 million in order to give him relief and succor,” the coordinator added”.

He said that the replacement process is ongoing as the doctors had made steady progress for completion of the implanting of the limbs.

In his remarks, the doctor who would administer the implant, Dr Rufus Arumugam, said they had already placed the order for the artificial limbs in Scotland, adding that they would be delivered in 45 days from now.

He explained that the customised prosthetic limbs, which would be built using bionic technology, would enable the patient to move his hands normal.

According to him, the limbs would come with a remote control which would be used to move the hands based on the action the patient wants to perform.

Also speaking to newsmen, the father of the corps member, Alhaji Dahiru Dalhatu expressed happiness and gratitude for the gesture.

He said that, “Tahir was grinding grains when he was 12 years, the grinding machine grabbed up his cloth and severely injured him which eventually led to the amputation of his left limb at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital.

My son is not lazy and wants to continue with his life struggles even with the loss of his limbs.”

But now with this gesture by the NYSC, my son will be able to continue to run his normal life. I thank the Director General. I am highly grateful to him and the Kano State Coordinator for standing with us”, he said.

Edited by Tukur Muntari. (NAN)

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Education

Banker decries suicide rates by students, admission seekers

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An Executive Banker, Mr Adebayo Adeyinka, has decried the rate at which Nigerian youths were committing suicide due to failure in their academic pursuit.

Adeyinka, the Regional Bank Head, South-West 1, Fidelity Bank Plc, made the assertion at the 2019 National Pre-University Conference in Badagry, organised by CityMood Communications.

“Many Nigerian youths are committing suicide because of academic failure, not knowing that failure is part of life.

“Suicide is not the next thing in life, if you fail the first time, prepare and do it again.

“Nothing can stop you, not even lack of resource can stop you from achieving your dreams, it is only you that can stop you in life,” Adeyinka said.

He urged those students who did not get admission to institutions of their choices after several attempts to work hard and prepare to do it again, saying that nothing good comes easily.

Adeyinka urged students and admission seekers to be free to dream and be focussed.

“A dream is not what you see in your dream, but a dream is that which keeps you awake in the night.

“Have a clear cut goal and ask yourself if I gain admission today to the university, what do I intend to achieve at the end.

“Resist any attempt by anyone to put you in the secret cult. Please never join any cult in school,” he pleaded.

Adeyinka, however, advised them to make good friends and build good network when they gain admission into the university.

Also, Ms Chizobam Ofoegbu, a Confidence Coach, urged the students to be careful about the type of groups they mix up with in higher institution.

Ofoegbu said that peer pressure was the number one killer of youth nowadays.

According to her, peer pressure is when you are easily motivated to sabotage your life and life of others.

Ofoegbu urged students to know the type of friends to keep while in school, adding that bad friendship would destroy their lives.

She also advised them to always associate themselves with people of same character and value.

Commenting, Mr Folaranmi Oyediran, an Author and Youth Leadership expert, urged students seeking admission to know the purpose of their going to the university.

“Knowing the purpose of going to university is to study and become purposeful in life and you must give it everything to succeed.

“University is not a place where you go and play, but to study squarely.

“You will succeed in university without comparing yourself with others.

“You must manage your life within the time allocated to you,” he advised.

Also, Opeyemi Oke, the Executive Director, Equip Africa, advised students that have talents to utilise it.

Oke appealed to parents to allow their children to explore their talents, urging the students to search for their talents and develop them.

Earlier, Mr Sewhupe Akande, Chief Executive, Citymood Communications, said the aims of the event was to enlighten graduating senior secondary school students and young school leavers about higher education pursuit.

“Developments in our Ivory Towers have necessitated a national re-orientation of our admission seekers with the hope of shaping and sharpening their perspective about university education and positioning them for a quick start at excelling on campus.

“With the pedigree of speakers at this conference, participants are guaranteed of receiving knowledge that will impact their lives and nation for good,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that many students in senior secondary schools and young school leavers within and outside Badagry attended the conference.

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Education

Raise teachers’ salary to improve enrolment in Colleges of Education — Committee of Provosts

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The Committee of Provosts (COP) of Colleges of Education in Nigeria on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to raise teacher’s salary towards improving enrolment of students in the colleges.

Prof. Johnson Pongori, National Chairman of COP, said this in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency during the opening of the COP 85th Regular Meeting at Federal College of Education (Technical ) (FCE) (T), Akoka, Lagos.

Pongori, also Provost, Adamawa State College of Education, Hong, said the teaching profession could only be attractive for Nigerian youths if teachers’ salary was increased.

“The Nigerian youths of today are only interested in management courses that enable them to make quick and huge money.

“That is why a lot of them are not interested in teaching and this is affecting enrolment in the colleges of education,” he said.

According to him, teachers in developed countries such as Finland receive similar salary as other professionals in the fields of medicines, engineering and the likes, thus making teaching attractive and competitive.

Pongori said that colleges of education were specialised institutions established to provide qualitative training for teachers who would teach students from creche to tertiary level.

He noted that the teachers were trained to build individuals from cradle into a matured and enlightened citizen, as education was fundamental to the growth of any nation.

The COP Chairman said that any serious government should not ignore the teaching profession because teachers produced professionals in other sectors of the economy.

“It is unfortunate that most people at the helm in our government today are those that benefited more from education through scholarship but are not giving back to the sector.

“Education is not what we should joke with because it affects all facets of the economy,” he said.

According to him, an educated and informed population will be projective, focused and disciplined in their engagements.

Pongori however urged the private sector to partner with the government to improve quality of education in the country by providing infrastructure and support in the training of teachers.

The COP Chairman disclosed that the meeting was being held in Lagos to commiserate with the family of the late Immediate Past Provost of FCE(T), Akoka, Dr Sijibomi Olusanya, who died on July 27.

“This is in line with our tradition and to also extend our condolences to his wife, children and family and that is why the meeting was scheduled to hold at FCE(T), Akoka.

“We also give credit to the late Provost and colleagues for piloting the affairs of the college for eight years and moving it to an enviable status,” he said.

In his welcome address, Dr Wahab Azeez, Provost, FCE(T), Akoka thanked the executives and members of the committee for giving the college the right to host the meeting.

Azeez said the college would surely benefit from the wealth of experience of the provosts and would implement decisions reached at the end of the meeting.

NAN reports that the COP 85th Regular meeting ends on Thursday.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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