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Unilorin gets molecular lab for COVID-19, other infectious diseases’ testing

University of Ilorin gets ultra-modern Molecular Diagnostic and Research Laboratory, sponsored by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

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The University of Ilorin has again raised the bar in public health provision in the country, with the flag-off of its ultra-modern Molecular Diagnostic and Research Laboratory, which was sponsored by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

A statement by the Director of Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin, Kunle Akogun, disclosed that the laboratory, which was commissioned last weekend by TETFund’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Suleman Elias Bogoro, has already obtained the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control’s (NCDC) certification as a Public Health Laboratory for the diagnosis of COVID-19 and the surveillance of other infectious diseases like poliomyelitis, Lassa Fever and other viral haemorrhagic fevers.

While flagging off the facility, Prof. Bogoro said that the University of Ilorin has produced the most successful TETFund-sponsored researches in the country for several years, describing the institution’s College of Health Sciences as one of the best rated health training institutions in the country.

He added that the College of Health Sciences has some of the best medical personnel that consistently produce problem-solving researches.

The TETFund boss pointed out that quality of personnel, research infrastructure and relevance of research outcome to the society are the parameters that determine the strength of a university, saying that the University of Ilorin is number one when those parameters are considered.

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Prof. Bogoro further disclosed that TETFund is working to curb brain drain by providing infrastructure and research facilities to discourage Nigerians from going abroad where those facilities are available.

He stressed that TETFund is putting research into perspective to ensure that research contributes to national development while advising tertiary institutions to seek complementary funding as TETFund is only an intervention agency.

The TETFund boss then pledged the agency’s continued support to the University to make the Molecular Centre a place of excellence where service and research could thrive.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is expected to launch the Climate Action Plan (CAP) on Tuesday as he flags off the 8th International Climate Change Summit in Lagos.

Briefing the media in Lagos on Sunday about plans for the summit which comes up between Tuesday, June 8 and Wednesday June 9, 2021, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello said the summit is being resuscitated by Mr Governor after a five-year lull.

Bello explained that the theme for the 2021 Conference is “Adapting Health, Energy, Agriculture, Transport and Waste Infrastructure to Long Term Impacts of Climate Change in Lagos State.”

He said the Climate Action Plan was developed to guide the state and stakeholders on the implementation of collective measures to address climate change impacts and causes through adaptation, mitigation and other measures.

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He added that the Summit is a melting pot for researchers, investors, academicians and stakeholders in the environment and economic sector where notable actions for future economic and sustainable development of the state are taken.

According to the commissioner, the summit which will be hybrid because of Covid-19 safety prescriptions will take place at the Continental Hotel Lagos featuring experts in various fields both at home and abroad

He added that the Summit will consist of plenary and parallel breakout sessions focusing on developing road maps for implementing action in agriculture, energy, transport, health adaptation and water, access to finance, urban planning, waste management and circular economy.

Some of the topics expected to be covered include the imperative for action to protect human health from climate change threats and risks as well as delivery of clean and safe energy for domestic cooking as adaptation strategy for Lagos.

Others are understanding the links between Pillar 2 of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda and Lagos biosecurity strategy for a climate friendly post Covid-19 Lagos and building a 21st Century green sustainable ecosystem through scientific, technology and innovative approach.

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The summit will also examine Infrastructure and Climate Change: A global perspective and a Sustainable and Resilient Transportation for adaptation to Climate Change in Lagos State.

Also to be touched, according to Tunji Bello, is Climate Change and Municipal Solid Waste Management: Perspective of Solid Waste handling in Coastal Communities/Slums as well as Sustainable Financing for Climate Change Action and Adaptation: Lagos State in Focus.

Bello also informed that some of the expected outcomes include creating a roadmap for implementing the Lagos State Climate Action Plan (CAP).

Others are development of strategies for a green economy and improving the flow of finance for Climate Action and attract investment in low carbon projects.

Bello said the summit is also expected to develop bankable climate action projects in Health & Environment, Energy, Agriculture, Transport and Waste Management for the state amongst others.

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Education

17-yr-old breadwinner ditches marriage for school in Bauchi

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17 yr old breadwinner ditches marriage for school in Bauchi

One Maryam Alhassan from Barkoti, Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State, has chosen to get educated instead of kick starting her journey to motherhood in her teenage years.

The 17-year-old teenager, is relishing the prospect of attending school for the first time after her encounter with the School-based Management Committee, SBMC, of Sabuwa-Tiffi Primary School, Ningi.

Until two months ago, Alhassan, the breadwinner of her family would hawk kunu (milled millet drink) in the morning and boiled groundnut in the afternoon in various schools around Ningi, to sustain her family, even though she has been nursing the desire to go to school like other children.

According to her, she’s the only child among the seven birthed by her parents who has not seen the four walls of formal education centre.

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“I really wish to go to school like other children. Every time I see other children in their classes, I wish I were them. I am 17 years old and I live with my parents. I would love to help my parents with their finances but I also want to attend classes like others.

“My father wants to marry me off to somebody from the next village. I have nothing against marriage, but I don’t want to be a powerless wife, who waits for her husband for food. That’s why I am begging for a chance to get education, so that I can be useful to myself and the society.

“My parents have seven children but I am the only one who has never been to school. I wish I could ask my father why he didn’t send me to school but I can’t (because of tradition). I hawk different things to help my family. I sell kunu in the morning and then boiled groundnut in the afternoon. I make around N1,500 from selling only kunu,” she had said, while waiting for pupils to patronise her groundnut under a mango tree.

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Meanwhile, the school committee for Girls Education Project 3 (GEP3) funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, FCDO, of the UK and implemented by UNICEF, intervened through the Chairman of SBMC, Sabuwa-Tiffi Primary School Ningi, Dahiru Ali, who reached out to Maryam’s father to allow her to attend a school like other children in the community

She told Vanguard that her father was receptive to the idea of allowing his daughter to attend school.

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His words: “We met Maryam’s father a few weeks ago to know why his daughter has never been to school. After our conversation, he agreed that Maryam can now go to school. However, we will observe her closely to know the appropriate class for her because she has a unique case.”

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You are ignorant – NANS fires Senator Adeola for asking FG to stop funding university education

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You are ignorant NANS fires Senator Adeola for asking

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has described the statement of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Solomon Adeola as ridiculous and irresponsible. The student association noted that his statement was a sign he lacks understanding of how the government should operate.

Naija News 247 obtained a video where Solomon Adeola, during day 5 of an interactive session recently held between the committee of finance and revenue generated agencies, urged the government to rethink funding government-owned tertiary Institutions, their salaries as well as recurrent expenditure. He also told students to request from their various universities how revenue generated is being spent.

“ How do we explain to the whole world for a university that generates an average of 15/16 billion a year and being spent, and aside that the FG would still go ahead to pay their salaries, pay their recurrent and also pay the capital of that institution and the end of the day the lecturers would go on strike

“ It is high time for FG to stop the funding of universities to the extent of salaries or recurrent expenditures. I think the Nigerian students to start asking questions, how do you spend the money generated by this institution,” he said

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However, in a statement signed by the NANS Southwest Coordinator, Adegboye Olatunji, the student association opined that the lawmaker is ignorant.

“We were expecting Senator Solomon to know better. But, Alas, we were proven wrong by his sheer display of ignorance. We could have categorized it as wilful ignorance but it is obvious that the Senator does not understand what the business of governance is.

“We may conclude that Senator Solomon and other members of the Committee like many other government officials out there are lacking the knowledge of what Section 18 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) says on the enforcement of public education right in Nigeria. 

“It is also disturbing that these same people forget that they appoint members of Governing Councils for these institutions. And, if the import of what Senator Solomon is saying is that they are not aware of how the generated revenue is being spent, the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education has been nailed of inefficiency. 

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“As much as we know, fees are now being paid to the purse of the Federal Government through Remita. Meanwhile, the essence of the Treasury Single Account is to enhance government revenue generation and to ensure transparency and accountability in government expenditure. Unfortunately, revenue leakages are still rampant in several ministries thereby defeating the purpose of the TSA.” he said

Olatunji posited that successive governments in the country have failed to invest in the educational sector and it is a shameful act to blame ASUU for the lack of proper management of national resources.

“ What we can make out of the embarrassing statement of the Senator is that the Senate Committee on Finance is indirectly saying that Public Universities should be privatized. The question we ask them is how well are the privatized national corporations like water, power, etc functioning if not that this same government still gives them bailout funds after selling them?” he  said

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The student association called on the Federal Government to invest massively in public education, making it free and functional.

“We maintain that education remains a right and the Nigerian State must be mandated to fund the same. Even in advanced countries where their institutions are self-dependent with huge endowment funds, the government still does follow-up by budgeting heavily for the institutions.” Olatunji said

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FG makes U-turn, withdraws directive to VCs to reopen varsities

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FGs bursary for education undergraduates to begin in 2023 —

The federal government has withdrawn its earlier directive to vice-chancellors, chairmen of governing councils and pro-chancellors of public universities to reopen the schools for academic activities.

The withdrawal was contained in a circular by the National Universities Commission, NUC, Monday evening.

The circular with reference number:”NUC/ES/138/Vil.64/136 was titled: “Re: Forwarding of Court Judgement and Enforcement of Order by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) in Suit No.NICN/ABJ/270/2022.: Withdrawal of Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135.”

The circular signed by NUC Director, Finance and Accounts, Mr Sam Onazi, on behalf of the commission’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, and addressed to vice-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils, read: “I have been directed to withdraw the National Universities Commission (NUC) circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol64/135, a d dated 23rd September 2022 on the above subject. Consequently, the said circular stands withdrawn.

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“All pro-chancellors and chairmen of Governing Councils, as well as vice-chancellors of the federal universities are to please, note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards.”

  Kwara: No fewer than nine principals sanction for collecting illegal fees

The withdrawal of the directive, according to a source, was not uncontested by the appeal against the judgement of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

It was gathered that the NUC was reminded of the implementation of its action considering that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, through its team of lawyers had filed an appeal against the court judgement.

The source said the commission was also reminded that the defendant had successfully secured a stay of execution of the judgement of the court which had ordered it to resume work.

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