The Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission (NAEC) has expressed satisfaction with the state of the nuclear research reactor at the Ahmadu Bello University Centre for Energy Research and Training.
A statement issued by Malam Auwalu Umar, Acting Director, Public Affairs Division, ABU, issued on Friday in Zaria, said the Chairman of the commission, Muktar Ali, made the commendation during a visit to the nuclear research facility.
According to the statement, the chairman was particularly impressed with the performance of the nuclear research reactor which was test-run during the visit.
The change was in response to the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) and Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) campaign, to minimise and possibly eliminate the use of highly-enriched uranium in civil nuclear applications.
Ali was quoted as saying that the NAEC, which funds and regulates all nuclear research activities in the country, would ensure that the Zaria research centre achieve the objectives for which it was established.
It added that the NAEC chairman was taken round the facility by the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Kabir Bala and Director of the centre, Prof. Ibrahim Umar.
Meanwhile, at the centre’s Board of Governors’ meeting, presided over by the Vice Chancellor, the first in six years. Bala pledged to turn the centre around.
He explained that the appointment of Prof. Umar as director of the centre was a conscious effort to revitalise the facility.
Prof. Umar, a former Vice-Chancellor of Gombe State University, was also a one time director of the centre.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)https://nnn.ng/atomic-energy-commission-happy-with-abu-nuclear-reactor/
ABU capable of transforming Nigeria’s economy through agriculture – Vice-Chancellor
Prof. Kabir Bala, Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, said the huge agricultural complex of the university could aggressively transform Nigeria’s economy by making the country a net exporter of agricultural products.
A statement issued on Tuesday by Auwalu Umar, Acting Director, Public Affairs Directorate of the university, said the vice-chancellor made the remarks during the field day for a newly established demonstration farm at Faculty of Agriculture.
The Vice-Chancellor said the complex had all it took to play such role, if relevant researches were conducted for good harvest.
He said apart from the fully fledged faculty of Agriculture, the university also had such specialised institutes with national mandate.
According to the vice-chancellor, the institutes are the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR), National Agricultural Extension Research and Liaison Services (NAERLS) and National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI).
Bala also disclosed that arrangements were being put in place to establish an all-embracing research and innovation centre to encourage research effort in the university.
He added that agriculture was one of ABU’s strongest points as a citadel of learning.
He argued that if other developing nations could get high yield, what stopped Nigeria from achieving same feat given the availability of its fertile lands and resources.
The Vice-Chancellor also announced the intention of his administration to take over the University farms for commercial farming as a way of revenue generation for the University.
Bala who commended the Faculty of Agriculture as well as the specialised agric institutes for organising the field day, said Nigerians must design a solution to their peculiar problems through research and innovation.
The statement reported the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. Muktar Mahmud, as saying that the demonstration farm was established by the faculty in collaboration with East-West International, a vegetable research firm with headquarters in Thailand.
Mahmud said the collaboration saw the training of 136 extension workers from Kaduna and Kano, saying that the East-West International granted a 5,650 dollars scholarship to Nasiru Adda’u, an undergraduate student of the faculty.
Similarly, East-West Seed Manager, Mr David-Godfree Alechenu, said the company had different sections that included food processing, business and knowledge transfer; adding that the objective of the partnership was to empower farmers.
According to Achelenu, the company had trained over 10,000 farmers in Kaduna State in addition to training agro-dealers who served as link between farmers and the company.
Edited By: Cecilia Odey/ Maharazu Ahmed
NCDC announces 195 new COVID-19 cases, death toll hits 1,100
The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Monday.
According to the agency, the new infection takes the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 57,437.
The health agency sadly reported two new deaths raising the death toll in the country to 1,100.
It also reported that 105 patients who had been treated and had also recovered from the infection were discharged across the country.
Among other states that recorded new cases were Rivers (12), Kaduna (8), Ondo (3), Bauchi (2), Edo (1), and Ogun (1).
According to the agency, till date, 57,437 cases have been confirmed, 48,674 cases have been discharged and 1100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT.
The health agency said a multi-sectoral national emergency operation centre (EOC) activated at Level three, had continued to coordinate the national response activities across the country.
Meanwhile, the agency has warned that majority of Nigerian states were not testing enough.
It said, “We do not have enough data coming out of these states to ascertain if we are improving or not or where exactly we are.
“So we have to work together; in summary, it is way too early to make any interpretation whether we are flattening the curve or not.”
The NCDC appealed to more states to test consistently so that progress could be monitored on a national level.
Edited By: Ejike Obeta
COVID-19: NCDC says Nigeria not testing adequately
Ihekweazu said that the country recorded a 36 per cent decline nationally in August, compared to July, while the positivity ratio dropped from 20 per cent in June to 7 per cent in July.
“You might think that that is good news and we should be celebrating; unfortunately, we cannot celebrate this until we test sufficient numbers in every state in the country.
“One critical issue is the number of tests being done and yes the number of tests have actually declined, but another important indicator that we look at is the test positivity ratio nationally,’’ he said.
According to him, the only states that can confidently celebrate a decline in cases are Lagos and Kano, as well as the FCT, because they have tested high numbers, but the same cannot be said at the National level because some states are not testing.
He decried that the NCDC could not make any interpretation on the data in Taraba Adamawa, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Kebbi, Zamfara, Jigawa and Yobe States.
“We do not have enough data coming out of these states to ascertain if we are improving or not or where exactly we are.
“So we have to work together, in summary; it is way too early to make any interpretation whether we are flattening the curve or not, some interpretation can be made in Lagos, FCT, because they are testing enough, but we can’t do this on a national level.’’
The NCDC boss noted that countries that seem to have seen a decline were seeing a resurgence of cases.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NCDC and the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) have launched COVID-19 household Sero-prevalence surveys in selected states in Nigeria, to better understand the burden of the virus in the country.
The surveillance will be carried out in Gombe, Enugu, Nasarawa and Lagos States.
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
NCDC, NIMR, partners to conduct COVID-19 antibody tests in 4 states
Abuja, Sept. 21, The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Nigeria Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and their partners are conducting anti-bodies household surveys in four states in Nigeria.
Speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on Monday in Abuja, the Director general of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu said the tests are being conducted to better understand the burden of COVID-19 infection in Nigeria.
“These seroprevalence surveys, which will be carried out in Gombe, Enugu, Nasarawa and Lagos states would provide the best evidence yet, on the extent of COVID-19 infection in the country.
“The seroprevalence surveys are used to identify the occurrence of disease in a population by estimating the presence of antibodies in individuals who have had the disease.
“This is done by testing blood samples in randomly selected households in selected states.
“In addition to this, study participants will also have a rapid malaria test and receive treatment if the test is positive,” he said.
Ihekweazu, said, this is the first set of household surveys to be conducted for COVID-19 in Nigeria and as part of ongoing public health research activities.
“The surveys will increase the current understanding of COVID-19 transmission patterns, the burden of infection in the population, and the age groups most affected.
“This information will help inform COVID-19 response decisions by the Government of Nigeria and partners as part of measures towards ending the pandemic.
” The surveys will also estimate the proportion of people who have COVID-19 but are not showing any symptoms, that is asymptomatic.
“Through this, the country can identify risk factors for infection and measure the transmission of COVID-19 within households,” he explained.
By administering rapid malaria tests, he said, the surveys will also assess malaria infections and their possible relationship to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The results from the surveys, he added, will inform the response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Nigeria.
He also stated that the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC) and the University College London (supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) are supporting the NCDC and NIMR in implementing these surveys.
The News Agency of Nigeria, reports that the surveys will be conducted between September and November, and preliminary results are expected to be released by December 2020.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza https://nnn.ng/ncdc-nimr-partners-to-conduct-covid-19-antibody-tests-in-4-states/