Commission pledges to eradicate illiteracy, poverty in North-East



The North East Development Commission Education Endowment Fund (NEDCEEF) has pledged its commitment to the eradication of illiteracy and poverty in the North-East region.

The Chairman of the newly  inaugurated Board of Trustees of the Fund, Mr David Kente, made the pledge in Abuja on Sunday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the board was recently inaugurated by the Chairman of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Retired Gen. Paul Tarfa.

Kente said the board would work assiduously toward the development of sufficient human capital in order to acquire adequate capacity for infrastructure and socio-economic development of the region.

He also said that the board would build human capacity for the North-East zone through scholarship endowment.

He added that the commission would offer citizens of member states equal opportunity in ICT skills acquisition and educational training at graduate and post graduate levels.

“We are also determined to provide educational training for families at ward, local government and senatorial district levels in all the states and further the education of over 2,400 beneficiaries of the Safe School Initiative (SSI) beyond secondary school level.

“We will offer opportunity for training orphaned children and other vulnerable groups currently not benefitting from the safe school initiative.

“We will also provide short term but impactful entrepreneurship training programmes to candidates whose primary school or secondary school education was truncated by the Boko Haram and other crisis.

“Similarly, we intend to offer special scholarship opportunities to talented youths engaged in sports and also establish a North East Regional Sports Institute in the future and support the training of nurses, midwives and retraining of teachers and vocational training for women and youths.

“These will in no small measure fight the menace of low human capital and illiteracy in the North-East,” he said in a statement.

Kente said that based on the UNDP Human Development Reports of 2018, North East states had a Human Development Index (HDI) scores below the national average.

He gave an assurance that the board would partner with states’ education architecture, local and international development partners in the education sector, as well as donor agencies, to achieve its core mandate of creating an educated citizenry.

“This we believe will change the educational landscape of the region. Our intention and target is to get the first set of beneficiaries of the programme into various institutions by the beginning of the next academic session,” he said.

Kente appreciated the support of the chairman and members of the Governing Board of NEDC for setting aside the approved grant to enable the board hit the ground running with the activities of NEDCEEF.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

Science & Technology

NITDA, Nigerian Army to collaborate on simulation centre development



The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has indicated its willingness to form an alliance with the Land Forces Simulation Centre, Nigeria (LFSCN), a formation of the Nigerian Army, to establish a simulation centre for the military.

NITDA Director-General, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, disclosed this on Friday when he hosted Maj.-Gen. Garba Sani, Director-General, LFSCN in Abuja.

Inuwa observed that the adoption of technologies in executing warfare had become more pronounced than ever, as war in recent times were rarely fought physically.

“We can work with you to develop a simulation centre where arms and ammunition could be simulated and use for training.

NITDA is organising an Innovative Challenge for youths to come up with home-grown innovations, and we can integrate the idea of coming up with simulating military hardware for the centre.

“We can call on people to compete and bid for such ideas and we work with them to develop something.

NITDA will be willing to assist the start-ups to proffer solutions that can be developed into products,” he said.

He said further that the agency could help build the capacity of the personnel in the centre on identified areas of skill gaps.

“Part of the agency’s mandate is to build the digital skills of Nigerians, so we urge you to work with our team to identify your capacity building needs.”

Earlier, Sani said that new strategies to prosecute war were accelerating the acquisition of digital skills, hence the need for the collaboration.

He added that simulation training had become imperative in order to save resources for government.

“A trainee soldier would require 10,000 round of ammunition before he can perfect shooting, and the resources to provide that is not available hence the need to adopt simulation for training.

“We also hope that NITDA provide us with ICT hardware and software systems, development of customised software-based simulation systems, research industry linkage to assist LFSCN in building adequate capacity of its staff,” he said.

According to the LFSCN director-general, the cordial working relationship will create local simulation platforms, while facilities like internet bandwidth will promote simulation activities.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Source: NAN
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FCE Kontagora appeals to TETFund for more interventions



The Federal College of Education (FCE) Kontagora in Niger has appealed to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to provide it with more infrastructures to create enabling environment for teaching and learning.

Prof. Faruk Haruna, Provost of the college made the call on Friday in Kontagora while inspecting the 2012/2015 TETFUND intervention projects ready for inauguration.

Haruna said that the college was in need of lecture theatres, office accommodation, students hostels, network of roads and completion of some abandoned projects.

“We have some abandoned projects, 2009 Special Intervention Projects (SIP) that we solicit the support of the fund to complete.

“We have great hope that the Executive Secretary TETFund will come to the aid of the college by assisting to complete the projects.

“We are seriously in need of students hostels, currently, majority of the students stay off-campus and are often exposed to security threats,” he said.

He pledged to supervise the projects to completion and to put them into good use when completed.

The Provost said that the projects completed within two years in office include office complexe for school of graduate education and lecture theatres for school of secondary education (science programmes).

Others are lecture theatre for school of secondary education (language programmes), geographical garden and offices, information and technology centre (ICT), biological garden, tractor shade and model office for business education.

He said that the projects were executed at the cost of over N1 billion.

Haruna said that some other TETFund infrastructural projects were ongoing and at various stages of completion in the college.

He thanked Col. Sani Bello (rtd), Life Patron of the college, who rehabilitated the 1,200 sitter auditorium of the college.

On the resumption of public schools and institutions of higher education due to COVID-19 pandemic, Haruna said that the institution was ready to resume academic activities.

“Going by the infrastructure and other measures put in place we have complied with the COVID-19 protocols. I think we are good to go whenever the federal government announces resumption,” he said.

He said that the completed projects which were scheduled to be inaugurated by the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro on Thursday has been postponed.

Haruna said a new date for the inauguration would be made public.

Also, Bello lauded the Provost and TETFund for collaborating to provide conducive environment for teaching and learning at the institution.

Similarly, Mr Samson Samari, president, Students Union Government (SUG) of the college, who commended the Provost and Management for improving the standard of the institution, urged TETFund to complete abandoned projects at the college.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Haruna who has spent two years in the college is the 11th Provost.

The college was established in September 1978 as Federal Advanced Teachers’ College and upgraded to college of education in 1987.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN
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LCCI begins virtual edition of ICTEL Expo



The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) says its Communication, Technology and Telecommunications (ICTEL) Expo, a veritable platform for operators and regulator will be held virtually in line with COVID-19 protocols.


Dr Muda Yusuf, the Director-General LCCI, made this known in a statement to newsmen on Friday in Lagos.


Yusuf said the ICTEL Expo was positioned to be a veritable platform for both operators and regulators to network, showcase and explore with technology to  reposition the ICT sector of the economy.


He said that the Expo, scheduled to take place virtually on Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 has as the theme: “Exploring Opportunities in the Digital Economy’’.


“This year’s edition promises to be the best ever in the series, especially with the theme.


“This is intended to create a platform to discuss strategies for economic diversification and business sustainability with particular focus on ICT, especially with the current challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.


“There will also be virtual conferences and exhibitions during the two-day event,” he said.


The D-G said that relevant agencies and departments of government would be exhibiting and attending to other exhibitors and participants.


He said that some government ministries, departments and agencies had confirmed participation.


They include the Ministry of Communications, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), amongst others.


Special guests are the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, and the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.


Mrs Funke Opeke, the Managing Director, MainOne Cable and Chairman, Presidential Committee on National Broadband Plan, is expected to deliver the keynote address on the first day.


While Mr Victor Eburajolo, the Deputy Group Managing Director, Kewalram Group, will be delivering the keynote address on the second day. 

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Grace Yussuf
Source: NAN
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Ministry to intensify awareness on importance of ozone layer protection



The Minister of the Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, on Friday said the ministry would intensify its awareness on the importance of the protection of the ozone layer through the effective collaboration of relevant stakeholders.

Abubakar made this known at a ministerial briefing on the commemoration of 2020 International Day for Preservation of Ozone Layer with the theme, “Ozone for Life,’’ in Abuja.

He said that the ministry was also committed to the training and monitoring of technicians in the affected sectors on ozone-friendly technologies.

The Minister said the theme has two connotations that needed a healthy ozone layer to protect lives and the environment, as well as safeguarding future generations to come.

Abubakar said that the ministry, in collaboration with the United Nation Development Programme, (UNDP), the United Nation Industrial Development Organisation, (UNIDO), the World Bank and the UN Environment Programme, were the agencies implementing Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).

“In line with the protocol`s ODS phase out schedule, we have assisted over 600 large, Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises in the foam, refrigeration and air conditioning, aerosols, fire protection and solvent sectors.

“The assistance is to convert to ozone-friendly substances and technologies.

“This resulted in 100 per cent phase out of over 4,000 metric tonnes of ODS, with high ozone depletion potentials.

“About 26 institutions, (polytechnics and government technical colleges) were identified and equipped to serve as training centres on good refrigeration practices.

“We have also trained the trainers from the identified centres and developed training manuals on good refrigeration practices.

“These have led to the training of more than 10,000 refrigeration technicians in the refrigeration servicing sector.

He said that the ODS phase out activities were achieved with support from the multilateral fund for the implementation of the Montreal protocol.

Abubakar noted that the ministry was implementing the protocol`s Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) project.

He said that the project was targeted at phasing out HCFCs gases R-22 and 141b, mainly used in Nigeria as refrigerants and blowing agents in the refrigeration, air conditioning and foam sectors respectively.

The minister said that the ministry was committed in the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements that the country was a party to.

According to him, the upgrade of a system house at Vitapur Nigeria Ltd (a subsidiary of vitafoam Nig. Ltd), for the formulation of ozone friendly systems in the manufacture of rigid polyurethane foam was completed in 2019.

“I am glad to inform Nigerians that I will be commissioning this particular project on Sept. 22.

“The plant which is one of the two such in Africa, the other being in South Africa, will supply ozone friendly substances to downstream end-users in the rigid polyurethane foam sector.

He said that the benefit of the project was to provide ozone friendly and low global warning potential blowing agent in the production of rigid foam.

The Minister said the ministry would be engaging in capacity building activities on maintenance and servicing of space cooling to avoid spread of COVID 19 while minimising impacts of energy efficiency and climate.

He said the ministry was currently preparing to commence the implementation of stage 2 of the Hydrochlorofurocarbons Phase Management Plan (HPMP).

The Minister added that the government of Italy has offered support as a bilateral partner.

Abubakar said that the stage 2 was built upon the achievement of the previous stage, aimed at achieving the complete phase out of HCFC-141b in foam related applications.

He explained that Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was adopted in 1985 and entered into force in 1988.

The Minister added that the binding instrument to ensure compliance with the provisions of the convention was also adopted on Sept. 16, 1987, which became the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer.

“Since then, Sept. 16 has been set aside to commemorate the international day for the preservation of the ozone layer by the global community, in line with the UN General Assembly Resolution,’’.

The minister, however, appreciated the efforts of UNDP, UNIDO, World Bank, UN Environment, the government of Italy and other relevant agencies for their support and cooperation in the implementation of projects.

Earlier, Mr Jean Bakole, Country Representative and Regional Director of UNIDO, said that the office would continue to support the government in promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation development.

Bakole, who was represented by Mr Oluyomi Banjo, an environment expert in the UNIDO, thanked the minister on the achievement of all the projects across the country.

Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
Source: NAN



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