Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) on Tuesday in Zaria inaugurated flood and erosion control projects at the Phase two site of the Ahamdu Bello University, Zaria.
The SGF said that the project was expected to stop erosion and flooding as well as provide improved access road to enhance learning and working conditions within the university.
Mustapha, represented by Dr Habiba Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, said the project was one of the 22 ecological intervention projects approved by the President for the second quarter of 2018.
He noted that ABU was grappling with huge infrastructural deficit and environmental threat that required an external support to complement the university’s drive of sustaining its prestigious fame and standard.
“Today’s occasion mark a new epoch in the history of this great university in the quest to expand ABU facilities and structures to ensure serene academic environment.
“Dangote Hostel was built by renowned businessman and philanthropist, the building prior to this intervention lacked access road which the Ecological Fund Office intervention has provided,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Habiba Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, represented by Mr Felix Okeke, Director Erosion Control, in her address said the project was initiated following a request by the university authorities.
Lawal said the request by the university authorities was for an urgent attention to address alarming deterioration arising from erosion and flooding as well as improve the access road to newly completed Dangote hostel and the main campuses phases one and two.
She added that the commissioning and handing over of the project to the beneficiary was intended to achieve the dual purpose of enabling the university community take over the ownership of the project, its care and sustainability.
In his response, the Vice-Chancellor ABU Zaria, Prof. Kabir Bala, said the university community was gratified that the project has successfully come to fruition and has been completed with high degree of professionalism.
According to Bala, the Ecological Fund Office has executed several interventions in the university which include among others, the dredging for the removal of about one million cubic metres of silt from the Kubanni dam reservoir.
Other projects inaugurated are the 2.4 kilometer stone base asphaltic dual carriage road with drains, 357 metres stone base asphaltic single carriage road (spur to Dangote hostel) with drains and trapezoidal drains at the golf course among others.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Bayo Sekoni
COVID-19: PTF warns against neglect of protocols
He said that there were increasing disregard for basic non-pharmaceutical measures that have proven to be very successful.
He said face masks have now been turned into chin masks, social distancing and gatherings are returning to the pre-COVID era.
Mustapha, however, called for vigilance in order to forestall any danger of second wave of the pandemic as the countries in Europe were currently facing.
According to him, the call for greater vigilance is underscored by the fact that our economy has been seriously affected by the pandemic and we are pushing through our home-grown economic recovery strategies to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic.
” Also, our health systems, in spite of its fragility, have been able to withstand and contain cases resulting from COVID-19 infection, where those of more advanced countries have been overwhelmed.
“This call is made more pertinent in view of the noticeably increasing disregard for basic non-pharmaceutical measures that have proven very successful.
“Face masks have now been turned into chin masks, social distancing and gatherings are returning to the pre-COVID era,” he said.
Speaking on the second wave of the virus across the world, the PTF chairman said, “Israel has re-introduced a three-week lockdown, the United Kingdom was considering another lockdown phase, Spain was enforcing a partial lockdown in Madrid and France – amidst protests by its citizens.
“They have also introduced stricter measures to contain the virus. Similar stories are coming from South Korea, Iran and the number of fatalities is approaching 200,000 in the USA.
“The World Health Organisation(WHO), has advised that everybody should learn from lessons of the first wave, especially as ‘no one is safe until everyone is safe’.
“Let me share with you a global picture to buttress the foregoing. Over the last three days, the global cases passed the 31 million mark and it took only four days to get there from the 30th million.
“The USA crossed 7 million cases and continues to report a high daily caseload of over 30, 000 daily. We continue to see highest daily numbers from India.
“More specifically, the lesson for us in Nigeria, is that in spite of appreciable progress recorded, we should be vigilant more than ever before, because we have opened our air spaces to international travels, we have relaxed a number of restrictions in opening up more sectors of the economy and schools are beginning to open in varying degrees.”
On the reopening of airports for international travels, Mustapha noted that the PTF would continue to work with partners from the private sector to fine tune the protocols for international travellers, especially those arriving in Nigeria.
He, however, urged all travellers to ensure that they complete all pre-boarding and post-arrival processes, especially on the portal to facilitate seamless arrivals at the airports.
“We cannot afford the importation of the virus.
“We appeal strongly to all Nigerians to persuade their relations arriving Nigeria to self-isolate upon arrival, as required and test on day seven as prescribed,”
Edited By: Felix Ajide
Crawford University appoints new V-C, other principal officers
The Management of Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun, on Saturday announced the appointment of a new Vice-Chancellor, Prof Reuben Kolo and other principal Officers.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Prof. Kolo becomes the 4th substantive Vice-Chancellor of the 15-year old faith-based University owned by the Apostolic Faith Mission, West and Central Africa (WECA).
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Layi Olajumoke, has it that two other principal officers were ratified by the institution’s Senate.
Mr Moses Itauma becomes the Registrar and Ms. Olukemi Ojo was appointed the institution’s Bursar.
“The outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Rotimi Ajayi, announced that the University’s Board of Trustees and the Governing Council have approved the appointment of Prof Reuben Kolo as the next Vice-Chancellor.
“Also, Mr Moses Itauma as the Registrar and Ms. Olukemi Ojo as the institution’s Bursar,” he said.
Olajumoke added: “Prof Kolo is from the Department of Water Resources, Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology, which is from the larger School of Agriculture and Agriculture Technology, SAAT, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State.
“Prof Kolo was born in Doko, Lavun Local Government, Niger State in 1962. He obtained his first degree from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University( ABU), Zaria in Zoology in 1987.
“He bagged his second degree, M.Sc, Hydrobiology and Fisheries from the University of Ibadan. He completed his doctoral studies in FUT, Minna in the same discipline in 1996.
“He became a Professor of Water Resources, Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology in October, 2010.
Olajumoke said that Kolo had held many positions of responsibilities in the span of engagement in FUT, Minna.
“He was designated the Dean of his Faculty, the SAAT from 2015 to 2019. He was also the Deputy Dean of the institution’s Postgraduate School between 2012 and 2013.
“He also headed specialised departments, centres, committees and special projects. He is a revered member of the Agricultural Society of Nigeria, National Association of Fish Farmers and Aquaculturists and the Fisheries Society of Nigeria among others.
“He is widely published and listened to in specialised journals and conferences.
`|The appointment is for a non-renewable duration of five years and will commence from Monday, Oct. 5, 2020,” he said.
Olajumoke also said that the university had recorded another milestone with the addition of another college to the other two existing colleges; College of Arts and Communication Studies.
“The Crawford University’s management got the approval of the Governing Council for a College of Arts and Communication Studies.
“Dr. Jonathan Amuno, the erstwhile Director of Academic Planning has been approved to serve as the new college’s Acting Dean,” he said.
Edited By: Peter Ejiofor)
Nigeria’s COVID-19 curve is flattening -PTF
Mustapha made this on Thursday in Abuja at the 66th joint national briefing of the task force.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the PTF was established by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 9, 2020, to coordinate and oversee Nigeria’s multi-sectoral inter-governmental efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“Looking back at our National Response, using science, data and experience from other countries, we cannot but say that tremendous progress has been made and that we are beginning to notice that the curve is flattening.
“However, as we have always stated, this positive development shall be taken with vigilance and cautious optimism.
“This is based on the fact that we are convinced that we have not tested enough, we have only recently reopened our international flights and that nations that had opened up their economies have done a re-think following the resurgence of the cases in their countries,” he said.
Speaking further, he noted the rising cases across the world, calling for caution as Nigeria opens her skies for international flights.
“As we observe this landmark timeline, I wish to remind us that the world has hit 30,026,460 cases, Africa has cumulatively reached 1,380,223 cases while Nigeria has also reached 56,604 cases.
“Of particular note is the fact that India has crossed the five million cases mark and continues to report the highest daily case load over the past six weeks.
“These numbers are reminders that point to the need to gird our loins tightly in our national response and build stronger and more unified global collaborative efforts to overcome the virus.
“Again, we reiterate the underlying objectives of the UN General Assembly resolution calling for global collaboration as the most veritable vehicle to fight the virus.”
“The PTF is closely watching the developments at the airports and taking-in comments and observations sent by well-meaning Nigerians and passengers.
“Most of the comments are around the protocols and requirements for departure, arrivals, testing in-country, self-isolation.”
He also appealed to JOHESU to call off the strike as the country needs them now, noting that “let me once again send a strong appeal to all health workers particularly, JOHESU members, that the nation can ill-afford any further disruption to its health systems.
“The on-going strike has been very costly in terms of human lives but such losses can be avoided. Government shall continue to do its best to push through the negotiations with the unions and hopefully, reason shall prevail.”
Also speaking on the difficulty trying to register on the portal for arriving passengers, the SGF said:”while the PTF regrets all inconveniences experienced by arriving passengers, I wish to state that the overriding public interest is a critical factor propelling the policies.
“The issues with access to the portal, cost, pre-boarding validity timing and other factors remain work in progress and shall be reviewed as and when necessary”.
The PTF, he said, will remain open to all suggestions and comments.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
SGF urges Nigerians to embrace 60th Anniversary Logo
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, has urged Nigerians to embrace the 60th Anniversary Logo of “Together Shall We Be”.
Mustapha made on Wednesday in Abuja, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
“Nigeria’s 60th anniversary logo is a symbol of the our journey to nationhood that should be embraced by all.
“The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), on Nigeria’s 60th Anniversary celebration had a very robust input and finally settled on the one that recognises Nigeria’s sojourn to nationhood.
“The IMC identified the challenges faced and what is required to move Nigeria to its enviable stage among the comity of nations.
“To arrive at a logo, the IMC reviewed 15 entries by patriotic Nigerians.
“We appreciate all efforts made.
According to him, Nigerians from all walks of life participated in the whole process that required selection of a logo, best fit slogan, appropriate poetry and accompanying photographs.
“On the other hand, the IMC would conclude the winning entries for the slogan, poetry and photography after which winners would be given prize money at a separate event,” he said.
NAN reports that President Buhari unveiled the anniversary logo and pledged that his administration will continue to work towards greater inclusiveness.
Buhari described the logo as a product of choice from Nigerians who participated in the selection process.
He noted that 60 years of independence calls for pomp and pageantry.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza