A Parasitologist, Prof. Wellington Oyibo, on Wednesday urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to invest in critical areas of research infrastructure in Nigeria.
Oyibo, also the Chairman, D. K. Olukoya Central Research Laboratory, University of Lagos, Akoka, made the plea on Wednesday in Lagos.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria that a country without established and operational research platforms could not respond to emergencies, as witnessed in the case of COVID-19 pandemic.
“I will suggest that the Central Bank should look at investment in the critical areas of research infrastructure.
“Research in diagnostics, drugs and vaccines require huge funding and deliberate funding investments in developing competitive infrastructure is critical.
“With this more impactful ideas can be developed, as well as critical mass, that will generate and utilise the knowledge.
“These investments should cut across the medical sciences, engineering, science and technology and Information Communication Technology space,” Oyibo said.
According to him, when platforms are available with the required human resources, equipment and setting, we will respond appropriately.
He said that Lassa fever came to Nigeria and wreaked havoc because there was no decisive respond to it, as in-country response was nothing to write home about in terms of research and development.
“Having managed a research portfolio in a major university, I can tell you that it is a delight to have in-country funding support for research.
“It is able to catalyse ideas that are unique to the country that may not be of interest to an external sponsor,” Oyibo said.
He lauded the apex bank’s idea of introducing the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS), to help strengthen the public healthcare system.
According to him, the target is clear: support for health products research and development.
Oyibo noted that what the CBN was looking at was well-filtered low-hanging fruit application, meaning, “if your ideas are not at a substantial stage of development, you are not likely to be funded”.
The university teacher urged research community not to lose hope, but remain focussed, by starting early with the little resources that would attract bigger funding.
He said that the University of Lagos, for example, funded the early stage ideas through the Central Research Committee.
Oyibo added that those that had taken advantage of the funding would have a proof of concept to attract bigger funding.
He also advised the research community to collaborate nationally and internationally, to fast-track their ideas, to use available knowledge that could be adapted.
The expert said that collaboration could really leapfrog research and development to address national priorities.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)
Organisation trains varsity students on anti-corruption skills
Abuja, Jan. 21, 2020 The Al-Habibiyyah Islamic Society (AIS), a non-profit organisation, has trained 60 university students on anti-corruption and entrepreneurship skills.
Speaking during the exercise, the Executive Director, AIS, Shiek Fuad Adeyemi said the training was done under the organisation’s Project EAT-FIn (Encouraging Accountability and Transparency through Faith-based Intervention)
He said the training was meant to deepen thier knowledge about anti-corruption and entrepreneurial skills.
Adeyemi said participants were carefully selected from the FCT and environs so that they can inturn train others.
According to him, the event which was sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation was part of measures to engage the youths and admonish them against various vices like corruption.
“If there is no corruption, the people would be able to get their rights and if they get their rights, they would care for the well-being of others and the society.
“They would be able to create job and unemployment in the country would be drastically reduced,” Adeyemi said.
He therefore urged the beneficiaries to make the best of the training for themselves and the society.
Earlier, Malam Musa El-thani of the Development Initiative of West Africa (DIWA), Nigeria Office, Minna, Niger state, urged Nigerian leaders and youths to be more patriotic in their day to day dealings.
He urged participants to develop what he called Emotional Bank Account (EBA); be patience, proactive, resourceful and eschew all forms of bad character and attitudes that can inhibit implementing what they learn.
He said being in the university as students should be properly utilised so that they can develop as employers of labour and
good ambassadors of the nation.
Malam Jemilu Abdullahi, one of the participants at the event, said the training had exposed him to how to be self reliant and accountable in all his dealings.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza https://nnn.ng/organisation-trains-varsity-students-on-anti-corruption-skills/
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
Osinbajo, UNN students discuss technology, innovation
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday had a virtual interaction with students from both the university and the secondary school in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka(UNN) campus.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement in Abuja, said the Vice President featured at the virtual conference of the Centre for Lion Gadgets and Technologies, UNN.
The theme of the conference is “Technological Innovation for Holistic Sustainable Development.”
The Vice President said that deploying technology and innovation to address emerging challenges would be crucial to the country’s recovery from the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must creatively imagine and pioneer our way out.
“We are in one of the worst health and economic crises in living memory and our recovery must be innovative – we must employ never-before-seen methods to fight the never-before-seen plethora of issues before us.
“Whether we are discussing the delivery of social services to vulnerable communities and promoting financial inclusion or we are talking about boosting agricultural productivity and promoting the security of our communities, how we harness technology is crucial.
“The future will be decided in groups such as yours, where young Nigerians are actively thinking about how to deploy technology in creative ways for problem-solving.”
Osinbajo said that such innovative ideas must be deployed in a manner that was inclusive and accessible to all Nigerians including the poor and vulnerable.
He said that recently, the Nigeria Climate Innovation Center concluded its Climate LaunchPad, and some very innovative ideas were unveiled.
According to him, one of the innovator companies, New Digits, generates power from water.
“The product uses water and conformed solar cells to generate energy for electricity and cooking.
“It actually works by collecting water automatically from any piping channel in the house, breaks down the water into Hydrogen which is used to cook and to power the entire house without the need for batteries of any kind.”
The Vice President also cited PowerStove Energy, founded by three young Nigerians, Okey, Abdulazeez and Glory.
He said that the trio produced a low-cost, clean smokeless cookstove.
“PowerStove Energy is the first clean cookstove to be fitted with self-powered Internet of Things (IoT) cloud system to monitor in real-time, every day that cooking is done, the amount of Co2 that is used and biomass saved, black carbon prevented and total electricity generated.
“All of that is monitored in real-time every day.’’
Osinbajo pledged the support of the Federal Government to universities especially in enhancing their capacity for research and innovation.
He said that the Federal Government was prepared but the university needed to do more by being proactive in the links with industry.
“Industry, as you know, is interested in commerce. If it will make profit and money, industry is interested.
“I think that a lot of the innovations we are seeing are certainly profitable and can be lucrative. But where government can come in is where there are needs for additional support to make the research easier or cheaper for the public to access.
“So, I certainly look forward to the cooperation between the Federal Government and the University of Nigeria.
“In education too, Covid-19 has showed us just how adaptive we can be and there are a number of ed-tech firms such as uLesson, where students can take lessons and tests on an app.
“If scaled, this could revolutionise how we approach challenges with access to education.’’
He said that the Federal Government had started the Students Innovation Challenge for all universities in Nigeria.
“We came as far as the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; there is a hub called the Genesis Hub where the competition took place for the South East.
“Three winners emerged from the University of Nsukka; and each of them got N1 million, and there were 25 of them that emerged winners at the competition.
“The Innovation Challenge is our commitment; we are committed to ensuring that innovation is done on a continuous basis,” he said.
Earlier in his remark, the Vice Chancellor of UNN, Prof. Charles Igwe, said the university had prioritised the deployment of technology in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Other participants at the conference included former Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, the Most Rev. Paulinus Eze-Okafor, among others.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
ECOWAS Court set to resume from extended vacation on Oct. 7
The ECOWAS Court will be resuming its activities on Oct. 7, after its three months vacation.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by the media office of the justices.
The court will deliver judgment in nine cases filed against eight some member states.
It added that the cases were also filed against Nigeria’s Cross River State and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and listed in the latest course list released by the Registry of the Court for the period Sept. 25 to Oct. 28.
According to the court, among those listed for judgment is a case filed by Counsellor Kabineh Muhammad Ja’neh, a former Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Liberia against the government.
“The former Justice is challenging his removal from office on the grounds that it did not follow due process while he was not granted fair hearing.
“In another of the cases scheduled for judgment, a former staff of the ECOWAS Commission, Prof. AbdulSalami Nasidi, sued the Commission alleging the wrongful termination of his appointment,” it said.
It recalled that the Court began sessions and judicial activities to guarantee continuous access to justice and timely delivery of justice in line with its mandate.
It noted that the virtual operations were in a bounnd to adhere to the safety guidelines recommended by the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) and the WHO following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier in the year.
“The Court held its inaugural “virtual” court session on June 22, 2020 after it adopted a new Practice Direction in May 2020 that allowed the use of Electronic Case Management System for electronic filing (e-filing) and Virtual Court Sessions as part of measures to ensure the safety of its members, staff, lawyers and other stakeholders.
“Hon. Justice Edward Amoako Asante, President of the Court had stated in July 2020 that the Court would proceed on annual vacation from July 15 to Sept. 15, 2020 in accordance with Article 24 of its Rules,” the court added.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza