For their classic innovation, rare ingenuity, offbeat creativity and uncut courage, brilliant students of Community Secondary School, Aka Offot, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, have picked the gold prize of the Sixth Nigerian Secondary Schools Science Project Exhibition.
Sponsored by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture in collaboration with Intel Corporation, Initiative for Sustainable Education Development (ISED), Communication and Information Resource (CINFORES) and the Rivers State Government, the Niger Delta community school beat more than 13 other top winners from their zones across the country to clinch the grand prize and win a convincing lead to participate as Nigeria’s top flight contingent to the world acclaimed International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in San Jose, California, United States of America in May.
With their Supreme Indicator, the amazingly high quality scientific marvel, the youthful but wonderful community students scored an aggregate of 73.6 per cent to emerge the best in the ground breaking 2010 National Festival of School Science Project Exhibition, held at the auditorium of amphi-theatre of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Nkporlu, Port Harcourt, recently.
At the end of the two-day event held March 8 and 9, students of College of Education Demonstration Secondary School, Ekiti, Ekiti State, grabbed the silver medal and a chance to participate at the ISEF 2010 gathering of world amazing scientific whiz-kids in the USA.
The smart and bold students added an unusual cutting edge to their Making of Anti-Skin Infection Cream from Local Materials, and amassed a convincing 71.8 per cent to place second best.
However, a solo effort of a brilliant student of St. Joseph’s College, Ondo in the Design and Construction of a Cassava-Starch Processing Machine, won expert judges’ fascination to place third best with an aggregate score of 68.4 per cent.
The Tide gathered that all three exhibitors, adjudged best intriguing innovations by a panel of scientific scholars and field experts, including University of Benin-based professor of manufacturing engineering, and chairman, engineering fabrication and production committee, Akii Ibhadode, National Programme Coordinator, Curriculum Development, Federal Ministry of Education, Prof Michael Adikwu, Manager, Geo-Solution, SPDC, Nedo Osayande, A. Obaje and E.A. Ogujor, will enjoy full sponsorship by SPDC JV and Intel to the ISEF 2010 convergence of young talents, and rare thinkers, where they would compete to bring laurels and honour to Nigeria.
Similarly, two students of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology Demonstartion Secondary School, Nkporlu, Port Harcourt, have made the premier science and technology institution and Rivers State proud by emerging winners of the Sixth Nigerian Secondary School Science Quiz Competition, held in Port Harcourt.
The school scored a total of 42 points to beat a solo female student representative of Greater Tomorrow College, who garnered 37 points to emerge second best.
She mesmerized and puzzled the auditorium ahead of two student representatives of Government Science College, Ayede, Ekiti State, who scored a total of 36 points to place third in a keenly contested intellectual game that explored the principles and theories of the core science subjects of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, agricultural science, among others.
These three schools upstaged two students of the school, which led Nigerian delegation to the 2009 ISEF in the USA, won a grand award and also produced one of the Top 10 Most Amazing Children in the World, Homat Private Schools, in Lagos State, to the fourth position, with 34 points.
In their separate speeches, Social Performance Manager, SPDC, Mr Emeka Obi, Corporate Affairs Manager, Intel West Africa, Mr Olubunmi Ekundare, Executive Director, ISED, Dr Jerry Orhue, Director, Higher Education, Rivers State Ministry of Education, Mrs M.O.Solomon, and Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa State Ministry of Education, Mrs Victoria Tekena, lauded the students for their creativity, innovative thinking and brilliant performances, and tasked those billed to participate at the 2010 ISEF in the USA to improve on their inventions, exhibit courage and boldness in order to win more laurels and honours for Nigeria at the global stage.
Highlights of the fair and quiz contest were a written test, project exhibition, dance/musical performance, and presentation of awards, certificates, plaques, classmate computers to all winning students/teams and schools, books to schools and dictionaries to teachers of winning students.
Representatives of Rivers and Bayelsa State ministries of education, Vice Chancellor, RSUST, Prof Barineme Fakae, and Prof Akii Ibhadode, and all 13 schools which participated in the grand finale of the competition received a fully-loaded classmate computer each, just as the best three project exhibitors got a nod of full sponsorship to the 2010 ISEF in the USA, courtesy of SPDC JV and Intel Corporation.
Stakeholders Want Policies To Harness Gas Resources
An earlier plan by the defunct Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) to equalise the consumption of gas, especially Liquefied Petroleum Gas may no longer fly as the government said subsidising the transport cost of the commodity in the face of a liberal market may not work.
This is just as stakeholders were demanding for deliberate policies that would enable the country to harness gas resources to benefit from the global energy transition agenda.
While the defunct PEF had disclosed earlier this year that a scheme to pay for the transportation of gas as part of an effort to encourage the use of cooking gas in homes across the country was being considered, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) said such a move may be unnecessary.
Executive Director, Distribution System, Storage and Retail Infrastructure at NMDPRA, Ogbugo Ukoha said although Nigeria has gas in large quantities, bottlenecks undermine realisation of full potential.
Speaking in Abuja recently on equalisation for gas, Uhoha said: “the Act provides for liberalisation. We can’t set prices, we can’t equalise it.”
According to him, the market would stabilise at some point and deal with prevailing issues. The Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), headed by Abdulrazaq Isa, has also noted the right policies were necessary if Nigeria would benefit from its gas resources.
Stressing on the evolving industry landscape, ongoing industry reforms, IOCs’ divestment, and the role indigenous exploration and production companies can play in this new era in guaranteeing the nation’s energy security, Isa said: “Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in view of the global energy transition agenda. Natural gas should be considered as a transition fuel with deliberate policies formulated to attract investment into the sector.”
While noting that the PIA enactment will set a solid growth foundation for the entire industry, the IPPG Chairman said it was imperative that effective regulations are formulated to derive the full benefits of the Act.
According to Isa, ‘’industry-wide consultation in the enactment of regulations is required to promote inclusivity and ensure robustness of regulations’’.
The IPPG Chairman also identified key challenges being faced by the industry in the areas of security, funding, high operating costs, lengthy contract cycle, amongst others.
’’We look forward to collaborating with the NUPRC in finding long lasting and sustainable solutions to these challenges,’’ Isa said.
Obasanjo Makes Case For Renewable Energy For Power Generation
Nigeria’s former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has urged the country to embrace renewable energy for power generation.
Obasanjo, who led the country as military Head of State between 1975 and 1979 and civilian President from 1999 to 2007, made the call, last Friday at the inauguration of a two megawatts, MW, solar power project at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital,
He said solar energy is remarkably cost effective as it costs less than two and half years’ supply of diesel to power the generators at the Library and that the project marks one of the enduring personal legacies he is proud to call his own.
“Today, I am speaking to you in a facility powered by the sun – solar energy. It is the way of a future Carter envisioned all those years ago. It will help build the future we want. The Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library solar power project is a reflection of our commitment to clean and renewable energy and is the single largest investment this not-for-profit organization has made.
“As large an investment as it is, it is remarkably cost effective. It costs less than two and half years supply of diesel to power our generators. So in diesel terms it pays for itself in less than 3years. So in effect the electricity it produces after three years is almost at no cost,” Obasanjo said.
He noted that solar energy does not emit any green house gases that diesel generators do, and that, as such, it has the potential to earn carbon credits which are currently priced at US$40 per ton.
He added: “Based on estimated annual production of 2,307,000 kilo Watt hours per year, we can expect to earn nearly US$39,589 in carbon credits per year.
“By monetising this facility with strategic sponsorships and marketing alliances we will be able to generate revenue.
“Combined, this solar facility can generate electricity, generate revenues that contribute to the upkeep of the library, help save the planet making a small contribution to climate mitigation and adaptation, provide shade for parking, and be an inspiration for future generations. Who says you can’t make a profit out of saving the planet?”
CSOs To Hold Confab On Fuel Subsidy Removal
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria operating under the aegis of Civil Society Coalition for Economic Development (CED), on Thursday, said plans were afoot to organise a conference on ‘Fuel subsidy removal’ in Nigeria.
The coalition, which comprised 82 groups, disclosed this at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, stressing that they were committed to pushing for subsidy removal as well as engaging other stakeholders in some sectors of the economy to see reasons with the government on the need to lay fuel subsidy payment to rest.
The convener of the group, Comrade Yusuf Dan Maitama, further said that the proposed theme of the conference is “Subsidy removal and the Future of Nigeria’s Economy,” adding that there was no better time for the total removal of fuel subsidy than now given the economic challenges the nation is going through.
According to the coalition, the conference which is slated for Tuesday and Wednesday next week will take place in Abuja and Lagos, featuring world-class resource persons in the oil and gas sector in order to refocus activities of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and to secure the nation’s resources for its critical mass rather than private pocket benefactors.
The coalition lamented that the fuel subsidy regime which had been in place for the past 20 years, has enriched a few individuals and denied citizens of what was supposed to be a collective wealth, adding that moves by the present administration to end the subsidy regime were the right step.
Citing further reasons for the conference, the coalition posited that the Nigeria National Petroleum Company’s commitment to implementing a policy that ensures total removal of subsidy should be supported by all.
“The fuel subsidy regime has in the last 20 years done more harm than good to the economy of the nation and it appears Nigeria is the only country in the world that has a fuel subsidy regime in place.
“We have slated a conference for Tuesday and Wednesday, 2022 and we are going to assemble top class oil experts to speak on reasons fuel subsidy regime should be put to rest,” the group said.
Recall that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, had a few days ago disclosed to the Senate Committee on Finance that the Federal government would offer a N5,000 transportation grant to poor Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal in 2022.
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