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12 Varsities Get N1bn Each For TETFund Centres

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Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, yesterday presented allocation letters to the Vice Chancellors of 12 universities for the take-off of their TETFund Centre of Excellence (TCOE).
Bogoro, while presenting the letters in Abuja at an event, charged the institutions on implementation of its own approved TCOE to address specific national development challenges by preparing professionals.
He also disclosed that the board would fund the centres with a grant of N1 billion each for five years to enable them attain national aspirations.
President Muhammadu Buhari in March approved the first set of TCOE to take up research in their respective regions for national development.
He said two universities were selected from each geopolitical zone of the country to bridge the gap between researchers and users, as well as stimulating and strengthening triple-helix relationships.
He listed the universities to include: in North Central, University of Abuja which would host TCOE in Public Governance and Leadership and University of Jos to host TCOE in Food Security.
North East has Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, to host TCOE in Food Security and University of Maiduguri will host TCOE in Arid Zone Research and Development.
He added that in North West, Usman Dan-Fodio University, Sokoto will host TCOE in Urology and Nephrology, while Bayero University, Kano will host TCOE in Renewable Energy.
Others are: South East, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike to host TCOE in Root Crop Research and Development and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka to host TCOE in Agricultural and Engineering Translational Studies.
Bogoro also named the University of Benin to host TCOE in Aquaculture and Food Technology, while University of Uyo will host TCOE in Computational Intelligence in South South region.
In the South West, the University of Ibadan to host TCOE in Multi-Disciplinary Studies and the University of Lagos on TCOE in Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management.
According to him, the relevance of COEs for capacity building in developing countries cannot be overemphasised.
He said COEs were potent instruments for nation building as far as they have the potential to realise human resource development.
He said “The conceptual framework for Centres of Excellence is unlikely to be unfamiliar, alien or even novel to most of you here. Nevertheless, a Strategic Framework and Establishment Guidelines for TETFund Centres of Excellence, as approved by the TETFund Board of Trustees will be made available to all of you.
”Each selected institution is expected to implement its own approved TCOE, with the objective to address a specific national development challenge through preparation of professionals, applied research and associated outreach activities to partner, especially community services.
”Within that prism, institutions will have autonomy to implement their own institution-specific proposals to enhance capacity to deliver national high-quality training to address development challenges.”
He said the major objective of establishing the Centres was among others, to support strategic and applications-oriented research and expertise with potential industrial application.
Also, the chairman, TETFund Board of Trustees, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam said the fund’s BOT was committed to advancing the tertiary education in all ramifications.
Ibrahim-Iman promised that the fund would continue to sustain the process of research in the country, noting that an additional 12 universities would be established by 2021.
He said “We want you to invest at least 70 per cent of the research grant in safe and high-yielding financial investment.”
Responding on behalf of Vice-Chancellors of the benefiting universities, Prof. Lilian Salami, Vice Chancellor, University of Benin promised to live to expectations in delivering the task accorded to them.

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NIMASA Boss Bags OFR National Honour

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The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, is set to be honoured by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari with the conferment of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).
According to a statement from the Head of Public Relations, NIMASA, Osagie Edwards, this was disclosed in a conveyance letter to Dr. Jamoh from the Office of the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume.
The investiture ceremony, the statement said, is scheduled to hold at the International Conference Center (ICC), Abuja on Monday, 10th October, 2022.
Recall that Dr. Jamoh had served the Nigerian maritime sector as an administrator for over 30 years before he was appointed by President Buhari as the NIMASA DG in March 2020.
Since then, he has overseen the successful deployment of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project, which has played a major role in achieving a reduction of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea to its barest minimum since 1994.
This has  culminated in Nigeria being removed from the infamous piracy red list by the International Maritime Bureau, (IMB).
A hallmark of his tenure at the helm of NIMASA has been his institutionalization of collaboration among stakeholders, within and outside the country, to achieve major milestones in the sector.
One notable example of this has been his initiation of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE), which has yielded the positive outcomes derived from information sharing among regional and non-regional military forces in achieving a secure maritime space.
Reacting to the news on his social media handle, Jamoh expressed gratitude for being considered for the honour.
“Words cannot express how humbled I feel to be so considered for the National Honour as an Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).

“When I began my maritime journey 30 years ago, little did I know that I would be so favored by Almighty Allah to rise to the position of NIMASA DG, let alone to be considered for one of the highest honours in the land”, he said.

Dr Jamoh especially thanked His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Standing Committee on National Honours Award for deeming him worthy of the honour while also appreciating everyone who had supported him throughout his tenure as NIMASA Director General, especially the maritime stakeholders.

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Nation-Building, A Collective Responsibility -Group

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The Nigeria National Christian Coalition (NNCC) says no tribe or religion can build the country alone, adding that nation building is a collective responsibility.
NNCC said this in a communiqué at the end of the annual “Meet the Church” summit by its Convener, Pastor Titi Oluwadare, yesterday in Abuja.
According to Oluwadare, working together and investing wisdom are key to nation building.
The programme, which had more than 700 participants, had the theme: “The Role of the Church in Nation Building.”
Oluwadare called on the Church to fight for justice for everyone, including Christians and adherents of other religions.
She said that the indivisibility of justice, and being vigilant to protect the rights of humans as enshrined in the constitution would go a long way.
“No tribe or religion can build the country alone, thus all must work together and invest wisdom which is the application of the right knowledge.
“Equal opportunities and access to wealth to every Nigerian and inclusion of youth and women in all national calculations must be treated with the sense of urgency that it deserves.
“There should be counterpart equity in all policies that will be passed into law.
“The banking sector, sharing of political and government offices or ambassadorial positions must recognise all interests identified in Nigeria,” she said.
She called for selfless and visionary leadership, and a trans-generational process of producing leaders with requisite character, competence and conscious of the consequences of their actions and inactions.
She said the creation and development of strong institutions, structures, policies and strategies were applicable to everyone, adding that there was the need to realise previous mistakes and usher in a new Nigeria.
“To establish credible elections, the Federal Government must derive their governance from the governed.
“It is of utmost importance that there is a national vision, a national dream and nationhood premised on national shared core values.
“Furthermore, we need to put in place, a national strategic purpose and the national will to pursue and enforce the purpose,” she said.
According to the former Deputy Governor of Taraba State, Dr Danjuma Gani, the decisions made today and the actions that follow will greatly affect Nigeria and Nigerians.
Gani called on Christians to participate in electoral processes come 2023.
“A nation is built upon the vision and values of the founding fathers which, more often than not, are a God-given ideal to see to the business of nation building, national transformation and prosperity.
“Whatever we do must be accomplished with a clear vision, strong value systems rational thinking with a critical mass of information populace fully engaged in the project of nation building,” he said.
The Tide source reports that the summit comprised three plenary sessions and four interactive group sessions.
The conversations were aimed at identifying the role of the Church in nation building and charting a new course for credible elections with the critical inclusion of all stakeholders in the nation.

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EEDC Nabs, Hands Over Eight Vandals To Police 

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Enugu Electricity Distri bution Company (EEDC), has apprehended eight suspected vandals of electrical installations and handed them over to the Police. The Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, who disclosed this in a statement issued in Enugu, stated that the vandals were apprehended within a period of one month in different states in the South-East. Ezeh, therefore, attributed service disruptions experienced in some parts of its network to activities of vandals, expressing regret that the increasing rate of vandalism had adversely affected the company’s service delivery to its customers in the affected states.   He, however commended the support of critical stakeholders and the various vigilante groups in nipping trend in the bud, even as he confirmed that most of the arrests were made by the vigilant groups. According to him, this recent citizens’ arrest of vandals can be attributed to the consistent engagement with stakeholders on the need to ensure that the electrical installations sited within their neighbourhoods are protected.   His words: “Over the weekend, a suspected vandal identified as Nonso Nwajonta, was arrested in possession of aluminum conductors (cables) by the youths of Ulakwo Community in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State. “Within the same period, with the assistance of security men attached to Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, Anambra State, two suspects, feanyi Onwe and Anthony Oselebe, were arrested for vandalising a substation belonging to EEDC, situated along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, by Pioneer Students Hostel. “Earlier in the month, at Uzuakoli, Abia State, the Ngwu relief distribution substation belonging to EEDC was attacked by vandals, and the up-riser cable carted away. “But with the intervention of Uzuakoli vigilante group, one of the vandals identified as Henry Nwachukwu was arrested, while three of his partners in crime took to their heels. Efforts are being made by the Police to arrest the fleeing suspects. “At Eziafor in Abia State, some members of vigilante group also arrested the duo of Kingsley Agwu and Ebere Uchendu, while vandalising a feeder panel, property of EEDC,” he stated.  The EEDC spokesman also recalled that toward the end of August this year, one Chukwuka Ogayi was arrested by members of Umuoru Amaechi Community electricity committee in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State while vandalising a distribution transformer belonging to EEDC. According to him, items recovered from the suspect, Ogayi, include 100mm 2 aluminum conductor with 20mm and 50mm double copper conductor measuring 5 meters.    “Similarly, the Nkpor vigilante group arrested one Ubaka Okafor for vandalising Umusiome distribution substation in Onitsha, Anambra State,  carting away three intermediate cables as well as the up-riser cable property of EEDC.  “Customers being fed by the attacked substations are currently subjected to blackout and untold inconveniences, and as a result, EEDC has not been able to live up to its responsibility owing to these acts perpetrated by the suspects”, he said.  He also encouraged customers to be more vigilant in ensuring that the electricity infrastructures within their environment are safe from vandals, so that the services EEDC offers to them would not be disrupted.

By: Canice Amadi, Enugu

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