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Nigerian Makes Top 10 For $.1m Global Student Prize

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Nigerian student, Oluwadamilola Akintewe has been named a top 10 finalist for the Chegg.org Global Student Prize 2021.
It is a new $100,000 award to be given to one exceptional student that has made a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.
Akintewe, a 22-year-old student at Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo, Nigeria, was selected from over 3,500 nominations and applications from 94 countries around the world.
The Varkey Foundation launched the Chegg.org Global Student Prize earlier this year, a sister award to its $1million Global Teacher Prize, to create a powerful new platform that shines a light on the efforts of extraordinary students everywhere who, together, are reshaping our world for the better.
The prize is open to all students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an academic institution or training and skills programme.
Part time students as well as students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the prize.
Chegg.org has partnered with the Varkey Foundation to create the new Global Student Prize.
The CEO and President of Chegg, Dan Rosensweig, said: “While many stakeholders are busy debating, these students are busy doing. Congratulations to all the finalists of the Global Student Prize. They truly are the change makers our world needs.”
The Head of Chegg.org, Lila Thomas, said: “Oluwadamilola and all our finalists represent the courageous and hardworking students all over the world that are fighting for their future. “Despite the challenges of Covid, this generation of students have shown the kind of resilience and creativity that give us all hope as we confront the towering challenges ahead.
“The Global Student Prize has been launched to shine a light on their stories and listen to their voices. After all, it is their dreams and their talents that will light the path to a better tomorrow.”
Akintewe was inspired by her humble background to always be committed to improving the lives and empowerment chances of girls and women in Nigeria.
She launched LetGirlsLead to provide mentorship and support for secondary school girls in Ondo, her home state.
Working with youth organizations, they teach girls entrepreneurial, financial and digital skills, so that they may become self-sufficient, and she set up a scholarship list to help them apply for places at universities and gain further qualifications.
She also launched Project Rebirth, which uses entrepreneurial action to deliver financial equality and inclusion for low income and rural women in Ondo.
They take business development and financial literacy classes and learn sustainable and eco-friendly fashion design.
The 140 women who have been impacted by the project also get loans to buy sewing machines and launch their own businesses.
Using her growing confidence and connections, she messaged an Instagram model who she noticed supports social impact projects in the global south, pitched Project Rebirth to her and secured a $2,000 grant to deliver the training project to young women participating and directly benefiting.
In 2020, her team secured a $3,000 grant from Ford to expand implementation to women in agriculture and food production while combating global scarcity and hunger.
As a former victim of gender-based violence, Oluwadamilola has herself dealt with mental health issues and trauma, and is promoting a wider social change through gender advocacy.
Reacting to the alarming rate of sexual violence in Nigeria during the pandemic lockdown, with social distancing the new normal, she leveraged social media to raise awareness, founding the Forbidden Topics Facebook platform, now with over 1,100 followers, to amplify female voices against social injustices and break the silence.
Volunteering with many global organizations, Oluwadamilola also secured a $2,000 Wishwall Foundation grant to provide internally displaced girls in Northern Nigeria with free digital skills in coding with python, JavaScript, graphics design and digital marketing as income generation to further improve their lives.
Oluwadamilola has won a string of awards, praise and recognition for her work and achievements, including 30 under 30 Changemaker 2021 from Opportunity Desk Impact Challenge as well as the Inaugural winner of the Samantha Singh Memorial Award 2021 from the ONE Campaign and the 2021 Peter Drucker Global Challenge for Leadership.
The Founder of the Varkey Foundation, Sunny Varkey, said: “Congratulations to Oluwadamilola for reaching the final 10. Her story clearly highlights the importance of education in tackling the great challenges ahead – from climate change to growing inequality to global pandemics. It is only by prioritizing education that we can safeguard all our tomorrows. Education is the key to facing the future with confidence.”
The other top 10 finalists for the Global Student Prize 2021 are Amisa Rashid from Kenya, Elliott Lancaster from the UK, Jeremiah Thoronka from Sierra Leone, Kehkashan Basu from Canada, Lamya Butt from the UAE, Matine Khalighi from the US, Mirko Cazzato from Italy, Ana Julia Monteiro de Carvalho from Brazil, and Seema Kumari from India.
Applications and nominations for this year’s Global Student Prize opened on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, and closed on Sunday, May 16, 2021.
Students who applied for the Global Student Prize are being assessed on their academic achievement, impact on their peers, how they make a difference in their community and beyond, how they overcome the odds to achieve, how they demonstrate creativity and innovation, and how they operate as global citizens.
The winner will be chosen from the top 10 finalists by the Global Student Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals.
If students were nominated, the person nominating them was asked to write a brief description online explaining why.
The student being nominated was then sent an email letting them know they had been nominated and inviting them to apply for the prize.
Applicants were able to apply in English, Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.
The winner will be announced on November 10 via a virtual ceremony taking place at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

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Monarch Lauds Fubara Over Road Project

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Eze Dike Di Nu Obi 1 of Ogbaland, Eze Andrew Enemuwa, has applauded the Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara over the award of contract the construction of the Elele/Egbema/ Omoku road.
Recall that Governor Fubara recently signed the award of Elele/Egbema/Omoku road contract worth N80.8 billion which over N4 billion has been disbursed to the contractor for the commencement of work.
Eze Enemuwa, also congratulated the Governor for the appointment of two indigenes of the area as Commissioners in his cabinet.
He said he is overwhelmed over the honour done to two Usomini sons by the Governor, adding that the massive turn out of the people during the award ceremony shows that they appreciate the Governor’ s gesture.
He specially appealed to the governor to consider the humble request made by the traditional ruler on the award of Usomini internal roads and also the need for the upgrading of some notable traditional stools in the area such as Usomini, Okene of Asa Kaka stools, among others.
He urged their two children working with Governor Fubara to give him the necessary support to uplift the living standard of the people which was, according to him, the primary reason he was elected as Governor of the State.
Eze Enemuwa urged the appointees to be loyal and respectful to the Governor in the course of discharging their duties, saying Governor Fubara remains the leader of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State, hence, deserves the respect of all Rivers people.
The royal father expressed optimism that Governor Fubara would complete his eight years in office like his predecessors.
While calling on Rivers people to support the Governor regardless of political affiliation, Eze Enemuwa noted that the Rivers State Governor would do well if he does not allow the political crisis rocking the State to distract him, stressing that God brought him to liberate the people, hence, all hands should be on deck to support his administration, as his government means well for all.

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HYPREP Invites Foreign Experts For Complex Sites Remediation

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The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has invited some foreign experts and companies to handle the remediation of high risk complex oil impacted sites in some parts of Ogoniland in Rivers State.
This indication came to the fore last Tuesday, when the Chairman of Haemers Technologies, a company based in Europe, Mr Jan Haemers, visited one of the complex sites in Alode Eleme Community, to take stock of the extent of work to be done and the level of contamination of the site.
Haemers and his team were taken to the polluted site by the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Prof Nenibarini Zabbey, and other officials of the project.
Speaking to newsmen at the site, Haemers said the HYPREP’s Project Coordinator had specifically invited him, adding that he had come to Nigeria to develop partnerships with HYPREP and to bring remediation technologies to this area, in particular, to clean up soil and groundwater contaminated sites, in full respect of the local communities.
He noted that in the course of the work, he would also bring some other aspects of the job to the table, adding that the job would essentially take some time.
He further indicated that the work would be done in such a way that the whole time would not be wasted, as standards would be deployed to show results on regular basis, stressing that his company would ensure that most of the work on site would be done by the local people in the Ogoni communities.
Describing pollution issues as a legacy problem, Haemers said some small part of his company’s vast technologies would also be deployed to the area, to actually develop the skills of the people, in such a way that they would be directly involved in the remediation work.
He hinted that technologies that have been deployed by his company, in other parts of the world, including Africa and remote parts of North and South America, that had faced similar challenges of contamination, would be brought to bear in Ogoniland in carrying out the remediation work.
According to him, the clean-up is expected to be done in such a way that it benefits the local people and would be done by them so that they can also develop their skills and be the driving force behind the whole remediation efforts.
Haemers, who hails from Belgium said he was actually at the Alode Eleme contaminated site to know the realistic time of commencing the project, adding that assessing the level of contamination of the site and equally carrying out the characterisation of the site are very important and necessary.
He said though he could not place his fingers on the actual time the work would commence, he expressed optimism that it would start as soon as possible.
“We have come here to bring up the concrete steps involved.How long this job will take, I do not know. Part of the job is also to assess. Thecharacterisation should not stop the remediation of what is already known”, he said.
On his part, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Prof Nenibarini Zabbey said the remediation process in the Ogoni clean-up is structured into phases, namely; simple sites, medium range sites and high risk complex sites.
According to him, HYPREP is currently remediating the medium range sites and is getting ready to move into the complex sites.
He indicated that both soil and groundwater are contaminated in the complex sites, which are located in residential areas.
In places like that, Zabbey said, there is absolute need for less disturbance, saying, “HYPREP is determined to deploy the best innovative technology that can be found globally”.
The Project Coordinator hinted that the visit of Haemers and his team is a culmination of the visit of the Minister of Environment, with his delegation to Europe in February, to search for companies to handle the complex sites.
He noted that a couple of companies had been identified to carry out the remediation of the complex sites, adding, “We are asking them to come and do comprehensive assessment of the complex sites, to determine the extent of contamination”.
He said after the assessment, the companies would come up with the proper technology to use at the sites.
The Project Coordinator said HYPREP had delayed the remediation of the complex sites until this year because it wanted to carry out proper investigation of the sites, stressing that site investigation involves proper scoping of the sites.
Zabbey assured Ogoni people that their capacities would be built to ensure that they are directly involved in the remediation of the complex sites.
“ We have been reminding and assuring our local people that our eyes are on the ball to give them the best of what is available globally”, he said.

 

By: Donatus Ebi

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FG Declares Thursday Additional Holiday For Eid-el-Fitri

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The Federal Government has declared tomorrow, Thursday, as additional public holiday to commemorate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr Aishetu Ndayako, made this known in a statement he shared on the ministry’s X account, yesterday.
The statement said, “The Federal Government has approved Thursday, April 11, 2024 as an additional public holiday to celebrate this year’s Eid-el-Fitr.
“The Minister of Interior, Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, while congratulating the Muslim Ummah for a successful completion of a month of spiritual rejuvenation, reiterates President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s firm commitment to providing a safe and prosperous Nigeria for all to thrive.”
Saudi Arabia, on Monday, said the crescent of Shawwal has not been sighted, indicating that the fasting would continue on Tuesday.
It also added that the Eid-el-Fitr would hold today, Wednesday, to mark the beginning of the new Islamic month.
The Federal Government had earlier on Sunday declared yesterday (Tuesday) and today, (Wednesday) as public holidays to mark the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

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