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NOUN to Benefit from NCC’s Education Grants

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The Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) says the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) will benefit from its education grants for tertiary institutions in the country.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC gave the assurance in Abuja on Thursday when a delegation from NOUN visited him in his office to explore ways of collaborating with the commission.

Mr Ephraim Nwokenneya, Director, Research and Development, NCC, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman, said the grants were part of the commission’s strategy to encourage Nigerian students in their studies.

He said about 11 universities from various parts of the country would benefit from the education research grants.

“Even though there are researchers in those universities who are conducting the research, the grants are given to the universities so that they can be able to moderate what happens.

“It underscores the current focus of NCC which is setting up framework to collaborate with the academia and seeing how we can deepen growth in the industry.

“NOUN is going to tap from the rich knowledge resource the commission has on ICT, they will also get possible research grants on some issues that will be of mutual benefit to NCC and NOUN as well as the Nigerian public.

“This is because the commission recognises the need that we can deepen growth, facilitate innovations in the industry through research and because there are a lot of resources that abound in tertiary institutions in the country.

“So, what we have done is to facilitate research with the academia. We have received a lot of proposals from the universities; we have evaluated and selected for grants those that are of paramount interest to our current focus.

“Each of those research proposals has got a prototype from which we can work to commercialise them for the benefit of the industry,” Danbatta said.

NOUN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, who was represented by Prof. Nebath Tanglang, said the university was working to enhance learning through Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

This, the VC said, would be achieved through the World Bank funded African Centre of Excellence and Technology Enhanced Learning (ACETEL). He also said that plans have been concluded to ensure women participated in the programme.

“This is a World Bank sponsored project and World Bank is always interested in issue of gender particularly in this programme, and one of the things we try to do is to ensure that each of the programme we run whether on research or other programmes, there must be space for women.

“We realised that what they do at NCC is almost what we do at NOUN and the purpose of our coming is to collaborate with them.

“At the African Centre of Excellence and Technology Enhanced Learning, we are going to run post graduate programmes on artificial intelligence, cloud computing as well as research.

“We are glad that even at NCC, there are component of research and we are going to leverage on that especially in the area of telecom research.

“We are glad that they are willing to collaborate with us and by the time we finish the arrangement of the collaboration, I know that the programme will take off in full,” Prof. Adamu said.

Prof. Grace Jokthan, Director ACETEL, explained that NOUN cannot make programme in using technology to deliver education without working with NCC.

She noted that ACETEL was deploying education using multimedia format and conferencing, to ensure students have access to things that otherwise they would not be able to do.

“We want to use the ICT sector to be able to engage in the education service delivery,” she added.

 

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Buhari Extends Ministers Tenure Till Tuesday

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President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice Osibanjo
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President Muhammadu Buhari President Muhammadu Buhari has asked his ministers to continue working till Tuesday.

 

He gave the directives during the valedictory Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday.

 

The President said, thereafter, they should submit their handing over notes to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

 

Buhari said: “ Although today is our last council meeting, continue to work until Tuesday.. Your handover letters should be submitted to the office of the SGF.”

 

The president commended the ministers for contributing towards the development of the country.

 

Yemi Osibanjo, Vice President and the 31 ministers took turn to deliver their speeches on their experiences working with the president.

 

The president would be sworn in on Wednesday May 29 for his second term.

 

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UBA’s Africa Conversations: Leaders Emphasise Importance of History to African Development

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l-r Chairman of Ghana’s Convention People’s Party, and daughter of Mr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ms Samia Nkrumah; Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka; Group Chairman, UBA Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu; Guinean Historian and playwright, Professor, Djibril Tamsir Niane; Afro musician, Mr. Femi Kuti; and Legal Practitioner and Moderator, Ms. Ayo Obe, during the panel discussion themed ‘Africa’s History Redefined, our past, the path to the future,’ organised by UBA to mark Africa’s Day in Lagos on Wednesday
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African leading minds have called on Africans to be mindful of their rich history, which according to them creates the path towards the socio-cultural, economic and political development of the continent

 

The strong African voices which included Group Chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka; Professor emeritus and authority in Sahelian history, Djibril Tamsir Niane; Ghanaian Politician, Samia Nkrumah and Famous Musician, Femi Kuti spoke during the first edition of UBA’s Africa Conversations, a symposium organised by the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc at the UBA House in Lagos, as part of activities marking this year’s Africa Day celebrations. The theme of the panel session was “Africa’s History Redefined, Our Past, the Path to the Future”.

 

Opening the conversation, the Group Chairman, UBA, Tony Elumelu stated ‘UBA understands the past- that Africa as a continent has always been united by the struggle for identity. UBA is a symbol for the development of Africa, for the economic empowerment of our people, the Small and Medium Enterprises as well as the big corporations. Thus, identifying with Africa and indeed Africa Day is synonymous with who we are as a bank. It presents us the opportunity to remind ourselves, the world and indeed Africa that we owe ourselves the duty of making Africa the continent of our dreams.”

 

Elumelu added that it is important for Africans to remember history as this will help prepare for the future. ‘Our past provides a veritable tool to fashioning the continent’s development, renaissance and economic growth’ he emphasised.

 

Speaking strongly on the issue, professor Wole Soyinka, who commended UBA’s initiative for opening up discussions on these pressing topics decried the growing erosion of history from the curriculum in African schools, adding that the lack of knowledge of our past makes children’s growth on the continent truncated. “How can we cope with the modern phenomenon if we do not know the past? We should never forget the importance of history as it is not just an academic exercise,” he enthused.

 

Corroborating Soyinka’s position, Professor Niane opined that reminiscing about Africa’s rich history is important as there is no people without history. He said, “A lot of work has been done by Africans and we have to be happy about it. There is the need to continue the conversation about African unity. Policies  have been put in place and our democracy can only get stronger. Peace will reign and Africa will be reunited. Economic transformation is also important but it is not the only thing we should concentrate on.”

 

 

Samia Nkrumah, the daughter of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, who commended UBA for prioritising African entrepreneurship, called for a renewed attempt at African unity, which according to her, has to be a collective effort of the people.

 

Nkrumah said, “As we work in our individual smaller countries, it will be easier to achieve more if we work together and complete unification can only come if we work together; we won’t go anywhere unless we use unity as a political project.’ She added.

 

On his part, Femi Kuti emphasised the importance of History, saying “Our children need to learn this history so that they can come up and build the continent. We need everyone – both boys and girls to work towards this vision.”

 

The UBA Conversations, an initiative of the Pan African financial institution, aims at aggregating discussions necessary for the growth and development of the continent. It is being held as part of the activities to mark the 2019 edition of Africa Day celebrations by the bank.

 

With presence in 20 African countries as well as in the United States, France and The United Kingdom, UBA’s passion for Africa’s growth is part of who they are.

 

The bank is set to continue conversations around these important topics that are required to galvanise the African economy with the aim of attracting the much needed support that will boost SMEs and support business growth on the continent.

 

 

 

 

 

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Facebook Celebrates One Year of NG_Hub

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Celebrating exactly a year to the day since the doors of NG_Hub opened in Lagos, and Facebook further cemented its ambitions to train users across Nigeria in digital skills, Facebook released an infographic highlighting key milestones over the past year.

Created as part of Facebook’s ongoing commitment and investment in growing the start-up ecosystem, and in partnership with CcHub, NG_Hub is a multi-faceted space which connects and bring together developers, start-up’s and the wider community to collaborate, learn and exchange ideas. With a number of expert training and events with partners across Nigeria, undertaking in the hub and externally, the aim is to equip individuals and businesses to grow.

Some highlights over the past year includes: Trained over 50,800 SMBs in digital skills across 20 states in Nigeria

– Delivered 526 events with over 11,490 attendees at NG_Hub, including programmes such as AR/VR meetups, FbStart Accelerator Programme, Facebook Community Leaders Community meetings (CLCs), Developer Circle gatherings etc.

– Directly supported businesses in 11 different industries from agriculture, through to catering, education and fashion

Speaking of its one-year anniversary, Adaora Ikenze, Head of Public Policy, West and Central Africa, said: “I’m proud of the incredible impact that NG_Hub has had in its first year, and continues to have on the lives of young Nigerians.

“We remain committed in deepening our engagement, increasing skills development and supporting the next set of innovators, tech entrepreneurs, start-ups,in our collective bid to change the face of technology and grow the economy.”

Commenting on the partnership Bosun Tijani, Founder/CEO of CcHub, added: “We’re glad about the tremendous impact Facebook’s investment in NG_HUB has had in such a short period and the ecosystem is already seeing the fruits of this commitment. We’re committed to working with Facebook to position NG_HUB as a major platform that drives smart application of technology innovation for economic prosperity across the region and beyond.”

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