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Buhari to universities: Find cure for COVID-19

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By Adedeji Egbebi

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President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged Nigerian universities to come up with a cure for COVID-19.

Represented by Mr John Mairafi, a Director with the National Universities Commission (NUC), Buhari gave the charge in Oye-Ekiti, at the 5th and 6th convocation ceremony of the Federal University (FUOYE).

He charged scholars in universities to engage in global search for both pharmaceutical and non -pharmaceutical solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“I want to challenge Nigerian universities generally and the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) in particular to contribute to the national transformation.

“This has become pertinent at a time like this when humanity has been confronted with a lot of troubling issues, such as COVID-19 pandemic.

“My administration will continue to welcome constructive criticisms from all Nigerians on how to address our country’s various challenges,” he said.

Buhari assured the graduands that his administration would continue to support the university system through improved funding and the development of infrastructure.

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While congratulating them, he said that his administration would continue to invest more resources in job creation and entrepreneurship development.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council, Dr Muhammed Yahuza, commended the vice chancellor, Prof. Abayomi  Fasina for his tireless efforts towards the growth and development of the institution.

He assured the staff and management that the Governing Council would not rest until the university has been declared the best in Nigeria.

The chairman congratulated the graduating students and prayed that God would guide and guard them in their future endeavours.

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Earlier, the vice chancellor, Prof. Fasina, said that his aspiration was to transform FUOYE into a great institution of learning.

He said that the university’s growth has been hampered by inadequate funding, security issues and inadequate infrastructure.

He urged the various stakeholders, including media practitioners to join the management in promoting the university.

The vice chancellor advised the graduands to be the best in their future careers and always carry themselves as good ambassadors of the university.

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Nigeria Newspapers

Fire guts new Lafia Motor Park

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By Sunday John

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An inferno has razed shops at the new Lafia Motor Park, Nasarawa State, destroying goods worth millions of naira.

A NAN correspondent who visited the scene of the incident learnt that the fire started on Friday night and lasted till the early hours of Saturday.

It took the personnel of the Fire Service in the state several hours to put out the fire.

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Speaking on the incident, the State Coordinator of Fire Service, Mrs Hanatu George, said they got a distress call on Friday night and responded immediately.

George, however, said that although no life was lost, an investigation had begun to ascertain the cause of the fire.

One of the victims of the fire disaster, Ejike Igwe, a car spare parts seller, said his entire shop was razed by the inferno.

Igwe, who said he could not quantify his goods lost to the fire disaster, appealed for assistance from spirited Nigerians.
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Ortom flags off Benue Digital Aerial Photography project

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From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on Saturday, flagged off the Digital Aerial Photography of Benue State as part of the process for the take off of the Benue Geographic Information System (BENGIS) Project.

The Governor who was earlier at the Makurdi Airport to inspect the process of air survey of the entire state assured the people of the state that the project would be completed and become operational before the next democracy day.

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Speaking to newsmen shortly after inspecting ongoing work at the headquarters of the Ministry of Lands and Survey, the Governor who commended the contractors for the quality of work done so far said when completed, the state would enjoy several benefits from the project.

“What you saw us doing at the airport was to inspect the process of air survey of the entire Benue State. We are targeting all the local government headquarters in the state and some mini urban areas so that they will be captured on our system.

“Our intention is to also fastrack this and try to qualify for the World Bank grant which is estimated at five million dollars. We have paid more than half of the money that was required for this project. I think the total sum is about N6 billion and we have paid more than N3billion and our intention is that by April or before the next democracy day, this project should be commissioned and operation going on.

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“And because of the importance this government has on completing this project, the benefit of having five million dollars is not a small thing. If you multiply that by our current exchange rate, you can imagine what we are going to get. So, for me, anything that is to add more to what we have is appreciated.

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“And the second one is that once this project is completed, we would have succeeded in computerizing the entire land mass in Benue State and then, the administration of land in the state is computerized. You can seat in your office and be able to do every other thing.

“And this issue of duplication of certificate of occupancy and all that will be eliminated completely. Several advantages that we are going to get from this. And above all, revenue generation and collection will become easier for us. And this we believe we should be making billions of naira every year once this project takes off. That is why even with the paucity of funds, we feel that this will be a revenue yielding program.

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“The contractors have done well. I’ve looked at the quality of work that has been going on here. And if government has fulfilled it’s obligation by giving them their certificate and all the money that was required, I’m sure by now, we will be talking about roofing. That’s where we are standing while we are still working with the bank.

“Because this project is sponsored by Access Bank. While we are working with them to get the remaining funds, I just told the Commissioner that within a week, we should be able to make available another N500million for the project so that it will continue. This is where we are and I believe that we shall achieve our target,” he said.

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