Monday, 14 December 2009

Students’ inventions get international accolade

The Nigeria Association of Inventors (NAI) has selected two inventions by two students of Benson Idahosa University, Benin, for display at the Nigerian stand during the forthcoming Seoul International fair, Asia’s annual invention fair. The students, David Ogbeide Momodu of the department of Information and Computer Science; and Ifeoluwapo Ajiboye, department of Physics, invented an automated foot swap system; a device used for sucking all dirt from the sole of foot wears immediately it is stepped upon.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Gideon Omuta, who made the announcement while addressing the press on the 5th convocation ceremony of the university, said in September, Momodu invented the Multifunction Manicure and Pedicure System that combines hand and feet care and barbing functions in addition to his multipurpose spraying machine, multipurpose cap opening machine and hair braiding machine, which was adjudged best invention from a developing country in the summit held in Indonesia, India and Kuwait in 2007.
Omuta, urged Federal Government to allow private universities access to Education Trust Fund (ETF) and other funds established for tertiary institution.
The VC also announced that the institution would confer degrees on 498 graduands, out of whom 13 would be awarded first class; 133, second class upper division; 244, for second class lower division; 94, third class and one pass.
He said the university would confer a honourary doctorate degree of Business Administration on the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services, Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, for her contributions to the growth of the economy.

18-year old emerges Miss University

POWEDE Lawerence, a 200-Level student of Nursing and Miss Niger Delta University (NDU), has beaten 49 other university queens to emerge the 2009 Miss University/United Nations Nigeria (MUN) in a colourful parade of beauty and brains.
Organised by Visions Innovations and Concepts Ltd in partnership with the Bayelsa State government; the third in the series held at the Glory Land Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.
Chisom Egwuatu, Miss Anambra State University (ANSU), emerged first runner up, while Adama Onyanta, a 300-Level Biochemistry student and Miss University of Jos (Miss UNIJOS), picked the second runner up position.
Highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of Mrs. Sylva as the Grand Patron of Miss University/United Nation Nigeria Foundation. The African Coordinator of the United Nations pageant, Ms. Syndee Keitte, conferred the award on her.
The Bayelsa first lady urged all the contestants to help spread the message of her cancer awareness project aimed at saving the lives of women.

Shortly after being crowned by the outgoing queen, Miss Aminat Jenny Ayuba of Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), Awka, the new MUN 2009 burst into tears of joy.
Among the panel of judges that decided the winner were the publisher, Ovation International, Chief Dele Momodu; Executive Vice-President of Conoil Nigeria, Oma Eyewuoma, an engineer; Executive Vice-President MUN Organisation, Miss Tolulope Ademulegun; Miss USA 2007, Mrs. Stephanie Hunt; Mrs. Ginika Tor; Mrs. Mary Manzo; Executive Assistant to the Governor of Bayelsa State, Ms. Julie Donli; Barr. Megan Bozimo; and Mr. John Agha.
The queen will represent Nigeria next year at the Miss United Nations International pageant in the United States and the Miss University Africa pageant in South Africa.

UI not admitting us, say Pre-Degree students

By Kayode Bello
AFTER paying N8,500 as application fee and registering with over N100,000 as tuition and accommodation fees, pre-degree science students, numbering over 600, are claiming that the authorities of the University of Ibadan (UI) have made no provision for them to be admitted into courses of their choice.
The students, who had completed their programme at the Alafia Institute Complex, Mokola, Ibadan, said their fate is hanging in the balance as the admission list released recently by the management included only candidates, who wrote the Universities Matriculation Examination (UME) and the Post-UME test.
Quoting a statement by the University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre (DLC), the students said after completing the pre-degree programme, they would be admitted into the institution for the courses of their choice.
The protesting student added that it would amount to deception and wickedness from the management if another admission list is not released for pre-degree students.
This is the first pre-degree programme conducted by the university, under the auspices of the Distance Learning Centre.
In a phone chat with Life Campus, however, director of the centre, Prof. Francis Egbokhare emphasised that the students should monitor the university’s website for information about admission for pre-degree science programme.
Already, the affected students are losing hope of being enrolled, as the admission exercises are winding up in the institution.

NGO boost female undergraduates scholarships

Greater opportunity awaits female Nigerian undergraduates as Ajesola Solarin Majekodunmi Foundation (ASMAF) is set to award scholarships to 12 indigent brilliant female undergraduates every year in professional courses, which include Accountancy, Architecture, Engineering, Law and Medicine.
Geared towards increasing female representation in the professional and leadership cadre in Nigeria, the foundation also expressed its determination to use the project to bridge the gap between the male-female gender.
Speaking at the official launch of the foundation, held recently at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of ASMAF, Prof. Olusoga Sofola, noted that the foundation would provide resources for young female Nigerians to develop themselves and become competent leaders of the nation.
ASMAF, founded by Prof. Ajesola Majekodunmi, first female undergraduate of the University of Lagos, is a non-governmental organisation dedicated to raising funds for, and awarding scholarships to brilliant, but young indigent females for tertiary education and leadership/life skills development.
Unfolding the vision of ASMAF, Majekodunmi said, “I came from a family of all females, four of us. My inspiration is from my parents, who educated us, despite the fact that education was not for the poor in our own time, especially for the girl child.”
“I have received several scholarships in the course of my study, but today, not many girls are lucky to have parents who can support them. With females making up about 54 per cent of the population, and still in the bottom cadre professionally, I decided that when I turn 70, as a birthday gift to the nation, opportunity would be given to indigent girls to maximize their potentials,” she explained.
Another member of the BoT, Dr. Nadu Denloye, who announced that applications are open to interested candidates, disclosed that the sum of N250,000 would be given to recipients of the award.

Experiencing Borno State

AFTER sitting for their last papers and submitting their projects, what is often left on the minds of outgoing students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria is the deployment for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
A sample of a graduate’s preferred choice of state for the mandatory one-year service will likely turn up results in the following order: Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.
Most awaiting corps members from Southern Nigeria would cringe at the suggestion of serving in the north, let alone farther north, like Borno State.
The essence of the scheme established over 35 years ago by General Yakubu Gowon, is aimed at engendering the spirit of oneness, reconciliation and national cohesion among the diverse ethnic groups that make up the country. However, one is yet to fathom what is really scaring Corpers in the north, especially Borno State.
For youth corps members posted to Borno, there are myriads of stories that will even terrify the strong-willed. Stories such as Maiduguri is full of flies; it is as hot as hell fire; everybody is Hausa and Muslim; and the cost of meat and fish are as cheap as water are sure to come up.
Though meat and fish are cheap and are everywhere, the whole tale is really exaggerated out of proportion. What is immutable is the harsh weather condition and sandstorm.
Hausa language is the lingua franca, as in most states in the north. However, for Corps members, the problem is not learning to speak the language, but getting to face the reality of adapting to one year of ba turenchi meaning ‘I don’t understand English’.
Aside language barriers, Corpers also face lot of ordeals in the state ranging from accommodation to rejection at place of primary assignment. It is aggravated with no allowance from their eventual place of work, especially those posted to Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC).
Interestingly, 95 per cent of Corps dream to be posted to MMC during their orientation, without knowing the challenges they will encounter outside would be mainly accommodation and how to manage the meager Federal allowance of N9, 700, and the State N1, 000. In fact, after deployment, Corps members become wanderers for weeks in daily search of a place of primary assignment after being rejected severally.
Despite all the odds, it is still a place to be. A Corper, Agbo Austin, serving with the Umaru Shehu Ultra Modern Hospital, Maiduguri says of his experience: “It has been wonderful. Serving in the State has made me to meet people from different parts of the country, who are good and have affected my life positively.”
On the weather, he says a big Whoa! “Not so friendly, but people are still surviving here and I am also surviving. The way of life of the people is so clear, well defined and adaptable to any disciplined persons. Boko Haram crisis was worst experience in the state.”

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