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4th Biennial Lecture: Experts in LASUCOM set Agenda for dentistry



…say AI future of Dentistry*

By Akinyemi Precious

Experts at the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM), Faculty of Dentistry have probed into the future of dentistry profession in Nigeria, saying Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the way forward.

This was the subject of discourse during the 4th Biennial Faculty Day Lecture held on Thursday at the College, in Ikeja Lagos.

The lecture themed “Artificial Intelligence: Current Application and Future Use in Dentistry” saw experts dissecting the diversified approaches toward AI in the Dentistry profession.

The keynote speaker, Coordinator, New HIV Vaccine and Microbiade Advocacy Society and Executive Director of the Central Office of Research, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Morenike Oluwatoyin Folayan expounded on AI and it’s components in relation to the profession in Nigeria.

Harping that “this is the dawn of a new era, driven by AI advancements”, she expounded the potentials of AI, emphasising the benefits it will bring to current application and future use in Dentistry.

According to her, AI will enhance diagnostic capacity, make personalised treatment possible, make virtual simulation and training possible.

She added that with AI’s predictive analysis using databases of patients, care will be more personalised.

“AI gives instant feedbacks, aims to improve professional’s competence, adapt educational curriculum and do so much more.

“AI is the future, it’s where we are going,” she said, stating it is a game changer for students, teachers and patients alike.

She submitted offer of B.Sc programmes driven by the proposed AI architecture.

Folayan, however, noted that AI is wired in the American and European thinking and is not involving African Philosophies.

The don mentioned that robots can also be created by Africans and African cultures and values instilled in them as well.

She encouraged that Nigeria should not lag behind in its use as it is already in use in other countries.

Also at the symposium, experts treated cogent topics addressing issues including the impact of outward migration of dental professionals on dental education and dental profession in Nigeria with a lecture delivered by Professor and Head of Department, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Professor Olalekan Gbotolorun.

Professor Gbotolorun in his lecture made known the reasons for the migration of dentists in Nigeria to other countries.

He segregated them into macro reasons which include insecurity, crisis in the educational sector, underfunding of the health system, global salary structure among others; meso reasons such as renumeration, career prospects, job satisfaction among others; and micro reasons such as family ties, better quality of life, advancing age, among others.

He explained that the most important drivers of migration for health workers were mostly on meso level.

“These have caused losses and the health sector is bearing the consequences,” he said.

He implored that renumeration must be addressed, there should be minimisation of medical tourism by government officials in particular and the country at large, appropriate pricing of medical education and provision of scholarship for those willing to receive same with certain caveat including making them sign a bond to stay for some years after studies.

Also treated was “Can dentistry survive in Nigeria in view of migration? by the Chairman, Schubbs Dental Clinics Limited, Dr Olabode Karunwi.

Dr Bode Karunwi in his lecture said that indeed Dentistry can survive in Nigeria despite migration of Dentists.

He said this only can be made possible when the emigration push factors are addressed.

He made it known that in early 2022, over 100 medical consultants departed from 17 Nigerian tertiary institutions.

“Over the preceeding two years, more Nigerian dentists are migrating abroad compared to non-Nigerians coming in,” he said.

He mentioned that lack of honesty and transparency in the Nigerian Health System has contributed to its setback.

He encouraged the Government to address the underlying reasons that drive dentists to leave the Country.

He added that organised structure, universal health coverage, implementation of health insurance policies, access to loans, affordable housing, proper statistics and data, among others, will encourage health practitioners to remain in the Country.

Other dons in attendance were the Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University, Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello represented by the Vice Chancellor Administration, Professor Adenike Boyo; the Special Guest, Chief Medical Director, LASUTH, Ikeja, Professor Adetokunbo O. Fabamwo represented by Dr Bamidele Ayodele; the Chief Host was Provost, LASUCOM, Professor Abiodun Adewuya; the Host, Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, LASUCOM, Professor Kehinde Adebiyi and Deputy Provost, Professor O.E Idowu among other dentists, professors and health practitioners.


Tinubu calls for good governance at 64th ECOWAS Session



President Bola Tinubu has called on ECOWAS leaders to prioritise good governance for the citizens in the quest for socio-economic transformation and development of the region.

At the 64th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Tinubu emphasised that good governance would guarantee improved quality of life and stable environment.

‘’Let me also underscore the need for us, as leaders, to prioritise good governance for our people, as it serves as a catalyst for socio-economic transformation and development.

‘’The delivery of good governance is not just a fundamental commitment; it is also an avenue to address the concerns of our citizen, such as improved quality of life and a stable environment conducive to the achievement of sustainable development.

‘’By providing good governance that tackles the challenges of poverty, inequality and other concerns of the people, we would have succeeded in addressing some of the root causes of military intervention in civilian processes in our region.

‘’Our gathering here today is, therefore, a clear demonstration of our resolute commitment to the development and effective integration of our sub-region.

‘’As a people, we aspire to create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous and cohesive region, built on good governance and the rule of law, where people would have the opportunity to realise their full potentials for sustainable development,’’ he said.

On the issue of democratic abortion in some member countries, the President underscored the need for sustained efforts to ensure the return of peaceful transition of power based on the people’s choice.

‘’Allow me to emphasise that, to further strengthen our regional democratic achievements and uphold the right of our people to elect the leaders of their choice, the region agreed upon specific punitive measures to be taken against any Member State opting for unconstitutional change of government.

‘’While the imposition of punitive sanctions may pose challenges, it is important to underscore that the struggle to protect the fundamental liberties of our Community Citizens must be upheld and respected.

‘’To this end, I would like to reiterate the imperative of re-engaging with the countries under military rule on the basis of realistic and short transition plans that can deliver democracy and good governance.

“On our part, we should be prepared to provide them with technical and material support, to ensure the achievement of these strategic goals.’’

Tinubu said that the countries involved in alliance against democratic tenets would not be allowed to distract the community of its resolve to follow laid down rules and regulations for dealing with such actions.

‘’It is important that we also review some development in our sub-region including the move by some of our members under Military rule to float an Alliance of Sahel States.

‘’This phantom, push back-alliance appears intended to divert attention from our mutual quest for democracy and good governance that will impact the life of our people.

‘’We refused to be detracted from pursuing the collective dreams, aspirations and the noble path of ECOWAS integration as laid out in our institutional and legal frameworks,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government are in closed door meeting to further deliberate on issues affecting the region in the last one year and those arising recently.

The body is expected to receive special reports on the practical arrangement for the Launch of the ECO , report on Member States in Transition, report on States of Implementation of the ECOWAS  Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) as well as decide on the venue of the 65th ECOWAS Session.

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Naira notes: There’s sufficient stock for economic activities, CBN assures Nigerians



Amidst complaints by some Nigerians about scarcity of Naira notes, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says there is adequate supply of the currency.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CBN gave  the assurance against the beck drop of complaints by some bank customers  on scarcity of Naira notes at the counters, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) Points of Sale (PoS), and Bureaux de Change (BDCs).

Some officials of Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) also claimed that the DMBs were not getting adequate supply of cash from the CBN.

But, according to a statement issued by the Corporate Communications Department of the CBN, there is no shortage of Naira notes, as there is adequate supply of the currency in the economy.

The apex bank said that the seeming currency scarcity was occasioned by large volume withdrawals of cash from various CBN branches by DMBs.

It said that panic withdrawals by bank customers was also partly responsible for the seeming scarcity.

“The attention of the CBN has been drawn to reports of alleged scarcity of
cash at banks, ATMs, PoS and BDCs in some major cities across the country.

“Our findings reveal that the seeming cash scarcity in some locations is due largely to high volume withdrawals from the CBN branches by DMBs and panic withdrawals by customers from the ATMs.

“While we note the concerns of Nigerians on the availability of cash for financial transactions, we wish to assure the public that there is sufficient stock of currency notes for economic activities in the country.

“The branches of the CBN across the country are also working to ensure the seamless circulation of cash in their respective states of operation,” it said.

The CBN advised members of the public to guard against panic withdrawals as there was sufficient stock to facilitate economic activities.

It also advised Nigerians to embrace alternative modes of payment, which would reduce pressure on using physical cash.

Meanwhile, the CBN also warned Nigerians to beware of fake Naira banknotes in circulation.

Its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mrs Hakama Sidi-Ali, gave the warning in a  statement.

Sidi-Ali said that the counterfeit Naira notes were mainly used for transactions in food markets and other commercial centres across major cities in the country.

She said that any person found complicit in the circulation of the counterfeit currency notes would face severe sanctions.

The director said that the law provided punishment by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years, for any person found culpable of counterfeiting Naira notes or any other legal tender in Nigeria.

“The attention of the CBN) has been drawn to the circulation of counterfeit banknotes, especially higher denominations by some individuals.

“The CBN is in constant collaboration with relevant security and financial agencies to confiscate fake Naira banknotes, arrest and prosecute counterfeiters.

“Members of the public are also encouraged to report anyone suspected of having counterfeit naira notes to the nearest police station, branch of the CBN, or via,” she said.

She enjoined all DMBs, Financial Houses and Bureaux de Change and the general public to be more vigilant.

Sidi-Ali urged them to take all necessary precautionary measures to curtail the acceptance and distribution of counterfeit notes.

“Furthermore, the general public is encouraged to embrace alternative modes of payment for day-to-day transactions to mitigate the risk of spreading counterfeit banknotes,” she said.

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NOA lauds Dangote’s oil production in Lagos



The National Agency (NOA) has commended Dangote Refining Company and the Federal Government for restarting local production of petroleum products in the country.

Its Director General, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a letter of congratulations to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, celebrated the delivery of the first cargo of 950,000 barrels of crude oil to the Dangote Refining Company.

“The supply from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) is a major breakthrough for the country after many years of importation with attendant supply hicups, corruption and detrimental impact of high foreign exchange demand on the economy.

“The NNPCL and Dangote Refining Company said the breakthrough is a cheering news that underscores the resolve of government and Nigeria’s progress towards economic stability and prosperity.

“For him, the Dangote Refining company, the biggest in Africa, will become a major player in the petroleum production and supply chain in Africa and help to tackle the many problems affecting the sector, including unstable product pricing in the country.”

According to the director-general, this is the beginning of the onward march to self-reliance and development because more refineries will soon come up. We hope that our other refineries will return to business”.

Outlining the benefits of local production of petroleum products in Nigeria, the NOA DG said “This means jobs for our people in that sector, reduction of foreign dependency for supply in NIgeria and huge savings in forex.

“The economic growth outlook will be better with stability of local energy supply.”d

According to the director-general, NOA’s new vision seeks to promote national positives to encourage citizens to renew their hope in the country and reflect the true narrative of our nation’s progress and challenges.

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