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FG approves N4.7bn for TETFund research grants



The Federal Government has approved the sum of N4,736,782,352.21 for the award of 219 research grants to successful participants under the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) National Research Fund (NRF) programme for the 2021 grant cycle.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Acting Director, Public Affairs of the fund, Mr Abdulmumin Oniyangi, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday.

Oniyangi said the approval followed the report of the TETFund National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee (NRFS&MC) which recommended the funding of the 219 research proposals.

He said this was after a rigorous screening exercise which commenced with the receipt of 4,810 Concept Notes from prospective applicants in November 2021.

“A breakdown of the approval indicates that the sum of N3,066,156,844.61 was approved for the Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) thematic group.

“N806,381,998 for Humanities and Social Science (HSS) while Cross Cutting (CC) received N864,242,509.60, with individual grants ranging from N4.5 million to over N41 million.

“Some of the approved research works tailored towards enhancing national development include Molecular epidemiology of recurrent cholera outbreaks in Nigeria and pre-clinical evaluation of indigenous medicinal plants for its management.

“Effective High Throughput Phenotyping and Artificial Pollination for Improved Yield in Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) with Autonomous Drone and Investigating Nigerian medicinal plants as sources of lead compounds for development of chemotherapeutic interventions for uterine fibroid and Production of Cartridge made from Hydrochar for the Treatment of Textile and Tannery Wastewater in Nigeria.

″Emerging Technology for Sustainable Water Purification using Biomass <Waste; all under the Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) thematic group,” he said.

He added that the projects under Cross Cutting thematic group included design and fabrication of efficient solar energy storage system for electricity generation to rural communities.

He said it also included the adaptation of conventional septic tank to bio-digester for sustainable energy generation and viable economy for households use in Nigeria and development of polymer-soilcrete blocks and pozzolanic cement concrete for integrated and sustainable mass housing in Nigeria, amongst others.

“Approved under Social Science are development and evaluation of phytoestrogenic transdermal nanogel for the management of menopausal symptoms and associated diseases.

“Fabrication and characterisation of new glass series from Rice Husk and Bismuth-Tin Ores for application in radiation shielding and green pathway for barite production towards decarbonisation of mining Sector in Nigeria, amongst others.

“The National Research Fund (NRF) grant was introduced to encourage cutting-edge research which explore research areas relevant to societal needs of Nigeria such as power and energy, health, security, agriculture, employment and wealth creation e.t.c,”he said.


CBN disowns notice on cryptocurrency transactions



The Central Bank of Nigeria says a notice circulating on social media about the risk of cryptocurrency is fake news.

The Apex disclosed this via its official X account, urging the public to disregard the purported notice for all Deposits Money Bank, Non-Bank Financial Institutions, and other Financial Institutions.

The notice reminded “Institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited”.

However, CBN said the content doesn’t originate from it.

“This information does not originate from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“For authentic updates, please visit the official website,” CBN wrote.

Recall that the CBN governor, during the Bank’s 293rd Monetary Policy Committee meeting, said over $26 billion funnelled through Binance.

On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said the anti-graft agency froze about 300 accounts to ensure the safety of the foreign exchange market.

The Nigerian government had continued clamping down on Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms amid efforts to defend the Naira in the foreign exchange market.

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Biden says U.S. will begin sending weapons to Ukraine



U.S. President Joe Biden wants to start delivering of weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week.
The president said this shortly after the U.S. Senate approved billions of dollars in new aid for the country under attack from Russia.
“I will sign this bill into law and address the American people as soon as it reaches my desk tomorrow so we can begin sending weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week,” Biden said.
By passing the legislative package, which also includes billions of dollars in aid for Israel and Taiwan, the U.S. Congress has demonstrated the power of American leadership in the world, Biden added.
“We stand resolutely for democracy and freedom, and against tyranny and oppression.”
There is an urgent need for support for Ukraine, which is being subjected to relentless bombardment from Russia, Biden said.
The bill also contains aid for Israel, which has recently faced unprecedented attacks from Iran.
“This critical legislation will make our nation and world more secure as we support our friends who are defending themselves against terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin,” Biden said.
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NSCDC deploys personnel to JAMB CBT centres in Anambra



The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), said it has deployed personnel to ensure a hitch-free 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Anambra.

The state Commandant, Olatunde Maku, stated this after monitoring the conduct of the exams across CBT centres in Awka, on Wednesday.

Some of the centres visited are, Integral Development Konsult on Enugu/Onitsha Expressway, White House in Awka, JAMB Centre located inside JAMB office in Amawbia and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Others are St. John of God ICT Hub, Awka and Kachukwu Ventures Staff Development Centre, behind Government House in Awka.

The examination centres take candidates in three batches: 7 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Maku said that the synergy between NSCDC and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had yielded positive results in reducing exam malpractice.

He said that the monitoring of the centres would continue till the end of the examination period, to ensure a seamless conduct of the exercise and promote transparency.

“We are firm in our determination to protect critical national assets and infrastructure including JAMB centres.

“Which was why the NSCDC deployed personnel to JAMB CBT centres in the state to ensure security and so far they have been professional in carrying out their mandate,” he said.

Maku advised candidates writing the 2024 UTME to be law abiding and avoid being in possession of prohibited or incriminating items during the examination.

He warned unauthorised persons against loitering around designated exam centre, adding that anyone found wanting would be arrested and prosecuted.

Also speaking, Mrs Jema Iheme, JAMB Coordinator, Anambra state, commended NSCDC for their support and for ensuring security of candidates and staff at the exam centres.

Iheme said that the swift response of NSCDC to emergencies and enforcement of exam rules and regulations was contributing to a smooth and secured exam process so far.

NAN also reports that about 1.9 million candidates are expected to write the JAMB UTME, which commenced on April 19 and would end on April 29.

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