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FG to launch build-a-thon programme for 1,500 students

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By Blessing Emmanuel, Abuja

The Federal Government has disclosed that it will be launching a build-a-thon programme that will involve 1,500 secondary school students from across the country.

Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani made this know noting that initiative, aimed at fostering technological skills and knowledge, will take place in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a United Kingdom-based NGO, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The Build-A-Thon programme is designed to provide a unique ecosystem for learning, offering diverse opportunities such as DIY boxes, technology labs, and workshops. The participating students, hailing from 150 schools across three locations—Owerri, Maiduguri, and Abeokuta—will be immersed in a structured environment to enhance their skills and knowledge.

Dr ‘Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, emphasised the pivotal role of technology in the nation’s growth. In a statement, he expressed the ministry’s commitment to equipping the next generation with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the digital era.

“We believe there are a lot of amazing minds in Nigeria who will do great things if given the opportunity, and that’s what we’re giving them—an opportunity,” Dr Tijani stated.

He highlighted the importance of initiatives like the Build-A-Thon in fostering technologically aware adults and providing students with a structured learning environment.

The collaborative effort with the Raspberry Pi Foundation and the Nigerian Communications Commission signifies a strategic approach to building a knowledge pipeline in Nigeria. The organisers aim to recognize outstanding teams in different locations and categories, fostering a spirit of innovation and problem-solving among the students.

Reflecting on the initiative’s broader impact, Dr Tijani said, “Our journey towards positioning Nigeria as the go-to-market for technical knowledge cannot be achieved without creating a knowledge pipeline that is represented by these young, impressionable minds.”

In a previous announcement in 2023, the ministry had called for educators, teachers, and enthusiasts in Maiduguri, Owerri, and Abeokuta to participate in the Build-A-Thon initiative programme. As the event unfolds, it promises to inspire the next generation of innovators and contribute to Nigeria’s role as a hub for technical knowledge.

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State police non-negotiable — Jonathan

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has described state police as a non-negotiable entity that Nigeria must establish.

Mr Jonathan, who was president from 2010-2015, said the conversation must shift to the prevention of abuse by governors.

He stated this on Monday at the ongoing dialogue on state police organized by the House of Representatives.

He said most times governors abuse institutions, however, the challenges are not sufficient to stop the creation of state police.

The former president said state police was wildly accepted by the delegates at the 2014 Confab.

“We can only end kidnapping and other forms of insecurity through the creation of state police,” Mr Jonathan said.

Mr Jonathan’s stance contradicts the position of the inspector general of police, Kayode Egbetokun, who opposed the establishment of state police.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Ben Kalu argued that the current security situation in Nigeria requires a multilayer approach to insecurity.

He stated that over N5 billion has been paid in ransoms to kidnappers, a figure that starkly exposes the alarming growth of this criminal enterprise in the country.

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Edo Guber: INEC releases final list of candidates

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced the final list of candidates for the forthcoming Edo State Governorship Election.

This is even as the Commission said that the political parties are permitted to start campaign in public from Wednesday 24th April 2024.

The campaigns will end at midnight on Thursday 19th September 2024.

In a statement by Sam Olumekun,
National Commissioner & Chairman,
Information and Voter Education Committee, INEC disclosed that 17 political parties have fielded candidates for the election out of which 16 are male while one is female.

Olumekun said the final list has been published at INEC’s office in Edo State and also uploaded to the Commission’s website and social media platforms for public information.

“The Commission is pleased to announce the publication of the final list of candidates for the Edo State Governorship Election. Following the initial primaries, the Commission published the personal particulars of the Governorship candidates and their running mates in our State and Local Government offices in Edo State.

“Overall, seventeen (17) political parties are fielding candidates in the election. Sixteen (16) are male while one (1) is female. The final list, which also gives the breakdown of the candidates by age, academic qualifications and disability, has been published at our office in Edo State and also uploaded to our website and social media platforms for public information.

“With the publication of the final list of candidates for the Edo State Governorship Election, the next activity is electioneering campaign.

“Therefore, Political Parties are now permitted to start campaign in public from Wednesday 24th April 2024 and end at midnight on Thursday 19th September 2024 as indicated in items 8 and 12 of the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the election,” parts of the statement read.

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Tinubu unveils African Counter-Terrorism summit

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President Bola Tinubu unveiled the African Counter-Terrorism Summit at the Office of the National Security Adviser in Abuja on Monday.

The event which is currently ongoing and organised by Nigeria, with support from the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, will be held from Monday to Tuesday, April 23, 2024, with the theme: ‘Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Institution Building to Address the Evolving Threat of Terrorism’.

The Presidency announced on Sunday that the summit aims to enhance multilateral counter-terrorism cooperation.

Details later…

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