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Excitement as NITDA rewards Huawei ICT competition 2018/19 global finalists

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), with the mandate of developing and regulating Information Technology (IT) in Nigeria, has today recognized and rewarded the efforts of the 6 Students of Ahmadu Bello University that did the Nigeria proud in the recently concluded Huawei ICT Competition Global Finals that took place at Huawei’s Songshan Lake Campus, the People’s Republic of China.

Nigeria’s Chief Information Technology Officer/Director General of NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami FNCS, FBCS, FIIM, presented signed letters of commendation along with a Tablet with e-learning Software and an internet dongle with 3 months unlimited subscription with a total value of five hundred thousand naira to each of the students.

The presentation was made at the Agency’s Corporate Head Office, Garki, Abuja, and had in attendance Managing Director of Huawei Technologies, represented by the Deputy Managing Director, Abuja Office, the Vice Chancellor Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, represented by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna, and the Vice Chancellor, American University of Nigeria (AUN)

In his remarks, Dr Pantami commended the students for the excellent performance and urged them not to relent on their efforts. He further reiterated NITDA’s commitment, on behalf of the Federal Government, to supporting talented Nigerians reach their potentials. He advised them to think outside the box, come up with revolutionary ideas that will help in solving social challenges and always aspire to be employers of labour. He added that the country’s future relies on ICT as it is the driver of all aspects of the economy.

Recall that similar event was held last year when the ‘Save-a-Soul’ team, the 5 young Nigerian girls from Regina Pacis Secondary School, Anambra State who won the famous Technovation competition award Silicon Valley, the United States of America, where each of the girls received and award and a Digital Divide Bridging Centre (DDBC) with ICT facilities, alternative solar power energy and Internet connectivity as well as a comprehensive e-Learning Application with educational materials, designed in accordance with the Nigerian educational curricular was deployed to their School.

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THE NATION

IPPIS: FG stops salaries of ASUU members, strike looms

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Following the refusal of the staff of the federal tertiary institutions in Nigeria to be enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, the Federal Government has ordered that the salaries of the concerned staff be stopped immediately

The affected federal government staff, who will not be paid salaries from January, are members of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU.

According to a letter from the office of the Accountant General of the federation, signed by the Director of IPPIS, Olufehinti, O. J, dated January 21, 2020, and directed to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the minister was ordered not to release funds for the payment of January salaries of the tertiary institutions.

The letter captioned, “Request for stoppage of release of funds for January Salaries to federal universities, Polytechnics and colleges of education”, was silent on whether the non-payment of salaries will affect the non-teaching staff, who have enrolled under the scheme.

The letter reads, “I am directed to inform you that the preparation of January 2020 salary payroll and warrant of the federal tertiary institutions are on-gong and will be ready for submission on or before 29th of January, 2020.

“This is to give effect to the directive of the federal government that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies drawing personnel cost from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, should be enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS.

“In order to actualise this directive, you are please requested not to release the funds for payment of salaries to the tertiary institutions as their salaries will henceforth be paid on the IPPIS platform with effect from January 2020.”

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THE NATION

Coronavirus: Wash your hands, cover nose and mouth when sneezing, FG warns

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The federal government of Nigeria through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned Nigerians to protect themselves against the new deadly virus, Coronavirus.

The NCDC in a statement said to reduce the risk of spread of the virus, members of the public should wash their hands regularly with soap under running water and to cover their mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing.

At least 17 people have reportedly died from the virus in China following an outbreak in the central city of Wuhan, and more than 550 cases have been reported globally.

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The NCDC stated, “There is no specific treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus yet. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Therefore, treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition. In addition, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.

The “NCDC is currently coordinating a multisectoral technical group that is assessing and managing the risk of importation to Nigeria. It is in close communication with the WHO which is monitoring the situation globally. WHO is in direct communication with the government of China and other affected countries, and has released technical and travel guidance.”

NCDC called on travellers from Nigeria to Wuhan, China, to avoid contact with sick people, animals (alive or dead), and animal markets.

It added, “Travellers from Wuhan to Nigeria may be asked questions upon arrival by the Port Health Services unit at points of entry about symptoms of illness and travel history, and are advised to report immediately to the NCDC if they feel ill after a trip to Wuhan.”

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Presidency reacts to alleged U.S. visa restrictions against Nigeria

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The presidency has described as mere speculations the reported planned imposition of visa restrictions on some African and Asian countries including Nigeria by America’s government led by President Donald Trump.

Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.

Some local traditional media organisations including online publications quoted foreign media outfits on Tuesday that the Donald Trump administration had concluded plans to add seven countries across the world, including Nigeria, to the country’s travel ban list.

The affected countries included Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania and Eritrea from Africa while Kyrgyzstan and Belarus from Eastern Europe and Myanmar from Asia.

The presidential aide, however, said: ”Yes, we have read the news that the Trump administration is planning to add a host of African, Asian and Eastern European countries to its travel restrictions list as reported by the U.S. media.

”We are not going to react to speculations. We urge you to wait for us to see what unfolds under the new policy, its scope, its reach, the implications, and its consequences before we react.”

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