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AMAZING …Nigerian Research Fellow Develops Efficient Anti-Tuberculosis Metal Drugs in India



(L-R) Professor Rajendrasinh Jadeja and Mrs. Misitura Lawal-Arowona

A Nigerian PhD scholar with the University of Ilorin, Misitura Lawal-Arowona, under the supervision of Prof. Joshua Obaleye, has promised to tackle the menace of tuberculosis (TB), both in African countries as well as India.

According to a report published in the Sunday Times of India, under a sandwich fellowship at Faculty of Science of The Maharaja Sayajirao University’ of Baroda, India, Misitura Lawal-Arowona, who works as a lecturer at Nigeria’s Kebbi State University has successfully developed metal attached anti-TB drug.

This has improved the efficiency of the anti-TB drugs compared to normal drugs that are consumed globally.

Nigeria is among the 14 high burden countries for TB, TB/HIV and multi-drug resistant TB. The country is ranked seventh among the 30 high TB burden countries and second in Africa

The problem of TB in Nigeria has been made worse by the issues of drug resistant TB and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

It is estimated that 4,07,000 people in Nigeria have TB in a year.

“Earlier, studies have proved that when a metal is attached with a pharmaceutical, it increases efficacy of the drug,” said Lawal, who is in Vadodara for a year-long project.

Taking a cue from cisplatin, an anti-cancer drug, whose efficacy improved after applying platinum as metal, the scholar worked on multiple metal-based drugs to see whether efficiency of anti-TB drugs can be increased by attaching metals to it.

She used metals like ion, cobalt, copper and zinc to prepare the metallodrugs. The drugs, which have been developed include ciprofloxacin HCl, ofloxacin, pyrazinamide and moxifloxacin HCl. Presently, there is no metal-based anti-TB drug available in the market.

“When we compared the metallodrugs with the original anti-TB drugs, the metallodrugs were more effective,” said professor Rajendrasinh Jadeja from MSU’s chemistry department, who is mentoring the Nigerian scholar.

“We did in vitro test against bacteria. The metal we have chosen are non-harmful to human beings. Also, we found that of all the metallodrugs, the copper complex of ciprofloxacin is most effective,” he said.

The Nigerian scholar is pursuing her research at MSU under fellowship sanctioned by the Italy-headquartered World Academy of Sciences and Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

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UPDATED.. Na’Allah seeks collaboration with Indian varsity on research (PHOTOS)




Abdulrasheed Na’Allah presenting copy of his book to MSU management

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja,  Professor Abdulrasheed Na’Allah is currently at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India, to seek collaboration on research  and scholarship.

Speaking on Thursday, the VC assured the authority of MSU of his readiness to partner and ensure that exchange of ideas, research and scholarship take the front burner of the new relationship.

He however presented a copy of one of his works titled: “Ilorin o”, a literature of song of praise to the management of the varsity.

See pictures:

A Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) was signed between the two universities to cover cultural promotion, engineering and pharmaceutical science.

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NECO demands adequate security during examinations




Aminat Isah, Abuja

The National Examinations Council, NECO, has urged the Federal Government to formulate a deliberate policy aimed prioritising security of examinations just as the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is provided security during elections.

Acting Registrar of NECO, Mr Abubakar Gana, stated this in a brief submitted to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, on the mandate and achievements of the Council between May 2018 and September 2019, saying that it would promote discipline and a culture of honesty among teachers, school administrators and students.

According to Gana, the appeal is a wake up call as the menace of examination malpractice continues to hunt public examinations across the country, with NECO recording over 40,000 cases in its June/July 2019 Senior Secondary Certificate Examination, SSCE.

He said “incessant cases of examination malpractice especially impersonation and particularly collusion by supervisors, teachers and school administrators, who ought to be part of the army in fighting the scourge, was a major challenge in the conduct of the exercise,”

Speaking on how NECO security can be enhanced, the Registrar said, although the examination body acquired 8,000 biometric verification machines before its conduct of the 2019 SSCE, it still requires more biometric verification devices to serve its over 16,000 centres and enable it strengthen its efforts towards eliminating identity theft, which is the severest form of examination malpractice.

Speaking on his achievements, the NECO boss said after his assumption of office, he embarked on critical reforms, which had led to the successful conduct of the 2018 June/July SSCE under compelling circumstances and released the results of the examination within forty days of completion.

He further said the Council abolished the use of scratch cards following the scam that surrounded it, which led to loss of hundreds of millions in revenue, adding that it subjected all printed 2018 November/December registration cards to activation only after the money for each card must have been credited to the Council’s TSA.

“The Council successfully conducted the 2019 June/July SSCE. A total of 1,163,194 candidates registered for the examination conducted in 16,093 Centres in the 36 States and FCT between 20th May and 12th July, 2019. The results were released on 27th August, 2019 with a total of 829,787 (71.59%) candidates having 5 Credits and above including English Language and Mathematics.

“A total of 40,630 (3.53%) candidates were involved in the various forms of malpractice; 18 Supervisors were blacklisted for poor supervision; aiding, abetting and connivance with Candidates to perpetrate examination malpractice. Three (3) schools, one each in Katsina, Kebbi and Oyo States were de-recognized for two years for their involvement in Collusion and Mass Cheating,” he said.

He further disclosed that NECO had successfully developed and integrated the 2019 November/December SSCE registration software on its new website and regular registration for the examination has effectively taken off on 19th August 2019 and is scheduled to end on 28th October, 2019 at 12.00 midnight.

Gana also said due to successful blockage of financial leakages and increased prudence in the management of the Council’s resources, The Management has successfully implemented 100 per cent duty tour allowance for staff, leading to attainment of unprecedented industrial peace and good working relationship with all trade unions.

“From its IGR, the Council was also able to floor a significant portion of the waterlogged area of its Headquarters premises with interlocking tiles. In order to enhance security measures, the Council was able to provide solar powered security lights within the premises of its Headquarters. The Council was equally able to clear the backlog of unprinted certificates up to 2016. The printed certificates have since been distributed to all the states of the federation and the FCT,” he said.

The NECO boss also noted as part of its achievements, the jettisoning of its former insecure website and development of an intractable, robust and secure corporate website, as well as a successful audit to complete overhaul of its ICT.

“The Council also successfully developed and used on the new website, a new and more user-friendly application used in the registration of 2019 National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE), this made the registration possible even on smart phone, in addition to other devices. The application was also used by candidates and parents to check the results and admission statuses of candidates.

“The Council successfully conducted the 2019 National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) for admission into Federal Unity Colleges on Saturday, 27th April, 2019. The results were released to the Federal Ministry of Education and after the selection exercise by the FME, the Council posted the admission statuses of all the successfully admitted candidates which enabled them enable them check at no cost.

“The Council successfully developed on the new website, the offline & online registration software that were used in the 2019 BECE and June/July SSCE registrations and deployed full-scale biometric data capture during the registration process.

“The Council successfully implemented the Federal Government’s downward review of NECO Examination Fees regime as follows: NCEE (N2,500.00), BECE (N4,000.00) and SSCE (N9,850.00). The implementation was carried out in the registration of all NECO examinations this year,” it said.

He however noted that despite several achievements recorded during his tenure there some challenges, such as lack of reading and adherence to guidelines governing its operations is still causing a serious impediment to the successful implementation of the on-going reforms; deliberate failure of school administrators to comply with laid down rules and regulations even where such rules were clearly spelt out for them, constitutes another major challenge.

“Dishonesty among some Principals and Proprietors of schools by providing falsified documents of their schools in order to secure Accreditation; increasing cost of logistics in the conduct of examinations due to inflation,” he said

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NUC to reject varsity degrees less than 2yrs




Aminat Isah, Abuja
National Universities Commission (NUC) has said University degrees awarded to Nigerian Citizens in other African countries in less than two years will not be recognised by the Nigerian authorities.
The executive secretary NUC, Prof. Rasheed Abubakar, stated this in Abuja at the 11th International Conference And Workshop On Quality Assurance In Higher Education In Africa (ICQAHEA), adding that some Countries in Africa allow Universities to award degrees in 6 months, while many countries allowed one or half year.
Speaking on the theme, “Towards Sustainability Of The Continental Harmonisation Agenda Of Higher Education In Africa,” Rasheed said quality assurance has been a major problem in African University system and to overcome it, all African Universities must come together and harmonies their ideologies.
“In some of our West African countries, two years is on the high side, from your secondary school in one and half year you come back to Nigeria with a degree and you want to go for NYSC, but we tell them we don’t have legal jurisdiction outside Nigeria but we will advise you.
“Anybody with a secondary education who claims to have a degree in less than two years should not be recognized. We find it very difficult for some of our sister countries allowing, as I said some Institutions within their border awards degree for one year,”  said Rasheed.
He further said issue of Institutions coming into Nigeria to illegally advertise and open up Institutions will be approach more aggressively by the comission, and also enjoined Nigerian universities to prioritize English Language Clinics for teaching of English to students of non-English coming for programmes in Nigeria, as it is improper for a Nigerian to go to non English speaking countries to study the language.
The Minister of State for Education, Hon Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba earlier in his remarks said despite the growth of higher education in Nigeria, the challenge of access to universities is worrisome, and promised the government’s resolve to increase the carrying capacity of universities and licensing of more private universities.
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