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Ahmadu Bello University Triumphs: 20 Years of Thriving Nuclear Reactor Operations Amid Challenges and Victories”

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Ahmadu Bello University

About Ahmadu Bello University

Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), situated in Zaria, Kaduna State, stands as a cornerstone of federal government research and education, with roots tracing back to its establishment on October 4, 1962, as the University of Northern Nigeria.

Operating across three principal campuses—Samaru and Kongo in Zaria, and the School of Basic Studies in Funtua—ABU’s academic domain encompasses a wide spectrum, ranging from administrative offices to various faculties and specialized research centers. The Samaru campus, for instance, hosts a myriad of disciplines spanning sciences, social sciences, arts and languages, education, engineering, medical sciences, agricultural sciences, and more. Meanwhile, the Kongo campus is dedicated to the Faculties of Law and Administration, housing departments such as Accounting, Business Administration, Local Government and Development Studies, and Public Administration.

Named in honor of the esteemed Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, ABU stands as a testament to Nigeria’s educational aspirations and cultural heritage.

The university’s inception marked a significant milestone in Nigeria’s journey toward educational autonomy. As the country approached independence in 1960, the need for additional universities became apparent. The seminal Ashby Commission report recommended the establishment of new universities across Nigeria’s regions, leading to the birth of ABU. Initially conceived as the University of Northern Nigeria, ABU commenced its journey with the amalgamation of existing institutions and a modest student body of 426.

Despite initial challenges stemming from disparities in educational infrastructure and student qualifications, ABU steadily grew under the visionary leadership of its early administrators. Dr. Norman S. Alexander, the university’s first vice chancellor, spearheaded efforts to expand academic offerings, enhance facilities, and boost student enrollments, laying a solid foundation for future growth.

The tenure of Dr. Ishaya Shuaibu Audu, ABU’s first Nigerian vice chancellor, marked a period of remarkable transformation and expansion. Dr. Audu’s strategic initiatives, including the establishment of the School of Basic Studies, facilitated a surge in student enrollments and accelerated the university’s trajectory toward academic excellence.

ABU’s commitment to comprehensive education is reflected in its diverse array of programs and disciplines. From medicine to engineering, architecture to agriculture, the university’s academic landscape mirrors the breadth and depth of a world-class institution. Moreover, ABU’s inclusive recruitment policies have attracted students from every corner of Nigeria, fostering a rich tapestry of cultural diversity and academic excellence.

Despite facing external challenges such as funding constraints and political instability, ABU remains steadfast in its mission to deliver quality education and contribute to national development. With its expansive campus, robust academic faculties, and global reach, ABU continues to stand as a beacon of learning and innovation, shaping the future of Nigeria and beyond.

ABU Hosts Symposium Celebrating 20 Years of Nuclear Reactor Excellence

Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria is gearing up to host a significant symposium commemorating two decades of secure and fruitful operations of its nuclear research reactor, NIRR-1, and its consequential role in Nigeria’s socio-economic advancement.

The event, aptly titled “20 Years of Nigeria Nuclear Research Reactor – 1 (NRR-1): Achievements, Challenges, and Prospects,” promises an insightful discourse on the past accomplishments, existing hurdles, and future potentials of the reactor’s contributions to various sectors.

Scheduled to take place on Thursday, 2nd May, 2024, at the Conference Hall of the Centre for Energy Research and Training (CERT) on ABU’s Samaru Main Campus in Zaria, this symposium is anticipated to attract a wide array of stakeholders, including distinguished dignitaries and experts in the field.

The esteemed gathering will be inaugurated by none other than the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume, setting the tone for a day of enlightening discussions. Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Magajin Rafin Zazzau and former Vice-Chancellor of ABU, will serve as the chairperson, lending his vast experience to the proceedings.

A keynote address will be delivered by Prof. D.E. Ajakaiye, former Head of the Department of Physics at ABU, while a panel of esteemed speakers comprising Prof. Y.A. Ahmed, Chairman of the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission; Dr. Ya’u Idris, Director-General of the Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Authority; and Prof. F.K. Akinbami, Director of the Centre for Energy Research and Development at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, will offer valuable insights into the reactor’s multifaceted impact.

Additionally, six distinguished researchers from ABU’s CERT, including Prof. S.A. Jonah, Prof. I.M. Umar, Prof. I.I. Funtua, Prof. M.O.A. Oladipo, Prof. G.I. Balogun, and Prof. D.J. Adeyemo, are slated to present papers, shedding light on the reactor’s diverse applications and future trajectories.

The symposium aims to foster discussions on the future trajectory of the reactor, emphasizing its pivotal role in bolstering manpower development for the nuclear power industry and its burgeoning applications in the medical field.

Since its official commissioning on 30th September 2004, the nuclear research reactor has undergone significant transformations, notably its conversion to Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) from Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) in 2018. Over the years, it has played an instrumental role in advancing education, training, soil and geochemical mappings for enhanced agricultural productivity, and mineral development, thus contributing to the nation’s socio-economic fabric.

Prof. Kabiru Bala, the Vice-Chancellor of ABU, alongside Prof. S.A. Jonah, the Director of CERT, extends a warm invitation to the general public to partake in this illuminating event, underscoring the university’s commitment to fostering dialogue and innovation in the realm of nuclear research and development.

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FG to Distribute 50 Laptops Monthly as 2nd Cohort of 3 Million Technical Training (3MTT) Commences Training- Empowerment Initiative

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3 Million Technical Training (3MTT)

The Federal Government has announced its commitment to distributing 50 laptops per month to participants in its 3 Million Technical Training (3MTT) initiative. Dr. Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, revealed this during the launch of learning activities for the second cohort, comprising 270,000 fellows, on Thursday.

As per the Minister’s statement, the laptops will be distributed during the program’s monthly knowledge showcase, where participants share their acquired knowledge and its practical applications. Furthermore, as part of the ‘learning perks’ outlined by the Minister, the program will also provide 5 MTN routers to participants each month.

The Learning Phase Despite the launch of cohort 2 of the program in March, the Minister revealed that the learning phase is just beginning in mid-May. Tijani announced the commencement of this phase, expressing gratitude to all the fellows for their patience as the team ensured everything was set up for the start of their sessions. He emphasized the anticipation for what lies ahead in the 3MTT program as the fellows embark on their learning journey.

“For our upcoming 3rd and 4th cohorts, we encourage you to stay tuned for further updates regarding opportunities to actively participate in our Learning Community.”

Regarding job placements for fellows, the Minister revealed during the announcement of the second cohort’s selection that a considerable number of participants from the initial cohort are being placed in internships across the nation.

Moreover, he indicated that all participants from the initial phase have progressed to a stage where they will engage in hackathons within their respective states. This hands-on experience will allow them to apply their acquired knowledge, collaborate with fellow participants, and develop solutions that demonstrate their expertise.

Key Points to Note on the 3 Million Technical Training (3MTT)

Tijani highlighted that the 3MTT program is a pivotal component of the Renewed Hope agenda, aiming to bolster Nigeria’s technical talent pool to drive its digital economy and position the nation as a prominent exporter of talent. Initiated with 30,000 Nigerians, constituting 1% of the intended 3 million target, the program’s second cohort selection of 270,000 individuals brings the total to 10%.
In pursuit of the program’s objectives, Tijani outlined that various phases will be implemented according to a framework collaboratively developed with key stakeholders, including government agencies, training providers, educational institutions, development agencies, and the private sector.
Nigerians are undergoing training in a range of skills that leverage technology to augment diverse roles without necessitating direct involvement in tech creation. These encompass Digital Marketing, Project Management Software, Navigation of Cloud Platforms, Data Analysis and Visualization, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), CRM Management, Accounting Software, Graphics Design, UX/UI Design, and various others.
In conclusion, the 3MTT program stands as a beacon of opportunity for Nigerians, equipping them with a diverse array of skills vital for navigating the digital landscape of the 21st century. From Digital Marketing to UX/UI Design, participants are empowered to thrive in roles that harness technology without necessitating direct involvement in tech creation.
As the program progresses, it not only addresses the immediate demand for skilled professionals but also cultivates a talent pool poised to drive Nigeria’s digital economy forward. With a collaborative framework involving key stakeholders from government agencies to the private sector, the program is well-positioned to fulfill its mission of building Nigeria’s technical talent backbone and positioning the nation as a net talent exporter.
As participants embark on their learning journey and contribute to hackathons, they not only sharpen their skills but also forge connections and solutions that showcase their expertise. With continued dedication to skill development and adaptation to evolving industry needs, the 3MTT program holds the promise of a brighter, more technologically proficient future for Nigeria and its people.
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FG Unveils Student Loan Application Portal on May 24: Enhance your experience with this privilege.

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FG opens student loan application portal May 24

Nigerian Education Loan Fund Sets May 24, 2024, as Official Date for Student Loan Application Portal Launch.

In a statement released by Nasir Ayantogo, the media lead for NELFund, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Education Loan Fund, announced the opening of the student loan application portal on May 24, 2024. This milestone signifies President Bola Tinubu’s dedication to promoting accessible and inclusive education for all Nigerian students.

President Tinubu Fulfills Campaign Promise, Signs Student Loan Act into Law

In a significant move, President Bola Tinubu signed the Student Loan Bill into law on June 12, 2023, fulfilling one of his campaign promises to liberalize the funding of education, according to Dele Alake, a member of the then Presidential Strategy Team.

The Act, popularly known as the Students Loan Law, established the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) as a corporate body responsible for processing all loan requests, grants, disbursement, and recovery. The fund aims to provide interest-free loans to eligible Nigerian students to cover tuition, fees, charges, and living expenses during their studies in approved tertiary education institutions and vocational training centers within Nigeria.
The Act addresses several challenges faced by students in accessing higher education by removing barriers such as family income requirements, the need for guarantors, and disqualification based on parents’ loan history. It also extends loan eligibility to students pursuing vocational and technical skills development programs in government-owned institutions.
To ensure sustainable implementation, the Act stipulates that loan recovery efforts will commence two years after the completion of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program. The legislation also provides for debt forgiveness in the event of death or acts of God causing an inability to repay.
The implementation of the Student Loan Act is set to commence in January 2024, as announced by President Tinubu at the 29th National Economic Summit. This move aims to address funding challenges faced by public tertiary institutions and prevent further industrial actions that have disrupted academic activities in the past.
Initially slated for a September launch, the government’s scheme faced multiple delays, culminating in an indefinite postponement in early March. The Presidency attributed the setbacks to President Tinubu’s directive to broaden the program’s scope to encompass vocational skill loans.
Following a briefing from the NELFund team, led by Minister of State for Education, Dr. Yusuf Sununu, on January 22, President Tinubu instructed the Fund to provide interest-free loans to Nigerian students interested in skill development programs.
This decision stemmed from the President’s recognition of the importance of accommodating individuals opting for skill acquisition over traditional university education, emphasizing the equal significance of vocational skills alongside academic qualifications. President Tinubu emphasized the inclusive nature of the program, highlighting the diverse talents and interests of young Nigerians across various fields.

President Tinubu Emphasizes Inclusivity in Skill Development Programs

President Tinubu emphasized the inclusive nature of the program, highlighting the diverse talents and interests of young Nigerians across various fields. He underscored the broad scope of the initiative, stating,
“This is not limited to aspiring doctors, lawyers, and accountants but extends to individuals eager to contribute to nation-building through their skilled craftsmanship”.
In alignment with this vision, President Tinubu directed NELFund to actively pursue avenues for integrating skill development programs, recognizing that not all individuals seek a traditional university education.
The wait is over Students can now break free from financial barriers and pursue their academic dreams through the newly launched NELFund portal. This innovative platform offers a seamless and user-friendly experience, allowing students to submit their loan applications with ease.
The Nigerian government is urging all eligible students to seize this opportunity to invest in their future and contribute to the nation’s growth and development.
To get started, students can simply visit the portal at www.nelf.gov.ng and begin their application process today.
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Revolutionizing Admissions: JAMB Unveils Innovative Pathways for Seamless Acceptance, Empowering Students 2024

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JAMB Unveils Pathways for Seamless Acceptance

JAMB has accused certain Nigerian tertiary institutions of manipulating admission offers on behalf of candidates to create openings for less-qualified but preferred individuals. As a result, the agency has declared that candidates can now access their results through a dedicated phone line.

FCT, Abuja – In a recent development, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has introduced innovative channels for accepting admission into Nigerian tertiary institutions, as detailed in its weekly bulletin sent to Legit.ng on Monday, May 6.

Guidance for JAMB UTME Candidates on Accepting or Rejecting Admissions

As a reminder, JAMB had previously allowed accredited computer-based test (CBT) centers to access candidates’ profiles on the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS).
However, this scenario has shifted with the latest update from the agency led by Professor Ishaq Oloyede. The examination body explained that it opted to introduce new channels following the discovery of numerous abuses linked to the admission acceptance process.
These abuses involved unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of unsuspecting candidates. JAMB expressed its concern, stating, “In light of this policy change, the board has observed with disappointment that certain institutions have been manipulating admission offers on behalf of candidates to create openings for less-qualified but favored individuals.
Additionally, cybercafes and some centers have been involved in these practices to either blackmail or extort money from candidates.”
JAMB emphasized the criminal nature of this practice and has implemented preventive measures. The new procedure for accessing results requires candidates to send “ACCEPT” or “REJECT” via their dedicated phone line to 55019 or 66019.
Additionally, JAMB offers an alternative method to access admission. Candidates can utilize their fingerprint at any accredited CBT center or JAMB office in Lagos, Abuja, or other regions across Nigeria.

What are the requirements for using the fingerprint option to access admission results?

To access admission results using the fingerprint option, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have their fingerprints registered at any accredited CBT center or JAMB office in Lagos, Abuja, or other parts of Nigeria.
  2. The fingerprint registration must be done as part of the biometric verification process during the admission process.
  3. Candidates will need to visit an accredited CBT center or JAMB office with their fingerprints registered to access their admission results using the fingerprint option.
  4. The fingerprint authentication will be used to securely verify the candidate’s identity before allowing access to the admission results.
  5. This fingerprint-based access is an alternative to sending “ACCEPT” or “REJECT” via the dedicated phone line (55019 or 66019) introduced by JAMB to prevent unauthorized access and manipulation of admission offers.

Candidates must have their fingerprints registered during the admission process and visit an accredited CBT center or JAMB office to access their results using fingerprint authentication. This option provides an additional layer of security to protect the integrity of the admission process.

What is the difference between the new channels for admission acceptance and the previous channels?

The new channels for admission acceptance introduced by JAMB involve candidates sending “ACCEPT” or “REJECT” via their dedicated phone line to 55019 or 66019, as well as utilizing fingerprint authentication at accredited CBT centers or JAMB offices. On the other hand, the previous channels allowed accredited CBT centers to access candidates’ profiles on the Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS) for admission acceptance.

The new channels aim to prevent abuses in the admission process, such as institutions manipulating offers on behalf of candidates and cybercafes exploiting candidates. These changes provide additional security measures and alternative methods for candidates to access their admission results, ensuring a more transparent and secure admission process.

How will the new channels for admission acceptance affect the timeline for admission acceptance?

The new channels for admission acceptance introduced by JAMB, which involve candidates sending “ACCEPT” or “REJECT” via their dedicated phone line to 55019 or 66019, as well as utilizing fingerprint authentication at accredited CBT centers or JAMB offices, are likely to impact the timeline for admission acceptance. These new methods provide more secure and direct ways for candidates to respond to admission offers promptly.

As a result, the streamlined process facilitated by these channels may lead to quicker responses from candidates, potentially shortening the overall timeline for admission acceptance. This efficiency could enhance the admissions process by reducing delays and ensuring a more timely and organized response from applicants regarding their admission status.

In conclusion, JAMB’s introduction of new channels for admission acceptance is a significant step towards enhancing the integrity and efficiency of the admissions process in Nigerian tertiary institutions. By allowing candidates to directly respond to admission offers via dedicated phone lines or fingerprint authentication, JAMB aims to prevent abuses and manipulation that were previously observed.

These new methods provide candidates with secure and convenient options to accept or reject their admission offers, potentially leading to a more streamlined and timely admissions process overall. As candidates adapt to these new channels, it is expected that the timeline for admission acceptance will improve, with quicker responses from applicants regarding their admission status.

This change not only safeguards the admissions process but also empowers candidates to take control of their academic futures. JAMB’s proactive approach in implementing these new channels demonstrates its commitment to ensuring fairness, transparency, and efficiency in the Nigerian tertiary education system.

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