The Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS) University of Lagos, says it has broken new grounds with its ability to disseminate research findings by adopting documentary making,
It says it has dymistified the traditional academic method of publishing such findings in journals.
The Director of the centre, Prof. Muyiwa Falaiye, said these in an interview with the newsmen in Lagos, on Wednesday.
He spoke on the sidelines of the fifth anniversary celebration of the centre.
According to him, as the foremost institute of African and Diaspora Studies in Africa, the centre has in the past five years, also recorded other giant strides.
He said it had done so in human capacity building, attracting commendation to the university and Nigeria at large.
“Today, we are celebrating our fifth anniversary as an institute.
“The IADS is five years and we decided that we should mark it, not in a very big way, but just to remind ourselves of the task ahead and to look back to see some of the things we have done and what we can do better in the next five years.
“This institute is the foremost in African Studies, in the continent today. we have been able to do research that have real cutting edge innovations for Africa and Nigeria, and as I speak, there are 30 ongoing research activities here in this institute.
“It may please you to also know that in the five years of existence as an institute, we have come up with innovations that are far from the way things used to be done, especially in the area of research, learning and advocacy.
“One of such ground-breaking innovation is the fact that we have created a new channel of disseminating research findings.
“We have now demystified that by making our research findings available on You tube, through documentary.
“This is nouveau and this is being copied by several other institutes globally, and we have also been able to find the right mix between research, teaching and advocacy.
“In five years, we merged the PhD programme, which is also unprecedented, and a few other things that we have done.
“We are one of the first institutes in the world to adopt documentary making as an avenue to disseminate research findings, which was not the case before,” he stated.
Falaiye noted that the development was contrary to most traditional academic methods, which was to publish research findings in journals that many people do not have access to.
The director stated that starting fellowship programmes, as well as attracting several research grants and creating an opportunity to bring in foreign scholars, had further put the centre on the right track.
He added that the institute had also brought in researchers, both old and young, to advance its course.
According to him, the pot pourri of activities and events going on in the last five years in the institute spanning areas of research, teaching and advocacy, have also seen it mentor young researchers across the country.
The director noted that the entire achievements had impacted the image of both the university, scholarship and the country at large.
“You will be surprised that several visiting scholars have now found home here.
“Those who otherwise, will not like to come to Nigerian universities, now struggle to get access to our institute here, as either visiting fellows, visiting researchers or visiting young scholars.
“This again is nouveau and unprecedented in the history of this country,” he stated.
He, however, said the institute had had its fair share of challenges, especially in the area of funding.
“Our mantra here is, no research without funding. Sometimes, we do not get the kind of funding we need.
“Sometimes too, the challenges confronting Nigeria affect us, we still have issues of power sometimes too, internet connectivity, and issues of the general image or perception of our country out there.
“Few scholars will not want to come this way because of the image of our country outside, thinking it is not a safe place to come to and more.
” All of these sometimes, affect our perception out there, but luckily, those of them who had managed to come here and have been with us for a while, had gone back with beautiful stories to tell.
“They have been able to carry encouraging message about what we do here,” he said.
Speaking further on funding, he said research funding should be left to those outside government, which cannot do everything.
He emphasised the need for institutions to look outside for funding of research, from the industries and from individuals who believed such research could change the perspectives or direction of the industries.
According to him, relying on government for funding of research will not serve anyone any good.
Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe expressed satisfaction about the achievements recorded so far by the institute, in its five years of existence.
He told reporters that attracting research grants both locally and internationally was a key achievement that had engendered the much needed focus of the centre.
“I want to say that I am highly impressed with what they have done so far within the last five years.
“Attracting research grants both at the local and international levels, as well as bringing in scholars from outside the country and even within, is to say the least, heartwarming and worth commending.
“The centre has always been able to sponsor research, PhD research works and you cannot believe it that even someone from outside the university once got research grant support for the PhD students.
“We have their postgraduate students that are ongoing. So, they have done excellently well but I know we can still do better. In the next five years.
“I want to see a centre that will bring in more scholars from outside the country to come and interact and learn about our culture.
“I want them to also interact and learn in the area of migration. It is not only about physical migration, we also have the social migration, as well as economic migration, that will lead to development,” Ogundipe stated.
Prof. Rahmon Bello, immediate past vice chancellor of the university, on his part, said that the centre project came up during his tenure in the institution.
“I am happy with what I have seen within its five years of existence. We came up with the theme of the concept at the time, with the University of West Indies, after a lecture here in Lagos.
“It came up with this idea and I am happy today that this centre has transformed to reality and it is doing very well.
” What it has been doing in the past years, I want to give kudos to the director and members of the centre and to the current management of the university of Lagos, for keeping the idea afloat and to ensure that they support the centre to make it viral.
” The centre is making waves and I believe in the next five years, it will reach the top of its pinnacle in Africa, and I want to say congratulations to the centre,” Bello said.(NAN)
Gov. Diri Queries Bayelsa Population Figures
From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has faulted the population figures attributed to the state by the National Population Commission (NPC), of which he described as “grossly under-estimated.”
Diri made this known on Tuesday, during a Stakeholder Summit on the 2023 Population and Housing Census held at Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, Government House Yenagoa.
Buttressing his claim, the governor stressed that the state had grown beyond the current structure of eight local government areas, and noted that “the projected population of Yenagoa, the state capital, points to the fact that the state’s population was misrepresented.
A statement by Diri’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that such faulty census figures were responsible for the under-representation of Bayelsa in the House of Representatives with only five members.
Diri said Bayelsa State’s recent growth and contributions to the national economy as a result of its oil resources should give her more representation in the federal government.
“By the 2006 census figures, Bayelsa had a population of 1,704,515. That figure was not correct; we are hopeful that the next exercise will give a more reliable and acceptable figure.
“Our government is convinced that the National Population Commission has the commitment and capacity to deliver to Nigerians and, indeed, to Bayelsa State very credible, reliable, valid, and acceptable population figures.
“As a government, we are deeply concerned that Bayelsa has grown beyond the current structure of eight local governments. Clearly, we are under-represented in the House of Representatives with only five members. The current projected population of Yenagoa points to these facts. With our exponential growth and contributions to the national economy from our oil resources, we deserve more federal presence.”
Diri said the NPC needed to realize that an accurate census was critical for the nation’s democracy and economy because it underpins fair representation in government and enables those in authority to make appropriate funding for healthcare, schools, roads, and other critical infrastructure.
The state’s helmsman added that population figure was one of the basic parameters in the sharing of revenue, particularly in Nigeria.
In her address, the Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission in charge of Bayelsa State, Mrs. Gloria Izonfuo, said that the 2023 census would be fully digitalized in line with United Nations principles and recommendations for the 2020 round of Population and Housing Censuses.
Mrs. Izonfuo, who was a former Head of Service in Bayelsa, said the Commission had deployed technology to conduct the exercise and enhance data quality.
She expressed the Commission’s commitment to deliver credible and reliable census as well as ensuring that the results of the exercise are acceptable to Nigerians and the quality of the data to be generated meets international standards for planning and developmental purposes.
Izonfuo added that the stakeholder’s summit was the first of several meetings to be held in the state and thanked the government and people of the state for the support to the Commission.
In their goodwill messages, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Ben Okolo, and Chairman, Bayelsa State Founding Fathers, Chief Benedict Gwembe, said population census was strategic to enable the government plan for every sector, including the creation of more voting centers in the country.
They also stressed the need for more census enumerators to be deployed in the rural areas as well as provided sensitization on the need for people to participate in the process.
They assured the Commission of their support to assist it to conduct ahitch-free and successful 2023 national population and housing census.
Flood Kills 23, Displaces 116,000 in Benue- BSEMA
The Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BSEMA) says no fewer than 23 persons have died as a result of flooding in the state since the beginning of the rainy season.
The Executive Secretary, Dr Emmanuel Shior, announced this while kick-starting the distribution of relief materials to flood victims on Tuesday in Makurdi.
He said that 116,084 persons had also been displaced as a result of the flooding in some parts of the state.
Shior said that the 116,084 displaced persons cut across 12,856 households in 11 local government areas.
“74 persons are having different degrees of injuries. 14 out of the 23 deaths arose from boat mishap in Guma Local Government Area,” he said.
The executive secretary further stated that the flooding had so far affected 14,040 hectares of farmlands while 4,411 houses had been submerged.
“Schools and markets, companies, houses and farmlands located in 104 communities are affected,” he said.
He listed the affected local government areas as, Guma, Vandeikya, Otukpo, Katsina-ala, Makurdi, Apa, Agatu, Tarka, Gboko, Gwer-West and Logo.
”The victims are in need of immediate support. That is the reason for this exercise.
”We began with Makurdi and Agatu because they are the worst hit with 34 and 28 affected communities respectively.
”The victims in Agatu who are currently taking refuge along the Federal Highway will soon be relocated to Obagaji,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Mr John Digah, Principal Researcher and Rescue Officer, National Emergency Management Agency, said the agency had deployed water treatment machine to support the victims with potable water.
Digah said that the machine had the capacity to treat 2,000 litres of water within an hour.
”In the past two days, we have treated and distributed 140,000 litres of water to the victims,” he said.(NAN)
Senate Passes Bill to Increase Justices of Court Appeal from 90 to 110
The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill amending the Court of Appeal Act, 2013 increasing the number of Justices of Court of Appeal from 90 to 110 .
This followed the adoption of the report of Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and legal Matters by Chairman of the Committee, Sen.Bamidele Opeyemi(APC-Ekiti).
Opeyemi in his lead debate said the bill sponsored by Sen.
According to him, the legislative intent of the amendment is to ensure that the court has the requisite manpower to allow cooperation of all the divisions of the court.
He said the bill was designed to bring justice closer to litigants in line with the current reality at expediting the administration of Justice.
“This is necessary in order to eliminate delay in the justice delivery systems, as it relates to the adjudicatory powers of the court
“This proposed amendments undoubtedly is targeted at increasing the work load of the court and enhance its effective performance,” he said.
He said that stakeholders were unanimous in their support of the passage of the bill, given its strategic relevance to the justice sector reform.
He said the amendment would ultimately stimulate quick dispensation of justice
“The one silent improvement of this bill is the aspect that seeks to integrate virtual court proceedings which have become an integral part of our court proceedings.
” This also is in line with the guildline, given to courts by the Chief Justice of the Federation, as justice will no longer be delayed,” he said.
The Senate also stood down a bill for an act to provide for the rotation of power in the country.
This followed a submission by senators Bala Ib’n Nala(APC-Kebbi) and Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege that the bill was in conflict with the provision of 1999 Constitution.
The bill was sponsored by Sen.Abba Moro (PDP-Benue).
Presenting the bill,Moro said that it sought to enact a legislation to amend provisions of the constitution and provide for rotations of the presidency among the geo- political zones of the country.
The Senate also passed the National Health Act amendment Bill 2014 and the Federal University of Medicine and Medical Science Egbe, Kogi establishment bill.
This following the adoption of the reports of Senate Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).(NAN)
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