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Two Nigerian Businesses Shortlisted for Shell Global Innovation Prize

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Two Nigerian entrepreneurs have been shortlisted among 21 finalists for the Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators Awards, a global competition which highlights and rewards businesses that demonstrate excellence in innovation as well as giving entrepreneurs a chance to shine on a global platform.

 

The businesses are” FarmToJuice and Foods Nig. Ltd which produces juices, processing any waste into livestock feed and using a biogas digester to provide energy; and Basiled Energy Ventures, a business that provides solar lamps, solar installation maintenance and repair, and solar battery recycling services.

 

“The two Nigerians have come up with creative ideas on energy efficiency, food and agriculture and join19 entrepreneurs from other countries to vie for the prestigious prize,” said Osagie Okunbor, managing director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and country chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria.

 

A public vote of the shortlisted businesses takes place September 9 – 18, 2019 on the Shell LiveWIRE website, with the results helping to determine the winners.

 

“We are happy that young Nigerians keep deploying the skills and funding assistance in our LiveWIRE training schemes. Last year, two Nigerian companies were among the Top Ten Innovators from among 21 entries in a contest which attracted over 11,000 voters from 102 countries. We hope to come out successful again this year,” said Igo Weli, SPDC’s general manager, External Relations.

 

LiveWIRE is Shell’s flagship youth enterprise development programme that provides training and finance to young people to start or expand their own businesses. Launched in Nigeria in 2003, the programme enables young entrepreneurs to convert their bright ideas into sustainable businesses creating wider employment and income generation opportunities. “LiveWIRE ambassadors have benefitted from this support to make their mark and we call on Nigerians to encourage them by voting for their ideas,” Weli added.

 

Winners and two runners up will be named in the categories of Food & Agriculture, Energy & Mobility, and Sustainable Future, with the winners receiving $20,000 USD and runners up receiving $10,000 USD. In addition, Shell LiveWIRE will name an Outstanding Achievement Award winner who will receive $10,000 USD. All Top Ten Innovators will win direct mentoring from Shell staff and the opportunity to integrate and benefit from vast linkages within Shell’s global network.

 

Huibert Vigeveno, executive vice president of Shell Global Commercial, said, “We’re inspired to see these 21 finalists from around the world whose businesses work towards providing circular solutions that help to achieve zero waste. Transitioning to a circular economy can help protect the environment and deliver positive change to society. Working with innovators like these esteemed finalists, will allow businesses, communities and society to move faster towards achieving these goals.”

 

Since its introduction in Nigeria in 2003, the LiveWIRE programme has trained 7,072 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and provided business start-up grants to 3,817.


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History as Nigerian Scientists Announce 2 Potential Vaccines for COVID-19

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A group of scientists from different institutions in Nigeria coordinated by Prof. Kola Oloke, vice Chancellor, Precious Cornerstone University (PCU), Ibadan, has developed two potential vaccines that could prevent the Coronavirus disease currently ravaging the world.

History as Nigerian Scientists Announce 2 Potential Vaccines for COVID-19

This is contained  in a statement jointly signed on Monday by Oloke, the VC PCU and leaders of the team, Dr Oladipo  Kolawole, a Microbiologist, who specialises  in Medical Virology (Immunology and Bioinformatics) from Adeleke University, Ede.

Dr Ajayi Folorunsho, a Medical Physiologist with specialization in Pathophysiology from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, also signed the statement.

The statement said that they were  spurred into action by the need to rise to the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to them, the research work has reached an advanced stage of animal trial experiment, which would help to establish the veracity and efficacy of the vaccines for the prevention of the dreaded disease.

“We have worked extensively by exploring the SARS-CoV-2 genome from African countries to select the best possible potential vaccine candidates.

“After trying out some selected processes of vaccine development, we have been able to choose the best potential vaccine candidates for the SARS-CoV -2 and they have made the possible latent vaccine constructs,”  the scientists revealed.

The team pointed out that the research was a collaborative effort of a number of scientists from different institutions/disciplines.

“It was however carried out at the Genomics Research Hub of Helix Biogen Consult in Ogbomoso  and jointly funded by Trinity Immunoefficient Laboratory and Helix Biogen Consult owned by Dr Kolawole Oladipo,” the statement read.

It stated that consequently, they have urged other researchers in Africa to rise up to the challenge offered by the period by coming up with more solutions.

It stressed that “The understanding of genetic diversity/variability of the SARS-CoV-2 in Africa, is a very urgent assignment.

“There is a need for African scientists to wake up and provide more solutions to the pandemic specific for Africans.

“Therefore, this study was initiated to make significant scientific contributions to the development of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines”.

It further said as the team prepared for the animal trial experiment of the vaccine billed to commence any moment from now, the researchers expressed joy for the feat achieved.

“The findings from this research have shown the importance of multidisciplinary research efforts in healthcare. We are at the verge of something truly transformational in Nigeria and Africa and by extension, the world at large”

“We are  calling for financial assistance from the government and relevant stakeholders, so as to see the efforts through.

“In summary, the team has been able to construct two potential vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 , which should work in a much pretty way to protect the general populace against the novel COVID-19 , if it becomes successful in the animal trial experiments.

“The animal experiment will help us to validate the constructed vaccine, evaluate its effectiveness and safety.

“Therefore, we hereby call for support in various ways from non-governmental and governmental institutions to assist in the next steps of these novel vaccines development,” it stated.

 


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Sirika Denies Asking For or Receiving Bribes in Ministry of Aviation

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Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, has said that has never asked for or received a bribe and has challenged anyone who has contrary information to come forward.

Sirika Denies Asking For or Receiving Bribes in Ministry of Aviation

Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation

Sirika, said the clarification became necessary after backlash from Nigerians on Twitter accusing the ministry of aviation of demanding money before flights are approved.

Speaking at the presidential task force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja, he said such claims are false.

“I have read also on Twitter that there are certain monies being charged for approval for flights. This is far from the truth. It’s for free. It’s just frivolous; it’s just a pen to be approved,” he said.

“Just send a text message, we will send them back as approved. So nobody should con anybody and people should stop living in the past.

“For us in this government, we are very conscious of the weight of responsibility on our heads. I’ve been minister five years now and I challenge anybody before all of these cameras.

“There’s not a single aviation business man or woman owning an aeroplane or any airline or doing any kind of business, catering, taxi, hotel, whatever it is, any business whatsoever within the aviation industry, or any permanent secretary, director or any civil servant or any public servant or whatsoever that has given me or I asked, who he offered, or I take any money and I challenge anybody today.

“There is freedom of information act in place. We will give you all of the information, all of the documents that are required.”

The minister advised citizens to stop “living in the past” because the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is different.


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Facebook, Red Cross Launch a Campaign Calling for Vigilance Against Covid-19

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Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are partnering to launch #AfricaTogether – a digital campaign and two-day festival on June 4th and 5th featuring artists from across Africa to encourage continued vigilance against Covid-19.

With more than 100,000 Covid-19 cases confirmed on the continent and containment measures easing in many countries, #AfricaTogether combines musical and comedy performances with information from Covid-19 first responders and fact-checkers from across Africa.

#AfricaTogether will include a festival with performances by artists such as Aramide, Ayo, Femi Kuti, Ferre Gola, Salatiel, Serge Beynaud, Patoranking, Youssou N’dour amongst many others, as well as a digital awareness campaign with prevention messages developed with Red Cross and Red Crescent health experts and targeting simultaneously Facebook users in 48 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

The event will be streamed on Facebook Live on the 4th June in English and hosted by the Nigerian popular actor and comedian Basketmouth and in French on the 5th June by the renowned media personality Claudy Siar.

To watch the live shows, viewers can tune in to the Facebook Africa page and Red Cross and Red Crescent Facebook pages. To register and learn more about the artist lineup and how to tune in, please visit the Facebook event pages in English and in French.

Commenting, Mamadou Sow, a long-serving member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement said, “The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented crisis in that it can affect us all, and ignores borders, ethnicities, and religions. African communities so far have responded quickly, but the risk remains very real.

“If we all do our part, we will beat Covid-19. Music is a powerful uniting force and we hope that the #AfricaTogether festival will bring renewed hope and action against this dangerous disease.”

Adding her voice to the initiative, Jocelyne Muhutu-Rémy, Facebook’s Strategic Media Partnerships Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa said: “The spike in the use of online tools during the Covid-19 pandemic shows the social usefulness of digital platforms in difficult times. We are seeing many incredible initiatives from artists bringing their communities together on Facebook Live.

“The #AfricaTogether campaign will enable people to learn more about fighting Covid-19, while enjoying entertainment from their favourite African performers. We will be spreading joy in a way that doesn’t spread the disease.”

This event is one of the many ways that Facebook and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement are both contributing in the fight against Covid-19 across the continent.

Facebook continues to work with governments across Sub-Saharan Africa, including partnering with organizations like health agencies and NGOs who are actively using its platforms to share accurate information about the situation and launching Covid-19 Information Centers in more than 40 countries, which provides real-time updates from health authorities and helpful articles, videos and posts about social distancing and preventing the spread of the virus.

With a network of more than 1.5 million volunteers and staff across the continent, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is on the frontlines of combating Covid-19 in communities through information campaigns, providing soap and access to clean water, and supporting health care facilities and workers with training, equipment, and supplies. In parts of Africa, Covid-19 is another layer of crisis on top of conflict, violence, or climate disasters.


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