Nigeria Emerge Chair Of Gulf Of Guinea Commission [2017]

Nigeria has emerged as the new Chair of the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC).

At the 4th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the GGC, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo called on member states to urgently address the socio-economic and security challenges facing the Commission. He said the members would achieve this by collectively taking measures to check violations of domestic and international treaties in the Gulf.

The vice president identified the challenges facing the commission to include a rise in maritime insurance premiums for vessels coming into the Gulf, increased threats and reduced commercial traffic to the region as well as unregulated and unreported fishing. He also charged the member states to take measures to reduce pollution and environmental degradation in the Gulf of Guinea, lauding the individual efforts of some of the member states who improved the capacities and capability of their Navy and other relevant organisations to enable them perform their duties more effectively.

In his statement:

“In conformity with the theme of the 4th Ordinary Session which is; “A Vibrant Gulf of Guinea Region for sustainable Development’’, let us renew our commitment to making the Gulf of Guinea more effective and a truly vibrant partner in all our efforts, be it regional, national or international, to ensure a zone of peace, security and sustainable development for our countries, our peoples and other stakeholders in the region. This effort is capped by the establishment of the inter-regional coordination centre based in Yaoundé, Cameroun, as the collaborative link between the two maritime regional centres led by ECOWAS and ECCAS.’’

The National Security Adviser to the President, Babagana Monguno, observed that the meeting was a framework for consultations among the countries of the GCC, and that current situation in the Gulf of Guinea region especially the surge in illegal activities of piracy, illicit drugs, arms and human trafficking, illegal immigration, environmental pollution and degradation calls for greater attention from member countries to curb these activities. He maintained that an improvement of Maritime security could positively contribute to increased national, regional and continental stability and by the same token make a sustainable contribution to global security, He noting that Nigeria on its part had continued to develop the capacity of its armed forces particularly the Navy and other Maritime agencies to effectively tackle these challenges.

Mr. Monguno said other measures being implemented include; employment of the robust maritime domain awareness capability through the employment of the original maritime awareness capability and the Falcon Eye Project, activation of a Naval Taskforce to combat piracy and related attacks on shipping and oil and gas infrastructure, establishment of 37 check points by the Nigerian Navy to ensure continuous presence and monitoring of crude oil thefts in the Niger Delta area, the conduct of regular sea exercises by the Nigerian Navy such as exercise Eagle Eye, to improve its state of readiness and proficiency. He disclosed that Nigeria had also prepared the draft anti-piracy bill to give effect to the relevant provisions of the United Nations Conventions of the Law of the Sea of 1982 and the Convention for the Suppression of Illegal Acts at Sea 1982 and its protocol of 2005 to punish and deter piracy and other maritime crimes.

In his words:

“Suffice it to say that maritime security and economic prosperity are interdependent and mutually re-enforcing. The Nigerian Navy has been maintaining a strong presence in Maritime area with a band configuration and operations capabilities to deal with surface, air and underwater threats. Indeed, the surveillance capabilities of the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency are being developed to ensure a secure environment within the domain as well as in the Gulf of Guinea. In addition, the Nigerian Navy has been cooperating with neighbouring countries and allies in Nigeria’s Maritime area of interest with a view to pursue security and safety.

Nigeria has ascribed to the continent’s maritime charter on maritime security safety and development in Africa, this was done on 15th of October, 2016 with the aim of strengthening the inter-agency for national coordination and cooperation to tackle maritime issues for the region. Nigeria has also ratified The United Nations Organised Crime Convention which enjoins parties to criminalize practices and combat that subject human beings to all forms of exploitation. Nigeria has adopted a strategic framework such as the 2015 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy and the Yaoundé Code of Conduct for the repression of piracy and other illicit maritime activities within the Gulf of Guinea.’’

Mr. Monguno noted that the security challenges confronting the member states of the GGC, which had continued to impact negatively on the development of the region, called for concerted and unrelenting efforts by all stakeholders. The NSA observed that the Gulf of Guinea provided a verifiable platform to tackling these numerous security challenges. He therefore, called for increased cooperation and collaboration among member states as well as support for the GGC to enhance its capacity to deliver on its mandate.

The Executive Secretary of the GGC, Florentine Ukonga, called on member states to support the proposed Revitalisation Strategy of the GGC, saying that under the proposal the secretariat would establish five new committees for effective management of the commission.

Members of the GGC, which was established by the Treaty signed in Libreville, Gabon, on July 3, 2001 included Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe and Ghana.

Sunday Ajah Wins 16th Heineken Aba Amateur Golf Open Championship

Sunday Ajah, has emerged the overall winner and champion of the 16th Heineken Aba Amateur Golf Open Championship at Aba Sports Club Golf Section with a gross score of 155.

Sunday Ajah, the South Africa 2014 MTN World Amateur Golf Championship participant beat Ude Sunday to the second position and Emmanuel Onumajuru, a four-time winner of the tournament, to a distant third position.

About 150 male and female amateur golfers from all parts of the country participated in the six categories of the tournament sponsored by Nigeria Breweries Plc. (NB Plc).

Happy that he won the Heineken Aba Amateur Golf Open Championship, Ajah said:

“This is my first victory since I started participating in it five years ago. This is one of the tournaments that I had dreamt of winning. I want to play professional golf, I was in South Africa for the MTN World Amateur Championship in 2014 and I still want to go higher than that.”

He expressed his appreciation to his sponsors, Emeka Ekwebelem and Mrs. Ngodi Nkwoji, who is the lady captain of the Golf Section of Aba Sports Club.

NB Plc’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Johan Doyer said the tournament continued to offer his company an opportunity to further demonstrate commitment towards sports development and active healthy living in Aba, Abia State and the nation in general.

In his words:

“I am delighted that the tournament has once again brought together golf enthusiasts from different locations beyond the state to display their skills in what would be three days of great entertainment and bonding.”

Giving kudos to NB Plc for its sustained good disposition towards the club, Aba Sports Club’s President, Mr. Geoffrey Uzoagbara described the brewer as “our best benefactor.”

Yusuf Hassan & Faith Toun-Agbai Win 2017 Lafarge National Literacy Competition

Master Yusuf Hassan and Miss Faith Toun-Agbai have won the keenly contested first prize of the 2017 Lafarge National Literacy Competition, which was held in Lagos State.

Yusuf Hassan is a pupil at Eso Nerie Primary School in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State while Faith Toun-Agbai attends Eguare Primary School in Irrua, Esan Central Local Government Area of Edo State.

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has congratulated the pupils saying that their triumph in the competition would inspire other students across the state to aspire to great heights in their educational pursuit.

He further said that the feat showcases the boundless spirit of healthy competition among pupils in the state and reaffirms his administration’s commitment to discovering more talent in the state through the various educational initiatives.

According to the Governor:

“The performances of the pupils underscore the effort of the state government to deliver quality education. Even with outings such as this, we are not resting on our oars in the state. There are ongoing reforms at the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) to ensure that more pupils in Edo State continue to come tops in competitions such as this.”

At the regional level of the same competition, the pupils were feted by Governor Obaseki and got cash prizes when they emerged overall winners.

Salihu Dasuki Is Youngest Senior Lecturer At Sheffield Hallam University

Salihu Dasuki has become the youngest senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom.

The 29-year-old Dasuki gratefully announced his resumption to work as a senior lecturer of Information Systems with the following words:

“By Allah’s grace, not only am I the youngest, I resume teaching as a senior lecturer of computing at Sheffield Hallam University, UK”

Salihu Dasuki has brilliant academic records in foreign universities. He graduated with a first class degree in Information Technology from Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), North Cyprus at 21. He went further to have his Master’s degree at Brunel University, UK and bagged his PhD in the same university in 2012.

At 24, he was reportedly the youngest PhD holder in the Northern Nigeria, and became an assistant professor of Information Systems at American University of Nigeria, Yola.

Silas Adekunle Builds World’s First Gaming Robots

Silas Adekunle, the founder and CEO of Reach Robotics, has developed the world’s first gaming robots called MekaMonsters, a multi-functional connected battle bots with augmented reality capabilities.

Silas was born and grew up in Nigeria before moving to the UK with his family when he was 11. He graduated from the University of the West of England, Bristol, with a first class degree in Robotics. He stated that he got the idea to build the robots while studying there, teaching maths and science in local schools on the university’s partnership scheme.

He noticed how unpopular science, technology was and how the students didn’t really like studying science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects. Many school children didn’t plan on pursuing careers in these areas. So Silas decided to try and bring them on board by teaching robotics.

He said:

“Robotics ties in many aspects of STEM, and who doesn’t like robots?”

Silas Adekunle announced that his company will sell its gaming robots at Apple stores around the globe, the news outlet writes. Reach Robotics was created as an avenue to intertwine gaming with STEM education.

MekaMons has been on sale since November 16 for $299.95.

The line of robots — dubbed MekaMons — sold at the Apple stores allow customers to be hands-on with augmented reality. The robot figures can be controlled with smartphones and multiple players can use their robots to battle each other through its Bluetooth functionality. The STEM education aspect comes into play because users have the ability to control their robots with code commands through Apple’s Swift Playgrounds coding app.

Silas Adekunle spent four years developing the product and oversaw a team of robotics specialists, video game designers, and engineers to bring his vision to fruition. He raised nearly $7 million for his company. MekaMons are already available in Apple stores throughout the U.S., the UK, and online.

Adekunle hopes that his products will leave a lasting mark on the gaming industry.

In his words:

“By fusing robotics, reality-bending technology and competitive play, we’re offering players a new twist on hardware and video games–a premium robotics product that’s easy to play but very difficult to master.”

He also added that seeing his products—which initially started as a project in college — in the Apple store feels surreal.