UNIMAID Advances Herb Research On Cancer Therapy

A team of seven Nigerian scientists from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), has made progress in a groundbreaking research into the use of local herbs for cancer therapy.

The team, led by Professor of Pharmacology at the university, Isa Marte Hussaini, is currently exploring different Nigerian plants for the cancer therapy research.

Already, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRID) have applauded the research, promising to work with the scientists to conduct pre-clinical trials.

Prof. Hussaini, who presented the study to the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), said eight out of the 54 plants so far identified showed more promise than the current drugs used in the treatment of cancer.

He highlighted how three of the plants showed impressive anti-cancer activities against both breast cancer and brain tumour. According to him:

“We are working to develop effective cancer therapy using Nigerian medicinal plants. We have characterised and identified some plants. We have tested them and they are very effective. Eight out of the 54 that we have are better than even the current drugs that are used in the treatment of cancer. We are trying to identify some of those active compounds that are responsible for this anti-cancer activity. Afterwards, in partnership with NAFDAC or NIPRID, we will do animal and even pre-clinical studies.

The team is made up of medical doctors, surgeons, pharmaceutical chemists and pharmacognosists, and then medicinal herbalist – a consultant. I am a pharmacologist. We have several papers that we have published. We have some papers ready for publication.”


Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina Emerge AfDB President

Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina has emerged the 8th elected President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). He was elected to the position on May 28, 2015 by the Bank’s Board of Governors at its Annual Meetings in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

He took office at the Bank’s headquarters in Abidjan on September 1, 2015 and will serve an initial five-year term.

Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, 58, is a distinguished development economist and agricultural development expert with 25 years of international experience. He is the first Nigerian to serve as President of the Bank Group.

Dr. Adesina served as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2011 to 2015, during which time he implemented bold policy reforms in the fertilizer sector and pursued innovative agricultural investment programs to expand opportunities for the private sector.

He was previously Vice-President (Policy and Partnerships) of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He was also Associate Director (Food Security) at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, where he worked for a decade (1998-2008) in senior leadership positions, including as Regional Office Director and Representative for Southern Africa.

Adesina was Principal Economist and Social Science Research Coordinator for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Principal Economist and Coordinator of the West Africa Rice Economics Task Force at the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA) and an Assistant Principal Economist at the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). From 2008 to 2010, Adesina was the President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists.

Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina has received a number of global awards for his leadership and work in agriculture. In 2010, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed him as one of 17 global leaders to spearhead the Millennium Development Goals, along with Bill Gates, the Spanish Prime Minister and the President of Rwanda. He was named Person of the Year by Forbes Africa magazine in 2013.

Adesina earned a first-class honours Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Ife, Nigeria in 1981. In 1988 he completed a PhD in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University in the United States, where he won the Outstanding PhD Thesis Award for his research work. He also won the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Social Science Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 1988, which launched his international career in global agricultural development.

Born on February 6, 1960, Adesina speaks fluent French and English.

A Year Without Polio

This Is How Nigeria Beat Polio

Energy Works Technology 90 mm Stainless Steel Clad Vessel

Another first was recorded in the Nigerian Content community in Port- Harcourt, Rivers State when the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, Mr. Denzil Kentebe commissioned the first 90 mm stainless steel clad vessel fabricated in Nigeria by Energy Works Technology Ltd (EWT), a subsidiary of the Nestoil Group.

The asset also known as a separator was designed for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC’s) Soku Field Development plan and is internally cladded with 316L stainless steel, with internal proprietary separation devices and weighs 83 tons.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary hailed the growth of Energy Works Technology within the past five years from a light fabrication company to one of the foremost pressure vessel, process equipment manufacturers and heavy fabrication yards in Nigeria.

While pledging the Board’s commitment to help companies like Energy Works Technology further develop their capacity, Kentebe commended operators especially SPDC, Total and Seplat that put work in the facility and charged other operators to support all service providers that have demonstrated competence and invested in developing their capacity in Nigeria.

Speaking further, the Executive Secretary credited his predecessor, Dr. Ernest Nwapa for laying a good foundation and driving laudable programs, acknowledging that “many of these Nigerian Content successes were birthed before I assumed leadership of the NCDMB.”

He assured that the Board under his leadership will continue to implement already established frameworks and initiate programs that will build on the accomplishments.

He reiterated that investments like the ones made by Energy Works Technology were critical to achieving the Board’s vision to use Nigerian Content as a platform to industrialize Nigeria and also Government’s aspirations to create jobs and empower Nigerians on the back of oil and gas projects.

He added that the Board “will continue to promote the establishment and utilization of Nigerian facilities and Nigerian owned assets. We will also leverage the Nigerian Content Development Fund (NCDF) to implement Capacity Development Initiatives that will create opportunities in manufacturing, engineering, fabrication, marine, subsea, drilling and well services and all other activities across the value chain.”

In his speech, the Managing Director of EWT, Mr. Emeka Nnadi credited the success of the project to the determination of SPDC, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and NCDMB to fabricate the 90 mm stainless steel clad vessel in Nigeria even when the capability was novel to local services companies.

In his words:

“With this achievement, EWT has acquired the technical know-how of forming, assembling, welding and testing all ranges of thick welled pressure vessels.”

The Managing Director also stated that all activities relating to the execution of the project were carried out by Nigerians, which demonstrated that Nigerian Content was viable and its impact on the Nigerian economy was worth the price.
He announced plans by the company to begin motivating and supporting small scale fabricators to attain sophisticated capabilities as growth of this category will have a multiplier effect on the aggregate in-country potential.

Amazing-Grace Ighedo Wins USA National Merit Scholarship

Amazing-Grace Ighedo, a nursing student receives national merit scholarship in the United States of America as the overall winner.

Amazing-Grace Ighedo of Mount Mercy University was inspired to pursue a career in nursing after surviving a ghastly car accident in Nigeria when she was just 16 years old.

She immigrated to the U.S. in 2009 to start a family with her spouse, which gave her the opportunity to pursue that dream. Despite being a mother of three with no previous background in the sciences, Amazing-Grace has been awarded the Outstanding Student Award, has been on the Dean’s List every semester, and maintained a 4.0 GPA.

She is an active volunteer at the free clinic in her community as well as her church, and she often tutors students. Her long-term career goal is to become a nurse anesthetist and work in under-served communities.

Each year, Minority Nurse awards scholarships to three outstanding nursing students. The scholarship committee received a record-breaking 107 scholarship applications.

The scholarship committee, formed by members of the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations, reviewed each application and selected its winners after much deliberation.