Nigerian Genius Builds First Nuclear Fusor

Steven Udotong a young Nigerian teenager, has succeeded in building the first nuclear energy fusor. Steven is recorded to be the first black student in the world to attained such feat.

Udotong, a 16-year-old high school junior in Southern New Jersey, in an interview on blavity.com, expressed the hope that his invention would inspire a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly future for all.

To achieve the feat, Udotong created a GoFundMe page to raise 1,500 dollars for supplies, a goal he achieved in just one month.

He said “I grew curious after we flew by the topic of nuclear energy in my chemistry class last year. I decided to do more research and I soon learned that I could actually make a nuclear fusor.

“That sparked my interest. I want people to know that there are alternate methods for obtaining power and energy.

A fusor is a device that uses an electric field to heat ions to suitable condition for nuclear fusion. The machine generates an electric potential difference between two metal cages inside a vacuum.

This past summer, Steven was accepted into Yale Young Global Scholar Programme, which allowed him to pursue the engineering workshop at the Singapore campus.

He was one of three students from New Jersey to attend the workshop.

He said that he realised he could be the first black student to build a nuclear reactor.

He added that “I was motivated because I knew that there were many other
ways for minorities to pursue success. Sports and music were not the only avenues for us.

“There’s room for us. There’s a need for us to participate in academia, business, art, law, medicine, and yes, nuclear energy.

“I hope this project will become an example of academic excellence as vehicle of accomplishment for black students.”

The first part of Udotong’s invention was done but he still needed to raise money to complete it.

He added that when he was done with that, he planned to enter it in science fairs and competitions for a chance to pursue scholarship opportunities.

His ultimate goal, he said, was to start a conversation on state and federal level, about more serious action toward adopting alternative energy sources.

Aviation: Arik Air Operations Shut Down

Nigerian aviation labour union yesterday 23rd March, 2017 shut down Arik Air operations. It was shut down over the failure of its new management to pay salary arrears, re-instate some sacked workers and correct other anti-labour activities.

The unions, had as early has 4am barricaded the headquarters of the airline thus preventing staff from having access to their offices as well as disrupting counter staff from performing their duties.

On the 6th Feburary,2107 Arik Air was taken over under a receivership deal by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)

The unions were angered that since AMCON took over Arik Air, the new management has cut down its flights to 30 per cent and has been able to pay only one month out of the two months salary the former management of the airline owed staff.

Aside the union, some industry analysts have been complaining that many of the airline’s 28 aircraft are now parked with only five still operating.

“The  day AMCON  took over the operations of the airline, it operated about 70 flights, but  it now operates about 18 flights a day under AMCON,” said a protesting union member.

Daily Sun learnt that the protesting unions had also bared oil marketers from supplying Jet A1 (aviation fuel) to the airline in a bid to render aircraft in the airline’s fleet non-functional.

Aside causing flight disruptions to passengers who were billed to travel with it to various destinations in and outside the country, the activities of the protesting unions also created human and vehicular traffic along the roads leading into and out of the airport.

Some passengers who had early morning flights to catch at the Lagos airports had to disembark from vehicles carrying them to walk down to the airport terminal.

But as the organised labour was protesting the poor working condition of workers of the airline as well as the decision of the new management of the airline to bar members from joining industry unions, some Arik Air staff were also engaged in a counter protest demanding that the unions halt their protests and allow them commence work.

 

Osun’s Debt Burden Exaggerated- Aregbesola

Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described as mere exaggeration the alleged heavy burden of debt hanging on the neck of the state.

Aregbesola said the N165billion debt being touted as huge debt is nothing compared with the development that the state has witnessed in the last six years.

A statement by the Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, quoted the Governor as making the observation yesterday while declaring open a one day seminar organised for information officers in local government and local council development areas and area offices across the state.

Aregbesola said if those spreading the rumour of huge debt by the state understand what governance is all about with little that God has done through his government in the state, they would know that the debt is nothing to write home about.

He stated that if the so-called N165 billion debt is divided by the 4 million population of resident of the state, the burden each person out of this debt is N2,031.25 annually.

“To analyse this alleged 165billion debt, Osun is made up of 4million people. Four million residents are here in Osun and this debt anyway has been transformed largely to a bond organised by Federal Government that would last for twenty years.

“Let us now divide N165billion by 4 million people for 20 years. To help you mathematically. This will give  N2,031.25 as cost of N165billion debt to every resident of Osun per annum.

“Ironically, this debt that people are shouting and crying about summed up to N5:56K per person daily. This practically means that every Osun resident carries a burden of N5:56K per day.

“This government we are talking about that puts burden of N5:56K to every citizen of the state, thus feeds every pupil in the public school with N70 every school day.

“That government guarantees security for every citizen and the cost for security can not be determined. That government ensures that roads are increasingly getting better.

“That government provides access to rural areas. That government ensures that Osun school functions at the best form. That government guarantees water supply.

“That government guarantees sanitation. That government guarantees so much. That in practical economic terms, is far beyond what individual must have to give on a daily basis.”

Meanwhile, the governor has charged Information Officers at the local government level to see themselves as information specialists and adequately report government activities on the nooks and crannies of the state.

With the theme, “The Impact of a New Partnership in Information and Management for Sustainable Development in the State of Osun,” Aregbesola also charged the information officers to supply robust information about their communities at all times.

He said government has decided to put the seminar together because it will help develop their zeal and passion to write and make people understand and believe in them.

He explained that the major achievements of the present administration were recorded at the local areas, lamenting that it is worrisome that the progress made by the present government has not been adequately reported by information officers at the local government level.

He said, “Since the creation of the local councils about a year ago, we are proud to say that a lot of developments have taken place in this areas and they have witnessed more of government activities.

 

“As at today, we can beat our chest to the fact that a foundation for effective administration has been laid down by our government at the local government level, but it’s a pity that it is being under reported.

“We have put this together because we want people who are in charge of informing the people from the grassroots to be well equipped and have the prerequisite knowledge of what is being expected of them.

“We must hear from you, we want to know what is going on in your domain, how do you feel about people not hearing you? The truth is that if you don’t blow your trumpet nobody will blow it for you.

“Our major achievements have been done in the grassroots and local areas and this requires adequate reportage.”

Ajimobi Promises Agricultural Jobs For Youths

Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajumobi, has said from April 2017 the government would provide agricultural jobs for the youths. The Governor stated this at Ibadan on Thursday at an award ceremony by the National Association of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Dealers (NAPPMED), Oyo State chapter.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the governor was honoured as ‘The Great Visionary Leader’ while his wife, Florence was honoured as ‘Woman of Noble Character.’
‘‘From April, all unemployed youths who are interested in agriculture should register with the state government.

‘‘Selected youths will undertake six weeks training on a pay of N10,000 each during the training; the training will hold simultaneously at Oyo and Awe’’, he said.

The governor said the state was committed to harnessing the agricultural potential of the state, adding that government would commence the cultivation of rice, tomatoes and others in the state.

NAN recalls that the governor recently said his administration would replicate the Songhai Integrated Farms model in Port Norvo, Benin Republic.

Ajimobi, who visited Songhai integrated farm, Port Norvo, said state’s agriculture would from April experience a complete turn-around, following a new partnership with the farm.

He said the state government had decided to begin the implementation on one of its farmland, adding that it would be spread across the state’s various farm settlements.

‘‘Agriculture has become the fulcrum of other progressive development with a substantial value chain addition, hence the arrangement with Songhai Farms. ‘‘I am concerned about leaving a legacy in the state. Plans are now in motion to start implementing this blue-print’’, he said.

The governor, who announced a N100 million revolving loan for NAPPMED members, said government had given out N830 million as revolving loan to traders in the state. ‘‘We gave N350 million revolving loan to seven traders’ associations in 2014, out of which 7,000 traders benefitted with the exception of your association.

‘‘We gave out N830 million and I am promising you today that N100 million will be earmarked for your association out of the fund’’, he said. He said his administration had performed well in security and infrastructure, adding that it would ensure the transformation of the state’s industrial sector.

‘‘All we have done are expected of us; we were voted to transform the state and that is what we have done and still doing. ‘‘We have ensured peace and have done well in infrastructure; we have recently faced the education sector, which is yielding good fruits now.

Northern Nigeria: Fighting A Double Crisis

“People in north eastern Nigeria is battling one of the most severe humanitarian crises of today. Most of the food production has collapsed completely, and the conflict with Boko Haram makes it impossible for people to return home and pick up their lives”, says NORCAP expert, Virginia M. Moncrieff.

4.67 million people in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states are severely food insecure, and the numbers are growing rapidly. There has been no production of food for the last three years due to the ongoing conflict with Boko Haram.

Moncrieff has spent three months in Maiduguri, the capital city of Borno state, Nigeria. She is a Communications Officer, deployed to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

NORCAP currently has five experts working in Maiduguri, in areas such as shelter, camp management, and child protection. Humanitarian needs have been growing throughout 2016 and continue to do so in 2017, as aid agencies gain access to areas previously controlled by Boko Haram. A total of 14 million people are now in need of humanitarian aid in Nigeria.

Food security is one of the priority areas in Nigeria, where the main source of livelihood is agriculture. FAO is working to get the agricultural productivity up and running again after conflict, displacement and security concerns have prevented people from producing the food they need. According to Moncrieff, the organization is working to make the country more self-sufficient when it comes to food.

“It is not about handing out meals; it is not handing out bags of rice. It is giving people the ways and means of getting back and doing what they want to do. FAO does really practical things to get people back on their farms, helping with seeds, tools, water, fertilizer, and so on”, she explains.

An estimate of 400.000 people are living in ‘famine-like’ conditions. Farmers are unable to return to their land because of the situation with Boko Haram. In addition, they do not have the essentials to carry out their typical farming activities.

“People do not want to go home knowing that Boko Haram is there, or knowing that their fields are so dry they will starve to death”, Moncrieff says.

Safety is also an issue, attacks still happen, and people are afraid. Boko Haram is finding new ways of using explosive devices and causing harm. It is estimated that over 20,000 people have been killed in incidents related to Boko Haram in the last seven years.

“The situation is heartbreaking. When even mothers with small babies are recruited as suicide bombers, it is absolutely heartbreaking,” says Moncrieff.

The aid agencies in the field have to take extra safety measures in order to take care of themselves.

Although humanitarian access has increased, many areas remain inaccessible. Moncrieff underlines the importance of having functional medical centers, access to education, and up and running markets.

“We need to continue giving people the help they need, so that they get back the lives they so desperately want”, she says.

Credit: NRC

FAO Partners Africa Rice Center In Strengthening Capacity Of Farmers In Nigeria

As part of efforts to boost rice production in the country, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Côte d’Ivoire based  Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) have commenced the training of 300 farmers across Nigeria in paddy production technology.

In a press release issued by the Communication office of the FAO in Nigeria on Thursday, said the exercise involves strengthening the capacities of community based rice farmers and rice seed producers for production of quality rice seed of improved variety.  The trainees include youths and women

“Seed mixtures and lack of good quality rice seeds are common phenomena and major constraints to rice production in Nigeria.The quality of breeder seed is poor and the quantity available is inadequate to support foundation and certified seed production.

We Harvested Enough Rice That Can Feed Not Only Nigeria But Parts of Africa

“FAO is therefore partnering with AfricaRice to train seed producers in rice seed and paddy production technology, produce and distribute training manuals on rice seed production technology, and set up demonstration plots to showcase seed production technologies including land preparation”, said   FAO  Deputy Representative to Nigeria, Nourou Macki.

The training is being conducted under the Partnership for Sustainable Rice Systems Development in Sub-Saharan Africa agreement between FAO and AfricaRice. It will build national capacity, enhance sustainable development of the rice food chain among smallholder farmers and contribute to increase food security in the country.

 

It will facilitate the emergence of efficient rice production systems for Nigeria supported through the promotion of adoption of best practices and upscaling of proven and tested technologies.

Six states of Ekiti, Edo, Anambra, Abia, Nassarawa and Jigawa have been selected for the project. Fifty (50) participants will benefit from the training in each state, along with establishment of demonstration plots and backstopping mission.

The interim FAO Representative in Nigeria, Nourou Macki reiterated that “The goal is to ensure that Nigeria attains self-sufficiency in rice production through access and availability of good quality seed of released rice varieties.”

Speaking at one of the training sessions in Anamabra, representative of Africa Rice, Oyetunji Olumoye, observed that many seed producers lack basic knowledge on production of quality rice seeds.

“Food insecurity is a big challenge in Nigeria. Seed mixtures and lack of good quality rice seeds is a common phenomenon and major constraint to rice production in Nigeria. Farmers do not have enough quantity of rice seed for production. The little they have contain impurity and mixtures,” he explained.

“The overall objective of the training program is to enhance farmers’ access to quality rice seed and also make quality paddy available to millers and processors in the selected states.

The trainees will continue to be monitored throughout the period of planting to crop maturity, says Andrew Ikhadeunu, National Coordinator of the project.

Credit: NTA

Lawyer Says Agric Revolution, Manufacturing Panacea To Recession

Mr Folorunsho Ige, an Ilorin based legal practitioner, says only massive agricultural revolution and local manufacturing can rescue Nigeria from the current economic recession.

The lawyer said that the development of the nation’s vast agricultural potential was part of the ways to stabilise the Nigerian economy.

“Nigeria has left its economic fortunes to the vagaries of the international market forces through excessive importation.

“It is time private investors helped the government out by going into serious agriculture and manufacturing.

” Nigeria is blessed with what it takes for a country to succeed economically because the potential and opportunities for business are phenomenon.

“Talk of huge populations, skills, raw materials, mineral resources, arable land, water and everything, Nigeria have them in abundance,” he said.

He also appealed to the private sector not to abandon everything to government in reviving the economy, saying the “economy of a country is everybody’s business”.

The legal practitioner also called on the government to formulate the right policies to encourage investors to move away from importation to production.

Food Scarcity: Bishop Oyedepo Proffers Solution

Chancellor of Landmark University and Founder of the Living Faith Worldwide Ministries Bishop Oyedepo has proffered a solution to the scarcity of food in Nigeria.

He gave a speech during institution’s 6th Founder’s Day celebration in Omu-Aran. He said that the best way to end the problem of food scarcity is by raising agricultural practitioners.

He said that there was no substitute for food and the software needed to address the challenges posed by food insufficiency.

“The best solution is raising agricultural practitioners through quality and innovative education to tackle the difficulties in the sector, including the notable food deficit.

“Despite the breakthroughs in the development of information technology, there is yet to be any substitute to food and software in addressing the challenges posed by its unavailability.’’

Oyedepo, represented by Prof. Aize Obayan, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, said it was high time agriculture stakeholders stopped paying leap services to its transformation and development.

He said that substantial part of the nation’s abundant land resources scattered around its six geo-political regions still remained under-utilised.

According to him, there is the need to evolve practical solutions to improving agriculture through productive learning, product research and development.

“We cannot drive leverages in agriculture without innovative thoughts and thinking.

“This is because every land you find around you is a gold mine, which must be explored,” he said.

Obayan, in her own speech, said the institution since its inception six years ago, has continued to maintain stable academic calendar and life-applicable qualitative education.

The Vice-Chancellor said these sterling qualities had projected the institution as a cynosure among its peers and to the outside world.

She listed the striking professional accomplishment of Mr Kenechukwu Okafor, a 500-level student of the Department of Mechanical Engineering who won the National Award of Global Student Entrepreneurship among the institution’s recent achievements.

Mr Ademola Olorunfemi, the guest lecturer, described the institution’s agrarian revolution as one that preceded the nation’s realisation of the need to be sufficient in food production.

He spoke on: “Leveraging on Innovation and Engineering in Breaking New Grounds for Sustainable Agricultural Development in Nigeria.’’

Olorunfemi said the nation’s economic recession was a good pointer to the timeliness of the topic as governments’ and stakeholders were making frantic efforts to use agriculture as a catalyst to solve food insufficiency.

He said innovation in agriculture possessed the potential to expand yields, increase efficiency, reduce waste and address concerns about toxicity, safety and the environment.

The institution under the Landmark University Community Development Impact Initiative (LMUCDII) had earlier donated some equipment to the Omu-Aran Medium Prison as parts of the founder’s day celebration.

Other highlights of the celebration were products’ exhibition as well as planting of economic trees.

 

Google’s Impressive 8 Year Old Idea

Google has built a $580 billion empire by keeping its innovation engine running ahead of the competition. But on Wednesday the company pulled off an impressive, and curious, feat: it wowed the public with an eight year old idea.

Google unveiled a new set of features for its popular Maps app that lets users share their locations with friends and contacts in real time. Thanks to this update, Google Maps users will now be able to quickly let friends know if they’re running late to a meeting or stuck in traffic.

It’s a compelling idea. And if you’re wondering why Google never thought of this earlier, the answer is, it did.

In 2009, when smartphones were still in their infancy, Google introduced something called Latitude.

The Latitude app, to quote Google’s blog post announcing it, “allows you to share your location with your friends and to see their approximate locations, if they choose to share them with you.” In other words, it’s almost the exact same feature that Google is now touting as the hot new thing.

Super Mario Is Now Available For Download

Super Mario Run smartphone game is now available for play on Android devices, Nintendo said Wednesday.

Nintendo said in a tweet that it made the game available for download at the Google Play store a little earlier than it expected.

The release comes about three months after Super Mario Run, Nintendo’s first-ever smartphone game, was launched on iOS in December. The game was an instant hit with Apple device users, racking up 40 million downloads in its first four days to become the fastest-selling iOS game in the history of the App Store.

The game lets users navigate Mario the plumber through a variety of familiar-looking levels, grabbing as many coins and power-ups as possible along the way. The game is free to download, but players who want to progress beyond the third level will have to pay to unlock the other levels.

Pokémon GO Water Festival Event Announced: Catch Lapras, Gyarados, And More Water-Type Critters

Unlike other previous Pokémon GO events, the Water Festival is not tied to any particular globally recognized holiday. Instead, the Pokémon GO Water Festival comes as a surprise treat and it increases one’s chances of catching water-type critters.

The Water Festival event runs through March 29 and players can take advantage of it to catch Magikarp, Totodile and Squirtle, as well as obtain their evolutions – Gyarados, Blastoise, Wartortle, Croconaw and Feraligatr. The event also increases the spawn potential of the ice Pokémon Lapras, since you can’t have ice without water.

Moreover, for players in locations where water-type Pokémon typically roam (near lakes, water streams, rivers and such), the Gen 2 water Pokémon from the Johto region will also have a higher spawn rate. This means that players could encounter Lanturn, Azumarill, Chinchou, Marill, Wooper, Sloking, Politoed, Quagsire, Corosola, Qwilfish, Kingdra, Octillery, Remoraid, and Mantine, since they’re all partly water types. The legendary Suicune would be a tough bet, however, even with the Water Festival going on.

The event also brings a new avatar wardrobe item that players can purchase with Pokecoins – the Magikarp hat.

Unlike other Pokémon GO events, however, the Water Festival doesn’t bring any bonuses, double XP, increased lure time, more candy or anything like that. Previous events offered bonuses and various sales incentives to boost microtransactions, but the Water Festival doesn’t seem to include such perks – or at least they’re not mentioned in the announcement.

Nevertheless, the chance to catch Lapras is perhaps among the most exciting highlights of this event. Lapras has been incredibly difficult to capture in the wild ever since Pokémon GO launched last year, so the Water Fest could be a boon or players looking for the elusive critter. A previous event in Japan increased Lapras’ spawn rate and generated huge interest, so the Water Fest should be a big attraction.

Should the Water Festival enable players to add Lapras to their Pokédex without relying on egg hatching, it could go down in history as one of the best Pokémon GO events ever.

Are you excited about the new Pokémon GO Water Festival? If you go out and explore, check back and leave us a comment to tell us what water-type Pokémon you encountered.