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    Stakeholders want subsidy to boost transport sector
    By Lucy Ogalue

    Mr Ehi Ebhohimhen, the Regional Business Executive, Sterling Bank, has stressed the need for bank officials to solicit for the Central Bank of Nigerias (CBN) intervention fund and subsidy for the road transport sector.

    The Bank Executive, who said this in Abuja at the ongoing 3rd Annual Road Transport and Mass Transit Conference in Abuja, articulated all the challenges of the transport sector.

    He said the call has become imperative to ensure that transport sector is re-positioned to meet the emerging challenges and have easy access to bank loans at lower interest rates and interventions like their counterparts in other sectors.

    Ebhohimhen said CBN would not give money directly to individuals rather it would require a commercial bank to give some form of guarantee, monitor and ensure the fund was revolving

    He for this reason banks must do the advocacy and policy articulation, to resolve the not lending issues.

    On the high interest rates by banks,he said it was a structural issue which could be resolved with the right fiscal and monetary policies.

    Ebhohimhen said the banks find it difficult lending money to transporters because of the high risk involved in the business.

    He said considering the high interest rates, bad roads that have reduced the life span of vehicles and the like, it would be difficult for banks to risk depositors fund in the sector.

    One of the things we have been pushing for is to have a separate intervention fund for theroad transport sector.

    If this is done,it will ensure longer tenure and cheaper interest rates for the transporters.

    Mr Aloga Odogbo, The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Association of Road Transport (NARTO), noted that the intervention of government in business has always been a starting point to development.

    He said the sector is faced with a lot of challenges and can only overcome these challenges with the help of the government.

    Odogbo said the challenges being faced by the sector would be a thing of the past if government could provide intervention funds, subsidy and approved a Bank of Transport

    Mr Suleiman Musa, official of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), said the political will of government is very necessary to resolve the challenges in the sector.

    Musa said it would go a long way to solve the national transport problem if government could subsidise the price of vehicles,fuel and fare.

    Mr David Okoroafor, Executive Director Subsidiary, Peace Group, said things had not been easy for mass transit operations in the country due to increased cost of vehicles and bad roads in the country most companies barely make ends meet in the business.

    He lamented that the prices of vehicles have increased by over 100 per cent in most cases as the vehicle they used to buy about N9million is now more than N26 million and we have been doing the mathematics on how we can make even and are yet to arrive at a solution.

    Okoroafor said there is need for governments intervention because transportation is a risky business and banks are not too enthusiastic to fund the business.

    He said with government intervention banks would be willing to open its window to invest in transport sector and give loans.

    Mr Ralph Eke,Executive Secretary,Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON), also reiterated the need for government interventions in the sector.

    Eke also urged the government to ensure reduced duty fee on buses to enable the transporters remain in business.

    ALBON official also added that the deplorable state of the road has taken its toll on the sector by forcing many commercial vehicleowners to withdraw their vehicles from the road.

    He said the roads across the country are so bad that most drivers are held up in gridlock for hours, limiting the number of movement and making them to spend a lot on repairs.

    Most of the vehicles are now in bad shapes and costs of spare parts are too exorbitant; we are appealing to the three tiers of government to come to our aid by repairing the road. (NAN)

    Source: NAN

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    Centre partners NGO on empowering rural women
    By Justina Auta

    The National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) says it collaborating with Peace Advocacy and Community Development Initiative (PACDIN), an NGO, to empower rural women on accessing Micro-finance loans in the country.

    The Director-General of the Centre, Mrs Mary Ekpere-Eta, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Friday in Abuja, ahead of a three-day workshop on Rural Women Transformation and Entrepreneurship Development.

    Ekpere-Eta, represented by the Director, Training and Development, Hajiya Mainuma Yangora, said the workshop would equip rural women on small and medium enterprises, and on ways of accessing loans under various government schemes.

    The workshop is to re-position women to take advantage of the numerous generous financial policies of the present administration, in its next bid and agenda to lift up over 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

    She noted that the centre had also notified state Ministries of Women Affairs, wives of governors, local government chairmen and other stakeholders to mobilise more participants for the workshop.

    In a related development, the NCWD chief commended President Muhammadu Buhari for nominating women in his cabinet, calling for the appointment of more women on the boards of federal agencies and state government offices.

    The theme of the workshop is :Rural Women and Youths Accessibility of Micro-finance Facility for Rural SMEs, Development and Growth in Nigeria.

    The workshop holds from July 26 to July 31 in Abuja.

    Source: NAN

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    Guarantor commits suicide after friend ran away with micro-finance loan
    Tragedy struck in Oyo State on Friday as a 41-year-old woman identified as Shakirat Rasheed committed suicide in Adeosun area of Apete a surbub of Ibadan.

    Rasheed was said to have reportedly hanged herself after her friend whom she stood for as guarantor failed to repay a loan taken from a micro-finance bank.

    Her friend allegedly took the loan from a micro-finance bank popularly known as LAPO.

    It was gathered that Rasheed reportedly stood as a guarantor for her friend who obtained a loan from LAPO office at Awotan area, but the friend was said to have been at large, forcing the guarantor to be paying the loan in bits.

    Sources added that the loan caused Mrs Rasheeds depression and she seemed unable to bear the problem any longer, especially when officials of the micro-finance bank reportedly called her on Friday to see them in their office.

    The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Apete police station led detectives to the scene of the incident.

    It was further gathered that the family said that there would be need to perform some rituals before the body could be detached from the rope hanging on it from the ceiling.

    Commissioner of Police, Shina Olukolu, confirmed the story.

    He said that preliminary investigation indicated that the woman committed suicide.

    Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the State Police Command, Mr Olugbenga Fadeyi also confirmed the incident to newsmen on Saturday.

    Fadeyi told Journalists that more efforts are being intensified to get more details about her death.

    Source: NAN

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    Tunisia bids farewell to president Essebsi at funeral
    Tunisia on Saturday bid farewell to its late President, Beji Caid Essebsi, who passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 92.

    The body of late President Essebsi will be buried in Al-Zallag cemetery in the Tunisian capital.

    The burial will be in a procession that will take place from the presidential palace in Carthage with the participation of heads of state and government from 23 Arab and other foreign countries.

    The Tunisian Interior Ministry said that extraordinary measures had been taken to secure the funeral for Essebsi.

    Essebsi was born on Nov. 29, 1926, in Sidi Bou Said in the northern suburbs of the capital.

    He studied law in Paris until 1950; two years later, he became a lawyer in his home country.

    His first involvement in politics dates back to 1941 when he joined the Neo Destour party, a Tunisian political party that was founded by a group of Tunisian nationalist politicians during the French colonisation.

    Following the countrys independence from France in 1956, he began to exercise high political responsibilities.

    He took over the Tunisian presidency after winning the 2014 elections.

    Source: NAN

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    Doctors in India remove 69 chains, coins from 26-year-old stomach
    Doctors in an Indian hospital have expressed shock following the discovery of coins and jewelries in the stomach of a 26-year-old lady.

    The lady Runi Khatun, was rushed to Rampurhat Government Medical College and Hospital after she became weak and emaciated and the doctors discovered that she had swallowed various items.

    The doctors while carrying out surgery on her, brought out 69 chains, 80 earrings, 46 coins, eight lockets, 11 nose rings, five anklets and one wristwatch.

    According to Daily Mail of UK, the lady complained to her mother that she was weak and could no longer eat.

    She was said to have eventually collapsed and the mother rushed her to the hospitals.

    It was at the theatre that doctors who operated on her began to bring out all the coins and jewellery to their shock.

    Source: NAN

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    VCIS  Global Allianz Fund Assistance Scholarships For International Students At Macquarie University in Australia, 2019

    TheVCIS Global Allianz Fund Assistance Scholarships isa one-off partial award for high achieiving students who are interested in studying a degree program atMacquarie University Australia.

    The VCIS Global Allianz Fund provides a partial tuition fee scholarship. This free education award amount is up to ,000 and will be awarded as the fee reduction for the student commencing studies in the 2020 year.

    Eligible Countries:International

    Type:Undergraduate and Postgraduate

    Value Of Scholarships:,000

    Number of Awards:One

    Eligible Field Of Study:

    • Undergraduate programs (Bachelor of Clinical Science, Bachelor of Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Bachelor of Human Sciences, Bachelor of Medical Sciences, Bachelor of Psychology, Bachelor of Psychology (Honors), and Bachelor of Speech and Hearing Sciences)
    • Postgraduate program (Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Physiotherapy, Master of Clinical Audiology, Master of Clinical Neuropsychology, Master of Clinical Psychology, Master of Laboratory Analysis, Quality and Management, Master of Organizational Psychology, Master of Professional Psychology, Master of Public Health, Master of Radiopharmaceutical Science, and Master of Speech and Language Pathology).

    Eligibility:To be eligible for the scholarship, students must meet the following requirements:

    • Be a citizen of a country other than Australia or New Zealand.
    • Meet the Academic and English requirements for one of the following Macquarie University Bachelor or Postgraduate Coursework Degrees:

    Application Process:Interested applicants must hold an offer to study in 2020before completing the online application process for the award.

    Visit The Official Website For More Information

    Application Deadline:November 30, 2019

    Source: Scholarships And Aid

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    Schwarzman funding for International Students At University of Queensland in Australia

    The University of Queensland is giving Schwarzman funding for the brightest Australian and international students.

    The award is available for students from all around the world to pursue thepostgraduatedegree program in all subject areas for the academic year 2019-2020.

    University or Organization:University of Queensland


    Course Level:Masters degree


    Access Mode:Online

    Number of Awards:Not known

    Nationality:International students

    The award can be taken inAustralia


    • Eligible Countries:Claimants from any nationality
    • Acceptable Course or Subjects: Masters degree in any subject offered by the university
    • Admissible Criteria: To be considered for this education award, the applicant must have to be enrolled in undergraduate degree programs must be on track to successfully complete all degree requirements by August 1 of their enrollment year. Candidates must be at least 18 but not yet 29 years of age as of August 1 of their Schwarzman Scholars enrollment year.

    Method of Application

    To get involved in this program, aspirants are prescribed to take admission in the postgraduate degree coursework at the university. After being enrolled, claimants can apply for the bursary.

    Admission Requirements

    You will be able to gain a conditional admission for a postgraduate degree program after meeting the entry requirements of the university.

    • Supporting Documents:Must attach the resume (2-page maximum), transcripts/academic records essays (2) and letters of recommendation.
    • Language Requirement:All applicants must demonstrate that they have met our English language proficiency (ELP) requirements.

    Benefits:The grant will provide full tuition, fees, room, and board, travel to and from Beijing, in-country study tours, required books and supplies, Lenovo laptop and smartphone, health insurance and a personal stipend.

    Source: Scholarships And Aid

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    Up to 8,000 BES Grant for Ecologists in Africa 2019

    This grant provides support for Ecologists in Africa to carry out innovative ecological research. The British Ecological Society recognises that ecologists in Africa face unique challenges in carrying out research; BES grant is designed to support you to develop your skills, experience and knowledge base as well as making connections with ecologists in the developed world. They support excellent ecological science in Africa by funding services and equipment.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Applicant should be a scientist and a citizen of a country in Africa or its associated islands, that is a low-income economy or lower-middle-income economy according to theWorld Bank categorisation
    • Have at least an MSc or equivalent degree
    • Be working for a university or research institution in Africa (including field centres, NGOs, museums etc.) that provides basic research facilities
    • Carry out the research in a country in Africa or its associated islands

    British Ecological Society Ecologists in Africa Grant

    • The maximum value of a grant is 8,000 for research. An additional sum up to 2,000 may be requested to fund travel to help you develop connections with other ecologists outside your usual peer group. This must be requested at the application stage.
    • Travel funds are available to spend time working with ecologists in developed countries where facilities and experience will help you on return to your own institution.
    • Successful applicants also receive two years of free BES membership and free online access to journals.

    Method of Application:




    The application will be judged by a panel of reviewers on the basis of your personal qualifications, the scientific excellence, novelty and feasibility of the proposal, and the academic and non-academic impact of the planned research.

    You should demonstrate that you have made connections with ecologists in a developed country that can provide advice during the proposed project. If international travel is part of the application, you should demonstrate close links with those you propose to visit.

    Funding is available for any area of ecological science excluding research focused solely on agriculture, forestry and bioprospecting. Please note that neither purely descriptive work nor studies that might be considered incremental will be funded.

    The proposed project could be part of an existing programme but the application should be for a clearly defined piece of research. Researchers must also show how their research will have a wider impact beyond academia.

    Scholarship Application Deadline: Monday 9 September at 17:00 (BST).

    Source: Scholarships And Aid

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    International Fellowship Programme At Anant University, 2019/2020

    The fellowship is a one year, full-time post-graduate diploma programme in built environment designed as a multi-disciplinary immersion to introduce young practitioners and students to new ideas, knowledge and skills to question, evaluate, invent and redefine the built environment. The Anant Fellowship is the flagship programme of Anant National University, Indias first Design University.

    Anant University Fellowship Programme.

    Anant Fellowship has been carefully curated and structured to prepare you to make exponential change within yourself, to the country, and to the world. Academic rigour and intensity have been combined with first-hand, experiential discovery to create an equitable balance between theory and praxis, between instruction and experimentation, and between paced-learning and open-ended discovery.

    • Academic Instruction:The first component of Anant Fellowship is designed to broaden your perspective and aid empathetic solutions by providing you the opportunity of learning from pioneering ideas and thoughts in two thematic clusters: Domain and Technical, and Societal and Cultural.
    • Experiential Discovery:In the second component of Anant Fellowship, you will learn from your own and your peers first-hand experiences, and from your own values, beliefs, mindsets, and constructs.
    • Live-Action Project:The third and the most important component of the Fellowship is the Live Action Project where you work in teams throughout the duration of one year to solve a real-life challenge in close association with local administrative bodies and community stakeholders.

    Anant University Fellowship Programme Eligibility.

    • Open to students and practitioners from all professional and educational backgrounds with a preference to those from the disciplines of architecture, design, planning, environmental science, and engineering, civil and construction engineering, IT, social sciences and humanities.
    • Applicants must have a sound academic record, and should have successfully completed an undergraduate or postgraduate degree before the start of the Fellowship.
    • Applicants must be able to show a demonstrated commitment to improving the Built Environment, and an understanding of the issues pertaining to the area.
    • Anant Fellowship is committed to diversity; they invite applications from students and professionals of all age-groups, socio-economic backgrounds, and geographies both in India and internationally.

    Anant University Fellowship Programme Benefits.

    As an Anant Fellows, you expect to:

    • Enhance your technical and core skills in architecture, design and planning
    • Be trained to think broadly and deeply across topics like Green Urbanism, Earth Based Construction Techniques, Transportation, Anthropology, Sociology, and Economics, among others
    • Gain a deeper understanding of yourself and others, and develop imaginative empathy
    • Collaborate with like-minded individuals from diverse disciplines and take up a Built Environment challenge with an opportunity for real-life impact
    • Become purpose-driven leaders who contribute to the larger society by creating unique Built Environment solutions


    • They are offering 80% scholarships covering cost of Tuition, Boarding, and Lodging to all accepted candidates. Limited 100% scholarships are available for those with combined annual family income of less than INR 8 lacs. Applicants are encouraged to apply early to increase their chances of getting scholarship assistance.

    Method of Application


    • Online Application consists of Resume, Work Sample and Statement of Purpose (Three Questions)
    • Telephonic Interview
    • Personal Interview
    • Offer



    Scholarship Application Deadline: Ongoing.

    Source: Scholarships And Aid

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    The Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Abdallah (retd), says President Muhammadu Buhari has approved recruitment of 5,000 personnel for the agency to boost its manpower.

    Abdallah made the disclosure on Friday at the Public Destruction of Drug Exhibits by Taraba Command of NDLEA in Jalingo.

    He said that the gesture would go a long way in improving operations of the agency on campaign against drug addiction in Nigeria.

    He said increased consumption of illicit drugs among the youths in Taraba was worrisome, appealing to families to brace up to their responsibilities.

    According to Abdallah, effective drug prevention must involve positive engagement of children, youths and adults with their families, schools, workplace and community.

    He commended Gov. Darius Ishaku of Taraba for his support to the agency in addressing drug problems in the state.

    He also commended Mrs Anna Darius, wife of the governor, for giving great impetus to the war against drug abuse in the state.

    The chairman thanked the governor for including NDLEA commandant in the state’s Security Council as well as supporting the agency with operational vehicles.

    He noted that the provision of Hope Afresh Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), managed by the wife of the governor for sensitisation against drug abuse was a great boost to anti-drug abuse campaign.

    Earlier, Acting Commander of NDLEA in the state, Mr Peter Odaudu, had said that the agency had assembled seven tonnes (6,963.80 kilogrammes) of deadly weeds and psychotropic substances for destruction.

    Odaudu said that the exhibits were seized between January, 2003 and December, 2018.

    He listed some of the illicit drugs assembled for destruction as Cannabis Sativa, Diazepam, Rophynol, Cough syrups with codeine and Tramadol.

    According to him, a court order for their destruction has been duly obtained.

    Odaudu commended other security agencies in the state for their cooperation in the success recorded by the NDLEA.

    He commended the state government for supporting the agency towards ensuring effective control in consumption of illicit drugs in the state.

    In his remarks, the state governor, Mr Darius Ishaku, said that drug consumption had increased violent crimes in the state.

    Ishaku, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Haruna Manu, said that most persons arrested for violent crimes in the state were youths.

    He, therefore, urged the youths to avoid the use of illicit drugs, saying that it was dangerous to their health and the society.

    He also urged the agency to collaborate with office of the First Lady to achieve more feat in its mandate of ensuring a drug-free society.

    Ishaku said that the construction of health centres by the first lady’s foundation for sensitisation in the three senatorial zones was a better platform to adopt by the agency.

    He assured the agency of continued support by the state government to eradicate drug abuse. (NAN)

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