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Unilorin don fabricates pencil making machine


Dr. Habeeb Ajimotokan, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ilorin, has fabricated a machine capable of producing different shapes of pencils in commercial quantities.

According to the University of Ilorin bulletin issued on Monday, the machine was fabricated from locally-sourced off-the-shelf materials.

The report stated that the machine had been tested and found to be capable of producing 400 units of pencils in an hour.

The publication described Ajimotokan as a specialist in Mechanical Process and Energy Engineering.

It stated that the inventor and his team were currently working on producing eraser-fitting and pencil-end-cutter, which would make the local production of pencils a resounding reality and for which a patent would be sought thereafter.

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The publication noted that the initial pencils produced through the machine “could only be sharpened with razor blade’’.

It added that the situation compelled the don and his team to go back to the drawing board, which culminated in the production of a normal pencil comparable with the imported ones in every parameter.

The bulletin noted that: “The engineer said that the raw materials for the pencil itself were gotten from waste papers and graphite that abound everywhere.

“He added that pencil-making is not only cheap but can provide job opportunities for many unemployed Nigerian youths.’’

It said Ajimotokan was propelled to work on the domestication of the pencil-making machine in order to reduce the hard currency being expended in the importation of that essential material for the nation’s education sector.

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The publication commended the enterprising dispositions of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem and his management team for encouraging productivity and ingenuity among staff members and students.

It particularly commended Abdulkareem for his personal encouragement.

It noted that Ajimotokan commenced the processes which led to the re-modification of the machine when the Vice-Chancellor was the Director of the University’s Laboratory to Products (LABTOP) Unit, based on the advice he was offered by the Unit.

According to the bulletin, the inventor lamented that paucity of funds impeded the speed with which he intended the machine would be produced.

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It further stated that Ajimotokan called on wealthy entrepreneurs to collaborate with the university in producing the machine in large quantities.

The bulletin noted that this was because its economic value could not be overemphasized, considering the number of end users of the product.

It said it was important for governments at various levels to encourage scientific and technological innovations through favourable public policies and adequate funding of research.

Nigerian scholars have the expertise to go places if they are given the enabling environment,’’ the publication added.



Ogun inaugurates small claims court



The Ogun government on Monday inaugurated a Small Claims Court as part of efforts to bring justice closer to the people and ensure quick dispensation of justice.

The Chief Judge of Ogun, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu, at the inauguration held at the State High Court, Isabo, said that the court was established to provide easy access to an informal, inexpensive and speedy resolution of simple matters.

According to Dipeolu, the court deals with simple matters such as debt recovery disputes, demands, and damages that do not exceed N500,000.

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She said that the establishment of such a court was aimed at bringing justice closer to people at the grassroots level.

”The small claims court is targeted at some people who might find it difficult to hire the service of lawyers.

” The method of operation at the court is very simple. Litigants do not need lawyers to file claims or defend same and fees are also quite cheap and affordable,” she said

The chief judge added that the small claims court were time-bound, noting that the entire proceeding from inception till judgment was not expected to last more than 60 days.

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She also said the operation at the small claims court would commence in six carefully chosen Magisterial Districts which were in Abeokuta, Ota, Ifo, Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu, and Ilaro.

The success of the court, she said, would determine to open in other magisterial districts.

Earlier, the chief judge had sworn in two magistrates–Mrs. Alaba Sakirat Yetunde and Siyanbola- Alli Aminate Abosede.

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She urged the magistrates to uphold the ethics of the profession and dispense justice without fear or favor.

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Domestic flights to resume June 21, says Sirika



The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has announced that domestic flights, which had been suspended since March due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, will resume on June 21.

A statement issued on Monday in Abuja by Mr. James Odaudu, Director of Public Affairs in the ministry, quoted Sirika as saying this at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

According to Sirika, the resumption of flights will be based strictly on the implementation of the approved protocols for the safe operations of the airlines.

“ The three-week period between now and the resumption date is to enable the operators adhere to all the necessary industry regulations, without which they cannot take to the skies after being dormant for some time.

“This is because aviation, unlike other sectors, is a highly regulated one,” he said.

The minister added that consultations had been on between the ministry and the industry’s stakeholders on the best ways to operate profitably, while, at the same time, ensuring the safety of travelers upon resumption.

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Sirika cautioned owners of private aircraft, who, he said, were in the habit of asking for permits to fly within the country despite the restrictions in place, to desist, as the restrictions were still in place.

“ Except for those on essential services, which have been clearly defined,” the minister added.

He said that since approval for flights on essential services was not being paid for, it would take little or no time to grant it.

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Sirika warned against people allowing themselves to be scammed by those outside the approving authorities.
He pointed out that the sector, under his watch, had zero tolerance for corrupt practices since his assumption of office as minister.

The minister also expressed gratitude to the stakeholders in the aviation sector for their cooperation, in spite of their unquantifiable losses, occasioned by the lockdown since March.

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He assured that everything humanly possible would be done to ensure speedy recovery of the sector.

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COVID-19: Aisha Buhari renovates 15-bed capacity facility in Nasarawa



First Lady Aisha Buhari has renovated and equipped a 15-bed capacity ward in Mararaba Gurku Medical Centre in Nasarawa State to provide a conducive atmosphere for COVID-19 patients.

Buhari also built two sanitary and administrative block in the facility.

Buhari, who was represented by Dr Haji Sani, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, said the facility was part of her effort towards supporting the state in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

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She urged the management of the centre to ensure proper maintenance of the facility.

The first lady also distributed personal protective equipment (PPEs), food items and other medical equipment.

Buhari enjoined residents of the state to sustain prayers against the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

In his response, the Nasarawa State deputy governor and Chairman, State Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, thanked the first lady for the gesture and promised to make judicious use of the facility.

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Akabe said the state government was making frantic efforts towards containing the spread of the pandemic in the state.

He said the facility would be used as one of the isolation centres to cater to the COVID-19 patients in the state.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, Nasarawa State Hospitals Management Board, Dr Usman George, expressed appreciation to the first lady for the gesture.

George said that the facility was one of the sites identified by the state government to treat COVID-19 patients.

”We want to make proper use of this place to have a unilateral flow where you have donning areas where you have personal protective equipment and areas where you remove the personal protective equipment.

”We also intend to put cardiac monitors and one or two ventilators as part of the state government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

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