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Friday, May 4, 2018


Profit is what happens when you do everything else right. - Yvon Chouinard

...young at heart

How we’re changing misconceptions about science, says Maina Mahmoud Bukar Maina is the Outreach Coordinator TReND in Africa. Armed with a doctorate degree in Neuroscience from the University of Sussex where he is also a research fellow, Maina is pushing the boundary of science in Nigeria. He speaks about this project so far.

By Bamas Victoria @BamasVictoria


hat stirred your interest in science and the Science Fair in Northeast? My interest in science could be traced back to my dad’s science book called “simple Science”, which we used to read and try the experiments therein, with my siblings. However, growing up, many wanted me to study Medicine and become a medical doctor, for which I used to be called “Doctor Mahmoud. I ended up studying Human Anatomy, not Medicine. The journey, however, revealed the need for visible science mentors to guide students on their career choices. Moreover, many of us grew amidst a high level of cultural and religious misconceptions about science in Nigeria, especially northern Nigeria. These reasons partly influenced me to join TReND in Africa, where I founded the Outreach Programme in 2013 to inspire a future generation of scientists and make the public appreciate the importance of science and the soc role of scientists in the society. yo How do you get funding for the project? fun Getting funding is always a cha challenge, and I won won’t say I have always suc been successful. From exp experience with science communication s that grants, I would say funders look for many a things, such as the person skills relevance of person’s p and experience to project, whether the project proj is c needed and its chances a short of success at long-t or long-term. It often helps o if one has a pilot da data to

demonstrate the likelihood of the project to succeed. For two years when we started science communication, we had no funding. I made funding applications but never got funded. So for that period, we used our money to fund our activities in northern Nigeria. What can authorities do to improve the acceptance of science in Nigeria? To make science part of our society, many players have a role to play. First of all There is a need for our school curricula to focus more on practical rather than theory. There should be practical-based competitions across schools, such as science fair projects that would stimulate innovation at an early stage. Secondly, more scientists need to get into science communication not just to inspire students but engage the public and policymakers about the importance of their research and why it matters and requires funding Furthermore, Universities are the custodians of scholarship; if they make science fair a tradition, it would facilitate our society’s attitude toward science and stimulate the rise of many innovators. Journalists have an important role to play; by promoting the reporting of scientific activities and bringing into spotlight local innovators and local research of high importance to the public. What key programmes have you held to promote science? I have organised events in Uganda and Nigeria and presently coordinate other activities across Africa. In Nigeria, I have organised activities in Lagos, Borno, Yobe and Gombe States. Among these were teachers’ workshops and two science festivals in Gombe and Yobe States during which students, teachers, journalists, members of the public and state officials interacted with science. Members of the outreach programme have also organised events in parts of the south-east, north and south-west. I have also started science communication hub Nigeria to maximise the impact of our TReND activities in Nigeria (www. Has there been any international recognition of these activities? My involvement in the outreach projects in Africa has led me to be invited to give talks about inspiring the future generation of African scientists in many meetings. It has also resulted in my winning Science Communication Award by Royal Society of Biology in 2017 and admission as a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts in 2018, a British society founded in 1754 to find practical solutions to social challenges.

NYSC dissuades Corpers from using friends as NOK From Jude Aguguo Owuamanam, Awka


he Director General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig. Gen. Sule Kazaure has cautioned corps members to be thorough and careful while filling anything during their service year especially against using their friends as Next-of-Kin (NOK). Kazaure who gave the advice during a visit to the Anambra state orientation camp in Umunya, Oyi local government area, frowned at those who use their friends as next of kin while filling their insurance covers’ forms, insisting that the next of kin must be their parents or siblings. Represented by the Director, Corps Welfare and Inspectorate in the Scheme, Mrs. Josephine Okonghe, the DG explained that it would be easier to get back to those whose next of kin were their close relation than those with friends in case of any eventuality. He also urged them to always be security conscious throughout their service year, just as he advised them to curtail their journeys and expenses. “You must be security conscious at all times, particularly the female folk among you who are always the prime target. You must be careful with the kinds of friends you keep,” he stressed. While enjoining the corps members to take their service year seriously, the DG further challenged them to impact their host communities through embarking on projects, promising of the Scheme’s support.

3 pupils win Hasal MfB scholarship in Abuja By Latifat Opoola @LatifatOpoola


hree primary school pupils have won school fees scholarship from Hasal Microfinance Bank in Abuja. The students emerged the best three students at the spelling bee competition organized to mark the bank’s 10thyear anniversary in Abuja. First position won by Amah

Onyinyechi from Bethel International School, Nyanya won a one year school fees, scholarship, while Jaiyeola Abimbola who emerged second also from the same school won two terms school fees scholarship. The third position, Yakubu Joseph of LEA Nyanya won a term fees scholarship from the bank. The bank also presented tablets to the best 5 students while all the

participants at the competition were offered a back to school backpack with books and mathematics sets. Chief Operating officer of the bank, Joyce Rogers during her welcome address said the essence of the competition is to provide a platform for the continuous growth of the youths. “We try to take children that are in the interiors and help them in every way we can and this is one aspect

where we give back. We also want our customers in that part to grow in their businesses” she said. Mrs Rogers who noted that education is very paramount to the bank, as its the gateway for youth development also said the bank tries its best to support schools in the interiors without infrastructural facilities adding that “a child going to school should have an environment where they are able to learn”.

DAILY TRUST, Friday, May 4, 2018


Top 10


most followed

Twitter accounts By Bamas Victoria V @BamasVictoria

 From left: Executive Secretary, Nasarawa State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Abubakar Nalaraba; Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Abdullahi Muhammad; Founder/President Green Heart Impact Foundation (GHIF), Munira Tanimu; S.A. to President Buhari on Youth and Student Affairs, Nasir Adhama; Vice President, GHIF, Safiya Mamman at the 1st GHIF Annual Gala Night held in Abuja recently.

EU Envoy, others seek investment in girls’ education By Bamas Victoria @BamasVictoria Notable persons and organisations are drummingup supports for the ‘Book over Tray’ an initiative of a nongovernmental organization, the Green Heart Impact Foundation (GHIF), which advocates for more investments in quality education for Nigerian children especially the girl-child. The ‘Book over Tray’ initiative, according to GHIF President, Munira Suleiman Tanimu, is aimed at taking girl hawkers from JSS1 – SS3 in every state in Nigeria off the street and enrolling them in a school while also empowering their mothers. Speaking at the GHIF Gala Night held recently in Abuja, the EU Deputy Head of Delegation to Nigeria, Richard Young said the abuse and maltreatment of the girl-child impedes their intellectual advancement in the

society and also a restriction on opportunities that they should have. A former Minister of Women Affairs, Zainab Maina, identified the role of religious and traditional institutions in the education of the girl-child. She said “We have culture and tradition that sometimes is very difficult to change. I believe that with young women and men and with constant advocacy we are going to change it.” Chairperson, Better Life Program for the African Rural Women, Aisha Babangida, also called on all major stakeholders to continue to raise awareness and collaborate with more nonprofit organizations so as to get more girls back to school. An honorary award was conferred on the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for his advocacy for girl-child education.

Niger community gets health centre, football pitch By Simon Echewofun Sunday @SimonEsunsday The mainstream Foundation has built a health centre, a football pitch and screened residents for malaria, others at Malale community, near the Kainji hydropower plant in Niger state. Commissioning the health facility, Wife of the Governor, Dr Amina Abubakar Bello commended the Foundation, an arm of Mainstream Energy Solutions Limited (MESL) that operates the Kainji and Jebba power plants, for giving back to the society saying only few firms could do what the Foundation has done. Amina, a medical practitioner led the screening for various health issues including malaria for the over 500 residents of Malale who attended the medical outreach at the newly commissioned health centre which has solar lighting and solar-powered water facility. The Executive Director of the Foundation, Siraj Abdullahi who also presented some footballs and a N50,000 cash donation to the youth for their jerseys said

he was impressed with them for surrendering their football field where the new centre was built. “This Dr Amina Abubakar Bello Community Health Centre project came up after the community wrote to us to intervene as the previous centre has broken down. They were using a makeshift room that could only take three patients,” he noted. The Foundation is also fixing the Malale school and providing another borehole in Malale which is about 30 kilometres from Kainji town of New Bussa in Borgu Local Government Area. In his appreciation, Secretary of Malale Youth Development Association, Isiaka Abdullahi, lauded the Foundation and Dr Amina Bello for the intervention as he urged the government to connect the community to the national electricity grid which is available some 20 kilometres away in Wawa town. The Head of Malale community, Yusuf Mohammed Sani said he was excited as his community even at such distance has been blessed with such impactful projects.


witter is an online news and social networking service on which users post and interact w with messages known as tweets. Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams created Twitter in March 2006 and it was launched July. “Followers” refer to the number of people that react to an account. Here are top 10 Twitter accounts with the most followers iin the world. Justin Timberlake @jtimberlake, a singer has almost 66 million foll followers and he follows 277 accounts. His a account created in 2009 has 3,923 tweets s. H e iss N tweets. He No. 10 on our chart today. YouT Y Tub be @YouTube follows at No. YouTube 9 wi ith h over 72 million followers, with 22 2,3 334 tweets and the account 22,334 w hi which was created in 2007 ffollows ol 1,027 handles. Yo Youtube is a video hosting ssite. Number 8 goes to ace footballer Cristiano Ronaldo @Cristiano. He has over 72million followers. He follows 95 accounts and has tweeted 3,159 times. Television host and c comedian Ellen DeGeneres @ @TheEllenShow comes 7th with over 77 million ffollowers. ollow She follows over 3 50 000 accounts and has tweeted 35000 16,57 77 tim 16,577 times. Lady L yG aga @ladygaga is ranked 6th Gaga with ov w ver 78 million followers, she over ffollows 127,609 account and has tweeted 8,730 times since creating the account in 2008. Pop singer Taylor Swift @ taylorswift13 has over 85 million followers which makes her 5th on the list. She doesn’t follow any account and has only tweeted 91 times. Multiple award winning singer, Rihanna @rihanna comes at 4th position with over 87million followers. She follows 1,119 handles a and has tweeted 10,092 times. F Former US president Barack Obam m @BarackObama, the only nonObama enter r entertainer on the list has over 102 mil l million followers which places him at the 3rd position. He follows an a astonishing 623,035 accounts since it was created in 2007. He has tweeted 15,510 times. Coming at number 2 is pop-star Justin Bieber @justinbieber with over106 million followers. He follows 314,959 accounts and has tweeted 30,605. The number one position goes to singer Katy Perry @katyperry, a position she has maintained for several years. She has over 109 m million followers. She follows 212 acc accounts and has tweeted 9,136 times since it w was created.

Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it - Harper Lee