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Mathematical Centre trains students on geostatistics to aid national development — Director



Training at National Mathematical Centre, Abuja

The National Mathematical Centre (NMC) has trained no fewer than 50 postgraduate students on geostatistics, to enhance national planning for effective development.

Prof. Promise Mebine, Director/Chief Executive, NMC, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, on Monday.

Represented by Prof. Funmilayo Saporo, Coordinator of Statistics at the Centre, Mebine said that the training would help statisticians to address challenges in the area of spatial statistics.

He said that the Centre had a five-day zoom meeting, which targeted graduate assistants, master’s students and master’s degree holders from universities and other interested lecturers in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

The training, he explained, aimed at exposing young Nigerian scientists’ and researchers to the knowledge of geostatistics in their research work.

According to him, geostatisrics is statistics applied in space and time; it is not like ordinary statistics applied only in locations.

“The training is intended to expose Nigerian scientists to this field because in Nigeria, geostatistics or spatial statistics is not in the syllabus of the National University Commission (NUC).

“So, with this now they will be exposed and they will have greater capability in analysing data that presents itself in that form.

“For example; if you can look at COVID-19 data across the states you can use the idea of geostatistics to analyse the incidence’’, he said.

He, therefore, advised Nigerian students to take their work seriously and try their best to always overcome challenges instead of being complacent.

“Because there is no way you can have everything easy, definitely Nigeria is going through hard times, that should not deter a serious person from achieving his/her objectives.

The director, however, identified lack of funds as one of the challenges militating against the centre’s activities, saying that if the centre had enough funds allocated to it, it will carry out its activities more efficiently.

Also speaking, Prof. Audu Isah, Department of Statistics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, said that “Foundation Postgraduate course on geostatistics’’ was designed to acquaint statisticians with the area of spatial statistics.

Isah, who was also the resource person for the programme, further explained that geostatistics could be useful in the area of estimation and prediction.

“Sometimes, we may have scarcity of information; it may become difficult to go to each point to gather information, so information is scarce.

“Then, what we do is to get information from whatever point we can and we use that information to predict what may be happening at other locations that we cannot visit considering special dependence.

“This special area applies virtually in every field of life, you can use it even in econometrics, accounting, pollution and any other field one can think of,’’ he said.

Isah noted that “spatial statistics is an area that is about dying in Nigerian universities.

“So this course will open the eyes of many of our graduates of statistics that want to go into spatial statistics, particularly geostatistics which is an aspect of spatial statistics.

“The programme is designed for graduates from Nigerian universities and polytechnics, who may be interested in further studies.

“It is designed in such a way that participants will gain the basic foundation for further research and studies in geostatistics.

“And those that will be interested in carrying out research will actually be aided by this course,’’ he added. (NAN)(

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I made mistake in picking Atiku as my Running Mate in 1999 – Obasanjo laments



Former President Olusegun Obasanjo


Ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has disclosed that when he served as a head of state in 1999 as a civilian, he had made a mistake picking his vice.

Obasanjo made this statement while fielding questions from secondary school students at a program at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Obasanjo admitted to making many “genuine mistakes” in his life while interacting with the students, but claimed that God helped him overcome them.

“Choosing my number two when I wanted to be president was one of the errors I made. But God saved me because it was an honest mistake, said Obasanjo.

Obasanjo while interacting with the students revealed that he had made many “genuine mistakes” in his life; saying, however, that God made him overcome them.

“One of the mistakes I made was picking my number two when I wanted to become the president. But because it was a genuine mistake, God saved me,” Obasanjo said.
According to reports, Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential contender, served as Obasanjo’s second-in-command from 1999 to 2007.

Obasanjo and Atiku clashed with one and other for years while in government over matters they couldn’t agree on.

When discussing his second error, Obasanjo claimed that it occurred when General Sani Abacha, a late military ruler, was going to arrest him and the American Embassy offered him asylum which he refused.

Obasanjo claimed that had God not intervened, he would have perished during his time in prison.

“When Abacha wanted to arrest me, I was told by the American ambassador that they will arrest me and that America has asked that I should be given an asylum. I said no. It could have been a mistake because I could have lost my life.”

The Balogun Owu stated that God had saved him from many things that could have been a mistake.

When asked whether the youths could be allowed to rule the nation, Obasanjo expressed worries, stating that youths may never come into power should the current trend in Nigeria continues.

The former president regretted that in spite of the “Not Too Young to Run” campaign, people contesting to rule the nation are between 70 and 80 years old.

“How can the youths run,” he asked, adding that the amount of money involved in going into politics would not allow youths to get to leadership positions.

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu

No fewer than 5000 Lagosians are to be enrolled in the Ilera Eko Social Health Plan – courtesy of the Lagos State Executive Council.

The gesture is to celebrate Governor Sanwo-Olu’s 57th birthday on June 25 and in the spirit of his compassion for the indigent and vulnerable.

Beneficiaries will have access to quality health care services and drugs under the ILERA EKO Standard Plan at no cost to them.

Nominees will be selected from the Lagos State Social Protection Register. An equal number of the 5000 eligible beneficiaries are to be selected from the five IBILE divisions of the State and will enjoy Universal Health Coverage.

These beneficiaries have been identified using a multi-dimensional poverty index tool, which includes the poverty means-testing to ensure accuracy, reliability and validity of the data generated.

ILERA EKO is the State Social Health Insurance Plan managed by Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), which offers the basic minimum health plan that provides quality and affordable healthcare for all Lagos residents, especially the middle and low-income earners as well as the vulnerable.

Services on the Plan include: General consultations; Specialist Consultations; Management of uncomplicated chronic diseases (Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma); Maternal and Newborn Care; Normal Delivery and Caesarean Section; Dental Care (with Composite filling) and Eye Care, including glasses.

There are also minor and major surgeries; laboratory tests and scans; HIV/TB Testing services; Emergency Health Services; Cancer Care and the provision of prescribed drugs.

A policy cycle under the ILERA EKO Health Insurance Plan runs for 12 calendar months in which an enrolee’s policy is due for renewal before the 25th day of the 12th month to enable such subscribers have access to care the next month (Start of renewed policy cycle).

The selected beneficiaries will commence access to care from July 1, 2022.

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Wife remanded as UK Court denies them bail



Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife


An Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in the United Kingdom did not grant bail to Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President, and Beatrice, his wife, who were apprehended over attempted harvesting of organs.

It was gathered that the Nigerian couple was detained by the Metropolitan Police when they tried harvesting an unnamed child’s organs.

When the Senator was arraigned on Thursday, the court refused to grant him bail but ordered that he should be remanded till July 7

The Metropolitan Police while confirming the arrest said in a statement that the pair were charged to court on Thursday following an investigation by the police’ specialist crime team.

“Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 (10.9.66) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting,” the statement read.

“Ike Ekweremadu, 60 (12.05.62) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

They have both been remanded in custody and will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today.

“A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support.”

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