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Oluwanifise Onafowokan, a student of The Ambassador College, Ota, Ogun State has revealed that long hours of work and practice are the factors responsible for her deep knowledge of Mathematics, a subject that is a nightmare for many of her colleagues.

Onafowokan, who is participating in the Senior Category of the 2017 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz Show sponsored by Cowbell, the flagship brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, explained that her love for Mathematics started early because of encouragement by her parents.

She added that the subject, which scares majority of students, comes naturally to her because of the devotion she pays to it. “I love solving Mathematical problems until I get tired. It has become a part of me. It is fun taking my mathematics textbook and my workbook; it relieves my stress. I just love my Mathematics,” she stated.

She praised her teacher and the school management for providing a conducive atmosphere for talents to boom among the students.

At the end of the preliminary round last weekend, Onafowokan and Plangdi Nepele of the Baptist High School, Naraguta, Plateau State advanced to the semi-final stage.

Onafowokan and Nepele, who got 95 per cent in the qualifying examinations conducted in March 2017 expressed confidence in their ability to excel in the competition. Onafowokan answered 13 questions in the Cowbellpedia 60 Seconds of Fame segment and has vowed to emulate her school mate, Ayooluwa Oguntade, who won the Senior Category last year.

Onafowokan and Nepele contested the preliminary rounds with Faith Edokpa of Mount Carmel Secondary School, Ekpoma, Edo State; Gift Nwere of FISO, Owerri, Imo State; Aisha Abubakar of Iqra Science Academy, Jalingo, Taraba State and Musa Usman of Government Science Secondary School, Faskari, Kastina State.

In the Junior Category, Oluwafemi Adeyanju of Jesuit Memorial College and Jesse Uche-Nwichi of Graceland International School, both in Port Harcourt, Rivers State qualified for the semi-finals.

Uche-Nwichi, son of a Computer Engineer, also wants to pursue a career in that profession to fulfil his ambition of developing a computer application that will stimulate human memory. He scored 98 percent in the qualifying examination conducted in March 2017.

“I am happy that I have crossed the first two hurdles, leaving two more to go. I am hoping for the best. My dream to wear the crown is very much alive,” he said.

Adeyanju, whose favourite foods are plantain and fish, got a perfect score in the qualifying examinations. He was grateful to God for helping him to overcome the initial stage fright that tensed him up and prayed for more grace and speed for the battle ahead.

For the Senior and Junior Categories, the ultimate prize is One Million Naira and an all-expense paid educational excursion outside the country, while the first and second runners-up will go home with Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira and Five Hundred Thousand Naira respectively.

Teachers of the category champions will be awarded the sum of Four Hundred Thousand Naira, while those of the first and second runners-up will receive Three Hundred Thousand Naira and Two Hundred Thousand Naira respectively. The winning schools will each have Mathematics textbooks, desktop computers and printers.

The 2017 Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz Show continues this weekend and will be aired to millions of viewers on DSTV Africa Magic Family Channel, Africa Independent Television (AIT) Network and other six television stations across the country.

BIG STORY

774,000 Public Jobs Workers Protest Unpaid N20,000 Wage, Beneficiaries Tackle Keyamo

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Participants in the Federal Government’s Special Public Works (SPW) programme are protesting the delay in paying their stipend more than three months after kick-off.

The SPW is an Adhoc programme designed by the government to provide stop-gap three months jobs to mainly artisans to earn N20,000 monthly doing public works.

One thousand youths were hired from each of the 774 local government in the country as beneficiaries, bringing the figure to 774,000 councils.

The programme was inaugurated on January 5. The first batch of beneficiaries have completed their assignment without being paid.

President Muhammadu Buhari on March 20 directed the release of funds to pay the stipends.

Minister of Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo (SAN) hours after, directed the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the Federal Government agency driving the programme, to start processing the payment plan.

Keyamo, in his official Tweeter handle, (@fkeyamo, assured the participants that they would soon receive alerts of payment.

Twenty-two days after, no payment has been made.

Some of the participants at the weekend took to Keyamo’s Twitter handle to ventilate their frustration.

One of them described the Federal Government as “heartless” for failing to pay them their stipend.

One Dubagari Jnr, tweeted: “What is happening with the SPW? Up till now, we have not been paid and have successfully finished our work. Please Hon. minister we need explanations on why we have not been paid and you have to start the disbursement before fasting (Ramadan).

Another worker, Maikudi Kolo, asked through a tweet: “Una no go pay 774, 000 workers?”

Abdoul Baqee tweeted: “People are hungry regarding the payment of stipends. Please fast track the payment of these people. 774, 000 people waiting anxiously for their payment with hunger and they don’t even have a phone to come to your timeline. When you get hungry just remember those people that work with hunger without their entitlement.”

Yusuf Mohammed Olawuyi asked: “Mr. Honourable minister, what happened to our SPW stipends? You already published that we will start receiving the alert from the beginning of April.”

When contacted, Keyamo directed our correspondent to NDE acting Director-General Abubakar Fikpo.

Fikpo said: “We are still in the process; we have identified some loopholes here and there. We want to verify the BVN of the participants. That is why we are working with the banks.

“We are verifying the BVN of those participants in order to avoid double payments to several people or to three or more accounts.”

About SPW Programme

The Special Public Works Programme is a dry season/off-season transient job for rehabilitation/maintenance of social infrastructure.

The Programme is designed to employ 1,000 persons each from the 774 Local Government Areas.

It is being implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

N52billion was voted for the programme, part of it to pay participants at N20,000 monthly for three months.

The programme was expected to commence on October 1, 2020, but suffered a setback because of internal wranglings between Keyamo and a former Director-General of the NDE, Nasir Ladan. President Muhammadu Buhari fired Ladan.

There was also a big row between the National Assembly and Keyamo over the allocation of slots to hire beneficiaries.

N26 billion was released for the procurement of equipment and for logistics before the programme eventually commenced on January 5.

Keyamo, during the inauguration of the programme, said it will address poverty and hunger.

The minister said the programme was conceived following the success of the pilot scheme in eight states to gauge its impact in addressing the ballooning population of the unemployed and rising insecurity.

Keyamo noted that countries like India and Malaysia used similar programmes to fight poverty.

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NEWS

DewsTech Limited, UK Launches It’s Quicoin Project

Gbemileke Ajayi

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DewsTech Limited, a London-based Fintech company announced on April 1, 2021, its launch of a unique Decentralized Payment System Called the Qui Payment System.

This payment system is uniquely built to address most issues currently experienced by existing blockchain and cryptographic systems, as it prides itself to be safe, secure, and super fast in consummating transactions.

The idea behind this technology is to create a decentralized payment system that supports Global Trade and transactions, as the world of business now desires improved turnaround time in consummating their transactions, considering the importance of time on business targets and projection.

Qui Payment Project is focused on building a new financial system that challenges the status quo and unlike most cryptocurrencies, the Qui Payment Project generates a coin named QUICOIN, which harps on safety, stability, and importantly USABILITY.

This project, aside from individuals, also ensures the corporates are taken into consideration in the design of its wallet system, which allows for corporates to trade globally and manage their wallets like they currently do with their existing payment system with allowance to identify each of their transactions for records and audit.

Upon full global adoption of this coin, businesses may bid farewell to times of third currency fluctuations and forex availability that really affect their operation and disrupt also their projections.

The Quicoin, which its Initial Coin Offer (ICO) now on offer on www.quicoin.uk/ico is considered as the new big thing in the crypto world, as for once, a cryptocurrency that suits our everyday financial needs is here, as the coin is poised on global adoption and usability by all and sundry in the global trade and transaction space.

The partnership will be fostered with global card payment systems as well as insurance companies to deepen adoption, integration, as well as protect holders of the coins from possible theft and loss of these digital assets.

This promises to be very exciting on full swing and with axillary ecosystems to complement the payment system, the global financial system is about to experience the real change expected of cryptographic and blockchain systems.

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BIG STORY

FG Enlists Interpol’s Help Over Fleeing 3,471 Dangerous Prisoners

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The Federal Government has asked the International Criminal Police Organisation to be on the alert and look out for the inmates who escaped in the recent jailbreaks in the country, including the most recent in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

It added that the Nigerian Immigration Service had also been issued an alert, noting that the data of the inmates were being compiled and would be sent to the relevant organizations in batches so as not to delay the manhunt.

A senior official with the Nigerian Correctional Service on Saturday told one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity that the number of “dangerous” inmates on the loose officially was 3,471, including those who escaped in Owerri.

The source noted that the inmates included hardened criminals, kidnappers, armed robbers, and condemned criminals awaiting execution. “Suffice it to say that the bulk of those who fled Owerri correctional center are hardened criminals,” the source added.

No fewer than 1,844 inmates escaped from the Owerri Custodial Centre on Monday when unidentified gunmen broke into the facility with the aid of explosives. The gunmen also attacked the state police headquarters, where they freed about 600 suspects in custody. The attackers torched the facilities and also vehicles on both premises.

Despite the persuasion by the Federal Government and its assurance that they would be given amnesty from fresh prosecution if they returned to the facility, the NCoS said on its website on Wednesday that it had a total of 84 inmates back in custody. It said the figure included those who did not flee during the jailbreak, those recaptured, those who voluntarily returned, and those brought back by their relations, traditional rulers and religious leaders.

Further investigations showed that about 1,780 inmates were on the loose, while only 35 inmates didn’t escape during the attack.

On Friday, NCoS authorities published on its Twitter handle the names and pictures of 36 of the fleeing inmates.

Meanwhile, following the escapees’ refusal to return to the custodial center, the NCoS said it was compiling the names and pictures of the fleeing inmates for dispatch to the NIS to prevent them from leaving the country and INTERPOL to track those who might have fled.

The NCoS spokesperson, Francis Enobore, a Controller of Corrections, said the service would seek the assistance of the two agencies in arresting the escaped inmates.

Disclosing this to journalists on Saturday, Enobore said, “We are putting the list together, we would definitely seek INTERPOL and NIS’ assistance.”

Asked how soon they planned to do it, Enobore stated, “Like the ones we are processing now, we want everything to be comprehensive so that we send them at the same time. We also realize that waiting for the list to be comprehensive before sending may also slow down the manhunt, so these batches that are coming up would be sent for local searches at motor parks and other places but everything would be uploaded to the (INTERPOL) platform.”

Investigations by one of our correspondents showed that the 3,471 inmates, who are now part of society, escaped from three custodial centers. Some of them are said to be serving jail terms for various crimes, including murder, armed robbery, and kidnapping while hundreds are facing trial for different crimes.

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