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Nigerian universities don’t teach geostatistics: National Mathematical Centre



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The National Mathematical Centre (NMC) says it has trained at least 50 postgraduate students on geostatistics.

“The training is intended to expose Nigerian scientists to this field because, in Nigeria, geostatistics or special statistics is not in the syllabus of the National University Commission. With this now, they will be exposed and have a greater capability in analysing data that presents itself in that form,” the director and chief executive of NMC, Promise Mebine, disclosed on Monday.

He added, “For example, if you can look at Covid-19 data across the states, you can use the idea of geostatistics to analyse the incidence.”

Represented by Funmilayo Saporo, coordinator of the centre, Mr Mebine stated that the training would help statisticians address challenges in the field.

He further explained that the centre had a five-day Zoom meeting that 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.

Geostatistics is statistics “applied in space and time,” unlike “ordinary statistics applied only in locations.”

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

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 would carry out its activities more efficiently.

Also speaking, Audu Isah of the Department of Statistics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, pointed out that the “foundation postgraduate course on geostatistics” was designed to acquaint statisticians with the area of special statistics.



APC Crisis: Ex-Gov. Yerima calls for unity in Zamfara



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Former Governor Ahmad Yerima of Zamfara has called for unity in the All Progressives Congress (APC) family in the state, urging those challenging the party’s leadership in the state to stop in the interest of peace.

Mr Yerima said this when he received newly inaugurated state executives of the party at his residence in Gusau.

Yusuf Idris, APC’s publicity secretary in Zamfara, disclosed this in a statement in Gusau on Monday.

The statement said the executives’ visit was to show appreciation to APC stakeholders in Zamfara over their emergence under the chairmanship of Tukur-Umar Danfulani.

“During the visit, Danfulani promised to show leadership by example, promising that all loyal members will be fully engaged in party activities,” said the statement.

It added that the executives also visited former Governor Mahmud Shinkafi, serving and former lawmakers at the National and State House of Assembly, among others.


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COVID-19: Botswana confirms 19 Omicron cases



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Botswana Health Minister, Edwin Dikoloti, has confirmed 19 cases of the newly-discovered Omicron variant of COVID-19.

“Such detection should not be confused with Botswana being the country of origin of the strain,” the Botswana health minister said.

Mr Dikoloti disclosed this at a briefing that additional assessments and analyses of other positive COVID-19 samples had revealed 15 more cases of the Omicron variant on Sunday after four foreigners were declared infected.

“We will continue to expand our conduct tracing to ensure that no potential cases go undetected,” Mr Dikoloti stressed.

He further stated that the initial cases of the Omicron variant in Botswana were detected after four foreign nationals, who had briefly visited Botswana, tested positive for COVID-19 on November 11. 

The variant was confirmed as the Omicron variant on November 24.


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Omicron: Philippines launches ambitious vaccination drive



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The Philippines on Monday launched an ambitious three-day vaccination drive to give COVID-19 shots to up to nine million Filipinos amid the threat of the highly mutated Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Thousands of security forces and volunteers were deployed nationwide to implement the campaign, which was being held as the country again imposed international travel restrictions.

“The national vaccination day is very timely and truly a milestone in our COVID-19 pandemic response and mitigation efforts,” Carlito Galvez, the country’s vaccination chief, said. “Inoculating nine million individuals in three days is our most ambitious target so far.”

According to the Department of Health, three million people would be vaccinated a day or nearly four times the average of 813,734 daily doses in the past week.

The department said before Monday, more than 35.78 million Filipinos had been fully vaccinated, or over 32 per cent of the country’s total population of 110 million.

The government aims to vaccinate 54 million people by the end of 2021 and 77 million by next March.

Mr Galvez said with the country’s increasing supply of vaccines, the key was now to “accelerate and expand the capacity” of local government units, especially those outside the capital region of Metro Manila.

The Philippines banned flights from 14 countries, including seven European nations, due to rising COVID-19 cases and the detection of the Omicron variant.

The government also indefinitely delayed a previous decision to start accepting some foreign tourists again from December 1. 


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