National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sends Scientists to Senegal to Capture Occultation to Further New Horizons Space Mission.

From France, the Centre national d’études spatiales and the Paris Observatory are sending scientists to participate in the occultation observation in Senegal

DAKAR, Senegal, August 1, 2018/APO Group/ — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is sending a team of over 30 U.S. scientists and 21 mobile telescopes to Senegal for a unique astronomical opportunity to view a stellar occultation (when an object passes in front of a star) of a new Kuiper Belt Object, known as Ultima Thule, as part of NASA’s New Horizons space mission.
Working in partnership with U.S. Embassy Dakar and the Senegalese Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI), the team will conduct tests outside of Dakar before heading to the field to observe and capture the occultation in the early hours of August 4. Senegalese and French scientists will join the New Horizons team. This mission will help scientists learn more about the Solar System’s outer reaches and is an example of U.S.-Senegalese scientific partnership and cooperation.

On July 30, MESRI will hold a press conference with U.S. Ambassador Tulinabo Mushingi, the Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, and representatives from NASA New Horizons and NASA headquarters. There will also be a July 30 panel discussion featuring panel discussions by U.S., Senegalese, and French scientists describing the astronomical observation to be done at Senegal. The U.S. Embassy in Dakar is also organizing a science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) focused event in Dakar with NASA scientist participation as well as STEM workshops in Thies and Louga.

Launched in January 2006, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft successfully flew by Pluto in July 2015 and continues to explore the edge of the Solar System by observing newly discovered objects in the Kuiper Belt to learn about their origins, including Ultima Thule. Dr. Marc Buie, a New Horizons team member from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Colorado, discovered Ultima Thule in 2014. The August 2018 occultation that will be observed in Senegal and Colombia is a key event in the New Horizons mission.

This mission is possible due to a collaboration of many partners working with NASA. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, designed, built, and operates NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, and manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. SwRI leads the science team. From France, the Centre national d’études spatiales and the Paris Observatory are sending scientists to participate in the occultation observation in Senegal. MESRI has worked closely with the New Horizons mission and the U.S. Embassy on organizing the logistical and technical aspects of the observation and is coordinating a team of Senegalese scientists to participate in the observations.

Source : Distributed by APO Group



…Says Nigeria Can Stamp Out Scourge By 2030


Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode on Tuesday urged mothers, fathers and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to continue to voice their concerns, while governments at all levels put in place the right statutes for total eradication of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Nigeria and in Africa by 2030.  


Mrs. Ambode spoke to journalists in Alausa, Ikeja in an event to commemorate this year’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.


She expressed optimism that Female Genital Mutilation could be stamped out of Africa by 2030, if all individuals and institutions and stakeholders work together towards achieving that purpose.


Mrs. Ambode said that although the practice was well entrenched in the continent, with some countries recording up to ninety per cent prevalence among girls and women, the situation was not hopeless if the current advocacy was sustained or increased.


According to her, “The pace of penetration of awareness seems slow because the practice is an ancient one, deeply rooted in our various cultures but that does not make our efforts fruitless. Though progress may be slow, we are going somewhere as rural women, mothers and young girls, are becoming aware of the severe health implications of the barbaric practice.


“Few years ago, many women, even some educated ones, saw it as a normal and socially acceptable practice but the story is fast changing, as awareness is getting mileage and rural women are now campaigning against it.”


The Governor’s wife implored governments at all levels to fight the practice with direct legislations, in the manner they are doing with some wicked anti-female practices.


She emphasised that FGM constituted an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls, directly violating their rights to health, security and physical integrity, wondering why women should be subjected to such life-threatening dehumanization.


February 6 every year, is set aside by the United Nations, as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation across the world.



…Launches Advocacy To Engender Growth Mindset In Public Service


The Lagos State Government on Tuesday inaugurated a special advocacy campaign to engender growth mindset among civil servants and imbue them with the right skills and attitude to contribute to the efforts to fast-track development and set the State on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth.


Speaking at a press briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, the State’s Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr Akintola Benson Oke said the advocacy, which will initially last between three to six months, would be deployed to fight red tapism, complacency and all forms of attitudes that tend to delay progress and development in the civil service.


He said adequate arrangements have also been firmed up to sustain the advocacy for a longer period with the ultimate aim of instilling growth mindset in all civil servants in the State.  


He recalled that since assumption of office, the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode had invested heavily in the transformation of the public service through trainings and workshops designed to bring about improved productivity, deepen knowledge, expand horizon, as well as re-evaluate and sharpen the vision and focus of public servants, saying that the new advocacy is designed to consolidate on the gains of the previous arrangements.  


According to Oke, “We are convinced that by having individual officers of the Lagos State Public Service inculcate the ‘growth mindset,’ we can attain a truly effective, productive and transformational public service that will surpass the expectations of all stakeholders.


“In practical terms, our advocacy will be to challenge and encourage all officers of the Lagos State Public Service to embrace ‘growth mindset’ such that the objectives of advancing the economic potentials and moving the State forward can be realised.”  


Also speaking, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Hon Kehinde Bamigbetan said the advocacy would majorly focus on two tracks of training and communication, and also make civil servants to see the people as customers that must be treated with respect and dignity. 


The training track, according to Bamigbetan, is meant to ensure that civil servants are trained in skills that will give them right capacity and attitude to take a different view of their services and redefine their work in terms of the content by the audiences and customers who patronize the services of government, while the communication track would enable public servants reorganize their thought processes to change their perception and perspective of what they are supposed to do and therefore give them a more proactive and progressive attitude to the people.  


He said: “Basically, what we are saying is that government is a service centre and the customer they say is the king. So, for Lagos State, a very industrial environment, a very commercial environment, the most advanced cosmopolitan city in this country, we also have highly sophisticated citizens who deserve services at optimal level. This, we hope and believe, will enable us to change the attitude so that every civil servant sees the man on the street as his customer and with this, we would have also recorded major landmark in organizational behaviour which will be something for people to come and study in years to come.” 


On his part, Director General, Lagos State Office of Transformation, Creativity and Innovation, Mr Toba Otusanya said the advocacy was intended to change the orientation of public servants as the State moves from standard mega city to an emerging smart city.


He said: “As a State, we are actually moving from standard mega city to an emerging smart city and if we are doing that, it basically means that we need to actually develop public servants of the 21st century; public servants that are smart; public servants that are able to actually cut through red tape; public servants that can think outside the box; public servants that have all the necessary skills to be able to challenge the status quo and proffer solutions and bring new ideas to the table.


“Every time we talk about the public service, some of the things we speak about is that the public service is the engine room of government and it basically means that if the engine is not functioning well, as we all know, a car cannot function properly.


“So, it is a change in paradigm and it is not out of place because if you look at what is happening in international best practice and you look at some of the countries in the world that are doing exceptionally well with their public service like Singapore, Dubai and so on, they have shown that all of these things are actually possible with the right attitude and that is what the Lagos State Government is embarking on to transform the public service and take it to the next level.”   


Governor Wike gives assent to 2018 Rivers Budget

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has signed the 2018 Appropriation Bill  of the state into law.


The governor  signed a budget of N510billion  passed by the  Rivers State House of Assembly.


Signing  the budget in the presence of members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the State Executive Council at the Government House Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Governor Wike assured that the budget will be implemented diligently. 


He said that the Rivers State Government  will fast track  the implementation  of the  budget, which  will lead to greater development of the state. 


‘I commend the State Legislators for expediting the  process that led to the passage  of the 2018 budget. 


“You passage of this budget means that we will expedite  action on several areas of development.  At present, we have already started work”.


The governor also called on members of the Rivers State House of Assembly to work with relevant agencies  to implement their respective constituency projects.


He said that funds for the implementation of the 2017 constituency projects have been released , while  that of 2018 will be released after  proper account is given for that of last year. 


The governor also signed the  Keenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic Law No. 3 of 2018, Rivers State Waterways Law No. 4 of 2018 and Rivers State Local Government Law No. 5 of 2018.


Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Ikuinyi Ibani assured Governor Wike that the State Lawmakers are committed  to the development of the state.


He described Governor Wike as a just leader who is working selflessly for the good  people of the state. 


Presenting the bills for assent, Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Martin Amaehwule said that the bills passed through a rigorious legislative process.


Chairman, House Committee on Information, Sam Ogeh noted that the  public hearings and budget defence sessions ensured that the people participated in the budget process.

 3 day advocacy training

The Wife of the President Her Excellency Aisha Buhari has called on the wives of Governors of the South West in Nigeria to continue to collaborate for the improvement in the health and well being of women and children   

Mrs Buhari represented by the wife of the speaker of the House of representatives Mrs Gimbiya Dogara was speaking at the three day training workshop on advocacy for Reproductive, Maternal Newborn, Adolescent Health and Nutrition (RMNCAH+N) in Abeokuta Ogun State, Mrs Gimbiya Dogara, noted it was important that every one of us takes responsibility and strategic action to address these concerms in our immediate environment.

Earlier the wife of the Governor of Ogun State Mrs Olufunso Amosun said no woman should die in the process of giving birth and neither should children die in the process of coming to life. Therefore, adequate healthcare facilities and right nutrition are essential and we should all strive and work towards attaining this.

The workshop is a follow up to commitment made by the founder Aisha Buhari foundation and the wives of governors at a stakeholders meeting held in Abuja in October 2017

The 2017 event was held to build alliances that will help strengthen advocacy for RMNCAH+N at the state level.

Present at the Ogun state event were all the south western state governors wives H.E Olufunso Amosun , wife of governor Ogun State,

H.E. Feyisetan Fayose wife of Governor Ekiti State, H.E. Betty Akeredolu, Wife of Governor Ondo State, H.E. Sherifat  Aregbesolal wife of Governor Osun State,

H.E Bolanle Ambode wife of Governor Lagos State, and H.E. Janet Adeyemo wife of Governor Oyo State representing

Along with their technical officers and the Executive Secretaries of the Primary Health care Development Agencies


Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that the State Government will employ young Rivers doctors to work at new medical facilities that will come on stream this year.

 Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike in a group photograph with house officers of the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital at the Government House Port Harcourt on Monday 

Speaking during a meeting with House Officers of the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital at the Government House Port Harcourt on Monday, Governor Wike assured the house officers that they would be retained after their internship.


The Wike administration will complete the Mother and Child Hospital, Bori General Hospital, Degema Zonal Hospital And  Okehi Zonal Hospital  this year.


He said: “We must start employing our doctors  after they complete  their internship.  This has nothing to  do with  the economy. 


“I thank God that  we have this opportunity  to employ you after your internship “.


The governor stated that his administration will assist the house officers to carry out their voluntary medical outreach to less privileged persons. 


Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government  will continue to invest in healthcare programmes as a means to building  the health infrastructure of the state. 


The governor thanked the house officers for coming forward to appreciate him for approving and funding their internship. 


Leader of the House Officers of the Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, Dr Woha Boobondah thanked the Rivers State Governor for giving them  the opportunity  for their internship. 


He solicited  the support of Governor Wike for the medical outreach programme  to be carried  out by the House Officers. 


“The purpose of coming here is to show appreciation to Governor Wike for his developmental strides and the opportunity for us to embark on our internship.  



“We appreciate him because  it was difficult for  most of us to be accepted  for internship “, he said.




Simeon Nwakaudu,

Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media. 


5th February, 2018.