Buhari gives approval for 4 new varsities, Google to support African startups with $6m funding programmes | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

Buhari approves establishment of four new specialised varsities

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of four new universities specialised in Technology and Health Science as well as a take-off grant of N4 billion each institution from the funding resources of TETFund.

Permanent Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, who disclosed this during a briefing in Abuja on Monday, said the newly approved institutions are established to close the gap in the doctor-patient ratio, medical research and production of pharmaceutical products.

He added that the presidentalso approved two additional universities of technology in Jigawa and Akwa Ibom states – The Cable reports

Google set to support African startups with $6m funding programmes

Google has announced new initiatives to help African startups get access to capital.

The programmes will include a $3 million Black Founders Fund for African startups and a $3 million Google grant to help low-income communities develop entrepreneurial skills and funding.

Nitin Gajria, Managing Director of Google Africa, and Rowan Barnett, Head of Google.org Europe, Middle East & Africa, disclosed this in a joint statement on Monday.

Through the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa, we are supporting early-stage Black-founded startups and startups that are benefitting the Black community on the continent. We want to bridge the existing fundraising gap for Black startup founders in Africa’s fast-growing technology landscape,” the statement read.

They further explained that the fund will be allocated across a pipeline of 50 investable startups in Africa and is open to all startups that meet the criteria. – The Cable reports

Emirates ban Nigeria passenger flights indefinitely

Barely 48 hours after United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Emirates Airlines – lifted the ban onflights into and out of Nigeria, the carrier dramatically reversed itself, saying it will not accept flights from Lagos and Abuja as from Monday, June 21.

According to a statement by the airline, customers travelling to and from Lagos and Abuja will not be accepted for travel, while those who have been to – or connected through – Nigeria in the last 14 days will not be permitted to board from any other point to the UAE.

The statement reads: “We regret the inconvenience caused, and affected customers should contact their booking agent or Emirates call centre for rebooking,” said the airline. “Emirates remains committed to Nigeria, and we look forward to resuming passenger services when conditions allow.” – The Nation reports

Buhari re-introducing Decree 4 under different guise – Media stakeholders

The President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Christopher Isiguzo, on Monday reiterated the position of stakeholders in the media towards the National Press Council (Amendment) Bill currently before the National Assembly.

According to him, “from the NUJ’s perspective, we did not really object to that public hearing; but from the Nigeria Press Organisation’s perspectives, made up of the Newspapers Proprietors of Nigeria, the Nigeria Guild of Editors and the Nigeria Union of Journalists, we are opposed to the planned amendment.

We told the National Assembly that the matter was of contention in court and it would be sub-judice to discuss,” he added.

On the part of Lekan Otufodunrin, Chief Executive Officer of Media Career Development Service, the amendment bill and Decree 4, enacted by the President Muhammadu Buhari in 1984 during his regime as military Head of State, are the same. “Decree 4 was during the military regime and even then, it was heavily criticised by journalists and this led to the imprisonment of some prominent journalists,” he said. – Punch reports

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