UNILAG VC Wins €38,000 Global Biodiversity Information Facility Grant

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  • Another botanist wins an institutional level grant of €18,850
  • US opens education advising centre in Calabar

By Funmi Ogundare

The Vice- Chancellor of University of Lagos, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and another botanist, Temitope Onuminya, have won 2021 Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) grants.

Nonye Oguama, a Principal Assistant Registrar, Corporate Affairs of the institution, made the disclosure in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

According to Mrs Oguama, the awards are part of the 2021 Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) programme, funded by the European Union.

Ogundipe, a Professor of Botany, won a national level grant of 38,000 euros for his project proposal: “Implementation of the Biodiversity Information and Data System for Coastal Ecosystem in Nigeria”.

Mr Onuminya, on the other hand, won an institutional level grant of 18,850 euros for implementation of a BID project proposal: “Expanding the Visibility of the Lagos Herbarium through Digitisation and Mobilisation of Plant Specimen Data”.

“The university of Lagos is rejoicing with them (mentor and mentee) and wishes them successful implementation of their proposals,” Mrs Oguama said.

The GBIF, an international organisation with Secretariat in Copenhagen, focuses on making scientific data on biodiversity available through the internet.

It provides human resources and technical infrastructure enabling publication of and access to large volumes of data gathered over centuries about the earth’s species.

In its renewed efforts to reach out to students and youths in underserved communities Friday, the U. Mission in Nigeria on Friday opened a new EducationUSA Advising Center in Calabar, Cross River State.

The centre hosted at the American Corner, 37 Ekpo Archibong Street, Calabar will offer accurate, unbiased, and comprehensive information about educational institutions in the United States, as well as guidance to prospective students on how best to access those opportunities.

Delivering keynote remarks during the opening ceremony, U.S. Mission Counsellor for Public Affairs, Aruna Amirthanayagam said the new EducationUSA Advising Center presents an opportunity for the youth in local communities in Cross River State and its environs to obtain a world-class education in the United States and then return home to contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth and development.

“We are very pleased to open an EducationUSA Advising Center in Calabar. The center offers a variety of free educational resources, including public information sessions, webinars, one-on-one, cohort advising and hands-on support for completing the U.S. college and university application process,” Amirthanayagam said.

Also at the unveiling, US Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Stephen Ibelli added that EducationUSA Advising Centres in Nigeria would assist many determined and talented, low-income students in Nigeria who only require financial resources and access to information to better their educational future.

Ibelli noted that applications for the 2021/2022 EducationUSA Opportunity Funds Program will open on April 15 until May 31, 2021, adding that applicants are welcome from all the states in Nigeria.

“In 2021, 19 high achieving, low-income students from southern Nigeria received full scholarships totaling $2.17 million to attend American universities and colleges for the 2020/2021 academic session.

“This feat was made possible through the Opportunity Funds Program of our EducationUSA Advising Center, with support from Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited,” Ibelli added.

In his goodwill message, Cross River State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Godwin Amanke, expressed the readiness of the state government to partner with the U.S. Mission to expand access to the services of the new EducationUSA Advising Center.

According to the latest Institute of International Education Open Doors Report, Nigeria retained its top ranking as the number one source of African students studying in the United States. About 13,762 Nigerians study at more than 1,000 US colleges and universities.