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    An Open Letter to my Fellow Yoruba on sound /h/

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    Letter h equates a sound in English and it is called glottal fricative. This sound is a problematic one for many people who speak the English Language as a second language. The /h/ sound is present in some words, optional in some words and silent in some other words. It has however been observed that among Yoruba speakers on English, there are also cases of h-insertion and h-omission.

    The sound is found in words like: house, abhor, habit, his, her and so on. It is optional in a word like hotel, which means you may pronounce the word with the glottal fricative sound or leave it out. The sound is not found in words like honour and hour despite the presence of letter h.

    Research has shown however that Yoruba speakers of English struggle with this sound and with them are the instances of h insertion and h deletion. In my personal experience, I was once told by a year 5 student when I served in the eastern part of Nigeria that, “Sir, have you observed we laugh collectively when you teach sometimes? It happens anytime you’re supposed to pronounce a word with h and you leave out the h.” This explains the truth that many Nigerians from the western part struggle with this sound irrespective of our level of education. Aside the three cases of h-ful words (words pronounced with the h sound), h-less words (words pronounced without the h sound) and h-variant words (words that can be pronounced with or without the h), it has been observed that Yoruba have instances of h omission and h insertion.

    We talk about h omission when we remove the h sound in h-ful words like houses, abhor, help, harass, hamper, his and so on and h-insertion happens when we insert the sound h into h-less words like egg, ate, earn and many other words. The simple truth is that, like the vowel sounds we have in words like birth and word, the glottal fricative /h/ is another sound that is not found in the Yoruba phonemic repertoire.

    Anyone who hopes to speak the English language without blemish must pay attention to words with the h sound, words with letter h but that do not have the sound, words with letter h but that may or may not take h sound, words where we erroneously omit the h sound and words where we incorrectly insert the h sound. The articulation of sounds that are not found in the phonemic inventory of one’s language must be done with deliberate effort and carefulness to avoid cases of linguistic interference and also to be able to communicate with global intelligibility.

    *By Ganiu Bamgbose, a doctorate student of English at the University of Ibadan wrote in 2018″

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    David Umahi varsity Teaching Hospital reversing medical tourism in Nigeria — CMD

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    The Chief Medical Director (CMD), David Umahi Federal University Teaching Hospital (DUFUTH) Uburu, Ebonyi State, Prof. Uzoma Agwu, has called on Nigerians to desist from traveling overseas to treat their health issues.

    According to the CMD, DUFUTH treats all kinds of illness including kidney, oncology, cancer and other centers with active medical facilities relating to health issues and also provides adequate care for their patients.

    The CMD disclosed this at the hospital in an interview with Tribune Online in Uburu, Ohaozara local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

    The hospital CMD also noted that the hospital will be carrying out a free dialysis section by the second week of January 2024, as part of the awareness creation about the Hospital institution.

    Akonitv  gathered that the hospital built by Senator David Umahi, former Governor of Ebonyi State and handed over to the Federal government has carried out over one hundred successful surgeries on the health issues that bordered on kidneys and livers.

    “Under the radiology department, we have the full complement of the radiological services. We also have Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for the capturing of images mostly in the brain and the spinal cord, while the CT scan takes cross sectional images for bone resolution.

    “Additionally, Mammograms meant for breast problems only have been activated and we have started using them already,” she said.

    The CMD also noted that the Maternal and Child Health Center named after Muhammadu Buhari is fully activated with over one thousand radiological investigations done in the facility.

    “The hospital is meant to provide everything relating to health issues, the staff have been gazetted into the Federal scheme, initially there were no seats and enough equipment but upon my assumption, everything was put in place,” she said.

    According to her, the hospital has gotten the needed manpower and specialists as gynecologists, surgeons, pediatricians and many others to complement the 30 full-time consultants already in the facility to provide adequate services to the patients.

    The CMD added that the hospital, under him had made some amendments in the structures of the facility, activated all the five floors which include the medicine, surgery departments, among others including community medicine and their services, noting that the services are not expensive compared to the prices of other hospitals of the same standard .

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    UK varsities seek NUC’s approval to operate in Nigeria

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    Officials from the London Academy Business School and University of Sunderland are currently seeking approval from the National Universities Commission to run degree programmes in Nigeria.

    A delegation from the University of Sunderland, led by Dr. Derek Watson, confirmed this after a meeting held in Abuja with the acting Executive Secretary, NUC, Chris Maiyaki, according to a statement released on Thursday.

    Watson, an associate professor from the faculty of business law and tourism, assured that students in Nigeria would have the same academic standards as their counterparts in the United Kingdom, while the management, at the same time, promised to respect the environment and guidelines from the NUC.

    He said, “The meeting with the executive secretary was very productive. The University of Sunderland has over 30 years of experience.

    “What we have agreed on today is the criticality of following the compliance procedures. In addition to that, we would source credible academics to deliver our programmes from LABS who are qualified teachers and also practicing consultants. The students will get the same experience as those students studying in England.”

    President/Director of Studies, London Academy Business School, Dr. Larry Jones-Esan, explained that the visit to NUC was to get the nod to run programmes in Nigeria.

    He said, “The meeting with the NUC today is for us to get the recognition that we are allowed to run the Sunderland courses in Nigeria. So, we do not need the NUC accreditation, what we need is recognition. That is very important because if we run any course in Nigeria without them recognising it, that degree is useless and they cannot do NYSC, so we do not want that to be the case.

    “So for us to do that, we have to get their permission first before we go out there and start recruiting students. Otherwise, we will be shooting ourselves in the foot. If they come here and say you are doing something illegal, you will pay a fine and before you get out of that, it will be too much.”

    He stated further, “So what we have done is that we bring those people in and come in. Myself as the CEO of the London Academy Business School, make sure that we have them aware of what we are doing.

    “Today is a very important day for the London Academy Business School in partnership with the University of Sunderland. We met with the executive secretary of the National University Commission and discussions went as planned, making sure that we do things right.

    “One thing that came out very clear is that they want people to work with them but work in a way that they respect the authority, and respect the system and the environment.

    “So we are going to make sure that everything we do follows the guidelines. We have very beautiful guidelines but if you fail to follow them, you might run into trouble. If two million people apply for university admissions every year in Nigeria and only seven hundred thousand are getting a place, that is a problem and that is a challenge. They want to solve that problem and we think we have come at the right time.

    “We thank the delegates from the University of Sunderland working with the London Academy Business School in making sure that this gives results as quickly as possible.”

    Earlier, the team visited the Nigerian Public Service Institute along Kubwa Road, Abuja, which is going to serve as the study centre and they were received by the administrator and Chief Executive Officer of the institute, Abdul-Ganiyu Obatayinbo.

    The administrator said the environment was far better than what the University of Sunderland has in the UK, adding that the institute was saddled with the responsibility of building the capacity of public/civil servants.

    He said that the institute has a 500-seat auditorium, 12 different halls of 30 seater capacity each, hostels with 202 bedrooms, a hospital, security quarters, a sports complex, entrepreneurship centre among other facilities, that would make teaching and learning conducive.

    Some of the courses to be offered at the undergraduate level include computer science, business and management, and network system engineering, among others, while business administration, international business management, education leadership, among others, will be offered at the master’s level.

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    Oyo lawmaker awards scholarship to students, cash support for ailing constituents

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    The All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker said the gesture was part of efforts aimed at easing the sufferings of the people particularly at this critical period and in fulfilment of his pledge for quality representation.

    Commenting on the development, some of the beneficiaries commended the lawmaker for the intervention, describing it as timely and hugely supportive.

    The lawmaker was accompanied during the exercise by some State lawmakers on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stakeholders and some of his political loyalists.

    In the same vein, Hon. Abisodun has announced full scholarship for 20 deserving students from the three local governments comprising the constituency.

    This initiative, according to him is part of the commemoration of his 100 days in office and his resolve to ensure that he encourages students in his constituency to achieve academic excellence.

    The beneficiaries, carefully selected based on their outstanding academic records and dedication to their studies, hail from diverse backgrounds in Saki West, Atisbo, and Saki East Local Governments.

    The lawmaker’s decision to provide these full scholarships also underscores his dedication to empowering the youth and ensuring that access to quality education is not limited by financial constraints.

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