34 research outputs found

    Influence of supervision on labour productivity on construction sites in Abuja-Nigeria

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    Research efforts have been directed toward the improvement of construction labour productivity over the years, and as a result of its significance to the national economies, the concept continues to receive attention across the globe. This study thus examines the influence of supervision on the productivity of construction workers in Abuja.  The research employed mixed methods approach using unobtrusive observation as well as on-site measurement of works to obtain qualitative data on twenty construction sites and questionnaires were used to elicit quantitative data from the professionals and those with supervisory roles involved or engaged by small and medium sized firms. Of the 157 questionnaires that were self-administered to the site supervisors, 124 valid responses were obtained which gave approximately 79% response rate. Finding from the observation and measurement revealed that there is no statistically significant difference between the productivity of workers with professional supervision and those with non-professional supervision (foremen). Results of the findings from the questionnaires on factors militating against effective supervision on construction sites showed that communication breakdown was ranked first with mean of 4.29 while irregular meeting was the least ranked with mean of 3.59.  It was suggested that adequate attention has to be paid to training, retraining and continuous professional development of people charged with supervisory roles on the construction sites so as to achieve higher construction workers productivity

    The extent of internal audit functions outsourcing by Nigerian deposit money banks

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    This study attempts to establish the extent to which internal audit functions (IAFs) are outsourced by the consolidated conventional banks in Nigeria, now addressed in the country as deposit money banks (DMBs).The extent to which the banks outsource each of the 15 identified functions traditionally attached to the internal audit unit/department is tested, using a structured questionnaire to elicit responses from the top and middle level management staffs of the banks.Bank’ management normally establishes and safeguards internal control system and internal audit system. Accordingly, heads of operations, branch managers, regional/area managers and internal auditors/controllers of all the 22 DMBs existing in Nigeria as at 31st July, 2013 are used as respondents.25 copies of the questionnaire are administered to the targeted respondents from each of the 22 banks, making a total of 550 copies. Of the copies returned, 435 (79%) are accepted for analysis. As the data are collected on an ordinal scale, non-parametric confirmatory analysis is employed.The study finds that all the 15 identified IAFs are being outsourced by the Nigerian DMBs at varying degree (completely, partially, occasionally or rarely). It is also discovered that 6 IAFs stand out as those that are more outsourced than provided in-house by the Nigerian DMBs (going by the 50% and above scores they attracted from the respondents), and that the other 9 IAFs are more discharged in-house than outsourced to outside experts

    Best management practices for hatcheries culturing African catfish

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    This document was put together with the aim of providing best management practices (BMPs) to small and medium-sized hatcheries producing African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) fingerlings or juveniles. Adhering to these practices will not only increase efficiency and profit for farmers but will also minimize losses and key negative environmental and social impacts of African catfish hatcheries

    Development of Genetic Improvement in the African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus, Burchell, 1822)

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    The African catfish, Clarias gariepinus, is the most important fish species for aquaculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite its long-standing history in aquaculture (since the 1950’s) and current rapid expansion, little work has been done on its genetics and the genetic management/improvement of different populations globally. The industry, currently worth over USD 720 million in Nigeria, and with so much more growth potential, is faced with numerous challenges. To understand the extent of these challenges and possible areas/types of intervention, the Nigerian catfish aquaculture industry was reviewed. Inadequate supply of good quality fingerlings/broodstock and feeds were notably the most significant challenges. As a step towards addressing the former, a survey of the current practise in catfish hatcheries was conducted, to identify problems and prospects therein. Over 90% of the hatcheries surveyed use shooters (fast growers) as broodstock, use only farmed broodstock and have no broodstock management/replacement programmes. Findings from these studies informed research on the development of genetic improvement for C. gariepinus. Just as in salmon, tilapia, carp, etc., the use of molecular markers as tools for genetic management and improvement of C. gariepinus was explored. Problem-solving markers, separating C. gariepinus from its closest relative, C. anguillaris, were developed. A total of 24 diagnostic SNP markers were identified from double-digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq). Following validation using KASP assay, 8 of the 24 SNPs were tested on a total of 291 Clarias catfishes and 7 Heterobranchus longifilis (out groups). The Clarias samples were separated into 259 putative C. gariepinus and 32 putative C. anguillaris. These are the first diagnostic markers for separating these species, for which morphological features perform poorly (effectively cryptic species). A set of eight new microsatellite markers was developed from the ddRADseq data and microsatellite enrichment. These microsatellite markers, together with four others sourced from the literature were optimised, multiplexed and used to genotype populations of C. gariepinus being evaluated for suitability for aquaculture. Although incomplete (due to problems with parental DNA quality), preliminary assessment of the assignment power by simulation shows that over 90% of the offspring could be assigned to a pair of parents. The high parentage assignment power and polymorphic information content (>0.5), suggest the usability and reliability of these markers in genetic management and improvement in the Clarias catfish industry, enabling parental assignment and kinship studies, and for evaluation of practices such as the use of “shooters” as broodstock in the industry

    Antibiograms of Commensal Escherichia Coli Isolated from Cattle in Some Selected Commercial Farms in Jos South Plateau State, Nigeria

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    Antimicrobials are used for livestock production in the control and treatment of infections and as growth promoters but has been abusively used over the counter in middle and low income countries where access to these drugs are met with minimal restrictions and prescriptions. Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a normal inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tract of animals and a major reservoir of antibiotic resistant genes. The study aimed to identify antimicrobial resistance (AMR) phenotypes of commensal E. coli isolated from cattle in Jos South Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State Nigeria. Forty eight (48) fecal samples were collected from cattle in four randomly selected commercial farms, screened for E. coli, confirmed by conventional PCR and antimicrobial resistant profiles were determined using ten (10) commercial prepared antibiotic discs. Conventional PCR confirmed seven (7) isolates of E. coli equivalent to 14.58 % prevalence. The isolates showed varied phenotypic resistance to six antimicrobials, with a 100 % resistance to Reflacin (10 mm), Ceporex (10 mm) and Nalidix acid (10 mm). Thus, the findings of this study suggests the possibility of an extensive use of cephalosporin among farmers in the study area. The need for a larger implementation of surveillance programme in order to reduce and curb the spread of AMR determinant was recommended

    C02 Emissions and Economic Growth: A Panel Data Analysis Evidence from Developing African Countries

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    This paper tests the Environmental Kuznet Hypothesis using data from 23 African countries for the period 1980–2019   in the Pedroni approach to panel cointegration analysis. The evidence suggests that both real GDP and energy consumption have a substantial effect on CO2 emission in most countries studied though energy consumption has less effect. However, in most countries, as income increases, the level of emission declines consistently with the EKC hypothesis. However, the econometric result, their interpretation, and their likely policy implications have to be taken with caution since there is a high degree of heterogeneity among the countries in terms of energy consumption,  real income as well as  CO2 emissions. This is more so when the analysis of the trend in the growth of the three variables used in estimation and the estimated results of fully modified OLS show large divergence among countries. However, the study recommends that, since a great number of economies in the study buttressed the EKC, therefore, the current policy on growth and energy consumption may be pursued without necessarily affecting the quality of their environment. However, other countries should implement strong regulatory and market-based policies on highly energy-intensive sectors to reduce their current level of emissions and attain sustainable, environment-friendly growth

    C02 Emissions and Economic Growth: A Panel Data Analysis Evidence from Developing African Countries

    Get PDF
    This paper tests the Environmental Kuznet Hypothesis using data from 23 African countries for the period 1980–2019   in the Pedroni approach to panel cointegration analysis. The evidence suggests that both real GDP and energy consumption have a substantial effect on CO2 emission in most countries studied though energy consumption has less effect. However, in most countries, as income increases, the level of emission declines consistently with the EKC hypothesis. However, the econometric result, their interpretation, and their likely policy implications have to be taken with caution since there is a high degree of heterogeneity among the countries in terms of energy consumption,  real income as well as  CO2 emissions. This is more so when the analysis of the trend in the growth of the three variables used in estimation and the estimated results of fully modified OLS show large divergence among countries. However, the study recommends that, since a great number of economies in the study buttressed the EKC, therefore, the current policy on growth and energy consumption may be pursued without necessarily affecting the quality of their environment. However, other countries should implement strong regulatory and market-based policies on highly energy-intensive sectors to reduce their current level of emissions and attain sustainable, environment-friendly growth

    Nitric oxide inhibitory activity of Strychnos spinosa (loganiaceae) leaf extracts and fractions

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    Background: The study was aimed at determining the anti-inflammatory activity of fractions and extracts obtained from Strychnos spinosa leaves on a mediator of inflammation nitric oxide (NO).Materials and Methods: Leaves were extracted with acetone and separated into fractions with different polarities by solventsolvent fractionation. The Griess assay was used to determine the nitric oxide (NO) inhibitory activity. Cellular toxicity was determined by "using the MTT reduction assay".Results: With the exception of the ethyl acetate fraction which had an IC50 >750 μg/mL, all extracts and fractions had significant nitric oxide-inhibitory activity. The most active being the water fraction, chloroform fraction and the dichloromethane/methanol extracts with IC50 values of 88.43 μg/mL, 96.72 μg/mL and 115.62 μg/mL, respectively. The extracts and fractions had low cytotoxicity on macrophage U937 cell lines.Conclusion: Extracts and fractions of Strychnos spinosa leaves may be promising sources of natural anti-inflammatory agents. Findings obtained from this study showed that Strychnos spinosa leaves possess promising anti-inflammatory action and could be used in the treatment of inflammation-related conditions.Keywords: Strychnos spinosa, inflammation, nitric oxide, cytotoxicit

    Functional properties and storage stability of optimized cereal-based complementary foods

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    The functional properties and good quality of food materials are important factors that determine the suitability for complementary foods for children. This study evaluated the functional properties and storage stability of cereal-based and legume- based complementary food (CF). Nutri-survey (2007) was used to optimize and generate six composite blends designated F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, and F6 from yellow maize (Zea mays), wheat (Triticum aestivum), millet (Pennisetumglaucum), groundnut (Arachis hypogea), soyabeans (Glycine max), and Moringa oleifera. Freshly prepared samples were subjected to analysis of functional properties. During storage, the composite blends were subjected to sensory evaluation, microbial count, moisture content, peroxide value and free fatty acid determination at 15-day intervals for a period of 60 days. Data obtained were analyzed by ANOVA and results expressed as mean and standard error of mean. Results of functional properties revealed that bulk density ranged from (0.63-0.81 g/cm3), water absorption capacity (86-90%), swelling index (0.33-1.34 cm3/g), reconstitution index (2.20-3.20) and pH (6.52-6.69). The organoleptic properties and keeping quality of the formulated complementary foods were not significantly different (P> 0.05) at baseline and end line. Therefore, this study provides a basis for the development of acceptable complementary foods with optimal functional properties and storage stability

    M2 macrophages exhibit higher sensitivity to oxLDL-induced lipotoxicity than other monocyte/macrophage subtypes

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>In obesity, phenotypic switches occur in macrophage populations such that the predominantly M2-polarised anti-inflammatory state seen in lean individuals changes to a predominantly M1-polarised pro-inflammatory state in those who are obese. However, the mechanisms by which these phenotypic shifts occur have not yet been fully elucidated.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The effects of oxLDL (1-40 μg/ml; 24 h) on several parameters relevant to the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR)-mediated lipotoxic effects of oxLDL (disruption of ER Ca<sup>2+ </sup>handling; activation of the UPR transcription factor XBP-1; upregulation of the UPR target genes BiP and CHOP; apoptosis; cell viability) were investigated in human primary monocyte-derived macrophages, and also in monocyte-macrophages derived from the THP-1 monocytic cell line. A consistent pattern was observed: M2-polarised macrophages were more sensitive to the lipotoxic effects of oxLDL than either non-polarised macrophages or non-differentiated monocytic cells. Specifically, M2-polarised macrophages were the only cell type to undergo significantly increased apoptosis (Primary cells: 1.23 ± 0.01 basal; THP-1-derived: 1.97 ± 0.12 basal; <it>P </it>< 0.05 in both cases) and decreased cell viability (Primary cells: 0.79 ± 0.04 basal; THP-1-derived: 0.67 ± 0.02 basal; <it>P </it>< 0.05 in both cases) when exposed to oxLDL levels similar to those seen in overweight individuals (ie. 1 μg/ml).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>We propose that the enhanced susceptibility of M2-polarised macrophages to lipotoxicity seen in the present <it>in vitro </it>study could, over time, contribute to the phenotypic shift seen in obese individuals <it>in vivo</it>. This is because a higher degree of oxLDL-induced lipotoxic cell death within M2 macrophages could contribute to a decrease in numbers of M2 cells, and thus a relative increase in proportion of non-M2 cells, within macrophage populations. Given the pro-inflammatory characteristics of a predominantly M1-polarised state, the data presented here may constitute a useful contribution to our understanding of the origin of the pro-inflammatory nature of obesity, and of the pathogenesis of obesity-associated inflammatory disorders such as Type 2 Diabetes and atherosclerosis.</p
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