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Business / Cbn Pumps $195m Into Forex Market by johneewalker: Last month on Tue 18 at 08:21am
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has intervened in inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market with the supply of $195 million as an effort to stabilise the market.

The acting Director, Corporate Communications of the apex bank, Mr Isaac Okorafor, said in a statement on Monday that $100 million was offered through the wholesale segment.

He said that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment received $50 million, while tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA), among others, got $45 million.

Okorafor said that the CBN was pleased with the state of the market, and gave the assurance that the bank would continue to intervene in order to sustain liquidity in the market and guarantee international value of the naira.

He said the apex bank remained determined to achieve its objective of rates convergence, “hence the unrelenting injection of intervention funds into the foreign exchange market’’.

Okorafor expressed optimism that the naira would sustain its run against the dollar and other major currencies around the world, considering the level of transparency in the market.

He, therefore, advised stakeholders to abide by the guidelines to ensure transparency in the market.

Last week, the CBN intervened in the various segments of the foreign exchange market with the injection of $396.8 million.

Meanwhile, the naira continued to maintain its stability in the market, exchanging at an average of N364 to a dollar in the Bureau de Change segment of the market.


Politics / Nhis Probe: Osinbajo Orders Fair Hearing by johneewalker: Last month on Tue 18 at 08:18am

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has called for fair hearing in the ongoing probe of the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Usman Yusuf, who was controversially suspended over allegations of N960 million fraud.
A highly placed source in the Presidency told our correspondent last night that the acting president had, in a letter dated July 13 and written to the Ministry of Health, noted the suspension.

The source also quoted the acting president as demanding that his office be briefed after the investigation.

Meanwhile, an indicted former acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr Femi Akingbade, has been suspended alongside seven senior officials of the scheme.

The suspension letter was signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs Binta Adamu Bello.

The scheme has been mired in crisis after the suspension Professor Usman Yusuf by the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewale.

The Federal Ministry of Health set up an investigative committee to probe Yusuf over allegations of N960million fraud, which he has denied.

Analysis of official correspondences between the health ministry and NHIS revealed that Yusuf was actually suspended for his refusal to grant the ministry’s dozens of requests for sponsorship of its officials to foreign events, execution of phoney contracts, chartering aircraft for the minister - all running into hundreds of millions of naira, among others.

The Department of State Services (DSS) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) in separate reports indicted Akingbade for corruption and called for his suspension and prosecution.

The panel, comprising mostly health ministry officials, is headed by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mrs Binta Adamu Aliyu. Other members are head of hospital services, head of human resources, director finance, director procurement, director ICT, special assistant to the health minister, special assistant to the permanent secretary, one representative each from DSS and ICPC, two secretariat staff and two others.

Daily Trust reported that Akingbade who was in Benin as zonal coordinator was “hurriedly” transferred back to Abuja on Thursday and redeployed as General Manager, Zonal Heads. He was again co-opted by Mrs Binta as a member of the committee on Friday.

Findings show that most of the ministry officials appointed into the committee had benefitted at one time or another, from the numerous sponsorship of foreign trips, which degenerated into the current crisis after Yusuf refused to accede to them, citing 2008 Federal Government circular.

For instance, Mrs Bello was the one that signed the controversial memo, with reference number DFA/CORR/001, dated March 18, 2017, forwarding the health minister Professor Adewale’s request for N197 million from the NHIS “intervention fund” for payment of “contracts awarded for rehabilitation and equipping” of seven Federal Medical Centres (FMCs).

Other NHIS officials suspended are: Mr John Okon, GM, Finance Account; Mr Yusuf Fatika, GM, Human Resources and Administration; Mr Shehu Adamu, AGM, Audit; Mr Vincent Mamdam, AGM, Head Insurance; Mr Safiyanu Attah, Senior Assistant Officer, Marketing; Mr Owen Udo Udoma, Manager, Contribution Management; and Mr Innocent Abbah, Senior Assistant Officer, Planning Research and Monitoring.


Culture / A Piece Of History: Stolen African Artefacts by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 09:18pm
Africa has always been known for its rich heritage and cultural value. While it was known as the land of “darkness” in the colonial times, the continent also had valuable cultural possessions, which were collected and have been placed in different museums around the world. The most common African artefacts reside in European and American museums with artefacts originating from predominantly the Belgian, French and British colonies which include West Africa, some parts of East Africa and the Middle belt. Here is a list of notable African art which has been removed from their homeland.

1.The Congolese Chokwe mask
The Tshokwe people (Chokwe) produced a great number of masks; the majority of them are painted in three basic colours and made from vegetable fibres, pieces of cloth and paper. The mask is located at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, carved by the Chokwe people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The most powerful and significant Chokwe mask is known as chikunga. The sacred mask is generally used during investiture ceremonies of a chief and sacrifices to the ancestors.

2. The Benin Iyoba(QUEEN MOTHER)
Located in the British Museum, the Benin ivory mask is one of the most popular Nigerian cultural artefacts. The mask can be described as a miniature sculptural portrait in ivory of the powerful Queen Mother Idia of the 16th century Benin Empire. The mask was worn as a pendant by her son Esigie, who owed his kingship as Oba of Benin to the Queen Mother’s military aid.

3. The Sideblown horn of Congo
This intricate piece is an Animal horn or tusk trumpets with mouthpieces drilled into the side. Ivory is a precious material reserved for royalty in most traditions. Ivory trumpets often symbolize kingly power, and those associated with royal ensembles are decorated with skins, wooden extensions, and beautiful carving.

4. The Nok Terracotta
the Nok Terracottas are famous Northern sculptures popularly known to have been looted from African soil and currently located in the Louvre Museum in Paris. The people of the Nok culture occupied the Bauchi plateau of Nigeria from approximately 1000 BC to 500 AD and were known to be inventive iron smelters.

5. Nefertiti Bust and Rosetta Stone, Egypt
Egypt has been consistently campaigning for Germany to return the statue of Queen Nefertiti. The Germans took the 3,400-year-old bust of the great queen in 1913 using fraudulent documents. The country reportedly considered returning the statue in 1935, but Hitler decided against it.

6. The Zimbabwe Bird
Found in the monument were a series of cultural artefacts, including soapstone bird carvings known as the Zimbabwe Bird. Needless to say, these artworks were pillaged and sent to museums across Europe and America.

7. Bangwa Queen, Cameroon
Once known as the world’s most expensive piece of African art, the Bangwa Queen has exchanged hands of many art collectors since she was stolen from her royal shrine in Cameroon. The wooden sculpture, which is believed to be more than a thousand years old, was taken away by German colonial explorer, Gustav Conrau, in the 1890s.


Health / 8 More Officials Of Nhis Step Aside by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 08:51pm
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole has approved the suspension of eight additional top officials of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS to pave way for a thorough investigation of petitions.

Boade Akinola, Director, Media and Public Relations of the ministry made this known in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

The minister had earlier suspended the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Usman Yusuf, for three months.

According to Adewole, the suspension is in furtherance of the desire of government to have an uninterrupted and robust investigation of all petitions at the NHIS.

He named the affected officials as Mr Olufemi Akingbade, General Manger, Zonal Coordinator, South-South zone, Mr John Okon, General Manger, Finance Account.

Others are Mr Yusuf Fatik, General Manger, Human Resources and Administration, Mr Shehu Adamu, Assistant General Manager, Audit, Mr Vincent Mamdam, Assistant General Manager, Head Insurance, Mr Safiyanu Attah, Senior Assistant Officer, Marketing, Mr Owen Udo Udoma, Senior Manager, Contribution Management and Mr Innocent Abbah, Senior Assistant Officer, Planning Research and Monitoring,” he said.

Akinola quoted the minister as urging the committee to remain focused, fair and transparent in the discharge of this national task despite the sensation the development had generated.

The Acting Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Mr Attahiru Ibrahim, has also been directed to ensure the immediate implementation of the suspension order.

The ministry had earlier suspected the Executive Secretary of NHIS, Prof. Usman Yusuf for three months.


Education / 214,952 Students Cheated In Wassce by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 08:31pm
Some 214,952 candidates cheated in the May-June West African Senior School Certificate Examination(WASSCE) and their results have been seized by the authorities.

Mr. Olu Adenipekun, Head of National Office of the West African Examination Council, WAEC, announced this in Lagos as he also announced the cheering news of a seven percent improvement in the number of candidates that passed the examination with five credits.

Last year, 52.9 percent of the candidates recorded the feat. The number jumped to 59.22 percent this year, out of the 1,559,662 candidates that sat for the examination.

Adenipekun said WAEC is still investigating the exam cheats and that the schools of the students would be duly informed soon.

“The cases are being investigated and reports of the investigations will be presented to the appropriate committee of the council in due course for consideration.

“The committee’s decisions will be communicated to the affected candidates through their schools,’’ he said.

He said that 923,486 of the 1,559,162 candidates that sat for the examination, obtained a minimum of credits in five subjects and above, including English Language and Mathematics.

The official said the percentage of candidates in this category in the WASSCE for school candidates was an improvement on what was obtained in the same examination in both 2015 and 2016, with 38.68 and 52.97 respectively.

Giving a further breakdown of the results, the WAEC boss said that 1,084,214 candidates, representing 69.94 per cent, obtained credits and above in six subjects.

He said that 1,243,772 candidates, representing 87.05 per cent, obtained credits and above in four subjects.

Adenipekun added that 1,436,024 candidates, representing 92.44 per cent, obtained credits and above in three subjects, while 1,490,356, representing 95.59 per cent, obtained credits and above in two subjects.

He added that of the 1,559,162 candidates that sat for the examination, 1,471,151, representing 94.36 per cent, had their results fully processed and released.

The official said that 95,734 others, representing 5.64 per cent, had a few of their subjects still being processed due to errors traceable to the candidates in the course of registration or writing the examination.

“Such errors are being corrected by the council to enable the affected candidates get their results fully processed and released subsequently,’’ Adenipekun said.

The head of national office commended the supervisors, examiners, and other persons for their immense contributions in ensuring a smooth conduct of the examination.

“The coordination and marking of candidates’ scripts for the 2017 WASSCE for schools was successfully held between May 24 and June 11 at 83 marking venues spread across the country.

“Having said this, we will like to state also that the Nigeria National Office of the council has concluded arrangements to commence the conduct of the WASSCE for private candidates from January/ February 2018.

“This is part of our commitment in ensuring quality service delivery to the Nigerian public.

“I also want to seize this opportunity to inform you that with the upgrade of the council’s ICT facilities, particularly the recently commissioned HP Converged System – a private cloud, the compability of the council’s ICT has now been enhanced,’’ he said.

The WAEC official called on candidates who sat for the examination to check the details of their performance on the council’s result website within the next few hours.


Politics / Calabar Tank Explosion Death Toll Rises To 11 by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 08:22pm
The death toll of the fire outbreak that occurred at Linc Oil and Gas depot in Calabar on Sunday morning has increased to 11 from nine, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Hafiz Inuwa, had on Sunday confirmed that nine persons died as a result of the inferno.

A visit by NAN to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCHT) on Monday showed that seven persons were currently receiving treatment at the intensive care unit of the hospital.

The Chief Medical Director of UCTH, Prof. Thomas Agan, told NAN that the hospital admitted nine persons shortly after the tragic incident.

“We admitted nine patients. Seven of them in the burns ward and the other two who had severe threatening conditions were taken into the Intensive Care Unit.

“Unfortunately, those two gave up the ghost this morning. Right now, we have seven patients with burns in our custody and they are receiving treatment.

“We had to use all we had to ensure that they are kept alive. Our consumables are now exhausted,’’ he said.

According to him, the cost of having patients with 60-90 degrees burns in the hospital was expensive.

“We need massive assistance, not only from the federal government, but from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and all the facilities involved in this matter,’’ he said.

One of the victims, Mr Asuquo Okon, told NAN that he was looking up to God for survival and appealed for assistance from individuals and organisations.

When NAN correspondent visited the scene of the incidence, the two vehicles burnt to ashes during the explosion were yet to be evacuated.

The state Commissioner for Petroleum, Mr Itaya Nyong, told NAN that the state would conduct a thorough investigation on the remote and immediate causes of the incident.

“We intends to embark on an investigation, and at the appropriate time, the machinery will be put in motion to assess the level of damage and establish culpability and certainly take action from there,’’ he said.


Foreign Affairs / Women Allow “god-men” Walk Over Them In Desperate Bid To Get Pregnant (photos) by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 08:02pm
Dozens of Indian women desperate to get pregnant have been pictured taking part in a bizarre practice where ‘God-men’ trample over them so they can have kids.
Tribal women in Andhra Pradesh, southern India, have performed this ritual for generations during the annual festival of Ekadashi, in the month of July.
Women, who are unable to have children visit the Lakshmi Narasimha Swami temple, in Anantapur district.

When they arrive, they take part in the the bizarre practice in a desperate bid to have a child of their own.
They lie down in a line on the ground and wait for a God-man to walk over their backs, as hundreds of locals look on.

Many claim the practice has worked and say it has fulfilled the wishes of countless women to become mothers.


Politics / Boko Haram Releases Video Of 10 Women Abducted From Convoy by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 07:15pm
Boko Haram insurgents have released a new video of 10 women who were recently abducted by the terrorists following an attack on a police convoy in Borno state.
Sahara Reporters which published the video stated that the insurgents reportedly sent the 4 minutes 41 seconds footage to its outfit on Monday, July 17. Though it could not be ascertained if all the women were policewomen or wives of police officers, they were however reportedly abducted after the insurgents attacked a police convoy they were travelling in Maiduguri along Damboa.

The women who said Boko Haram fighters had been treating them well since they were abducted called on the government to stop denying their abduction.
We are grateful to you (referring to Boko Haram), but the Government of Nigeria should not say we were not abducted, indeed we were abducted,” said Deborah Philipus one of the women in who spoke in the video said

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, had in a recent video claimed responsibility for the abductions of some women in a video. He said the women were abducted during a Boko Haram attack on a joint police/military convoy near Maiduguri on June 20. His speech was then followed by scenes of the fierce attack, which took place on the Maiduguri-Damboa road.


Politics / Nigerian Inflation Rate Declines To 13-month Low by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 07:01pm
Nigeria’s inflation rate fell for a fifth consecutive in June even as food-price growth surged.

Inflation eased to 16.1 percent from 16.3 percent in May, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said in an emailed report Monday. The median of 15 economists’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for 16 percent. Prices rose 1.6 percent in the month.

Inflation has been above the upper end of the central bank’s target band of 6 percent to 9 percent for two years. Governor Godwin Emefiele kept the main policy rate at a record high of 14 percent since last July to fight price growth and support the naira even as the economy has contracted for five consecutive quarters. It will next review the rate on July 25. Emefiele said last month tight monetary policy will continue.

The average gasoline price rose 1.2 percent in June from a year earlier compared with a 10.3 percent increase in May, the statistics office said in a separate report. Food inflation accelerated to 19.9 percent from 19.3 percent, driven by the cost of bread and cereals, meat, fish and potatoes, agency said.

“What we think drove inflation down is the high base effect,” Pabina Yinkere, an analyst at Vetiva Capital Management, said by phone from Lagos. “Inflation is going to be around for a while driven by food prices. We are going into harvest season nonetheless, so numbers will continue to come down.”

A dollar shortage in Africa’s biggest oil producer has contributed to price growth as importers resorted to buying hard currency on the black market at a higher cost. Investors blamed the central bank for compounding the crisis by tightening capital controls and trying to prevent further weakening of the naira, which they said contributed to the economy contracting in 2016 for the first time in 25 years.


Politics / 30 Ships With Petrol, Food Items To Arrive In Lagos Ports— Npa by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 06:56pm
A total of 30 ships laden with petroleum products, food items and other goods are expected to arrive in Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports in Lagos from July 17 to Aug. 19.

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) stated this in its publication, `Shipping Position’, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.

NPA said that the ships would arrive with buck wheat, bulk fertiliser, general cargo, bulk corn, bulk sulphur, bulk sugar, diesel, lubrication oil, bulk corn, petrol and containers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that nine ships have arrived at the ports waiting to berth with bulk fertiliser, empty container, diesel and petrol.

NAN reports that 18 other ships were discharging buck wheat, bulk corn, bulk fertiliser, general cargo, bulk gas, diesel, bulk charcoal and containers.


Webmasters / Re: Please I Need Help In Installing Nairaland Script by ola: Last month on Mon 17 at 06:07pm
Hlep me na !

Sports / Chelsea Track Aguero by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 12:11pm
Chelsea are looking to sign Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, according to a report. City boss Pep Guardiola has already sanctioned the deal, though the two clubs are yet to reach an agreement.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte searches for a striker to replace Diego Costa, who has been informed that he is not in the club’s plans for next season and appears almost certain to leave this summer. The Blues have been strongly linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, as well as the likes of Alvaro Morata and Andrea Belotti.

Chelsea missed out on prime target Romelu Lukaku, who opted to join Manchester United last week, and are in the hunt for a proven goalscorer. Aguero has been prolific for City since arriving from Atletico Madrid in 2011, although at 29-years-old and injury prone, it could be that youngster Gabriel Jesus begins to overshadow the Argentine at the Etihad.

Despite his injury hampered 2016-17 season, Aguero still managed an impressive 20 Premier League goals in 25 starts. It remains to be seen whether Chelsea are set to make an approach for the forward, and what demands in terms of price would be made by City.

Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, however, dismissed the possibility of an Aguero exit at the end of last season.

“I’ve read a lot about the speculation and it’s ridiculous,” he said. “Sergio Agüero is one of the best players in the world and we are a team that aspires to win in every competition we compete in. Having Sergio Agüero as part of the squad is an absolute must and it has never been in doubt.”


Sports / Diego Costa Posts Video From Holiday In Atletico Madrid Shirt by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 11:49am

Diego Costa took another step towards the Chelsea exit door on Sunday night by posting a video on holiday in Brazil wearing an Atletico Madrid shirt.
Costa, who was told to find a new club by manager Antonio Conte shortly after the end of their title-winning 2016/17 season, had already made clear his wish to return to his former club in the Spanish capital.
And now there can be no mistaking where Costa wants to be playing next season, after he decided to broadcast a video on Instagram Live in which he wore an old Atletico shirt - from his final season at the club - and also posted a comment saying 'give Conte a hug', suggested his manager may need consoling if, or when, Costa leaves.

Costa is on holiday in Lagarto, in Brazil, having been excused from the start of Chelsea's pre-season training after being told he is not a part of his manager's plans for next season.
The Spain striker smiles throughout the video, as friends play music in the background, and also says 'come on, Atleti'.

As reported by Telegraph Sport, Costa has already said his goodbyes to his Chelsea team-mates.

This latest move is only likely to speed up his Chelsea exit, and possibly cost his club even more money than they were already expected to lose on his transfer.

There is a major problem that could delay a deal, though, with Atletico unable to sign new players until January 2018 due to a transfer ban.
There is therefore an increasing likelihood that Costa will play no football for the first half of next season, unless he can find a club at which to spend the first half of the season on loan.

Costa has already expressed his wish to be playing regularly as this is a World Cup year and he wants to be Spain's first-choice striker.


Sports / Sure Football Predictions 17th July - Sure Games For Monday by Kingvictor: Last month on Mon 17 at 11:31am
19:00 FC Botosani vs CFR Cluj X2
18:00 IF Elfsborg vs Hammarby IF 1X
18:00 Jonkopings Sodra vs BK Hacken over1.5
18:00 Odense vs Nordsjalland 1X
20:00 Al Ahly Cairo vs El Zamalek 1X
6. EUROPE: Euro Women
18:00 Italy W vs Russia W 1
7. EUROPE: Euro Women
20:45 Germany W vs Sweden W 1x
18:00 Hansa Rostock vs Wolfsburg x2
19:30 Eibar - R. Union 1x
17:30 Sturm Graz II vs West Ham 2

Health / Health Benefits Of Yogurt by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 11:17am
The health benefits of yogurt have always been important to mankind. Yogurt is a powerhouse of various vitamins and minerals that are also present in milk. Furthermore, yogurt is a good source of easily digestible proteins. Yogurt is beneficial for maintaining cholesterol levels in the body and preventing ailments like hypertension, while also boosting immunity. It is good for improving the strength of bones and teeth, aids in digestion, and is valuable in skin care.

Health Benefits Of Yogurt

Rich Source of Essential Minerals:Being derived from milk, yogurt consists of large doses of calcium, which is essential for maintaining bone health and dental health. Adequate calcium consumption also lowers the incidence of osteoporosis in menopausal women. Yogurt is rich in potassium and magnesium. Potassium is essential for nerve health and maintains the fluid balance in the body. Magnesium is just as essential for bone health as calcium!

Storehouse of Vitamins:Yogurt contains abundant levels of vitamin B2 and B12. Vitamin B2 is essential for healthy nerves, eyes, and skin. Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining bone health and its deficiency leads to anemia. Yogurt also contains healthy amounts of vitamin D and E. Vitamin D is essential for skeletal health and vitamin E aids in maintaining healthy skin, as well as reproductive health.

Bone Health:Calcium is essential for maintaining the good condition of our bones. We all know that milk is a great source of calcium, but digesting milk is difficult for many people. Yogurt contains all the essential minerals, including calcium, that are present in milk, but is also much easier to digest (not just that it also aids in digestion). Therefore, consuming yogurt helps in maintaining the strength of the bones. It is also good for patients suffering from osteoporosis and rheumatism. Yogurt is a boon for many people who suffer with being lactose intolerant.

Prevents Vaginal Infections:Vaginal infections due to Candida are commonly observed in diabetic women. The daily consumption of yogurt lowers the pH of the vaginal tract and prevents Candida infections.

Cures Bad Breath: Yogurt is a natural cure for bad breath and has reduced halitosis by up to 80% in test subjects. Levels of plaque and gingivitis were also found to be lower among daily consumers of yogurt.

Effective Against Skin and Hair Conditions:Yogurt, when applied topically, has been proved to cure acne and skin rashes and gives a healthy glow by reducing dark circles and closing pores. It is also beneficial for the hair and cures itchy scalp and dandruff.
It is quite apparent that yogurt is helpful in achieving and maintaining a healthy body. The daily consumption of yogurt provides a large chunk of essential nutrients as well.


Foreign Affairs / Eight Dead After Wall Collapses At Stadium In Senegal by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 10:00am
Eight people have died and at least 49 are injured after a wall collapsed at a football stadium in Senegal.

The incident occurred at the end of Saturday’s League Cup final between Stade de Mbour and Union Sportive Ouakam at Demba Diop stadium in Dakar, BBC reports.

With the score 1-1 after 90 minutes, Mbour scored in the first period of extra time to win 2-1, and violence broke out at the final whistle.

Police fired tear gas at clashing supporters from both teams who were throwing objects, and panic spread in the stadium leading to a collapse of the wall.

Sports minister Matar Ba said a young girl was among the dead, while injured fans had been taken to health facilities in Dakar.

He said “strong measures” will be taken so that “such an event will never be repeated in Senegal”.


Jobs/Vacancies / N-power Application Extended By Two Weeks by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 09:55am
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has directed the extension of the 2017 N-Power application by two weeks.

The application portal will now close on July 27.

In a statement on Sunday, Afolabi Imoukhuede, special assistant to the president on job creation, said the selection process for the second batch would be characterised by transparency.

He said about 2.45 million graduates have applied for the second batch of the national social investment programmes (NSIP), which is meant to take 300,000.

The first batch engaged 200,000 young Nigerians in the N-Power volunteer corps programme. They were deployed to public primary schools, primary healthcare centres and agriculture development project centres.

The portal for N-Power to engage additional 300,000 into the 2017/2018 phase was reopened on June 13.


Business / Consider Electricity Tariff Increase, Disco Boss Tells Nigerians by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 09:51am
Joseph Chiedu Ugbo, managing director of Niger Delta power holding company (NDPHC), says the call for increased electricity tariff is necessary for generating companies (GenCos) to meet their business cost and for the stability of the industry.

Ugbo said this when Acting President Yemi Osinbajo visited the NDPHC headquarters in Abuja to inspect the N-Power call centre domiciled there.

He said customers, especially in commercial cities like Lagos and Abuja, pay as much as N70 to privately generate a kilowatt hour of electricity whereas they pay less than N30 per kilowatt hour for public power supply.

He reasoned that if consumers can pay even marginally more than the N30 per kilowatt hour, not up to N70, for public electricity, the power generating companies would be able to meet up their production costs and provide more power to Nigerians.

“Part of the challenges we have is moving from social service through NEPA/PHCN because power was almost a social service before now; so we are moving from social service to market commodity,” he said.

“In market commodity the cost must reflect market production and return on investment they have made. So to that extent that is why they are clamouring for tariff increase. If there is a gap between the tariff and the cost, somebody has to pay for it.

“So are they going to be the rate payers or the tax payers through government revenue? The question is: does government have the money to pay that? We all know the situation we are in now; we all know the cost of our mainstay, oil, going down. I think we have to be realistic about that.

“I have seen certain consumers talk about ‘we are ready to pay but we want to see the power’. So it is the chicken and egg situation: if you don’t pay they are not going to get the needed money to make the investment to give you the power.

“But if you look back, a lot of homes, businesses in Abuja and Lagos pay more than N70 per kilowatt hour (on generators). What you pay now is less than N30 per kilowatt hour (for public power) and the grid provider is saying he wants you to increase marginally, it is not going to be N70 per kilowatt hour.

“At the end of the day when you compare, it is still going to be less expensive than your self generating power. The average cost of generating power is about N70 per kilowatt hour.

“So if somebody is offering to give you this power but you have to pay more, not the N70 per kilowatt hour, I think in my view the rate payers have to seriously consider it.”

The NDPHC boss said the current power generation and distribution of 4,000 megawatts is far below what is needed, adding that the federal government’s intervention of N701 billion to power generators to ease liquidity problems up to December next year, would help the situation.

He also commended the government’s decision to allow energy providers sell electricity directly to heavy and industrial consumers so as to bypass the problems of overburdened distribution centres.

“When you push power to the grid it has to be taken instantaneously. There is what is called grid discipline, what you push out must be equal to what is to be taken or it is going to affect the operations of the grid,” he said.

“For instance, if you push 4,000 megawatts to the grid, the grid can take it but can the load center absorb it? The distribution centers are rejecting it and so what it means is that if it gets back to the system it will cause system collapse.”

In July 2016, members of the house of representatives had kicked against the planned 100 percent increase in electricity tariff saying the 45 percent increase implemented in February of the same year had not yielded results.


TV/Movies / Game Of Thrones’ Premiere Crashes Hbo Website by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 09:19am

“Game of Thrones” returned for its season seven premiere Sunday, ending a longer-than-usual wait for fans craving its unique weekly offer of sex, violence and dragons.

HBO had delayed production, meaning four more months of anticipation ahead of the season debut — already one of the television events every year across the world.

But viewers were not disappointed, taking to social media in the thousands to express delight at the explosive start opening, the arrival of dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen in Westeros and a widely-hyped cameo by pop sensation Ed Sheeran.

“There are very few shows that can deliver as much action and excitement as the season six ‘Game of Thrones’ finale, and there are perhaps even fewer shows that can make a table-setting episode this much fun,” the Hollywood Reporter said after the premiere.

“So it’s all the more bittersweet that not only is winter here, but the end is in sight.”

The debut episode, entitled “Dragonstone,” saw evil Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), now ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, making alliances that threaten newly-anointed King of the North Jon Snow (Kit Harington).

Trained poisoner and throat-slitter in chief Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) exploded out of the blocks in a shocking opening by taking vengeance on the killers of her family at the infamous Red Wedding.

The comic relief was provided by multiple Grammy-winning Sheeran in a cameo as a soldier who sang a ditty — a “new one,” apparently — about a woman’s hand.

His appearance started a torrent of memes and excited comments from fans on Twitter, but not everyone was pleased to see him. Variety magazine called the cameo “ridiculous” while one fan on Twitter quipped: “If Arya kills Ed Sheeran it’ll be worth it.”

– ‘More humor’ –
For hours either side of the HBO premier at 9:00pm (0100 GMT Monday) on the US east coast, #GoTS7 and #GameofThrones were the top trending Twitter hashtags worldwide

Such was the online interest that the HBO.com website even crashed due to a surge in visitors for the first half of the episode.

For some celebrity fans the wait had been too much — especially for those on the US West Coast who were made to wait an extra three hours.

“There is no amount of ‘keeping myself busy’ that makes the wait for #GameOfThrones7 any less painful,” tweeted Josh Gad — Olaf from “Frozen.”

“Twitterverse shut your mouth until 10:00 PM when I’m done watching,” he snarled as the show began on the East Coast, the HBO Now streaming subscription service and in foreign markets.

“Game of Thrones” tells the story of noble families vying for control of the Iron Throne, all the while keeping one eye on the “White Walkers” leading hordes of the undead toward an invasion from the North.
The show, which has more Emmy Awards than any other narrative series and pulls in more than 20 million US viewers per episode, moved beyond George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels in season six.

It is due to run for a shortened seven episodes this year before returning for a six-episode final season.

“As per every premiere episode of ‘Game of Thrones,’ the pace is slow,” wrote Lorraine Ali in the Los Angeles Times.

“Setting up each new carefully constructed season — the complex weave of story lines, the huge cast, the breathtaking locations — takes time.”

But she concluded that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had “pulled it off once again, if not with a bit more humor than in previous seasons.”


Politics / Four Years Not Enough To Deliver Promises, Says Apc by johneewalker: Last month on Mon 17 at 08:58am
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said yesterday it would be unfair to expect the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to fulfil its campaign promises within four years in office.
But this contradicts the party’s position while seeking power that the fulfillment of some of its promises would take only a short time.
Among others, APC promised to create 720, 000 jobs yearly; generate, transmit and distribute at least 20,000 MW of electricity in four years; ban government officials from seeking medical care abroad; and make Nigeria economy one of the fastest-growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging 10 per cent in one year.

The party also promised to initiate action to amend the Nigerian Constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties, and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true federalism and the federal spirit ; create additional middle-class of at least two million new homeowners in the first year in government ; create an additional middle class of at least four million new home owners in four years; build up to 4,800km of modern railway lines – one third to be completed in four years; increase the quality of all federal government-owned hospitals to world class standard; amend the constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal case; and revive the Ajaokuta Steel Company.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi entitled “Re: ‘PDP Unveils Plans To Sack APC”, the ruling party condemned what it termed the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s brand of opposition politics characterised mainly by allegations and open incitement of separatist agitations across the country.

Expressing delight that the PDP is beginning to talk about holding the APC accountable, the party urged leaders of the opposition PDP to heed the counsel of the former Akwa Ibom State governor, Obong Victor Attah for an urgent change of name on the basis that the PDP brand was already damaged beyond repair.

“We want Nigerians, not just the PDP, to hold us accountable for every promise contained in our manifesto. We only urge them to be fair. A manifesto is not a four-year programme. If PDP had fully implemented its manifesto in the 16 years that it was in power, Nigerians would not have been attracted to the APC promise of change in 2015, because there would have been little left to promise,” the statement said.

According to APC, there is no basis of comparing the President Buhari- led administration with that of the 16 years of the PDP at the helm of affairs of the country.

The party flayed Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and his ilk for allegedly playing politics with the health challenge of President Buhari who is being treated for an unknown ailment in the United Kingdom (UK).

The statement urged Nigerians to remain resolute in support of the APC and Buhari, expressing confidence that whatever difficulty Nigerians are going through would soon be a thing of the past.

“We need to point out however that APC is the new wife that is busy working at the kitchen that has been looted empty by the former wife who had made away with the entire foodstuffs and even the kitchen utensils. Nigerians know this. If the food is a little late in coming, they understand the circumstance. But if that other thieving wife now begins to argue that she was a better cook and should be brought back into the kitchen because the new wife is a slow cook, then that should pass for hypocrisy.

“No matter the temporary hardship that we may be experiencing, Nigerians know better than to bring PDP back to power so soon for fear that this time, they might disappear with the kitchen itself.

“We also note with regret, PDP’s penchant for mocking Buhari with his health situation. We admit that the health of a president is every citizen’s business, however, it is un-African, if not ungodly, to continue to taunt a man and even challenge him to a fight at his moment of weakness.

“We have seen in the last few days, some members of the PDP who have boasted to defeat President Buhari in 2019. We urge Nigerians to Google the names of these individuals and see what comes up. It is, however, understandable, even if not acceptable, that when the lion is enfeebled, even a rabbit would grow the temerity to tweak its tail,” APC said.

Meanwhile, Fayose has written to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, demanding the immediate release of the report of the investigative panel on corruption allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal, and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ayo Oke.

In the letter dated July 11, 2017, the governor also demanded that Osinbajo must act expeditiously on the report, threatening to approach a court to compel him to release and act on the report.

The Special Assistant to the governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka said in a statement issued yesterday that Fayose told the acting president “never to habour the view that the matter can be swept under the carpet.”

“I dare to say that this is one of the reasons the so-called war against corruption has not attracted public support. It lacks credibility and has thus floundered. It is also the reason your administration has lost case after case in the court of law, even though administration officials have tried to cover government’s Achilles heel as well as their own howling incompetence under the pretence of corruption fighting back.”

The letter further reads: “I appreciate Your Excellency’s yeoman efforts directed at quelling fires all over the country and stabilising the polity. Daunting as this task might seem, especially as agent provocateurs for selfish and diabolical interests continue to stoke the fire and fan the embers of discord and disunity rather than queue behind you, assist your noble efforts, and let all hands be on the deck to salvage our beloved country, take solace and receive renewed strength, vigour and vitality in the fact that your efforts have begun to yield positive fruits and that the vast majority of the citizens appreciate and applaud your efforts and stand resolutely with you.

“As I have often said, the power of the people is greater than the power of those of us in power. In our own little corner, we, too, stand with you. And this being so, you can only succeed, and not fail!”

He said that Nigerians would continue to give Osinbajo all the support and advice he needs to succeed partisan politics notwithstanding.

“In this wise, permit me to prod your memory about a presidential committee constituted months ago by President Buhari to investigate allegations of high corruption against Babachir and Oke.


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