Trailer Loses Break, Kills One, Injures Several In Abuja
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At least one person lost her life when a trailer conveying an excavator, failed break and ran into several vehicles at the Manya interchange Wednesday morning.

A middle age lady was said to have lost her life while several others were badly injured in the accident.

The FCT Ministerial Task Team on Traffic Free Flow was commended for clearing traders off the road before 9:30am when the accident occurred.

The trailer conveying an excavator to a construction site fails break while descending Kugbo Hill. On getting to Nyanya it crushed several vehicles before smashing Golf Volkswagen saloon car which was totally crushed.

The remains of the dead woman has since been conveyed to the Nyanya General Hospital Mortuary while the injured were moved to the Asokoro District Hospital by the Federal Road Safety Corps.

The Chairman, FCT Ministerial Task Team on Traffic Free Flow, Ikharo Attah, who joined in the rescue believe it’s time for roadside trading to stop across the FCT to forestall such disasters in the future.

Attah also called on drivers of heavy duty vehicles to ensure their vehicles are always in good shape, particularly their breaks.

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Yuletide: Access Bank unveils More Xtravaganza to reward customers
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By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

Access Bank Plc has unveiled series of exciting rewards for its customers with a campaign tagged More Xtravaganza, ahead of the Yuletide celebration.

Mr Victor Etuokwu, the banks Executive Director, Retail Banking, said in Lagos on Tuesday that the campaign, which had started on Nov. 21, would run till Dec. 31.

Etuokwu said that the More Xtravaganza campaign was launched to appreciate loyal customers.

Access Bank is passionate about its customers and everything we do is centred around giving them more.

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This season, we have decided to launch this campaign to end the year on a high note in celebration of our customers.

We appreciate them for their loyalty and support and this is our own way of saying thank you to them, he said.

Etuokwu said that the campaign demonstrates its promise to provide customers with the best banking products and services whilst rewarding them for banking with us.

He said that the bank would be rewarding 50 active and inactive Diamond Business Advantage customers with one-month free advert broadcast and production for signing up to the Ebony Life Access to Market package.

Mr Robert Giles, Access Bank Head, Insights and capabilities, said that the bank had remained in business because of customers patronage.

Customers are the reason the bank is in business and they will always come first in our products, processes and services.

To show appreciation for their patronage, we are going to feature three different DiamondXtra draws; Senior citizens draw, Womens draw and the National quarterly draw this December.

We will reward 19 senior citizens who are 50 years old and above, 10 Women in which one of them will win a shopping allowance of N100,000 per month for one year and nine others will win N300,000 each, he said.

Giles said that a total of 1,016 lucky customers would emerge winners from the quarterly draw.

Adaeze Umeh, the banks Head, Consumer Banking, said that a lot of customers would be rewarded in the Yuletide season.

In the spirit of this Yuletide season, we will be rewarding our first 100 premium savers with daily airtime when they maintain their account balances for 30days.

We are also going to reward the first 200 transfers on the mobile app with airtime.

XclusivePlus customers who refer three new customers of their subscriber type will win one monthly/yearly plan.

This reward will be for the first 200 customers. We will also reward our Early Savers with 20% bonus of their 13th savings for maintaining consistent savings over 12-month period, Adaeze said. (NAN)

Source: NAN

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White Sneakers - Size 38 and Bag
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White Sneakers Size 38

Price : N14,500

White Bag

Price : N9, 500

Store: Good Stock NG

Contact : +234 812 013 3311

Availability: In Stock

Delivery: Lagos, Ibadan, Ogun

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5 wonderful beach resorts in Nigeria
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Living life to the fullest does not just happen; we have got to work it out. This means finding a balance between work and rest. And what better way is there to do this than finding a place to relax and enjoy what nature has got in place for one. Talk about somewhere you can slip into and let the pressure of life struggles off your mind.
This is exactly why beach resorts are there for you and in the light of this, we shall be looking at five (5) amazing beach resorts we have around – in Nigeria.

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Abraka Beach Resort
Abraka Beach Resort is no doubt a wonder in the Niger. The resort is located along Agbor-Sapele road, in Abraka, Delta state, and it is right on the coastline of River Ethiope. The resort has got white sandy beach and the things you need to relax [there] as you sink into the tranquillity of its natural space. But should that not be enough, taking a cruise through the river or engaging in some sporting activities will ensure that you do not have a dull time-out on the beach.

Finima Beach Resort
Finima beach resort is situated on Bonny Island, Rivers State. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and it is a choice vacation spot for a host of pleasure seekers. The extensively stretched beach and the cool sea breeze on offer at this resort make it a place to spend a day out with your family.

Inagbe Beach Resort
This resort may not be a very popular one among folks but it is no pushover when considering excellent spots for relaxation in Lagos state – and even Nigeria as a whole. It is located on Inagbe Island, and it is just a 15-minute boat ride from Victoria Island. Besides the ‘goodies’ nature has to serve you while on this island, you will also get to utilize the classy amenities provided therein. There are accommodation spaces, swimming pool, spa among other exciting add-ons. Plus, security is well guaranteed at this very (relaxation) spot.

La Campagne Tropicana
The first thought that crosses the mind of many persons when Lagos is being talked about is a busy city [filled with commercial activities]. But there is more to Lagos than that, and a visit to an exotic resort like La Campagne Tropicana will let you in on what I mean. This resort is located at Ikegun, Ibeju-Lekki along Epe Expressway in Lagos. The facilities at La Campagne Tropicana are top-notch, and there are chalets available for anyone who desires to spend the night within this beautiful natural space as he/she beholds the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean. A good zone for a couple to spend some time together.

Whispering Palms
All the way down to Badagry, Lagos state – in Iworo town to be precise – is a serene resort known to be surrounded with tremendous natural endowments, the Whispering Palms Resort. It lies on the lagoon, and it is encompassed by lush green vegetation. It provides a great getaway for those who desire to escape from routine ‘busyness’ of life. The cool, breezy atmosphere around this resort is second to none. There are also facilities as well as rooms available for vacationers’ use.

This is definitely not an exhausting list [of wonderful beach resorts] around the country; there are a whole lot more, and these, we hope to talk about in subsequent reviews.

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Do-It-Yourself Autocare


A smooth-running automobile can make your day as fulfilling as you might have imagined- barring any traffic congestion though. However, what would you make of having your car suddenly stop in the middle of the road while you are looking to meet up with an appointment? – Frustrating, I guess. I have seen [on a number of occasions] car owners/drivers become discomfited as their externally good looking cars just refused to move. But, as events are often preceded by a number of factors so does every problem developed by any car traceable to one or more component parts. And it is in the light of this that we shall be looking into some maintenance tips.

Taking care of your car’s engine
The engine being the ‘heart’ of an automobile requires a great deal of attention. First of all, you should make it a point of duty to check the oil at regular intervals; seeing to it that the oil level falls between the 2 notches on the dipstick- remember that your car has to be parked on a leveled surface in order to get accurate reading- and you should also change the oil when need be- oil that has become murky or dark overtime, is not good for the functioning of your car.

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Again, considering the possible accumulation of debris- which could be made to stick due to oil leaks- in some delicate parts of your car’s engine, it is advisable that you judiciously inspect the engine from time to time. Whenever you notice debris clogging up; you should make use of a soft cotton cloth and detergent [mixed in water] to degrease and properly clean up the engine [while it is cool]. Then, gently rinse off the lather and dry up the engine as much as you can with a towel. While cleaning up the engine, you should be careful with the cables in order not ruin your car’s electrical system.
Additionally, dirty air filters should be replaced with new ones, and you should always pay attention to the condition of the car’s drive belt. One more thing; never allow your car to run when the engine coolant is below the normal level to avoid overheating.

Spark plugs
A good spark plug is highly beneficial to your car’s health and also boosts fuel economy. On the contrary, a worn spark plug or one that has deposits on it, will not only make the fuel to burn relatively faster but could also affect the car’s acceleration and even make it to break down suddenly. So, you should give the spark plugs a check before hitting the road, and have it changed as at when due- in most cases, spark plugs are to be replaced after covering a mileage of about 48,000 kilometers or 30,000 miles.

Battery
Though there isn’t much to be done when it comes to battery maintenance but paying heed to little details is yet essential. You may need to check the battery’s terminals to ensure that they are not loose and also see if there is any mineral buildup around them. You should clean up the deposits [with wire brush] once you notice them. But you should always remember the golden rule when disconnecting the car’s battery: you should disconnect the negative terminal first and then the positive; the reverse is however the case when reconnecting- positive first and then negative.
You should use distilled water to top off the electrolyte should it fall short of the normal level. One more piece of advice: try as much as you can not to run your car’s electrical system while the engine is off- this will help to preserve the life of the battery.

Brake
To ensure that the braking system is functioning at optimal level; you should make sure the brake fluid is full, and that worn out brakes are replaced as soon as possible. When it is time to change the brake fluid, see to it that the recommended type is used.

That is how much we can go for now but it is important to leave you with this: that you are well informed about some DIY tips on car maintenance, does not mean you should not take the automobile [to an accredited or trusted auto-mechanic shop] for routine check- say once every 6 months.

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IPPIS: ASUU suspends proposed strike
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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has suspended its proposed strike over Federal Government’s directive to enroll its members into the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that when President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2020 budget proposal before lawmakers on Oct. 8, 2019, he vowed that Federal Government Employees not captured on the IPPIS platform by 31st Oct. 2019 would no longer be receiving their salaries.

ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, in a phone interview, noted that the union had decided to maintain status quo, pending further meetings.

ASUU had at different fora rejected the deadline, stating that universities operated differently from the civil service and should, therefore, not be seen as appendages of ministries, departments and agencies of government.

“What we have been saying is that the reaction of our members will depend on what happens in the government. Our members will meet at the appropriate time to take appropriate decision.

“The Senate has intervened in the matter and we are engaging the Senate, the Senate has appealed to us for now, When they pay other workers, they pay them also.”

According to him, the union is proposing another template which would factor in the peculiarities of the universities and promote their interest.

“The point we are making is that we have visited the Senate President, told him that there is an alternative to IPPIS, the IPPIS as we see it, will not promote the interest of the university, there is no university or country in the world where the payment of university workers is centralised with the government.”

On the World University ranking, Ogunyemi stressed that enrolling its members would affect Nigeria’s status, and discourage visiting lecturers come into the system.

“IPPIS will affect our ranking, because now scholars from different parts of the world will not be encouraged to come to Nigeria.

“Imagine somebody come for short six months and because of IPPIS he is not paid from three to four months, whereas, if they are domesticated in the universities, ASUU will pay them.

“Any university can attract scholars from any part of the world and you do not expect scholars to come from India, China, Australia, America or UK and be coming into Abuja to enroll in IPPIS.

“It is ridiculous, and that is what the autonomy means, that universities should govern their personnel, and their pay role system.

“We are saying it is not safe, we are going to become a laughing stock among committee of universities.

“In Ghana, there is something like IPPIS, but universities are not part of it. There is nowhere in the world that payroll is centralised and managed by consultants.”

He, however, noted that what the union wanted was a “Governing Council’ that would govern and manage the payroll of ASUU members.

“If government does that, it is the council that the government will hold responsible, that is what the law says, and where a council is found to be corrupt, or incompetent, that council should be dissolved and another council should be put in place.

“Our proposal is that there should be a mechanism that will enable the government to monitor the payroll system and the personnel. At the appropriate time, we will release it to the Nigerian public.

“The mechanism, when we centralise the payroll system of academics in Nigeria, you are taking a risk, cyber criminals can break into it at any time.

“There is nothing you put on the internet that cannot be hacked and that is not accessible in any part of the world.”

He stressed that the IPPIS will erode autonomy of the union, noting that the universities are unique environment, and are called “universal cities, because they are universal market places of ideas.”

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Scholarships & Aid

Anchorship Skills Training Program From Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, 2019
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The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mabushi, Abuja in collaboration with Jiadnis Consultancy Services Limited is inviting applications from new entrants, artisans and craftsmen in the Building industry for core skills training program in Lagos and Abuja.

Applications are invited for:

Federal Ministry of Works and Housing Anchorship Skills Training Program for Artisans and Craftsmen

Description

The training package is aimed at giving the participants the knowledge and approaches needed to ensure effective delivery of their Trades relevant to the Building Industry.

Scope of Training
A total of 240 participants will be trained in 2 Locations for 4 weeks (Lagos and Abuja) for the following Trades:

Painting and POP Design Plumbing Carpentry/Furniture/Woodwork Masonry/Concreting Tiling and sub-divided into 2 segments: Course 1 For New Entrants Course 2 For Craftsmen and Artisans

Certification

Professional Certificates will be issued to participants atter relevant evaluations.

Eligibility Requirements and Entry Qualifications
Interested Participants are to submit copies of their Identity Card alongside their certificates:


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Course 1 Minimum of:

Secondary School Modern III Certificate Trade Test III. WAEC S.75 Certificate JSS III Certificate

Course 2 Minimum of:

WAEC Technical Certificate C&G Certificate Part 1 or intermediate Craft Training School Certificate Trade Test I and II.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates are to submit 2 hard copies of their credentials in sealed envelope clearly marked as “Course 1” or “Course 2” and addressed to:
The Principal,
Building Crafts Training School,
Harvey Road,
Yaba, Lagos State.
Or
The Principal,
Architectural Technicians and Building Crafts Training School,
Kuje, Abuja.

Furthermore, the reverse of each sealed envelope should have the name, address, phone number and email of the Participant.

General Information

Applicants cannot apply for more than one course

All submission costs will be borne by the participants

Documents submitted after the deadline will be returned unopened

All shortlisted candidates will be contacted at a later date for details of Training.

Application Deadline: 2:00 pm, 18th October, 2019.

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Farmer wants border closure sustained
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An Enugu-based rice farmer, Mr Ekene Uzodinma, has lauded the Federal Government for mustering the political will to close the country’s borders to check smuggling and other cross border crimes.

Uzodinma, who is the Manager of Excellent Integrated Farms Ltd,Enugu, made the commendation in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Wednesday.

According to him, the Federal Government should sustain the measure in view of its positive impact on the nation’s economy policy.

He said that prior to the border closure, rice farmers had unfair competition with foreign rice being smuggled to the country through land borders.

According to him, the measure has tackled the age-long illegal importation of weapons and ammunition that hitherto aggravated the state of insecurity in the country.

“Border closure; I want to first of all congratulate Nigerians and thank the government for taking that bold step to close the borders.

“Beyond the positive effect it has on rice, it has positive effects in so many other things; ammunition and fire arms and a lot of things being smuggled into the country, not just rice.

“Secondly, the Federal Government also loses so much revenue to smugglers, not just rice.

“On the other hand, that closure has also created opportunities for farmers in Nigeria; that means our products are being purchased this time around.

“Our rice is the best anywhere in the world. We have the best rice because of the kind of texture of land in Nigeria. The taste of our rice is different and nutritious, it is very beautiful.

“It is unfortunate; we also unduly regard imported goods; which made it almost impossible for us to sell our products.

“Foreign rice enjoys higher patronage than the local rice, whereas the local rice is better off.

“So, the border closure will also help the farmers to boost their production, increase their earnings and also promote the made-in-Nigeria goods.

“For me, I am trusting God that the Federal Government will sustain the border closure to the point where our rice can now be exported abroad,’’ he said.

Uzodinma, whose brand of rice is called Elfrida Premium Quality, noted that youths could take advantage of the recent development to maximise the opportunities and profits in the agricultural sector.

“I will also want youths in Enugu state to take advantage and participate in the free-of-charge `One Youth, One Hectare’ of farmland project being organised by my Non-Governmental Organisation, The New Enugu Project (TNEP).’’ (NAN)![0_1572454594540_Mr Ekene Uzodinma.jpg](Uploading 100%)

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Shippers Council, transport agencies move to eliminate corruption in maritime
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By Lucy Ogalue

Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) is collaborating with agencies under the Ministry of Transportation to develop strategies to curb corruption in Nigeria and Africa.

The Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello,said this in a statement made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

The maritime and transport sectors are strong catalysts for socio-economic development of any nation, particularly as it concerns businesses, markets, countries and people/citizens.

Despite the gains recorded in the fight against corruption in all sectors of the economy, the maritime transport sector has remained vulnerable to unwholesome practices.

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Capital flight and fiscal leakages that have plagued sector are worrisome.

Therefore, NSC, agencies of Ministry of Transportation in collaboration with the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC) is organising a One-Day Summit.

The theme of the summit is, Zero Tolerance for Corruption in the Maritime sector.

And it aims at highlighting the areas of corrupt practices in the sector and collectively develop strategies to curb the menace threatening the economies of most African nations, he said.

Bello expressed optimism that a road map that would reduce considerably corrupt practices would be generated at the end of the Summit and sustainable structures that would guarantee predictability, efficiency and transparency in the industry achieved.

NAN reports that the Summit, scheduled for Dec. 9 will have in attendance President Muhammadu Buhari, Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, legislature, financial institutions and critical stakeholders in the Maritime Industry.

The Summit will begin with a road walk at 7 a. m. at the EFCC Zonal Office, Wuse 2 and begin proper at the Banquet Hall, State House, Aso Rock at 9 a.m, according to Bello. (NAN)

Source: NAN

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Lagos State to tackle unauthorised real estate practitioners
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The Lagos State Government says it will tackle the menace of unauthorised real estate practitioners across the state.

The Special Adviser (SA) to the Governor on Housing, Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, said this in a statement in Lagos on Monday.

Benson-Awoyinka said that the state government had planned a stakeholders forum for real estate practitioners, aimed at tackling the menace.

She said that the one-day stakeholders engagement slated for Wednesday, had as its theme Lagos Real Estate: Achieving 21st Century Compliance.

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The special adviser said that the theme of the forum showed that the state government was making frantic efforts to eradicate the dubious practices of some real estate practitioners in the state.

According to her, the forum will help restore sanity and orderliness to the housing sector.

Benson-Awoyinka said that a legal approach alone might not be enough to solve the problem of fraud in the real estate business in the state, without the commitment of all the stakeholders.

She, however, said that the present administration was determined to ensure conducive environment for seamless operation within the sector.

I implore the real estate/agency businesses to cooperate with the state government, so that the state as a smart city would be made investors haven, not only in Africa, but the world at large, she said.

The SA called on all interested stakeholders across the state to register for attendance through the link: http://lasretrad.eventrite.com free of charge. (NAN)

Source: NAN

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China rolls out 'one of the world's largest' 5G networks
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China's mobile operators have made 5G services available to consumers, as the country seeks to become a global technology leader.

State-owned carriers China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom unveiled their 5G data plans on Thursday.

It comes as Beijing and Washington have been embroiled in a power struggle over trade and technology.

South Korea, the US and the UK have all rolled out their next generation 5G networks this year.

5G is the fifth-generation of mobile internet connectivity. It promises much faster data download and upload speeds, wider coverage and more stable connections.

The Chinese carriers had initially scheduled the launch for next year, but accelerated the rollout.

The superfast service is now available to consumers in 50 Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, with prices for monthly plans ranging from 128 yuan ($18; £14) to 599 yuan, according to state media Xinhua.

More than 130,000 5G base stations will be activated by the end of the year to support the 5G network, the government said in the statement.

This would make it one of the world's largest 5G deployments, it said.

Finally, 5G is here - but so what?
What Huawei battle tells us about US and China
China and the US have been fighting for leadership in the technology sector in recent months, with Chinese tech giant Huawei at the centre of their power struggle.

Huawei has supplied the largest amount of network equipment for China's 5G rollout and has been in talks with various other countries to help with their 5G networks.

However, the US has blacklisted the company, arguing it poses a national security risk and has lobbied allies to shun Huawei from their 5G networks.

Huawei denies this, and many in China see the US actions as part of its efforts to curb the rise of the world's second largest economy.

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Nigeria ready for 5G Communication Minister
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By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Oct. 7, 2019 (NAN) In line with global requirements of communications, Dr Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications, said Nigeria was ready to deploy 5G network across the country to ease network flow.

Pantami said this on Monday at the ongoing 39th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) holding in Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

GITEX is a global technology exhibition that brings together over 200,000 trade visitors, investors, innovators, IT experts, countries, Information Communication Technology startups from over 145 countries of the world, to share trends of ICT and ways of advancing technology innovations.

Nigerias participation in GITEX, which is spearheaded by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a week long programme holding from Oct. 6 to Oct. 10.

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5G mobile network is the next-generation standard for wireless communication, set to start taking over the mobile network environment in 2019. 5G delivers vastly increased capacity, lower latency and faster speed.

The minster said Nigeria is ready for 5G network but preparation is key. We are ready but need deployment and before that we need pre-deployment and post-deployment.

We are working to handle the challenges of pre-deployment but the approval has been given for the trial.

Nigeria is not yet into the 5G network deliberately. Some of the telecom operators are ready to deploy the 5G network but the proposal was put on hold, so we can be productive and proactive.

There could be potential challenges that could obstruct 5G network, which include regulations. You cannot just rush into it without preparing your ground, he said.

He said that the Federal Government is engaging some security agencies like the National Intelligence Agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Nigeria Police, among others to ensure a seamless process, while establishing regulations on deploying the 5G network.

The minister also said that 5G network cannot be deployed across the country yet due to some gaps in citizens being unable to access 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

At the pace we are moving, some places do not even have 2G, there are over 200 cluster areas in the country and with this you cannot say we can move to 5G when some people are yet to access 2G, 3G.

The gaps are already there, it is not a new one but you cannot delay advancement because other people are not benefiting, what we should do is to bridge the gap.

He added that Nigeria was not doing badly in technology, however, patriotism and confidence in indigenous products and services was lacking.

Pantami recalled that a Nigerian in the UK was the first person globally to develop, build and design first real time 5G network dedicated to self-organised networks in the UK , using general purpose processors.

According to him, we usually fail to deploy what we produce, we are so much addicted to foreign products and whenever we hear anything local it appears to us as inferior.

That perception of undermining our effort is what we need to change.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria Postal Service, Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited, Nigeria Petroleum Exchange Commission, Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board are some agencies representing the country at GITEX. (NAN)

Source: NAN

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Buhari, Okowa mourn Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke
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President Muhammadu Buhari and Delta state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa have joined others around the world to mourn the demise of renowned German Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, who died at 79 years.

Buhari described Bonnke’s demise as a great loss to Nigeria, Africa and the entire world.

Bonnke was founder of Chirst for all Nations (CfaN) and has preached the gospel in parts of Delta and other cities in Nigeria and was reputed to have led over 77 million people to Christ in his over 60 years in envangelical ministry.

The president’s condolence message was contained in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Saturday.

President Buhari condoled with the government and people of Germany, family and friends of the great preacher and teacher of the Bible, and all his co-labourers in the vineyard.

He prayed that the Lord would comfort all those that mourn him.

Buhari said that Bonnke’s crusades in Nigeria, across Africa and the globe strongly accentuated the message of Jesus Christ.

The Nigerian leader added that Bonnke’s vision and zeal for the salvation of souls helped the world in understanding the power of love and kindness.

The president prayed that the Almighty God would accept the soul of the departed preacher.

He hoped that Bonnke’s legendary contributions to the body of Christ in teaching and writing would be remembered by posterity.

On his part, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, the governor said Evangelist Bonnke will be sincerely missed by those whose lives he impacted on with his over 60 years of evangelism in Africa, America and other parts of the world.

He expressed appreciation to the late Bonnke for being a role model to many preachers in Africa and urged other religious leaders to emulate the sacrifice and commitment to the people of Africa as exemplified by the late Evangelist.

“The news of the passing of Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke came to me as a shock but I am consoled by the fact that his was a life of great impact and abiding accomplishments.

“He was an incredible preacher of the gospel of Christ and I commend him for his contributions to the growth of evangelism in Africa and beyond.

“He will be sorely missed by those whose lives he impacted greatly in his over 60 years in evangelical ministry.

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I express my profound condolences to his wife, Annie; his children – Kai-Uwe, Gabrielle, Susie – and grandchildren as well as all members of Christ for all Nations (CfaN).

“It is my prayer that God will grant the family and all those who mourn him the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.” he said.

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Your next meal: How much poison does it hold?
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Whenever you walk into a local restaurant or have your favorite meal served, the urge to squelch hunger pangs or derive pleasure in the savory taste of the delicacy set before you will most likely take precedence over every other thing. Then, you do not get to think about what had gone into the food [you are about to munch] in the process of preparation; talk less of considering the hygienic standard observed by those preparing the meal. But the truth remains that it is highly probable for harmful substances to find their way into our meals - it could be from the condiments used or the careless exhibited by the cooks.

While certain contaminants traceable in foods may be taken care of with the application of heat - as the food is being cooked - or by your immune system which puts up a fight against these foreign bodies, there are a whole lot more (contaminating agents) that do not given in to heat or get broken down by the digestive machinery present in the human body. These chemicals could be cancerous or cause damages to certain internal organs.

Incidents of food-poisoning is quite rampant in our society today, and a lot of people have been caught in the web. Not so long, the analysis of some samples of fufu (a popular stodge made from cassava flour) in a research bankrolled by TheNation Newspaper, revealed the presence of toxic substances like detergents, chlorine, arsenic, cadmium, lead, nickel, iron and cyanide. You may not be a chain smoker or an alcoholic, but some of these chemicals are capable of making you suffer the same fate (as a chain smoker) if care is not taken - though it should be stated here that some of these substances [like zinc, iron and chlorine] could be beneficial to the human body when present in minimal concentration or as trace element; they were however present in the fufu in concentrations that are harmful to human health.

The table below shows possible effects that can ensue from ingesting the chemical compounds mentioned above

Arsenic:

Nervous disorder Liver disease Cancer Bloody urine Muscle and stomach cramps Digestive complications Hair loss

Cadmium:

Frail bone Liver damage Kidney disease Stomach irritation Diarrhoea Heart disorder Abdominal cramps

Cyanide:

Seizures Chest pain Increased palpitation Neurological disorder Abdominal pain Rapid breathing rate

Lead:

Neurological complications Kidney disease Anaemia Reproductive disorder Seizures Loss of appetite

Nickel:

Respiratory disorder Lung cancer Cardiovascular disorder Breakdown of the immune system

Even with the table given above we have not even started scratching the surface as there are host of contaminants - ranging from bacteria to fungi, parasite, toxic substances, etc - that have been implicated in cases of food-poisoning.

A call for caution
According to a report on the website of the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in every 10 persons, falls victim of food-poisoning every year with over 400,000 deaths being recorded. Focusing on the home-front; an article published by Punch online revealed that an estimated 1.5 million persons suffer food-poisoning every year. Putting all these together with the increasing incidence of chronic/terminal diseases - though terminal diseases are not about food-poisoning alone - one would agree that there is a need to be more cautious about what he/she eats. If possible, you should do a thorough check on the food and the ingredients used in making the meal. More so, the mode of cooking should also be carefully considered - I hope to discuss this in a subsequent session.

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Review of Bitcoin Exchanges
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You might have heard of Bitcoin and the business that have evolved out of it. Owing to this, your interest in the business has been aroused and you will like to give it a try but then you do not know how you can get your own Bitcoin. This is where this write-up become valuable. Before I proceed, I will like drop this: though you might have had people introduce the business to you in person, the buying of Bitcoin remains an online transaction. This is understandable by the virtue of the fact that the item is an e-currency. However, you can definitely get to link up with a few trusted companies who have been in the business of buying and selling Bitcoin for a while.

Bitdelia
Bitdelia is one of the most trusted exchange platforms where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. The company, through its user-friendly website presents customers with an avenue to seamlessly carry out transactions without having to worry about safety. Security is shored up by the integration of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology and cryptocurrency traders [on the platform] are provided with multi-sig encrypted wallets. Plus, trading on the website takes only few minutes to be completed. There is also aa highly responsive live support available to cater to customers’ enquiries and/or complaints.

BitPesa
BitPesa was founded in 2013, and its headquarters is in Kenya. This platform operates in seven (7) different African countries, Nigeria inclusive. On this exchange platform, customers can buy and sell Bitcoin at considerably low rates, and the medium is yet very convenient and fast to use. Visit www.bitpesa.co/# to find out more.

Coindirect
Coindirect scores high in terms of reach and the number of cryptocurrencies that can be traded – it is possible to buy and sell 43 different cryptocurrencies on this platform; these definitely include Bitcoin. Coindirect could be said to be a pacesetter when it comes to providing exchange services and making available the right peer-to-peer trading system for anyone who desires to go into the business. Again, Coindirect is among the few that have developed mobile app for the use of its customers.

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Luno
Here is another cryptocurrency trading company with global presence. People can buy Bitcoin and Ethereum through this platform using local currency. And as with other top trading platforms, it has a highly secure and user-friendly website in place for customers to do transactions. Luno has got the right mix of technology and expertise to help you have a hassle-free (trading) experience. It also provides wallets for storing cryptocurrencies, and Luno’s mobile app is operable on iOS and Android operating system. Go to www.luno.com for more information

NaiaraEx
NairaEx is a trading company established by Nigerians for the Nigerian residents. Apart from Bitcoin, you can trade Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin cash on the platform. With a strong distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) protection, NairaEx ensures that activities/transactions are done under a secure network. Again, the speed of doing business as well as the responsiveness of the customer support is quite impressive.

Remitano
Remitano ticks all the right boxes when discussing about the best exchange platforms around. It has presence in more than 50 countries with a vibrant customer base in excess of 1.5 million persons. The company offers top class services which makes it difficult to see negative remarks in reviews on Remitano. While the trading of six different cryptocurrencies is feasible through its platform; storage (wallet) is only available for Bitcoin. To ensure the convenience and satisfaction of its customers, Remitano has set up a very responsive live chat support, and mobile app is in place for iOS and Android device users. Visit https://remitano.com/btc/ng

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The Tinubu I know – MC Oluomo
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Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo has bared his mind on what he knows about the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

MC Oluomo described Tinubu as a man whose quality leadership has been an inspiration to him.

“Your leadership and words of encouragement mean a lot to me. I’m very grateful for the opportunities you have given me,” he said.

He said Tinubu has been a great father, leader, mentor, teacher and guide to him, a role model and an inspiration

“Your support and advice have helped shape my professional career.Thank you Sir,. The great Leader of our time, HE ASHIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU JAGABAN BORGU,” he wrote on his Instagram page.

MC Oluomo also expressed gratitude to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and others for the role they played in his life.

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Petrol tanker accidents: Fire on the highway and the tepidity fanning its embers
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That accidents do happen is a fact we cannot deny but when a pattern of mishap keeps recurring then such (accidents) should not be treated with levity especially when the losses of lives and properties are involved. Between the 27th of June, 2018 when a petrol tanker caused an inferno on Otedola bridge in Lagos and the 14th of November, 2019 when another petrol tanker-related accident led to the death of two persons with some others receiving various degrees of burns along Lagos-Abeokuta Express Way, there have been twenty-three reported cases of petrol tanker-related infernos across different states of the Federation - which means twenty-three petrol tanker-related accidents with more than 200 deaths and properties worth billions of naira destroyed in the space of 17 months. Lives have been lost, individuals have been maimed and many persons have lost their properties, as well as, businesses they have laboured to build over the course of time.

Among these unfortunate events; the ones that happened on Otedola bridge, the Benue incident of July 1, 2018, Odukpani incident of January 11, 2019 and that which resulted in fire gutting the Ochanja market in Onitsha appeared to have wreaked the most profound damages - not that the others are less relevant by the way.

However, as these tragic turns of event kept unfolding, we are yet to see or hear of any concrete inquisition made into the matters; pertinent questions/issues regarding the accidents are yet to the addressed. Could it be down to bad road networks, careless driving or faulty vehicle? Plus, there is a high likelihood that these tankers are made to load quantities of petroleum products that exceeded the stipulated carrying capacity - but how can this be corrected when there is no proper monitoring in place? These accidents come about and up next are the ensuing lamentations which only last for a while and life goes on as usual without those who ought to dig deep into the matter, in order to curtail this unpleasant situation, going to sleep or resting on their oars. And then people are left to put up with a ticking time-bomb [of a tanker] that endangers their lives as they ply the roads.

Shouldn’t there be sanctions?
One cannot fail to acknowledge that most of these accidents are caused by mechanical faulty which was left uncorrected in the tanker. So, in essence, why should a company that had failed, in its responsibility, to do the necessary checks on its vehicle be allowed to go off the hook and keep doing business without measures to ensure that the management puts its house in order. More so, should these companies not be made to pay for the losses that amounted from the infernos caused by their tankers? It has fast become a norm to see people lost their loved ones and properties due to the carelessness/negligence of certain individuals or companies without any form of justice being served.

A number of persons have been canvassing for establishing alternative means of haulage of petroleum products across the states in the Federation. While we look towards the actualization of such initiatives, it is vital that regulatory agencies [like the FRSC] set safety standards with the view of having these petrol distribution companies [that put their trucks on the road] comply with the laid-down standard; failure to adhere should eventually lead to the forfeiture of their operating licence.

Again, I wonder if there is a functional agency that is responsible for checking the conditions of petrol carrying trucks, as well as, the mental and physical fitfulness of the drivers employed to steer the wheels of these vehicles. There is an urgent call on the doors of those at the appropriate quarters to take the right actions towards ensuring the reduction of petrol tanker-related accidents on our highways. The days of sitting back and folding of hands should long be over by now.

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Nigeria coach Rohr dismisses comparison of QPR's Eze with Reading's Ejaria
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Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr said he has never compared QPR midfielder Eberechi Eze with Reading star Ovie Ejaria, as the West African country work to secure their services for the national team.

Both players, who ply their trade in the Championship, are of Nigerian descent and are eligible to play for either the Super Eagles or England - the country where they were born.

As part of efforts to secure their allegiance, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick has held meetings with Eze, who has scored nine league goals this term.

Earlier this week, there were reports quoting Rohr saying he prefers Liverpool loanee Ejaria to Eze, but the German coach described it as false statement and calls for respect of his relationship with the Nigerian media.

"My attention has been drawn to some statements online that I have described Reading FC player Ovie Ejaria as a better player than Queens Park Rangers' Ebere Eze and so the NFF should get him in the team immediately," Rohr said.

"This is totally false and very disrespectful to both players. I never compare players and I have not asked the NFF to make any approach for the player in question.

"I will never ask the NFF publicly to approach any player for our team. We have our processes and it certainly doesn’t include sharing such information publicly.

"Furthermore I think there must be restraint in press statements purportedly quoting me and my person in terms of interviews.

"I share a very good relationship with the media in Nigeria but this must not be abused to the extent of misquoting me and making wrong claims about my person."

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Woman begs court not to dissolve marriage after accusing husband of infidelity
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A divorce-seeking woman, Mrs Blessing Abu, who accused her husband, Benjamin, of infidelity makes u-turn and begs the Igando Customary Court in Lagos not to dissolve her marriage.

When the case came up on Wednesday for judgment, the petitioner came up with a letter, informing the court of her intention to withdraw the case.

She begged the court to discontinue the case that she and her husband would work to resolve their differences and reconcile.

The court president, Mr Adeniyi Koledoye, while striking out the case, admonished the couple to maintain peace and to continue to live in love and harmony.

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The court has received a withdrawal letter to that effect, therefore, the case is hereby struck out.

I urged both of you to go home and live in peace and love. he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mrs Blessing Abu had approached the court to dissolve her 12-year-old marriage over husbands infidelity.

My husband is cheating on me; he got a girl pregnant on two occasions.

I have gone to several hospitals and herbal homes, just to have another baby but my husband is busy making babies with another girl, she lamented.

The 36-year-old tailor accused her husband of denying her the pleasure of having sex with him.

My husband refused to sleep with me, in spite of the fact that I desire another baby, he told me to look for another man to sleep with me and vowed that he will not sleep with me again, she alleged.

Blessing accused her husband of posing serious threats to her life.

Benjamin told me that I am eating poison in his house, that I should pack out, else he will kill me or cause me to run mad, she told the court.

The petitioner said that her husband had abandoned her with the only child of the marriage.

The mother of one begged the court to terminate the marriage, adding that she had long lost interest in it.

While responding to the allegations, the 42-year-old technician, Benjamin said that his wife pushed him into adultery.

My wife always tells me that I cannot impregnate another woman and that if I try to make love with another woman, my male organ will get stuck inside that woman, that she had done something concerning my male organ.

I was afraid initially, but later I decided to try it to know if she is saying the truth.

But luckily, the girl I met got pregnant and had a baby, when my wife got to know, she told me that the baby was not mine.

After some months, I decided to do it again to prove her wrong, and the girl took in again.

Since then, Blessing made the house unbearable for me by fighting me regularly. She called the Police to arrest me and when I could no longer bear it, I packed out of the house, he told the court.

The respondent said that his wife starved him of sex, claiming that sex gives her headache.

He urged the court not to grant his wifes wish by dissolving their marriage, saying that he still loves her. (NAN)

Source: NAN

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N-Power Beneficiaries to Increase to 500,000 by August 1st 2018
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The Muhammadu Buhari administration has concluded arrangements to deploy 300,000 new beneficiaries in the second batch of its N-Power Volunteers Corp. The deployment will be effective from 1st August.

With 200,000 beneficiaries currently benefitting from the programme, this means that by August, 500,000 unemployed Nigerian graduates will be beneficiaries of the scheme, which is a crucial part of the administration’s National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP).

The N-Power Volunteer Corp scheme is designed to benefit all Nigerians irrespective of their backgrounds and is currently in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), according to Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity.

“President Muhammadu Buhari made it clear that the SIP would be a major programme of the administration because he was concerned about poverty and unemployment,” Vice President Yemi Osinbajo once said.

In conjunction with all State N-Power partners, the new beneficiaries will be promptly deployed to their assigned Primary Places of Assignment (PPA) on or before the said date.

The final selection lists broken down in States/Local Government Area (LGA) for each of the (3) N-Power component would be circulated to all focal persons in the states and FCT by July 20, 2018.

All successfully deployed N-Power beneficiaries in the second batch will be engaged for two-years starting from August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2020.

In order to qualify for their first monthly payment stipend of N30,000 by August 31, 2018, all deployed volunteers are expected to upload on their N-Power portal page their stamped and signed confirmation of resumption on or before Friday, August 10, 2018.

Through the N-Power scheme, hundreds of thousands of young, unemployed Nigerian graduates have been empowered through training and skills acquisition in different areas of public services, including education (N-Teach), health (N-Health), agriculture (N-Agro), and building/construction (N-Build).

Each N-Power beneficiary learns entrepreneurial skills to enable him become a business person and become a professional on his own, while beneficiaries are given electronic devices to enhance their work and paid a N30,000 monthly.

State-based N-Power partners comprise, but are not limited to the following: N-Teach – State Universal Board for Education (SUBEB); State & Local Government Area (LGA) Offices for Adult Education Centres; State & LGA Offices for Nomadic Education; N-Agro – State & LGA Offices for Agriculture Development Programme (ADP); and N-Health – State & LGA Offices for Primary Health Care Board.

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Gospel act Nikki Laoye confirms end of her marriage to Alex Oturu
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No regrets, I still believe in love

Popular Gospel artist Nikki Laoye has hinted at the end of her marriage to singer Alex Oturu several months after speculations on social media. The female singer recently shared a post pointing out her inability to mark her 8th wedding anniversary. Laoye noted that she has no regrets and still believes in the power of love.

It appears another celebrity marriage in the Nigerian entertainment industry has come to an inevitable end, and this time around, it involves a popular female gospel artist.

The gospel musician, Nikki Laoye, recently took to the Instastory channel of her page, pointing out that Wednesday, December 11, should have marked the occasion of her 8th wedding anniversary.

She, accompanied the sentence with a different paragraph that suggested that she is no longer with her husband, Alex Oturu.

View this post on Instagram

#PrettyNikki in a @kikikamanu creation. Had an Awesome time, ministering our original inspirational piece, #WeBelieveByLMGC tonight at #TE14 #TheExperienceLagos . . We pray because We believe that our sun will rise and shine again in Nigeria, We will win every battle that concerns us as a Nation, as a people in Jesus name Amen. . . #NikkiLaoye #SoulSinger #GodLoveLife #TheNikkiLaoyeExperience #13YearsOfNikkiLaoye #NikkiLaoyeLive

A post shared by Nikki Laoye 🇳🇬 (@nikkilaoye) on Dec 6, 2019 at 6:40pm PST

Laoye noted that life happens, and she is grateful to God for the fact that everyone is alive and well.

"I just realised that today would have been my 8th year wedding anniversary, But hey, life happens.In everything, I still give God thanks because everyone is doing great.

Everyone is Alive and well and we will all find the happiness that we truly need in Jesus name Amen," her post read.

The songstress added that she does not have nay regret, and she still believes in the power of love.

Nikki's post comes after several months of widespread speculations about her divorce on social media.

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Public shaming on social media: Bringing the opprobrium of the justice system to limelight
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The cliché that ‘anything goes‘ is one that we are quite familiar with in this part of the world; it is a saying that clearly highlights the poor state of the reverence for the rule of law and/or justice system. Time and again, we have seen and heard of how perpetrators of dastardly acts walk free and left off the hook as though nothing happened. This has often left those have been directly short-changed - with respect to having an unbiased judgement - as well as a number of concerned Nigerians frustrated about the unbalanced/ineffectual structure of the justice system.

While the voices of many persons might have been drowned by the prominence of the ‘high and lofty‘ subverters but there remains a few that would not be silenced and with these ones have found a great help in a ‘lousy and never-tiring‘ medium called the Internet.
As you read the topic of this particular discourse, you must have perceive or have an inkling of what inspired the write-up that is about to follow, and as the persons involved have no hiding place to save their shamed faces so has the hand-writing been made profound.

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Long before I became a University undergraduate, the issue of sex-for-grade had pervaded the university community and while I traversed my university campus, the matter was never unheard of - then, with the news currently trending, it could be assuredly concluded that the last of the such incidences is yet to be seen or heard of.

The common thing about these events is that we kept hearing the stories of different students that have been alleged abused but never got to hear of concrete disciplinary action(s) being taken against the ‘high-handed‘, erring lecturers that were involved. This alone makes the whole issue look like a norm - a course that further highlights the rot that exists in the justice system firstly in the universities and then the country at large.

It is the lacunae that is noticeable in seeking justice for (female) students who have been picked on by lecturers with wanton desires that spurred Kiki Mordi - with the backing of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) - into action to unravel the faces of perpetrators as we now have on videos that have gone viral on the internet. And, the vastness of this ‘unforgiving‘ tool (that is, the internet), has now drawn huge attention with many persons now raising their voices to call for justice. But then how much of an elixir could this act of public shaming be in a system with long history of unresolved cases surrounding social justice?

It is quite obvious that the purpose of the one-year investigative journalism anchored by Kiki Mordi has achieved its aim - maybe in the interim though. However, in order to achieve a far-reaching outcome, it is incumbent that the authorities [in various universities and other tertiary institutions], as well as, the government take issues hovering around sex-for-grade to heart and work out an effective means of curtailing such incidences in the future. More so, avenues to have students safely report lecturers with illicit advances should be put in place, and such students should be given assurances that there will be no reprisal attack(s) to their life or academics. The ethics committee in these institutions has to be proactive in dealing with these cases to adequately protect the interest of the student body and the institution on the whole.

Beyond sex-for-grade
Without making any attempt to water down the magnitude of the infamy attached to sex-for-grade, it has to be emphasized that there are other forms of abuses that lecturers often subject students to without them (that is, lecturers) being call to order. In such circumstances, these lecturers play ‘god‘ over the students and end up putting students that dared to cross their path into some sort of academic misery. This kind of scenario has sometimes driven some students who could not handle the problem suicidal. All these abuses obviously show the lapses that exist in institutions of higher learning where you expect a high degree of sanctity.

In the meantime however, it is apparent that it is no longer business as usual and issues like we have in the sex-for-grade cases cannot be swept under the carpet. Even if there be any attempt to do so, those that are aiming to do so should be reminded that the internet never forgets.

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NNPC, Belema oil inaugurate 400,000 Litres water project in Katsina
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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Belema oil petroleum company in collaboration with Jack-Rich Tein Foundation has commissioned 400,000 litres capacity solar powered water treatment plants in Daura and Musawa local government areas of Katsina state.

Mr. Jack Rick-Tein, President and founder of Jack-Rich Foundation who stated this during the commissioning ceremony of the projects in Musawa and Daura, said the initiative was based on the fact that water is a fundamental human need.

He maintained that each citizen required no less than 20 to 50 litres of clean, safe water daily for drinking, cooking and other domestic activities, hence the decision to construct the water treatment plants in Musawa and Daura towns.

“We also constructed 100,000 litres water treatment plants at Daura airstrip, water treatment plant at Musawa and potable water facility with 100,000 litres capacity tanks at Central Mosque, Daura,’’ he said.

He said that the company was ready to collaborate with other relevant stakeholders to execute more developmental projects in Nigeria.

NAN reports that Mr. Rich-Tein used the occasion to preach oneness among Nigerians irrespective of tribal, religious and political affiliation.

In his remarks, Gov. Aminu Masari, urged stakeholders in the areas and people of the community to setup community-ownership committee to safeguard the facilities from beingm vandalised.

Masari warned that anyone found vandalising the facilities would face the wrath of the law, adding that protecting the facilities remained the core responsibility of the community members.

“Gone are the days when government property will be destroyed by citizens. Water is life, so you most do everything humanly possible to protect these facilities.

“I thanked Mr. Jack Rich-Tein and NNPC for bringing these important projects in Katsina state,’’ Masari said.

Earlier, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, represented by Mrs. Tolu Adefuwa, admonished the benefiting communities to use the facilities judiciously.

She added, however, that the Corporation has embarked on numerable empowerment programmes aimed at ameliorating the plight of rural dwellers in the country.

As part of the highlight of the commissioning ceremony of the projects, the Emir of Daura, Dr. Umar Farouq Umar, bestowed a chieftaincy tittle of Sarkin Ruwan-Hausa on Mr. Jack Rich-Tein and urged him do more for the country. (NAN)

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Serena dons Nigerian Kimono designer jacket
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Tennis star, Serena Williams stunned fans with a black sleeveless Kimono jacket by a Nigerian designer, Jane Michael Ekanem

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the jacket was part of her fashion ensemble for the cover of Essence Magazine’s latest issue.

Essence is a popular monthly magazine for African-American women. It was first published in 1970.

Ekanem is a popular Nigerian fashion designer who has styled Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage and other celebrities.

Serena paired the Kimono with a floor-length skirt, white shirt, and strappy heels and has raved about how much she loves the design.

According to Ekanem, the Kimono represents light and energy which Serena is known for globally.

The kimono featured inked artwork on the lapels by Laolu Senbajo, another Nigerian designer, was also responsible for Serena’s face art on the magazine cover.

Laolu, who is a popular name in the international fashion scene, is also a renowned face artist.

He has worked with notable brands like Nike, Bvlgari, Beyoncé, and most recently a Grace Jones-inspired bodysuit for Hollywood actress, Taraji P. Henson.

In the cover feature interview, Serena spoke about her take on the fashion world following the launch of her own fashion line ‘Serena’ in 2018.

Reacting to the cover, an excited Jane Ekanem, on Instagram @janemichaelekanem appreciated Serena for rocking the designs.

She wrote, “About this same time 4 years ago, I posted a video of Serena Williams of how she said ‘I want other people to be like me’ when she was asked who she would like to be like.

“It’s not far fetched from mine as I always tell people I want to be a better version of myself.

“Today, at this same period, I have my piece worn by @serenawilliams, one of the most powerful and most accomplished women in the world wear my Kimono piece.

“(The piece was) tailored and made here in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria in a global magazine, @essence, in a global fashion edition.

“No matter who you are and where you are, when your time is here, your universe will come for you. Keep at what you are doing. Do good relentlessly.

“I am just that young black girl who is trying to keep the dreams alive. And as @lupitanyongo would say ‘your dreams are still valid’.

“I have never doubted my journey even though sometimes I got angry and impatient.

“My life is a work in progress and I will trust the process. A huge thanks to @laolunyc for being the bridge. The art you put on the lapel made it even more attractive.

“The kimono was inspired from the #EnergyGod kimono made by @janemichaelcollection for @do2dtun during his photoshoot. The Kimono symbolizes energy and light,” Ekanem said.

NAN reports that the outfit is the latest design in the Jane Ekanem’s eponymous brand collection.

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Mr Bigg’s rebrands in grand style
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In its quest to remain in the hearts and minds of its old and prospective customers, Mr. Bigg’s, Nigeria’s pioneer quick service restaurant (QSR) has commenced what industry watchers have described as a first-of-its-kind revolution in the sector aimed at redefining the brand as well as guarantee improve quality of service.

At a guided tour of some of the model restaurants in parts of mainland, island Lagos and its environs, recently, Mrs. Ethel Mba, Marketing Manager, UACN Restaurants led selected journalists to have enjoy a feel and look of the new-improved Mr. Biggs, an arm of UACN of Nigeria, which has existed for about 33 years.

Justifying the need for the new-look Mr. Bigg’s, Mrs. Mba who noted that there are over 100 restaurants under the brand, said the whole idea is to remodel the restaurants into a centre of excellence in the 21st century.

Speaking at one of the model restaurants located at Northwest Filling Station by the Victoria Garden City, VGC, Lekki, Lagos, Mba said the new approach promises to sustain excellence in wide variety of dishes, pastries and confectionaries to the delight of its teeming consumers, which is the heritage of Mr Bigg’s

Mba assured that apart from the VGC outlet, which was opened on the 9th of July, 2019, two more restaurants will spring up at Amuwo Odofin in Festac town and Abule Egba along Lagos Abeokuta Express Way and other parts of the country very soon .

“The new restaurants will be patterned after the structure of the Lekki restaurant to deliver high-quality food and good ambience as the basic standard. Aside this, the menu range will be equal and well-balanced in terms of meal choices depending on customers’ tastes or new trends,” she said.

Mr Bigg’s history began with the coffee shops inside Kingsway Department Stores in the 1960s. In 1973, these shops were rebranded as Kingsway Rendezvous, which became Mr Bigg’s in 1986. The chain saw rapid expansion after becoming one of the first Nigerian companies to sell franchises to investors and subsequently adopted a full franchising business model in 2012, making it the first to establish franchise restaurants in QSR.

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Operators fault MTN Nigeria listing over free float
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Some stakeholders in the capital market have faulted the listing of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc. on the nation’s bourse in spite of unavailability of the mandatory 20 per cent free float.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos that the price of MTN Nigeria shares would continue to skyrocket due to their scarcity at the detriment of retail shareholders.

The stakeholders blamed the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) for approving the company’s listing without the mandatory free float.

Free float or public float refers to the shares of a company that can be publicly traded and are not restricted.

In other words, the term is used to describe the number of shares available to the public for trading in the secondary market.

NAN reports that free float for companies listed under NSE Premium Board is 20 per cent.

Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, Invest Data Ltd., expressed disappointment at the development, saying that the listing was at the expense of retail shareholders.

Omordion urged that market regulators should be committed to the protection of retail investors to encourage their participation in the market.

He claimed that the shareholding structure of MTN Nigeria showed that the 23.92 per cent, said to be floating, were held by institutional and individual high net worth investors.

According to him, the investors are using the exchange to enrich themselves at the expense of retail investors who want to be part owners of the company.

“The 20 per cent minimum free float is one of the listing requirement, but it seems to be post a listing requirement since companies are listed and given time to meet the minimum free float.

“The companies that got listed recently apart from MTN Nigeria that failed to meet the requirements are Global Spectrum, Notore Chemical,” Omordion noted.

He told NAN that the existing shareholders of MTN Nigeria were making it difficult for new shareholders to buy due to the tight holding structure and small float.

Omordion claimed that the high demand was currently causing problem at the exchange.

He said that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), NSE and brokers would benefit from the situation, leaving potential local shareholders to buy the shares at a high rate.

The Founder of Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Mr Sunny Nwosu, described the listing as dissatisfactory.

“Our conclusion as shareholders is that they have come to play us a game which is not far from a fraudulent game; the nominal value of MTN shares is not certain.

“These are areas SEC should ask NSE questions rather than the issue of gift sharing at AGMs and ban of pre-AGMs.

“Up until now, no prospective shareholder can tell you this is what MTN Nigeria stands for,” Nwosu said.

He said that the exchange set a bad precedence in the market by allowing some companies to list without meeting the free float requirement.

“There have been very bad precedents recently in the market; Dangote Cement and some other companies were given preferential treatment.

“Whenever any company wants to come for listing by introduction, that free float which they have agreed with, must be open and for the investing public.

“Let everyone scramble and get from that, and not a situation where you will be listed by introduction and the shares are not available,” Nwosu said.

The ISAN Publicity Secretary, Mr Moses Igbrude, described the listing as a welcome development, but urged the management of exchange to ensure compliance with the minimum free float by all listed companies in the market.

“If the requirement is not met, there will be artificial scarcity of the company’s shares, making new investors to buy at high price which is not supposed to be.

“The exchange managers should not allow such a behaviour because it can erode investors’ confidence in the market.

‘’They must be seen to be transparent as well as treat all companies equally,” Igbrude said.

NAN reports that MTN Nigeria on May 16, listed a total of 20.35 billion shares at N90 per share.

The stock at the first trading day rose by nine naira or 10 per cent to close at N99 per share.

It increased on the second trading day, on May 17, by 10 per cent to close at N108.90 per share.

The shareholding structure of MTN Nigeria shows that the controlling entity is MTN International Ltd., which owns 15,485,544,050, representing 76.08 per cent of the shares.

On the other hand, the non-controlling entities in the telecommunications company include: Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Ltd. with 1,962,349, 050 (9.64 per cent), Chief Victor Odili, 806,886,900 (3.96 per cent) and Mobile Telephone Network N.I.C.B.V with 559,720,150 (2.75 per cent).

Others are: Government Employees Pension Fund (represented by Public Investment Corporation SOC Ltd., 355,281,650 units (1.75 per cent) and Mr Pascal Dozie with 340,409,900 units (1.67 per cent).

Other non-controlling entities are: Mr Sani Mohammed Bello, 265,092,150 (1.30 per cent); Mr Babatunde Folawiyo, 218,815,100 (1.08 per cent); Mr Gbenga Oyebode with 181,776,250 units (0.89 per cent).

The others are Malam Ahmed Dasuki with 177,717,850 units (0.87 per cent) and Mr Karl Toriola with 920,000 units (0.005 per cent). (NAN)

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Psychology of Children

Day against Death Penalty: NGO makes case for children
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By Sandra Umeh

As the World marks Day Against the Death Penalty, Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS) and Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) on Thursday drew attention to the negative impact of the death penalty on children.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oct.10, is slated as World Day Against the Death Penalty.

It is a day set aside every year to advocate the abolition of the death penalty and raise awareness on the conditions and the circumstances which affect prisoners on death sentence.

The day was first organised by the World Coalition against the Death Penalty in 2003.

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To commemorate the day, two Human Rights Organisations, HURILAWS and LEDAP have drawn public consciousness to the effect of the penalty on children in the society.

In a statement jointly signed by Mr Collins Okeke and Mrs Pamela Okoroigwe, representing both organisations, they, among others, called on government to put in place modalities with focus on children.

In its 2018 global report on death sentences and executions, Amnesty International recorded that in Nigeria; at least 19,336 people were on death row.

Many of these people have children connected to them either as daughters, sons, nephews or nieces.

The death penalty does not only affect the person who is sentenced, as family members of the sentenced persons are also collateral victims.

HURILAWS and LEDAP call on the Federal and State legislators and executives in Nigeria to:

Put in place an official moratorium on the imposition of death sentence and the carrying out of executions on the parent of a child.

Conduct a child rights impact evaluation of the actual impact of the implementation of current legislation and policies in their state, related to the death penalty, to assess the impact on children of the parental death penalty, the organisations said.

The organisations said there should be consideration of all aspects of childrens rights in this evaluation, including the right to be free from inhuman treatment and the rights to health, education, and an adequate standard of living.

They suggested engagement in thorough communication with children to facilitate their meaningful participation in this process and to identify their best interests, using child-friendly procedural safeguards.

Develop transparent and objective processes for legislative decisions made concerning the death penalty to ensure full consideration and respect of the human rights of children.

Enact legislation that requires in law the detailed procedural steps for conducting a best interests of the child assessment as set out in the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

General comment on the best interests of the child and include a provision explicitly requiring that such an assessment be conducted before any sentencing decision is made that impacts a child.

Ensure that all the procedural requirements set out in this legislation are disseminated to both prosecutors and judges, they said. (NAN)

Source: NAN

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World News

Pictures: Giant 4m-long king cobra caught in sewer
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A giant 4m-long (13ft) king cobra was discovered in a housing estate in southern Thailand on Sunday - and catching it wasn't easy.

Rescuers later released it into the wild, and said it was one of the biggest they had ever encountered.

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United States

Nigeria, Vietnam sign visa waiver agreement
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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja, proposed a toast for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The vice president’s toast was proposed at a dinner organised in honour of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Prof. Vuong Hue.

Osinbajo, had earlier, at the Presidential Villa, received Hue and his team and witnessed the signing and exchange of the Memorandum of Understanding on waiver of visa requirements for holders of Valid Diplomatic and Official Passports.

The vice president, during the toast on a lighter note, said that Hue was his long lost brother as both of them were born on same year and same month– March, 1957.

Osinbajo said more so, that he and Hue were both lecturers and professors.

He said that Nigeria and Vietnam had maintained long standing diplomatic relations since 1976 but there were no high level engagements.

“So, this visit is very significant because we will be looking at the possibility of setting up a bilateral commission between Vietnam and Nigeria so that we can concretise the existing areas of cooperation that we discussed earlier today.

“ I am confident that we can build on the successes recorded in the past while we work on boosting cooperation in business, trade and investment and social and cultural relationship between both countries.

“We agreed on promoting a friendly football match between Vietnam and Nigeria.

“The Super Eagles and the Vietnamese National Team and as well the Female National Team of Vietnam and our Super Falcons.

“First toast to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; Long live the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; the next will be the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria,’’ he said.

In his response, Hue said that Nigeria and Vietnam had a lot of things in common.

He said that aside boosting economic and trade ties, there was need to enhance cultural relationship.

Hue said that the Vietnamese national team was a strong side in Asia as he was looking forward for a friendly match between both male and female national teams of both countries.

In his welcome address at the dinner, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, said that the Vietnamese delegation, led by Hue, had demonstrated willingness to strengthen relationship between Nigeria and Vietnam.

He said that the delegation had the opportunity of meeting people that matter in Nigeria, especially on the area of trade, commerce and investment.

“Indications are that their engagements are very fruitful and they are willing to take the relationship to the next level.

“On our part, we are, ready and willing to reciprocate; to pick up the challenge they have thrown to us.

“This evening, we, signed an agreement on waiving Visa for people carrying diplomatic passport,” he said.

Dada said that the dinner was put together by the vice president to introduce the Vietnamese delegation to Nigerian cuisine.(NAN)

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