Buhari: Why I didn’t sack my ministers
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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his decision to retain cabinet ministers in the last three and half years in spite of pressures from some quarters was because of their unique skills, strengths and leadership qualities.

The president made this known during a valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.

He observed that the ministers, who exhibited spirit of team work, were more rational in taking decisions aimed at tackling the numerous challenges facing the country.

President Buhari described the cabinet members as “a reflection of the Nigeria we aspire to achieve.’’

“You will recall that when we started this journey, our country was facing numerous challenges.

“We inherited a broken economy which eventually went into recession in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2016. The situation was further compounded by insecurity and massive corruption.

“Many would have given up. Indeed, many outside commentators said our situation was well nigh hopeless. However, we all came together and pushed forward to deliver our campaign promise to rescue our country from its parlous state.

“Although we all had a common vision, we frequently had heated debates in this room on the best way to achieve our goals. These differing views are what made the decisions we took all the more rational.

“It is this quality that made me retain my cabinet for the full term. Each of you in this room has a unique skill and strength.

“We are a reflection of the Nigeria we aspire to achieve – A diverse but tolerant nation where no one is silenced and where every opinion should be heard and considered.’’

President Buhari, who thanked the ministers for agreeing to serve the nation, urged them to be happy for contributing their quota in various ways to the development of the nation.

`I want you all to leave this meeting proud to have served your nation to the best of your ability.

“You should be proud to have been part of the government that liberated the local governments previously under Boko Haram rule.

“You should be proud to have contributed to our food security and economic diversification agenda which led to the revival of our rural agrarian economy

“You should be proud to have been part of the team that developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which led Nigeria exiting its worst recession in decades.

“You should be proud to have introduced the social investment programme that enhanced livelihoods of millions of Nigerians.

“You should be proud to have participated in settling outstanding pensions of many senior citizens abandoned by previous governments while supporting state governments to meet their salary arrears.

“And of course, you should all be proud to have overseen the most ambitious road, rail and airport rehabilitation programmes in the history of our country,’’ the president added.

According to the president, the ministers’ achievements within the period had guaranteed their position in the history books of the nation.

He maintained that the ministers had succeeded in building the foundations for an improved economy and a more purposeful government.

The president, therefore, directed all ministers to remain in office until May 28.

“Although today is our last council meeting, I expect all of you to continue working until Tuesday, May 28, 2019 when you will officially hand over your schedules to your respective Permanent Secretaries.

“Your handing over letters should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo thanked President Buhari for trusting him with various responsibilities, especially when he acted as president.

He said “My deepest gratitude comes from the great trust that you reposed in me at all times.

“I will never forget when you were going on medical leave in May 2017 and you said to me in the course of conversation that evening that you would not meddle in my discretion as acting President in anyway.

“And in keeping with your character and style you kept your words.’’

Earlier, the ministers, who took turns to recount their experiences lauded President Buhari’s humility, integrity and hard work.

They expressed appreciation for his kind gesture and pledged to do more for the country when called upon to serve the nation.

The president and the out-going ministers later had a group photograph, as the cabinet members prepare to bow out of office on May 28.

*NAN

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Finance Minister unveils scorecard as foreign reserves hit $44.69bn
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The Minister of Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, has unveiled the achievements of her ministry as the clock ticks for her exit, revealing that Nigeria’s foreign reserves stood at $44.69 billion as at May 13, 2019.

The foreign reserves stood at $28.3 billion in May 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari took over governance from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Minister unveiled the position of the ministry in her opening remarks at the quarterly World Press Conference, held in Abuja.

The minister said also that year-on-year inflation rates continued to improve from a high rate of 18.7 per cent in January 2017 to 11.37 per cent in April 2019.

She also disclosed that states will soon receive their outstanding balance of the Paris Club debts refunds based on the verification made on a total sum of N649.434 billion by the Ministry.

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“For the final phase of the Paris Club debts refunds, the total sum of N649.434 billion was verified by the Ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the State Governments.

“The payments made by the CBN as at March 2019, is N691.560 billion.

“The increase in CBN payments partly arose from exchange rate differential at the point of payment. Although, some states still have outstanding balances, which will be refunded in due course.”

According to her, with the implementation of Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP) which the Buhari’s administration developed in 2017 has led to the economy’s exit from recession and moved upwards on a path of sustainable, inclusive and diversified growth.

She further maintained that it is the resolve of the Ministry to address the long standing issue of “unsatisfactory revenue performance” in Nigeria, particularly in the non-oil sector, in order to ensure appropriate financing for critical sectors such as health, education, and infrastructure, and ultimately of co-creating a Nigeria where no one is left behind.

She said: “Our External Reserves on the other hand, grew from $28.3 billion in 2015 to US $44.69 billion as at May 13, 2019 representing significant improvement that has helped stabilize the economy, including our currency exchange rates.

“Our FX market remained relatively stable from 2017 with the convergence of the NIFEX and NAFEX windows witnessed by November 2018.

“Let me first underscore the vital role of domestic revenue mobilization for continued economic success and inclusive growth in Nigeria.

“Indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari underscored the urgent need for improved revenue performance during his 2019 Budget Speech, and he directed the acceleration of all revenue initiatives.

“The time to act is now – if we do not address the long standing issue of “unsatisfactory revenue performance” in Nigeria, particularly in the non-oil sector, we will never realize our shared goal of ensuring appropriate financing for critical sectors such as health, education, and infrastructure, and ultimately of co-creating a Nigeria where no one is left behind.

“As Minister of Finance, I have taken on the President’s important call to action, by prioritizing revenue generation, and formally launching in January 2019, the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives, a suite of comprehensive and cross-cutting interventions aimed at boosting revenue performance.

“I am pleased to share that we have made significant progress since launching the initiatives and I look forward to providing details later in my remarks.”

She also added that the Ministry has achieved seven consecutive quarters of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth since the country’s exit from recession in Q2, 2017. “As at Q4 2018, the economy grew by 2.38% in real terms (year-on-year), representing an increase of 0.27% compared to Q4 2017 and, a rise of 0.55% compared with the growth rate in Q3 2018.
Overall, GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.93% in 2018 compared with 0.82% in 2017, representing an overall increase of 1.11% year on year.”

However, the Minister acknowledged that the expenditure performance cannot be in isolation of revenues, which as a result expenditure outturn largely depends on government’s ability to generate budgeted revenues with deficits funded through borrowings.

“In 2018 our budgeted revenue was N7.2 trillion this is against the realised figure of N3.96 trillion, signifying a negative variance of 45%.

“Despite this shortfall we have been able to fully pay salaries and service 100% of our debt. We have also released seven months overhead for 2018, two months for 2019, and N2.079 billion capital expenditure as at 14th May 2019.

“We have adopted a prudent debt management strategy which ensures that we invest what we borrow in capital projects.

“Although our debt by international standards, at 19.09% Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio is well below the threshold of 56% for countries similar to Nigeria.

“The government is addressing the issue of reducing the debt service to revenue through a combination of debt substitution strategies.”

The Minister maintained that on global risks, the Ministry will continue to remain focused on taking key mitigating actions to safeguard the economy and ensure it is “resilient to external shocks.”

“We will continue to monitor key global risks, and the Federal Ministry of Finance is focused on taking key mitigating actions to safeguard the economy and ensure it is resilient to external shocks.

“As anticipated, the global economy has slowed down in 2019 with a revised growth projection of 3.3%.

“This trajectory is mirrored in Africa, with the continent projected to grow slightly more at 3.5% in the same year. Commodity based economies including Nigeria are expected to continue recovery from the rapid commodity crash witnessed from 2014 to 2016.”

She further explained that, “This development represents challenging times amidst this year’s volatility in oil prices that has fallen from $86/barrel in October to $62/barrel in December when I gave my last Press Conference, and risen to a five-month high of above $71/barrel as at April 2019.

“While oil prices are expected to remain within the average range of $70/barrel, continued volatility is expected through the end of 2019.”

She said that her ministry was carrying out reforms at the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the Joint Tax Board (JTB).

With the reforms, taxpayer database has been expanded to 35 million from 9 million in the four years of the Buhari-led administration.

“Through reforms at the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the Joint Tax Board (JTB), we have been able to harmonize the Tax Identity Number (TIN) database to cover Federal, States and Local Governments to establish a unified identity number system for uniquely identifying tax-payers.

“The country’s taxpayer database has been expanded to 35 million from 9 million at the beginning of the administration.

“It is anticipated that this figure will grow to 45 million individual and corporate payers when the ongoing integration of different biometric database is completed”.

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The Basic Control Process
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According to Tomi Hunge Handbook on Management (Pg. 27); Controlling implies measurement of accomplishment of events against the standard of plans and the correction of deviation to ensure attainment of objectives according to plans. Once a plan becomes operational, control is necessary to measure progress, to uncover deviation from plans, and to indicate corrective action. The latter may involve simple measures such as minor changes in leadership. In other cases, adequate control may result in setting new goals, formulating new plans, changing the organizational structure, improving staffing and making major changes in techniques of leading.

It is important to bear in mind that controlling involves much more than mere measurement of deviations from plans. True control implies that corrective action can and will be back on course. It is thus to a great extent, the function that closes the loop in the system of management.

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What is the Basic Control Process
Control techniques and systems are essentially the same for cash, office procedures, morale, product quality, or anything else. The basic control process, wherever it is found and whatever it controls, involves three steps:-

Establishing Standards

Measuring performance against these standards

Correcting deviations from standards and plans

Because plans are the yardstick against which controls must be devised, it follows logically that the first step in the control process would be to establish plans. However, since plans vary in detail and complexity and since manager cannot usually watch everything, special standards are established.

Standards are by definition simply criteria for performance. They are selected points in the entire planning programe where measures of performance are made so as to give managers signals as to how things are going without having to watch every step in the execution of plans.

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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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Alex Ekwueme University opens labs to institutions, scientists
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By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

Alex Ekwueme Federal Univeristy, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo (AE-FUNAI) in Ebonyi has urged
tertiary institutions, scientists and researchers to use its facility for characterisation research.

The institutions Dean of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Onuegbu Ugwu, made the call on Tuesday in an interview with
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Characterisation refers to the broad and general process by which a materials structure and properties are probed and measured.

It is a fundamental process in the field of materials science, without which no scientific understanding of engineering materials can be ascertained.

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Ugwu recalled that the school acquired the characterisation equipment in February through the intervention of the National Office for
Technology Acquisition and Promotion, in collaboration with PZ and supported by Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.

The equipment included Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, Fourier Infrared Spectroscopy and Ultra Violet Visible Spectroscopy.

He said just like most tertiary institutions in some countries and in Nigeria in particular, most times we lack critical infrastructure
needed for research and it affects universities in performing state-of-the-art research.

At the moment, such equipment exists only in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State and that means researchers from
other parts of the country must travel to Kaduna State to conduct research.

With this intervention however, it places us in good position to conduct research and to make it available to our colleagues in
other institutions around us because it has universal application.

The facilities are major equipment that will boost capacity building and compete with any of such equipment from any part of the world.

The dean commended NOTAP and PZ for the support, saying the institution needed more collaboration from industry operators and the
academia to bridge the gap between them.

Research collaboration between universities and the academia is to make sure that universities provide relevant findings to
industrial needs and also for the industry to support the university system in that process, he added.

Source: NAN

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Scholarships & Aid

Girls in ICT National Competition Powered by Ministry of Communication Technology 2019
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As part of its activities to mark the 2019 “Girls in ICT Day” celebration is calling for participation on her National ICT Competition themed: “Girls Innovate/Invent/Create” from girls in secondary schools nationwide.

International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by all ITU Member States in ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Guadalajara, 2010). It aims to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in April every year.

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Theme of this year competition is “Girls Innovate/Invent/Create”.

Ministry of Communication Technology Girls in ICT National Competition Prizes.

Successful schools would receive special Awards in the below categories

1st Prize: N500,000 (Five hundred thousand naira)

2nd Prize: N300,000 (Three hundred thousand naira)

3rd Prize: N200,000 (Two hundred thousand naira).

Ministry of Communication Technology Girls in ICT National Competition Eligibility.

A team of a maximum of three girls each in any secondary school in Nigeria to come up with solutions to pressing challenges in their communities addressing SDGs 1-8.

Girls should be between 13 – 18 years old.

Entries should give a detailed description of a Proposal, Project or Idea on what your team can do using ICT in addressing the above SDGs.

How to Submit Entries for Ministry of Communication Technology Girls in ICT National Competition.

Interested and qualified? Submit the following documents below in a zip folder to: [email protected] The subject of the mail should read “Submission from ” and the zipped file named after the school.

In a zip folder, please include the following documents:

Not more than 10-page detailed Proposal in Microsoft Word document between 750 to 2000 words, including full names of teams and SDG (s) being addressed;

Power Point Presentation of not more than 15 slides;

A less than 3- minutes video pitch;

Entries should be clearly marked and labelled with Name of student(s)/school and endorsed by the school Principal; and

Important Informations/Notices

Participants in this Competition must be ready to demonstrate ownership of the Proposal when called upon to do so.

Participants are advised to check the portal from time to time. Only submissions through the portal will be considered.

Prizes will only be Awarded to support the Innovations or Ideas for the Submissions.

Due to the volume of entries that this Competition will Attract, only successful entries will be contacted.

Entries will be received from “Friday, 17th May to Monday, 10th June, 2019”. Winners will be announced on Friday 14th June, 2019.

For more information, please email: [email protected] Or Contact: Edwin: 08065473942, Tolu: 09094387766

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1000 tons of maize and soybean needed in Ikeja Lagos.
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Send me ur number to call you and issue us an lpo we would deliver within 72 hours or call me on 08145437792

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The ever lurking dangers on Nigerian roads

Accidents are definitely not exclusive to Nigeria but something we get to see from time to time, are the incidences whereby little life-saving details are frequently ignored. About a week ago, a truck carrying planks fell off the bridge at Ojuelegba and just a couple of days back, a horrific inferno involving a petrol tanker and several other vehicles claiming many lives occurred the Ojodu-Berger axis. These are just a few among numerous mishaps that happen on Nigerian roads.
If one decides to take a stock of the number of accidents that have occurred in June alone, there is a high probability that the list will not come up short in any way. However, the objective of writing this piece is to minute on the lurking dangers that abound on our roads. When you take a look at the road and the ensuing traffic, it is rare not to see one or more telling sign(s) that point to imminent danger. From the recklessness of commercial bus drivers down to the error of judgment that could be exhibited by other road users and the flouting of traffic laws – not to even mention the existence of ‘road-unworthy’ vehicles plying the road, you will probably identify one thing or another pointing to disaster. And it is quite unfortunate that law enforcement agencies do not seem to have cue on how map out strategies that would help to bring a far-reaching solution to the issue.
Though I am not oblivious of the fact that some persons might have attributable the two terrifying occurrences I cited earlier to fate but the truth remains that those accidents could have been prevented had the law been enforced in the first instance – and on a consistent basis. Putting the petrol tanker into perspective; an eyewitness account has it that the driver of tanker was trying to avoid an on-rushing commercial bus that had previously parked [and dropped off a passenger] at an unaccredited bus-stop before the tanker hit a barrier and spilled its content (petrol) which eventually caused the blast. The exercise of drivers parking illegally to pick up or drop off is now commonplace on our roads today. Those (drivers) that are caught are, most of the times, left to get off the hook after the hand of the traffic regulatory official have received some ‘manna of doom’ – this, in itself, is a catalyst for disaster.
The truck that fell off Ojuelegba Bridge must have been due to overloading but it is really perplexing that the vehicle was not stopped from discontinuing the journey at any point in time. And what about the prevalence of having trucks with loose containers running up the road without being apprehended? – There is so much mess on the road that has got to be cleared, and it is important that those in the appropriate quarters squarely stand up to their responsibilities to ensure the safety of lives on the road.
What has become of the regulation regarding heavy-duty vehicles moving at night or the directive for them to stay off the bridge? How well has been enforced? Your guess is as good as mine – these (regulations) have been colossally ineffective thus far since those saddled with the responsibility do not appear to be up to the task.

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Prices of Wash Hand Basin in Nigeria 2019
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Below is the price of wash hand basin in Nigeria as at 16th May, 2019

A wash basin—is a bowl-shaped plumbing fixture used for washing hands, dishwashing, and other purposes. Sinks have taps (faucets) that supply hot and cold water and may include a spray feature to be used for faster rinsing. They also include a drain to remove used water; this drain may itself include a strainer and/or shut-off device and an overflow-prevention device. Sinks may also have an integrated soap dispenser. Many sinks, especially in kitchens, are installed adjacent to or inside a counter.

Twyford Bathrooms is a worldwide market leader and major manufacturer of this plumbing building material. Twyford has been in existence since 1849.

Twyford wash hand basin

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Twyford wash hand basin Starting Price - N4,000

Double Tray Single Hole last Price - N4,000

Location: Iyana Ipaja Lagos

External Resource: Wikipedia

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Lekki Data Science Meetup - IT Group in Nigeria
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About

This is a meetup for building data science competence and networking for budding, aspiring and professional data scientists on the island in Lagos, Nigeria. If you are interested in growing your data science competence and networking with other data scientist - aspiring and practitioners or you live on the island or can make it to the meetings then lets come together and grow our data science career together.

Why Lekki? Lekki is just a way of saying the meetup venue would be on the Island, Lagos. The island also deserves a meetup group around emerging technologies just like we have on the mainland (great job mainlanders). One reason - to facilitate participation and networking.

Commenced: Monday March 6 2017 Member Strength: 1596 (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Meetup City: Lagos Join Mode: open Open To: public Web Address: Lekki Data Science Meetup Organizer: Adebayo Aderibigbe

Source: Meetup

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How to determine Caller ID Mobile Number in Nigeria
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With the advent of GSM in Nigeria, the market has been expanding tremendously with so many value added services coming on board. As the subscriber base grew, so also network providers.

At the onset of this telecom boom, Nigerians quickly adapted to recognising the network providers by the mobile numbers. It was easy, since we were taught that to identify a mobile network provider, simply look at the first 4 characters of the caller ID number.

This was captured with prefixes as follows:-

MTN - 0803

Glo - 0805

Zain, Airtel, Econet - 0802

In fact, my first number was a Globacom line, and it started with 0805, followed by an Airtel line which was prefixed as 0802. Things have greatly changed and this telecom providers have so far expanded and the Nigerian Communications Commission gave further mobile number prefixes to the telecom providers which still retained the first allocations.

Below is a list of mobile number telecom prefixes for major telecom providers in Nigeria.

0701 ---- Airtel Nigeria
0702 ---- Smile
07025 ---- Visafone
07026 ---- Visafone
07027 ---- Multi-Links
07028 ---- Starcomms
07029 ---- Starcomms
0703 ---- MTN Nigeria
0704 ---- Visafone
0705 ---- Globacom
0706 ---- MTN Nigeria
0707 ---- ZoomMobile (formerly Reltel)
0708 ---- Airtel Nigeria
0709 ---- Multi-Links
0802 ---- Airtel Nigeria
0803 ---- MTN Nigeria
0804 ---- Ntel
0805 ---- Globacom
0806 ---- MTN Nigeria
0807 ---- Globacom
0808 ---- Airtel Nigeria
0809 ---- 9mobile
0810 ---- MTN Nigeria
0811 ---- Globacom
0812 ---- Airtel Nigeria
0813 ---- MTN Nigeria
0814 ---- MTN Nigeria
0815 ---- Globacom
0816 ---- MTN Nigeria
0817 ---- 9mobile
0818 ---- 9mobile
0819 ---- Starcomms
0909 ---- 9mobile
0908 ---- 9mobile
0902 ---- Airtel Nigeria
0903 ---- MTN Nigeria
0905 ---- Globacom
0906 ---- MTN Nigeria
0907 ---- Airtel Nigeria

So any time you get a caller id with any of the above prefixes, you should be able to identify the network provider.

Additional information can be gotten from NCC.

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Bible Emergency Numbers
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"And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and i will give thee rest" (Exodus 33 v 14)

When in Sorrow, .......................................... call John 14
When Men fail you, ..................................... call Psalm 27
When you have sinned, ............................ call Psalm 51
When you are in danger, .......................... call Psalm 91
When you worry, .......................... call Mathew 6 v 19-24
When God seems far away, .......................... call Psalm 139

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When your Faith needs strength, .......................... call Hebrews 11
When you are lonely and fearful, .......................... call Psalm 23
When you grow bitter and critical, .......................... call 1 Cor. 13
When you feel down and out, .......................... call Romans 8 v 31-39
When you want peace and rest, .......................... call Mathew 11 v 25-30
When you want Christian assurance, .......................... call Romans 8 v 1-30
When you leave home for work or travel, .......................... call Psalm 121
When your prayer grows narrow or selfish, .......................... call Psalm 67
When you want courage for a task, .......................... call Joshua 1
When you think investment/returns, .......................... call Mark 10
How to get invention/opportunity, .......................... call Isaiah 55
For secret to happiness, .......................... call Col. 3 v 12-17
For idea of Christianity, .......................... call 1 Cor 5 v 15-19
If you are depressed, .......................... call Psalm 27
If yiu want to be fruitful, .......................... call John 15
If you are losing confidence, .......................... call 1 Cor 13
If people seem unkind, .......................... call John 15

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HIV: 94.9% infants saved from mother-to-child transmission WHO
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By Yashim Katurak

The World Health Organisation (WHO), says Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (PMTCT) initiative has helped to protect 94.9 per cent infants exposed to HIV by their mothers in Nigeria.

The organisation said this in a statement signed by the WHO Nigeria Officer-in-Charge (OiC), Dr Clement Peter, in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said that the initiative was established by the organisation, donors and partners.

Peter said the body achieved this by providing technical support, evidence-based guidance and recommendations to the Federal Government to help eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV and syphilis in the country.

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He said that the organisation had also through the initiative, built the capacity of government to offer quality HIV service delivery.

The WHO Officer-in-Charge, said that the PMTCT initiative was established to help address growing HIV statistics of infants in the country.

He said that the figure obtained from the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) indicated that Nigeria had more HIV-infected babies than any country in the world.

In 2016, Nigeria accounted for 37,000 of the worlds 160,000 new cases of babies born with HIV.

However, since 2017, an estimated 94.9 per cent of infants exposed to HIV by their mothers have been saved from infection through the implementation of the PMTCT intervention under the National AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infection Control Programme (NASCP).

Across the 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory, there are currently a total of 6,301 PMTCT sites.

WHO Nigeria in March donated a vehicle and refurbished NASCP offices towards strengthening the re-established National Treatment and PMTCT which was launched in Feb. 2018.

First introduced in 2001 in Nigeria, the overall goal of the PMTCT is to contribute to the reduction of HIV and AIDS incidences.

The PMTCT aims at ensuring at least 95 per cent of all HIV positive pregnant women and HIV exposed infants have access to effective antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis by 2021, Peter said.

He said PMTCT also aimed at ensuring at least 80 per cent of HIV positive pregnant women had access to quality infant feeding counselling and 95 per cent HIV exposed infants had access to Early Infant Diagnosis (EID).

Peter promised that the organisation would continue to support the Nigerian government to end the spread of HIV and promote person-centred HIV service delivery as a way to improve service efficiency and impact.

The statement quoted the NACA Director General, Dr Sani Aliyu as saying Through the PMTCT intervention, prevention of HIV from mother to child has definitely increased.

However, we still have a large chunk of women who do not go to primary health care facilities to deliver.

Aliyu said that poverty played a major role in this stating that the only way to address the problem was to engage traditional birth attendants.

The NACA director general said that there was also the need to train them in HIV testing, provide them with self-test kits and give them incentives to bring HIV positive women to primary healthcare centres for proper attention.

Source: NAN

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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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Under what conditions can a person be stripped of citizenship in Nigeria?
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To the ‘son of the soil’, the incident of being deprived of his Nigerian citizenship might not even have crossed the mind for a second throughout his sojourn – why should he be bothered? However, for those who became citizens through naturalization, questions bordering on deprivation of citizenship is one that cannot be overlooked.

Nigeria is a hospitable place, and there is definitely nothing wrong with holding dual citizenship. But then what can make an individual lose a right he/she has spent years to gain? The reasons are basically hinged on ethical grounds whereby a naturalized citizen had failed on certain moral standards and/or showed disloyalty to the state to which he/she had sworn allegiance.

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Section 30 subsection 1 states thus: The president may deprive a person, other than a person who is a citizen of Nigeria by birth or by registration, of his citizenship, if he is that such a person has within a period of seven years after becoming naturalised, been sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than three years.

Subsection 2, part a the person has shown himself by act or speech to be disloyal towards the Federal Republic of Nigeria; or

Subsection 2: The president shall deprive a person, other than a person who is citizen of Nigeria by birth, of his citizenship, if he is satisfied from the records of proceedings of a court of law or other tribunal or after due inquiry in accordance with regulations made by him, that:

Subsection 2, part b the person has, during any war in which Nigeria was engaged, unlawfully traded with the enemy or been engaged in or associated with any business that was in the opinion of the president carried on in such a manner as to assist the enemy of Nigeria in that war, or unlawfully communicated with such enemy to the detriment of or with intent to cause damage to the interest of Nigeria.

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Opinion: Fallout from the 2019 Presidential/NASS Elections
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As the curtain draws close on the 2019 Presidential/NASS elections with congratulatory messages raining in on the winners and losers being urged to be magnanimous in defeat, we will like to take a look at some of the highlights of the just concluded elections. So, here are six (5) things we learnt from the exercise:

Low participation
One thing that was obvious across board was the low turn-outs of registered voters at different polling stations. It is estimated that, barring the voters who were disenfranchised in one way or the other, about 35% of the 84,004,084 registered voters participated in the election. This means that less than half of the electorate partook in a process that eventually determined the political destiny of a nation as vast as ours. Well, retrospectively, one cannot but consider that the sudden last-minute rescheduling of the election [from February 16 to February 23] could have taken its toil on the response of the electorate. Nonetheless, there is no ruling out the fact that a host of legible voters seemed to be disinterested in partaking in the process as they did not have faith in any of the top aspirants thus choosing to tread the path of abstinence. At the end, the February 23 Presidential/NASS election was greeted by poor turn-out.

The third force that never was
The likes of Omoyele Sowore, Kingsley Moghalu, Fela Durotoye and some others did their bit – or may be gave their best shot – but it was never going to be enough. We all knew beforehand that each of them will not be able to stand up to the crowd-pulling capability of the top two (political parties/presidential aspirants) but they deserve some commendation for staying in the race to the very end. And though we may not know the impact their collaborative effort might have generated but it was certain that, some Nigerians would have very much appreciated the existence of a third force that is capable of shaking the political landscape for the emergence of a new Nigeria – the third force was just a daydream at the end.
That said, I do not think we have to wait for years to see that third force. As the saying goes, “the journey of a thousand mile begins with a single (purposeful) step”; these individuals have started something and now is not the time for them to hole up. They have got to make attempts to remain relevant in Nigeria’s political schematics; becoming notable and constructive oppositions [through their party platforms] with an overarching objective of contributing to nation-building. More so, they got to devote time, effort and resources towards the advancement of politics at the grass-root level. Having a third force [that is well-founded and proactive] could be essential in ensuring that we do not towards becoming a one-party state especially at the centre.

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Democracy under siege?
Democracy avails the citizens of a nation the opportunity to choose their leaders without any impedance. As such, it is imperative that the necessary machinery be set in place to ensure that people freely express their opinions through the vote they cast without nursing fears. However, seeing people scampering about for safety as they were faced with threats while at the polling unit coupled with the burning of sensitive electoral materials and hearing of the discrepancies that trailed the past electoral exercise does auger ill for our democracy – there is an attack on the democratic process. Plus, I wonder if the obsessive power mongers – the political desperadoes – will ever embrace the tenet of fair play as we often see in the game of football.

The Northern and Southern divide
The presidential election showed us that Nigerians are highly divided along ethnic lines even when it comes to issues of national development. While the top two presidential aspirants are of northern origin, their running mates came from different geographical zones, and one could see [from the voting trend] that this played a part in swaying voters. But this is not to say that there were no few remnants who were out to vote for national development. However, it has to be stressed that there is a need for Nigerians to look beyond ethnicity in such a matter like deciding who takes over the mantle of leadership. National development is only going to be possible if we, as a people, stand together in unison – maintaining a good bond – to speak against the ills of our leaders as we chart the course for a new Nigeria.

Upset is possible in the Nigerian political space
We have also seen some upsets in the just concluded election. The major talking point is, of course, about the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki who lost his constituency’s mandate, having been upstaged by a certain Dr. Ibrahim Oloriegbe of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Another one (upset) is Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s loss to Mr. Bolaji Tunji while vying for the Oyo South Senatorial District seat. Also, the likes of senators George Akume, Godswill Akpabio and Andy Ubah were taken to the cleaners in their bid to claim a seat in the 9th Senate. Looking at the other side of the coin, that these top politicians failed in their ambition goes to show the people’s need for a change. The people might have succeeded in passing a message that performance trumps personality/name to these veteran political stakeholders. Additionally, I feel the umpire (that is, INEC) deserves some commendation for allowing event follow due course in this respect.

The Presidential/NASS election might have come and gone but with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar rejecting the results, most recently tabling his demands to the Abdulsalami led peace committee and looking to go to the tribunal, more drama could unfold in the days ahead. In the meantime, it is hoped that, with President Muhammadu Buhari retaining the seat of power, the next level promised will be an all-inclusive nation-building [and nation-bonding] drive that put the interest of the masses first above other sentiments.

Note: These are the personal opinions of the Writer.

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The Nigerian Cricket Team
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Terms such as runs, wickets, sixes and so on are not the kind of words that the average Nigerian sporting fan is interested. In his world, those words are drowned by familiar ones like goals, throw-in, free-kick, etc., and this is simply down to the bias we have towards football in this part of the world. The love for the round-leather game has thus relegated other sports to the backwaters. As such, Nigeria’s participation in other sports has now dwindled while some have not even taken flight at all. One of such sports that is hardly found on the lips of Nigeria sport lovers is the game of cricket.

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The only idea some persons have about the game is probably impacted while watching one of those ODIs or test games shown on Supersports channels. And in some other instances, you might have seen a couple of aspiring lads - whom you might have even tagged ‘day-dreamers' - who were raring to give the sport [of cricket] a try and place Nigeria's name on the world map, competing alongside top-performing nations like India, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, and the likes. Well, that dream seems to be finding its wings at this point. Much of the credit must go to the Nigerian Cricket Federation led by Professor Adams Ukwenyi and of course, the young men who qualified the nation for the next ICC U-19 world cup tourney that will be held in South Africa next year.

Heroics of the U-19 ‘Green Yellow'
Only a few – among those who knew about their participation in the qualifiers – would have given Nigeria a chance to make a significant impact at the qualifying rounds that took place in Namibia. But lo, and behold, the boys went, saw, and conquered all – including Sierra Leone, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Namibia – that were thrown their way; coming out of the qualifying series unscathed. Winning all five games means the victory was not a flash in the pan, especially when you consider the fact that some of their opponents are no stranger to the game of cricket.

Despite the odds – talk about the unsupportive ambience at home and suchlike – that were against them, they did rise to ensure that Nigeria qualify for a major cricket tournament for the first time. I perceive self-belief and determination would have played a huge part in their success story. The game of cricket may be relatively unknown in Nigeria, the feat of this U-19 team led by captain Sylvester Okpe could be the ember that is needed to ignite the love for the sport and endear the Nigerian cricket teams [across all age grades] to the heart of Nigerians. By the way, those who have spent time watching or even playing the game know just how exciting the game could be with some zesty runs, deadly wickets and powerful sixes unraveled by participating teams.

Nigerian cricket federation has indeed given so much to the development of cricket in the country, and this victory shows how far they have come. That said, one cannot but expect that the Federation we keep doing its utmost to ensure that the boys [and Nigeria in particular] are not just counted among the number but leave a meaningful mark on the world stage. The Nigerian cricket team is a promising one and one that is worth investing in – here is a call for the intervention of corporate bodies in the development of the sport in Nigeria.

How shall I end this piece without doling out the roll call of the heroes that qualified Nigeria for her first ever international cricket world cup? So, here we have them:

Sylvester Okpe (captain)

Mohammed Taiwo

Isaac Danladi

Olayinka Olaleye

Abdulrahman Jimoh

Shehu Audu

Sulaimon Runsewe

Miracle Ikaige

Rasheed Abolarin

Ifeanyichukwu Uboh

Peter Aho

Emmanuel Boniface

Samuel Mba

Akhere Isesele

Coach: Uthe Ogbimi

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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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Davido hits 10m followers on Instagram
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Award winning musician, David Adedeji Adeleke , a.k.a Davido has hit 10 million followers on Instagram.

Instagram is a social networking application that enables users capture, share and edit photos, videos and messages with friends in a creative way.

The ”FIA” crooner thus became the first Nigerian artist to achieve such feat.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the DMW boss took to his official instagram account to celebrate this achievement and said that he would ”post every win for everyone to see.”

The 26-year-old artist had set such record of firsts previously.

He was the first Nigerian artist to reach 1 million, 2 million , 5 million and 9 million followers on Instagram.

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His 2017 hit song, ”Fall” became the first Nigerian music video to hit 100 million views on YouTube.

The Daps-directed video had made Nigerian YouTube history as the most -viewed Nigerian music in recent times.

Also, his song, ‘Wonder Woman’ was listed as one of the hottest tracks from across the African continent by Apple Music.

Another Nigerian artist with a large fan base on social media is Wizkid, with 7.2 million followers.

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Grounds upon which joinder of claimants/plaintiffs would be refused
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Note that Lagos Rules are silent on the grounds on which joinder will be refused. It seems that the provisions in Abuja apply here by practice.

By Order 10 r 1(2) Abuja, where upon an application by the defendant it appears to the court or a judge in chambers that the joinder under Order 10 r 1(1) Abuja may embarrass any of the parties or delay the proceedings, then the court or judge in chambers may order separate trials or make such order as may be expedient in the circumstances. From the above, the grounds upon which an application for joinder of plaintiffs/claimants would be refused include:

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Where the joinder would embarrass any of the parties.

Where the joinder would delay the proceedings. See Order 10 r 1(2) Abuja.

Where a counter claim is likely to be brought against any of the co-claimants/co-plaintiffs and embarrass the other co-claimants/co-plaintiffs or delay the proceedings.

Where any of the co-claimants/co-plaintiffs is impecunious. This is because impecuniosity of any of the co-claimants/co-plaintiffs may discourage joinder as the liability for costs is also joint.

Where the right to relief of the party seeking to be joined as co-claimant/co-plaintiff arose out of a different transaction or series of transactions. See AMACHREE & ORS v. NEWINGTON (1952) 14 WACA 97

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The state of the roads in Nigeria

‘Deplorable’ is the word that readily comes to mind when one considers the state of some of the roads motorists ply on daily basis. The word may even be an understatement on sighting the level of structural degradations on these roads. These degradations- which are usually accelerated or made more profound during rainy seasons- have left some of these roads in a state of abandonment thus making a shipwreck of a route that is meant to benefit the masses. This, in effect, results in traffic congestion on certain routes as motorists are limited to the pliable routes that there are. And in situations where the damages are repaired, they are sometimes finished to a substandard quality and it takes only a few years- or months- before the roads give way again.
More disheartening is the fact that some of these bad roads have led to multiple accidents and loss of lives and it remains to be seen how long these wastes [of lives and resources] will go on for as those saddled with the responsibility of putting things right turn blind eye. The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) identified bad roads as one of the three (3) causes of accidents on Nigerian roads- the others being ‘error of judgment’ and disregard for traffic regulations.

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But things could have been better
About 10 years ago, I remember seeing dignitaries making their way to a conference centre around the Faculty of Engineering in the University of Lagos. After probing to know what was up in the air, I realized that an erudite scholar in person of Professor Ebenezer Meshida, has done something laudable in seeking a way to ensure the stabilization of the roads in Nigeria. In layman’s term as I understood then, his finding- or shall I say product- is such that will not make soil to dissolve in water. I later got to know that the product is called ‘Lateralite’. Further check on Professor Meshida showed that he had been carrying out his research on Nigerian roads for over twenty-five (25) years as at then; having put a particular route- which was said to have lasted over 100 years- in the UK into consideration.
What is however puzzling is the manner with which some of the politicians [in office then] whom he (Prof. Meshida) had met on the need to incorporate Lateralite into the roads, made light of the suggestion. The reason for that- as you might have guessed- was based on protecting their selfish interest.
Years have rolled by, and the state of our roads has rarely been improved upon; notwithstanding, we keep hearing of recurring expenses on infrastructural developments- of which the construction and maintenance of roads are major aspects- that do not stand the test of time.
Professor Meshida eventually got a consolation for his efforts by winning the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Prize for Science in 2008 but I sternly believe that the Professor of Engineering Geology would have taken more pride in seeing that the roads around the country are devoid of any dent or structural collapse thereby making the destabilization of our roads a thing of the past.
It is obvious that the continual existence of bad and/or degrading roads is not because of the lack of resources or manpower [to do a perfect job on them] but rather due to the failure and/or short-sightedness of some persons- who are meant to put the masses first- to do what is right.

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Safety tips for usage of cooking gas for the home
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The use of liquified petroleum gas for cooking at home is currently very rampant that it is now hard to come across a household without one. This increased embrace of cooking gas has seen the proliferation of refilling stations around the nation. The major reason for the shift may not be unconnected to the rapidity with which food is cooked on the gas cylinder. Plus, some persons see it as being easy to set up; and for the fact that generation of smoke is not a reality as one may experience with some other means of cooking.

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However, while the use of gas may come with a number of benefits, it is far from being the safest method of cooking. In the past years, we have heard of numerous reports of gas-related accidents in the home. Most of these incidents have led to the death of some persons and in cases where such fatality was not recorded, victims were often left to nurse varying degree of injuries – especially burns. The truth is that most of these accidents could have been prevented if certain precautionary measures had been taken. But a lot of persons do not even know some vital details that can be helpful in saving the day and avoiding gas-related accidents. This is why we have elected to share a few safety tips [about the use of cooking gas] with you in this article.

Avoid using a defective/bad gas cylinder: Do not try to ‘manage’ a gas cylinder that is having any fault on it – whether leaks or malfunctioning components. You should resort to other cooking apparatus while making attempt to replace the bad cylinder. Also, it is important that you always purchase the cylinder from a trusted dealer. Do not use any artificial source of illumination in the event of gas leakage. Avoid using illumination sources such as flashlight, candles, light bulbs and so on to check for the leakage of gas. It is also important that you do not turn on or turn off any electric switch whenever you suspect leaks. In short, do not subscribe to using anything that can create spark. Instead, open your windows and allow the gas [that must have filled the room upon leaking] to dissipate before turning on the lights. Avoid shaking the gas cylinder. A good number of persons are used to shaking gas cylinders to see if there’s any gas left. You should however desist from such act to prevent explosion. Whether you have got a good cylinder or not, it’s best to stay on the safe side and leave the gas undisturbed. Rather than shaking, just pour water on the side of the cylinder and use your palm to feel it. As you move your palm through the side of the cylinder, you get to feel the cool part if there’s any gas left – if not the temperature will remain somewhat constant all the way down. Keep a fire extinguisher close by. The need for a fire extinguisher is usually overlooked in the home. However, it is advisable to have one around in order to quell the danger in case of fire outbreak. And if you cannot afford one (fire extinguisher), you should endeavour to get a bucket of sand within reach. The sand can help [a great deal] to snuff out the flame in the event of things going awry.

The remaining (bonus) tips are that you should always monitor your cooking; do not ask a child [that is yet to come of age] to operate the gas cooker and always make sure that you turn off the gas when you are done with the cooking. Finally… always think safety first and live to enjoy your meal in good time.

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Cooking competitions to look forward to in 2019
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To some persons; cooking is just another arduous exercise that they would wish to avoid but the need to munch on something will however see them reluctantly going into the kitchen. On the other hand, to some others, cooking is nothing but fun; an activity they will always love to engage with great passion.

These ones have the skill to turn meal into a delicacy; leaving everyone’s palate eagerly anticipating the savoury taste of the food so prepared. They have got the magic touch to make the spoon go whithersoever they wish, and whatever method of cooking – poaching, blanching, stewing, steaming, grilling and so on – there is, is never alien to them.

So, if you are one of this gifted few, you may be interested in showcasing your (coking) talent to the world away from your kitchen space and home. And it is for your sake that we have put this article together about a couple of cooking competitions where you can display your culinary skill.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Knorr Taste Quest: With cash rewards going into millions of naira and other huge prizes, Knorr Taste Quest can be said to be the highest rewarding cooking competition in the nation. It is set up in form of a TV reality show which usually starts around the middle of the year, and runs for several weeks culminating in the eventual emergence of a winner. Having started back in 2013, the sixth edition of the competition should start airing on TV stations in no distant time. As such, individuals who are interested in participating in this year’s edition can look forward to submit their application via knorrtastequest.com portal in due time. Onga Cooking Competitions: Onga is another seasoning brand that has consistently organised various cooking competitions year in year out. There have been a number of competitions across different settings – market places, schools and so on. With the Onga4bae which was in commemoration of Valentine’s day celebration already gone by, food lovers hoping to show their cookery expertise can look forward to other avenues that would be presented by the brand in the course of the year. The Onga National Campus Cooking Competition which could be held in specific tertiary institutions is one of such.

Bonus

Fiesta of Flavours: Though Fiesta of Flavours is not an out-and-out cooking competition, it does hold some opportunities for couples and kids who desire to let the world have a feel or sight of their gastronomic tendencies. The next edition of Fiesta of Flavours will come up sometimes in September. By the way, it is fitting to state that the event is a food and drink funfair where families and friends can have refreshing time-out.

This is all we can take for now. There will definitely be a series of crash food competitions that would be unveiled as the year rolls by. We hope to keep you posted on these when the application process begins. So stay connected and keep things sizzling.

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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

Barriers to effective communication
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Barriers to effective communication can retard or distort the message and intention of the message being conveyed which may result in failure of the communication process or an effect that is undesirable. These include filtering, selective perception, information overload, emotions, language, silence, communication apprehension, gender differences and political correctness.

Barriers to communication are the factors that contribute towards the total or partial loss failure of the communication. In simple terms they can be referred to as those features it act as bulwark to the desired outcome of any communication process. Some common barriers are identified in the paragraphs that follows.

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Physiological Barriers
Physiological barriers may result from individuals' personal discomfort, caused, for
example, by ill health, poor eye sight, or hearing difficulties. These may also affect one's personality in many different and mostly negative ways. It is imperative to enable one's thought process to accept the realities and yet stay positive to curb the negativity that affects one’s perception of one’s own self in relation to others. This can best be handled by working on developing a positive perception as certain physiological features contributing to barriers may not be curable.

Physical Barriers
Physical barriers include marked out territories, empires, and fiefdoms into which strangers are not allowed. Barriers can also manifest at micro level in the shape of closed office doors, barrier screens, separate areas for people of different status, and large working areas or working in one unit that is physically separate from others. Research shows that one of the most important factors in building cohesive teams is proximity. As long as people still have a personal space that they can call their own, nearness to others aids communication because it helps us get to know one another. Proximity in different cultures is different and therefore needs to be taken in the right context. It has been observed that people who come from rural backgrounds with more physical space available may not feel comfortable in closed quarters as they tend to have larger personal spaces as compared to people living in urban conditions. This aspect alone can become a significant psychological barrier if they subconsciously feel threatened" by inadvertent "invasion" of their personal space in case an urbanite approaches them in close proximity considering it as a normal personal space. There are numerous accounts of such barriers that in certain cases sprout out of cultural norms.

Cultural barriers
When we join a group and wish to remain in it, sooner or later we need to adopt the behavior pattern of the group. These are the behaviors that the group accepts as signs of belongings. The group rewards such behavior through acts of recognition, approval and inclusion. In group which are happy to accept you and where you are happy to conform, there is a mutuality of interest and a high level of win-win contract. Where however, there are barriers on your membership of a group, a high level of game played replaces good communication. It is interesting to note that we can adapt to different cultures once we come to accept it and appreciate that cultures are different so that we can be recognized from others and that no specific connotations need to be attached to one culture or the other.

Language barriers
Language that describes what we want to say in our terms may present barriers to others who are not familiar with our expressions, buzz-words, and jargon. When we couch our communication in such language, it is a way of excluding others. In a global setting, the greatest compliment we can pay another person is to talk in their language. Living language derive from other languages and successfully absorb and indigenize the borrowed words and phrases into its usage. A dialect for example would identify a person geographically and identically, certain slang would reveal the cultural or group orientation of the persons; speaking it. The same are then barriers, if spoken in situations and with people, who may not be able to relate to them.

Gender Barriers
"There are distinct differences between the speech patterns in a man and those in a woman. Global studies suggest that a woman speaks between 22,000 and 25,000 words a day whereas a man speaks between 7,000 and 10,000. In childhood, girls speak earlier than boys and at the age of three, have a vocabulary twice that of boys. The reason for this lies in the wiring of a man's and woman's brains. When a man talks, his speech is located in the left side of the brain but in no specific area. When a woman talks, the speech is located to both hemispheres and in two specific locations.

Scientifically, speaking, a man talks in a linear, logical, and compartmentalized way, which are the features of left brain thinking, whereas a woman talks more freely, mixing logic and emotion, features of both sides of the brain. It also explains why women talk for much longer than men each day. It also explains that why mothers can understand and relate better to kids (with apologies to fathers).

Interpersonal Barriers
There are six levels at which people can relate to one another.

Withdrawal is an absence of interpersonal contact. It is both refusals to be in touch and me alone. Rituals are meaningless, repetitive routines devoid of real contact Pastimes fill up time with others in social but superficial activities. Working activities are those tasks which follow the rules and procedures of contact but do not essentially mean communication. Games are subtle, manipulative interactions which are about winning and losing, Closeness is the aim of interpersonal contact where there is a high level of honesty and acceptance of yourself and others.

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