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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Nigerian Rice: Sustainable consumption versus prod...

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The Unspiritual side of Aso Villa

Let me begin with two clarifications. Aso Villa is not my home; I am just passing through. Even this world is nobody's home; we are just birds of passage. So, let nobody turn up his nose in derision, and say; "he's writing to the landlord of Aso Villa, defending a place where's he's just a tenant."

Yes, nobody is a landlord in the Villa, not even rational presidents. They can only live there for a maximum of eight years, if Nigerians so decide. And for me, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels only need to beckon me from Heaven's open door, and I wouldn't feel at home in this world anymore.

The second clarification. Let nobody, particularly on social media, begin to insinuate that Femi Adesina is at war with Reuben Abati, his immediate predecessor as presidential spokesman. This piece you are beginning to read is not about Abati as a person; it is about his spiritual ideas and convictions, which I think need some appraisal, as they are rather unspiritual. Abati and myself have been professional colleagues for almost 30 years, we have a lot of mutual friends, and know how to reach each other when necessary. So, this is not a case of Muhammadu Buhari's spokesman being at war with Goodluck Jonathan's spokesman. What for?

In his piece in The Guardian of October 14, 2016, Abati wrote under the headline, 'The spiritual side of Aso Villa.' What were his conclusions? For the benefit of those who did not read the highly entertaining piece (in fact, there were moments I had my two legs in the air, laughing, as I read), let me do a brief summary. Call it 'gospel' according to Abati, and you would be right: There is some form of witchcraft, which causes occupants of Aso Villa to take weird decisions. Working in the Villa makes you susceptible to some sort of evil influences because there is something supernatural about power and closeness to it. Some of those who lived or worked in the Villa had something dying under their waists (for the men), while some of the women became merchants of dildo because they had suffered a special kind of deaths in their homes. "The ones who did not have such misfortune had one ailment or the other that they had to nurse. From cancer to brain and prostate surgery and whatever, the Villa was a hospital full of agonizing patients," Abati posited.

Reading the piece through, you would think Aso Villa was nothing but what Godfrey Chaucer called "a thoroughfare of woes." In fact, Abati submitted that the Villa "should be converted into a spiritual museum, , and abandoned." Holy Moses! Jumping Jehoshaphat!

If Aso Villa was such a haunted house, why then do most occupants like to stay put, right from the first tenant, Ibrahim Babangida, who was virtually forced to step aside in August 1993? And why did Goodluck Jonathan, Abati's principal, spend money in trillions (in different currencies of the world), just to perpetuate himself in a house that consumes its occupants? Being a literary scholar, Abati would remember the doctor in Macbeth, that work of William Shakespeare, who was detailed to cure Lady Macbeth of the neurosis that afflicted her, after she had been party to the deaths of King Duncan and Banq so that her husband would be the king of Scotland.

A spiritually troubled Lady Macbeth sleepwalked every night, trying to wash her hands of the innocent blood that had been shed. The doctor was so fed up with the terrifying atmosphere that he said to himself: "Were I from Dunsinane away and clear, profit should hardly again draw me here." 

Did Abati ever say the same of the Villa, a place where men became women "after something died below their waists?" We do not have it on record that Abati showed a clean pair of heels, or that he would not have stayed if Dr. Jonathan had won reelection, and had asked him to continue in his position as the adviser on media. Or was it the case of eternal fascination for the thing that repelled and terrified you? Mysterium tremendum et fascinas, as it is called in Latin.

For me, what Abati did in the October 14 piece was simply a glorification and deification of superstition, something that attempted to elevate works of darkness above the powers of God. The writer merely fed the cravings and propensity of people for the supernatural, in a way that stoked and kindled the kiln of fear, rather than that of faith.

Let's take the issues one after the other, and look at them against true spiritual principles. Christianity is the one I am most familiar with, and that would be my benchmark.

In Aso Villa, houses were haunted, people were oppressed into taking curious decisions, they fell ill, died, or suffered the losses of loved ones, so Abati claimed. Are such peculiar only to the presidential villa? Should all those who live or work there automatically enjoy immunity from the vicissitudes of life, simply because they walked the corridors of power?

 Wasn't President Umaru Yar'Adua right inside the presidential villa, when he told us on national television: "I am a human being. I can fall sick. I can recover. And I can die." That was a practical man for you. Abati unwittingly wants his readers to believe that once you operated in or around Aso Villa, you became a Superman. No. You are as mortal as can be. The Holy Bible does not even give us such leeway. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man..."(1 Cor 10:13). 

There are certain things common to man, and they can happen to you wherever you are. At the White House. At 10, Downing Street.

Buckingham Palace, Aso Villa. Wherever. "But such as is common to man..." Let no man feed us with the bogey that such things happen because of where you live or operate from. There are some things that are just common to man, and which may happen to you as long as you are on this side of eternity.

I lost my sister in a road crash last year. She was a professor of Dramatic Arts at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife. Abati knew her well, as they both did post-graduate studies at the University of Ibadan in the 1980s. Abati was among those who called to condole with me. My sister never visited the Villa in her lifetime. Even if she did, that could never have had anything to do with her death on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. To believe and teach otherwise is to carry superstition to a ridiculous level, and venerate the Devil, granting him omnipotence, an attribute that belongs to God only. 

For the Devil, doing evil is a full-time business, and whether you had anything to do with Aso Villa or not, he continued with his pernicious acts. Does that then suggest that mankind is helpless before evil? No. God still has ultimate powers. He can spare you "as a father spares the son that serves him."

(Malachi 3:17). If you are under the pavilion of God, sleep, wake and operate daily in Aso Villa, you are covered, no matter the evil that lurks around, if any. There is a better covenant established on greater promises, and that is the canopy under which you should function. God can spare you from all evils, and if He permits any other thing, it is "such as is common to man," and not because of Aso Villa.

If houses catch fire in the Villa, how many conflagrations occur in other parts of the city? If some men in the Villa suffered erectile dysfunction in Abati's time, doesn't the Journal of Sexual Medicine tell us that about 20 million American men have something that has died under their waists? It is one thing that became prevalent in the last two to three decades, due to modern lifestyle. Causes range from age, to stress, depression, anxiety, alcohol, medication, and several others. Even, a study showed that watching too much television kills something under the waist. So why does Abati make it seem as if it is a copyright of Aso Villa?

Now, another clarification. Don't I believe in demonic infestation and manifestation? I sure do. I won't be a student of the Holy Bible if I don't. Jesus talked about the man who got delivered from demonic possession, and because that man did not yield himself to a better influence, the evil spirit that inhabited him came back with seven more powerful spirits, and the end of the man was worse than his beginning. Abati wrote of  persons in the Villa, "walking upside down, head to the ground." Let me share this story I heard over 20 years ago. There was this young Christian who gave scant regards to demons and what they could do. In fact, he almost didn't believe demons existed. One day, as he walked along the ever busy Broad Street in Lagos, God opened his spiritual eyes.

Some people were walking on their heads! And not only that, as they passed by other people, they slapped them with the soles of their feet. If you got so slapped, you developed an affliction, which you would nurse for the rest of your life. Yet, you never knew where it came from.

As the young man saw that vision and got its spiritual explanation, he began to s-c-r-e-a-m. Was that in Aso Villa? "Such as is common to man..." Evil exists everywhere. Trying to source and locate it in Aso Villa is disingenuous. You need God everywhere. In Europe, Asia, America, Oceania, Aso Villa. 

There is evil everywhere, and we need not make fetish of any place as being more evil infested than other places. Since Satan got thrown out of Heaven due to his inordinate ambition, evil had resided in the world. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" (Isaiah 14:12). The Devil lives in the world, but God is never helpless before evil. He will never be. Let the Devil commit suicide if he is not happy about that fact. God rules!

If every principal officer including the President and his wife suffered series of tragedies as Abati claimed, and he himself had breathing problems and walked with the aid of crutches for months, it was " such as is common to man" and not necessarily because they were in Aso Villa. But of course, if such people put their hands in evil, possibly to gain some things in power or perpetuate themselves beyond the time heaven granted, then "he who rolls a stone, a stone shall be rolled back to him. He that digs a pit, shall fall into it." That is what the Good Book says. You can then hardly blame Aso Villa for such payback time, can you?

To avoid getting sucked into what Abati calls "the cloud of evil" that hangs around power, what to do is to hold ephemeral things loosely. Know that they are temporal, and will truly end. Power is one of such things. Will anybody be a permanent landlord at Aso Villa? It would be foolhardy to have such mindset. A couple of times I'd had some private discussions with President Buhari, and he had lamented the state of the nation, he invariably ended with the statement, "while we are here, we will do our best." It shows a man who knows that he's not a permanent landlord at Aso Villa, and can never be. He would use the opportunity he has to do his best for Nigeria, and then move on.

That is a good mindset and a safety valve from getting sucked into "the cloud of evil." Daily, I tell myself that I am just passing through Aso Villa. And while there, just like my principal, I will do my best. It could be long, it could be short, depending on God and the man who appointed me, but one day, it would be over, and some other people would come in to do their bit. It is inexorable. The real treasures are laid somewhere beyond the blue.

Abati says we should pray before people pack their things into Aso Villa. I say not just Aso Villa, but everywhere. Pray before you pack into any place, because there are some things "such as is common to man." It is only God that keeps from such. And He is sovereign in terms of what He prevents, and in what He allows. Ours is to pray, and believe. Prayer works.

"Aso Villa is in urgent need of redemption. I never slept in the apartment they gave me in that Villa for an hour," wrote Abati. Well, different strokes for different folks. Hear what the Good Book says: "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so he giveth his beloved sleep." Here am I. For over one year, I have lived in the house allocated to me at the Villa. I sleep so soundly, I even snore. In fact, I snore so loud that at times, I wake myself up with the sound.

*Contributed by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari
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Pix: Reuben Abati and Femi Adesina

Friday, December 09, 2016

Top 5 Christmas gifts for Nigerian parents

Shopping for the season:
It’s Christmas, the season to shop for presents. And of course, you definitely want to include your parents on the list when you go shopping. But then … when the holiday season comes rolling around, there’s a good chance the parents on your shopping list need just about everything from household items to kitchen gadgets and more.

Thanks to the recession, a lot of Nigerian parents have been wound up tight since the start of the year and would rather benefit from a gift that ensures they catch a break and just chill. We at Jumia travel are masters when it comes to relaxation and as such, we suggest top 5 Christmas gifts for your Nigerian parents who need to chill.

Holiday package:
A great way to gift your stressed-out parents is to pay for a short relaxation or get away. From special family holiday package in Abeokuta at the Green Legacy Resort to Amazing Beach Holiday at La Campagne Tropicana, Lagos, there are many packages to pick from.
Tickets to Wakaa: The Musical

Music is certainly food for the soul and your parents will definitely benefit from attending all of the music events slated for Christmas this year.  A musical like “Wakaa” will be perfect as it will allow them to enjoy music in a calm and serene environment where they don’t have to brush shoulders with juveniles or anyone else really. The Musical which features a 100 man cast will cover 11 shows spanning 5 days at the Shell Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan.

Christmas Brunch:
It’s Christmas and Four Points By Sheraton is not disappointing as they have so many festive offers your parents can benefit from. One of the offers which would be great to gift your parents is the Christmas day brunch at their Brazzerie restaurant. The brunch which will hold on December 25, 2016 from 12.30pm - 5.00pm will just cost about NGN14, 000 per person.

Put a smile on their faces:
A good way to escape stress and worry is by diving into the make-believe world of TV. And seeing as your parents are probably older, wouldn’t it be great to gift them with a Television set that won’t have then squinting and straining their eyes? We recommend the LG 65" Curved OLED TV 65EG960. Although it will probably leave a dent on your wallet, it would definitely put a smile on your parents’ face.

Barbeque Grill:
The perfect way for your parents to relax and chill is by spending time with family friends, and a good way to make that happen is by ensuring they have a barbeque grill at the back of their house for such get-togethers. Jumia Markets offers one at a very affordable price.

Nkem Ndem, a PR Associate at Jumia Travel

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IMSU agog for Yudala Entrepreneurship summit

… Zinox boss, Ekeh speaks
The Imo State University (IMSU) is now agog as it plays host to Africa’s biggest digital entrepreneur and Chairman of Zinox Group, Dr. Leo-Stan Ekeh, who has been confirmed as the guest speaker to a mega entrepreneurship summit hosted in partnership with its Alumni Association and pioneer composite e-commerce outfit, Yudala, reports ITRealms.

The theme, ITRealms reports, is “The ABC of wealth creation and sustenance in the 21st Century” while the event has been scheduled for Monday December 12th 2016 at the Imo State University Auditorium from 10am.

The event will feature the official presentation of YUBOSS – an entrepreneurship and wealth creation scheme set up by Yudala in partnership with Access Bank and Airtel and which has recently received a N1.5BN support from the Leo Stan Ekeh Foundation to generate creative employment and grow future millionaires in Nigeria.

Anticipation is sky-high in Owerri, the Imo State capital for the entrepreneurship workshop, which is expected to grant many attendees a chance to interact first-hand with Ekeh, a native of Imo State and a widely-sought after resource person and motivational speaker.

Ekeh, a renowned digital entrepreneur for over 28 years has successfully built the most integrated Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Group in Africa, with the Zinox Group boasting advanced competencies in the entire spectrum of the sector, ranging from hardware manufacturing, distribution, provision and deployment of critical ICT solutions, after-sales support and retail, among others. Honored by former President Olusegun Obasanjo as an ICON of Hope in 2001 to younger Nigerians for his incisive digital entrepreneurship, Ekeh has earned over 70 local and international awards and 5 Honorary Doctorate Degrees for sustained entrepreneurship.

The event which is expected to draw attendance from entrepreneurs, professionals, unemployed and under-employed youths as well as students from IMSU and other institutions in Imo State such as Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Federal Polytechnic, Nekede and Alvan Ikoku College of Education, among others, will see Ekeh share success tips on street entrepreneurship as well as the secrets of wealth creation and sustenance in the 21st Century.

With Vice Chancellor, Imo State University, Prof. Victoria Obasi as Chief Host, the occasion will also present a unique opportunity for many attendees to sign up for YUBOSS. The job creation platform has recorded a growing number of participants since it was officially unveiled by Hon. Ministers of Labour/Productivity and Communications, Dr. Chris Ngige and Barr. Adebayo Shittu respectively as part of the Yudala Zero Gravity Contemporary Music Concert hosted by Yudala in Abuja on October 21st 2016.

Interestingly, Imo State is also set to enjoy a year-end edition of the Yudala Zero Gravity Mega Music Concerts, with plans currently in top gear to bring the popular dual entertainment concerts to the state on December 21st and 22nd after successful outings in Lagos, Abuja and Enugu.  

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE

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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Rwanda hosts preparatory meeting for ITU’s WTDC 2017

The Regional Preparatory Meeting (RPM) for Africa was held from ended Wednesday December 8, in Kigali, Rwandan capital, reports ITRealms.

Participants at the meeting assessed the ongoing implementation of the Dubai Action Plan adopted at ITU's last World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14) and started discussions on the Regional Initiatives for the Africa region for the years 2018-2021.

The Regional Preparatory Meeting was the second of a series of regional preparatory meetings that will take place across the world to help identify priorities in each region in preparation for WTDC-17. The first RPM was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic from 9 to 11 November 2016.

WTDC-17, which will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 9 to 20 October 2017, will forge a global plan for telecommunication and ICT development over the next four years.

"The Regional Preparatory Meeting helps to achieve regional coordination in preparation for WTDC-17 and identify issues at the regional level that need to be addressed, taking into account the most pressing needs faced by the Member States and Sector Members of the region," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. "At WTDC-17, we will define the way forward and elaborate innovative ways to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals."

Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and ICT of Rwanda, said, "Every time we have an opportunity to meet as leaders from the public and private sectors, academia and civil society in ICT, we must use it to advance the role that new technologies are playing and can play in making this world, and our continent, a better place."

"We are building blocks towards a successful WTDC-17," said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau. "We have had very interesting discussions and had the pleasure to hear from ITU membership about the needs and opportunities of the region for the future. ICTs have revolutionized communications in Africa and are empowering people everywhere on the continent, promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, generating income and setting a path towards the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

Patrick Nyirishema, Director General of the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and Chairman of the RPM, presented the final draft report. The report recognizes that the Regional Initiatives constitute an effective mechanism for fostering the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In discussing the Regional Initiatives for the Africa region for the years 2018-2021, meeting participants made several proposals all centered on the recognition that ICTs are ultimately about people. Participants acknowledged that the ICT sector is fast-developing and there is a need to take a paradigm shift in approaches for the region to benefit from these changes.

"The Regional Preparatory Meeting is an important platform that allows us to get together and discuss our common goals in a fast changing ICT landscape," said Nyirishema. "The dialogue we have started here will continue and will forge a common vision for Africa region for WTDC-17."

The RPM for Africa was preceded by the Regional Development Forum. Speakers at the opening ceremony included Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Brahima Sanou and Lamin Maneh, the United Nations' Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Rwanda.
The Regional Development Forum provided an opportunity to hear about the status of implementation of the African regional initiatives approved at WTDC-14 as well as the development of the ICT sector in the region. 

The initiatives approved at WTDC-14 focus on the following areas: human and institutional capacity building, policy and regulatory frameworks for the integration of African telecommunications/ICT frameworks, broadband access and adaptation of broadband, spectrum management and transition to digital broadcasting, and confidence and security in the use of telecommunications/ICTs.

The next Regional Preparatory Meeting will be for the Arab States and will be held in the Republic of Sudan from 30 January to 1 February 2017. It will be preceded by the Regional Development Forum on 29 January 2017.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Bonanza: Lagos, Kebbi float Lake rice, offer special price ...

 Lagos, Kebbi float Lake rice, offer special price ...: NaijaAgroNet : The Lagos State government has concluded plans to sell special rice at N13,000 per 50 kilogram (kg) bag for the Christma...

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Climate change: ICT can deliver smart solutions – Ban Ki-moon


The outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon has said that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has the capacity to deliver smart solutions  to address climate change, hunger, poverty, women’s empowerment and more, reports ITRealms.

Opening the 11th annual Internet Governance Forum in Jalisco, Mexico, the Sec-Gen expressed optimism that the Internet and ICT can play important role in efforts to fulfilling the 2030 agenda.

“Indeed, the Internet and information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play an important, enabling role in our efforts to fulfill the great promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” stated United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Lenni Montiel in a message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening ceremony of the Forum. 

Noting that ICTs can deliver smart solutions to address climate change, hunger, poverty, women’s empowerment and more, the Secretary-General’s statement urged delegates to keep working to ensure universal access to a more open information society.

Ensuring such equitable access is one of the main challenges of modern society, said Miguel Ruiz CabaƱas, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, who added his strong support for the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. “We are truly pleased that this event will foster the enabling of sustainable and inclusive growth and fight climate change with cross-cutting policies that contribute to access and use of the Internet.”

Alejandra Lagunes, Coordinator of the National Digital Strategy of Mexico and Chairperson of the 2016 IGF, said, “Clearly we need to build on our points of agreement and exchange of ideas so that we can make the most of all of the potential of the Internet.”

Local authorities and other speakers at the opening ceremony echoed the call for an open and universally accessible Internet while emphasizing the importance of net neutrality and more international coordination on cybersecurity issues. As this year’s IGF is the first since its 10-year renewal by the General Assembly, speakers emphasized the importance of the IGF multistakeholder platform for public policy dialogue.

Delegates from all stakeholder groups including governments, international organizations, technology companies, civil society and academia held workshops and meetings Tuesday to address the Internet’s pressing challenges and build on the enormous advances the Internet has created. Specifically, attendees discussed how to bring more women worldwide into the digital economy, better connect developing countries and the Global South, and implement human rights standards to the ICT sector, among other topics.

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BPP approves appointment of FG’s Transaction Parties on Eurobond

The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has approved the Federal Government recommended parties for the execution of Eurobond programme, reports ITRealms.

Disclosing this, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, said at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting where she sought approval on a Memorandum for the issuance of United States Dollar 1.00 billion Eurobond.

In addition, the Memo sought approval for this bond to be presented to the International Capital Market and the appointment of Transaction Parties responsible for the execution of the Programme.

She stated that the selection was based on an open and competitive bid process in line with the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and a certificate of “No Objection” was received from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to award contracts to the recommended Parties.

The Minister noted that the USD1.00 Billion Eurobond issuance was appropriated in the 2016 Budget and the funds will support the implementation of capital projects in the 2016 budget.

The appointed Transaction Parties responsible for execution of the transaction include: Citigroup, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, White & Case LLP, Banwo & Ighodalo and AfricaPractice.

“We have so far, received strong commitment from the international community.  Investors believe in the long-term economic outlook for Nigeria as we continue with our structural reforms and increased focus on infrastructure development to diversify the economy and grow the non-oil sector”, she stated.

“Stable oil prices and steadying foreign reserves will support our plans and we expect high demand for this issue to further push down yields. We are confident that this will be a successful outing in January, 2017.”

 Oya Midele/GEE

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Fortune smiles @ Uadiala as Yudala rewards customer with Kia Rio

Fortune has smiled on Samuel Uadiala family as they emerged the winner of a brand new Kia Rio in a raffle draw conducted at the Yudala Head Office in Gbagada on November 29th 2016, reports ITRealms.

Uadiala, a frequent shopper at Yudala, ITRealms gathered, had beaten thousands of other contenders drawn from attendees at the Yudala Zero Gravity Concert held in the three cities of Lagos, Abuja and Enugu as well as shoppers from the company’s Black Friday sales which ran from Thursday November 24th till Monday November 28th.

Uadiala had received a raffle ticket after he purchased a Lenovo device and a Tecno phone from Yudala about a month ago.

Of the thousands of customers that qualified for the raffle draw, 100 were randomly selected and the list later pruned down to 20 for the grand draw. Five customers from the Yudala Zero Gravity Rock Gospel Concert held at the Federal Palace Hotel on November 20th volunteered to witness the raffle draw and ensure proper authentication of the proceedings. 

Also on hand to witness the draw was Pastor Remi Morgan Senior Pastor at Christ Church Parish of The Redeemed Christian Church of God in charge of Lagos Province 35.

A visibly elated Uadiala, who was accompanied by his wife, Jummai and other members of his family, was full of effusive praise for Yudala during the official presentation of the car which took place on Thursday December 1st.

“I am short of words. In fact, it is still like a dream to me. When I received the call from Pastor Remi Morgan on Tuesday, I thought someone was trying to play a prank on me. But no, it turned out to be true. Today, I am proud owner of a brand new Kia Rio.

“I am grateful to the Management of Yudala for living up to their promise. This is a clear case of what you see is what you get, which Yudala has always held up as one of its marketing promises. I pray that every staff of this great company will be richly rewarded and will continue to benefit from working in a Godly organization such as this. This is a day that God has made and I will rejoice so gladly in it,” he enthused.

Also speaking during the presentation, Founder/Vice President, Yudala, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh reiterated the company’s status of dependability, as seen in the transparent process that produced the winner and the guarantee of genuine products for which Yudala is renowned.

“At Yudala, we have a mantra: What you see is what you get. We are a corporate giant with a conscience and this was made clear from inception. Our customers are assured the guarantee of genuine products, whether they shop on our online platform or in any of our Offline Experience Store nationwide. This is one of the unique factors that set us apart in the marketplace. The transparent process from which the winner of the Kia Rio emerged is also a major justification of our status as a dependable company. You can always count on us at Yudala.”

In his contribution, Kia Motors representative, Mr. Moses Oguntimehin congratulated the winner, Mr. Uadiala, noting that Kia Motors’ partnership with Yudala is a mutually rewarding one which is set to progress long into the future. According to him, Yudala is one of the fastest growing brands in the country and with a clear vision and customer-centric mandate, factors which make it easy to identify with the brand.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Pix: PROUD WINNERS: (R-L) Chief Executive Officer, Yudala, Mr. Dave Ibelegbu, raffle draw winner Mr. Samuel Uadiala and his wife Jummai, Kia Motors representative, Mr. Moses Oguntimehin and Founder/Vice President, Yudala, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh during the official presentation of a brand new Kia Rio to Mr. Uadiala at the Yudala Headquarters in Gbagada, Lagos…recently. Mr. Uadiala emerged the lucky winner of the grand prize in a raffle draw conducted at the end of the Yudala Zero Gravity Concert and Black Friday Sales on November 29th 2016.

PIC 2:
HERE ARE THE KEYS: Founder/Vice President, Yudala, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh (R) presents the key of a brand new Kia Rio to Mr. Samuel Uadiala who was accompanied by his wife, Jummai (L). Mr. Uadiala emerged the lucky winner of the grand prize in a raffle draw conducted at the end of the Yudala Zero Gravity Concert and Black Friday Sales on November 29th 2016.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Christmas gift @SimbaPay to Ghanaians, Ugandans

As part of its Christmas gift to Ghanaians and Ugandans, a London-based digital money transfer provider, SimbaPay has extended its services to Ghana and Uganda respectively, reports ITRealms.

The chief executive officer for SimbaPay, Nyasinga Onyancha, disclosed this to ITRealms in a press statement endorsed by the operational officer, Alex Maganga, quoting Onyancha as noting that using the SimbaPay app or website, Ghanaians and Ugandans living in Europe could now send money to mobile phones in Ghana or Uganda instantly.

“This is the perfect Christmas gift to Ghanaians and Ugandans living in Europe who have been asking when SimbaPay will expand coverage to their home countries” the CEO said, stressing that by delivering money via existing mobile money wallet services, many recipients who previously could not access formal financial services can now do so.

Ghanaians and Ugandans living in Europe (UK & European Union countries) with a bank account, debit card or credit card will be able to use the SimbaPay app from any mobile phone, tablet or computer. Transfers made using SimbaPay are credited within seconds to recipients’ mobile money wallets such as MTN Mobile Money. This eliminates the inconvenience of queues and old school paperwork.

SimbaPay, ITRealms notes, also delivers money transfers via mobile money and bank account to other African countries such as Nigeria and Kenya with more destinations and partners being sought for addition in 2017.

Nonye Dom/GEE
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Achumba succeeds Shehu as CPN Registrar,CEO

A fellow of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Mr. Allwell Achumba has been appointed the new chief executive officer and registrar of the Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN), reports ITRealms.

He takes over from the Head, Education, Examination & Training Mr. Idowu Olusile, who was acting Registrar, while the former Registrar, Mr. Sikiru Shehu, was on terminal leave having served out his tenure.

ITRealms gathered that the CPN Council at the 79th regular meeting held in Lagos recently, approved the appointment of Mr. Achumba, whose appointment commenced November 1, 2016.

Also, ITRealms gathered that Achumba is an ideal Information Technology (IT) practitioner in Nigeria, and a chartered member of CPN.

He promised to take the Council to the next level with his strong managerial background, senior level local and international experience and cross sector exposure.

Achumba, ITRealms further reports, is endowed with good strategic vision, with the ability to build and implement sophisticated plans with a proven track record explicitly supporting business needs.

He assured to maintain close relationships with external bodies, and IT stakeholders, among others.

ITRealms recalls that the CPN was established by Decree No. 49 of 1993, promulgated on June 10, and gazetted on August 9, of same year as a body corporate with perpetual succession and common seal, a legal entity charged with the control and supervision of the computing profession in the country.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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PayU committed to simplify payment systems in Nigeria -Nwanguma

The country manager of a global online payment service provider, PayU Payments Nigeria Limited, Juliet Nwaanguma, has reiterated the commitment of the company to simplify payment systems in the country, reports ITRealms.

She also said that PayU is coming to Nigeria with innovations capable of making the market more competitive, as the company is fully approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in line with its initiative to promote cashless economy.

Speaking in Abuja at the end of Committee of e-Banking Heads (CeBIH) meeting, she told ITRealms, PayU is part of the leading and trusted PayU group of companies owned by Naspers.

Noting that globally, PayU group of companies, provides payment processing and related services to merchants and consumers, even as the group’s strength lies in its local approach to payments, anchored on valuing local language and culture.

Nwanguma pointed out that by establishing a local presence in Nigeria, this further underscores the group's values.

"PayU" offers simple and secure online payment services to merchants enabling them to accept payments of goods and services using debit and credit cards from their customers and other alternative payment methods as well,” she said.

The country manager further said PayU is a leading online payment service provider in 16 global markets with the objective to provide simple and secure online payment solutions to merchants and consumers.

“This objective is in response to the growing market and regulatory needs to take cash payments online and digitise the economy, whilst at the same time ensuring financial inclusion for all,” she said.

PayU, she said, commenced operations last year in Nigeria, with the aim of looking at the needs of merchants in the country and developing innovative payment solutions that will solve their problems and grow their revenue in the online space.

“And for consumers, offer them a simple and secure means of payments to merchants and businesses,” she declared.

The value proposition of the company, she said, is based on technology which enables provision of superior product offerings and develops innovative payment solutions.

“We offer various services and solutions to enable different sizes of merchants and businesses to receive online payments with or without a website and also provide automated collections of regular payments from their customers,” she said.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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MainOne boost schools with CSR

The acclaimed West Africa’s leading connectivity and data center solutions provider, MainOne, has given a boost to schools with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, reports ITRealms.

The initiative tagged Changing Lives… Impacting the Future (CLIF), ITRealms gathered, saw MainOne adopting Mayeigun Community Primary School and Gbara Junior Secondary School located in Jakande-Lekki, Lagos by lifting the school environment.

ITRealms reports that the company supplied educational materials and toys and beautified the environment by planting flowers around the premises and landscaping the schools.

According to Coordinator, Health, Safety and Environment at MainOne, Oluyomi Johnson, the CLIF initiative is part of the company’s efforts to positively impact education in Nigeria.

“The major thrust of our community engagement has been in the education sector. Since 2011, we have assisted various schools in Lekki, Ajah and environs, identifying their needs and exploring how we can provide for them. We plan to continue our support for schools across Lagos, renovating their facilities, providing them internet and educational materials and more importantly, volunteering the service of our employees” Johnson said.

Acknowledging the uplifting of the school, the Head Teachers of Mayeigun Community Primary School and Gbara Junior Secondary School, Mrs. Oyeyipo and Mrs. Fashola respectively, expressed their delight at the re-painted facilities and urged other companies to take CSR to schools more seriously.

ITRealms recalls that since 2011, MainOne has been supporting educational institutions in Nigeria with yearly donations of study materials including school bags, text and exercise books, and renovation of critical infrastructure facilities. The Company’s contribution to the development of these schools forms a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility focus in Education and Information and Communications Technology.

Uj. N. Dominic/GEE
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An applause for revolutionary Dunoma @FAAN

Leadership is as much a question of timing as anything else. A leader must appear on the scene when people are looking for leadership as Mao Tse Tung did in 1931, as Winston Churchill did in 1940 and as Lenin did in 1917, when he comes, he must offer a simple, eloquent message, that is what Engr. Saleh did when he assumed office in 2014 he gave the message “building the institution through selfless service to our fatherland. 

The appointment of Engr. Saleh Dunoma as the Managing Director of FAAN, was the best thing to have happened in the aviation industry. He came on board when the entire Aviation industry was hungry for Transparent Leadership. He is a seasoned administrator, a great simplifier who cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer solution to huge challenges that have beset the aviation industry for years, which today is understood to be a thing of the past, due to emergence of Engr. Dunoma. 

His resilient, doggedness and his leadership style of placing square pegs in square holes has placed the aviation sector on the plinth of greatness through purposeful leadership.

Suffice it to say that the advent of Engr. Dunoma and his agenda for the aviation sector in the last two years have greatly and enormously transform the   aviation industry with glaring evident of facts. 
It is being obvious that the Aviation sector needed a pragmatic helmsman with wealth of experience, to direct its affair which was found in Engr. Dunoma: quality leadership, purposefulness, accountability, truthfulness, humility, tolerance and love forthe industry. 

Over the years, administrative leadership that eluded the aviation sector, but today FAAN has found it in Engr. Dunoma. People can only be led where they want to go, the leader follows, though a step ahead, Engr. Dunoma has demonstrated a leadership that rides waves, move with the tides and understand the deepest yearnings of the entire staff of FAAN. 

Engr. Dumona has shown that aviation sector can grow to meet up with international best practices and standards even in the midst of pessimist, critics and enemies of development. He has achieved giant strides even with little resources at his disposal and has expressed pragmatism in the face of challenges. Engr. Dunoma dignifies our desire, convince us that aviation industry will become the hub for economic advancement which will be to the advantage of the nation.

He has given FAAN a sense of glory and the   Aviation sector at large, it will be a great disservice if Engr. Dumona do not get applause from us as an organization, whose mandate is to evaluate the performance of public office holders to ensure it is in tandem with parameters of transparency, accountability and probity for the overall economic growth and national development.

We the initiative for leadership and Economic Watch in Nigeria have resolved to promote openness, and at all times with patriotism, where the people opinion direct the course Justice and fair play in the administrative process of Government institutions. We state unequivocally that Engr. Dunoma has proven to us that he has come to serve Nigerians with outmost desire to revolutionize Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria.

It is against this background, we therefore state with all humility and confidence that Engr. Dunoma is currently reflecting back to us, aviation sense of purpose, putting into words aviation dream and hope by transforming her needs and fears into concrete administrative polices and programmes that are result oriented and which today are evident for all to see.

Courtesy: Ambassador Agbonkpolor is the Executive Director of Initiative for leadership and Economic Watch in Nigeria

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Saturday, December 03, 2016

63 workers win trade restriction case against MTN

The Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court has ordered MTN Nigeria Communications to pay full four years post-disengagement salaries to 63 workers, who were laid off by the company in 2009, reports ITRealms.
According to reports by TheNigeriaLawyer, the court presided over by Justice P.O. Lifu also awarded additional N10,000 against MTN in favour of each of the 63 workers to cover the cost of filing the suit numbered NICN/LA/596/2013.
Justice Lifu said MTN must pay the judgment credit sum within 30 days from October 26, 2016 when the judgment was delivered, failing which the judgment credit would attract an annual interest of 10 per cent.
The claimants in the suit are Harrison Ossai, Gabriel Ameh and Stephen Mahaja, who sued on behalf of themselves and 60 other workers laid off by MTN with the condition that they must never work with any other telecommunication company for four years after their disengagement.

The claimants had, in their suit, claimed to have been subjected to financial hardship on account of the restraint of trade imposed them by MTN.
Ossai, in his testimony before the court, said the trade restraint imposed by MTN bungled his chances of being employed by Globacom and Airtel, which were other telecommunication companies, adding that after being sacked by MTN, he was jobless for six years.
Like other claimants, he urged the court to order MTN to pay him N10m and another N20m for filing the suit.
In his judgment, Justice Lifu said he was “satisfied that the claimants had proved their claims before the court as to the oppressive and unreasonableness of the restraint of trade covenant for four years for making and leaving the claimants hard and dry for four years.”
The judge held, “Terminating the employment of the claimants and at the same time restricting them from seeking any employment from the sector generally and preventing them to be acting as agents or adviser or to engage in any other concern directly or indirectly for four years is clearly unreasonable in the light of global economic challenges occasioned by recession, which has resulted in mass unemployment.”
The judge ruled that each of the workers was entitled to be paid his last gross salary for four years after being sacked and ordered MTN to pay with an additional N10,000 each as cost.
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