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Yudala comments to best prices nationwide for black Friday

Sponsored@ITREALMS: As Nigerians look forward to the global celebration of this year’s Black Friday on Friday November 24th 2017, Nige...

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Yudala comments to best prices nationwide for black Friday

As Nigerians look forward to the global celebration of this year’s Black Friday on Friday November 24th 2017, Nigeria’s pioneer online and offline e-commerce company, Yudala has restated its commitment to offer shoppers guaranteed  best prices across its wide range of products online and in all Yudala stores nationwide.

According to Wole Ogundare, Managing Director at Yudala, the company’s commitment to best prices and genuine products cannot be matched anywhere else in the market.

“At Yudala, our motivation is to help You Live Well. This explains our commitment to offering you guaranteed genuine products at the best prices in the market, whether online, offline in the stores or in the open market. For this year’s Black Friday which is being marked officially on Friday November 24th, we have put together a wide assortment of products across various categories including Home Appliances, Computing, Electronics, Mobile phones, Lifestyle/Consumer Goods, Power Solutions, Food, Wines/Spirits, among others.

“We are not only offering you best prices across these product categories but Yudala is a pace-setter, so we are willing to take it even further. For Black Friday, if you find a lower price for a product certified as genuine by the Original Equipment Manufacturer or a lower price than the OEM-approved price for a product we carry, we will refund you the difference.

""This is proof that you can only get the best prices for all your shopping needs from Yudala,” he declared. “All you need to do is visit www.yudala.com or walk into any Yudala Store closest to you to enjoy our best price offerings.”

Plans are also in place to storm two locations in Ajah and Ikotun: Ajah Market beside Alesh Hotel, Ajah Bus Stop and the Roundabout by Conoil at Ikotun on Saturday November 25th for the next leg of the Yudala 11/11-12/12 Mega Black Friday offline neighborhood sales. Through this initiative, the company has given thousands of unreached and under-served Nigerians in various locations a chance to shop genuine products at special prices unmatched in the marketplace.

The excitement expressed by shoppers at previous locations including Festac, Trade Fair at Amuwo-Odofin, Ikorodu and Agege has been massive, with Yudala bringing smiles to the faces of thousands at each venue with special price slashes on a wide range of products.

Last Saturday November 18th, the Yudala 11/11-12/12 neighborhood train stopped at Ita Ilewa, Ikorodu and the Mosalashi Alhaja Market in Agege with two truckloads of products for many eagerly-awaiting shoppers in both locations who wasted no time in taking advantage of the amazing deals in its Mega Black Friday promotion.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Anambra Poll: OOPF applauds Anambra indigenes, tasks INEC

The Oriental Online Publishers Forum (OOPF) has commended the people of Anambra State for their peaceful conduct during the state governorship election held on Saturday, reports ITRealms.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday and signed by it's chairman, Mr. Max Amuchie and secretary, Mr. Chris Ndiribe, the group said the people of the state came out en masse and peacefully cast their votes contrary to the fear expressed by pre-election analysts because of what appeared to be security lock-down of the state and threat issued by IPOB.

The OOPF congratulated Governor Willie Obiano on his landslide victory and commended the other candidates who have since accepted the outcome of the election.

The statement also hailed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for conducting a free and fair election.

The statement said the "Oriental Online Publishers Forum wishes to commend the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for successfully conducting a free and fair governorship election in Anambra State last weekend.

Given the tension and anxiety generated during preparations for the electoral contest which took place amidst huge security concerns and call from some quarters for boycott, it is indeed a huge relief that the exercise took place without any major incident.

"It is also noteworthy that the electoral umpire carried out the poll conclusively without giving room for unnecessary waste of time and scarce resources.

"However, the commission needs to address the nightmare of logistical hiccups which hampered its operations in some parts of the state.

"This has become necessary as the next step INEC must take if its evolution to becoming a highly efficient, transparent and reliable public institution is to be realised.

"The electoral body should take those steps as a way of boosting citizens' confidence in the electoral system. If that is done minor hitches which occurred in Anambra will have become things of the past by the time the next round of governorship elections are conducted in Ekiti and Osun States. "INEC's performance in these two outstanding gubernatorial polls would indeed serve as the last of the litmus tests before the 2019 general election."

The Forum said the police, the Military and other security agencies equally gave good account of themselves during the election such that the conduct and outcome of the election raised no controversy.

Ozo Nweke Ozo/GEE

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90-year of radiocommunication, testifies sustainable development to wireless ecosystem - ITU

The global telecom agency, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has described the 90th anniversary of radiocommunication as the testimony to sustainable development to wireless ecosystem, reports ITRealms.

This, ITRealms gathered culminated in the radiocommunication stakeholders high-level assembly from around the globe in Geneva Tuesday, November 21.

The achievements of the ITU-R Study Groups, ITRealms also reports, was recognized as a testimony of the inspiring global collaboration to produce universally applied regulations, standards and best practices, as illustrated by the continuous growth in the use of wireless communications in the last thirty years and of an ubiquitous wireless world connected by ITU.

The anniversary celebrations in Geneva were attended by more than 266 participants from 57 administrations, including ITU-R sector members, associates and academic experts; former ITU officials; former directors of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau; current and former members of the Radio Regulations Board (RRB); former members of the International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB); as well as ITU-R Study Group chairmen and former CCIR Study Group chairmen.

The event included addresses by Malcolm Johnson, ITU's Deputy Secretary-General, and Fran├žois Rancy, ITU Radiocommunication Bureau Director. A panel discussion on the importance of CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups activities and their contribution to shaping and enabling the global wireless ecosystem was held in conjunction with the first ITU inter-regional preparation workshop for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference. Industry partners attending the ceremony's panel discussions included representatives of the GSM Association (GSMA), EMEA Satellite Operators Association (ESOA), European Broadcasting Union (EBU), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), European Commission, Tetra Critical Communications Association (TCCA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Science Committee on Frequency Allocations for Radio Astronomy and Space Science (IUCAF), Rohde & Schwarz and the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).

"Please join me in congratulating the CCIR*/ITU Radiocommunication Sector Study Groups on their 90th Anniversary, which represents a successful global collaboration that has gone a long way to develop universally applied regulations, standards and best practices, to enable the sustainable development of the wireless ecosystem," said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General.

Currently, more than 5,000 specialists, from administrations, the telecommunications industry and academic organizations throughout the world, participate in the work of the ITU-R Study Groups on topics including: efficient use and management of spectrum/orbit resources, radiowave propagation, definition of future radiocommunication systems characteristics and performance, including fixed communications, aeronautical, maritime and land mobile communications, public protection and disaster relief, sound and television broadcasting, radiolocation, satellite communication and radionavigation, Earth exploration, meteorology, space science and radioastronomy.

Key ongoing activities of ITU-R Study Groups include 5G (IMT-2020) and radio-controlled watches, radio headsets to equipment for home and office networking, radio positioning systems for navigation, intelligent transport systems, smart cities, advanced immersive UHDTV technologies, Earth imagery and meteorological satellites, and emergency communications and disaster warning systems.

"Amongst other major achievements is the development and adoption of the IMT mobile broadband standards, which have revolutionized the way people communicate and access the internet, by enabling 3G and 4G, and now the future 5G generation of standards," said Mr Johnson.

"The work of ITU–R Study Groups and before it, that of CCIR, harnesses technological progress to the benefit of all and enables the long-term sustainability of the radiocommunication ecosystem, which has flourished over a century and become a fundamental part of today's world," said Mr Rancy.

ITU-R Study Groups develop the technical bases for important decisions taken at the quadrennial World Radiocommunication Conferences. They also develop Global Standards (Recommendations), Reports and Handbooks on radiocommunication matters.

Chuks Egbune/GEE
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Fair pay ethics: Age a defining factor - PwC

The latest report on ‘The ethics of pay in a fair society: what do executives think’ has shown that age has a lot to do around with fair pay in a society, reports ITRealms.

According to PwC’s latest survey and report, there is a significant inter-generational difference of opinion when it comes to fair pay and what constitutes ethical behaviour around pay, with the younger population wanting stronger protection for the less well-off, compared to the older generation who are more likely to put faith in the effectiveness of market outcomes to create a fairer society.

The analysis, ITRealms gathered was completed in partnership with the London School of Economics, included a survey of 1,123 executives around the world, which showed that the data is remarkably consistent across a range of demographic factors such as gender, territory and earnings level.

In addition, the study says, age was one significant differentiator, with those under 40 who were surveyed far more likely to believe that distribution of wealth should lead to moral outcomes, with all members of society receiving an income that is sufficient for them to lead a dignified life.

By contrast, the over 50s believe talented people deserve to receive income in line with their contribution and that market efficiency is important in determining how income should be allocated.

For Advisory leader, PwC Nigeria, Dr Bert Odiaka, “Fairness is a morally and politically loaded term and means different things to different people. But questions about fairness, and the role companies have to play in this, are not going away any time soon.

Demographic factors generally do not predict attitudes to fairness. But the major exception to this is age, with our survey revealing almost 50% of over-65s identified themselves most strongly with pro-market principles, while less than a third of under 35s did the same.

Also, he said, the findings demonstrated that there is no single catch-all principle.
“Views of distributive justice are multidimensional and complex. There is much more to fairness than equality. Companies must therefore develop a much fuller narrative on what they mean by fairness and how they are delivering on that for employees, or risk the debate being hijacked by a one-dimensional view of fairness based on pay ratios,” Odiaka said.

Those surveyed, he pointed out, also did not subscribe to the view that the role of companies is to make money and of the state to redistribute it.

Instead, they thought that companies have a broadly equal responsibility in providing a fair pay structure among their employees. Companies are seen not to live outside of, but to be very much a part of, society and are expected to act justly.

But companies, as well as societies, are not always living up to people’s hopes of them. Typically a quarter to a third of people surveyed feel that companies are not delivering principles of fairness that they deem to be important.

For example, the principle around equal opportunity, where market competition is seen as fair game, so long as there is a level playing field, was the principle where there was the biggest gap between aspiration and reality. 40 per cent of respondents consider equal opportunity to be important but they did not consider the principle to be implemented in their society.

The Associate Director and Head People & Organisation PwC Nigeria, Olusola Adewole, said of the study that “There is a tricky balance to strike. Markets matter and companies that ignore the pay rates set by the market risk becoming uncompetitive in terms of cost or quality of talent. But at the same time, how companies operate across the developed world is being challenged, and will become more so as automation takes its course.

“Fair pay and the ethics behind it, is an important part of rebuilding trust in business. But there is also an opportunity to create a more engaged workforce with benefits for long-term value and productivity. Companies should therefore consider their perspectives on this debate and look to figure out exactly what fairness means for them.”

Nonye Dom/GEE

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

SPDC JV’s Afam VI power plant secures licensee for another 10 years

The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has renewed the power generation licence for Afam VI Power Plant, a 650MW-capacity facility that has delivered over 25.97 million Megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity into the Nigerian grid since inception in 2008, reports ITRealms.

Afam VI is owned by The Shell Petroleum Development Company Joint Venture (SPDC JV) and located in Afam in Oyigbo Local Government area of Rivers State.

Presenting the renewed licence to the leadership of SPDC at the Commission’s office in Abuja on Tuesday, the Commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Mr. Dafe Akpeneye, described SPDC JV as a committed partner in the Nigerian power sector adding that the company’s belief in the sector and its resolve to help it develop were remarkable.

“We hope for greater efficiency and improved operations from Afam VI in the next 10-year phase of your operations just as we look forward to working together to resolve some of the challenging issues in the power sector,” he said.

Receiving the licence, the General Manager, Gas of SPDC, Dr. Philip Mshelbila, described the Afam VI as a model worthy of emulation by government and other players in the power sector. “Here’s a power plant with a dedicated gas plant operating with high uptime generating clean and efficient power from the combined cycle of three gas and one steam turbines.”

He lamented the challenges of debt, power evacuation and off-take which he said prevented the plant from delivering optimally at 15 percent of the total national grid-connected electricity.

Afam VI uses combined cycle gas turbine technology that burns 40 percent less gas than plants using older open cycle technologies. This also contributes significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2016, Afam VI power plant supplied approximately 12% of the nation’s grid-electricity.

Built with the most efficient technology in the industry and utilising waste heat energy from the gas turbine exhaust, the plant generates an additional 200MW from the steam turbine without consuming any additional gas, thereby considerably reducing its carbon footprint.

As a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project under the United Nations Executive Board for Climate Change, Afam VI Power Plant eliminates over 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, while also maintaining excellent safety standards.

The operations at Afam VI have generated subcontract opportunities and employment for over 150 people from the 16 host communities. It also provided hands-on and offshore training for 30 youths in Electrical, Mechanical and Instrumentation engineering on Combined Cycle Power Plant operations and maintenance. All the trainees are already employed in the Nigerian power industry.

The power plant also won SPDC the Best Company in Climate Action Award in the 2016 edition of Sustainability, Enterprise, Responsibility Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility (SERAs–CSR), an annual event to celebrate organisations that invest resources to improve the socioeconomic living conditions of people in Nigeria and Africa.

Ayo Midele/GEE 

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Pix; L-R: Commercial Manager, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), John Kadiri; General Manager, Business and Government Relations, Bashir Bello; General Manager, Gas, Philip Mshelbila; Commissioner for Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dafe Akpeneye; and the General Manager, Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Olufunke Dinneh, at the presentation of power generation licence for SPDC Joint Venture’s Afam VI Power Plant, in Abuja… on Tuesday.

OOPF mourns former VP, Ekwueme, says he lived for service

The Oriental Online Publishers Forum (OOPF) has sent a message of condolence to the family of elder statesman, Dr Alex Ekwueme, the second republic vice president, who died on Sunday in a London hospital, reports ITRealms.

According to a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, signed by the chairman, Mr. Max Amuchie and secretary, Chris Ndiribe, the group said the story of Ekwueme's life was that of service, integrity and love for Nigeria as a nation.

The OOPF statement entitled 'Ekwueme: Farewell to the doyen of endurance and sacrifice' reads:

Sunday, November 19, will surely remain one of the most remarkable days in the history of Nigeria. It marked the end of a chapter in the nation’s burgeoning, tortuous and undulating narrative that has seen more of contradictions than rationality and reality. It was the day, with his passing, in a London hospital, the curtain fell on the epic of one of Nigeria’s greatest, Dr. Alexander Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme.

Teacher, philosopher, scholar, prototypical professional, politician, et al, Ekwueme, was not only equipped, but embodied the finest qualities of human development, which he readily put at the disposal of Nigeria.

To his students, Ekwueme not only taught them the value of education and how to acquire it, but how to apply its maximum benefits for individual and societal development. From a nondescript village, of Oko, now Orumba North Local Government of Anambra State, he was able to build a successful empire business empire, led by his Ekwueme and Associates, a firm of architects due to early education.

Yet, his philosophy transcended personal ascendency on the trajectory of life, as exemplified by his record in office, where, even as Vice President, even having supported his then, National Party of Nigeria (NPN), to achieve power by bringing in his own personal money, he never found it needful to recoup from government till, so that by the time an investigation was concluded into his activities as the number two Nigerian for four years, plus, he was found to have come out from government, poorer than he went in – a record in Nigeria – nay, Africa and many parts of the world.

Like great thinkers of old, whose philosophical offerings have become the standard for the advancement of humanity, past and present, and perhaps the future, Ekwueme’s archetypal bent to politics, would probably remain one of his greatest gifts to Nigeria.

He was a man, who was arrested and thrown into jail as a Vice President, in 1983, and left to languish, whilst his boss, who was President and had higher authority, was kept in a plush and cozy apartment with all the benefits and appurtenances thereto. Yet, like the proverbial biblical lamb taken to the slaughter, he uttered no word of hate or complaint.

But that was not all. Ever ready to find solutions rather than become the problem, Ekwueme, who was one of the arrowheads of the National Constitutional Conference of 1995, was able to find a workable template upon which the Nigerian people will find the elusive principle of justice equity, and fair play, with which to build a sound and progressive nation, by fashioning, introducing and championing the six geo-political structure, presently in use in the country today.

At the time many of his ilk were falling over themselves to salute the late General Sani Abacha and begging him to transmute to a civilian President, after supervising the most repressive and horrendous administration in the history of Nigeria outside the civilian war, Ekwueme stood up to be counted and showed uncommon courage, when he led some eminent Nigerians to resist that obvious raid on democratic norms and the collective psyche of the people.

But, what was his recompense? Out of that courageous enterprise put up by the Group of 34 eminent Nigerians (G-34), sprouted out the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which went ahead to rule Nigeria for a record 16 years. At the time the table was dressed and the food was garnished and served, he was shoved aside from the head of the table by the strong forces that suddenly emerged. Twice he begged to lead Nigeria as President and show the direction, twice he was stopped by the same forces.

Yet, he never uttered any angry words, neither did he show bitterness of place curses on those who dealt him those deadly blows. Instead, he opened himself up to them and never shut his doors to all in his eagerness to help the Nigerian project.

Ever realising that all politics is local, Ekwueme never left his people Ndigbo in the lurch. He always strove to build their interests into the larger entity, while also recognising the peculiar diversities of the nation.

How then could the nation say farewell to such a quintessential sage, nationalist and elder statesman? What better epitaph could be written on the grave of this great Igbo man, who has exhibited the most demonstrable evidence of his people, expressed in the doctrine of Egbe bere Ugo bere (Let the Eagle and the kite, share their space on the iroko tree) the spirit of Onye anwu na, Ibe ya efuna (let nobody die, and let his brother not get lost). How then can Nigeria bid this great son that inspired many and opened the doors of opportunity for others? How does a nation thank this great son for making democracy happen in Nigeria by standing up and be counted when he was most needed.

This is the time to look back at the message Ekwueme passed in his few words, whose essence echoed farther and more than the clap of thunder.

Thank you and farewell, Ide Aguata.

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TETFund joins ‘FOI Hall of Shame’ says MRA

The Media RightsAgenda (MRA) has inducted the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) into its Freedom of Information (FOI) Hall of Shame, reports ITRealms.
MRA also said the induction is for the institutional failure on the part of TETFund to comply with its duties and obligations under the FOI Act, 2011 and its repeated refusal to honour numerous applications for information made to it under the Act by several organizations over the last six years.
ITRealms gathered that TETFund selection into the FOI Hall of Shame, according to MRA’s Programme Officer, Mr. Idowu Adewale, was based on TETFund consistency on exhibition of an inexplicable disregard for the rights of citizens to seek and obtain information from public institutions while also demonstrating a near absolute contempt for the Law.
Adewale said, multiple requests made by various non-governmental organizations to TETFund were either completely ignored without even an acknowledgment, contrary to the provisions of the FOI Act, or where it responded at all, it refused to provide any of the requested information or, as it did on one occasion, provided only part of the information sought.
Describing its attitude as a complete breach of the institution’s obligations under the FOI Act, Mr. Adewale said: “In its short years of existence, TETFund has consistently exhibited an inexcusable intolerance for the rights of citizens and civic groups to hold public institutions accountable in accordance with the FOI Act while at the same time betraying an unmistakable disdain for the duties imposed on it by Law.”
TETFund was established by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Establishment, etc) Act of 2011 as an intervention agency charged with managing, disbursing and monitoring the education tax to public tertiary institutions in Nigeria. To enable TETFund achieve these objectives, the TETFund Act, 2011 imposed a two percent Education Tax on the assessable profit of all registered companies in Nigeria.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is empowered by the TETFund Act to assess and collect the Education Tax while TETFund administers the tax and disburses various amounts to tertiary educational institutions at Federal and State levels. It also monitors the projects executed with the funds allocated to the beneficiary institutions.
The mandate of the Fund, as provided in Section 7(1)(a) to (e) of the TETFund Act, is to administer and disburse the amount in the Fund to Federal and State tertiary educational institutions and ensure that funds generated from education tax are utilized to improve the quality of education in Nigeria without direct contract awarding.
Adewale noted that “TETFund is uniquely positioned to have begun operations on the right footing, having been established the same year the FOI Act was passed. The institution, unlike many other public institutions, had the opportunity to kick off its operations by implementing the FOI Act which would have gone a long way to ensure transparency and accessibility to citizens as well as the proper keeping and management of its records. Instead, TETFund which ought to have submitted six annual reports to the Attorney-General of the Federation on its implementation of the Act since it was passed into law in 2011, has not submitted a single report.”
He said as a result of the failure of the body to submit its annual implementation reports over the last six years, vital statistical information which the reports are supposed to provide to the public, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the relevant committees of the National Assembly are not available, including information which would have shown how many requests for information the institution has received annually since 2011, how many of these it has processed and granted and how many of the requests it denied each year, among others.
Mr. Adewale said, however, that information obtained from various organizations that have submitted FOI requests to TETFund reveal its poor level of responsiveness to such requests.
For instance, BudgIT, a civic organization based in Lagos, wrote to TETFund in January 2017 pursuant to the FOI Act, seeking information on TETFund’s total cash inflow for 2014 and 2015  as well as a list of its 2014/2015 reconciled projects and the location of each of those projects, but received no response.
BudgIT sent TETFund a reminder to the request in February 2017 but the institution again not respond.  BudgIT sent another reminder to TETFund on September 25, 2017 and yet another on November 15, 2017 but still did not receive any response from the institution.
The findings of the Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) in its 2017 FOI ranking of 166 public institutions based on an assessment of the levels of public access to procurement related records and information, such as information on procurement plans, procurement processes and capital expenditure, which was released on September 28, 2017, put TETFund amongst the worst performing set of institutions. TETFund did not respond to PPDC’s January 27, 2017 request for information and has not proactively published any of the procurement records and information that it is required by Law to publish proactively, despite having an active website.
Mr. Adewale pointed out that TETFund has not fulfilled its proactive disclosure obligations under Section 2 of the FOI Act as it has not published either on its website or anywhere else, the 16 categories of information that the FOI Act requires all public institutions to proactively publish and disseminate widely to members of the public through various means, including print, electronic and online sources.
According to information available from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), TETFund’s Accountant as well as two other individuals and two companies were charged before a Gombe State High Court in May, 2017, accused of various fraudulent and corrupt practices.
The trio of Auwal Ibrahim, principal accountant of TETFund in Abuja; Wali Muktar Usman, the Director of Works at the Federal College of Education in Gombe, as well as Architect Yunusa Yakubu and his companies, Lubell Nigeria Limited and Archfirst Nigeria limited, were arraigned before Justice Sa'ad Muhammad on a 17 count charge of conspiracy, contract scam, abuse of office and diversion of public funds. The accused persons were alleged to have abused their positions by awarding inflated TETFund contracts to companies in which they had interest or which belong to their cronies.  They were also accused of receiving gratification from contractors.
Mr. Adewale said it was not surprising that the institution’s staff was facing such charges, given the obvious lack of transparency in its operations, adding: “as an institution which collects, manages, monitors and disburses public funds, TETFund should understand the importance of accountability, transparency and fiscal responsibility. TETFund should therefore make the required effort to provide the public with information on its activities and operations, especially as it is obliged by law to do so, and in the face of the possibility of the involvement of its staff in such nefarious activities.”
According to Mr. Adewale, "TETFund ought to disclose information on the monies it receives from FIRS and other sources, its disbursements as well as its operations in line with its proactive disclosure obligations. It is unacceptable that the institution is refusing to disclose information, including part of other organization’s profits that it collects, manages and disburses, even when such information has been specifically requested, when the information ought to have been proactively published in the first instance without the need for anyone to make a formal request for it."
MRA endorsed BudgIT’s observation that TETFund “keeps allocating public funds to public tertiary institutions without publishing how the money was spent to the public” and echoed BudgIT question: “How transparent is TETFund when they don't publish reports of how money was spent since 2013?”
Another organization, the Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN), which has also made an FOI request to TETFund, recently reported that the institution finally responded to it by a letter dated November 9, 2017 but which was served on the Network on Tuesday, November 15, 2017, after it had sent a reminder to TETFund in an effort to ensure that the institution was given ample opportunity to forestall legal action against it.
In response to HRAN’s request for information, TETFund disclosed its financial statements in respect of the Administration Fund Account and Project Fund Account for the years 2011 to 2014, but claimed that although its audited annual statements for 2015 and 2016 were ready, there was no existing Board of Trustees to sign and approve them.
This puts the institution’s responsiveness at best as partial. Although some of the information sought were provided, the response was far from satisfactory as TETFund failed to provide HRAN with a comprehensive list of beneficiaries of the Fund from 2011 till date, as requested by the network.
Mr. Adewale said: “This situation portrays a high level of sloppiness in the record keeping and management of TETFund and indeed a violation of Section 2(1) and (2) of the Act, which requires TETFund, as a public institution, to ensure that it records and keeps information about all its activities, operations and businesses and to similarly ensure the proper organization and maintenance of all information in its custody in a manner that facilitates public access to such information.”
MRA also accused TETFund of disregarding other aspects of the FOI Act including Section 2(3)(f), which mandates every public institution to publish the title and address of an appropriate officer to whom applications for information should be sent; and Section 13 of the Act which requires the institution to ensure the provision of appropriate training for its officials on the public’s right of access to information and for the effective implementation of the Act.
MRA stressed that TETFund’s persistent denial of requests for information was inconsistent with its role as a body which deals with public funds at such a high level. It therefore called on the institution to take necessary steps to change its negative culture and to comply with the provisions of the Act.
MRA launched the “FOI Hall of Shame” on July 3 to draw attention to public officials and institutions that are undermining the effectiveness of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 through their actions, inactions, utterances and decisions.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Lagos to host Global Patriot anniversary lecture 2017

The centre of excellence is to host the Global Patriot anniversary lecture, on Thursday, November 23, 2017, reports ITRealms.

The Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of the online newspaper, Simon Ibe, told ITRealms that the event will hold at Four Points By Sheraton Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos from 10 am.
He also said the event will herald the x-ray by eminent personalities at the Second Anniversary Lecture cum Awards of Global Patriot Newspapers (GPN).

The programme, he said, is expected to bring to the front burner of national discourse, the connection between patriotism, which presently seems in short supply, and the need to tap the presently vastly untapped potentials of the country, including the human, solid minerals, agricultural, marine, ICT potentials, for the rapid development of the nation.

Past and present federal and state government functionaries, acclaimed pro-democracy and human rights activists, national and state assembly members, military and para-military chiefs, celebrated media personalities, clerics, among other distinguished personalities, would be present as issues surrounding the theme of the lecture, “Patriotism, Untapped Potentials and National Development,” would be thrashed out.

The event would also be used to honour some individuals and organizations, and would kick- start processes leading to the commencement of operations at the United States of America office of the organisation.

Ayo Midele/GEE 

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Democracy: Ekwueme helped Nigeria navigate critical points - Tinubu

The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has disclosed that the intellectual interventions of former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme helped Nigerian in navigating critical junctures, ITRealms.

He said this in a condolence message sent to the family of Dr. Ekwueme who died on Sunday in a London hospital at 85, through Tunde Rahman of Tinubu Media Office, made available to ITRealms in Lagos.

According to Asiwaju Tinubu, “I mourn the passing of Second Republic Vice President, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme (GCON), who died on Sunday in London at 85.

“Chief Ekwueme lived well. He also served his country well. He was a true patriot and statesman who made personal sacrifices for the unity and stability of Nigeria.

“His deep intellectual interventions often helped the country in navigating beyond critical junctures. 

“Chief Ekwueme was a team player. As Vice President, he worked well with his principal, President Shehu Shagari. He was loyal to his boss and faithful to his country.

“As he contributed to Nigeria’s stability through his interventions, he also made laudable contributions to Nigeria’s political lexicon.

“It was Chief Ekwueme who at the 1994-95 Constitutional Conference in Abuja suggested the six geo-political zones as a more realistic structure to create a more equitable system. This has stuck till date. The structure is also often cited in appointment-distribution and calculation.

“Dr. Ekwueme was a fine gentleman and a good family man.  I mourn with his family. I mourn with the government and people of Anambra State. I mourn with Nigeria, for we have all lost a patriot.

“I pray that our country be blessed with more of Dr. Ekwueme. I pray that God grant his family the strength to live with this loss and that He also grant the soul of Dr. Ekwueme eternal rest”.

Ayo midele/GEE
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16-year PDP mistake still better than APC’s 30 months of calamity - Lamido

The National Volunteers for Lamido (NVL) has declared that if 16 years of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is still far better than the All Progressive Congress (APC) 30 months of calamity under President Muhammadu Buhari, reports ITRealms.

NVL, a political support group in a press statement made available to ITRealms in Abuja, noted that whatever the PDP did, it left the scene over two years ago and that exit provided Nigerians the opportunity to gauge the standard of performance.

The National Coordinator of NVL, Umar Danjani Hadeja, insisted that “From the economy, foreign relations where an APC government has decided to make caricature of the country, its leadership and people, security, wage theft, misapplication of resources and the lack of vision at all levels. This is total disaster.”

The group also accused the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, of deliberately choosing to feed the public with falsehood and obvious inaccuracies, deliberate misinformation and even mischief bordering on denial and selective amnesia.

Reacting to Shehu’s attempted response to a recent interview granted by a former Governor of Jigawa state, Alhaji Sule Lamido, wherein he fielded questions on his presidential ambition and the state of his party, the PDP, as well as some snippets on reasoned insights on President Muhammadu Buhari's leadership style, the All Progressives Congress government and the future of Nigeria and the place of her youth.

The group particularly caricatures the Presidential Spokesperson for relishing in quackery whenever he ventures into the laborious attempts at rebuttals or rejoinders, more often with scant regard for the truth.

“Clearly, Garba's attempted response to the said Sule Lamido interview is yet  another classic example of the PR disaster and liability that he now represents for the Buhari administration. Surely, we would care less for this misfortune of an appointee of Mr. President who is fishing and scavenging desperately for ‘stuff’ that would make him look useful in a job he clearly does not know how to do. His brazen and intellectually lazy import-substitution mission for issues never raised in the interview in the effort to tar Alhaji Sule Lamido with a dirty brush is at best mischievous, unprofessional and a  damning verdict on Garba” NVL boss said.

While describing the attempt by Shehu “to tar Alhaji Sule Lamido with a dirty brush” as mischievous, unprofessional and a damning verdict on the presidential spokesman, the group also expressed concern over the feeble and failed attempt to address or “attack” the facts of the matter raised in the interview.

It took a swipe at the presidential spokesman for falsely accusing Lamido of impugning the integrity of the nation's judicial system and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission when, in actual fact “the government is itself destroying” these two institutions.

It said: “Where, for instance, did Garba see any reference to these institutions in the said interview? Did he at all read the interview or in the classic case of playing the 'Boss', lazily rely on some subordinates who supposedly drew his attention to a publication he never sighted? And as if this was not shameful enough, he brazenly proceeded to blindly issue a 'rejoinder' to a publication he apparently knew nothing about. This is a further injury to the image, integrity and ethics of the journalism profession.”

According to the group, Shehu has thrown up the poverty of the government's effort to water down any serious effort to address our national ills, adding: “His usual habit of ignoring facts was manifest in his attempt to defend his party rather than the government's confused approach to implementing the agenda it promised.”

The group said Lamido would not be deterred, distracted or cowed by the shenanigans of the likes of Shehu, stressing that as a statesman and nationalist whose sole driving impetus is improvement in the material condition of the ordinary Nigerian citizen as well as carving a place of high repute for Nigeria in the comity of nations, “Alhaji Sule Lamido is forging ahead with steely determination and singleness of purpose.

“Lamido will continue to speak truth to power and call out the APC government in all its numerous failings. No amount of name-calling, falsehood, character assassination or intimidation will do the trick. Not from Garba Shehu, not from anyone else. The APC government must shape up or ship out, or else expect the Sule Lamidos of this country and they are in the  majority now, to continue to call it out.”

Still comparing the PDP government with the current administration, the group further drew attention to what is called confusion and lies, cross messaging and open confrontation among various officials of government even while brazenly engaged in corrupt practices of various kinds as widely reported in the media.

It said: “This is worse than a calamity for a developing nation like ours. Garba should encourage the government he serves to investigate those cases instead of chasing shadows and silhouettes. If you check the markets, prices have skyrocketed. There is  unemployment, poverty and hunger, which bad effects have shot over the roofs, while some officials, including Garba, are smiling as they hide their loots from this government. These stories have become daily doses of media reportage. Time shall tell.”

Maintaining that the antecedents of everyone given opportunity of service speaks for him or her, the group contended that Lamido comes across as a deliverer of promise, challenging anyone in doubt to visit Jigawa State to understand the difference between the Lamido years and the present reality.

NVL said: “Every visible productive project of stature dotting the entire landscape was initiated and completed by him.

“The essential Alhaji Sule Lamido is a quintessential leader who is and still loved by the people, among whom he lives to date. He speaks his mind, no matter who is involved. In the process, he has encountered and also survived the vicissitudes of politics while serving his fatherland. This has, over the years, shaped his vision with courage of conviction and strength of character. You may confirm by the kind and nature of people around him and his associates. 

“Unlike Alhaji Sule Lamido, Garba is inconsequential inconsistent, foul mouthed and practicing quackery as public affairs management. Therefore, our final word and free consultancy for Garba is this: ‘Attend a refresher course on how not to be a Public Affairs assistant. We understand one such course is scheduled for some time in the year 2019, otherwise, you will remain an albatross on President Buhari's neck. Nigerians are watching.’”

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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Anambra State, Gov. Obiano mourn Alex Ekwueme

The people of Anambra State and the Governor, Chief Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano are mourning the demise of first elected Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, saying great iroko has fallen in the country, reports ITRealms.

Obiano in his reaction, described the passing onto glory of the former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme as a huge loss to Nigeria.

The news of the death came to him at his Aguleri country home where he had gone to mark his election victory in the last Saturday's election with his family, Governor Obiano said that he was yet to come to terms with the reality of Dr Ekwueme's death as it was hard to contemplate the void that his passage has created.

"A great iroko has fallen. Nigeria has lost a statesman. Ndigbo have lost an illustrious son. Anambra has lost a father. But I have lost both a father and a friend. I have lost a mentor. This is a big loss on all fronts," the Governor declared.

Narrating the direct influence the late statesman had had on him, Governor Obiano further said, "I was close to Dr Ekwueme. I sought his advice on so many things and he was always ready to help. He attended every major event we have held in the past three years in our efforts to make Anambra a better place. You always knew where you stood with him on any issue. His death is a big personal loss to me," Governor Obiano explained.

The governor further lamented that the elder statesman passed away at a trying period in the life of the nation when his bridge-building talent was most needed.

Describing him as the "architect" of a balanced Nigeria, Governor Obiano observed that only few Nigerians living or dead could match Dr Ekwueme's contributions to a fair and just federation in the nation's seemingly endless search for peace and equity.

He pointed out that even in his last days, Dr Ekwueme fought gallantly to ensure that equity prevailed in his home state of Anambra, speaking out fearlessly in favour of sustaining the geopolitical balance that has entrenched peace in the state.

"Dr Ekwueme's life is an open book that should inspire generations of Nigerians who need a beacon to guide them into evolving as true patriots who are willing to make sacrifices for the greatness of the country. He is an icon whose place is assured in our hearts in Anambra State," Governor Obiano further observed.

According to him, Dr Ekwueme's legacy would never die because whenever the story of modern Nigeria is told, Alex Ekwueme's name would be remembered.

"I wish to express my deepest condolences to the illustrious Ekwueme family and the people of Oko, his home town and to Ndi Anambra in general. Ndonu Ndi Anambra. I pray that God Almighty will give us the fortitude to bear this grave loss," Governor Obiano further said.

Ozo Nweke Ozo/GEE

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Shell emerges best in sustainability innovation in Africa

Shell Companies in Nigeria (SCiN) have emerged the 2017 Best Nigerian companies in Sustainability Innovation in Africa, beating two other finalists at the 11th edition of the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility Awards (SERAs) for Corporate Social Responsibility held in Lagos, at the weekend, reports ITRealms.

Shell companies also defeated three other contestants to win as the Best Company in Affordable and Clean Energy, and got the second runner-up prize for the Most Socially Responsible Nigerian Company for the year.

“We’re delighted at the continued recognition of our modest support to Nigeria and Nigerians to make life better and to create opportunities to individuals and institutions, particularly in our host communities,” said the Managing Director, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and country Chair, SCiN, Mr. Osagie Okunbor.

“We are challenged by these laurels to do even more as CSR remains part of the DNA of the Shell business, and we are striving to improve our partnership with NGOs, government and communities to ensure our people participate more in the execution of programmes and own them for greater sustainability,” he added.

Leveraging its support for entrepreneurs for bright energy ideas through the globally acclaimed Shell LiveWIRE programme, SPDC showcased its numerous social intervention programmes including the training and empowerment of hundreds of youths particularly in its host communities to clinch the prize as the best company in affordable and clean energy.

The sustainability innovation award resulted from the renewable energy solution as an alternative for powering the Shell-supported Obio cottage hospital, Port Harcourt which led to significant cost savings in energy consumed and enabled the hospital to focus its resources on its core aspiration of providing quality healthcare for the people. Due to its success, the solution has been replicated in seven other Shell-supported health facilities in the Niger Delta.

The SERA–CSR Awards is an annual event to celebrate organisations investing resources in the improvement of lives of stakeholders and contributing to the development of Africa through their social performance and investment programmes.

A total of twenty-six awards were won by corporate organisations and individuals in recognition of their sustainable development and social investment efforts in Africa.

Apart from their three winning entries, Shell companies also got nominated in four other categories: Best Company in Poverty Eradication; Best Company in Provision of Clean Water and Sanitation; Best Company in Partnership for Development; and Best Company in Support of SMEs.

Shell Companies in Nigeria – SPDC, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), and Shell Nigeria Gas (SNG) work with government, communities and civil society to implement programmes that have a lasting impact on lives in the Niger Delta and Nigeria as whole. Social investment activities focus on community and enterprise development, education, health, access-to-energy and since 2016, road safety. This, however, excludes community-driven development programmes and initiatives delivered through the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) which focuses on various themes as determined by benefiting communities.

In 2016 alone, Shell Companies in Nigeria spent $29.8million on social investment projects and awarded 94 percent of their contracts valued at over $0.74billion to Nigeria companies while $1.4 billion was paid to the Nigerian government in royalties and corporate taxes, and another $106.8million contributions made to the NDDC as required by law.

Since 2003, SPDC and SNEPCo have trained over 6,550 Niger Delta youths in enterprise development and have awarded scholarship grants to over 7,652 secondary school students and 4,435 university students in the last six years.

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pic: L– R: Partnerships Coordinator, Social Performance and Social Investment ,The Shell Petroleum Development Company Company,  Anike Kakayor; Strategy and Value Assurance Manager, Godwin Ikuwe; and Clinical Health Adviser, Dr.Olayinka Mosuro, at the 2017 SERAs-CSR Awards in Lagos

ICT4D Week 2018