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Investment / Nigerian Stock Exchange Best & Worst Stocks Jan-june 2019 by prof2007: 2:12pm
See attached graphic....

SOURCE: NSE/Arthur Stevens Asset Management

Travel / Airline Bans Suicidal Passenger For Life, Fines Her $106,000 by prof2007: 12:01am On Jul 19
A female passenger aboard a Turkey-bound flight has been fined a whopping $106,000 for attempting to open the door of an aircraft during flight, while threatening to kill everyone along with herself.

Several media outlets reported that the woman tried to open the aircraft’s door mid-flight and had shouted, “I’m going to kill everyone,” when passengers and cabin crew tried to subdue her. According to Daily Sabah, last June, the passenger was accused of severe misbehaviour on a Jet2 flight, bound for Turkey, that had to return to London’s Stansted Airport under escort of two Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets.

The airline had accused Ms Chloe Haines of “aggressive, abusive and dangerous behaviour” on the flight. She was also banned from flying the airline for the rest of her life. The 25-year-old British woman was arrested by Essex Police when the plane landed and has since been free on bail, the medium has reported.

Ms. Haines was arrested on suspicion of common assault, criminal damage and endangering an aircraft, and is scheduled to be in court on August 21.

The medium quotes Jet2’s CEO, Steve Heapy, as saying on Thursday that the airline will try to recover the costs incurred as a result of the diversion.

ARTICLE SOURCE: https://punchng.com/airline-bans-suicidal-passenger-for-life-fines-her-106000/

See her photos below...

Crime / We Killed NBA Chairman For Withholding N18m Internet Fraud Proceeds –suspect by prof2007: 4:12am On Jul 18
39-year-old Kenechukwu Eze, a native of Amoli Edem in the Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, on Wednesday, said his gang members killed one Emmanuel Agundu because he withheld the N18m they realised from Internet fraud. The money was reportedly paid into his Nigerian bank account.

Agundu, who was the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Udenu branch, was shot on August 15, 2018, at Obollo-Afor in the Udenu Local Government Area of the state by unidentified gunmen around 7pm, but he survived the attack. However, on September 2, 2018, he was trailed to Uru-Uwani Edem in the Nsukka Local Government Area around 2pm and shot dead.

Although one of the gunmen was arrested and remanded in prison custody, Eze, a member of the five-man gang of Internet fraudsters based in Morocco, was apprehended on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, by the personnel of the Enugu State Police Command.

Parading the suspect at the state police headquarters alongside 18 others who were arrested across the state for various offences ranging from armed robbery, kidnapping, car snatching, vandalism, cultisim, unlawful possession of firearms and murder, the state Commissioner of Police, Suleiman Balarabe, said Eze was arrested with the help of credible intelligence, adding that the police had been tracking him since Agundu’s death. Balarabe said his arrest was part of the command’s efforts to rid the state of criminals.

“We are also striving towards reducing crime to its barest minimum through proactive measures without losing sight of the respect for human rights and the rule of law,” the CP stated.

Speaking to PUNCH Metro during the parade, Eze confessed that his group killed the legal practitioner, adding that the person who shot Agundu had been arrested and remanded in prison.

He said, “I didn’t know the lawyer in person, but one of our members brought him to join us in the business. His job was to supply a bank account to pay the money we realised into. So, we paid a total of N18m into the account he supplied and when we asked him to provide the money, he rebuffed us. Instead of making the money available for us to share according to our agreed formula, he started threatening to report the matter to security agents. That was why we decided to end it once and for all.

“I was arrested because of the death of that lawyer that we did a fraudulent transaction together. He spent N18m and was killed because of that. The person, who shot him, is already in prison. We were five in number; Emmanuel Ebonyi, one Valentine and his younger brother, Agundu and I.

“It was an online business ,but the barrister supplied the account that we paid into. We paid a total of N18m into his account and he kept all the money.”

SOURCE: https://punchng.com/we-killed-nba-chairman-for-withholding-n18m-internet-fraud-proceeds-suspect/
Business / BLOOMBERG: Inflation Gap A Reminder To Nigeria That Egypt Got It Right by prof2007: 4:10pm On Jul 17
One of the clearest signs that Egypt is starting to reap the economic benefits of a currency float almost three years ago came last week. Nigeria, which took a different path when faced with similar problems, is still struggling.

Inflation in Egypt, Africa’s third-biggest economy, slowed to single digits for the first time since the pound was floated in late 2016. It had rocketed as high as 33% soon after. President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s administration said a devaluation was needed to ease severe shortages of foreign exchange and get a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Though the decision was painful for Egyptians, it turned the Arab nation into a darling of bond and carry traders. And it set Egypt apart from Nigeria. Africa’s biggest oil producer was also suffering from a dollar squeeze, but opted instead to keep a tight grip on its currency via a system of multiple exchange rates and import restrictions. Foreign exchange is no longer scarce, though Nigeria’s inflation rate was 11.2% in June -- one of the highest levels on the continent -- and has been above the central bank’s target of 6% to 9% for four years. gypt's inflation fell below 10% for the first time since 2016.

Egypt is also looking the healthier of the two in terms of economic growth. Its output will expand 5.5% in 2019, more than twice as much as Nigeria’s and the most among Middle Eastern nations, according to Bloomberg surveys of analysts. Portfolio flows into Egypt soared following the devaluation and the start of IMF-supported reforms, which included cutting subsidies that soaked up much of the budget. And it got more foreign direct investment last year than anywhere else in Africa, according to the United Nations.

Nigeria has attracted plenty of hot money by keeping bond yields high and pledging not to let the naira weaken, but FDI has plunged. The IMF says the Nigerian currency regime deters investors and hurts the economy, which is growing more slowly than the population. President Muhammadu Buhari argues it’s needed to boost local manufacturers and stop inflation accelerating.

Those hot-money flows and rising oil prices have caused Nigeria’s local and external bonds to perform solidly in 2019. But weak growth has turned investors off stocks. The main equity index in Lagos has lost 10% in dollar terms this year, one of the worst performances globally. Egyptian stocks have fallen along with others in emerging markets since April, but they’re still up 13% year-to-date. That’s partly down to the pound appreciating 8% against the greenback, a performance bettered only by the Russian ruble.

Political and security risks remain high in both countries, according to Bloomberg Country Risk Scores. Egypt’s risk has climbed since El-Sisi came to power in 2014. His administration is trying to quell an Islamic State-linked insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula and has jailed tens of thousands of political opponents. Lawmakers passed a constitutional change in April that allows for him to remain in office until 2030. In Nigeria, which is also battling Islamic State militants and experiencing deadly clashes between farmers and herders, political risk is deemed higher.
Egypt's getting riskier from a political perspective

Nigeria’s reserves have risen almost 9% since late last year to $45 billion. That gives central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele plenty of firepower to defend the naira, which Renaissance Capital estimates is about 20% overvalued. Still, stresses on the currency are rising, according to Citigroup Inc.’s Early Warning Signal Indexes. The opposite is happening with the pound. Analysts at Societe Generale SA said last week it could strengthen another 4% to 16 per dollar this year.
Stress on the pound is dropping and rising on the naira.

SOURCE: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-15/after-a-painful-float-egypt-reaps-benefits-while-nigeria-stalls?srnd=premium-africa
Investment / Access Bank To Enter Chinese Market, As UK Subsidiary Grows Balance Sheet by prof2007: 1:49pm On Jul 17
China will soon welcome Access Bank into its financial market, as the Nigerian bank is in search of a new market to penetrate. This consideration started after the bank’s United Kingdom subsidiary announced a 36% growth in its balance sheet for the year ended December 2018.

The Managing Director of Access Bank UK, Jamie Simmonds disclosed at the Access Bank Polo Day at Guards Polo Club Windsor, that the development to build a representative office in China is in the pipeline.

“We have offices here in the heart of the City of London, Dubai and Lagos and are building our presence in China through a representative office there.”

Apart from recording another success through its partnership with UNICEF by raising funds to support education projects in northern Nigeria, the bank in a statement noted that the 2018 witnessed its emergence as one of three key UK clearing systems. The bank said that the year also saw to its recognition as the best African Trade Finance Bank by both International Finance and CFI. This indicates another year of outstanding international business growth.

Reviewing the bank’s corporate activities for year 2018, its four strategic business units reportedly returned double digit growth. With only 2 years of operation in Dubai, a 200% increase in its income goes a long way to reflect promising market venture. While some banks struggle with non-performing loans, Access Bank UK boasts of zero ‘non performing loans’ throughout year 2018.

As a community development-driven bank, its success can be linked to the key role played by its involvement in corporate responsibility and exemplary corporate governance. Commenting on the success formula of the bank, Simmonds attributed it to the managerial principles and banking philosophy which puts customers’ interest in the fore and recognises the need for staff development.

“We invest significantly in attracting, retaining and developing professional staff in order to ensure customers always deal with an expert who is familiar with their business and personal financial needs.”

Chairman of Access Bank UK, Herbert Wigwe, commending the progress recorded noted that, “The successes in completing the first decade of trading for Access Bank UK has been a major milestone. Growth has been sustained at the same time as earning a reputation for innovation and flexibility.”

SOURCE: https://nairametrics.com
Crime / BREAKING! Lagosian Raises Alarm Over One Chance Criminals At Berger Bus Stop by prof2007: 1:20pm On Jul 17
With criminality on the rise, a Lagosian has warned fellow residents about the activities of one chance robbers at Berger bus stop in Lagos.

SOURCE: https://www.classyupdate.com/avoid-entering-car-at-berger-lagosian-raises-alarm-over-one-chance-criminals-at-berger-bus-stop/

Health / What Are Hiccups And How Can We Stop Them? by prof2007: 1:07pm On Jul 17
Hiccups are brief and involuntary contractions (spasms) of the diaphragm muscle. When the muscle spasms, the vocal cords snap shut, producing the hiccup sound. They are medically known as synchronous diaphragmatic flutter or singultus (SDF)

Hiccups happen when a person's intake of air becomes momentarily blocked. It can happen for no apparent reason, but most commonly can be traced to the following causes:
-- eating too fast and swallowing air,
-- chewing gum, smoking,
-- eating or drinking too much,
-- abdominal surgery
-- strokes,
-- brain tumors,
-- damage to the vagus or phrenic nerve,
-- some medications,
-- noxious fumes,
-- anxiety and stress,
-- in babies, may be associated with crying, coughing, or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).

Most people have hiccups from time to time, and they usually resolve without treatment within a few minutes. Rarely, there may be prolonged or chronic hiccups, which can last a month or more. Hiccups that last over 2 months are known as intractable hiccups.

Home remedies to get rid of hiccups include
-- holding your breath,
-- drinking a glass of water quickly,
-- drinking a glass of water while blocking your ears,
-- having someone frighten or surprise you,
-- using smelling salts,
-- pulling hard on your tongue,
-- etc.

See a Doctor if hiccups
-- become frequent, chronic, and persistent (lasting more than 3 hours),
-- affect sleeping patterns,
-- interfere with eating,
-- cause reflux of food or vomiting,
-- occur with severe abdominal pain, fever, shortness of breath, spitting up blood, or feeling as if the throat is going to close up.

SOURCES: Various medical authors.

Did you enjoy this article? Do leave a comment!

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Health / What Is A Beer Belly? by prof2007: 2:20am On Jul 16
A beer belly is a term often used to describe a large abdomen. In that connection, it mostly refers to men and usually suggests that the intake of alcohol, specifically beer, is responsible for the way the belly looks. Many distinctive types of research have been carried out which seem to suggest that other factors may add to the intake of beer to make this possible. The peculiar features associated with drinking large amounts of beer can be seen around the world. The tendency increases if you are a man and tending towards middle age and old age. This can also be observed in some women. However, there are also men, a lot of them, who do not take alcohol of any type, most especially beer but who go on to develop large bellies. The question that this essay will attempt to answer is why. This is of fundamental importance because not all beer drinkers have a pot belly.

Why alcohol intake is associated with a pot belly is often noted for the wrong reasons. People who take a lot of beer do not gain abdominal fat because of that per se but because they are consuming too many calories. Such calories can equally come from many other sources like sugary drinks, too much food and too many pastries. The drinks include sodas, fruit juices, chocolate drinks, sweetened yoghurt and ice cream. Pastries include cake, doughnuts, meat-pies and burgers.

These food types have certain things in common and these include refined sugar, lots of dairy condiments and various creams. This is not to mention the high sodium content and the lack of fiber in those foods. As a result, it is not necessarily the beer that causes the increases in the abdominal girth but the amount of calories consumed.
beer belly

The intake of alcohol may be associated with a larger waist-line because when a person takes alcohol, the liver will use such alcohol as a fuel rather than burn the fat. Beer is also blamed for this increase in calories so often because it is easy to take beer in excess. For those who are used to drinking beer, there is a desire to get high. A large amount of beer has to be taken to obtain the required high. This is because the alcoholic composition of a typical bottle of beer is so small at about 4-6 per cent that it needs to be taken in multiples to create the desired effect. Such a bottle usually contains about 150 calories of energy and if a man takes 4 bottles, he takes in about 600 calories. At any typical bar or party fried foods, small chops and chicken or turkey wings are available to boost the amount of calories consumed. So also is suya and asun or balango, all of which are certified sources of extra calories.

When an individual consumes more calories that they are able to burn, the excess is stored as fat. Where that fat is stored is dependent on age, hormones and gender. Among boys and girls, the storage of fat is of a similar pattern. With the onset of puberty all that would usually change. In adulthood, the differences are more evident. The women tend to have more fat under the skin than men do and so they generally store such in their arms, thighs and buttocks. A little also goes into the belly. As for men who have less of such fat, the bulk of it is stored in the belly. That kind of beer belly which results is usually more prominent in older people because they are less active, engage in much less exercise than among younger people and also have less need for calories as a result of advancing age. Maintaining the same pattern of food and drink consumption is therefore a certain way to gain weight. This is aided by the diminishing level of hormones occurring in both sexes as they age. This is so much more prominent therefore in the elderly.

In this article, we have seen what many carbonated drinks and fast foods contain. What does beer contain by comparison? It is an alcoholic beverage made from barley, wheat, sorghum, corn or rye. It is fermented with yeast and flavored with hops. Beer is brewed in five steps and these are:

1. Malting: In this stage, the grains are heated, dried and cracked.

2. Mashing: In this step, the grains are soaked in water to release the sugars they contain and this actually leads to the formation of sugary syrup.

3. Boiling: In this step of the process, the sugary fluid is boiled and hops are added to give the beer its flavour.

4. Fermentation: In this step of the process, yeast is added to the mixture and the sugary fluid is then fermented to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide.

5. Bottling: The end product, now called a beer is poured into a bottle and left to age.

The strength of any beer depends on the amount of alcohol it contains and the usual alcoholic content ranges from four to six per cent. The more the alcoholic composition of any beer, the more calories it contains and the greater its potential for causing weight gain. The colour also varies from one type of beer to another. The main contents are carbohydrates and alcohol. Proteins form a minute part of beer and so are nutrients like sodium, potassium and magnesium. All these ions are important for carrying out various functions in the body but beer is a poor source of all of them. To get one’s daily requirement of these substances, huge amounts of beer would need to be consumed.

As a result of all these properties, beer is believed to be able to contribute to gaining a pot belly because it prevents the liver from burning fat. It also increases the volume of calories the body takes in. This is a major liability which many people do not realise because the amount of sugar in a bottle of beer is comparable to what is available in a bottle of soft drink. However, the regular intake of moderate quantities of beer which is termed to be anything from two to seven glasses a week at less than 500 milliliters per day, has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the heart and blood vessels.

It is believed to boost the blood levels of “good cholesterol” which is the high density cholesterol as opposed to the other fractions of cholesterol. However, with respect to beer, most studies have shown that drinking beer is linked to weight gain as well as increased abdominal girth and enhanced waist line. This makes it substantially different from red wine, a regular component of the Mediterranean diet.

SOURCE: https://punchng.com/what-is-a-beer-belly/
Politics / Idris Wada Joins Governorship Race In Kogi by prof2007: 1:46am On Jul 16
A former Governor of Kogi State, Capt Idris Wada (rtd) has joined the governorship race in the state. Wada in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Monday after collecting his Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms said Kogi State was in a precarious situation.

Wada said, “The November election is critical to the survival of Kogi State. Kogi was on a part of progress as of the time I left and if I had spent four more years, with the kind of money that’s coming into the hands of this present governor, Kogi would have become a state that all of us would have been proud of.

“Many people have come out who want to contest as the governor of Kogi State in November election, but experience is key. Kogi is right now like quicksand, the more you wriggle, the deeper you sink. So if you bring a greenhorn, who has no proper knowledge of the workings of Kogi State, he will spend the first two years trying to find his feet.”

SOURCE: https://punchng.com/ex-kogi-gov-wada-joins-gov-race/

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Crime / Chilling Experiences Of Motorists, Travellers On Kidnap-prone Highways by prof2007: 1:19am On Jul 16
Kidnappings on some highways across the country have reached a crescendo. CHUKWUDI AKASIKE and SIMON UTEBOR capture the shocking stories of some victims of this vicious crime

Throughout the night of May 16, 2019, Angela Nkereuwem, a 21-year-old lady from Mbo Local Government of Akwa Ibom State, diligently studied her Economics textbook in preparation for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination holding the following day. The next day being May 17, she woke up early to prepare her trip to a secondary school in Ikorodu, Lagos State–venue of the exam.

But what Nkereuwem did not realise was that trouble was lurking around the corner on that day. Having finished her paper around 2.30pm, she left for their home in an estate in Ikorodu. She mounted a commercial motorcycle. Not quite five minutes into their journey, a black tinted Sport Utility Vehicle with four occupants in the vehicle pulled through and overtook the bike.

As soon as the vehicle stopped, two men and a woman came out of the vehicle, seized her and used a handkerchief to clean her face. She lost consciousness. The motorcyclist who carried her to the spot was allowed to escape by the kidnappers, who appeared uninterested in doing anything to him. Nkereuwem said after her abductors used the hanky on her, she woke up the following day in the kidnappers’ hideout in a forest along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

"When I woke up, I noticed that the place I found myself was strange. I did not want to talk so that they wouldn't know I had woken up. When I looked around, I saw other ladies in a vegetative state in that place. I started praying within me that their evil machination would not work. As I was praying, an elderly man among them asked those who kidnapped me to bring me to the shrine. I was taken to a shrine in the forest. After making all the necessary incantations, the elderly man, who was like their witch doctor, became furious, saying my head refused the sacrifice.’’

The lady said she witnessed the killing of three females whose body parts were used for ritual purposes. According to her, it was where they kept her to be killed the next day that the woman who cooks for the kidnappers came to set her free. She said, “As they were eating, the cook secretly came and told me and another lady to go. She gave us the clothes we wore and N3,000 for transport fare. She directed us to where to take to get a vehicle plying Lagos on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.’’

Nkereuwem added, “Luckily for me and the other lady, we were able to find a vehicle going to Lagos. The vehicle took us to Ojota where some policemen came to take me to a police station in Gberigbe, Ikorodu while the other lady was taken to another part of Lagos. By the time we reached the police station, my uncle and wife were there waiting for me because we had been communicating since my escape from the kidnapper’s den. That was how I was rescued.”

For a popular musician and social critic based in Benin City, Edo State, Mr Joseph Osayamore, he had yet to get over the experience of his abduction. After performing for the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, about a year ago, he was abducted along Ekewan Road in the ancient city by heavily armed kidnappers.

Narrating his ordeal, Osayamore said he was held captive for 30 days and 30 nights and served only garri once in a day for the period. Asked if he knew the motive behind his kidnap, the musician said his captors told him he was seized because he was rich and that he had the Benin monarch and governor of Edo State among his circle of friends.

The 70-year-old musician lamented that in spite of telling his abductors that he had an undisclosed ailment, they did not allow him to take his drugs, saying that they would beat him so hard that he would not forget in his lifetime. Osayamore stated, “I was coming from a function, dressed in my traditional regalia after performing for the Oba of Benin. They waylaid me on the way and fired sporadically into my car.

“They caught up with me. They came with seven motorcycles and were armed. They took me to a river. After some time, they took me to the high sea, threatening to drown me in it if I did not cooperate with them. In fact, I can’t describe the incident. They said I had money and some people told them I am a friend to Edo State governor and the Oba of Benin loves me too much and that I am rich. But where do I have such money? I do not know. They flogged me, slapped and forced me to tell my people or I would die. The experience was horrible.”

In Rivers State, the rate of kidnapping along some highways is no doubt on the increase, even as it appears security agencies are lost on how to tackle the situation. Commercial drivers plying major roads in Imo, Abia and Rivers have resorted to taking alternative routes, which are longer than going through the normal roads.

Charles Obinna is a commercial bus driver with Super Transport Company. He told SUNDAY PUNCH that most drivers working for the firm avoid Ubima Road in Ikwerre Local Government Area for fear of being attacked and abducted by hoodlums, whose aim is to collect ransom from victims’ family members.

Obinna said, “There is no place that is secure across the country. We, drivers, have experienced kidnapping along Ubima Road in Ikwerre LGA of Rivers State. Personally, nothing will make me ply that road because of the rate of kidnappings there. One of our drivers, Gift, was kidnapped last year along Ubima Road and later killed. We rely on God when embarking on a journey.”

He explained that kidnapping had remained a national problem, recalling that Umuapu in Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo State had also recorded a high number of kidnappings.

Obinna said, “It is not only in Rivers State. In Umuapu, Ohaji/Egbema of Imo State, there is also a high level of kidnapping. Drivers going to Owerri have avoided that place and decided to ply distant, but safer routes. At Elele near Prisons, they were kidnapping in day time at a point, but when the police moved to the place, the bad boys only kidnap at night. None of us plies Ubima Road and the management of our company has instructed us not to ply certain roads, including Ubima Road.’’

Another commercial bus driver, Fred Agan, working with Nsikak Motors, narrated his encounter with kidnappers along Azumini Road in Abia State.

He said, “I was once kidnapped alongside my passengers in Azumini, a boundary between Abia and Akwa Ibom states. Immediately after I passed Afaghabong, I got to a corner and I saw a group of youths shooting at a vehicle. It was in the night; so, I saw the bullets flying out of their guns.

“At that point, I realised that they were not policemen because no policeman would shoot in such a manner. They came for me and kidnapped me and my passengers after taking our valuables from us. They released us after a day with them. I later got to know that they collected ransom from the passengers after holding them captive for 10 days in the bush.

“After that encounter with them, the management of our company directed that no driver should take that road again. Any driver that takes that road will be sacked. Now, we are still having a similar situation along Ogoni Road. Even on Tuesday, kidnappers tried to hold one of our drivers around that Ogoni Road at Tabba junction. But he escaped.”

Also, another inter-state commercial bus driver, Abiodun Olanrewaju, said he was in a kidnappers’ den for 12 days after his abductors took him and four passengers into the bush. He explained that two policemen; one inspector and a sergeant were among the four passengers abducted and taken into the bush during the incident that occurred at Omerelu in Ikwerre LGA.

Olanrewaju said, “Having an encounter with kidnappers is a bad experience. But I thank God I am alive today. On May 2, 2019, at Omerelu in Ikwerre, I was coming from Lagos and this happened after Ubima at 6.48am. All the kidnappers were in police uniform. When I saw them, I did not identify them as kidnappers because I thought they were policemen. Getting close to them, I brought out N100 to give them. What I heard from one of them was ‘shoot the driver’.

He stated that the gunmen seized his passengers, collected their ATM cards, got our PINs, went to the bank and withdrew money.

He stated, “From my account, they withdrew N580, 000 within the time I was in their captivity. I was released after 12 days. I thank God for the efforts of the then Rivers State Police Commissioner (Usman Belel). One of the policemen inside my car is based in Abuja and when the kidnappers began to ask for ransom, the policeman called Abuja and Abuja called the CP, who directed the IGP Monitoring Unit in Choba that came to our rescue. The IGP Monitoring Unit went to the kidnappers’ villages and scattered everything. The kidnappers then asked us to go. They told us that the police did not allow them to rest.”

On his part, an Assistant Manager with the Port Harcourt office of a popular transport company identified only as Michael, said the company had lost three of their drivers to kidnappers within the last two years. He said, “I don’t normally go with the drivers, but information from them indicated that they usually encounter kidnappers and armed robbers on the road. In May last year, they seized one of our buses, killed the driver and took the passengers into the bush.

“This happened between two police checkpoints and this has continued to baffle me till today. Some people, who saw how the incident happened, came back to inform the police, but they said they had no fuel. We have avoided the East-West Road and only take Elele to get to Warri. Kidnappers have killed three of our drivers, including Emma, a very hard-working driver murdered in May 2018. The security agencies should intensify the fight against kidnapping on our highways. Now, the drivers take longer routes to their destinations in order to avoid being attacked and kidnapped. Now, drivers spend four hours on the road on a journey that should take at least two hours.’’

An official of the Rivers State Transport Company, who preferred anonymity, said the company’s drivers deliberately avoided Omarelu Road, adding that Elele and Emohua had been completely avoided because of the viciousness of kidnappers and armed robbers along the roads. He said their drivers now plied alternative routes, which were longer.

In Osun State, drivers plying the Ibadan-Ife Road now tread with caution as some vicious elements were said to have found pastime in waylaying passengers and motorists at strategic points on the route. There have been several security initiatives designed by the security forces to check the situation.

From the Niger Delta region and the South-East zone where kidnapping for ransom allegedly began, the violent crime is said to have permeated all the zones in the country, no thanks to banditry, armed robbers, cultism, herdsmen infiltration and the Boko Haram insurgents.

In the South-South, comprising states such as Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Bayelsa, some of the most dreaded roads in the zone are the East-West Road linking the zone to other parts of the country and Emohua-Elele-Alimini in Rivers. Others in Rivers include Isiokpo-Elele area of Port Harcourt-Owerri Road; Omagwa-Ubima, Elele-Ndele-Rumuji-Emohua-Choba among others.

In Delta, the roads said to be giving travellers and motorists headaches are Agbor-Obiaruku-Abraka-Warri, Umutu-Urhonigbe, Edo-Ogwashi-Otulu-Atuma-Akwukwu Igbo, Ebu-Ukala-Onicha-Olona, Issele-Ukwu –Otulu, Issele-Uku–Onicha-Olona.

In Katsina, the roads considered as hotspots for kidnappers are Jubia-Gurbi-Kaura Namoda; Dutsinma-Kanka Sheme-Faskari; Charanchi-Kankia-Kusada; and Dutsinma-Funtua, among others.

In Kaduna State, roads such as Minna-Lambata-Dikko-Kaduna, Kaduna-Abuja, Birin-Gwari-Kaduna, Kaduna-Saminaka-Jos are said to be travellers’ and motorists’ nightmares.

In Niger, Zamfara and Sokoto states, highways such as Suleja-Lambara, Bida Road, Gusau-Mafami-Dansadau, Zurmi-Jibia-Katsina, Talata-Marafa-Tsafe are considered havens for kidnappers and other violent criminals.

In the South-East states, roads such as Enugu-Ugwogo-Nsukka, Nsukka-Adani-Onitsha, Enugu-Onitsha, Enugu-Port Harcourt; Ebonyi; Enugu-Abakaliki, Abakaliki-Afikpo, Amasiri-Okigwe and Amasiri-Okigwe, have their woes of tales from both travellers and motorists.

In Osun and Ekiti states, affected roads are Esa-Oke junction, Iwaraja-Efon-Alaaye, Ilesha-Oshogbo, Ilesha-Akure.

In Ondo, Akure-Ijare, Akure-Owo-Oba-Akoko, Ondo-Ore, Ondo-Akure, Akure-Benin are affected, while in Ogun State, Siun-Ogere, Obafemi-Owode, Abeokuta-Lagos, Ilaro-Owode-Idi Iroko, and Ijebu-Igbo-Oru-Awa have their own share of the nefarious activities.

Highways such as Ife-Ibadan, Ilorin-Ogbomoso, among others, are those affected in Oyo State, while in Lagos State, roads such as Lagos-Badagry, Lagos-Ibadan, Epe Expressway, old Lagos-Ibadan road linking Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State are said to be the most dreaded roads in the state.

Most of the highways are either riddled with potholes or repair works on them have been abandoned. This situation makes it easy for hoodlums to attack their victims.

The police authorities say they are not resting on their laurels in the fight against kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country. They noted that their continued battle against the menace had culminated in arrests of kidnappers and recovery of weapons of different kinds.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said that in last three months, the police had arrested over 2,464 kidnappers and recovered 1,341 arms. Also recovered during the period, according to Mba, are 10,860 rounds of ammunition, two rocket launchers and 240 vehicles used by the hoodlums.

The police spokesman said operatives had rescued 118 kidnap victims including a Syrian national in Akwa Ibom, four Chinese nationals and an employee of Channels Television. He also said the police rescued Chairman of Universal Basic Education and his daughter, three Lebanese nationals in Rivers State, an in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari and District Head of Daura, Katsina State, among others.

Mba said those arrested out of the 2,464 kidnap suspects apprehended included Mallam Abubakar, aka Spiritual Father, an international arms dealer, abductors of UBEC chairman and Senior Esther, a nursing mother with AK 47 rifle. He said recently, the police dismantled an international arms smuggling syndicate that brought weapons into Nigeria from North Africa.

He stated, “Sometimes, that syndicate passes through Burkina Faso, Ghana and Benin Republic into Nigeria. We arrested the kingpin of that gang in Shaki, Oyo State and we recovered from just one gang 6,000 rounds of Ak47 ammunition, 22 Ak47 rifles. This is what we are doing – dismantling those arms smuggling syndicates and mopping up illicit arms in circulation. We also take the fight to the kidnappers’ den. Of course, our strengthened intelligence and collaboration with members of the community are all yielding massive results.’’

The police spokesman said the force leadership on April 9, 2019, inaugurated Operation Puff Adder. He said since the launch of OPA, the police had been able to rejig their anti-kidnapping operations and retool their strategies. He expressed confidence that as of today, across the country, it was no longer business as usual.

Mba said, “We have been able to foil many kidnap attempts before kidnappers were able to execute their plots. A typical example was a plot by some kidnappers in the South-West who had links with other kidnappers in the creeks. It was through our intelligence platform and not only did we successfully arrest the lady with the weapons, we also rounded up their gang members — both the ones in Ondo and Ogun states.

“If that plot had succeeded, the person they were trying to kidnap in Ogun State is a high profile Nigerian that would have shaken the South-West. In many other places, we have equally done the same thing.’’

A sociologist, Dr Adisa Lateef, opined that Nigerians were currently living in fear and mutual suspicion because of the menace. Lateef, who is the Acting Head of Department, Sociology and Anthropology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, identified lack of youth employment, lucrative nature of the illicit business and other societal ills as responsible for the rising cases of kidnapping.

He said the situation had grown so bad that some persons planned their own kidnapping to make money. Lateef stated, “People are living in fear now. If somebody could plan to kidnap himself in the name of trying to make money, no matter how close anybody is, even among one’s relations, you can find one or two persons that may plan one’s kidnap to make money.

“But whether that is perpetrated by a known person or a total stranger, what it has created in the minds of the people now is that people live in fear and when that occurs, it will not even be well for any society because we need to be able to enjoy free movement to promote trading and other economic activities.”

He said his wife used to be on the road until 9 pm, noting that even before he advised her, she had seen the reason to exercise caution in the meantime. The lecturer advised relevant authorities to find ways of making people avoid falling victim to kidnappers. He also said one needed to be mindful of information provided to other people, noting that many people ran themselves into problems through careless sharing of information.

The don said, “With the social media now in vogue, many people carelessly advertise their whereabouts so much so that even things that should be kept within home or family secrets are exposed unnecessarily. When one is Unclad before the entire world, one can easily fall victim. Therefore, I advise that people should take information management seriously.’’

Besides, Chancellor of the International Society for Social Justice and Human Rights, Jackson Omenazu, stated that the situation had made Nigeria a hell on earth. He said the Federal Government should overhaul the country’s security architecture and make life uncomfortable for kidnappers, cultists and armed robbers.

Omenazu said, “The level of insecurity is high and this has made the country a hell on earth. The truth is that we have not got it right as far as the security of lives and property is concerned. Also, we need to see infrastructure, industries springing up everywhere because this is the only way we can create employment for our teeming unemployed youth.

“A country that has more than 60% of its youth belonging to the unemployed cadre is a combustible society. Today, people are afraid to buy sophisticated cars; they are afraid to build big houses and also wear designers’ clothes not to attract kidnappers. How can a country continue like this?

He, however, called on the judiciary to also fast-track the administration of justice on kidnap and armed robbery cases, adding that doing so would ensure maximum punishment for kidnappers and armed robbers.

SOURCE: https://punchng.com/chilling-experiences-of-motorists-travellers-on-kidnapper-prone-highways/
Politics / BREAKING NEWS! TUC Warns Of Imminent Strike by prof2007: 6:07pm On Jul 15
Newly elected President of the Trade Union Congress, Quadri Olaleye, on Sunday said the union would issue an ultimatum for an industrial action if the Federal Government continued to delay the implementation of new N30, 000 minimum wage.

In an exclusive interview with our correspondent, Olaleye said that TUC had begun mobilising workers ahead of an industrial action, accusing government of showing no serious commitment to the implementation of the minimum wage.

Representatives of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council on the technical committee set up to negotiate consequential adjustments arising from the new minimum wage, had disagreed with the government proposal of 9.5% salary increase for employees on Grade Levels 07 to 14 and 5% for those on Grade Levels 15 to 17.

The council said it would not shift position on its demand for 30% increase for officers on grade levels 7 to 14 and 25% increase for grade levels 15 to 17.

Olaleye said, “We have made presentation to the Federal Government on this issue but it seems the government is not ready to yield to the expectation of Nigerian workers. We are supporting the JNPSNC on this issue. Implementation of the new minimum wage of N30, 000 should have been done a long time ago since President Muhammadu Buhari signed it on April 18, 2019, but government is dragging the matter needlessly. With the way things are, it seems the government is not interested in its implementation.

“We are going to issue an ultimatum to the FG soon. We want the negotiation to resume before going ahead. However, if there is no solution to the problem of implementation in the next two weeks, we will issue the ultimatum. We have started mobilising our members already.”

He added, “The position of the NJNC to call on workers to go on strike is supported by the TUC. But we want to give the government an opportunity to do something about it before taking action over the non-implementation of the new minimum wage. We reject government proposal of 9.5% salary raise for employees on Grade Levels 07 to 14 and 5% for those on Grade Levels 15 to 17. We have come down from about 66% raise but we cannot agree on what government is pushing to us. Government should expect our action any time if nothing is done.”

Olaleye said that TUC would support the call for strike by organised labour after the stalemate in the negotiation between JNPSNC and government representatives.

SOURCE: https://punchng.com/minimum-wage-tuc-warns-of-imminent-strike/

Agriculture / This Startup Is Making Food Mostly Out Of Air And Electricity by prof2007: 8:59pm On Jul 14
Solar Foods says its protein powder is “completely” disconnected from agriculture. But its currently low production yield of 1 kg per day raises red flags. Solar Foods doesn't use agriculture feedstocks in its products, so it “can make food in space or in the desert or the Arctic.”

A Finnish tech startup has managed to produce food mainly out of electricity and air, and is now looking to enter the market by 2021. Solar Foods, based out of the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), is still in its pilot stages of production, currently producing one kilogram of protein-rich edible powder (“Solein”) per day.

According to CEO Pasi Vainikka, one kilogram of Solein can feed seven to ten people their full day’s worth of protein. Solar Foods hopes this will someday serve as a carbon neutral vegan alternative to meat and soy, both of which are land- and resource-intensive to produce. Vannika says Solein is “completely” disconnected from agriculture: The soil microbes used only require collection from natural land once. From there they are grown in the lab, and the inorganic nutrients they use are obtained from mineral deposits that don’t require the use of fertile land.

Other meat alternatives on or nearing the market, such as the plant-based Impossible Burger or lab-grown meat at Memphis Meats, aim to reduce the global burden of farming—estimated to take up nearly half of the planet’s land surface, and the source of approximately 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the US. These products still rely upon agricultural inputs, however, be it plants or cells from living animals, which consume grass.

“It’s not good enough to change the energy system actually, we also need to change how and what we eat,” Pasi Vainikka, CEO of Solar Foods, told me over the phone. “If you want to…reduce climate impact, you would need to disconnect from land use and this is what we can now do with this technology. We don’t use any agriculture feedstocks in our products, so we can make food in space or in the desert or the Arctic.”

Solar Foods is currently conducting a feasibility study for the European Space Agency, which approached the company in early 2018 about crafting technology to produce its protein-dense powder inside Mars-bound spacecrafts. Solar Foods is a part of the ESA’s Business Incubation Programme, which provides grant money and access to ESA staff and networks.

To produce the powder, Solar Foods first creates hydrogen through electrolysis (splitting water cells in a bioreactor using electricity). It then adds the hydrogen to carbon dioxide, as well as nutrients such as potassium, sodium, and phosphorus, and feeds this into microbes derived from soil. The entire process results in cells that Vainikka estimates are 50 percent protein, 25 percent carbohydrates, and 5 to 10 percent fat.

According to Vainikka, the powder could be consumed in three ways: as a protein supplement to existing foods, such as breads or drinks; as an ingredient in plant-based meat alternatives, such as veggie burgers; or as a sustainable source of amino acids needed to create lab-grown meat products. In terms of cost, Vainikka is looking at pricing the powder from 7 to 10 euros ($8-$11) per kilo, which he hopes will be competitive with other plant- and animal-based proteins already on the market.

Vainikka admits the team has a long way to go, in part due to scalability issues and safety regulations it must adhere to before being able to introduce a brand new food to the market.

Solar Foods’ currently low production yield raises red flags for food expert Peter Tyedmers, a professor in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. He sees the project as impossible to scale to a level that will compete with our current agricultural system, and its prices still too high to address global food insecurity.

“These products are never going to meet demands of the most impoverished,” Tyedmers said over the phone. “The people who need food are the ones who can least afford food, and this will never be the least expensive food. This is a technological marvel, perhaps, but it’s not a food system,” he said.

There’s also the question of demand: if edible powder made from air and electricity does reach the market, will consumers even want to eat it? Mainstream acceptance of meat and dairy alternatives such as the Impossible Burger has increased over the past few years, but newer and more technologically complex food products such as lab-grown meat still draw criticism for being generally unappealing, despite their potential as an eco-friendly alternative.

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, professor in the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie says innovation in the food space is difficult, because consumers are typically wary of new products until “a food trend becomes mainstream.”

“It’s very hard to make a go at it when margins are so low and you really have to rely on high volume and intensive distribution channels, which aren’t necessarily available early on,” he said over the phone.

But Charlebois notes that Solar Foods is the first startup he’s seen of its kind to even approach the market, and remains optimistic for the calorie-dense powder.

“2018 was a bit of a watershed year for plant-based dieting,” he said. “It’s certainly been normalized, and that can help any new company looking at the food market, as to whether or not they can actually sell a product at a premium that can serve the environment better.”

SOURCE: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43zdag/this-startup-is-making-food-mostly-out-of-air-and-electricity
Sports / Living Strategically: Some Lessons Chess Teaches You About Life by prof2007: 7:32pm On Jul 14
1. In chess, every move has a purpose. Life obviously cannot be lived with this much unceasing calculation, nor should we want to live that way, but there are times we must align our actions with a predetermined strategy, instead of bumbling through it.

2. Play for the advantage. If you already have it, maintain it. If you don’t have it, seize it.

3. Everyone’s playing. Sometimes it’s a friendly, often it is more serious. Problem is, not everyone knows they’re playing – even after they've made a move.

4. Seize the initiative. If you wait around for someone else to make a decision for you, they will… and you probably won’t like how it turns out.

5. Learn to spot patterns. There are often clearly defined lines of success that work well. Learn to see these when they repeat, and take advantage of them.

6. Don’t get stuck on the formula. A little bit of creativity and lateral thinking can often take you to new heights.

7. Ignore what your opponent is trying to do at your own peril. We often get so absorbed in our own games and machinations that we ignore what is going on around us. Be aware of threats and alert to opportunities.

8. Simplify!

9. If you only play patzers, you never really improve – take on a few tough challenges, and even if you lose, try to learn something new.

10. Cut your losses. Sometimes you are going to lose material. Try to minimise losses and move on.

11. Play the board, not the player. Don’t target your responses at people, target what they say and do. There is a difference!

12. Sometimes you get stuck in a position known in chess as zugzwang: where whichever move you make is a bad one. This is just the way it goes sometimes, in chess and in life.

13. There is nothing more satisfying than a discovered attack: Pretending to do one thing, while attacking somewhere else. Learn to play and live less obviously and on more levels. This makes you less predictable and more interesting.

14. Be prepared to sacrifice material for position. Sometimes even the greatest material sacrifice can result in a winning position later on.

15. If you spend all of your time chasing lowly pawns, you may be on the receiving end of an opponent who cares less about small victories and more about winning the war.

16. A threat is best met with a move that improves your own position. Don’t get trapped into mindlessly trading moves and material in anger. Sometimes the solution is more gentle and cerebral.

17. You don’t have to be a devious swindler to win… you just have to be better!

18. We all blunder from time to time. This does not mean we should give up and run away. Often when you’re sure there is no way out after a bad mistake, you will be given a lifeline.

19. When someone makes a move you cannot understand, don’t read more into it than you need to. Sometimes people just make silly moves – that’s all there is to it.

20. Have a Plan B. And a Plan C. If none of those work, you’re probably doomed.

21. Play for the middle. Don’t hold back too much, and don’t push through too early. Your opportunity will come.

22. How you start a game determines how you will finish it. Play wisely!

23. If an opening appears, seize it immediately.

24. Don’t get pinned down. Where something more cherished cannot be brought into play because it is stuck behind something trivial, make every effort to get it into the game – as soon as possible.

25. In the end game, attack the King by focussing your attention on his escape squares: When you are in the final stretch, and about to win, anticipate what could go wrong and plan accordingly.

26. Be flexible. It seldom goes the way you planned – adjust and continue.

27. If you are feeling boxed-in, free things up.

28. Where possible, trade inferior material and positions for better ones.

29. The little guys on your side matter. Look after them!

30. Accumulate small advantages.

31. There are no foregone conclusions in life or in chess.

32. Ignore meaningless threats. Anticipate and deal with dangerous ones swiftly.

33. Never rest on your laurels. Keep thinking, looking for new opportunities and trying to generate new ideas.

34. Don’t be overly impressed with lofty words or titles. The only thing worse than being overly diffident towards those who outrank you, is being dismissive of those inferior to you.

35. Keep calm and move slowly.

36. Replace wishful thinking with action.

37. If you lose, do so graciously and try to learn at least one important lesson.

38. Sometimes a draw is as good as a win. But a draw is always better than a loss!

39. Keep your options open and always have an escape route.

40. Surprise and impress people with unconventional moves, but not with dumb ones. Creativity always has a purpose – doing something wild and crazy just for the sake of it may be fun at the time, but ultimately has no value. Break the rules – but only if it serves a good purpose.

41. Appraise your position honestly. If it is bad, do something about it – if it is good, make it even better.

42. Don’t get swept up by distractions.

43. Narrow down your choices. And then decide. Take your time, but settle on one plan of action… and then do it!

44. Sometimes you have to sacrifice in order to achieve a break-through.

45. Always consider the whole board when deciding on a move: decisions made with too narrow a focus are often bad.

46. Connect your pieces cleverly. Collaboration and cooperation are the keys to success.

47. Look beyond the obvious.

48. Enjoy yourself!

49. Deep and meaningful is always better than superficially pretty.

50. If all else fails… fake it!

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SeanHCole

SOURCE: https://seanhamptoncole.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/living-strategically-50-lessons-chess-teaches-you-about-life/
Nairaland / General / 20 Intense Life Lessons Only The Game Of Chess Can Teach You by prof2007: 9:54pm On Jul 13
You can always, always spot a chess player from players of other sports. They are the ones who will be better prepared to deal with the world, more intelligent and will have more knowledge not just about the game, but also about most other things in general. Why? Because chess is more than just a game. It’s the best way to learn what life is all about, and these 20 statements have summed up quite a few life-lessons that chess can teach us.

Check through and decide if you agree?

1. Every chess player senses beauty when he succeeds in creating a situation which contradicts expectations, and successfully masters the situation.

2. In life (as in chess), forethought wins!

3. Chess first of all teaches you to be objective.

4. Art and chess are closely related; both are forms in which the self finds beauty and expression.

5. Always protect your king!

6. No one ever won a chess match by making only forward moves.

7. You have to learn the rules of the game, and then you have to play better than everyone else.

8. If you are not big enough to lose, you are not big enough to win!

9. All that matters on a chess board is a good move.

10. Attackers may sometimes regret bad moves, but it is much worse to forever regret an opportunity you allowed to pass you by.

11. Life is a game board and time is your opponent. If you procrastinate, you will lose the game. You must make a move, to be victorious.

12. Often, you have to lose hundreds of games before becoming a good player.

13. If a player believes in miracles, he can sometimes perform them!

14. You must never let your opponent see your pieces and figure out your strategy.

15. Win with grace, lose with dignity!

16. The game changes with every move you make.

17. Strategy without patience can be caustic; patience without strategy can be anaemic. Having both strategy and patience is a rare gift.

18. There are times a well-placed pawn is more powerful than a king!

19. We learn little from victory, much from defeat.

20. At the end of the game, the king and pawn go back in the same box!

SOURCE (abridged): https://www.storypick.com/chess-life-lessons/

Culture / The Most Successful Ethnic Group In The U.S. May Surprise You! by prof2007: 11:12am On Jul 13
Because you don’t know what it means to hustle … until you meet a Nigerian-American.

At an Onyejekwe family get-together, you can’t throw a stone without hitting someone with a master’s degree. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors — every family member is highly educated and professionally successful, and many have a lucrative side gig to boot. Parents and grandparents share stories of whose kid just won an academic honor, achieved an athletic title or performed in the school play. Aunts, uncles and cousins celebrate one another’s job promotions or the new nonprofit one of them just started. To the Ohio-based Onyejekwes, this level of achievement is normal. They’re Nigerian-American — it’s just what they do.

Today, 29% of Nigerian-Americans over the age of 25 hold a graduate degree, compared to 11% of the overall U.S. population, according to the Migrations Policy Institute. Among Nigerian-American professionals, 45% work in education services, the 2016 American Community Survey found, and many are professors at top universities. Nigerians are entering the medical field in the U.S. at an increased rate, leaving their home country to work in American hospitals, where they can earn more and work in better facilities. A growing number of Nigerian-Americans are becoming entrepreneurs and CEOs, building tech companies in the U.S. to help people back home.

It hasn’t been easy — the racist stereotypes are far from gone. Last year, President Donald Trump reportedly said in an Oval Office discussion that Nigerians would never go back to “their huts” once they saw America. But overt racism hasn’t stopped Nigerian-Americans from creating jobs, treating patients, teaching students and contributing to local communities in their new home, all while confidently emerging as one of the country’s most succesful immigrant communities, with a median household income of $62,351, compared to $57,617 nationally, as of 2015.

“I think Nigerian-Americans offer a unique, flashy style and flavor that people like,” says Chukwuemeka Onyejekwe, who goes by his rap name Mekka Don. He points to Nigerian cuisine like jollof rice that’s gaining popularity in the U.S. But more importantly, Mekka says, Nigerians bring a “connectivity and understanding of Africa” to the U.S. “Many [Americans] get their understanding of ’the motherland’ through our experiences and stories,” he adds.

The Nigerian-American journey is still relatively new compared with that of other major immigrant communities that grew in the U.S. in the 20th century. The Nigerian-American population stood at 376,000 in 2015, according to the Rockefeller Foundation–Aspen Institute. That was roughly the strength of the Indian-American community back in 1980, before it emerged as a leading light in fields ranging from economics to technology. But Nigerian-Americans are already beginning to make a dent in the national consciousness. In the case of forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, he’s helping fix hits to the brain.

The 49-year-old Omalu was the first to discover and publish on chronic traumatic encephalopathy in American football players (Will Smith played him in the 2015 film Concussion). ImeIme A. Umana, the first Black woman elected president of the Harvard Law Review last year, is Nigerian-American. In 2016, Nigerian-born Pearlena Igbokwe became president of Universal Television, making her the first woman of African descent to head a major U.S. TV studio. And the community has expanded rapidly, up from just 25,000 people in 1980.

Traditionally, education has been at the heart of the community’s success. But success isn’t so easily defined within the culture anymore. Nigerian-Americans are beginning to make a mark in sports, entertainment and the culinary arts too — like Nigerian chef Tunde Wey in New Orleans, who recently made headlines for using food to highlight racial wealth inequality in America.

It was education that brought an early wave of Nigerians to the U.S. in the 1970s. After the war against Biafra separatists in the ’60s, the Nigerian government sponsored scholarships for students to pursue higher education abroad. English-speaking Nigerian students excelled at universities in the U.S. and U.K., often finding opportunities to continue their education or begin their professional career in their host country. That emphasis on education has since filtered through to their children’s generation.

Dr. Jacqueline Nwando Olayiwola was born in Columbus, Ohio, to such Nigerian immigrant parents. Her mother is a retired engineer, now a professor at Walden University; her father is a retired professor, now a strategist at a consulting firm focused on governance in Africa. “Education was always a major priority for my parents because it was their ticket out of Nigeria,” Olayiwola says. Her parents used their network of academics to get Olayiwola thinking about a career in medicine from a young age — by 11, she was going to summits for minorities interested in health care. Olayiwola was constantly busy as a kid doing homework and sports and participating in National Honor Society and biomedical research programs, but it was the norm, she says; her Nigerian roots meant it was expected of her.

Today, Olayiwola is a family physician, the chief clinical transformation officer of RubiconMD, a leading health tech company, associate clinical professor at University of California, San Francisco, instructor in family medicine at Columbia University, and an author. Her new book, Papaya Head, detailing her experience as a first-generation Nigerian-American, will be published later this year. Olayiwola’s siblings are equally successful – her older brother, Okey Onyejekwe, is also a physician, her younger brother, Mekka Don, is a lawyer turned rapper, and her sister, Sylvia Ify Onyejekwe, Esq, is the managing partner of her own New Jersey law firm. But Olayiwola feels she needs to do more. She doesn’t want America’s gain to be Nigeria’s permanent loss.

Olayiwola and her brother, Okey, stay active in the Nigerian-American community. In 1998, they co-founded the Student Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas, which organizes at least two medical mission trips to Nigeria each year. Between 2000 and 2004, the siblings often flew the nearly 8,000 miles to Nigeria to perform screenings for preventable diseases. They took blood pressure, advised patients on diabetes and obesity prevention, and provided prenatal counseling in rural areas.

“I feel a tremendous sense of wanting to go back [to Nigeria] and help,” says Olayiwola.

It’s a sentiment shared by many in the Nigerian-American community. But it’s easier said than done for some of America’s most qualified professionals to leave world-class facilities and a comfortable life to return permanently to a nation that, while Africa’s largest economy, remains mired in political instability and corruption.

In the 1970s and ’80s, some foreign-educated Nigerian graduates returned home, but found political and economic instability in a postwar country. In 1966, the country’s military overthrew the regime of independent Nigeria’s first prime minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. It was the first of a series of military coups — again, later, in 1966, then in 1975, 1976, 1983, 1985 and 1993 — that were to deny the country even a semblance of democracy until 1999.

“My parents were expected to study in the U.S. or U.K. and then go back to Nigeria,” says Dr. Nnenna Kalu Makanjuola, who grew up in Nigeria and now lives in Atlanta. Her parents did return, but with few jobs available in the economic decline of the 1980s, many Nigerians did not. Within a few years of their return, Makanjuola’s parents too decided it was best to build their lives elsewhere.

Makanjuola, who has a pharmacy degree, works in public health and is the founder and editor in chief of Radiant Health Magazine, came to the U.S. when her father won a Diversity Immigrant Visa in 1995 — a program Trump wants to dismantle. Makanjuola’s father moved the family to Texas so his children could have access to better universities. Makanjuola intended to one day pursue her career in Nigeria as her parents had, but it’s too hard to leave the U.S., she says: “Many Nigerians intend to go back, but it’s impractical because there’s more opportunity here.”

As an undergraduate student in Nigeria, Jacob Olupona, now a professor of African religious traditions at Harvard Divinity School, was a well-known activist in his community. He considered a career in politics, but a mentor changed his mind. The mentor told Olupona: “Don’t go into politics because you’re too honest and don’t join the military because you’re too smart.” So Olupona headed to Boston University instead, to study the history of religions — a subject he had always found fascinating as the son of a priest. Like Olayiwola, the importance of education was instilled in him from a young age but so too was the importance of spreading knowledge. “When you educate one person, you educate the whole community,” Olupona says. That belief is what translated into his career as a teacher.

Olupona stresses that Nigerians have also achieved a lot in their country of origin. Moving to the U.S. isn’t the only route to success, he says. Still, he believes the many academic opportunities in the U.S. have benefited Nigerians. “There’s something about America and education that we need to celebrate,” he says.

Marry those American opportunities with an upbringing that emphasizes education, a drive to serve the U.S. while not forgetting their roots, and a growing penchant for success, and you have a unique cocktail that is the Nigerian-American community today. Anyone from the Nigerian diaspora will tell you their parents gave them three career choices: doctor, lawyer or engineer. For a younger generation of Nigerian-Americans, that’s still true, but many are adding a second career, or even a third, to that trajectory.

Anie Akpe works full time as vice president of mortgages at Municipal Credit Union in New York City, but she’s also the founder of Innov8tiv magazine, African Women in Technology (an education and mentorship program) and an app called NetWorq that connects professionals. Raised in the southern port city of Calabar, she had the Nigerian hustle baked into her upbringing. “There was no such thing as ‘can’t’ in our household,” she says. Akpe’s banking career fulfilled her parent’s expectations, but she wanted to do more. Four and a half years ago, she launched Innov8tiv to highlight success stories back home in Nigeria and throughout the African continent. Through her magazine and through African Women in Technology, which offers networking events, mentorship opportunities and internships, Akpe is helping propel women into careers like hers. “Africa is male-dominated in most sectors,” she says. “If I can show young women there are ways to do things within our culture that allow them to grow, then I’ve been successful.”

Like Akpe, rapper Mekka Don took a traditional career route at first. He got a law degree from New York University and worked at a top-10 law firm, but he had always wanted to pursue music. At 25, Mekka, who is the younger brother of Jacqueline Olayiwola, and Sylvia and Okey Onyejekwe, decided to take the plunge.

Fellow attorneys ridiculed him, asking incredulously: “Who leaves a law career to become a rapper?” But his family was understanding — part of a shift in attitudes that Mekka says he increasingly sees in his parents’ generation of Nigerian-Americans. “My parents see how lucrative music can be,” he says, adding, “They also get excited when they see me on TV.”

The lawyer turned rapper has been featured on MTV and VH1, has a licensing agreement with ESPN to play his music during college football broadcasts and just released a new single, “Nip and Tuck.” He still has that law degree to fall back on and it comes in handy in his current career too. “I never need anyone to read contracts for me, so I save a ton on lawyer fees,” Mekka says.

The community’s drive to succeed sounds exhausting at times, particularly if you never feel you’ve reached the finish line. Omalu, the forensic pathologist, was recently in the news again after his independent autopsy of Sacramento youth Stephon Clark showed that the 22-year-old was repeatedly shot in the back by police officers, which conflicted with the Sacramento Police report.

But if you ask Omalu about his success, he’s quick to correct. “I’m not successful,” Omalu says, adding that he won’t consider himself so until he can “wake up one day, do absolutely nothing and there will be no consequences.” Part of Omalu’s humility is faith-based: “I was given a talent to serve,” he says. Omalu has eight degrees, has made life-changing medical discoveries and has been portrayed by a famous actor on screen, but he doesn’t revel in his accomplishments.

And what about Nigerians who come to the U.S. and don’t succeed? Wey, the activist chef, says there’s a lot of pressure to fit a certain mold when you’re Nigerian. Choosing the right career is only one part of that. “You have to be heterosexual, you have to have children, you have to have all of those degrees,” he says of the cultural expectations he was raised with. “It limits the possibilities of what Nigerians can be.”

While others agree it can be stressful at times, they say the high career bar isn’t a burden to them. “I don’t know anything else,” says Olayiwola about being raised to value education and success. Akpe feels the same. “You’re not thinking it’s hard, it’s just something you do,” she says.

Now that doctor, lawyer and engineer are no longer the only acceptable career options within the community, the path to professional achievement is rife with more possibilities than ever before. Sports, entertainment, music, the culinary arts — there are few fields Nigerian-Americans aren’t already influencing. And the negative stereotypes? Hold onto them at your own peril.

SOURCE (abridged/sectioned): https://www.ozy.com/fast-forward/the-most-successful-ethnic-group-in-the-us-may-surprise-you/86885
Crime / 10 Nigerians Escape From India Jail by prof2007: 11:42pm On Jul 12
10 yet-to-be identified Nigerians detained in a prison in Noida, Uttar Pradesh in India have escaped from jail. Reports, according to India’s Business Standard, said the Nigerians who were detained by Gautam Buddh Nagar police broke jail on Thursday 11th July 2019. However, some of them have been recaptured.

Additional Director General of Police of Meerut zone, said “Some inmates escaped due to negligence of guard and some of them were later caught.Action being taken against staff whoever is responsible for it.”

The Uttar Pradesh police on Wednesday detained as many as 60 foreigners who were reportedly living in India without valid travel documents or suspected to be involved in criminal activities.

They were arrested in the course of “Operation Clean 10”, meant to catch foreign nationals living in the national capital region.

SOURCE: https://theworldnews.net/ng-news/just-in-10-nigerians-escape-from-india-jail
Politics / Yahaya Bello Spends 3-year Salary On Purchase Of APC Gov Form by prof2007: 12:51am On Jul 11
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has spent the sum of N22.5m to purchase nomination and expression of interest forms of the All Progressives Congress ahead of the governorship primary which holds August 29, 2019. Investigations by The PUNCH showed that the sum is almost equivalent to the three-year salary and allowances of a governor which is N23.3m.

According to the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, a governor’s basic salary is N185, 308.75 while he is entitled to a hardship allowance of N92, 654.37 and a consistency allowance of N370, 617.50 bringing the total monthly package to N648, 580.62 or N7.7m a year. The total salary and allowances earned by a governor in three years is N23.3m.

Incidentally, Kogi State is reported to be the most affected in the country as regards unpaid salaries and pensions. The National Union of Local Government Employees had also named Kogi as the biggest defaulter of unpaid salaries and pensions while the Nigeria Labour Congress claims the state owes between eight to 38 months of unpaid salaries and pensions, a claim the state government has denied.

The high cost of nomination and expression of interest forms by the two main parties in the country, the – APC and the Peoples Democratic Party – has been a source of controversy in recent time. The APC had pegged the price of its Presidential forms at N45m last year. President Muhammadu Buhari, who lamented the high cost of the forms, claimed that a group, Nigeria Consolidation Ambassadors Network, bought them for him. The PDP’s Presidential forms, however, were much lower than those of the APC.

APC governors who bought the forms at N22.5m last year include: Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State; his Katsina State counterpart, Bello Masari; Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; and Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.

Others include: Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State; his Niger State counterpart, San Bello; Jigawa State Governor, Mohammed Badaru; and Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State and Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State who both failed to get re-elected

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), had lamented the high cost of forms, insisting that it was immoral and illegal. Falana said political parties should try to generate funds by ensuring that all members paid monthly dues.

He added, “It is illegal and prohibitive to collect nomination forms. When you do that, you are excluding people from participating in the democratic process. In 2003, INEC attempted to collect money for nomination forms. The late Chief Gani Fawehinmi led us to court and the court held that it was illegal and unconstitutional to collect nomination forms, after we had dragged not former than seven to eight state governments to court over money for nomination forms for LG elections.

“The TMG may wish to put these cases together for people to know their rights. By the way, what is a nomination form? A sheet of paper! What is embarrassing for some of us is that President Muhammadu Buhari complained that he was asked to pay N27m in 2015 for his own nomination form and had to take a loan to raise the money. Now that Buhari is the President of Nigeria and leader of the ruling party (APC), what has happened? I think TMG will also want to take this up, especially the legality of nomination forms so that you can open the democratic space for people to contest and participate in the electoral process.”

SOURCE: https://punchng.com/yahaya-bello-spends-three-year-salary-on-purchase-of-apc-gov-form/
Agriculture / Peak Milk Shows RUGA Isn’t Needed In Southern And Western Nigeria by prof2007: 10:31am On Jul 10
Peak Milk’s latest business move in Niger State has reopened discussion regarding the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) settlements for Fulani Herdsmen which was proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Acquisition of hectares of land by the dairy company in the Northern State renewed the debate that there’s enough room for Fulani Herdsmen to rear their cattle in the Northern region rather than seeking portion of hectares in the Southern and Western States.

The Federal Government had proposed the RUGA scheme as a solution to the constant clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the South-East due to the destruction of farmlands and killing of cows. However, the move was widely rejected in regions outside the North.

The cattle rearers were informed to purchase land and operate as a business entity in the form of ‘ranch’ rather than being awarded land acquired by the Federal Government. This renewed the debate as to the economic value the resettlement will add to Nigeria’s economy.

While the RUGA scheme has been suspended by the President Buhari led-administration, the dust, however, hasn’t settled. The planned acquisition of 1,000-hectares of land by the subsidiary of Friesland Campina revived the discuss, with some people suggesting that Peak Milk has shown how the Fulani herdsmen should operate. The development also suggests that there’s unused land of about 45,000 hectares for the RUGA scheme in Niger State alone.

Peak Milk has approached the govt of Niger state to invest in a 1,000-hectare reserve for milking. Niger state is twice the size of the entire South-East and has 45,000 hectares for RUGA. Animal farmers will be contracted to supply cow milk to Peak's Abuja factory for processing. pic.twitter.com/NDBQDI7Ijb — ᴏᴍᴀsᴏʀᴏ ᴀʟɪ ᴏᴠɪᴇ™☤ (@ovieali) July 7, 2019

Just want people to understand that there's no need to move RUGA to the South East when Niger has all the land. Nigeria should learn to preserve the beef after slaughter,then move it by train to other regions with a little add-on price. — ᴏᴍᴀsᴏʀᴏ ᴀʟɪ ᴏᴠɪᴇ™☤ (@ovieali) July 7, 2019

Though the tweet generated counter-argument among his followers, it was agreed that the land mass in the North is enough to serve the Fulani Herdsmen.

I agree, served in Minna, Niger state is like a country of its own small trip from Minna to Bida was like a journey of a million miles. So much unused land mass — UncleRume (@RumeKhan) July 8, 2019

The initiative is laudable. Just as you said, SE has no land mass for RUGA, Sambisa forest alone is bigger than 3 States of the SE. Do cow rearing where the lands exist and sell to us just like onions, tomatoes, carrots, beans etc. — Greatful to God (@OzoNnamdi) July 7, 2019

The northern part of Nigeria has the potential to supply the whole world with Cow meat, milk, hides & skin etc. If things are done properly the nation would soon be depending on the north for a lot of agricultural products. — seun kazim (@dr_ojigwe007) July 7, 2019

I think people need to be properly educated about what RUGA is all about…majority were misinformed by the opposition playing politics — Kolawole Ayinla (@Kola230) July 7, 2019

They should move it to Niger. Atleast we will be known for something � — Marshmellow�� (@Rookayerh) July 7, 2019

I choose to keep quiet over this. Peak milk is already investing in Niger state. Is this not one of the positives of RUGA? Well what do I know? If I talk now they will say I am Pro-Buhari. I am pro-development And anti-backward ness — Uyiharry (@Uyiharry3) July 8, 2019

good..keep RUGA in the North. The South will also focus on our strength. This is better. let each region develop as it sees fit. Don't force anything on the other region. — Byolar (@Panthera38) July 8, 2019

Good idea, only if the Govt would allow private investors to buy into the RUGA stuffs then citizens confidence can be guaranteed in the Process… But when it's Govt, so many insinuation, interest and perception will come to the fore — Nwachukwu emeka mych (@Emekamych) July 8, 2019

SOURCE: https://nairametrics.com/2019/07/08/peak-milk-shows-ruga-isnt-needed-in-southern-and-western-nigeria/

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Crime / Alabama Woman Mistakenly Shot Husband In Road-rage Attack by prof2007: 10:17am On Jul 10
An Alabama woman mistakenly shot her husband in the head while aiming for someone else in a road-rage attack, police said.

Erica Cole got into the road-rage altercation on Highway 69 in Dodge City at about 6:45 on Saturday, according to several local reports. The incident continued to a nearby house, where Cole opened fire and mistakenly hit her husband, Nicholas Cole, authorities said.

He’s recovering at a nearby hospital in stable condition. Erica Cole was arrested and hit with attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment charges, police said.

Police are investigating the shooting.

SOURCE: https://nypost.com/2019/07/08/alabama-woman-mistakenly-shot-husband-in-road-rage-attack/

Crime / Police Arrest Suspected Abductor Of OAU Lecturer by prof2007: 10:01am On Jul 10
The Osun State Police Command, on Tuesday 9th July 2019, said one of the suspected abductors of Prof. Olayinka Adegbehingbe, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, had been arrested.

Adegbehingbe, who was returning to Ile-Ife from Lagos on Sunday, May 5, 2019, was abducted by suspected Fulani herdsmen on the Ife-Ibadan Expressway and was released a day later after the payment of N5.45m ransom.

Parading the suspect, Usman Ladan, from Sokoto State, at the command’s headquarters in Osogbo, the state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Ige, said Adegbehingbe actually identified the man as one of those who abducted him. Ige said another of the alleged abductors was arrested while wandering aimlessly in Ikire, while two other suspects were arrested in the Iwo area for other crimes.

The suspects are Samaila Gede from Katsina State; Kemu Rejuli from Niger Republic; and Jubril Mohammed from Katsina State, who were said to have been apprehended with assorted charms.

SOURCE: https://www.ladunliadinews.com/2019/07/police-arrest-suspected-abductor-of-oau.html

Business / Meet 2 Men That Got $9bn Court Judgment Against Nigeria by prof2007: 8:12am On Jul 10
On February 15, 2015, members of the Irish music scene gathered in Dublin to pay their last respects to Michael Quinn, a long-time music impresario. Quinn was a well-known and colourful character. He partied and hob-knobbed with the who’s who in music, from the American band ‘The Supremes’ to the Irish folk band ‘The Dubliners’, until his death. Yet, it wasn’t the music stars who really attracted attention at the funeral; it was the large number of Nigerians in attendance, along with a Nigerian TV crew, that turned the heads of those gathered to say their farewells to Quinn.

Nigeria has, of course, seen its fair share of larger-than-life characters, but Michael Quinn deserves an honourable mention on any list. His rock-n-roll heritage led to a career in business, commodities, project management, and involvement in some of Nigeria’s most ambitious – and controversial – infrastructure deals of the past 30 years.

Quinn may be best known in Nigeria for being the co-founder of P&ID, involved in a gas flaring project that collapsed following the Nigerian government’s failure to uphold the terms of the agreement. This has led to Nigeria’s most difficult overseas investor challenge in its history: namely, the world’s largest arbitration award of over $9.5 billion.

What’s not really understood by most Nigerians is the full story on Michael Quinn – and his business partner, Brendan Cahill – and their business adventures here in Nigeria. BWN set out to investigate their business exploits, spanning Nigeria, Ireland, the British Virgin Islands, Cyprus and the United Kingdom, among others.

BWN has established that Quinn and Cahill ran an international consulting company called Industrial Consultants (ICIL). They got their first real start in Nigeria having won a contract from NNPC to establish Africa’s first-ever gas pressure vessel manufacturing facility – including installation at nine sites across Nigeria – known as the “Butanisation Project.”

In the early 1990’s, NNPC wanted to capture the Butane gas produced throughout the country at the oil refineries. Their plan was to install 1,000 tonne high pressure vessels at 9 sites across Nigeria with a total of 48 individual vessels to store this Butane.

At the time, the NNPC envisaged that international vessel manufacturers in the West (Europe, US) would tender for and export completed vessels into Nigeria. However, Quinn and Cahill had other ideas. They wanted to build the vessels in Nigeria. But they faced steep challenges in doing so, including the challenge of identifying qualified workers (welders and engineers) with the necessary skills.

To overcome this challenge, they pursued a technology transfer partnership with Babcock Robey, a long-established UK company, to consider setting up a factory, bringing in world-class welders and manufacturing the vessels in Nigeria whilst training up an entire cadre of Nigerian welders and engineers. This was not ordinary welding – an explosion at such a vessel would be devastating.

The technology transfer arrangement with Babcock Robey agreed that after completion of the project the factory and equipment would remain operative in Nigeria. As a direct result of that technology transfer, there are now a number of indigenous manufacturers in Nigeria, not only of pressure vessels, but of many other associated products used across the entire oil and gas industry. This industry as a whole is now worth billions of dollars to the Nigerian economy.

This technology transfer strategy would later become a signature strategy of the Quinn and Cahill approach to doing business in Nigeria.

Not all of Cahill and Quinn’s projects were as commercially successful as the Butanization project, though. An entrepreneurial project to support HIV/AIDS testing in Nigeria collapsed in the early 2000s, after disagreements between the various commercial partners – including Quinn and Cahill – and the Nigerian government. Why did the project collapse, and what was the involvement of Quinn and Cahill?

In the late 90s and early 2000s, sub-Sahara African governments were facing a staggering rise in the numbers of citizens suffering from HIV/AIDS. The lack of basic healthcare infrastructure, access to medicines, testing stigma and limited financial resources only made the plight worse.

In 2006, the Nigerian Health Ministry agreed to support a $15 million partnership with a local Nigerian company, Allied Consultants International (ACI) working with Trinity Biotech of Ireland to supply and create a facility that would locally-manufacture HIV testing kits. The Nigerian government would be a Joint Venture (JV) partner. Locally the company was known as Trinitron.

The initiative got off to a rough start due to the government’s failure to deliver the necessary funds and resources needed to start, and so ACI sought outside assistance. They went to Michael Quinn and Brendan Cahill and asked for their help. (BWN has established that Quinn and Cahill were not involved at the start of the project – they were simply called in to help when things began to go wrong). Quinn and Cahill arranged for new financing, and brought in new management. In return, Quinn and Cahill through ICIL became a shareholder in ACI. The new arrangement worked. Test kits were delivered from Ireland – over 4 million of them. And in May 2008 the manufacturing facility at Sheda was completed, and the first kits were rolled out for government licensing approval.

Notwithstanding this, the Nigerian government failed to purchase the test kits. This led in-part to the collapse of the project and the ultimate closure of the facility in Sheda, by the government.

BWN tracked down Gerry Nash, the project manager of the Sheda facility brought in by Quinn and Cahill, to understand why some in Nigeria claim this project was a sham or a fraud: He said: “The Trinitron project was an extraordinary success and supported Nigerians access to essential tests to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. We delivered over 4 million test kits that were vital to stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. The Sheda facility was in full operation and producing locally made kits. There will be those in the Western media who will say this project was a failure; however, that’s ridiculous as the only failure was the Nigerian government’s inability to continue funding the project.”

Quinn and Cahill also had a hand in expanding the infrastructure of the ports of Lagos and Calabar. It resulted in them gaining a better understanding of the infrastructure and needs of cities like Lagos and Calabar. Their work in both communities saw the construction of improved industrial facilities that allowed for the increased import and export of goods and services.

Quinn and Cahill also found a niche in helping repair and rebuild ageing Nigerian military equipment. They worked on several such contracts since 2000.

In 2001, through their company Marshpearl, Quinn and Cahill won a contract to repair and upgrade 36 Scorpion tanks. Overall, the project was a resounding success, and delivered the tanks upgraded as required. Such military hardware upgrades were to be needed in the coming years, in particular in the fight against Boko Haram.

However, not all contracts with the Nigerian military were as successful as the Scorpion tank project. In 2010, Industrial Consultants partnered with a company called North Wales Military Aviation Services (NWMAS) and won a $5m contract to repair the ejector seats in six Alpha jets for the Nigerian Air Force, specifically for an Air Force unit called Aeronautical Engineering & Technical Services (AETS).

NWMAS had completed the first milestone of the project when the Nigerian AETS unit terminated its agreement with NWMAS and refused to pay for work that had been previously completed. Again, because the contract was well-structured and relied on milestones for payments, it should have been straightforward.

The two sides could not agree, though. This dispute ended up before a Nigerian arbitration panel, which awarded Quinn and Cahill $2.3 million because of the Nigerian decision to end the contract early and not pay for work completed.

Quinn and Cahill didn’t just work for the government, but also for the private sector where they worked with some of the big names in the international oil industry.

For instance, their operation was involved in numerous feasibility studies in relation to high value projects (especially complex cable and fibre optics networks) subsequently undertaken by large private companies such as Shell – the Cawthorne Channel Gas Gathering Project and the Forcados Gas Gathering Project, to name but two. In relation to all of these studies – valued in aggregate in the hundreds of millions of dollars – the recommendations made by Quinn and Cahill were taken up and the specialist facilities proposed were successfully constructed.

Investigation also revealed a pattern by Quinn and Cahill to use offshore tax havens like the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Cyprus to establish their businesses that operated in Nigeria. We wanted to look into why the two men used this tactic repeatedly and if it has any relevance for the current dispute with P&ID, which is also based in the British Virgin Islands.

According to experts, businesses use these tax havens because they help to lower tax bills, they offer sound legal structures for businesses, and they allow the identities of the ownership to remain confidential. These are all general reasons why BVI companies are popular with international businesspeople. Some claim these mirrored entities lead to confusion and are meant to intentionally mislead, especially during legal and arbitration disputes.

In the legal dispute on NWMAS, rumours abound that NWMAS Nigeria Ltd was established without NWMAS UK’s knowledge and the subsequent arbitration was not made aware to the UK entity. We looked into this claim, because it is a serious allegation.

According to discussions with contacts who know details of the NWMAS case, these allegations are false, and in fact, the NWMAS UK was named as Claimant in the dispute.

Why does this all matter – Irish entrepreneurs making deals in everything from medicine kits, to tanks, to ports? It matters because Nigeria’s government currently owes $9.5 billion in judgment debt to P&ID, which is the company founded by Quinn and Cahill.

Some senior officials of the Nigerian government have claimed that P&ID is a “fake” company. It is clear from BWN investigation that similar arguments were levelled against other Quinn and Cahill adventures, such as NWMAS, in the past, and were subsequently found to be untrue.

Our investigation around Quinn and Cahill has shown these two men as having a long-track record here in Nigeria. Yes, they’ve set up multiple tax haven companies. Yes, they’ve had their fair share of disputes and arbitration awards against Nigeria. Yes, they have had some projects succeed and others fail. They are entrepreneurs and risk-takers, that is clear. Nigeria is a tough place to do business, and it needs such people to invest and show good faith. Without such investors, Nigeria would be in trouble, because investors who are heavily risk-averse do not want to come here. What the country needs is genuine entrepreneurs.

There is clearly some criticism about Quinn & Cahill that stands up: the projects that did not succeed could have been better handled. But to claim that these were “scams” or “frauds” is obviously untrue: there are real buildings, and machines, and facilities that show the contracts were real, and the work done was real. There is literally concrete evidence of this.

So, efforts by some people to characterise P&ID and its founders, Quinn and Cahill, as frauds, clearly fall short, unless those making such claims can produce real evidence. In any case, attacking previous projects that have served their purpose does not have any relevance to the current P&ID dispute.

The fact of the matter remains that until recently, no one had alleged fraud or misdeeds in the P&ID case. To date, not once during any of the legal proceedings either in the UK or US – where they are active currently – or even during the Nigerian legal proceedings, were these issues or claims raised by the Nigerian government. This shows that some sections of the media are simply falling for the spin; the government itself does not even believe the rumours sufficiently to raise them in court.

The most important single fact on the P&ID case is that, by failing to follow-through on the P&ID agreement, the expert Tribunal found that the Nigerian government was at fault and is now faced with the grim consequences of potentially paying for one of the largest arbitration awards in history – currently standing at over $9 billion!

And there is no evidence yet that the government is ready to enter into negotiations to find an amicable solution to the issue.

SOURCE (abridged): https://businesspost.ng/2019/07/09/meet-two-men-that-got-9bn-court-judgment-against-nigeria/amp/
Business / French Start-up Kwik Eyes Last-mile Delivery In Nigerian Urban Areas by prof2007: 1:08am On Jul 09
The Kwik app comes with an integrated geolocation system and offers an efficient transportation service for small packages (up to 25kg) or documents. Launched on 26th June 2019 on both Apple Appstore and Google Play by the French start-up Africa Delivery Technologies, the Kwik app aspires to quickly become the Number #1 of last-mile delivery services in Nigeria.

According to Romain POIROT-LELLIG Founder & CEO of Africa Delivery Technologies (ADT), developer of the Kwik app “Kwik aims to become the first platform for last-mile delivery in urban areas in Nigeria before extending its scope to neighbouring countries. We’re targeting 100,000 deliveries per day in three cities before 2021”,

Kwik connects independent delivery partners, either owners and/or drivers of a vehicle, with customers who need reliable, affordable and flexible delivery solutions. The Kwik app comes with an integrated geolocation system and offers an efficient transportation service for small packages (up to 25kg) or documents, following the same model as Go-Jek, Uber or Taxify.

Kwik’s value proposition is simple and straightforward: to ensure the fast, reliable and efficient delivery of a package or envelope in Lagos, Nigeria’s business capital. Currently, Kwik’s competitors offer a service that takes 12 hours and costs between 2,000 and 3,000 nairas (4-8 euros) per delivery from Lagos to Lagos. Kwik promises to offer a service of higher added value within 2 hours and for a third of the price, with an integrated geolocation and proof of delivery system that offers the highest degree of security available on the market.

The service offered by the company is available through the Kwik app or via a web browser. The couriers are geo-located in real-time. The payment can either take place beforehand by credit card via the Nigerian fintech Paga’s system (12 million users) or in cash.

Kwik focuses particularly on B2B clients and allows them to create tour deliveries on the fly, set up recurring delivers; manage users, and so on. Additional insurance services are currently under development.

SOURCE: https://businessday.ng/technology/article/french-start-up-kwik-eyes-last-mile-delivery-in-nigerian-urban-areas/
Health / NAFDAC Indicts National Eye Centre Over Injection That Made 10 Patients Blind by prof2007: 1:01am On Jul 09
Recently, ten (10) patients at the National Eye Centre, Kaduna lost their eye sight following administration of Avastin 100mg injection, an injection actually meant for cancer treatment. This decision has now been found wanting by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The said Avastin injection according to NAFDAC, was registered in Nigeria for metastatic colorectal cancer, metastatic breast cancer, advanced metastatic or recurrent non-small cell lung cancer, advanced and/ or metastatic renal cell cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer.

“Therefore, the use of Avastin injection at the National Eye Center was an off-label use,” said NAFDAC in a statement sent to BusinessDay, “that is, it is not indicated on the label by the manufacturer or approved for treatment of eye ailments by NAFDAC.”

The statement further noted that Avastin 100mg injection manufactured by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Kaiseraugst 4303 Switzerland is registered by NAFDAC with NAFDAC Registration Number A6-0123. Avastin 400mg injection manufactured by F. Hoffman-La Roche, Mannheim, Germany is also registered with NAFDAC Registration Number A6-0101. However, the product, as evidenced by the usage in Kaduna, appears to be wrongfully administered on patients, for purposes other than what it is labelled for.

The NAFDAC statement follows an investigation after a report of the incident was made, and circulated in the media. According to NAFDAC, a team was constituted to investigate the situation, and members of the team met with the Management of the National Eye Centre, Kaduna. One packet of Avastin injection in stock at the hospital was taken for laboratory analysis to ascertain the quality of the product, and the report of analysis revealed that the Avastin injection conforms to quality specifications.

The Avastin 100mg injection was administered on the ten (10) patients at National Eye Centre, Kaduna, for treatment of severe retina or macular pathologies, according to NAFDAC’s investigation. However, all of ten known patients who received this injection reportedly became totally blind the same day they received injections.

NAFDAC reiterated that Health care providers are implored to ensure that Avastin injection is used as indicated by the company and as registered by the Agency unless there is a future scientific review of the indication for the product.

SOURCE: https://businessday.ng/health/article/nafdac-indicts-national-eye-centre-over-wrongful-injection-that-cost-10-patients-their-eyesight/
Investment / Airtel Africa To List 3.758bn Shares On NSE Tuesday 9th July by prof2007: 10:01am On Jul 08
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 has now been fixed as the new date for the listing of about 3.758 billion ordinary shares of Airtel Africa Plc on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at a unit price of N363.

The exercise was earlier scheduled for Friday, July 5, 2019, but was postponed at the last minute as a result of the company’s inability to meet pre-listing requirements, including getting the authorization of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

However, it seems the third largest telecommunications firm in Nigeria behind MTN Nigeria and Globacom has obtained the necessary things needed for the listing. A statement issued by the NSE on Sunday said the exercise will now take place tomorrow and the company would be expected to ‘paint the market red.’

“The Exchange is aware of various media reports stating that the postponed Airtel Africa listing on NSE is scheduled for Monday, July 8. Please be informed that the official date for the listing is Tuesday, July 9,” the statement by the NSE yesterday disclosed.

Business Post reports that on Tuesday, Airtel Africa would be doing a cross-border secondary listing of a total of 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares. On June 28, 2019, the company listed its shares on the trading floor of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) at 80 pence, approximately N363 per unit.

SOURCE: https://businesspost.ng/2019/07/08/airtel-africa-to-list-3-758bn-shares-on-nse-tuesday/amp/
Business / 10 Powerful Tech Women Doing BIG Things In Nigeria Without A Coding Background by prof2007: 9:53am On Jul 08
To celebrate International Women’s Day, TechCabal launched its Tech Women Lagos, celebrating women who are making an impact in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem.

The business of tech continues to be redefined by innovators in a wide array of professional fields. Some are developers, with extensive backgrounds in programming. However, many of the people growing tech-enabled businesses, have little to no work or academic experience in the field.

From art and law, management to finance, the non-techies below, have all discovered a way to use their unique expertise to create value for customers through technology.

SANDRA OYEWOLE - Partner & Head, General Practice Group, Olajide Oyewole LLP
Complex, ever-changing laws and regulations that guide the use of technology, require someone knowledgeable to help navigate the legalese. Sandra Oyewole, a lawyer with more than 25 years of experience, is a Partner at Olajide Oyewole LLP, where she heads the intellectual property, technology and telecommunications areas for the firm.

Technology’s impact on all sectors has made it imperative for her to consider digital technology when advising clients, citing the evolution of music distribution for redirecting her focus to technology, “The crash of the CD and the rise of digital distribution of music was a trigger for me in terms of technology.”

For women considering a career in technology, Sandra offers her two favourite quotes, “Rome was not built in a day.” and “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

LOLA KASSIM - General Manager, West Africa, Uber
Good management is vital to the success of any company, inside or outside of tech. Lola Kassim, has found a space within one of the world’s top tech companies, leading the Uber West Africa team, overseeing operations, marketing, communications, legal and policy for the organization in two countries.

Before Uber, Lola worked with McKinsey & Company and the Liberian government but was drawn to the world of technology because it has “the power to
impact lives and enhance how we live day-to-day.”

“Don’t feel that you need to have a tech-heavy background to succeed in the industry. Learn about things you’re interested in and explore your passions. You can’t predict now where your experiences will lead you to along the way. So dive in, and make the most of all opportunities to grow,” she advises.

MOHINI UFELI - Media Manager, Paystack
Mohini Ufeli’s superpower is multimedia storytelling. As Media Manager for Paystack, she leads media efforts for the rapidly growing, Lagos-based, fintech company crafting stories that create an emotional connection between the brand and its customers. Before Paystack, Mohini held a similar position with Andela, another tech company.

Mohini “fell into Nigeria’s tech scene by serendipity”, after a photo shoot with Andela developers led to her employment there as Media Manager. “Own your voice. You have value and perspective to add to the conversation,” she says.

LEXI NOVITSKE - Principal Investment Officer, Singularity Investments
When tech companies require investment, they look towards venture capitalists and other financial funnels that help fund flow. Lexi Novitske is the Principal Investment Officer at Singularity Investments, a firm that has invested in several African tech startups including Paystack, Flutterwave, mPharma, and Asoko Insight.

According to Lexi, she is “investing in and partnering with African entrepreneurs that will change the world. Strong talent driving new tech models in Africa would generate the continent’s next wave of economic growth.”

Lexi arrived in Nigeria in 2012 and managed investments at Nigerian private equity firm Verod Capital Management. Before Verod, she worked at New York-based Sandler O’Neill Asset Management. Lexi points out that risk aversion, a trait that is identified with women, make female-backed businesses solid investments.

Coming up with life-saving services is one half of Temie Giwa-Tubosun’s job. Management is the other. The Founder and CEO run LifeBank, a company that leverages technology to improve access to medical products in Africa, and says she looked towards technology when she decided to improve access to life-saving blood and oxygen resources after a traumatic experience.

Having worked at different management roles in the health sector, including stints at the United Nations and the Lagos State Government, her knowledge of the health sector was a key differentiating factor for starting her company. She already knew the market and had the right relationships. When asked for her thoughts on women in technology, she responds, “We are just getting started.”

DAMILOLA MARCUS - Art Director, Dá Design Studio
Damilola Marcus and her Dá Design Studio team make things look good. Working in the space where aesthetics and tech intersect, they create the visual branding technology companies need for products and collateral. “Design and technology have ‘problem-solving’ in common,” says Damilola, who holds her passion and knowledge of design as a strength.

“Chase excellence,” she recommends. “It is extremely important to find a niche and own it. The easiest way to do this is to do what you love and learn it hard.”

ANIKE LAWAL - CEO, Mamalette
Not being a techie did not stop Anike Lawal, CEO, and Founder of Mamalette, from finding a tech-enabled solution to a social problem. After having her child, Anike’s interest in building a community of mothers led her to explore connecting via technology.

The Mamalette web-based platform delivers information about health services in local communities and provides support for expecting mothers, as well as infant care. Although she worked in business development and has a master’s degree in law and accounting, Anike decided to learn the basics of coding and graphic design when she started her business. Currently, she provides strategic and operational direction for Mamalette, while also managing programs and activities.

On getting more women to consider using tech to build products they need, My pet peeve is seeing men building and developing tech platforms for women or mothers, that could have been built by us.”

SOLAPE HAMMOND - Co-Founder, Impact Hub Lagos
Developing tech products or services is one thing, developing a model that sustains the business is another. Impact Hub Lagos is part of a global network that provides the support and community emerging entrepreneurs need while growing their businesses.

Solape Hammond, CEO, and Co-Founder of the co-working and innovation space, has a background in management consulting, strategy and social entrepreneurship. “I worked for one of the world’s largest technology consulting firms and saw firsthand how technology transforms businesses. This led to a determination to do the same for startups. To help new businesses solve problems in new innovative ways and scale fast.”

At Impact Hub Lagos, Solape works with entrepreneurs to accelerate their businesses and contribute to ecosystem initiatives such as hackathons, innovation roundtables, and studies. She encourages women seeking a career in technology to be bold, “There’s never been a better time.”

ELOHO GIHAN-MBELU - Managing Director and CEO, Endeavor Nigeria
Eloho Omame Gihan-Mbelu is a former investment banker and private equity investor. As Managing Director and CEO of Endeavor Nigeria, she supports startups by mentoring high-impact entrepreneurs leading tech ventures. Meeting founders like Sim Shagaya of Konga and Tayo Oviosu of Paga, “who were building pioneering tech companies in Nigeria and were determined to succeed against all odds” helped her understand the value of mentorship for founders early in their journey. Under her leadership, Endeavour supports tech companies like BitPesa, Cars45, and Paga.
“Don’t wait until you have all the answers or even know all the questions, to build an effective network,” she recommends for those considering a tech career.

TOSIN DADA-FANIRO - Head, Startups (Lagos Innovates) LSETF
Government participation in infrastructure innovation is an important part of impacting communities. Tosin Dada-Faniro gets to do this as Head of Startups for Lagos Innovates, a set of programs, initiated by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), aimed at making it easier to build a successful tech startup in Lagos. With a strong background in finance and project management, Tosin finds that she is “in a unique position to make a difference” through technology. “Women deserve a seat at the table. We have worked hard, continue to work hard and we should not be afraid to put ourselves out there.” Tosin says.

The Tech Women Lagos portrait series profiles 50 women in the Lagos tech ecosystem, from different backgrounds and at different stages of their careers.

The website which launched on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2019, displays the stories of the women in the series in portraits and prose. Theirs are stories of audacity and women daring in a male-dominated industry. Visit www.techwomenlagos.com for more. #shewhodares

SOURCE: https://startupng.com.ng/meet-10-powerful-tech-women-doing-big-things-in-nigeria-without-a-background-in-coding/
Programming / 5 Amazing Apps Built By Nigerian Women by prof2007: 9:58pm On Jul 06
The argument still remains, what are you doing to make the issues you face disappear? Well, these women are giving all they can and doing all it takes to create solutions to the issues they face in fun and innovative ways.

So, grab your popcorn and get ready to be amazed by these discoveries I’ve made on 5 Apps built by Nigerian Women:

According to UNICEF, a woman’s chance of dying from pregnancy and childbirth in Nigeria is 1 in 13. Many women in the rural communities still rely on traditional birth attendants, and Cradle Count is a free app on a social mission to help solve that problem.

Developed by Kesandu Nwokolo, this pregnancy app is a packaging of everyday tips that pregnant women can use. From the way she lies down to the way she eats and what she eats and how she exercises herself, the things she does, things to steer clear from all packaged in one App to enable her go on the journey to the cradle, in a safe manner. It even informs when it’s close to due date. You can download the app on Google Play.

Built by Moyinoluwa Adeyemi. Yoruba Watch Faces is a collection of Watch faces, it was built using a popular Nigerian dialect called The Yoruba language. It is the first ever watch face that tells time in Yoruba. Talk about innovation. This invention has the potential to increase the interest of prospective foreign visitors in Nigeria by showcasing our rich culture.

It’s currently available for download on Google Play store on devices running on Android 4.4+ or Kindle Fire.

Hair, hair and more hair. Serving you the best of hairstyles inspirations from across the globe for the black woman. Tress App was created by a trio of “hairtrepreneurs”; Esther Olatunde, Priscilla Hazel and Cassandra Sarfo(Ghana). Every information you’ll need to get your next hair glam look can be found on Tress. They recently made it into the much coveted Y Combinator Fellowship. I can say categorically that lots of great things are coming for Tress. You can download the app on Google Play Store.

You know that moment, when everyone is chatting on Slack and someone drops the big word. How do you keep calm, especially when you know hesitating may make you look like you don’t know your onions. Well, Omolara Adejuwon has solved that problem by creating the Slack Dictionary. Learn more about it here.

Made to deliver Major Keys to you team. In the midst of discussing important work stuff a word or two of inspiration could help charge up the environment for success and that’s exactly what the Khaled Bot does. Created Ire Aderinokun, Khaled Bot impersonates DJ Khaled on your Slack Team. Learn more about this amazing app at khaledbot.com.

There are more apps out there but one thing is for sure we need to get the word out on others just like these that scream innovation and the will to make things better.

Know any more apps? Kindly drop names in comment section below.

SOURCE: https://blog.devcenter.co/5-amazing-apps-built-by-nigerian-women-60bc16e6c0e7
Programming / Forget Internet Scams: Young Nigerians Now Use Digital Tech For Good by prof2007: 7:55pm On Jul 05
This article is part of the World Economic Forum on Africa

Over 100 years ago, Napoleon reportedly said of China: “Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will shake the world.” In light of China’s rapid economic growth in the 21st century, the French general’s view seems justified. Although it still has deep developmental gaps, China has made rapid progress to become the world’s second largest economy as well as the world’s workshop – filling every corner of the globe with an amazing range of products.

A striking fact that is often overlooked in this transformation is that, in attaining this new status, China had to overcome an ugly reputation as the origin of substandard manufactured products. A decade ago, Made in China was to many people a signature of dubious quality. Fast-forward to today and it means pretty much the opposite. There can’t be many people today who will argue that China has not woken up.

Half the world away, in West Africa, there is a country not very dissimilar to China. Demographically, China’s population represents approximately one-fifth of the world’s population. Similarly, Nigeria is sometimes referred to as Africa’s China, because with a population of over 180 million, Nigeria’s population alone accounts for almost one-sixth of Africa’s population of 1.2 billion. Nigeria, like China, also suffers deep developmental challenges, with over 62% of the population living in poverty.

An important demographic for Nigeria is young people, who represent a huge chunk of the population, with over 40% of Nigerians under the age of 14. These young Nigerians have borne the brunt of the country’s economic and development woes, with youth unemployment estimated at 45% by the National Bureau of Statistics. Some Nigerian youths have responded to this economic pressure by resorting to crime, and particularly the sort of crime that has given the country a bad reputation globally: cybercrime.

Unlike China, which has largely shrugged off the reputation of being the producer of substandard goods, Nigeria has gained a reputation for being the haven of online fraudsters, or what are known colloquially as Yahoo boys. However, the same technology that enables cybercrime in Nigeria is also the very tool that can transform the lives of millions of young people in the country. What erring youth need to know is that if they’re tech-savvy enough to defraud, then they’re smart enough to build a business online, or even develop apps.

Gbenga Sesan: I am no stranger to how technology changes lives, having positively changed my own career path thanks to an opportunity to learn how to use computers, and rare (at the time) access to the internet, which exposed me to career options no teacher could have suggested. This new knowledge empowered me to improve my life and build a social enterprise that is now connecting other young people to digital opportunities. Through the Paradigm Initiative, I tell them they can use technology to improve their chances in life, without any ill motives.

The evidence suggests they are listening. One young man, One Martins, has created an app that helps young people stay away from age-inappropriate online content. Through a voice recognition algorithm, it can detect the age of online visitors and shield vulnerable age groups. Then there’s Brenda, whose app, MobiCheck, allows patients to access medical information in real time. They’re not alone: there are many other stories of young people from underserved communities in Nigeria, whose lives have been transformed by a mastery of ICT tools.

"I believe that, like China over a hundred years ago, there is greatness lying dormant in the lives of millions of Nigerians. They just need digital technology to come and unlock it."

Gbenga Sesan is one among the 100 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs that attended the Solutions Summit, the first event in almost a decade to convene so many exceptional change-makers of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship from around the world. Hosted in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation in Durban, South Africa on 1-3 May just ahead of the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017, the programme looked at proven models for social impact to accelerate change across countries and sectors.

SOURCE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/04/nigeria-internet-scam-digital-social-entprepreneurs/

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Investment / BREAKING: Airtel Fails To Get Minimum Number Of Shareholders For NSE-listing by prof2007: 4:40pm On Jul 04
Airtel Nigeria was unable to attract up to 300 institutional investors, a minimum pre-listing requirement it needed in order to become listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The telecom company was only able to attract 130 institutional and high net worth investors as shareholders.

Despite the inability to meet the requirement, the NSE granted it a waiver to meet that requirement once its shares are officially listed on the Nigerian bourse. Earlier today during a pre-listing media interactive session at the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Airtel Nigeria disclosed that it would be listing 39, 227,968 ordinary shares of 60 cents at N363 per share, preparatory to the main listing session on the NSE tomorrow. The total value of the listing is N1,354,208,995,952.

In the meantime, Airtel Shareholders in London can now trade their Shares on the NSE. The NSE’s Head of Trading Business, Jude Chiemeka, stated this today during the media briefing.

More details shortly…

SOURCE: https://nairametrics.com/2019/07/04/airtel-fails-to-meet-get-minimum-number-of-shareholders-required-for-nse-listing/
Art, Graphics & Video / Toyin Odutola Sells ‘Compound Leaf‘ For N215 Million by prof2007: 12:31am On Jul 04
Nigerian artist, Toyin Odutola, is now the third highest paid Nigerian artist, after her drawing, ‘Compound Leaf‘ was sold for £471,000 (N215 million) at the Sotheby. According to reports, Odutola’s groundbreaking sales have surpassed sales made by artists like Njideka Akunyili-Crosby, and the legendary Ben Enwonwu.

Art as a coping mechanism: For Odutola, art serves as her coping mechanism since she moved from Nigeria to America as a child. The shock from her transition resulted in her questioning her identity. She began drawing to escape from her thoughts which further transformed into an “investigative, learning activity” for her.

Speaking with Vogue about how art helped her escape, she said, “I was obsessed. Capturing everything I saw and being fascinated with the incredibly simple task of looking at something and transmitting it onto paper. It’s immediate magic.”

Odutola creates multimedia drawings on various surfaces, investigating formulaic representations and how such images can be unreliable, systemic and socially-coded.

Exhibitions: Odutola has participated in so many exhibitions at various institutions, such as The Drawing Center, New York (2018—19); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2017—18); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2016). She also exhibited at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2015); Studio Museum Harlem, New York (2015, 2012); Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield (2013); and Menil Collection, Houston, (2012).

Her collections: Her permanent collections include Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Art and New Orleans Museum of Art. Odutola’s collections have also been displayed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Princeton University Art Museum, Spencer Museum of Art, Honolulu Museum of Art, and the National Museum of African Art (Smithsonian).

SOURCE: https://nairametrics.com/2019/07/03/nigerian-artist-toyin-odutola-sells-artwork-for-n215m/

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Investment / 9 Tips To Know When Not To Invest by prof2007: 7:38pm On Jul 03
Every now and then we hear financial experts like me (just joking) advise people to invest money regularly and not spend all the time. In most cases, experts will advice that you invest more and save less if you are to attain financial freedom. But should one really invest all the time? Will the world come to an end if I do not invest? I do believe investing is good for everyone, however there are certain times when investing should just be kept aside.

We have often read of people making several sacrifices in life just to attain an investment goal. Some sleep in their car, sell their houses, forfeit their jobs etc. However, you hardly hear anyone saying they went on a hunger strike just to attain an investment goal. It is certainly fool hardy when you have to starve yourself just because you want to put that extra money you would have used in eating a decent meal in an investment that is yet to yield a dime.

It certainly doesn’t make any sense investing cash you would otherwise use to cater for yourself when you are sick or have a major health setback. Your health is certainly not an opportunity cost to an investment no matter how viable. You want to be healthy enough to execute your dreams and not end up with deteriorating health and yet see the investment remain a dream. Health is Wealth.

There are times when we have people dear to us who have needs that (in all fairness) supersede our personal goals. It could be that they have a health challenge or even a financial need to avoid bankruptcy.

How does one explain sacrificing a sick wife or child in a bid to pursue an investment goal no matter how viable?

Imagine telling your child “Daddy can’t pay your school fees because he has to buy some stocks?” It makes no sense sacrificing your children’s education for an investment goal. They are mutually exclusive investments and shouldn’t even be thought of as substitutes.

The most important investment is the education and welfare of your kids no matter what.

How many times do we see debtors giving us excuses to repay their debts despite seeing them making significant investments in other areas. You have someone owing you money and telling you he does not have the cash to pay now, yet they end up buying new assets. The same attitude is sometimes seen in companies amassing huge debts in the claim that they are investing.

Whilst it is okay to borrow to invest if the returns are higher than interest rates, it makes no sense investing when you have debts to repay.

It is strange when I hear a lot of people with huge bills boast about their investment achievements. How do you claim to be an investor and yet you are unable to pay your electricity bills, water bills, phone bills etc. Does it make sense owing a supplier for months even though you end up spending money investing in new businesses or assets?

Investments should wait until you have cleared your bills and not the other way round. It is part of being financially prudent.

Life always presents us with ups and downs. It is inevitable that one day we will face a sudden financial challenge. It could be to bury a loved one, to celebrate a loved one, to cater for an urgent financial need etc. Sometimes when this urgency shows up we are not financially prepared and may not be able to liquidate our investments quickly enough to meet such challenges.

It is therefore important to stash away some part of our cash or return on investment in a fund specially designated for rainy days.

After the stock market crash of 2008/2009 I learnt a bitter lesson in investing: DO NOT INVEST WHEN THE MARKET IS BULLISH.

A Bullish market is basically when the market indices are constantly up indicating an upswing in the price of equities. Whilst not totally bad for the stock market to have price appreciation, the problem however is that bullish markets always create a band wagon effect that ostensibly creates artificial price valuations. Equities become too expensive and quality stocks with great prices become scarce. It is often better to wait on the sidelines at times like that, rather than buy expensive stocks.

In Nigeria, investing in the money market can be an unfair proposition when interest rates are just too low and below inflation. For most of 2011 and 2012 treasury bills and government bonds had double digit above inflation yields which were favourable for investments. However, when the rates, especially fixed deposits are below 8%per annum investing in such products present negative yields.

When interest rates are low, alternative higher yielding assets can be explored. It is however important to weigh the risk as well. If the risk in investing in alternative markets are too high for you, then just stick to safer money market instruments no matter the yield.

SOURCE: https://nairametrics.com/2019/07/03/ask-ugometrics-when-should-i-not-invest/
Investment / See Why You Should Target These 4 Stocks by prof2007: 1:22am On Jul 03
For the first time in weeks, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed positive in two straight trading sessions last Thursday and Friday, guiding the market to a 0.39% weekly gain. This week, the market will be welcoming a new entrant, Airtel Africa, and there are expectations that the company should bring along the goodies its rival, MTN Nigeria, brought to the market when it listed on May 16, 2019.

For analysts at Meristem Research, investors should monitor these four stocks because they could fetch ool yields at the end of the day. In their weekly recommendation, they said investors should consider having shares of Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Dangote Cement and CAP.

The reason for this is that Access Bank, which currently trades at N6.50k, could rise to 10.20k to yield 56.92% gain. For Zenith Bank, they said it could rise by 40.30% to N27.78k from N19.80k, while Dangote Cement could appreciate by 23.97% to N228.11k from N184, with CAP growing by 39.93% to N38.48k from N27.50k.

As Business Post always advises, investors should observe due diligence before putting their hard earned money into any investment.

SOURCE: https://businesspost.ng/2019/07/01/see-why-you-should-eye-on-these-four-stocks/amp/

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