Sunday, 21 December 2014

Boko haram: British troop to help train Nigerian Army

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  11:32   No comments

British troops are being lined up for a mission to train the Nigerian army in its fight against the Islamist extremists of Boko Haram.

Up to100 British soldiers are being lined up for a mission to train the Nigerian army in its fight against the Islamist extremists of Boko Haram.

Britain has already sent specialists to train troops in Nigeria and deployed three RAF Tornados in the summer as part of the search for 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the rebels.

Military chiefs are now drawing up plans to increase the scale of Britain's support for President Goodluck Jonathan, who is said to be under "enormous pressure" from Boko Haram.

It comes amid speculation that 60 SAS troopers have been sent to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) on the ground. They are said to have been ordered to target high-profile individuals in Iraq such as "Jihadi John", the British terrorist who has beheaded western hostages.

Last week, The Telegraph disclosed that Britain was preparing to send "hundreds" of soldiers into Iraq to train Iraqi and Kurdish forces, accompanied by a military "protection" unit.

The new mission to Nigeria could provide advice on military organisation and technical support. The Nigerian army is said to be poorly run and has been subject to allegations of corruption.

A senior military source said: "We have a small military training mission in Nigeria of only around a dozen. We are thinking of boosting that by maybe up to 100 because the Nigerian Army is making woeful progress against Boko Haram. We have a large Nigerian population in Britain and there is a real fear that if Nigeria falls into chaos it could result in attacks here."

A Whitehall source said plans were being drawn up for providing assistance, and another said the UK was ready to respond positively to requests from President Jonathan for help.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Car snatching robber killed in enugu

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  06:29   No comments
Operatives of the Awkunanaw Division of Enugu State Police Command have smashed a notorious armed robbery and car snatching syndicate, which had allegedly been terrorizing motorists and residents of Enugu metropolis and its environs.
The gang's kingpin, identified as one Onovo, had been on the wanted list of the command for heinous crimes perpetrated by his men in recent times.
According to Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, "the gang leader met his waterloo on December 16 at 8p.m., when the suspect in the company of his other gang members, having snatched an ash-coloured Passat car around Mount Street, off Agbani Road, Enugu, confronted the operatives who were already on their trail.
"On sighting the operatives, the gang opened fire on their vehicle and in the ensuing gun battle, one of them was gunned down while other members of the gang, believed to have sustained various degrees of gunshot injuries, escaped and abandoned the snatched car.
"The deceased kingpin, Onovo, had been terrorizing the lives of innocent citizens of Achara Layout of Uwani, One Day axis of Awkunanaw and Ikirike axis of the state and its environs.
"Recovered from the gang were two English cut-to-size pump action guns, a locally-made double-barrelled pistol and some phones.
"Meanwhile, full scale investigations have commenced with a view to arresting his gang members, just as the command is appealing to members of the public and hospital operators for useful and timely information on any one with suspected bullet wounds for necessary action."

Fowl theft causes death sentence for 2 robbers

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  06:24   No comments
Justice Jide Falola of an Osun State High Court sitting in Okuku has sentenced two robbers to death for stealing fowls.
The convicts, Olowookere Segun and Morakinyo Sunday, were found guilty of forcefully breaking into the house of one Mr. Balogun Tope, a police officer attached to Divisional Police headquarters, Okuku, in April 2010 and carting away some of his belongings.
The convicts were charged with conspiracy, robbery and stealing contrary to Section 6(b) and 1(2)(a) of Robbery and Firearm (Special Provisions) Act, cap R 11 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section (390)(1) Criminal Code Law, Cap 34, Laws of Osun State, 2002.
The prosecution team, led by the state Solicitor-General, Mrs Abiola Adewemimo, called six witnesses and tendered several exhibits during the prosecution.
The prosecution told the court that on November 13, 2010, men were sighted around Balogun's home armed with cutlass and a dane gun, and that while two of them were arrested, others escaped.
The convicts were said to have confessed that they stole the complainant's fowls, adding that they had been in his house before to steal.
Adewemimo said: "They also stated that they had earlier robbed Alhaja Umani Oyewo in her house and stole broilers, eggs and kegs of vegetable oil from the house."
In his judgment, Justice Falola convicted them on only three counts: to death for conspiracy; life sentence for robbery, and three years imprisonment for stealing.
Justice Falola recommended that the governor can decide to commute the death sentence to 10 years imprisonment, considering the convicts' ages.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

2015 budget: FG unveils more austerity measures

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  08:18   No comments

austerity measures aimed at cushioning the impact of the drop in oil prices on the economy in a bid to generate additional revenues to fund the 2015 budget.

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, made the announcement during a public presentation of the 2015 budget held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance in Abuja.

She explained that the measures would be implemented from the beginning of the second quarter of 2015 and would considerably boost the ratio of non-oil revenues to oil revenues.

Giving details of the measures and how much they would contribute to the treasury, she explained that the government would generate more revenue through the strengthening of tax administration.

This, she said, would be achieved if the affluent in the society contributed a bit more towards easing the pains being felt from the economic crunch.

As a short term measure, she said a 10 per cent import surcharge would be imposed on new private jets. This is estimated to yield about N3.7bn revenue in 2015.

Similarly, the minister explained that a 39 per cent import surcharge would be imposed on luxury yachts, which potentially will contribute N1.6bn in 2015; while another five per cent import surcharge would be placed on luxury cars, which is estimated to yield about N2.6bn in additional revenues.

In the same vein, Okonjo-Iweala said a surcharge on business and first class tickets would be imposed on air travellers. She, however, did not stipulate the rate to be applied for the levy and how much it would generate for the government.

Others are the imposition of three per cent luxury surcharge on champagnes, wines and spirits, expected to generate about N2.3bn next year; and a one per cent mansion tax on residential properties within the Federal Capital Territory, with value of N300 million and above.

The tax for luxury buildings within the FCT, according to the minister, is estimated to yield additional N360m to the coffers of the government.

All the surcharges, she noted, would yield about N10.56bn in 2015.

She said, "We should see these challenging times as times of opportunities to further move this economy on the right path. Luckily, this administration has taken to diversification seriously and began to make inroads prior to this time.

"The non-oil sector, whose growth has averaged about eight per cent in the last few years, is the primary driver of growth in the economy unlike the oil sector, which is actually contracting.

"In the short term, we are determined to improve tax revenues, not by increasing tax rates as many have advised, but rather as a pro-people administration, by strengthening our tax administration."

In the area of tax waivers and exemptions, the minister lamented that analyses had shown that about 30 per cent of those that received tax waivers from the government, especially under the Pioneer Status Scheme, were now abusing the system.

As a short-term measure to address this anomaly, she explained that the government had commenced a review of the implementation of the pioneer status exemptions for some oil companies.

This, she noted, could unlock up to N36bn of additional tax revenues next year.

Okonjo-Iweala also gave an indication that the current framework for Value Added Tax revenue might be adjusted to enable the states and local governments get more revenue.

Under the current framework for allocation of VAT revenue, the Federal Government gets 15 per cent; states, 50 per cent; while the local governments are given 35 per cent.

She said, in the medium term, it would be important to focus on tax policy to see where opportunities lie in order to streamline and rationalise certain taxes and levies, while looking to boost others.

For example, she said, "Nigeria has one of the lowest VAT rates in the world and medium term efforts must involve the legislature to see what opportunities exist with VAT, which largely benefits the states.

"Whilst the state governments get 85 per cent of VAT, the Federal Government gets just 15 per cent. A five per cent increase in VAT rate, for instance, will yield N614bn, most of which will go to the states and local governments.

"I believe that the discipline these new measures impose will go a long way to support the economy and provide Nigeria a responsible pathway to overcoming the limitations of falling oil revenues without disproportionately affecting the poor-to-middle class."

In the 2015 fiscal period, the minister also said the government would be ramping up the tax initiative with McKinsey to contribute extra N160bn in tax receipts and aggregate of about N460bn over and above the 2014 levels in the 2015-2017 period.

In the area of Independent Government Revenue, Okonjo-Iweala said actual receipts had continued to grow from about N182bn in 2011 to N274bn in 2013 and N328bn as of October 2014.

While she said this was encouraging, the minister noted that there were still leakages and incidences of non-remittance of requisite funds to the treasury by some agencies.

She said, "Mr. President recently summoned a meeting of the revenue generating agencies to address this issue and subsequently issued an unequivocal directive to all revenue agencies to ensure remittance of their obligations to the treasury.

"With this strong support, we are working with the banks to ensure strict compliance, and so we have projected IGR receipts of N450bn for 2015."

On the expenditure side, Okonjo-Iweala unveiled a number of specific measures aimed at reducing spending and their savings to the nation's treasury.

She said the government in the short-term would be instituting measures aimed at improving spending.

This exercise, she noted, would save a total of N82.5bn and would include cuts to international travels and training by 50 per cent for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the government.

This cut, she noted, would enable the government to save about N14bn.

According to her, other provisions for overhead expenditure have been dropped completely, thus saving about N4bn for the country.

She said, "Administrative expenditure for buildings equipment and supplies as well as MDAs' provisions for the procurement of administrative supplies and equipment will be cut, saving about N5bn.

"Procurement and upgrade of buildings were similarly curtailed, saving about N44bn, while another N76bn is proposed for reallocation to more impactful programmes of government in the security, health and education sectors.

"We have also commenced partial implementation of the government's Whitepaper on the rationalisation of agencies based on the Oronsaye report. We have built in savings of about N6.5bn in the 2015 budget from the rationalisation of some agencies, committees and commissions.

"Nevertheless, medium term measures require greater efforts to cut the cost of governance across all tiers and branches of government.

"This requires support from the legislature to amend laws underpinning certain agencies. A list of such laws will be submitted to the National Assembly for consideration by the second quarter of 2015."

More than scores killed in terrorist attack in Borno border village

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  07:55   No comments
Suspected terrorists group, Boko Haram attacked Madari village in Kukawa council of Borno State on Tuesday, 16th december killing no fewer than 10 persons and adducting a woman with her two-year-old child.

  Also, the arrest of 27 members of Boko Haram terror group in two undisclosed Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Maiduguri, Borno State after a tip-off on their infiltration of the camps has raised further serious security challenges. 

   Nevertheless, the Nigerian Armed Forces yesterday assured that all the lost territories in Adamawa and other parts of the North-East that were overrun by the Boko Haram would be recovered in no distant time.

Church politics: Anglican church opposes catholic ticket for Enugu gubernatorial race

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  07:47   No comments
Anglican Communion Bishops under the Enugu Ecclesiastical Province yesterday alleged marginalization of the church in the scheme of things in Enugu state and asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to pick her governorship running mate from its members or lose support of the Anglican Church.

  Expressing support to the candidature of Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi,  a Catholic, as the consensus candidate of the party in the state, the church said it had suffered untold hardship in the politics of the state, even with her support and contribution to the development ofthe state.

  Addressing reporters in Enugu, Archbishop of the Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev Emmanuel Chukwuma, said the Anglican Church was opposed to Catholic/Catholic ticket for the governorship position of the state next year.

  He stated that Ugwuanyi being a Catholic, his running mate should be picked from the Anglican Church if the PDP hopes to enlist the support of the church to win the elections.

  Flanked by six other Bishops, Chukwuma said: "We the Anglican Bishops are crying and appealing that Anglicans in Enugu state will not tolerate marginalisation and should be giving the position of deputy governor of the state.  For the position of governor and deputy governor to be Catholic/Catholic will not be acceptable to us.       

  In the Federal level, people are not happy with Christian/Christian ticket, hence the president has taken a very good stand to return as President and pick a Moslem as his running mate. Why should Enugu State, therefore, nominate a Roman Catholic governorship candidate who we are not against and wanting again to nominate a Roman Catholic as the running mate? We Anglicans say no to this kind of arrangement. We are not in minority in Enugu state and we totally reject that intention and are warning that if they want peace to reign in this state and for them to enjoy our cooperation, it should not be Roman Catholic/ Roman Catholic ticket".

Chukwuma, who reeled a rundown on how governorship positions have been allocated in the state, said that apart from Chiefs Jim Nwobodo and Late Chief Christian Onoh, all others coming after them had been persons of other faith. He quickly added that the demand for the office of Deputy Governor had become necessary following an alleged marginalization which the Sullivan Chime administration had meted on the church since he took over the reign of power in 2007.

  He added: "Former Governor of the State, Chimaroke Nnamani who served from 1999 to 2007 is a Methodist. He picked Okechukwu Itanyi, a Catholic as his Deputy. Nnamani handed over to Sullivan Chime who is Roman Catholic. Sullivan chose Sunday Onyebuchi, a Methodist or so, not an Anglican as Deputy. As they are going out, all those who want to become governor are Catholics and in the PDP, they are plotting to make their running mate a Catholic. We are saying give us an Anglican Deputy, otherwise you are looking for our trouble.

Nigerian Navy: warship belongs to NIMASA and not tompolo

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  07:42   No comments
The Nigerian Navy has refute claims that Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo who is a former Niger Delta militant, , has bought seven decommissioned Norwegian battleships supposedly for policing of Nigerian waterways.

  Naval Chief of Training and Operations Austine Oyagha who made the rebuttal yesterday in Abuja to media men said: "No individual has acquired gunboats into this country, the gunboats being alluded to actually belong to NIMASA (Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency), and these boats are currently being manned by the Personnel of the Nigerian Navy.

  "As you may be aware the NN has collaboration with NIMASA" with the attending maritime components "to support them in executing their statutory responsibilities in ensuring the safety of the maritime space and anchorage." 

   Although the Naval authorities did not clarify if the boats were acquired within the last two years, Oyagha confirmed, however, that the collaboration with NIMASA is more than three years, in the course of which such gunships have been acquired, but can only be equipped with the said weapons with the consent of the Navy.

  Tompolo was reported to have said "that these boats in question have been in the care of NIMASA for about two years now. For the avoidance of doubts, the boats are not warships or gunboats as being erroneously spread by mischief-makers.

  "The boats as acquired are neither equipped with war arsenals nor are they ammunition carriers. They are simply boats equipped with modern surveillance devices to track oil thieves and in the process, increase the nation's revenue base through NIMASA".

  The Naval chief spoke further: "The boats that I know of belong to NIMASA. Collaboration the Navy has with NIMASA. is that they can buy boats but they cannot acquire the weapons. When they buy we provide the personnel that man the boats, and the Navy arms the boats accordingly." 

   "The collaboration with NIMASA is more than three years now and we have been acquiring boats over the years. I cannot give you the exact figure but they will continue to acquire these boats."

  Director General of NIMASA Patrick Akpobolokemi had said simple decommissioned vessels procured by NIMASA through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement were being used by the Nigerian Navy with whom the agency has a working agreement.

   "As an arm of the government responsible for maritime safety, security and regulations amongst others, we work in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy and other relevant security agencies to use their men and arms to patrol and provide safety of the country's water ways, as mandated by the global body, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)."

Sunday, 14 December 2014

APC: we are yet to pick a running mate for Buhari

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  13:55   No comments

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has assured Nigerians that the choice of its presidential running mate will be made within the context of the best democratic ideals, just like that of its presidential candidate.
In a statement in Lagos, Sunday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party urged Nigerians to ignore the widespread and misleading reports in the traditional and social media about the choice of the APC presidential running mate, saying the party has yet to even meet, not to talk of picking a running mate.
It described the reports that a running mate has been picked to run with the APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, as unnecessarily sensational, downright speculative and totally misleading.
"We are using this opportunity to tell Nigerians to pray for us as we seek to pick a running mate for our presidential candidate. This is because this choice is not just for us but for all of Nigeria," APC said.
The party said everyone of the candidates who have been speculated as a running mate to Gen. Buhari is unquestionably competent to be a Vice President or even President, adding, however, that no choice has yet been made by the party.
"We are glad with the feedback we have received from Nigerians on the transparent and rancour-free manner in which our presidential primaries was organized. We are assuring Nigerians that the choice of our presidential running mate will also be guided by best democratic ideals.
"We appreciate the nationwide interest that the choice of our presidential candidate and his running mate has generated. It is a mark of the confidence that Nigerians repose in us. We assure that we will not disappoint our compatriots who have seen our party as the agent of the change they so much crave," it said.

Politicians urged to stop bad remarks on President Jonathan by cleric

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  11:36   No comments
Bishop Mike Johncleanton who is the presiding Bishop of Zion City Revival Ministries with headquarters in Lekki, Lagos, has cautioned Nigerians especially politicians, to desist from making derogatory remarks about President Goodluck Jonathan.

Speaking at a media parley in his Lagos office, the bishop also warned those making the nation ungovernable to have a rethink as they will soon be brought to justice.

The Cleric said the insurgents are a threat to the peace and unity of Nigerians and called on the Federal Government to tackle the menace in a quiet manner, arguing that Boko Haram is more of spiritual, a threat to the development, peace and unity of this country.

On the Chibok girls, the cleric said their abduction is for the spiritual pollution of Nigeria as a nation, maintaining that those who want to turn Nigeria into an Islamic nation will fail as others have failed.
The cleric also urged Lagosians to be prayerful to avert a major division.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Election 2015: FG pledges to support INEC

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  20:06   No comments
Minister for Special Duties, Mr Tanimu Turaki, has said that the Federal Government has given the Independent National Electoral Commission all that is required for a successful conduct of the 2015 general elections.

Turaki stated this on Saturday in Bauchi while fielding questions from journalists on preparations being made by the Federal Government for a successful conduct of the polls.

"Mr President has ensured that INEC gets every support that is needed in terms of funding, in terms of logistics arrangement for them to make adequate preparations for this election.

He assured that 2015 elections would be much better than that of 2011.

Commenting on the state of insecurity in the country, Turaki said that Nigerians should know that the problem of insecurity is not the problem of security agencies alone.

"All of us are stakeholders, so we must do our best, even in terms of giving useful information to security agencies that could help to solve a lot of problems.

"But Mr President in his acceptance speech last Saturday, said that election will be conducted in every state in Nigeria."

He assured that Nigerians would not be disenfranchised during the 2015 polls.

Friday, 12 December 2014

APC Convention: Security Agency, media and others commended for success

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  13:41   Politics No comments
The All Progressives Congress on Friday commended the security agencies, the media, party supporters and Lagos residents for their immense contributions to the success of its two-day National Convention.
A statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said going by the efforts and perseverance of these groups, it was now clear that Nigerians were ready to make the necessary sacrifice for change.
The party said the military, police, DSS, civil defence corps and the various Lagos State security agencies, among others, went beyond the call of duty in carrying out their assigned tasks during the convention.
”What this shows is that with proper political leadership and guidance , our security agencies can be the best in the world. We are indeed gladdened by their sacrifice,” APC said.
It said that the media also did not disappoint, as many journalists reported at the venue from 9.00 a.m. on Wednesday and did not leave until the results of the voting were announced at about 6.00 p.m. on Thursday.
“All the while, they reported the event as it happened.
”As always, the Nigerian media played their watchdog role with a rare commitment and impressive professionalism.
“They were there for us all through,” it said.
APC said the entire people of Lagos made a great sacrifice by bearing the inconveniences imposed by the convention without much complaints.
The party said, ”For a city prone to gridlock, there is no doubt that the convention brought about extra inconveniences for the residents as they moved around to perform their daily duties.
“But based on the feedback we have received from across the state, the people believe that whatever inconveniences they suffered while the convention lasted were just a little of the sacrifice they have to make in the collective efforts to build a new Nigeria.
“We appreciate this very much.”
It said the party’s members and supporters, especially the delegates who came from all over the country, were simply outstanding in their contributions to the success of the convention.
According to the party, this development has given it much hope and confidence that it can always count on its core groups for support.
“With the fairness, transparency, violence-free and the overall success of the convention, APC has shown that it is indeed ready to bring the much needed change to Nigeria and make the country a proud member of the comity of nations.
”In the tough task ahead, we have no scintilla of doubt that we can always count on all those who have made our convention a success,” the party said.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

B-R-EA-K-I-N-G: Girl 13 wearing explosives arrested by Police in Kano

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  20:57   1 comment

A 13-year-old girl wearing an explosives-packed vest have been arrested by police in the northern city of Kano hours after an attack by two female suicide bombers, a security source and a witness said Thursday.
The girl turned up at a clinic on the outskirts of Kano hours after a double bombing at a market in the city.
"The people there called the attention of security personnel who found explosives primed for a suicide attack on her," said the security source, who requested anonymity, in an account confirmed by a nurse at the clinic.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Cleric killed by Gun men in Edo

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  21:55   No comments
A gang of armed men have shot dead a pastor of a pentecostal church in Okhunmwun community in Ovia North East local government area of Edo State.

The victim, Godfrey Agbowanetan, was the pastor in charge of the Evidence of Gospel Church, Oko Central branch.

He was said have been shot by the robbers, who broke into his apartment at about 2:30am, after pulling down the burglary proof.

One the neighbours, who pleaded anonymity, said that one of the robbers rushed into the compound asking for the pastor.

But the wife of the deceased, Julie, explained that she was woken up by her husband who raised an alarm that some robbers had invaded the neighbouring building.

She said that the gunmen later shattered windows in one of the rooms before they shot her husband as he rushed into the room, leaving him in a pool of blood.

"At about 2:30am, my husband woke me up and told me that there were armed robbers in the next compound.

"Before we knew it, they had started breaking our window.

"I did not know when my husband rushed into the room where they saw him. Then, the next thing I knew was that they shot him," she said.

Although the state police command could not be reached to confirm the incident, it was, however, learnt that the corpse of the late Agbowanetan had been deposited in a morgue.

Obasanjo's Autobiograph: Court hands him contempt notice

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  21:09   No comments

A Federal Territory Territory High Court in Wuse Zone II, Abuja, has declared former President Olusesegun Obasanjo of being in comptent of court by going ahead to flout its order, which restrained him from going ahead with the publication of its book, 'My Watch'.

Justice Valentine Ashi on Wednesday gave Obasanjo 21 days to show cause why he should not be punished for flouting the court order and also ordered security agencies, including the police and the Department of State Service, to recover the book from book stands.

He ordered that the enrolled orders of the court be served on all media houses in the country and be equally served on the defendant by publication in two national daily newspapers.

The judge held on Wednesday, "I hold the defendant, not only in contempt of the court, but to show cause why he should not be punished for contempt and ordered to undo what he had wrongly done.

"The defendant, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, shall be given 21 days from the day this order is served on him, to show cause, via affidavit, why he should not be punished for contempt committed by publishing and distributing for sale to the public, the book, My Watch, in plain disregard of the pendency of substantive suit and the order of this court made on December 5, 2014 restraining him from doing so.

"The defendant, whether by himself, agents, servants, privies or whatever name called, is hereby restrained from further publication or offering for sale or distribution, in any way or manner, the book called My Watch or the like of the visual or written materials, which contains a re-publication or statement extracted from the letter referred to by the plaintiff."

The judge had on December 5 restrained Obasanjo from going ahead with the publication pending the determination of the N20bn libel suit instituted against him by a Peoples Democratic Party chief in Ogun State, Buruji Kashamu.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Can you Spend NGN70M on a bicycle?

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  15:59   Entertainment No comments

 It's easy to grumble about the amount of money cycling can require. NGN 280,000 naira for an entry-level road bike seems like a hefty whack – and that's before you've taken into account all the extra paraphernalia like locks and helmets that are essential for regular riding.
However, a spend of a couple of grand seems like pocket change when compared to a new gold-plated bike, which has an RRP of an eye-watering NGN 70 Million naira.
That's more than a new Ferrari, in case you're wondering.
The bike, which is the creation of luxury gifts company Goldgenie, is covered almost from headtube to toeclip in 24k gold.

Golden Gears

Goldgenie's team of specialists has even managed to apply the plating to the bike's intricate drivetrain (the chain, cogs, and mechanism that allow you to change gears).
And while the bike may strike you as something to admire while placed behind a glass cabinet and protected by a team of security guards, the company's director Frank Fernando insists it's built to be ridden.
"This men’s bike is not only a work of art to admire," he says, "but also to enjoy riding if you dare and are brave enough to face the stares of astonishment.
"The set-up and design is that of a high-end racing bike."

It's currently unclear how many of the bikes are going to be made – but if you are lucky enough to end up with one, may we suggest buying a lock or two to keep it in place when you're not around?

Nigerian Students tops in U.S., UK universities

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  15:48   Education 1 comment

Beneficiaries of the Presidential Scholarship Scheme studying in the U.S. and UK have been rated among top grades by their various universities.
It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan in 2012, established the scholarship scheme for innovation and development in order to further the education of students with first class degrees to 25 top rated universities in the world.
Prof. Julius Okojie, Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission said during an interactive session with the students in London, said he was glad that the scheme has taken -off.
” The American system has a 4 point maximum scale, most of our students are on 3.8 or 4 points which is very outstanding, and no student has failed to transit from Masters to PhD, this is also a good record.
” It means that this scheme itself shows that the quality of our product is good,”he said.
Okojie who also doubles as the Chairman of the Scheme, said that the performance of the students were being monitored on a regular basis” we monitor them and get reports from their supervisors.”
According go him no student has dropped out of the programme since it began, noting that such scheme is one of the administration’s best scholarship programmes.
While addressing concerns of delayed allowances and entitlements raised by the students, Okojie said that the issue was being addressed by a new project implementation strategy committee.
He tasked the student on the need to return home upon completion of their studies” you are the next generation , on completion of your courses you are expected back to the country”.
” You are all expected to return back home to contribute to nation building by bringing innovations that will drive the economy,” Okojie told the students.
Also speaking, Kunle Gbamgbose, Deputy High Commissioner to the UK urged the students to continue to strive for excellence in their studies.
” You are Nigeria’s testimony, you have done well to have been selected, it is time to make the nation proud. your success will determine the continuity of the Programme.”
He said that most developed nations invested in their people and that was what Nigeria was emulating in building the capacity of the students .
” In spite of the challenges in the country, Nigeria is the only place where you can be honoured, there is the need for you to give back to the society upon graduation,” he said.
Some of the students who spoke expressed gratitude for the opportunity to further their education and promised to return home after their studies.
Beneficiaries of the scheme in the UK are studying various courses in five universities namely the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge , Edingburg and the University College London as well as Imperial College.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

NAFDAC workers ends nation wide strike

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  20:16   Politics No comments

Health workers at the National Agency For Food Drug Administration and Control have suspended their nationwide strike after 14 days.
The Chairman, Medical Health Workers Union , Federal  Area Council, Comrade Stephen Ibe, who spoke at a rally at the agency’s office in Lagos, said the union, would  renew the strike if the Federal Government  does not fulfill its own part of the agreement in the next 10 days.
Ibe said the strike was suspended after the union had a fruitful deliberation with government officials at the Salary and Wages Commission,  the Ministry of Labour and Productivity and NAFDAC’s board of directors.
“We are giving them an opportunity to review and implement a new salary structure for NAFDAC workers. They have asked for 10 days and we are willing to give them that. The strike has been suspended and work resumes on Monday.
“We were pushed to the wall. We are a responsible union, but if government reneges on its decision to review the salary structure, we will continue the industrial action,” he stated.
Ibe also asked for one week grace for members of staff that have been shortlisted for  promotion at the agency, saying the notice for the examinations was abrupt.
Workers at the agency had embarked on the nationwide strike on November 12 over unresolved wage structure and unpaid allowances by the Federal Government


House of Rep list 50 offences to impeach President JONATHAN

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  19:54   Politics No comments

Indications emerged yesterday that members of the House of Representatives are on the same page with their Senate counterparts in their bid to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan.
It was reliably gathered that the assemblymen would start impeachment process against the President immediately it reconvenes next Wednesday.
This is just as the lawmakers coordinating the impeachment process have disclosed that they have identified over 50 constitutional violations against the President, which would form part of the impeachment notice.
A ranking officer in the House who revealed this said both chambers have resolved to work together for the common good of the country by impeaching President Jonathan for “incompetence, corruption and unprecedented impunity.”
He revealed that the impeachment plot against Jonathan was not a partisan affair, explaining that lawmakers from all the political parties have identified with the “cause” and will not give up until the President is “sent packing.”
“I’m sure you read the reports today that senators are going to move against Jonathan. Now you can confirm that the impeachment thing is not about APC. It is a non-partisan cause. We have all resolved that the man (President Jonathan) must go.
“Never in the history of Nigeria has a leader displayed such crass incompetence as we have seen in President Jonathan. It is glaring and you can feel it. Mr. President, with due respect, has shown that he is not capable of running this country. That is the basic truth”, he stated.
According to the lawmaker, over 50 impeachable offences have been identified against the president and members of the House would work closely with the Senate to ensure that the president is impeached.

Off-switch for PAIN discovered by Scientist

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  19:34   Economy No comments

The pain pathway in animals can now be blocked after researchers found a way out- a step in which people suffering from intense pains all over the world will have hope.
In a study published in the journal:Brain, scientist discussed how switching a brain receptor(A3 receptor) and spinal chord can reverse or block chronic nerve pains in male and female rodents.
This is quite different from other pain relieving drugs as it utilizes the stimulator known as adenosine which do not interfer with channels in the brain rather it binds to brain receptors.


“While adenosine had shown potential for pain-killing in humans, researchers had not yet successfully leveraged this particular pain pathway because the targeted receptors engaged many side effects”, scientists said. This discovery was described as a “promising new approach to pain relief”.
The finding comes shortly after Harvard University scientists built a miniature model of pain in a laboratory dish to help in the better understanding of pain.

B-R-E-A-K-I-N-G:Mubi Bomb explosion kills 35 people

By Nnagozie Ogudo   Posted at  18:55   Crime No comments
35 people, 5 military officers and a local hunter have been killed on a road side bomb explosion in Mararaba-Mubi in Adamawa State. 
The explosion happened on the early hours on Thursday Morning after eye witnesses reported that a local hunter and some military men were on patrol of the area and unfortunately a bomb planted by the insurgents exploded, killing 35 people instantly.
Eyewitnesses reported that the scene was a busy area where people gather to do business and other activities after the recapture of Mubi.

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