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Author Archives: Editor

 No regrets over retirement decision – Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt was crowned Laureus Sportsman of the Year for a record equalling fourth time on Tuesday night, matching the achievement of Roger Federer and Serena Williams.

The 30-year-old completed the hallowed triple-triple of Olympic sprint titles in Rio last summer only to have one of his gold medals stripped from him after relay team-mate Nesta Carter was exposed as a doper.

Bolt confirmed he had already handed back the gold medal from the 100m relay at Beijing 2008 for it to be redistributed to Trinidad and Tobago, who were upgraded from silver.

Bolt gathered the winners to take a selfie in the style of Ellen Degeneres after the award.

The Jamaican was presented his Laureus award by Michael Johnson and rebuked the suggestion he might continue to Tokyo 2020.
‘For me I’m satisfied with what I’ve done,’ he said, ‘If it was up to me I would’ve hung my shoes up after the Olympics, but the fans begged me to continue. I’m still in good shape, I’m not fat so I want to run as many races as possible.’

Claudio Ranieri was also in Monaco to collect the Spirit of Sport award on behalf on his Leicester City team who defied odds of 5,000/1 to win the Premier League last season. The Italian admitted he liked to temporarily bask in the glow of last season’s triumph and briefly forget the struggles of this year.

His side are hovering one point above the relegation zone after five successive defeats including a 2-0 loss at Swansea last weekend.

AMCON takes over OAS Helicopters

Signs that the crisis in the aviation sector had escalated emerged yesterday as the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) took over Odengene Air Shuttle Services (OAS) Helicopters in Lagos.
The takeover came after a court order, according to spokesman of AMCON, Jude Nwauzor, yesterday.
But he did not give details on the takeover .
It was, however learnt that the AMCON management yesterday sealed off the head office of the helicopter firm at Maryland in Lagos,
The AMCON management is expected to appoint a receiver-manager. OAS Helicopters is among the 10 airlines that benefitted from the over N120 billion aviation intervention funds given a few years ago.
The Order on the company’s office reads: “Possession taken today 14/2/17 by amcon by court order on suit no. FHC/4CS/1139/2016.”
OAS Helicopters is the fourth airline to be taken over by AMCON in the last one year.
AMCON last week took over Arik Air, following after Aero and Afrijet airlines.

FG moves to resolve liquidity crisis in power sector

The Federal Government of Nigeria said progress had been reported on steps being taken to address the issue of liquidity in the power sector just as the engagement of Niger Delta Communities by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to find lasting solution to pipeline vandalism in the region is also yielding fruitful results.

In a Communiqué issued on Monday at the 12th Monthly Meeting of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, with Power Sector Operators at the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) Olorunsogo Injection Substation, Akanran, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the progress reports also included key policy steps taken by the Federal Government to improve the stability of the Sector such as the inauguration of new Commissioners for the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the appointment of an interim Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to reform the company for a more robust service to the industry.

The TCN also reported the completion of the Osogbo-Ede Transmission Line adding that it was awaiting connection to the soon to be completed substation which, according to the company would be achieved within the next 12 months.

The company also reported progress on the projects in the host (IBEDC) region including Abeokuta-Igboora-Lanlate 132KV DC Line, Odogunyan substation and transmission line, and transmission substation in Iseyin, as well as transmission projects in Ago-Iwoye, Benin-Akure, Gamo-Ogbomoso and Magboro, while the meeting charged them to expedite action towards completion and service delivery.

Also, in his submission at the Meeting, the Managing Director, Transmission Services Provider (TSP), Engr. Tom Uwah announced the completion of a transformer installation project in New Bussa adding that the substation should be ready for energizing in six weeks following the carrying out of pre-commissioning tests.

Noting the negative impact of sabotage of gas pipelines, which, according to it has led to a severe limitation in power generation in the country, the Meeting commended the efforts of the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in engaging communities in the Niger Delta in an effort to address their concerns and therefore, bring a lasting solution to pipeline vandalism.

Also commending the Federal Government for the recent inauguration of the new commissioners of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, and the appointment of an interim Managing Director for TCN, the Meeting, which described the policy step as vital to the reformation of the company for a more robust service to the industry, added that they would also improve the stability of the Power Sector.

Expressing regrets that the gross liquidity problem was currently limiting the functioning of the sector, the Meeting acknowledged the work currently underway to identify, verify and pay the debts owed by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) to DisCos, as well as gas debts and generation debts.

It noted with delight that the Abuja, Ikeja, Ibadan and Yola DisCos have complied with data requirements and that verification of their submission is underway “on a first come first serve basis”, pointing out that a deadline of 17th of February 2017 was set as a deadline for submission of audited and management accounts while February 28, 2017 was issued to receive submissions on MDA debts from the DisCos.

On the need for safety in the installations and operations of the service providers, the Meeting, which commiserated with the family of victims of recent electrical accidents, charged all DisCos to reinvigorate their efforts on safety of their networks and facilities.

The Meeting, while also harping on the need for good service delivery as one of the most viable means to stabilize the Sector, also directed the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) to monitor the resolution of the issues arising from such electrical accidents.

The Meeting reiterated that service delivery should remain a key focus of the industry with enhanced efforts to engage community members in order to raise awareness and appreciation of work completed and resolved to undertake a stronger effort to connect the host communities of power installations to power supply.

In continuation of the regular practice aimed at creating healthy competition among the service providers, the Market Operator (MO) announced at the meeting that the Eko DisCo showed the highest payment performance to service providers, followed by Yola DisCo, while it encouraged other operators to fulfil their obligations to the market.

Apart from the Minister, who chaired the Meeting hosted by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC), other top officials in attendance at the Meeting were the Minister of State, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri, one of the recently inaugurated Commissioners of NERC, Mr Dafe Akpeneye, Managing Directors and CEOs of GenCos, DisCos and the TCN.

Also in attendance were various government agencies such as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), Nigerian Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) and Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) responsible for the regulation and development of the electricity industry. The meeting, as usual, focused on identifying, discussing, and finding practical solutions to critical issues facing the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.

Saraki, Dogara jet out to London to visit Buhari

Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara on Wednesday morning, flew out to London to see President Muhammadu Buhari.
The trip came on the heels of the continued stay of the President in The United Kingdom after he extended his medical vacation in a letter to the National Assembly leadership last weekend.
President Buhari had in the memo extended his vacation indefinitely, he was hitherto scheduled to resume duties on February 6.
It is yet unknown when the President would return home from UK, though speculations are rife that he might return any moment from now.

Vice President Yemi Osibajo has been holding the fort in his stead.
More details soon.

India interested in Nigeria’s $100m pigeon pea market

The government of India has confirmed that there is a market for $100 million worth of pigeon pea import from Nigeria.

The National Coordinating Director, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr. Vincent Isegbe said in Abuja that the Federal Government got the offer from India after conducting its Pest Crop Survey (PCS) for some agriculture commodity in conjunction with the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

The NAQS coordinator disclosed that essence of the crop survey was to determine the kind of pest that affects a particular local agricultural commodity and proffer a solution to boost agriculture.

Isegbe said: “We do what we call PCS. We have done for pineapple, sugar, rice, cashew, palm oil and of recent we did for the pigeon pea. We wanted to know the pest peculiar to some commodities, what extent and in what location nationwide so we keep data on them.

“The government of India wanted a confirmation that we can export a pest-free pigeon pea to their country and even if we have pests, they will want to know which pest, to what extent and their location. That was the report that our group of scientists worked on. They eventually sent it to the government of India and they that saw that it was okay for them to import. That is why they said we have a market worth $100 million and we can export.”

Describing the offer as a new opportunity to boost foreign exchange for the nation and create jobs, he added that the NAQS was already working with the pigeon pea value chain to meet demands of the Indian government.

According to him, as member of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), the NAQS was responsible to stop the spread and prevention of pests including diseases and contaminants into and outside the country.

He said the Service at its 56 stations across the country worked in partnership with the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and airport officials to prevent foreign birds from entering the country.

On bird flu invasion, Isegbe described the virus as a disease that could be transferred through infections, migrating birds and other forms of contaminations.

He said the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, on daily basis conducts surveillance on the Avian Influenza (AI) virus and provides notices on status of AI in the country.

On why farmers still fall victim to the AI infection, he explained that the virus was already in the country since its first outbreak in 2006.

He said, “It is the duty of Nigeria to ensure that new variant of bird flu did not come into the country since it came in between 2006 and 2008. The second wave of AI came in through migratory birds and we have wetlands. So as they pass their wastes into the water, ducks which serve principally as carriers hardly get infected but they spread the pathogen home and infect the local stocks.”

However, he called for more sensitization of farmers to reduce further spread of the virus, stressing that sources of the virus are numerous.

He emphasized that once a nation is declared free, there should be consistent effort to prevent a re-occurrence.

Insurgency: India, S’Africa, others partner Nigeria to produce weapons

Five countries – Poland, Turkey, South Africa, Pakistan and India – have partnered the Nigerian Ministry of Defence to commence the production of weapons for the armed forces to prosecute the war against the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said this on Monday at the Nigerian Army Research and Innovation Summit in Abuja, adding that the partnership would include the transfer of technology and skills to the armed forces.
The summit, with the theme, “Research and Innovation: Developing synergy with indigenous institutions for enhanced capacity in the Nigerian Army,” had the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Buratai, and the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, in attendance.
Dan-Ali said, “We are working on a partnership with the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria and some foreign original equipment manufacturers with a view to launching a pilot production line of some fast-moving arms and ammunition for the armed forces of Nigeria. Through this effort, Nigeria will save its hard earned foreign exchange.
“So far, Poland, Turkey, South Africa, Pakistan and India have visited Nigeria for that purpose of partnership. This partnership will, among other things, consider the transfer of skills and technological innovations for the advancement of our armed forces.”
Buratai said 178 military equipment were refurbished between July 2015 and now, and had boosted the war against the Boko Haram terrorists.
He said, “We have learnt the hard lessons of over-reliance on foreign equipment which was a huge setback in the initial stage of our operations. Presently, 178 armoured fighting vehicles have been refurbished and this is part of what has turned the tide of operations in the North-East in our favour.”
“All army corps and formations have been charged to intensify research and innovation efforts towards developing the right weapons and platforms needed to solve the identified battlefield problems. This charge led to the development of weapons such as Odey Rechargeable Dynamo Exploder, and the Mini Clearing Armoured Vehicle.”
Some other weapons displayed at the summit are Infantry Patrol Vehicle (IPV) and the Incinerator.

Consumers groan as inflation rate rises to 18.72%

Hopes that the Consumer Price Index which measures inflation would reduce soon following promises by government were dashed as the index increased by 18.72 per cent (year-on-year) in January 2017.
The National Bureau of Statistics in its CPI report which was released on Wednesday in Abuja said the 18.72 per cent rise in inflation rate is 0.17 percentage points higher than the 18.55 per cent recorded in December 2016.
The NBS report said the fastest pace of growth in headline inflation, year on year, were seen in bread and cereals, meat, fish, oils and fats, potatoes, yams and other tubers, wine and spirits, clothing materials and accessories.
Others are electricity, cooking gas, liquid and solid fuels, motor cars and maintenance, vehicle spare parts and fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, passenger transport by road.

More to follow…

Malabu Oil deal: Court to hear Shell, Agip case Feb 27

The January 26, 2017 court orders granting temporary control of the Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 to the Federal Government of Nigeria following application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), may not go unchallenged.

The challenge of the orders by Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) Limited and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited, two multi-national companies involved in the Malabu Oil deal, will be heard by the court on February 27.

Shell and Agip had filed applications seeking the vacation of both orders, arguing that the court was misled into granting the order.

When the case was called Tuesday before Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Abuja, lawyers to Shell and Agip – Konyinsola Ajayi (SAN) and Babatunde Fagbohunlu (SAN) – informed the court about their pending applications.

Lawyer to the EFCC, Jonson Ojoggbane confirmed that both applications were served on him, but that he was yet to respond to them. He sought a short adjournment to enable him address the applications and put forward the EFCC’s position to enable the court reach a just conclusion.

Although Ajayi and Fagbohunlu agreed to come back next week, the judge informed parties about his official engagement next week outside the country. He adjourned to February 27 for hearing of the applications.

The proceedings were witnessed by some individuals linked to the Malabu deal, including son of the late general Sani Abacha, Mohammed, businessman, Otunba Oyewole Fasawe, among others.

The order, obtained ex-parte by the EFCC, among others, allows the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to manage the OPL 245 on behalf of the Fed Government, pending the conclusion of investigation and prosecution of “SNEPCO, Agip and other individuals named in connection with acts of conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering,” contained in some charges already filed in court.

The orders granted are that:

*An interim order attaching the property known as Oil Prospecting Licence (OPL) 245 pending the conclusion of investigation and prosecution of Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Ltd, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) Ltd, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd, Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd and other individuals named in connection with acts of conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering.

*An interim order directing that the property known as OPL 245 be managed by the Department of Petroleum Resources on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria pending the conclusion of investigation and prosecution of Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Ltd, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) Ltd, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd, Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd and other individuals named in connection with acts of conspiracy, bribery, official corruption and money laundering.

The EFCC had, while applying for the order, gave detailed explanation of the alleged role played by Shell and Agip in the Malabu Oil deal, through which some highly placed Nigerians, including ex-Ministers and multinational oil companies purportedly defrauded the country of billions of dollars.

The commission also revealed how former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke allegedly aided the payment of $1.2b to ex-Petroleum Resources Minister, Dan Etete, using his position in the President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.

EFCC stated, in a supporting affidavit, that: “Sometime in April 1998, Malabu Oil and Gas Limited was incorporated in Nigeria with shareholders namely: Mohammed Sani (fronting for the late General Sani Abacha), Kwekwu Amafegha (representing Dan Etete, the then Minister of Petroleum Resources) and Hassan Hindu (on behalf of Ambassador Hassan Adamu.

“In April 1998 the company was incorporated, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources offered the company deep water oil block prospecting licence in respect of Oil OPL 245 in line with the Federal Government’s indigenous policy in the upstream sector.

“The oil prospecting licence, against all known government’s regulations, was awarded to Malabu Oil and Gas even before a formal application was submitted by the company.

“In June 1998 Gen Sani Abacha died and between 1999 and 2000 the corporate status and shareholding structure were altered severally through forged resolutions, which eventually divested Mohammed Sani of their shares, while new shareholders and directors were appointed fraudulently.

“At the time the company, namely Malaya Oil and Gas Ltd was incorporated, Gen Sani Abacha and Dan Etete were Head of State and Minister of Petroleum Resources, while Hassan Adamu was Nigerian Ambassador to the United State of America between 1996 and 1999,” the EFCC said.

It added that as at when they incorporated Malabu Oil, Gen Sani Abacha, Dan Etete and Hassan Adamu were barred by extant laws from engaging in any form of business by virtue of their offices.

“They used their positions to confer unfair advantage on themselves and cronies in allocating OPL 245 to themselves without due process. The company contracted Shell Petroleum and SNEPCO, in a joint venture scheme, for the purpose of prospecting and operating the said licence given by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“To the knowledge of Shell, the allocation of the oil well and the procedure adopted by the owners of Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd was fraught with fraud, but went ahead to consummate the transaction.

“Sometime on 2nd July 2001, the Federal Government withdrew the title and allocation of OPL 245 to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd on the directive of Mr. Funso Kupolokun, the then Presidential Adviser on Petroleum to President Olusegun Obansajo after which same was reallocated to Shell Nigeria Ultra Deep Ltd.

“Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd sued the Federal Government over the revocation, but the suit was later withdrawn and settled out of court by the parties and the said oil well was reallocated to Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd.

“Shell and Agip again went into a fraudulent agreement with Malabu Oil and Gas, in which the companies will pay signature bonus of $210m to the Federal Government of Nigeria, while $1.2b would be paid to the owners of Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd.

“Shell Petroleum was later to explain that the payment was for compensation, but investigation conducted revealed that the money was bribe to Dan Etete and his cronies.

“Shell was aware at the time of consummating this transaction that Dan Etete, the owner of Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, was already a convict and hence, was not willing to pay the said sum of $1.2b directly to Dan Etete and or Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd directly.

“One Mohammed Adoke was the Federal Government counsel in series of arbitration instituted by Shell in London on the said oil well and, who later became the Attorney general of the Federation, conspired with Shell/Agip to route the payment of the said sum of $1.2b bribe money through Federal Government Escrow Account with JP Morgan Chase bank.

“The said Mohammed Adoke had written a letter ref. No: HAGF/FMPR/2011/Vol. 1/12 dated 9th February 2011 seeking the advice of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on whether to consummate the transaction involving Shell Ultra Deep Sea, Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd, NNPC, Nigeria Agip Exploration and production Company (SNEPCO).

“The DPR replied in a letter reference No: PILD/880.T dated 1st of April 2011 and advised against the transaction on the ground that it was highly prejudicial to the interest of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Despite the advice, the then AGF, Mohammed Adoke approved the payment of the $1.2b bribe money through Federal Government Escrow Account with JP Morgan Chase Bank in London. Sometime in May 2011 Nigeria Agip Exploration and SNEPCO instructed Chase Bank to release $1,092,040,000 into Escrow Account of the Federal Government.

“The money, on the instruction of the then AGF, Mohammed Adoke, was transferred from the Escrow Account to two banks namely, First Bank and Keystone Bank operated by Dan Etete and Malabu Oil and Gas ltd.

“The said amount was later laundered with several accounts of individuals and different companies. Investigation further revealed that the Federal Government was defrauded by SPDC and Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd by under paying $210m as signature bonus on OPL 245.

“Investigation conducted revealed that Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd and SPDC secured OPL245 through fraudulent scheme involving high scale bribery and corruption by top management of the company.

“Information available to the applicant (EFCC) is to the effect that a London judge, sitting in the Southwark Crown Court refused to release to Dan Etete and Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd $85m which is connected to the said fraudulent transaction by Shell Nigeria, Nigeria Agip Exploration and Malabu Oil and Gas in respect of OPL245.

“The $85m formed part of the proceeds of the fraudulent transaction between Shell Nigeria, Nigeria Agip Exploration and Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd. The said sum was seized as a result of request by Italian prosecutors,” EFCC said.

Angola back as Africa’s top oil producer

Despite recording the biggest increase in output among its peers in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Nigeria has again lost its Africa’s top oil producer status to Angola after it regained it in November last year.
For nine months in 2016, Nigeria lagged behind its southern African counterpart in oil production on the back of the resurgence of militant attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
OPEC, in its Monthly Oil Market Report for February 2017, which was released on Monday, put crude oil production from Nigeria at 1.604 million barrels per day in January, up from 1.37 million bpd in the previous month, based on direct communication.
Production from Angola stood at 1.615 million bpd in January, down from the 1.639 million bpd it closed at last year.
Nigeria’s output had increased to 1.782 million bpd in November from 1.39 million bpd, compared to Angola’s 1.688 million bpd, OPEC’s December report showed.
OPEC, which uses secondary sources to monitor its oil output, but also publishes a table of figures submitted by its member countries, said the group’s total production in January averaged 32.14 million bpd, showing a decrease of 890,000 bpd over the previous month.
“Crude oil output decreased the most in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, while production in Nigeria, Libya and Iran increased,” the 13-member oil cartel said.
Nigeria had in March 2016 lost the top spot to Angola when the country’s production dropped to 1.677 million barrels per day, compared to Angola’s 1.782 million bpd.
According to the report, oil output in Africa is estimated to decline by 20,000 bpd in 2016, remaining unchanged from last month’s report to average 2.11 million bpd.
It said, “Most African countries saw an oil production decline or stagnant output year-on-year in 2016 except Congo, which had growth from its new Moho Marine Nord project. In 2017, oil production will continue to grow by 30,000 bpd in Congo as well as in South Africa, Ghana and Chad.
“Declines are seen coming from Sudan, South Sudan and Equatorial Guinea. For the region, growth is expected at 70,000 bpd, to average 2.18 million bpd.”

FG denies N5tr assets sale plan

 

The Ministry of Budget and National Planning has denied insinuations in a section of the Media indicating that the Federal Government is planning to raise about N5 trillion from assets sale in the next four years.
The publications claimed that the projected amount is contained in the Economy Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) being finalized by the Federal Government.
In a statement from the Ministry on Tuesday, the Special Adviser on Media, Akpandem James, noted that, “It has become necessary to state that the ERGP that is being finalized and which will soon be presented to the public has no recommendation for raising that amount of revenue from sale of assets.”
According to him, “To achieve the strategic objectives of the plan, 60 strategies have been developed for implementation with four key execution priorities:
§ Stabilization of the macroeconomic environment
§ Agriculture and food security
§ Sufficiency in energy (power and petroleum products)
§ Industrialization focusing on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, ” he added.

Woman stuck in bath after home remedy went wrong

A woman resorted to issuing an ‘SOS’ call online after she got stuck in a bath of coconut oil.
The Australian, known only as ‘Denshan’, was at home sick with a chest infection and fever when she decided to attempt a DIY ‘remedy’ pouring coconut oil into a bath.
But when it was time to get out she found she could not pull herself up because the oil meant the bath had ‘no traction,’ she wrote on Imgur.
Using her iPhone, she shared a picture of her legs and feet in a bathtub with the caption: “I am currently stuck in a bath.”
She added: “Took some antibiotics and a Valium and thought – I will have a relaxing bath. I found some bath salts.
“Lit some candles and poured in some coconut oil – now I am realizing it was too much coconut oil.”
Once the water receded she said she was left ‘sliding around’ unable to get herself out of the tub.
“Went to get out after pulling the plug and I just slide around like a giant greased up potato in a roasting dish.
“There is no traction. No grip. Just me and my fat body slipping around covered in oil. F*** home beauty remedies. SOS,” she wrote.
After 30 minutes stranded, she said she managed to get out by filling the bath with water and scrubbing it.
“You really shouldn’t use coconut oil in the bath. It can re-solidify in your drains and back everything up. Unless it is fractionated,” said ‘HeatherWhatever’.
As well as advice, she received numerous comments about her feet – ranging from compliments to concern from people who thought her ankle could be either dislocated or broken.
The woman replied: “Nar [sic]. They are just fat.” She added: “Update on inbox messages: thought it would be d**k pics and show us t***. Turns out there are a lot of people with foot fetish on here.”
One person wrote: “You didn’t choose the Tub life, the Tub life chose you.”
“I too enjoy coating myself in oil so i can pretend to be a slug,” another user added.

Why celebrities go underwear-free on red carpets

We’re used to stars leaving little to the imagination in racy selfies and wafting down the red carpet in mere scraps of silk.
But now the latest flesh-baring trend sees celebrities forgo underwear completely, braving the public eye in a see through outfit with no bra, and even without knickers.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but a celebrity stylist says that it’s actually a way for stars to look more upmarket.
Fashion presenter Naomi Isted told FEMAIL: “If they are trying to get away from trashier styles that they previously may have worn, celebs are now being more inventive in the way in which they flash skin, or even more.”
Last year, crotch-baring dresses were one of the most popular looks on the red carpet with Bella Hadid stealing the show in Cannes in a revealing red number.
However, stars are now moving away from dresses slashed to the groin in favour of outfits that look more modest at face value, but are just as daring.
Geordie Shore’s Marnie Simpson may have left absolutely nothing to the imagination when she wore a lace dress with no underwear on the red carpet, but the gown itself was far from skimpy.
“I’m sure with this being a growing trend it is certainly here to stay for quite some time, especially as it’s easier to wear these types of trends in the warmth and summer.”
“Obviously the second a high profile celeb is wearing a new style or trend, especially if its trending, then their fans and the industry are likely to follow,” Naomi said.
Equally, Naomi Campbell wore an elegant black gown at the Gala Spa Awards in October, but was braless underneath the lace top.

BADEN-BADEN, GERMANY - APRIL 02:  Naomi Campbell during the Gala Spa Awards on April 2, 2016 in Baden-Baden, Germany.  (Photo by Gisela Schober/Getty Images for GALA)‘It’s not that they are trying to consciously make it popular,’ Naomi explained.
‘It’s the desire to shock and get as much coverage and likes or comments as possible especially against with their competitors.

Naomi’s underwear free tips
Opt for darker colours like navy or black rather than nude or white.
Avoid completely sheer and make sure the top or dress is strategically placed to cover your decency.
Buy styling tape and make sure everything is fixed in place.
Wear flesh coloured nipple covers under pasties or use a little piece of styling tape over your nipples.

Black Stars, Stallions battle for AFCON bronze

The Black Stars of Ghana and the Stallions of Burkina Faso will battle for the bronze of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon on Saturday (today).

After the two teams were knocked out by Cameroon and Egypt in the semi-finals on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, they will seek to console themselves with a the bronze. Burkina Faso lost 4-3 on penalties to the Pharaohs, after a 1-1 draw after extra time, while Ghana lost 2-0 to the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon on Thursday.

The Ghanaians, who are coached by former Chelsea coach, Avram Grant, will look to put behind them the disappointment of the semi-finals after being tipped as one of the title contenders but the Burkinabes will also be seeking consolation following their narrow loss to Egypt.

Historically, the two sides have met 16 times with the Ghanaians emerging victorious eight times while the Stallions have won seven of the meetings. One meeting ended in a draw. These sides are facing each other for the fifth time in the AFCON. Ghana won the first three meetings before Burkina Faso picked up their first victory in a 2013 semi-final win on penalties.

Grant’s side have won the AFCON four times – same as Cameroon – but have only reached the final thrice after their last African triumph in 1982. The Black Stars have finished as runners up of the AFCON more than any other country – they have finished second five times, the most recent of which was in 2015, when they lost 9-8 on penalties to Ivory Coast. Ghana have only finished third at the AFCON on an occasion – in 2008 – and have also finished fourth thrice in 1996, 2012 and 2013.

For the Burkinabes, who are coached by Portuguese Paulo Duarte, their highest achievement at the AFCON was a second-place finish in 2013, when they lost the title to the Super Eagles of Nigeria. The Stallions are appearing in a third-place play-off for the second time in the AFCON since losing on penalties to DR Congo on penalties in 1998, when they hosted the event.

It is however worthy of note that Burkina Faso have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their four previous AFCON encounters with Ghana, scoring only twice in the encounters.

Ghana’s Andre Ayew and Burkina Faso’s Aristide Bance both have a chance to win the tournament’s Golden Boot as they both have scored two goals each. DR Congo’s Junior Kabanaga, who has three goals, has exited the competition.

The Black Stars will be counting on the Ayew brothers, who have been involved in 10 of Ghana’s last 14 goals at the AFCON — Andre has scored five and assisted two while Jordan has scored two goals with one assist. They will also have the experience of captain Asamoah Gyan, who returned from an injury and played late on against Cameroon.

But the Stallions will also have the services of 32-year-old Bance, who has scored two of their last three goals, and the pace of Prejuce Nakoulma, who also has two goals in Gabon, as well as the youth of players like younger stars like Bertrand Traore and Banou Diawara.

Former Nigeria defender, Yisa Shofoluwe, believes the Ghanaians will carry the day.

“The standard of the game in Africa has improved a lot and it is good to see that countries like Burkina Faso and reach the semi-final twice in the space of four years,” he said.

“But in terms of experience, the Ghanaians will edge the Burkinabes to win the bronze. They will see it as a way to say sorry to their fans, who were expecting much from them.”

But former Super Eagles assistant coach, Joe Erico, backs the Stallions to win the medal.

He said, “The beauty of the AFCON is that the teams were all going for the gold and some of the fell by the way side. The Ghanaians aren’t as determined as the Burkinabes. They wanted the gold and since they couldn’t get to the final, they won’t play the match with the seriousness it deserves.

“The Burkina Faso players on their part want to take something away from Gabon having failed to win it in 2013. They are also more tactical in play than the Black Stars. I believe they will win.”

However, Friday Ekpo, a former Eagles midfielder, said the match could go either way.

He said, “The match will go to any of the sides with more determination and an element of luck. The two teams were aiming to reach the final but since they couldn’t achieve that, they will settle for what they can grab and avoid leaving empty-handed.

“Tactically, it will be difficult to say which would win because tactics fail at times in football while luck does the work. Any of the teams can win the bronze.”

*PUNCH

FG appoints Usman Gur Mohammed as interim TCN boss

The Federal Government has approved the secondment of Alhaji Usman Gur Mohammed of the African Development Bank as the interim Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Louis Edozien, in a statement said that Muhammed’s appointment was part of efforts by government to reposition the company for better service delivery to Nigerians.

It said that Mohammed has resumed duty with a 12-month non-extendable deadline to complete his transformational mandate and set TSP and ISO on a path of greater operational efficiency and effectiveness.

It also said that his approval was designed to ensure responsiveness to the needs of the generation companies and distribution companies, who are TCN’s customers.

It said Mohammed was until his secondment, the Principal Power Utility Transformation Specialist in the AfDB’s Nigerian Office.

It said, “Mohammed joined the service of the AfDB in 2009. He has served in various senior level management roles in charge of financial control, power utility policy and transformation.

“Before joining AfDB, Mr. Mohammed worked for the then National Electric Power Authority.”

The statement said that Mohammed also served as the Secretary of revenue cycle management project which was NEPA’s first public private partnership initiative.

According to the statement, he also served as head of financial management for TCN’s Project Management Unit.

It said Mohammed is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the various professional bodies related to his profession.

“Mohammed holds a BSc Degree in Accountancy, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, and a Master of Business Administration (Management), Bayero University Kano.”

NAN

Trump: US visa policy for Nigerians remains unchanged, envoy assures

The United States has said that the recent executive order on immigration by President Donald Trump will not affect Nigerians, noting that visa applicants will continue to get two-year multiple entry visas as before.

It assured apprehensive Nigerians that the order on “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” would not also affect the validity of visas held by Nigerians, noting that its visa policy to Nigeria had not changed.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, and the US Embassy Consular Chief, Meghan Moore, explained to journalists on Friday in Abuja that the US visa policy was based on reciprocity, stressing that Nigerians would not be discriminated against.

The envoy stated that the way US treats Nigeria is reflected in its visa policy to Nigerians.

Responding to questions about apprehension that Nigerian Muslims might be singled out for visa restriction over their religious belief, Symington stated that America does not discriminate against people on the basis of their belief or race.

He said, “No place has opened doors to people more than the US. We haven’t said we have closed the doors and locked it, what we said is that we are going to take a pause and conduct checks and ensure the safety of the people in the United States. The door would be opened again. “I want to reassure by our actions starting from our consulate reception in Abuja and in Lagos that we would not discriminate on the basis of religion. If anyone didn’t get a US visa because they said their name was Paul or something, then they would be wrong.”

He disclosed that Nigerians whose visas had expired would not need to wait till 48 months to renew, noting that they could now renew their visa within 24 months, stressing that the US as a nation of immigrants desires to bring people together.

Moore said the US issued visas to Nigerians on the basis of reciprocity, stressing that US visa policy to Nigeria would not change.

The diplomat explained that the new rule requires a holder of US tourist visa to pay the fee and schedule an appointment for interview using the DHL Dropbox.

“Generally speaking, we issue two-year multiple entry visas to Nigerians based on reciprocity from Nigeria and this has not changed; there is no plan to change it to one year,” Moore emphasised.

She stated that the goal of the embassy was to facilitate legitimate travel to the US which she said was important for trade, education and family ties.

Elaborating further on the changes in the visa policy, she said the new rule requires Nigerians who wish to renew their visas to use the DHL renewal programme.

This, she said, entails paying the necessary fee, filling up the application and then scheduling an appointment to the embassy for an in-person interview.

B-R-E-A-K-I-N-G: James Ibori returns to Nigeria

Former Delta State Governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori has arrived in Nigeria.

It was gathered that he arrived Abuja on Saturday morning and is on his way to his hometown, Oghara in Delta State.

James Ibori had, on Friday, appeared before a Southwark Crown court in London for his asset forfeiture hearing.

He regained his freedom in December 2016 after spending four-and-a-half years in a United Kingdom prison for money laundering.

The British Government had accused him of stealing about $250m from the Delta State Government part of which was used in buying six houses and luxury vehicles in the UK, the United States and South Africa.

More to follow

Governors move to resolve Taraba/Benue border dispute

Our reporter
The Benue and Taraba State governments have moved to resolve the long standing border dispute between the two states along the Takum-Kwande axis which, has over the years, claimed several lives.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue and Darius Ishaku of Taraba at a peace meeting on Saturday in Moon village near Kashimbila said they have resolved to cede Moon district to Benue and Chanchanji to Taraba.
The National Boundary Commission, had a few years ago, with reference to the 1923-1924 border demarcation lines ceded Moon District in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue to Taraba and Chanchanji in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba to Benue, which sparked dispute in the area, leading to series of protests and crisis especially in Moon.
The two governors said the meeting in Moon was a follow-up on an earlier one the two states held in Makurdi last year, assuring the people of their commitment in ensuring peace between the two states.
The governors noted that they will soon go to Wukari axis to see things for themselves regarding the border issues involving Wukari in Taraba and Ukum and Logo in Benue with a view to resolving same.
“To the best of my knowledge Chanchanji belongs to Taraba, and Moon belongs to Benue and the two of us have resolved to respect these positions.
“We will assemble our technical teams from both states and the National Boundary Commission to perfect the demarcation and when that is done we expect people to respect the lines,” Governor Ortom said.
While reiterating the position of the Benue State government that there is no land for grazing in Benue, but ranching, Ortom said a bill on ranching is before the state Assembly and called on the Federal Government to support the people who want to rear cattle to establish ranches, which he said is the best practice all over the word.
On his part, Taraba governor, Darius Ishaku called for understanding from the people of the two states especially those living at the border for peace to reign.

Four Skye Bank executive directors quit

Skye Bank Plc has notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) of the voluntary resignation of four of its Executive Directors from the services of the bank.

This is contained in a notification letter signed by the bank’s Company Secretary / General Counsel, Babatunde Osibodu pasted on the NSE website on Friday.

The letter stated that the affected directors were Idris Yakubu, Markie Idowu, Mrs Abimbola Izu and Bayo Sanni.

It said that the directors had served in the executive management capacity for nearly two years and had been part of the new board of the bank which came into being following the intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria on July 4 2016.

The letter quoted Tokunbo Abiru, the bank’s Group Managing Director, as saying that the executive directors had contributed immensely to the successful leadership transition which commenced last year.

The bank also “announced that the new development does not in any way affect the smooth running of the bank as it continues to deliver services to its customers across the country.”

It added that the portfolios of the directors had been assigned to some general managers to ensure a seamless transition.

 

NNPC, NAN to Tackle Pipeline Vandalism

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) have agreed to forge a partnership to combat the menace of pipeline vandalism and other sundry challenges in the petroleum industry.

The two organizations came to this position during a visit to the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, by the management of NAN led by its Managing Director, Mr Bayo Onanuga.

Addressing the NAN delegation, the GMD said NNPC would tap into the rich array of services offered by NAN, particularly the dedicated reporting and SMS service, to help in the Corporation’s anti-pipeline vandalism activism.

“We will look at your proposal on the establishment of a Niger Delta Bureau and see how it can help us get real time information from the region to aid us in the fight against pipeline vandalism”, Dr Baru said.

Dr Baru thanked the NAN executives for dedicating a staff to NNPC, as he extolled the efforts of the Organisation’s Managing Director for his commitment to modernizing NAN since his appointment last year.

The NNPC GMD told the visiting executives that his Management team’s focus rested on FACTI, meaning: Focus, Accountability, Competitiveness and Transparency with Integrity.
FACTI, the GMD noted, would enable his Management team deliver on its mandate to the nation .

Managing Director, NAN, Mr Bayo Onanuga

Managing Director, NAN, Mr Bayo Onanuga

On his part, Mr Onanuga, highlighted the various services on offer by the agency and implored NNPC to take advantage of them for effective communication with its publics.
He commended the GMD for his numerous achievements within the very short period of his assumption of office, adding that he was elated at NNPC’s feat of ensuring a fuel-scarcity-free end of year holiday season in 2016.

He stated that their visit was to further strengthen the existing relationship between the NAN and NNPC in the best interest of the country.

 Ambode urges students to shun negative values

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday advised students in the State to fully embrace the opportunities being provided by his administration in the education sector and shun all negative values and vices that could hinder them from realising their dreams

The Governor said his vision remained the building of great future full of opportunities, possibilities and prosperity for the youths through the provision of qualitative education that is consistent with the demands of the 21st century, and as such it was important for students to reciprocate by showing commitment to excellence.

According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, the Governor, who spoke at the foundation laying ceremony of two additional Model Colleges in Yaba and Shomolu, recalled that since his assumption of office on May 29, 2015, conscious efforts have been made through policies and programmes that placed high premium on education as a vehicle for continued and future prosperity of the State.

Governor Ambode, who had earlier on Thursday performed the foundation laying ceremony of the New Model School in Awori College, Ojo, said he remained committed to the reformation and strengthening of public schools in the State with the view to ensure that they are given the best in terms of quality teaching and learning environment.

Speaking at Angus Memorial High School in Shomolu where he was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, the Governor said the sustained efforts on education was already yielding results as the performance of students in the last West African Examination Council (WAEC) conducted examination was most assuring and an indication that the State was moving in the right direction.

Already, the Governor said contracts have been awarded for the construction of eight new blocks of classrooms as well as the renovation of 174 existing blocks of classrooms and the construction of perimeter fence in various schools to enhance security, while government has also commenced the supply of over 40,000 students’ furnitures on a quarterly basis to clear the identified shortfall of 160,000.

The Governor, who also performed the foundation laying ceremony of New Model School Building at Lagos City College, Sabo, Yaba where he was represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said the new edifice being added to secondary schools, apart from aiding teaching and learning, would compare favourably with high school structures in leading countries of the world.

“Apart from the aesthetics value, the new structure is capable of enhancing security of students, staff and schools materials in the face of the recent security breaches in our schools. It would comprise 36 classrooms, library, staff rooms, multipurpose hall, laboratories, Principal/Vice Principal’s offices and modern toilet facilities for both junior and senior schools.”

“Let me assure all parents that we will continue to do our very best to ensure that our schools are safe from intruders. We have put in place measures to secure our pupils, students, teaching and non teaching staff. Our standards are high and we will continue to make them better,” the Governor said.

In her welcome address, Deputy Governor and the State’s Commissioner for Education, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule thanked the Governor for his passion for education, just as she assured that the Ministry would take ownership of the project and use it judiciously.

The Deputy Governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Adeshina Odeyemi, also said that government would not rest on its oars, but rather redouble efforts to ensure continuous improvement in the sector.

In his remarks, Chairman of Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Appropriation, Rotimi Olowo commended the Governor over provision of world class infrastructures in public schools, saying that the Governor has now become the reference point of good governance not just in Nigeria, but in Africa.

On their parts, Sole Administrators of Yaba and Bariga Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), Bayo Adefuye and Sanya Osijo respectively, said it was evident that Governor Ambode has shown relentless determination toward ensuring that qualitative education gets to the grassroots.

“We are indeed grateful that our Governor is living up to expectation by taking education as of utmost importance and we like to urge residents to take good care of this edifice that is being bequeathed to us by government,” Adefuye said.

Also, Lagos State Chairman of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Moses Adewale, hailed the Governor over the massive infrastructure development in the State.

Adewale, who spoke on behalf of students in the State, said it was gratifying to note that Lagos under Governor Ambode has been recruiting and paying staff as at when due when other States were retrenching and even unable to pay staff, saying that the development exemplified the Governor’s managerial acumen and commitment to welfare of Lagosians.