Waje brought the house down at the just concluded Africa Day concert which was broadcast live from Newtown Johannesburg, South Africa last night.
Clad in a red Samuel Noon jumpsuit, the singer performed some of her fan favourites from Ominiknowest, to Coco Baby and I wish. The highlight of the night was her performance alongside the legendary Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi of his evergreen single ‘Neria’
Here Are some interesting pictures from the event.
The Nigerian Army has on Sunday announced that a mine explosion along the Biu -Damboa road, Borno state has sent a woman with her baby and 3 other men to their early grave.
The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, said that a tricycle, known as “Keke NAPEP”, had unknowingly stepped on an IED planted by the side of Biu -Damboa road close to a military checkpoint on the outskirts of Biu town, Borno State.
The explosion also injured a military official in the area.
The DAPR said the four civilians died instantly while the soldier died at the hospital.
Read the full statement below.
At about 8.15am today a tricycle, known as “Keke NAPEP” unknowingly stepped on an Improvise Explosive Device (IED) planted by the side of Biu -Damboa road close to a military checkpoint at the outskirts of Biu town, Borno State.
Unfortunately, the IED exploded instantly killing 4 persons comprising of a woman with her baby and 2 other male adults.
Three other persons were injured including a soldier and they were immediately evacuated to Biu General Hospital. We regret to state that the injured soldier also died at the hospital.
The general area has been cordoned off and Explosive Ordinance Device (EOD) team from Forward Operation Base (FOB) in Buratai have been mobilized to carry out further search of the area.
Preliminary investigations shows that the IED was buried long time ago undetected. It exploded when the tricycle erroneously stepped on it.
We commiserate with the families of the victims of this sad incident.
This unfortunate development has brought to the fore, the need for more security consciousness and vigilance among all.
We would like to reiterate that the explosion would not deter us from seeing to the end of Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hiding through our ongoing clearance operations.
We want to use this opportunity to solicit for more cooperation from the members of the public to enable us succeed in the fight against the remnants of these criminal elements going by the appellation “Boko Haram terrorists”.
Members of the ferocious Islamic death cult are known to plant mines, also called Improvised Explosive Devices, on roads as they run from soldiers who are trying to restore peace and normalcy to affected states.
A classic case of character versus spite, two women who are the best judge of Johnny Depp’s character have come to his defense.
Lori Anne Allison and Vanessa Paradis both past flames of Johnny Depp are defending the Pirates of the Caribbean star declaring Depp was never and still isn’t a woman beater while asserting the falsehood of Amber Heard’s claim.
Vanessa Paradis who was Depp’s long-term partner and mother of his two children – Lily-Rose, 17, and Jack, 14 wrote a letter debunking Heard’s allegation.
Paradis was Johnny’s partner from 1998 – 2012 and despite having every reason to be scorned seeing as Depp left her for the younger Heard, she called her ex “a sensitive, loving and loved person.”
She wrote, “To whom it may concern, Johnny Depp is the father of my two children, he is a sensitive, loving and loved person, and I believe with all my heart , that these recent allegations being made are outrageous. In all the years I have known Johnny, he has never been physically abusive with me and this looks nothing like the man I lived with for fourteen wonderful years.”
Just as Lori, who was also married to Johnny from 1983 to 1985, disclosed falsehood in Heard’s claim.
Lori confided in friends that Depp never got physical with her during their time together, stating that Depp never even raised his voice. She further described him as a “soft person” who is even kind to animals.
According to her, Depp was more loving to the dog they shared during their marriage than most parents were with their kids.
She added that they were still friends as they both spoke last week after she called to offer her condolences over the death of Depp’s mother, Betty Sue Palmer.
Heard is bi-sexual and her closeness with Cara Delevingne has been mentioned as one reason the couple are embroiled in this messy battle.
Empire Mates Entertainment’s talented singer and songwriter, Shaydee is back! By now, you would have heard his newly released single, ‘Smile’. #Smile, is a track produced by Jay Paul, a celebration of love and happiness that sure brightens up your day.
Born Folarin Shadrach Adeboye on September 21st, 1987in the northern part of Nigeria, Kano. The talented Shaydee started singing in high school then he went on to join the school choir and in a very short time became the head of the choir. His very first song, ‘How Do I Breathe’ was produced under the tutelage of music producer, Spellz. Before Shaydee was signed to his current record label, Empire Mates Entertainment (EME), he was recording as a backup vocalist and writing songs for other artists. Shortly after his signing to EME, the shy and very private Shaydee, was featured on ‘Empire Mates State of Mind compilation album’ where he recorded with label mates – Banky W, Wizkid, Skales and Niyola. Having released a few songs under EME, he has been quiet although working with other artists both on his label – Banky W & Niyola and outside his label, notably he wrote and featured on Seyi Shay’s Murda featuring Patoranking. He was recently part of a collaborative song – a tribute to Nelson Mandela – Viva Mandela with Cassper Nyovest, Banky W, Runtown, Wax Dey and Simphiwe Dana.
We catch up with Shaydee on why he has been away from the Nigerian music scene, what he has been working on, what we should expect from his upcoming anticipated album, what makes him tick and the song #Smile.
You’ve been away from the music scene for a while. What was the reason for the hiatus? I wouldn’t exactly say I have been ‘away’ from the music scene. I have just been preparing better – working on myself & my brand. A lot of work behind the scenes goes into being an entertainer or public figure. I definitely owe my fans the best that’s whyi’ve got to be prepared. Right now, I feel super ready and excited for the future.
Congrats on the release of your new single and video, ‘Smile.’ What is the inspiration behind the song and video? Thank you so much. Smile was produced by Jaypaulbeatz and honestly the vibe of the beat pretty much inspired the lyrics. I like to put myself in the frame of mind of other people in order to create the music they can relate to and I believe SMILE is one song that would definitely put a smile on your face especially when you think about a loved one or that special someone.
Watch Shaydee’s new video ‘SMILE’
The video for Smile was directed by Meji Alabi of JM Films and shot in South Africa.
Word on the street is that we should be expecting an album from you really soon. When is it dropping?
Word on the street seems to be right about that one, LOL. The album is ready and I can’t wait to share it with all the good music lovers around the world. My team and I are looking to drop the album in July. Timing is essential with everything in life so we have to do it right.
How would you describe the sound of the new album?
One word I would use to describe the album is, ORIGINAL (that’s not the title, LOL). The sounds vary from reggae to R&B to Afrobeats to Trap etc but in all of this, you can feel the originality in the lyrics and expressions in each song. I can beat my chest and say it would be an album you wouldn’t get over in a hurry.
Any interesting collaborations you’d like to tell us about?
I am privileged to have the likes of 2baba, Wizkid, Flavour, Burnaboy, Phyno, BankyW, Apass, Iyanya, Niyola, Reminisce, Iceprince bless the album and they all came correct. Kudos to them bigtime. I also worked with producers like Jaypaulbeatz, Spax classic, Illkeyz, LegenduryBeatz, Maleekberry, Mebilouz and Sagzy.
You seem like such a private guy even on social media. You don’t really post anything about your everyday life. Why is this? Yes, I admit I don’t put so much of my private life/endeavours on social media due to the kind of person I am. I keep my circle small and I am very protective of my privacy. But I do my best to express myself in my music in a way my fans can feel very close to me. Through my music, my fans get the best of me.
Tell us 5 things the world doesn’t know about you.
1.Architecture is my second love
2. I like to fix things (I studied electrical engineering).
3. I’m a bit of a shy guy
4. I’m playful
5. My people say I’m funny…they say.
Who is the special lady in Shaydee’s life?
I’m very single. LOL
You are uber-talented, there’s no doubt about that. But many would describe you as underrated. What are your thoughts on this?
I believe every phase I have gone through as an artiste has been a learning experience for me and we have to realise success comes with a lot of patience, discipline & right timing. All you can do is work smart, pray hard & live ready! I have no doubt whatsoever in my ability and I believe this is my season.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now in your music career?
I dream so big and I can only say all the way UP!
What are some upcoming appearances of yours we should look out for?
I performed ‘Smile’ for the first time live at The Music+ at Fuse Lounge last week Thursday. I have a few events lined up, just follow @shaydeeboi for timely updates.
Any words of advice for aspiring artists out there?
Keep being real with yourself and true to the craft. Nothing comes easy, so take it a step at a time because rome wasn’t built in a day. Lastly, stay loyal to the friends who tell you the truth and pray as hard as you work.
Listen and download Shaydee’s new single, ‘Smile’here, if you haven’t done so already.
The Commandant of the Borno State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, has disclosed that the security outfit uncovered two bomb-making factories in Dikwa, Borno state.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri on Sunday, Abdullahi said that the factories were discovered during a patrol by men of the command in collaboration with the troops of the 22 Armoured Brigade of the Nigerian Army.
His words: “In an effort to comply with the directives of the Ministerial Committee on Resettlement of Liberated Towns by the military, NSCDC had deployed its personnel to Dikwa and are working hand in hand with the military.
“This collective effort has therefore, led to the discovery of two major bomb making factories in two abandoned houses.
“Our Detection and Bomb Disposal Unit, Intelligence and Detective Operation Unit in collaboration with the troops of 22 Armoured Brigade of the Nigerian Army have since neutralised some of the live IEDs.
“Some IEDs making equipment, gas cylinders and a jet bomb propeller were discovered and handed over to the brigade command.
“Men of the command also discovered 114 live machine gun along Dikwa-Mafa road just after Shehuri Village that was abandoned by the insurgents.”
NAN recalls that the command had deployed about 200 men to Boko Haram liberated communities, including Dikwa, Munguno, Nganzai, Chibok and Askira Uba Local Government Areas of the state.
African rising star, Skales recently headlined the African Music Festival in Moscow, Russia. The festival which held on May 7th at the Stereo Hall featured performances by artists from different African countries.
In the midst of all the collaborations and performances around the world, Skales is working on his sophomore album, which is expected to drop some time this year.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has on Sunday declared the just concluded Nasarawa/Toto Federal Constituency bye-election inconclusive due to cancellation of votes as a result of over voting.
The declaration was made by the Constituency Returning Officer of the election, Wilfred Uji of Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, while announcing the outcome of the poll in Nasarawa, Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state.
Referring to Section 53 of the Electoral Act which gives the commission the power to cancel elections in polling units where there is over voting, Uji said:
“For Nasarawa/Toto federal constituency, we have a total number of 202,338 registered voters for the election out of which 76,475 were accredited and the total vote cast was 75,826 and we have 74,848 valid votes and the rejected votes stand at 978.
“The cancelled votes taken from the vote cast stand at 39,150 and the four political parties that participated at the bye-election scored the following votes, APC scored 46,559; PDP scored 17,068; APGA 11,181 and Labour party (LP) got 40 votes.
“The marginal difference between the APC and PDP is 29,491, and the cancelled votes is 39,150, so the cancelled votes exceeded the marginal difference between APC and PDP as a result of over voting in some polling units of the constituency.
“Based on the relevant laws guiding the commission, we hereby order for a rerun in the affected polling units on Wednesday, June 1 in order to get a winner and such decision has been taken in the interest of peace.”
On Saturday, the State Commissioner of Police, Lawal Shehu, had confirmed that hoodlums snatched five ballot boxes in the on-going bye elections in the state.
Shehu said INEC officials reported the snatching of ballot boxes containing electoral materials in units 003,004,005,006 and 008, adding that he had directed his men to ensure the recovery of the boxes and arrest of culprits.
“We are doing our best to ensure violence- free election; to also ensure the protection of lives and property, as such we will not allow any person or groups to cause distraction,” he said.
Buhari’s Scorecard: Stakeholders, Experts Rate President Very Low
As President Muhammadu Buhari clocks a year, today, May 29, 2016, as the supreme ruler of Nigeria, experts and stakeholders in different sectors of the economy have given their different views of the President’s performance in a scorecard.
Stakeholders in the manufacturing sector rated the President poor. Commenting on the sector, the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Frank Jacobs, said, “The past one year has been the worst period in the history of manufacturing because of the fact that government policies made it difficult for manufacturers to plan.
“The issue of foreign exchange affected manufacturers to the extent that many of our members had to close shop while others operated at very low capacity because they did not have enough forex to buy their raw materials.”
The Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Muda Yusuf, also said, “The economic policy space remains unclear. Policy conception is faulty; hence, policy coordination and implementation suffer serious setback. There is, therefore, an urgent need for central policy strategy with detailed and well-designed policy direction. This is critical for effective and efficient coordination and implementation of policies.”
Aviation — Poor
The administration was not rated better in the aviation sector either as stakeholders were unequivocal in submitting that his performance was poor.
A former Military Commandant of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos, Group Capt John Ojikutu, said the Federal Government had done nothing in the aviation sector in the last one year.
According to him, the impact of the Buhari-led government had not been seen both at the public and private sectors.
He said, “When you look at FAAN, NAMA, NCAA, AIB and other agencies under the Ministry of Aviation, nothing has happened in the last one year. The process of commercialising FAAN and NAMA ought to have started while the NCAA and the AIB as regulatory agencies should have been strengthened. In terms of critical safety infrastructure, nothing has happened. The same thing applies to the private sector.”
Ojikutu noted that there was a long way to go in the aviation sector.
The Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria, Capt Nogie Meggison, also rated the aviation sector as poorly managed in the last one year.
Energy (Power, oil and gas) – Poor
The President, Nigerian Association of Energy Economics, Prof. Wumi Iledare, said, “Certainly, that the current minister (Ibe Kachikwu) is brilliant is an understatement. That he is energetic is not in doubt. But to think he has sole answers to Nigeria’s oil and gas sector challenges is foolhardy. Thus, I have no hesitance to give the current government a low grade with respect to the governance of the sector.
“That the current minister is the (NNPC’s) GMD cannot in my opinion be justified for the ineffective governance of the industry. It has made the governance of the sector more amorphous, confusing, regressive and perhaps dictatorial than in the last administration.
“There is no gainsaying that for nearly 20 years, the industry has been waiting for petroleum industry reform. I expected something on the PIB almost immediately the government was sworn in by the then National Assembly.”
The immediate past Chief Executive Officer, Midwestern Oil & Gas Company Limited, Mr. Adams Okoene, also said, “I don’t see a blueprint with clearly defined milestones towards achieving the energy sufficiency that this country needs; a thing like that must be visible to everyone.”
Construction/Housing — Poor
In the construction and housing sector, the verdict is poor.
A professor of housing and urban regeneration and the Dean, Daculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Lagos, Gbenga Nubi, said, “Like most sectors, we haven’t done anything in housing. Although there are programmes to build houses in the six geo-political zones of the country, the truth is that these programmes cannot really drive the country. The unfortunate thing also is that when housing comes after power and works as a portfolio, then we know that as a country, we are in trouble.
“It should have been reversed; housing should drive other sectors. It’s a big ministry and we know that attention will not be given to housing, which is key to our national survival.
“So, subsuming it under power and works ministry goes a long way to tell us the position and place of housing in the heart of this present administration. The scoreboard in the last one year is actually poor.”
The Second Vice-President, Nigerian Institute of Building, Mr. Kunle Awobodu, said since the inception of this government, construction activities had been at low ebb.
Awobodu, who is also President, Building Collapse Prevention Guild, said, “Several companies in the sector have retrenched more than 50 per cent of their workers while others have closed down completely to venture into other things after selling their equipment.
“Government is the major client to professionals in the construction industry; so, if the government is not engaging in construction activities, the sector will be down. Overall, we can say the performance has been a bit fair not completely poor but it can get better. We are hoping that now that the budget has been passed, activities will pick up again.”
Money market/Finance — Poor
The submission of technocrats in the finance sector is that the Federal Government has performed poorly in the last one year.
The Chief Executive Officer, Renaissance Capital, a London-based investment bank and research firm, Mr. Temi Popoola, said although the new administration had a good economic team, the policy response to the challenges facing the economy was initially not effective.
He said, “In our view, the initial response to the global events, which impacted Nigeria could have been done differently. It has taken much time. The decisions on electricity tariff, currency regime and subsidy could have been taken earlier. I think we are now on the path of recovery.”
Similarly, the Managing Director, Cowry Assets Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, rated the economy as poorly managed.
But, a professor of economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sherrifdden Tella, scored the management of the economy under Buhari fair.
Capital market — Poor
In the capital market of the sector, the result is poor.
The President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Shehu Mikail, said the happenings in the stock market in the past one year were a reflection of the country’s economic stance, which had been very hostile in terms of policy direction.
He said the country was currently plagued by serious economic and financial challenges, which had resulted in activities being slowed down, especially in the financial sphere, which included the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Mikail, said, “The prices can be better if things turn around economically. The 2016 budget had been passed and the implication of the passage would start filtering into the economy in due course. With the recent forex flexibility, we expect the game to change.”
An analyst at WSTC Financial Services Limited, Mr. Tola Oni, also said in the last one year, the efficiency of the country’s economy had been constrained by policies – monetary and fiscal.
He noted that the country had not been able to chart the right path in the past one year, saying some actions by the government in recent times had shown a rethink especially in the partial deregulation of the petroleum downstream sub-sector and the flexible foreign exchange market.
“Our concern is that this flexibility must mean flexibility in the whole sense of it. We’ve seen the capital market make progress recently owing to this. Any attempt by the government to interfere again could drag us back significantly,” he added.
Telecommunication — Poor
The outgoing President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, said there were unmet expectations in the sector.
He specifically said the broadband penetration remained low; investor confidence weak, judging by the response to the recent spectrum auction that produced only one bidder. “Operators are still facing huge challenges,” he said.
Also, the President, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers of Nigeria, Mr. Adeolu Ogunbanjo, said, “President Muhammadu Buhari’s Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has done well by coming out with a policy that mandates operators to roll over data for subscribers. So, the case of wiping out subscribers data completely at expiry date is no more, as such data can be rolled over when the subscriber recharges.
“However, the operators have failed, or refused, to implement this policy. The minister’s inability to ensure implementation is a very big challenge and something must be done about it.
“Secondly, the June 30, 2016 deadline given to operators by the Nigerian Communications Commission to stop unsolicited calls and text messages is a big plus for this administration. The NATCOMS has written to concerned committees in the National Assembly to ensure that there is maximum implementation by July 1.”
Maritime — Fair
The President was, however, given a fair rating in his performance in the maritime sector.
Spokesperson for the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria, Mr. Bolaji Akinola, said the sector had recorded some progress in the area of indigenous shipping.
He lauded the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, for engaging and interacting meaningfully with indigenous shipowners.
Akinola, “This line of communication with indigenous shipowners was not happening in the past. It is from this interaction that the government will understand the challenges of the indigenous ship owners and address them.
“Already, he is trying to work with the industry to fashion out policies and programmes that will support the operation of indigenous ship owners.”
He, however, added that the Buhari-led administration inherited obnoxious policies such as the increased duty on rice, the fish import quota system and the national automotive policy. “These policies supported the diversion of cargo to other neighbouring countries. We are hopeful that these policies will be reversed in the second year as the first year of this administration might be too early to give the desired attention to every sphere of the Nigerian economy,” Akinola said.
The Secretary-General, Nigeria Ship owners Association, Tunji Brown, also gave the Buhari administration a pass mark in its efforts to turn around the maritime sector.
He said, “They are just at the first phase of putting policies together and drawing up a road map. So far, they have been transparent. We now know what is happening with the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund and the plans they have to develop the shipping sector.”
Health — Poor
Under health, the administration has been rated poor for its performance in the last one year.
Associate professor of medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Akoka, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, said that the health sector suffered major setbacks under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Ashiru noted that the Federal Government had yet to come up with any concrete policy on primary, secondary and tertiary health care while it had failed to act on those implemented by the previous administration.
He said, “The health sector has not fared well at all. There is nothing going on so far apart from the few appointments they had made. Nothing really has been done. No policy has come out to say that the administration is focusing on primary, secondary or tertiary health care. They have continued with the status quo.”
Ashiru added, “The teaching hospitals are at their lowest helm in terms of support. They are not able to deliver cutting- edge medical services because of lack of funds. They cannot embark on major research because they are still struggling to keep the hospital together.”
He also noted that Nigerians had had to pay more for health services in the last one year as the prices of drugs had increased astronomically.
Ashiru stated, “Most of the pharmaceutical companies have passed on their overheads to consumers because they cannot get dollar to import drugs.
Full Text Of President Buhari’s Speech On Democracy Day
It is one year today since our administration came into office. It has been a year of triumph, consolidation, pains and achievements. By age, instinct and experience, my preference is to look forward, to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead and rededicate the administration to the task of fixing Nigeria. But I believe we can also learn from the obstacles we have overcome and the progress we made thus far, to help strengthen the plans that we have in place to put Nigeria back on the path of progress.
We affirm our belief in democracy as the form of government that best assures the active participation and actual benefit of the people. Despite the many years of hardship and disappointment the people of this nation have proved inherently good, industrious tolerant, patient and generous.
The past years have witnessed huge flows of oil revenues. From 2010 average oil prices were $100 per barrel. But economic and security conditions were deteriorating. We campaigned and won the election on the platform of restoring security, tackling corruption and restructuring the economy. On our arrival, the oil price had collapsed to as low as $30 per barrel and we found nothing had been kept for the rainy day. Oil prices have been declining since 2014 but due to the neglect of the past, the country was not equipped to halt the economy from declining.
The infrastructure, notably rail, power, roads were in a decrepit state. All the four refineries were in a state of disrepair, the pipelines and depots neglected.
Huge debts owed to contractors and suppliers had accumulated. Twenty-seven states could not pay salaries for months. In the north-east, Boko Haram had captured 14 local governments, driven the local authorities out, hoisted their flags. Elsewhere, insecurity was palpable; corruption and impunity were the order of the day. In short, we inherited a state near collapse.
On the economic front, all oil dependent countries, Nigeria included, have been struggling since the drop in prices. Many oil rich states have had to take tough decisions similar to what we are doing. The world, Nigeria included has been dealing with the effects of three significant and simultaneous global shocks starting in 2014:
A 70% drop in oil prices.
Global growth slowdown.
Normalization of monetary policy by the United States federal reserve.
Our problems as a government are like that of a farmer who in a good season harvests ten bags of produce. The proceeds enable him to get by for rest of the year. However, this year he could only manage 3 bags from his farm. He must now think of other ways to make ends meet.
From day one, we purposely set out to correct our condition, to change Nigeria. We reinforced and galvanized our armed forces with new leadership and resources. We marshaled our neighbours in a joint task force to tackle and defeat Boko Haram. By the end of December 2015, all but pockets and remnants had been routed by our gallant armed forces. Our immediate focus is for a gradual and safe return of internally displaced persons in safety and dignity and for the resumption of normalcy in the lives of people living in these areas.
EFCC was given the freedom to pursue corrupt officials and the judiciary was alerted on what Nigerians expect of them in the fight against corruption. On the economy, in particular foreign exchange and fuel shortages, our plan is to save foreign exchange by fast tracking repair of the refineries and producing most of our fuel requirements at home. And by growing more food in Nigeria, mainly rice, wheat and sugar we will save billions of dollars in foreign exchange and drastically reduce our food import bill.
We resolved to keep the Naira steady, as in the past, devaluation had done dreadful harm to the Nigerian economy. Furthermore, I supported the monetary authority’s decision to ensure alignment between monetary policy and fiscal policy. We shall keep a close look on how the recent measures affect the Naira and the economy. But we cannot get away from the fact that a strong currency is predicated on a strong economy. And a strong economy pre-supposes an industrial productive base and a steady export market. The measures we must take, may lead to hardships. The problems Nigerians have faced over the last year have been many and varied. But the real challenge for this government has been reconstructing the spine of the Nigerian state. The last twelve months have been spent collaborating with all arms of government to revive our institutions so that they are more efficient and fit for purpose:
That means a bureaucracy better able to develop and deliver policy
That means an independent judiciary, above suspicion and able to defend citizen’s rights and dispense justice equitably.
That means a legislature that actually legislates effectively and
Above all; that means political parties and politicians committed to serving the Nigerian people rather than themselves.
These are the pillars of the state on which democracy can take root and thrive. But only if they are strong and incorruptible. Accordingly, we are working very hard to introduce some vital structural reforms in the way we conduct government business and lay a solid foundation on which we can build enduring change.
An important first step has been to get our housekeeping right. So we have reduced the extravagant spending of the past. We started boldly with the treasury single account, stopping the leakages in public expenditure.
We then identified forty-three thousand ghost workers through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information system. That represents pay packets totalling N4.2 billion stolen every month. In addition, we will save Twenty-Three Billion Naira per annum from official travelling and sitting allowances alone.
Furthermore, the efficiency unit will cut costs and eliminate duplications in ministries and departments. Every little saving helps. The reduction in the number of ministries and work on restructuring and rationalization of the MDAs is well underway. When this work is complete we will have a leaner, more efficient public service that is fit for the purpose of changing nigeria for the good and for good.
As well as making savings, we have changed the way public money is spent. In all my years as a public servant, I have never come across the practice of padding budgets. I am glad to tell you now we not only have a budget, but more importantly, we have a budget process that is more transparent, more inclusive and more closely tied to our development priorities than in the recent past. 30% of the expenditure in this budget is devoted to capital items. Furthermore, we are projecting non-oil revenues to surpass proceeds from oil. Some critics have described the budget exercise as clumsy. Perhaps. But it was an example of consensus building, which is integral to democratic government. In the end we resolved our differences.
We have, therefore, delivered significant milestones on security, corruption and the economy. In respect of the economy, I would like to directly address you on the very painful but inevitable decisions we had to make in the last few weeks specifically on the pump price of fuel and the more flexible exchange rate policy announced by the central bank. It is even more painful for me that a major producer of crude oil with four refineries that once exported refined products is today having to import all of its domestic needs. This is what corruption and mismanagement has done to us and that is why we must fight these ills.
As part of the foundation of the new economy we have had to reform how fuel prices had traditionally been fixed. This step was taken only after protracted consideration of its pros and cons. After comprehensive investigation my advisers and I concluded that the mechanism was unsustainable.
We are also engaged in making recoveries of stolen assets some of which are in different jurisdictions. The processes of recovery can be tedious and time consuming, but today I can confirm that thus far: significant amount of assets have been recovered. A considerable portion of these are at different stages of recovery. Full details of the status and categories of the assets will now be published by the Ministry of Information and updated periodically. When forfeiture formalities are completed these monies will be credited to the treasury and be openly and transparently used in funding developmental projects and the public will be informed.
On the Niger Delta, we are committed to implementing the United Nations Environment Programme report and are advancing clean-up operations. I believe the way forward is to take a sustainable approach to address the issues that affect the delta communities. Re-engineering the amnesty programmes is an example of this. The recent spate of attacks by militants disrupting oil and power installations will not distract us from engaging leaders in the region in addressing Niger Delta problems. If the militants and vandals are testing our resolve, they are much mistaken. We shall apprehend the perpetrators and their sponsors and bring them to justice.
The policy measures and actions taken so far are not to be seen as some experiment in governance. We are fully aware that those vested interests who have held Nigeria back for so long will not give up without a fight. They will sow divisions, sponsor vile press criticisms at home and abroad, incite the public in an effort to create chaos rather than relinquish the vice-like grip they have held on Nigeria.
The economic misfortune we are experiencing in the shape of very low oil prices has provided us with an opportunity to restructure our economy and diversify. We are in the process of promoting agriculture, livestocks, exploiting our solid mineral resources and expanding our industrial and manufacturing base. That way, we will import less and make the social investments necessary to allow us to produce a large and skilled workforce.
Central Bank of Nigeria will offer more fiscal incentives for business that prove capable of manufacturing products that are internationally competitive. We remain committed to reforming the regulatory framework, for investors by improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the first steps along the path of self-sufficiency in rice, wheat and sugar – big users of our scarce foreign exchange – have been taken. The Labour Intensive Farming Enterprise will boost the economy and ensure inclusive growth in long neglected communities. Special intervention funds through the Bank of Agriculture will provide targeted support. Concerns remain about rising cost of foods such as maize, rice, millet, beans and gari. Farmers tell me that they are worried about the cost of fertilizers, pesticides and the absence of extension services. The federal and state governments are on the same page in tackling these hurdles in our efforts at increased food production and ultimately food security.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the increasing role that our women are playing in revitalizing the agricultural sector. Modern farming is still hard and heavy work and I salute our Nigerian women in sharing this burden. In this respect I am very pleased to announce that the government will shortly be launching the national women’s empowerment fund, which I have approved to provide N1.6 billion in micro-finance loans to women across the nation to assist in rehabilitating the economies of rural communities, particularly those impacted by the insurgency and conflict.
With respect to solid minerals, the minister has produced a roadmap where we will work closely with the world bank and major international investors to ensure through best practices and due diligence that we choose the right partners. Illegal mining remains a problem and we have set up a special security team to protect our assets. Special measures will be in place to protect miners in their work environment.
For too long, ours has been a society that neglects the poor and victimizes the weak. A society that promotes profit and growth over development and freedom. A society that fails to recognize that, to quote the distinguished economist Amartya Sen “ poverty is not just lack of money. It is not having the capability to realize one’s full potential as a human being.”
So, today, I am happy to formally launch, by far the most ambitious social protection programme in our history. A programme that both seeks to start the process of lifting many from poverty, while at the same time creating the opportunity for people to fend for themselves. In this regard, Five Hundred Billion Naira has been appropriated in the 2016 budget for social intervention programmes in five key areas. We are committed to providing job creation opportunities for five hundred thousand teachers and one hundred thousand artisans across the nation. 5.5 million children are to be provided with nutritious meals through our school feeding programme to improve learning outcomes, as well as enrolment and completion rates. The conditional cash transfer scheme will provide financial support for up to one million vulnerable beneficiaries, and complement the enterprise programme – which will target up to one million market women; four hundred and sixty thousand artisans; and two hundred thousand agricultural workers, nationwide. Finally, through the education grant scheme, we will encourage students studying sciences, technology, engineering and maths, and lay a foundation for human capital development for the next generation
I would like to pay a special tribute to our gallant men and women of the armed forces who are in harm’s way so that the rest of us can live and go about our business in safety. Their work is almost done. The nation owes them a debt of gratitude.
Abroad, we want to assure our neighbours, friends and development partners that Nigeria is firmly committed to democratic principles. We are ready partners in combating terrorism, cyber crimes, control of communicable diseases and protection of the environment. Following on the Paris Agreement, COP 21, we are fully committed to halting and reversing desertification. Elsewhere, we will intensify efforts to tackle erosion, ocean surge, flooding and oil spillage which I referred to earlier by implementing the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.
We are grateful to the international community notably France, the US, UK and China for their quick response in helping to tackle the recent Ebola outbreak in our sub-region. We also acknowledge the humanity shown by the Italian and German governments in the treatment of boat people, many fleeing from our sub-region because of lack of economic opportunity. We thank all our partners especially several countries in the EU.
We appreciate the valuable work that the UN agencies, particularly UNICEF, ICRC, the World Food Program have been doing. We must also appreciate the World Bank, the Gates Foundation, the Global Fund and Educate A Child of Qatar for the excellent work in our health, education and other sectors.
Fellow citizens let me end on a happy note. To the delight of all, two of the abducted Chibok girls have regained their freedom. During the last one year, not a single day passed without my agonizing about these girls. Our efforts have centred around negotiations to free them safely from their mindless captors. We are still pursuing that course. Their safety is of paramount concern to me and I am sure to most Nigerians. I am very worried about the conditions those still captured might be in. Today I re-affirm our commitment to rescuing our girls. We will never stop until we bring them home safely. As I said before, no girl should be put through the brutality of forced marriage and every Nigerian girl has the right to an education and a life choice.
I thank you and appeal to you to continue supporting the government’s efforts to fix Nigeria.
8 Bars and A Clef is a Nollywood movie that follows the story of a talented young man faced with different obstacles from childhood into adulthood but overcomes them by becoming the best of himself.
8 Bars and A Clef tackles the issue of dyslexia, a dysfunctional family and an overbearing record label executive. Screened at AFRIFF in December 2015 with its official premiere May 29th, 2016 (today) and due out in cinemas 3rd of June, with an AMAA nomination for Best First Feature Film by a Director. Produced and directed by Chioma Onyenwe for Raconteur Productions.
The movie stars some Nollywood favourites Bimbo Akintola, Wale Ojo, Linda Ejiofor and Kehinde Bankole alongside musician Ade Bantu who makes a stellar Nollywood debut with multi-talented alternative music act Ibukun (IBK SpaceshipBoi) as its lead character.
8 Bars And A Clef is the story of Victor E (played by IBK), a very talented artist, his struggles with a learning disability and the challenges he faces at home and in the music industry thanks to an overbearing record label executive – but he has one dream, to become a music superstar regardless of the obstacles.. Expect a lot of love, drama, tears and great music.
Check out some of the BTS pictures from 8 Bars and A Clef below.
Watch the trailer of the amazing 8 Bars and A Clef
Some of Africa’s finest stars, including Samuel Eto’o, Sulley Muntari, Stephen Appiah, Lomana Lualua and Laryea Kingston were around for the occasion, with Nigerian greats Vincent Enyeama, Nwankwo Kanu, Austin Okocha, Mutiu Adepoju, Austin Eguavoen and Ben Iroha also suiting up for the day.
Current Super Eagles players Ahmed Musa, Godfrey Oboabona, Efe Ambrose and Joel Obi also played for Team Nigeria. Team Nigeria was coached by Amodu Shaibu and Samson Siasia, while Team World was coached by David Moyes and Fanny Amun.
The match eventually ended 5-4, with goals from Emmanuel Emenike, Samuel Eto’o, and even actor Osita Iheme.
Real Madrid gaffer Zinedine Zidane reflected on the dream triumph of winning the UCL, after they saw off bitter rivals, Atletico on penalties at the San Siro.
Zidane is the first Frenchman to win the UCL as a coach and the seventh man to win it as both a player and a manager, just five months after taking over from Rafa Benitez.
Zidane revealed the success had made him feel as proud as former Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti had told him such a triumph would.
He said: “I dreamed this, yes. When the president gave me the opportunity to coach this great club, I knew we could achieve something big.
“It’s huge! Ancelotti told me he hoped I would be able to lift the trophy as a head coach. He told me: ‘If you have a chance of winning as coach, you’ll see it feels nothing like winning the final as a player’ and he was right – it’s a massive joy.
“What I’ve brought is my positive attitude. We have quality, but hard work is even more important – and we’ve all worked hard.
“When you achieve what we’ve achieved all season it means you’ve done well, that the messages have got through, that the players have followed me and that I’ve followed them. That’s how we’ve managed to win this Champions League.
“I have now won Champions League as player, assistant and now head coach – what can I say? I am very proud to be part of this great club for a long time now.
“When you have players of this calibre, with this talent, you can achieve something big like we have.
“When you win something as big as the Champions League, it means a lot – for the players and the technical staff. I’m very happy for everything we’ve achieved together. It’s not easy at all.”
Justin’s Producer, Skillet, addresses copyright infringement accusations made by singer – White Hinterland.
In case you missed it, read all about Justin Bieber’s recent lawsuit here!
His Producer takes to twitter to respond to the lawsuit but we feel that it’s a bit late, don’t you think? Justin had a chance to reply to the accusation before it even became a legal issue, instead his people thought it was wise to allow it blow up to the level which it did.
Zika Virus: Novak Djokovic Says Olympics Should Not Be Cancelled – Tennis great Novak Djokovic has described cancelling the Rio 2016 Olympics over the Zika virus as “unthinkable.”
Djokovic has stated that he will be playing at the games regardless, despite over 100 scientists advocating for the postponement of the games. The WHO however maintains that the virus is not sufficient reason to cancel or postpone the games.
World number one Djokovic said: “Somebody has passed me the information that a significant amount of scientists have come up with a statement that it’s not safe. Honestly, I don’t know what to think any more. But I need to get informed more so I can speak more in detail about it, because for the moment I’m planning to play the Olympics. Nothing is changing.
“But let’s see what happens. To even think to cancel the Olympic Games is unthinkable, honestly. I mean, many athletes and people already planned in advance and so many people already planned their trips and accommodation in Rio.”
“Of course we have to have common sense that health is the most important for anybody that is there. But we should not only think about people coming to Rio. How about those people living there? Not talking about them too much.
Southampton manager, Ronald Koeman is quite disgusted at the way Manchester United handled the sacking of his countryman, Louis van Gaal.
The Dutchman stated the club does not deserve the FA cup, which LVG won for the club, before getting sacked on Monday. He was eventually replaced by Jose Mourinho on Friday.
But Koeman believes United lacked class in their handling of Van Gaal, amid reports they were working behind the scenes to secure Mourinho while the former Netherlands coach was still in charge.
“I have watched the process around Louis and Jose Mourinho from a distance,” Koeman said in quotes attributed to the Mirror. “For months we were all reading that Mourinho was busy with Manchester United.
“If Louis was not told about getting the sack until after the FA Cup final, then Manchester United as a club don’t deserve a medal for the way they treated him.
“If you know a little bit about the business at the highest level in football, then you know that these kind of deals are not done overnight.
“But Louis has been put under tremendous pressure for months. This is why I admire the way he kept his dignity.
“Of course, he had a number of run-ins with the media and there were moments when I thought ‘Louis, you could have dealt with that in another way.’ But Louis is Louis.
“But looking at the incredible pressure all around him, I think he did a great job winning a big trophy like the FA Cup.”
Talks between Reading and Jaap Stam about the managerial vacancy at the Madejski hit a problem late last night, according to the Daily Mail.
The former Manchester United defender remains strong favourite to replace Brian McDermott in the hotseat following his dismissal by the Championship club yesterday. Ex-Athletico Madrid star Milinko Pantic is another name being linked with the role.
Stam, 43, is currently the assistant boss with Ajax and keen to launch his own managerial career, with the Royals eager to hand the Dutchman his big chance.
But they will first have to overcome the hurdle which disrupted what are believed to be advanced negotiations, although talks are set to resume between both parties this weekend to get the deal back on.
Toni Kroos is the new top midfield target for Pep Guardiola at Manchester City – not Paul Pogba.
Manchester United’s stars are desperate for Ryan Giggs to remain at Old Trafford.
Arsene Wenger has won over the Arsenal fans – with the majority of the club’s home hardcore now willing to give him another year at the helm.
Louis van Gaal feels he was stabbed in the back by Jose Mourinho with the sacked Manchester United boss seething over the way his old pal replaced him at Old Trafford.
Marcus Rashford has agreed a £1.3m-a-year deal to stay at Manchester United after smashing the goalscoring record for England.
Frank Lampard is backing Jose Mourinho to work his magic and make Manchester United great again.
American businessman Charlie Stillitano is still hoping to develop a World Super League following a meeting with top clubs for a European Super League.
Crystal Palace are keen on a triple summer transfer swoop for Steven Caulker, Ryan Mason and Saido Berahino.
PSG are set to make a last-ditch attempt to snatch Everton striker Romelu Lukaku from under the noses of Chelsea.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will leave Borussia Dortmund this summer, according to his national team coach with Real Madrid and Manchester United on red alert.
Ronald Koeman has blasted Manchester United over the dismissal of arch-enemy Louis van Gaal.
Hull City have secured their place in the Premier League AND landed an American takeover with Assem Allam agreeing to sell up.
Ryan Giggs has told Manchester United: ‘Give me a proper job or I’ll go’ as he decides whether to end his time at his boyhood club.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is looking to hit the ground running with Karim Benzema, Saul Niguez and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all targeted.
Porto have confirmed the permanent signing of Miguel Layun from Watford.
The full-back joined Watford in January 2015 but spent last season on loan with Porto.
The Portuguese side have now made the deal permanent, paying a reported six million euros.
A statement from Porto read: “The Mexican was on loan from Watford, but our club reached an agreement with the English club. If Layun was already a player in the style of Porto, now he will have a contract with Porto.”
There has been speculation Layun could be sold on to Real Madrid this summer.
Both Raphael Varane and John Stones have been linked with moves to Old Trafford since Jose Mourinho became the new manager , but former Manchester United defender Phil Neville thinks John Stones would be a better fit in Jose Mourinho’s defence than Raphael Varane.
“He’d cost a lot but forget the cost. I was at Everton when he signed from Barnsley and straight away I thought, ‘He’s a Man United player’,” Neville told Full Time Devils.
“There are certain players you say he’s a Man United player and he looks one to me; he’s English, he’s young, he’s got the confidence, the character and the ability.
“Varane? I know Mourinho loves him a lot. He raved about him a lot. He’s probably similar to John Stones and so you probably wouldn’t bring them both in. He could catch pigeons he’s so fast. Stones, Verane if you could bring one of the in you’d be strengthening our back four.”
“I think Stones would probably be a better partner (for Chris Smalling).
Steven Caulker could be on his way to Crystal Palace from QPR in a £6.5million move, according to the Guardian.
The defender, who joined the Hoops from Cardiff for £8m two years ago, spent last season on loan with Southampton and then Liverpool.
However, he struggled to make an impact at either club and now looks poised to be handed another Premier League lifeline by the Eagles.
Alan Pardew is determined to boost his defensive options knowing Adrian Mariappa and Brede Hangeland are both free agents, while Martin Kelly is also reportedly attracting attention from Sunderland and West Brom.