I Stand With Aisha Buhari

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I Stand With Aisha Buhari, By Azu Ishiekwene

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The decision of First Lady, Aisha Buhari, to retweet criticisms of the Buhari administration caused quite a stir last week.

Not a few had hoped she would disclaim the handle or moan that it was hacked. But she didn’t.

This piece was written by Azu Ishiekwene. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

In a week when her husband was under the most severe attack in recent times for fiddling as widespread killings brought the country to its knees, praying for his intervention that would not come, Aisha’s retweet piled on Abuja’s incompetence.

It was more telling that she sourced her weapons from “enemy” territory. Neither Ben Murray-Bruce nor Isah Misau, whose videos Aisha retweeted, is in the government’s good books.

Murray-Bruce, the blue-eyed show boy from the Obasanjo era is a PDP senator from Bayelsa State. He is also the author of a series of controversial articles on “Commonsense”, which made a virtue of driving from the passenger’s seat, only for him to have a run-in with the Buhari government for failing to repay over N10 billion loan that was overdue. His firm was placed under receivership.

On his part, Senator Misau (APC, Bauchi Central), a retired police officer, ruffled feathers last year when he accused the inspector general of police, Ibrahim Idris Kpotum, of profiteering from deploying policemen to look after fat cats and covering his tracks by illegally donating two SUVs to the First Lady.

If all she wanted were to play politics, Murray-Bruce and Misau would be the last persons Aisha would look to for a stick to beat the government. But the resident iconoclast has proved, once again, that she would not be confined by expediency to “the other room”.

At a time when silence and indifference would have been very convenient – and even understandable – for many in her shoes, Aisha has chosen to stick out her neck for a country that desperately needs any help it can get.

Her retweet was a deep cry for help rendered in the anguished silence of Twitterdom. My guess is that though it was meant for her husband’s attention, it was also a strong message to the powerful forces around her husband, who have labeled her the “suicide bomber from Adamawa.”

The Lion King is encircled and jackals and hyenas – and even rodents – are having a field day. That retweet is the third major in attempt, in less than two years, to rescue the Lion King from the hunters, but it would seem that the most dangerous hunter of all might well be the man himself.

Aisha saw the signs early on, and in a way that reminds one of Lady Diana’s courageous attempts to save the Crown from obsolescence, she raised a flag.

When long-time friends were too scared to speak out or barred from access, when political appointees and party stalwarts were telling Buhari that he was the best thing that happened since the Amalgamation, Aisha said in a BBC Hausa service interview that Buhari was at the risk of a rebellion in his base for neglecting those who had worked for his election.

From former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s devastatingly poignant letter on Tuesday, it appears that the rebellion has spread beyond Buhari’s base: his sponsors have also been infected.

Back then, Aisha suggested that a cabal had hijacked the president and prevented him from following through with the change agenda of the All Progressives Congress.

President Buhari tried to deflect the bombshell by joking in an interview (with German Chancellor Angela Merkel sitting by his side), that his wife should be forgiven for venturing outside her place in “the other room.”

But Aisha’s intervention was not a joke. It was a genuine expression of concern about her straying husband, as it was a personal cry for freedom from two monstrously powerful people in the Presidency who were wrapping her husband around their small fingers.

The untold story from Aisha’s retweet is that the fellows still have Buhari cornered, exploiting his inherent fears and weaknesses as best as they can. Show me the woman in her shoes that would not get mad.

At a point, a number of people thought Buhari’s lethargy, his slow, confused, and often parochial responses to pressing issues had to do with his ill health. The delay in taking decisions, the intra-agency squabbles, stealing and extortion by a few in plain sight and the scandalous backdoor recruitments, were all adjudged regrettable consequences of his poor health.

But Buhari has been back nearly six months now and any hope that he might use his renewed strength to clean up the mess in the Presidency is fading fast. You can’t blame Aisha.

It was after Buhari’s return that cemeteries across the country celebrated the appointments of the dead to federal boards; it was after his return that Abdulrasheed Maina’s crooked readmission into the civil service was uncovered and yet nothing happened.

It was months after Buhari’s return that a report indicting former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and former National Intelligence Agency DG, Ayo Oke was submitted to the government and nothing happened. No, something happened: the president filled the security hierarchy with appointments that would embarrass even the worst ethnic irredentist.

It was after Buhari’s return that long queues resurfaced in petrol stations, and that was after his minister of state, Ibe Kachikwu and the GMD of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, lounged at each other’s throat over allegations of fraud and insubordination; it was after Buhari’s return that 73 citizens were murdered in Benue and we’re still trying to figure out whether it was a “communal clash” or an “invasion by the Islamic State”. Yet the victims are being told to accommodate the aggressors in God’s name.

What should Aisha do, seriously? She has criticised the health system, vented her frustration about the cabal inside the Presidency and demurred from any public activity for months now.

And now on top of the quiet misery she has endured trying to reclaim her husband – and perhaps, the country – Obasanjo has dropped a bombshell, which would be suicidal for her to retweet.

But what can Aisha do? We voted for her husband, not for the First Lady. If this were Eleanor Roosevelt, she would brush aside her husband’s inadequacies, assume the role of First-Lady-in-Chief and perhaps start a newspaper column. But Buhari is not impaired and Nigeria is not Roosevelt’s America of the 1930s.

If Aisha were Lucy Kibaki, she would slap her way through the intransigent cabal and infuse her husband with steel to break free from the gang. But she’s careful not to be the suicide bomber they labeled her and, in any case, Nigeria is not Kibaki’s Kenya.

What can Aisha do? Not much else I’m afraid. After the letter by Obasanjo, the godfather of third term, it seems to me that January 23 would be the day when Aisha’s worst fear came true. May 29, 2019 may have come early.

Will a tweet in time save nine? The answer is blowing in the wind.

Azu Ishiekwene is the MD/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview and member of the Board of the Paris-based Global Editors Network.

This piece was written by Azu Ishiekwene. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of 360Nobs.com.

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16 Dead As Lassa Fever Hits 9 States Including Lagos | Okorocha Warns Against Drinking Garri

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The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in the country has spread to 10 states with 61 confirmed cases.

In a statement issued on Wednesday by its chief executive officer, Chikwe Ihekweazu, the NCDC said 16 people have died from the disease and 107 suspected cases has been recorded in ten states across the country.

Lassa Fever And Why You Need To Take It Seriously (Must Read)

The affected states include; Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo and Lagos.

The statement added that “Ten health care workers have been infected in four states: Ebonyi, 7; Nasarawa, 1; Kogi, 1; and Benue, 1; with three deaths in Ebonyi state.”

It went on to say that the center is collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO), federal ministry of agriculture and rural development, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, African Field Epidemiology Network, US Centers for Disease Control, University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) and other agencies, in supporting the response in the affected states.

The body however urged health workers to practice standard precautions at all times, maintaining a high index of suspicion as Lassa fever presents initially like any other disease causing a febrile illness such as malaria.

It also stated that “Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) must be applied to all suspected cases of malaria. When the RDT is negative, other causes of febrile illness including Lassa fever should be considered.

“Accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment increase the chances of survival. Family members who are providing care for patients with Lassa fever should take extra caution.”

The statement went further to say that “Lassa fever can be prevented through practicing good personal hygiene and proper environmental sanitation.

“Effective measures include storing grain and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers, disposing of garbage far from the home, maintaining clean households, and other measures to discourage rodents from entering homes. Hand washing should be practiced frequently.

It also said in addition, states were encouraged to ensure safe and dignified burial practices for patients who die from Lassa fever.

Okorocha Warns Imo Residents To Stop Drinking Garri

My Governor Has No Brain, By Jibrin Ibrahim

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has warned residents to stop drinking ‘raw garri’ as three persons were confirmed dead in the state as a result of Lassa fever.

The governor said this in a statement issued via his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo, and made available to newsmen.

Mr. Okorocha advised indigenes of the state to stop drinking raw garri (cassava flakes) as well as avoid crowded areas.

“This is not the period for people to drink raw garri because you know garri is not cooked and people just pour water on garri and drink when a rat has urinated on the garri. So people are advised as much as possible to ensure that their food is properly cooked,” the governor said.

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Mourinho: Sanchez Was Close To Joining City

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Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho has revealed that Sanchez was close to joining City, before United swooped him.

Guardiola was close to signing the Chile international, only for a move to be blocked by Arsenal.

United swooped in for Sanchez after City hesitated at the wage demands after a deal was agreed.

“I want to make it clear it was not me,” Mourinho told MUTV of the Sanchez transfer. “Totally the credit is for the owners and the board. They did it – a player like Alexis Sanchez.

“It looks like it is difficult for people to say, ‘Well done, you did it in a fantastic way’. He was with one-and-a-half feet in another club.

“It looks like it is hard to give credit when we win matches there is always an ‘If’. When a player does fantastically well there is always a negative. But the reality is without Manchester United the industry would be in trouble, this is part of being at such a big club.”

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FG Orders Clampdown On Hate Speech By ‘Notable Nigerians’ On Social Media

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The federal government of Nigeria has directed the country’s security agencies to tackle those who propagate hate speeches, especially through the social media.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, who disclosed that the order was given at a security meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja, said special attention should be given to notable Nigerians while tackling the menace.

He also described the trend of hate speech on social media as worrisome.

“The Honourable Minister expressed the need by the relevant security agencies to as a matter of urgency tackle the propagation of hate speeches especially through the social media particularly by some notable Nigerians,” he was quoted as saying.

This is coming almost a year after the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, had assured that the current administration would not regulate social media.

“We have said it before and we want to re-state it: the federal government has no immediate or long-term plan to stifle press freedom. Even the social media, with its warts and all, will neither be regulated nor have its operations tampered with,” he had said in January 2017.

Dan-Ali was also quoted as saying that the Armed Forces is currently synergising with other security agencies through intelligence sharing and joint operations to address the various security challenges facing the country.

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Subotic Signs For Saint-Etienne

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Neven Subotic has ended his long-term stay with Dortmund, joining Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne.

Subotic has played for Dortmund since joining from Mainz in 2008 and played a key role in their back-to-back Bundesliga triumph.

Injury has hampered his time over the last two seasons and he will now continue his career in France.

“I would like to thank BVB wholeheartedly for the nine years at BVB,” he said in a statement on Dortmund’s website.

“Over the years, we have experienced many things together, mourned together and celebrated together. This time I will forever carry in my heart.

 

 

“Thanks to all Borussia fans for this wonderful time, because without your support, they would not have been possible. It was an honour for me to celebrate big titles for our team and the whole city.

“These moments have connected me with BVB and especially with the people behind it. This connection will last forever.”

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Boko Haram: Nigeria Rejects US Conditions For Sale Of Fighter Jets

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The federal government of Nigeria has disclosed that it refused to accept the conditions given by the United States to sell fighter jets worth $494 million to the country.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, made this known on Thursday, January 25, while briefing state house correspondents on the outcome of the Security Council Meeting in Abuja.

US Approves Sale Of $600m High-Tech Attack Planes To Nigeria

The US had last month officially agreed to sell the fighter jets to Nigeria.

The minister, however, revealed that part of the conditions for the 12 A-29 Super Tucano fighter jets is that the sale will not be made until 2020.

Also, Nigerian technicians will not be trained by US staff neither will they be part of maintenance crews.

However, while speaking with newsmen, Dan-Ali said: “These conditions, we will not accept.

“They are also thinking of not allowing our technicians to be part of the production inspection.

“But this is what we normally do in all the defence contracts, we send our personnel to go and understudy, especially when it comes to specialized aircrafts like in Russia, our personnel are permanently based in where the production is being done for this MI35 helicopters.”

He said the federal government plans to meet with the US ambassador to discuss reducing the conditions.

“Payments will be made when the conditions are reduced,” he added.

In April, the President Donald Trump led government had approved the sale of 12 Super Tucano A-29 ground attack aircraft to Nigeria – a deal which would include supplying the Nigerian armed forces with ammunition, training and aircraft maintenance.

This is aimed to aid the fight against Boko Haram sect and other extremists within the spheres of Africa’s most populous nation.

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Rummenigge: Barcelona Wanted To Sign Goretzka

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Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is glad to have held on to a German talent in Goretzka, with Barcelona also eager to sign him.

Goretzka will be joining Bayern Munich from Schalke at the end of the season on a four-year deal.

And Heynckes has hailed the signing, as they have succeeded in keeping a German talent in the league.

And Rummenigge has now claimed in an interview with Bayern-Magazin that La Liga giants Barcelona were in the running for 22-year-old.

“If we had not signed Leon, he would have very likely signed for Barcelona,” he said. “In general, that cannot be [good] on behalf of German football.

“Leon is enormously talented, he is only 22 years old, a German international with great potential in his position. We would have been really wrong if we had not tried to sign him.”

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Lineker Warns Against Kane And Alli Exit

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Gary Lineker believes Tottenham faces the possibility of losikg Kane and Alli, with United and Madrid eager to sign.

Tottenham have been able to keep up with their star’s ambitions, and secured them to long-term contracts.

However, they have slipped this season, prompting interest from Madrid and United for Kane and Alli.

Lineker acknowledges that either could be tempted to jump ship at some stage, with the ex- Spurs striker telling PA Sport on the challenges facing his former club: “I think Tottenham have to decide what they are.

“I think if they want to keep the likes of Kane and Alli, their star players, they’ll have to pay the going rate, or get close to it and they’ll also have to bring players in and challenge for titles because the great players want to win things, they want to be at places where they can do that.

“I suspect Harry Kane, he’d love that to happen, I think that would be his preference.

“But at the same time, if Tottenham don’t show the same ambition perhaps as one or two of the players, then they’ll get a little bit disgruntled and they might seek different areas and different places to play, so it’s a bit of a watershed moment for Tottenham.”

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Kim Kardashian Denies Rumours Of Second Surrogate Baby

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Kimberly Kardashian West, an American reality television personality, socialite, actress, businesswoman and model has slammed reports that a week after welcoming baby Chicago West, she is already wanting a second surrogate baby.

According to US reports, Kim and Kanye asked their gestational carrier if she’d been willing to have another child for them after Kim, 37, hailed the last pregnancy ‘the best experience I’ve ever had.’

Taking to Twitter, Kim shared a link to the story and blasted it as ‘fake news.’

Kim had been forced to look for alternatives after being told how it would be unsafe for her to carry a third baby as she struggles with high risk conditions preeclampsia and placenta accreta. Although Kim has repeatedly referred to the woman carrying her child as ‘her surrogate’ what she actually had was a ‘gestational carrier’ – meaning her newborn daughter is biologically both hers and Kanye’s.

Speaking via her app, Kim explained:

“A traditional surrogate donates her egg, is artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm and then carries the baby to term.

“Since we implanted my fertilized egg in our gestational carrier, our baby is biologically mine and Kanye’s,” she confirmed.

She further explained that she and her hubby Kanye opted for surrogacy through an agency and not through a known person.

“You can either choose someone that you know or you can go through an agency, like Kanye and I did.”

The now mum-of-three was also keen to point out that although she didn’t carry the baby herself, the process was in no way ‘an easy way out.’

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Simi Bags New International Endorsement Deal With Operamini

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Not too long ago, X3M Music star Simi bagged an International endorsement deal with Operamini. According to reports making grounds, the singer will become brand ambassador for Operamini in Nigeria.

As a brand ambassador, her duties was said to involve circulating promotional messages on different Opera products which includes Opera News, a new app from opera that offers content for readers of local and international news.

The singer has however express her delight on the deal stating that her 2017 was great and the year 2018 promises to be better for her and the organization she just got a deal with.

“I’m delighted to be working with such an exciting brand as Opera, helping them introduce Opera News to Nigeria and reminding everyone how awesome Opera Mini is”, I had a great year in 2017 personally and to start this new one with this collaboration is so exciting. I’m doing lots of projects with Opera over the coming months, so watch this space.”

Meanwhile, Simi will now join other Nigerian celebrities like Chelsea FC star, Victor Moses, as brand ambassador for Opera. The soccer star signed a deal with the brand in the year 2017 in a mouth watering deal that was worth about $100,000.

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Burna Boy Thrills Fans At Album Release Party In London Days After Lagos Listening Party

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On the back of a successful private listening party in Lagos last Sunday, Burna Boy gave the “Outside” experience to a number of his fans in a release party at The Curtain Hotel, London.

He treated his fans to performances from songs off the forthcoming album, “Outside”, due out on all digital platforms, tomorrow, Friday, January 26th, under Atlantic Records.

The event was hosted by Eddie Kadi of BBC 1Xtra and was attended by celebrities like Wizkid, Jhus, Tiwa Savage, Mr. Eazi, and Mabel to name a few. Jhus and Mabel joined Burna Boy on stage to perform their feature tracks “Sekkle Down” and “Outside” to the excitement of the fans. At the end of the night, everyone left the venue with a huge sense of anticipation for the album’s release.

The album will be out tomorrow, Friday, January 26th, across all digital platforms.

See pictures below

Burna Boy

Wizkid and Burna Boy
Burna Boy

J Hus and Burna Boy

Burna Boy

Burna Boy

Tiwa Savage and Burna Boy

Burna Boy

Burna Boy

Burna Boy and Mr Eazi

Burna Boy

Burna Boy

Burna Boy

Mabel and Burna Boy

Burna Boy

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Football Papers: All The Latest Football News And Transfer Gossips This Morning

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  • Liverpool and Everton could go head-to-head for West Brom striker Salomon Rondon this month in a £15m deal.
  • David Beckham is set to launch his long-awaited Miami MLS team next week.
  • Leicester assistant manager Michael Appleton has ruled himself out of a return to Oxford United.
  • West Ham midfielder Pedro Obiang is a surprise target for Inter Milan.
  • Former Arsenal and Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna could be linking up Serie A bottom side Benevento.
  • New Wales boss Ryan Giggs has confirmed he has spoken to Paul Scholes about joining his coaching staff.
  • Gareth Southgate is ready to give Jack Wilshere an England recall for the World Cup.
  • Arsenal are eyeing up Mainz defender Abdou Diallo as Arsene Wenger vows to carry on spending.
  • The Football Association have been accused of double standards as the row over Phil Neville’s appointment as England Women head coach turned toxic.
  • Michael O’Neill will sign a new £700,000-a-year deal with Northern Ireland to keep him in charge until 2024.
  • Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony says it will take more than £4m to prise in-form striker Jack Marriott away from the League One club.
  • Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis wants to sign Bradford City striker Charlie Wyke, who was born in the town and failed to make the grade at the Sky Bet Championship club as a youngster.
  • Ipswich have told Cardiff they want £500,000 for striker David McGoldrick.
  • Kevin De Bruyne insists Manchester City do not need Alexis Sanchez as they look to complete an historic Quadruple.
  • Aymeric Laporte has told Athletic Bilbao he wants to join Manchester City in a deal worth £57m.
  • Newcastle United have been told to improve their £14m offer for Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen.
  • Bordeaux want Middlesbrough striker Martin Braithwaite on loan, with a £7m option to buy.
  • Chelsea left-back Baba Rahman is set to rejoin Schalke on loan.
  • New Watford boss Javi Gracia could make Sweden U21 goalkeeper Pontus Dahlberg his first signing.
  • Stoke are among the clubs showing an interest in Hertha Berlin striker David Selke.
  • Norwich are closing on a deal to bring Eintracht Braunschweig winger Onel Hernandez to the club.
  • Manchester United and Manchester City will go head-to-head again, this time trying to force a transfer for Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri over the line.
  • Edin Dzeko’s proposed moved to Chelsea is being held up by his agent, who needs a visa before flying to London.
  • Leicester striker Islam Slimani, who has been heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, attended Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final with Arsenal.
  • Liverpool outcast Lazar Markovic is a target for Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow.
  • Alberto Moreno should be back in Liverpool’s plans soon after returning to training – he has been out since December with an ankle injury.
  • Chelsea have started to explore other options to bolster their attack should a deal for Edin Dzeko prove impossible to complete.
  • Celtic chiefs are furious that Stewart Regan has signed Scotland up to play away friendlies against Peru and Mexico because the club faces an early June return to training should they win the title and enter Champions League qualifying.
  • Leigh Griffiths has no interest in leaving Celtic, despite the striker’s recent struggles to earn a regular start.

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Nigeria Disburses N11billion To YouWIN Beneficiaries

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The Federal Government has disclosed that before end of January 2018, more than N11 billion would have been disbursed to the beneficiaries of the third edition of the YouWiN programme, with N8.5 billion disbursed under the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, while releasing the last payment of N125.640 million for disbursement to the final 61 beneficiaries of the third edition of the programme.

She said: “By January 2018, the total amount disbursed to beneficiaries of the third edition of the YouWiN programme will be N11, 121, 031, 260 billion, of which the current administration has disbursed N8, 522, 545,038 billion.”

The amount was disbursed to 1, 500 beneficiaries who have started or expanded their business across a variety of sectors, including Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Manufacturing, Services and Agricultural Production and Processing.

Other areas covered under the third edition were Fashion and Entertainment, while various technical support were extended to over 18, 000 beneficiaries in the areas of access to markets and finance as well as capacity building in business management, accounting and operations.

Upom assumption of office, Mrs. Adeosun reviewed and restructured the YouWiN Programme which it inherited from the previous administration and renamed it YouWiN Connect and gave it a new focus for sustainability.

YouWiN Connect is currently providing online capacity building to more than 61, 000 beneficiaries across the country.

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Nigeria Disburses N11billion To YouWIN Beneficiaries

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The Federal Government has disclosed that before end of January 2018, more than N11 billion would have been disbursed to the beneficiaries of the third edition of the YouWiN programme, with N8.5 billion disbursed under the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, while releasing the last payment of N125.640 million for disbursement to the final 61 beneficiaries of the third edition of the programme.

She said: “By January 2018, the total amount disbursed to beneficiaries of the third edition of the YouWiN programme will be N11, 121, 031, 260 billion, of which the current administration has disbursed N8, 522, 545,038 billion.”

The amount was disbursed to 1, 500 beneficiaries who have started or expanded their business across a variety of sectors, including Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Manufacturing, Services and Agricultural Production and Processing.

Other areas covered under the third edition were Fashion and Entertainment, while various technical support were extended to over 18, 000 beneficiaries in the areas of access to markets and finance as well as capacity building in business management, accounting and operations.

Upom assumption of office, Mrs. Adeosun reviewed and restructured the YouWiN Programme which it inherited from the previous administration and renamed it YouWiN Connect and gave it a new focus for sustainability.

YouWiN Connect is currently providing online capacity building to more than 61, 000 beneficiaries across the country.

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How Nigeria’s Naira Fared Against US Dollar (Jan 24)

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The Nigerian naira on Wednesday, January 24, stabilized at N360.25 per United States dollar in the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) window. 

Data from the Financial Market Dealers Quote (FMDQ) showed that the indicative exchange rate for the window, known as Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange, NAFEX, remained unchanged at N360.25 per dollar.

Meanwhile, the volume of dollars traded fell by 43 percent yesterday to $306.70 from $263.59 million on Tuesday.

The naira however appreciated by N1 to N364 per dollar in the parallel market.

This is just as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on Monday injected $210 million into the foreign exchange market.

Confirming the development, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department (CCD), CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor said that the CBN offered $100million to authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment got the sum of $55 million.

  • Currency speculators risk losses as rising reserves, oil prices strengthen naira

Meanwhile, there are strong indications that if rising reserves, oil prices in the international market and foreign exchange (forex) market liquidity are sustained, the Naira may be strengthened against other currencies from now till a greater part of 2018.

The development may spell doom for currency speculators and hoarders, including politicians who may have reserved some foreign currencies for 2019 electioneering campaigns.

The Naira’s positive outlook in the short term is riding on the back of resurging reserves’ profile, now nearing $41 billion and a stable crude oil prices at the international market, now hovering around $68 and $71 per barrel.

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How Nigeria’s Naira Fared Against US Dollar (Jan 24)

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The Nigerian naira on Wednesday, January 24, stabilized at N360.25 per United States dollar in the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) window. 

Data from the Financial Market Dealers Quote (FMDQ) showed that the indicative exchange rate for the window, known as Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange, NAFEX, remained unchanged at N360.25 per dollar.

Meanwhile, the volume of dollars traded fell by 43 percent yesterday to $306.70 from $263.59 million on Tuesday.

The naira however appreciated by N1 to N364 per dollar in the parallel market.

This is just as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had on Monday injected $210 million into the foreign exchange market.

Confirming the development, the Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department (CCD), CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor said that the CBN offered $100million to authorized dealers in the wholesale segment of the market, while the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) segment got the sum of $55 million.

  • Currency speculators risk losses as rising reserves, oil prices strengthen naira

Meanwhile, there are strong indications that if rising reserves, oil prices in the international market and foreign exchange (forex) market liquidity are sustained, the Naira may be strengthened against other currencies from now till a greater part of 2018.

The development may spell doom for currency speculators and hoarders, including politicians who may have reserved some foreign currencies for 2019 electioneering campaigns.

The Naira’s positive outlook in the short term is riding on the back of resurging reserves’ profile, now nearing $41 billion and a stable crude oil prices at the international market, now hovering around $68 and $71 per barrel.

The post How Nigeria’s Naira Fared Against US Dollar (Jan 24) appeared first on 360Nobs.com.

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Elton John Announces Retirement – But After Final Tour

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Pop legend Elton John on Wednesday announced a final tour, saying he intends to retire, stop traveling and spend more time with his family.

The 70-year-old British entertainer, while revealing his plans at a gala New York event, said he planned to “go out with a bang” with a global tour that will open in September and last through 2021.

“It will be the last time that I’m touring and traveling the world, because my priorities have changed,” John told several hundred journalists and guests after a mini-concert and virtual reality presentation about his career.

Saying he has had an “amazing life and amazing career,” he added: “My priorities now are my children and my husband and my family.”

John, who in the 1980s became one of the first openly gay major celebrities, has two children with his husband, Canadian filmmaker and former advertising executive David Furnish.

The “Rocket Man” said he had no health concerns and would stay active, hoping to record more albums and write further musicals.

“I will be creative, hopefully, until the day I die,” he said.

John hits the road on September 8 for a tour that will include 300 shows across five continents. Tickets for “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” go on sale February 2.

Fans can also catch the Rocket Man in Las Vegas, where John is on his second residency at Caesars Palace. The singer had to cancel a few shows last year after he was hospitalized for a bacterial infection he contracted while he was on tour in South America. “The Million Dollar Piano” show will end in May.

John is also scheduled to perform a duet with Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards this weekend at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

He’s also performing at a post-Grammys concert on January 30, “Elton John: I’m Still Standing-A Grammy Salute,” which will include performances by Sam Smith, Chris Martin, John Legend and Keith Urban.

John is a celebrated artist whose self-titled 1970 debut reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and gave him his first Top 10, “Your Song,” according to the Grammy’s official site. He’s won five Grammy Awards, a Tony and an Academy Award.

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Elton John Announces Retirement – But After Final Tour

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Pop legend Elton John on Wednesday announced a final tour, saying he intends to retire, stop traveling and spend more time with his family.

The 70-year-old British entertainer, while revealing his plans at a gala New York event, said he planned to “go out with a bang” with a global tour that will open in September and last through 2021.

“It will be the last time that I’m touring and traveling the world, because my priorities have changed,” John told several hundred journalists and guests after a mini-concert and virtual reality presentation about his career.

Saying he has had an “amazing life and amazing career,” he added: “My priorities now are my children and my husband and my family.”

John, who in the 1980s became one of the first openly gay major celebrities, has two children with his husband, Canadian filmmaker and former advertising executive David Furnish.

The “Rocket Man” said he had no health concerns and would stay active, hoping to record more albums and write further musicals.

“I will be creative, hopefully, until the day I die,” he said.

John hits the road on September 8 for a tour that will include 300 shows across five continents. Tickets for “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” go on sale February 2.

Fans can also catch the Rocket Man in Las Vegas, where John is on his second residency at Caesars Palace. The singer had to cancel a few shows last year after he was hospitalized for a bacterial infection he contracted while he was on tour in South America. “The Million Dollar Piano” show will end in May.

John is also scheduled to perform a duet with Miley Cyrus at the Grammy Awards this weekend at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

He’s also performing at a post-Grammys concert on January 30, “Elton John: I’m Still Standing-A Grammy Salute,” which will include performances by Sam Smith, Chris Martin, John Legend and Keith Urban.

John is a celebrated artist whose self-titled 1970 debut reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and gave him his first Top 10, “Your Song,” according to the Grammy’s official site. He’s won five Grammy Awards, a Tony and an Academy Award.

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EFCC Arrests, Detains Nigeria’s Ex-SGF, Babachir Lawal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arrested and detained the immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, for alleged fraud to the tune of N223m.

It was learnt that Lawal arrived at the Abuja office of the EFCC around 11am on Wednesday after which he was detained.

Mr. Lawal was recently sacked after he was indicted by a presidential panel that investigated misuse of funds meant for people displaced by Boko Haram.

He had earlier been indicted by the Senate.

Confirming to Channels Television, the EFCC Acting Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Samin Amaddin, said the former SGF is cooperating with investigators and has been making useful statements.

He added that his interview with the anti-corruption agency would continue on Thursday.

Mr Lawal’s appearance at the EFCC custody comes about three months after he was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly violating the due process in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

Although the former SGF was earlier suspended on April 20, 2017, the President had appointed Mr Boss Mustapha on October 30, 2017, to replace Lawal.

The Presidency had, however, been hit with heavy criticism that the former SGF must be investigated after being sacked.

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EFCC Arrests, Detains Nigeria’s Ex-SGF, Babachir Lawal

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arrested and detained the immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, for alleged fraud to the tune of N223m.

It was learnt that Lawal arrived at the Abuja office of the EFCC around 11am on Wednesday after which he was detained.

Mr. Lawal was recently sacked after he was indicted by a presidential panel that investigated misuse of funds meant for people displaced by Boko Haram.

He had earlier been indicted by the Senate.

Confirming to Channels Television, the EFCC Acting Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Samin Amaddin, said the former SGF is cooperating with investigators and has been making useful statements.

He added that his interview with the anti-corruption agency would continue on Thursday.

Mr Lawal’s appearance at the EFCC custody comes about three months after he was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly violating the due process in the award of contracts under the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE).

Although the former SGF was earlier suspended on April 20, 2017, the President had appointed Mr Boss Mustapha on October 30, 2017, to replace Lawal.

The Presidency had, however, been hit with heavy criticism that the former SGF must be investigated after being sacked.

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Conte Sticks With Chelsea’s Plans

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Antonio Conte says he has faith in Chelsea’s transfer plans and backs the club, after their Carabao Cup exit against Arsenal.

A Rudiger own goal and Xhaka strike sealed the win for Gunners, as Chelsea failed to build on Hazard’s seventh-minute opener.

Chelsea are looking to sign Peter Crouch, Andy Carroll, Ashley Barnes and Dzeko. And Conte is pleased with the blues dealings.

“When the squad is not big you have to always play with the same players,” he told a news conference.

“I made a lot of rotations this season. We reached the semi-final and if you see before who played in this competition, we played with young players. I have to do the same in the FA Cup, but then you risk going out. Against Norwich we risked this.

“But it is not right to take only one game to make a decision to understand. There is a programme and a plan.

 

“It’s wrong we have to make decisions only on one game. The situation has always been the same since the summer. I continue to work and I’m very happy with my players.

“I continue to give everything for the club and the club makes the best decisions for the team.”

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Nigerian Govt Replies Obasanjo, Lists Buhari’s Achievements [Full Text]

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The Federal Government on Wednesday issued a seven-page statement in reply to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The statement was issued by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Lai Mohammed, barely a day after  the Presidency kept mum as regards to Obasanjo’s critical statement in which he urged President Buhari not to run for re-election in 2019.

READ OBASANJO’s FULL STATEMENT HERE

The statement reads:

We have read the press statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the State of the Nation.

For the record, Chief Obasanjo is a patriot, and he has proven this time and time again. We appreciate what he said concerning the Administration’s performance in two out of the three key issues that formed the plank of its campaign: Fighting corruption and tackling insurgency. Specifically, the former President said President Buhari must be given credit for his achievement so far in these two areas. We thank him for this.

Apparently, the former President believes that the Administration does not deserve a pass mark in the area of the economy, which is the third of our three-pronged campaign promises.

We have no doubt that in the face of massive challenges in this area, this Administration has availed itself creditably. We believe that Chief Obasanjo, because of his very busy schedule, may not have been fully availed of developments in the government’s efforts to revamp the economy, which was battered by the consequences of over-dependence on a commodity as well as unprecedented pillaging of the treasury.

Today, most of the indices by which an economy is measured are looking up. Permit me to say, however, that Nigeria would not have exited recession through a mere order or if the Administration had not made use of ”good Nigerians” who could help.

This Administration is making steady progress in its determined effort to revamp the economy, and the results are showing:

* Foreign Reserves have peaked at $40b, the highest level in about four years, and up from $24 billion just a year ago, even though when we came in, the price of oil had crashed woefully.

* According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC), headline inflation has fallen for 11 consecutive months, standing at 15.37% as at Dec. 2017. This is the lowest inflation rate since Jan 2017, and it has met and surpassed the target set for inflation in the Administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

* Our determined implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has stopped the haemorrhaging of the treasury. Some 108 billion Naira has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks, pre-TSA. The nation is being saved 24.7 billion Naira monthly with the full implementation of the TSA.

* The elimination of ghost workers has saved the nation 120 billion Naira.

* At about 1.8 billion dollars, the capital inflows in the second quarter of 2017 were almost double the $908 million in the first quarter.

* In the wake of a stable Naira and increased investment inflows, Nigeria’s stock market emerged one of the best-performing in the world, delivering returns in excess of 40 percent.

* Nigeria rose 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in the world.

* According to Q3 2017 figures, agriculture export is up year-on-year by 25%, solid minerals exports are up year-on-year by 78%, raw materials exports are up 70% year-on-year and manufactured goods exports are up 22% year-on-year.

* Government agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service are reporting highest-ever revenue collection, while JAMB, under the new management appointed by President Buhari in 2016, remitted N7.8 billion to the coffers of the federal government. The total amount remitted by JAMB between 2010 and 2016 was a paltry N51 million!

These positive indices may not have immediately impacted positively on Nigerians, but Nigerians will definitely get a new lease of life a short while from now. This is because the good news from the agricultural sector, which is recording a bumper harvest, will bring down the cost of foodstuffs, especially such staple as rice, and our massive Social Investment Programme will ease the pain of the most vulnerable in the society.

When we assumed office in 2015, some 6 million farmers were involved in rice production. Thanks to the Anchor Borrowers’ programme of this Administration, we have grown that number to over 12 million farmers. The result is that our rice import from Thailand alone has dropped from 644,000 metric tonnes to 22,000 MT in just two years. This is phenomenal.

Apart from rice, Nigeria is also doing well in other grains, especially Millet, Sorghum and Maize. We are now the second largest producer of sorghum after the US, the third in millet after India and our breweries are now enjoying local sourcing of those commodities.

For maize, we are producing 10 million tons while we need about 13 million tons for both human and animal nutrition. Nigeria leads the world in the yam and cassava production. We account for 70% of the world’s yam production. In two years, we hope to be the world’s largest exporter of yam! Overall, our ambition is that agriculture should rise from 25% to 40% of GDP, so that we can banish poverty and overcome our economic anxiety.

Our Social Investment Programme is Nigeria’s most ambitious social welfare programme ever. Currently, 5.2 million primary school children in 28,249 schools in 19 states are being fed daily; 200,000 unemployed graduates have enlisted into the N-power Job Scheme, and a quarter of a million loans already distributed to artisans, traders, and farmers.

Finally, our investment in infrastructure is simply unprecedented. This is because infrastructure is key to faster economic growth and development.

Here is a synopsis of what we have done in this area:

* Power Generation at an all-time high of 7,000mw and all can be transmitted

* RAIL: Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge is on. Lagos-Ibadan sector ready 2019, Kano-Kaduna ready 2019; The entire stretch ready 2021; Negotiations on for Coastal Rail covering 15 cities from Lagos to Calabar.

* ROAD: 25 major highways being funded with the N100b Sukuk Bond, and all geo-political zones are benefitting equally

This Administration is not unaware of the enormity of the challenges facing the nation, but we are up to the task. We have taken the bull by the horns, and long-suffering Nigerians will begin to experience a new lease of life as our efforts yield fruits. We will not go into a state of funk for whatever reason.

On the Herders/Farmers’ clashes, this Administration is determined to end the crisis resulting from this once and for all, not minding the fact that the clashes predate us. we urge Nigerians to have faith in the Administration’s ability to resolve the crisis, and to watch out for concrete measures in this regard.

On whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari should run for another term, it is true that many Nigerians have been calling on the President to run again, while others are opposed to his return. However, we believe this issue is a distraction for the President at this time. This is because Mr. President spends every waking hour tackling the enormous challenges facing the nation, most of which were bequeathed to his Administration by successive past Administrations. He is committed to fulfilling the mandate given to him by Nigerians in 2015. And that’s where we are right now!

Finally, we have no reason to believe that former President Obasanjo has any motive beyond the well-being of the nation in issuing his Special Press Statement. We have also taken his admonition in good  faith, and we thank him most sincerely for taking time off his busy schedule to pen such a long statement.

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Ramos: We Stand With Zidane

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Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos has leapt to the defence of manager, Zinedine Zidane, saying he is not a fan of changes.

Los Blancos were shocked by Leganes in the Copa del Rey, losing 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu, and losing 2-2 on away goals.

Zidane still has to contend with the fact that Madrid are fourth and 19 points behind Barcelona.

“I’m not a big fan of changes,” Ramos said post-match.

“We are the first ones to stand up for Zidane.”

“To fall in the Copa del Rey is a failure,” Spain international centre-back Ramos added.

 

“These are tough times, but we must be as united as possible and not throw the rest of the season away.

“You have to learn from bad moments. We are all responsible and we hope that this serves some use in the future. We still have the Champions League.”

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Don Jazzy Makes A Shocking Revelation Of How He Exercises His Body (Watch Video)

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Mavin Boss, Don Jazzy has revealed the only fitness exercise he habitually engage in. The multi-talented producer and singer made this statement while taking a walk on Eko bridge alongside Dr. Sid.

While speaking about a mobile app for fitness training he just acquired, with all sense of humour Don Jazzy admitted that he is naturally lazy when it comes to exercise and the only exercise he engages in is “Knacking”.

Meanwhile, “Knacking” is a popular slang in Nigeria used to describe an intense sexual activity.

Watch Video Below;

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Wizkid Flaunts His $1.2 Million Wristwatch (Watch Video)

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Through a recent snapchat post, Nigerian superstar singer, Wizkid has given his fans a hint of his exotic lifestyle. The singer took to snapchat to display his $1.2 million wrist watch.

In Nigerian naira, the cost of the wristwatch is estimated to be N430 million, almost half a billion Naira. The singer’s display of wealth has attracted mixed reactions from fans, while some are of the opinion that he spends too much on irrelevant material things like wristwatch, others believe that he is entitled to spend his money as his spirit leads.

Watch Video Below;

Wizkid flaunts a $1.2m wristwatch

A post shared by Instablog9ja (@instablog9ja) on Jan 24, 2018 at 11:35am PST

 

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