Monday, April 14, 2014
A bomb blast have been reported in Nyanya a suburb between Abuja the federal Capital, today, at about 7.00a.m. The bomb blast occurred at the ever busy Nyanya Al Rufai bus stop. Several persons are reportedly killed and other severely injured. As at the time of this report, there is gridlock along the expressway and security personnels and men of the Federal Road Safety Commission.
President Goodluck Jonathan for the second consecutive Saturday running, took time off his busy schedule to give out his daughter’s hand – Faith Osakwe – in Christian marriage to her husband, Prince Godswill Edward at the National Ecumenical Centre, Abuja. Penultimate weekend, the president was in his hometown of Otuoke, Bayelsa State, for the traditional wedding ceremony of Faith and Godswill. In a fatherly advice to the newlyweds at the reception in their honour at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, President Jonathan told the couple to try as much as possible to resolve every matrimonial problem that might arise in the course of time, stressing that outsiders, including parents, should not be involved in the settlement of marital disputes. He added that parents and their children belong to different generations hence their advices might not be the best because the parents’ belong to what he called ‘analogue’ generation while the children are in the ‘digital’ age. He said of his mood prior to the church wedding: “A day you are giving out your daughter out in marriage is a day of glorious sadness. My advice is that, today is a very special day: we are all smiling and dancing but also note that there will be periods when the relationship will not work smoothly. That is a part of the life of husband and wife. “There is no couple that will not have some moments when their faces will not be too bright, but it depends on how you reach out ……. and really find time to understand themselves. And we pray that you have a really happy married life and we will continue to pray for you as your parents”. Continuing, he said: “Our duties as parents is to continue to pray for you, to encourage you and if there are some issues you feel we can solve, you can tell us. But don’t depend on your parents to solve your matrimonial problems. If you have disagreement with your husband…., don’t always run to parents or get advice of your mother or father. Sometimes, they will not give you the best advice. Because your parents are analogue people while you are digital generation”. Chairman of the occasion and former military head of state, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) in his advice to the couple said marriage is all about give and take. “No matter the problem that may come your way, never allow the day to pass without resolving the problem through prayers and love”, he said. “It is only you that can make it a success. Look at your parents and emulate them”, the former military ruler added. The latest couple, who were ferried from the church to the reception venue on a beautifully decorated horse-drawn carriage, cut the cake under the supervision of the wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Helen Mark. Dignitaries that graced the wedding reception yesterday were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Femi Otedola, Chairman of PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim. Governors at the reception included Jonah Jang (Plateau), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta) Theordor Orji (Abia), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina) Liyel Imoke (Cross Rivers). Guests were entertained to beautiful music by Iyanya, D’Banj and other artistes.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Hope you ve heard of the Ebola Virus. There is an outbreak of this virus in West Africa. The virus is very contegious and can easily be transmitted by contact from an infected person or animal to another.Animals such as bush meat and Monkey. Prevention: is to wash your hands always and avoid bush meats. Avoid food that u don't know the source and pets for now. The Virus kills it victim btw 2 to 15 days of infection. And has no curethe symptom is just like that of malaria fever. So pls avoid people u suspect to ve it and report any case or incidence to the nearest medical centre close to u. love u. Pls share this info with your love ones and save a life today. Msg from Abuja Bloggers. @Olabluetooth
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts appears to be in a dilemma following the refusal of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to respond to its letter demanding information on the controversial Challenger 850 aircraft chartered for her use.
In the letter written by the committee Chairman, Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, on March 26, Alison-Madueke was requested to provide information on the sources of funding and to cite the law that empowers a minister to fly in chartered jets.
She was given one week to respond to the questions. However, as of Tuesday, there was no response from her.
A similar set of questions was sent to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu.
The committee was given the specific mandate to probe the alleged N10bn expenses the minister incurred in the last three years, flying in Challenger 850.
In the course of preliminary findings, the committee got additional information that Alison-Madueke chartered other jets, including a Global Express XRS.
The committee was given three weeks to report the outcome of the investigation to the House.
The PUNCH gathered on Tuesday that three weeks after the committee got the mandate, little progress was achieved on the assignment because the minister and Yakubu had yet to respond to enquiries by the committee.
A source close to the committee, confirmed to The PUNCH in Abuja, that “no response has been forwarded to the committee on this jet issue.”
“Not from the minister, not from the NNPC. There is a situation of a dilemma because the committee can really not make much progress without getting the responses,” he said, pleading not to be named.
The source added that, rather than respond to the enquiries, what the committee had heard was that the NNPC fired its Executive Director, Legal Services, Mr. Tony Maduchi, on Monday.
The source claimed that the alleged sacking was not unconnected with the ongoing investigation into the chartered jets.
The director was said to be in a position to avail the House committee of useful information on the investigation.
The source added, “These are not ordinary times. We are aware of steps being taken to prevent the committee from carrying out its assignment.
“Why the removal of the Director of the Legal Services of the NNPC at this point in time?
“The NNPC and the minister must come before the committee to explain their roles in the deal to all Nigerians. We, as lawmakers, will use all the constitutional powers we have to get to the root of the matter.”
The PUNCH had reported exclusively last week that the committee had come under pressure from “forces outside the House” to soft pedal on the investigation.
Efforts to get Olamilekan’s comments on the alleged frustration of the committee failed.
After our correspondent placed several calls to him, he picked one and responded, “Let me call you back, if you don’t mind.”
As of 7.15pm on Tuesday, Olamilekan had not returned the call. He also did not reply to text messages forwarded to him by one of our correspondents.
While the House committee is in a dilemma over the probe, the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) seems set to probe the NNPC over its handling of funds from the nation’s oil and gas sector.
The committee, according to a source decided after a closed-door meeting to, among others, probe the chartering of aircraft for Alison-Madueke by the NNPC.
The source, who did not want his name in print, explained that the committee decided to begin a full-scale investigation of the corporation because it (NNPC) had consistently shunned its invitation on six different occasions since October last year.
He added that the Senator Magnus Abe-led committee had not been able to get details of NNPC’s use of public funds because of its management’s actions.
The source recalled that on April 4, the committee sent a letter to the NNPC GMD to attend a scheduled meeting on Tuesday (yesterday) but got no response from him.
“The meeting originally planned for 2. 45 pm in the Senate had nobody from the NNPC in attendance and there was no correspondence either,” he said.
He disclosed that the committee had again written to the NNPC, requesting among others, detailed records of the volumes and sales of all crude oil and products and detailed record of the volumes of crude oil received as part of the crude swap arrangement by local refineries.
Also, the committee requested from the NNPC, details of kerosene importation and distribution and details of the number and management of aircraft (both chartered and purchased) in the corporation’s fleet.
The corporation was asked to provide details of funds expended on aircraft purchases, hiring and maintenance in the last two years.
It is also to produce contract papers on the lease or purchase of aircraft; issues surrounding the Turn Around Maintenance and or rehabilitation of the nation’s refineries as well as the supply and distribution of petroleum products and ancillary issues.
The April 4 letter read in part, “I am directed to refer to you, several letters of invitation to you to meet with the committee. You are requested to furnish the committee with information relating to the activities of your corporation since October 2013.
“I am to draw your attention to the fact that the 1999 Constitution, as amended, statutorily empowers the Senate and by extension, its committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to ‘oversight’ the activities of the NNPC and its subsidiary refinery companies.
“I am to further express the committee’s dissatisfaction with the conduct of the management of the NNPC, especially its seeming disrespect and disregard of its invitations and requests for information and data relating to the activities of the NNPC and its refinery companies.
“Also, in view of the inability and or unpreparedness of your officials to adequately respond to questions at the committee’s meeting of Tuesday and Wednesday, the committee resolved to further invite the GMD (PPMC), the Group Executive Director (R&P), and the Managing Directors of all the nation’s refineries to a meeting on Tuesday, April 8.”
Another source told one of our correspondents that “previous meetings between the NNPC and the committee had always been frustrated because junior officers were sent to attend them.”
He said, “Those who attend the meetings are either junior officers or they are not in possession of documents or details pertaining to what the committee wants.”
When contacted, the committee chairman, confirmed that the NNPC management had consistently shunned the invitation of the committee.
A proposed forward “sale agreement” loan of $1.56bn by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation split members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Some members had kicked against the loan and protested loudly in the chambers, urging the House not to approve it.
But, a majority decision supported the loan bid.
The report on the loan was presented to the House by the Joint Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream)/Petroleum Resources (Downstream)/Loans and Debts/Justice.
The lead Chairman, Mr. Ajibola Muraina, urged the House to approve the proposal.
However, the committee asked the NNPC to “develop a roadmap for offsetting its huge indebtedness.”
But, some members said it did not make sense for the House to approve another loan for the NNPC, which is battling to explain many allegations bearing on corruption and non-remittance of oil revenues to the public purse.
For example, the House Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, noted that the NNPC had been unable to account for “missing funds” running into billions of dollars.
He argued that he expected the House to first direct the corporation to clear itself of all the allegations before approving a fresh loan proposal.
The Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also opposed the loan.
She noted that the committee, in its report, admitted that the NNPC was already heavily indebted.
Dabiri-Erewa said, “The whole thing is a sham; this is a sham. We should not be talking about loans. We don’t even know how much the NNPC owes; the corporation is heavily indebted.
“The chairman of the committee admitted that much in his presentation. This is a sham, we should not accept this.”
Several other members expressed reservations over the proposed loan.
In its first recommendation, the committee stated, “That the House do approve the proposed $1.56bn forward sale agreement.”
The recommendation was approved.
In recommendations three, four and five, the committee acknowledged NNPC’s huge indebtedness.
Recommendation four stated, “That there is a need to streamline operations within the NNPC to eliminate waste, increase operational efficiencies and offer more degree of transparency.”
Members had last Thursday declined to consider the report on the excuse that they were not given copies.
In his comments, the presiding Deputy Speaker, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, ruled that he should not be held accountable for the members’ disposition as he expected them to have read and “digested” the report before coming to the chambers on Tuesday.
Reactions have continued to trail the rebasing of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, which put the 2013 figures at $509.9bn.
While the House of Representatives, Nigeria Labour Congress and the Civil Society Legislative and Advocacy Centre, as well as the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, were of the opinion that there was nothing to celebrate over the higher GDP figure, which ranks the Nigerian economy ahead of South Africa’s as the biggest on the continent, the Senate said it was a welcome development.
The House said much as the rebased GDP was commendable, it must translate into employment opportunities for the army of unemployed youths in the country.
It also noted that the new GDP figure should help in fixing the energy crisis in the country.
The Deputy House Majority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, said, “These are signs that the economy is being better managed. However, it must translate into employment opportunities for our army of youths.
“We should also be able to fix our energy crisis. Overall, there is a sign of hope that we can say things are picking up.”
The NLC said it was not swayed by the outcome of the rebased.
The Acting President, NLC, Mr. Promise Adewusi, said in a statement in Abuja that the figure, which was provided by the National Bureau of Statistics and other partners on Sunday, was not convincing.
He argued that Nigeria, being Africa’s biggest economy, ought to make no news if vital statistics such as population and natural resources, among others, were to form the basis of assumptions for the assessment.
According to the statement, an improved GDP will only make meaning to the organised labour if it translates into improved living standards for the ordinary Nigerians.
Adewusi said, “Living conditions in the past couple of years have been progressively nose-diving and pathetic. Similarly, economic growth without jobs and food on the table means nothing in realty. The unemployment figures are frightening.
“We have found it necessary to warn time without number that the army of unemployed youths constitutes a veritable army of the disparate, the desperate and the angry, and that government should urgently address the problem.
“So far, nothing has illustrated this fear better than the recent Immigration recruitment exercise tragedy. We, therefore, do not need any economist or diviner to tell us that life has improved, because it has not.
“A GDP could not be said to have significantly improved if our industries are virtually shut and the operating environment increasingly hostile.
“The government should worry that the performance index of industries dropped from 46.08 per cent to 25.81 per cent, while the service industry more than doubled to 50 per cent from 23.03 per cent. This certainly represents a significant change in the economy, a negative change that points to consumption to the exclusion of production.
“As we commend the government for achieving the feat of economic rebasing, we urge it to ensure this figure translates into improved living conditions, job creation, revival of industries and improvement of internal and national security; for these will be the measurable indices and indicators of an enlarging and progressive economy.”
Nyako, on his part, said the rebasing of the nation’s GDP would have been better handled by a reputable international body like the World Bank and not an agency of the government.
The governor, who spoke through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Ahmad Sajoh, said, “Our problem is, they are saying that our GDP has risen. Why did they not compare it with what the World Bank said about the Nigerian economy?
“Why will the assessment for South Africa be based on the World Bank, while the assessment for Nigeria is based on what the Statistician-General of Nigeria says?
“I think comparisons are supposed to be made based on the same parameters for them to have any meaning.
“They are using the World Bank to assess the South African economy and they are using our Bureau of Statistics to assess our own, and they then compare and say ours is better.”
In a similar vein, the Executive Director, CISLAC, Mr. Auwal Musa-Rafsanjani, described the figures churned out by the NBS as fluke.
He said “This is all part of the grand deceit, which we are being subjected to; call it voodoo economics, you will not be wrong.
“We should take another look at this assessment because it looks like an attempt to give a mediocre impression that Nigeria is doing well while it is not.
“There is no job creation and no medicare. Nigerians are practically subsidising government because they provide their own power, water and security; yet, some statisticians are giving the world an impression that we are doing well.”
A northern delegate at the National Conference, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim, said Nigeria’s rating as the biggest economy in Africa ahead of South Africa was merely an academic exercise.
Ibrahim noted that Nigeria could not be the biggest economy on the continent because the indices on the ground were not in favour of it attaining such a position.
He said, “How can Nigeria rank as the biggest economy in Africa when the unemployment rate is on the increase and when Nigerians are groaning in pains because of the excruciating economy that is in the hands of a few in the country?
“How can the country be rated as the largest economy when all its industries have virtually collapsed. These are indices that could have propelled the economy to grow. It’s just one of the economic theories of academics.”
But the Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media, and Public Affairs, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, said the upper chamber had yet to discuss the GDP rebasing exercise.
He said, “The Senate has yet to discuss it but it is a good thing to be up to date on the basis for calculating the GDP.
“The country cannot continue to base its GDP on 20-year- old data.”
Similarly, the President, Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria, Mr. Kabir Mohammed, lauded the Federal Government over the rebasing of the nation’s GDP.
Mohammed spoke with State House correspondents shortly after leading the executive members of the institute on a courtesy visit to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said he and his delegation specifically embarked on the visit to congratulate the President on the rebasing of the GDP as well as discuss issues of national importance.
Mohammed described the GDP rebasing as an opportunity for Nigeria to come up to date and take its rightful place among the comity of nations.
He said, “Using this basis, you can see that we have moved into our proper position. We have incorporated structures hitherto not considered.
“This is an opportunity for people who want to invest in the country to make the right decision and come in.”
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella is confident his final squad for the World Cup will intimidate opponents as he reveals a combination of Lionel Messi and a strong defence will do the job.
Argentina are favourites in Group F which has Nigeria, Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
“Our rivals will fear us. Argentina has an amazing front line,” he says on the national team’s official website.
“It’s very hard to be World champions. We don’t have to believe that we are the best. In fact, we know we’re not the best, but we are a candidate. We can’t go into the tournament thinking we’ve won it.
“I don’t know if I’ll take seven or eight defenders. Depends on whether I include another midfielder. The best thing is to try and cover all the areas. Almost certainly those who are here now will be making it.”
Midfielder Angel Di Maria has also described the group as ‘good’, tipping his side to lift the trophy and hopes to retire after the tournament.
“The goal is to try and go as far as possible and if we win it, I’ll probably retire. It would be the best thing that could happen to me,” the Real Madrid player said.
“We can win it because we have a good group, because we have players with World Cup experience and because we know very well what a World Cup represents.”
It is still unclear if the coach will include Carlos Tevez in his final squad. The Juventus striker is enmeshed in controversy in the national team since after the 2010 World Cup.
Monday, April 7, 2014
You may not agree with me, but majority of Nigerian husbands don't want their wives to be more ambitious than them. This low esteem of Nigerian men who want their women to be lower than them is why Nigerian couples have dysfunctional families. I had to remove my previous post to summarize it. Any man who wants to diminish the status of any woman is not worthy of her attention. Only men with low IQ think women are nothing more than sex objects. I may dress to impress But I will not UnCloth under duress I may wear my heart on my sleeves But you will not find it in between my thighs You can force a woman to sleep with you But you cannot force her to love you. Every woman is the queen of her king. Where is the dignity of a knight in shining armor? When the knight is a man without honor or valor? What is the worth of a man when he has no balls to prove his manhood? And how can a man claim to be intelligent and smart When he has no intellect to think straight? Of course only men who are straight are real men. You can tell a well bred man by the way he treats a woman. Only a man who is a coward hits a woman to prove his manhood. Only men without brains need their libido to boost their ego. How can you say you love a woman when you treat her like your slave? Only men without brains will hit women and still return to be locked in their loins. Please, do not ask for my hand in marriage If your mother is still paying for your carriage. Lest we forget, I am your wife and not your cook I am your wife and not your washing machine For the love of God, I am your wife and not your sex machine. And if you know you cannot love me for the rest of your life Then please, don’t ask me to be your wife. As quoted above, every woman and especially the Nigerian woman should chase and fulfil her divine destiny as God created her unique and with her own wisdom before marriage and marriage should increase you and not decrease you. In fact, I recommend that every Nigerian girl and woman should study the Feminist theory, because it will bring out the best in every woman to excel and succeed in life instead of being at the beck and call and mercy of a man.
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